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The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) 2015 brought in over 2,545 entries from 69 counties around the world. This is one epic aquascaping competition! Aquascaping is an art form that takes talent, patience and creativity. In this year’s competition, Japan was number one, and China took second, third, and fifth place! Brazil came in fourth. And you can see the rest of the rankings on IAPLC’s website. Takayuki Fukada from Japan took first place with his aquarium titled ‘Longing’.These beautiful tanks were judged based on the following six criteria: the recreation of natural habitat for fish; the creator’s technical skills; the long-term maintenance of the habitat; the originality and impression of the layout; presentation of natural layout; and the overall composition and planting ‘balance’. Aquascaping has certainly come a very long way. Even just ten years ago, it did have anywhere near the following and recognition in the industry as it currently does. While these tanks are beyond breathtaking, anyone can get started in aquascaping. You could really think of it as underwater gardening; all you need to get started is a fish tank. Like any other art form, it takes passion, patience and dedication, but we all need to start somewhere. However, that is not to over-simplify this art form, as aquarists can tell you that there is a lot to keep in mind; having a good grasp of underwater plants, ecology, and aquarium maintenance are essential to make your aquascaping successful. MORE

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