- Entrant assumes all responsibility for travel, lodging and other personal expenses
Aquascaping must be done within the hours listed below so that attendees can view the work in progress:
Friday 2/10 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday 2/11 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- All entries must be complete by 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 11
- All entries must be set up on-site; no swap-outs – no exceptions
- All entries must use the Aqueon aquarium equipment provided (tank, filter & light). Supplemental lighting is permitted.
- Two types of aquascaping substrate will be available on site: white silica sand and Red Flint sand (darker than silica sand and fine… not a gravel). Entrants are welcome to bring their own substrate. If we are able to find a substrate sponsor, a plant-specific substrate will be included in the equipment package.
- Entrants may adhere any background to their aquarium OTHER than painting the aquarium, or use no background at all.
- Entrants are responsible for choosing and providing any hardscape, plants and animals for their aquascape. These materials may be grown out ahead of time in any way desired by the entrant, including a similarly-sized tank, and brought to the site ready to reassemble.
- Live animals may be used in the aquascape, but are not required. ANIMALS MUST BE AN APPROPRIATE SIZE FOR THE AQUARIUM. THE NUMBER OF ANIMALS MUST BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SIZE OF THE AQUARIUM.
- Nothing on or around the display can indicate who the entrant is, or any sponsorship.
- Judging will take place on Saturday, 2/11, after the close of the show (6:00 PM).
- Winners will be announced at 11:00 AM on Sunday, 2/12
- All displays must remain intact until 4:00 PM on Sunday, 2/12.
- Entrants may sell their entry, but a sign indicating that the display is for sale may not be posted until after the prizes are awarded.
- Any display not removed by 6:00 PM on Sunday will become the property of MAAH.
Each entry will be judged according to the AGA criteria described below to determine the entry’s score of up to 200 points.
- Overall Impression – maximum 50 points
- Does the aquarium as a whole; plants, animals, (if used) and hardscape, create a positive visual impact?
- Do all parts of the aquarium work together to present a harmonious and cohesive whole?
- Do the plants and animals appear healthy?
- Hardware should be as inconspicuous as possible, and clean.
- Water should be clear.
- Composition: Balance, Use of Space, Use of Color – maximum 60 points
- Is the aquascape laid out well? Does the aquarist make good use of differences in color, leaf size and shape, and height (growth habit or trimming) to maximize contrast between groups of plants?
- Does the aquarist use the space effectively, balancing planted areas and negative space?
- Do the species and planting enhance or detract from the sense of depth and scale?
- Selection & Use of Plants, Hardscape Materials, and Animals – maximum 50 points
- Has the aquarist selected plants appropriately?
- Do the colors, shape, and size of the fish or other animals, if used, harmonize with the plants?
- Are schooling fish present in sufficient numbers to make a suitable school?
- Are hardscape materials well chosen for character, size and form?
- Is the hardscape well balanced and in proper scale for the aquascape?
- Viability of Aquascape – maximum 40 points
- With appropriate grooming and maintenance, would the plants selected be suitable for use in the aquarium if maintained as-is for a long period?
- If visible, are the fish and other animals likely to grow too large for the aquarium, cause damage to the aquascape, or each other at adult size?
Please note – Due to the short-term nature of this competition, lack of animals in a tank will NOT be a deduction, although use of appropriate animals, could enhance an aquascape. It is up to the entrants to decide whether or not to use animals in the display, keeping in mind the nature of the competition. Deductions WILL be made for unhealthy animals.