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The Art of the Planted Aquarium Contest 2011

George Farmer

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Dan and I are back, safe and sound from a wonderful experience at The Art of the Planted Aquarium Aquascaping Contest in Hannover, Germany.

We didn’t make the Top 10, but still consider we did well under the circumstances.

As you can see, the standard of aquascaping was incredible. A far higher standard than I predicted from looking at previous years’ entries.

The Grand Champion from IAPLC 2010 was competing, as well as Oliver Knott and some other very talented European ‘scapers. By the way, neither of these guys placed in the Top 10 either, so we're in good company! :lol:

Our biggest disadvantage I would say was not preparing any plants prior to the event. We relied on new Tropica plants, straight from the pot in their emerged form (except Vallis…)

The vast majority of high-ranking entries all had grown in their plants, indeed in some cases grown in their whole aquascape for months prior to the contest. Many also lived much closer than the 16+ hour each way journey we made via car and ferry for the 1,200 mile round trip!

These are no excuses, of course, and I take nothing away from the brilliance of the winning ‘scapers, but valuable lessons have been learned for future... Dan and I have already planned next year’s entry and will start growing it in soon!

I would encourage other UK aquascapers to consider entering next year.

To spend so much time amongst other enthusiasts is amazing fun and there’s so much to learn. The whole experience is brilliant, and it’s great to realize that this wonderful hobby of ours can bring so many people together in so many ways.

Unfortunately I didn’t get time to take too many photos but there are plenty over the web already.

Here’s is the Top 10, courtesy of my Danish friend, Jorgen –

No.1
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No.2
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No.3
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No.4
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No.5
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No.6
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No.7
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No.8
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No.9
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No.10
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And some shots of our aquascape, ‘Kingdom United’, photographed by me –

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ghostsword

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Great looking tank guys. So the other participants took they own plants? Well, then they should have had points deducted for it. :D

The wood you used, was it yours, or you took what was available? Looks really good.
 

George Farmer

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ghostsword said:
Great looking tank guys. So the other participants took they own plants? Well, then they should have had points deducted for it. :D

The wood you used, was it yours, or you took what was available? Looks really good.
Thanks, Luis.

Yes, most guys took their own plants. We were made aware of this but didn't have enough time to grow anything on properly ourselves. Next year we will be much better prepared, but I also expect the standard to raise again.

The wood was Manzanita, kindly loaned from a fellow UKAPS member.
 

ghostsword

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Yeah, I think that the UK people need to start going to more shows. It is good that a lot of UKAPS people are going to Vivarium.

The one I also want to go is to the AGA in the US, and would like to visit ADA as well, but this may take some planning. Not to compete, just to learn, as I am still very much a newbie on this. :D

But well done George and Dan, you managed to pull out a stunning tank. :clap:
 

Marco Aukes

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Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
Well, it might not have been ranked in the top ten, it still is a great piece of work you guys pulled with just emersed plants mainly. Well done Dan, I see you even trusted George with some additional tasks besides just fetching you beers :lol:

But why did you guys fill up the tank all the way so that the stabilizers ( sorry if it is nit English, but I mean the horizontal glass strips on the top of the tank) became vissible?
 

George Farmer

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Marco Aukes said:
But why did you guys fill up the tank all the way so that the stabilizers ( sorry if it is nit English, but I mean the horizontal glass strips on the top of the tank) became vissible?
We obviously overfilled, and didn't realise! Looking at the tanks straight on, you can't tell.

Thanks, Marco. Shame we didn't meet up while you were there.
 

Marco Aukes

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that is a real shame, unfortunately there is no judging report on the contest, so you are not sure if it influences the judging.

By the way, I was unable to attend the show this year.
 

Nelson

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Norfolk
George Farmer said:
The vast majority of high-ranking entries all had grown in their plants, indeed in some cases grown in their whole aquascape for months prior to the contest.

i thought a lot of the scapes looked "mature".at least you'll be better prepared next year.

now aquascapes and german beer sound very inviting :D .
 

andyh

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Looks like great fun!

I have to admit that pic 3 is my favourite, it looks awesome!

Obviously goes with out saying that Yours and Dans scape is cracking, but you can see the advantage gained by growing your plants to suit your scape. I want to be clear that this isn't meant as a criticism, but that HC mushroom in 1st place is amazing and obviously he had planned well in advance.

More pics?

Andy
 

ghostsword

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Antoni Dimitrov said:
That is a great experience and an inspiration for all of us to try to get ready for the next year! This is the way hobby is pushed forward!

It is indeed. The sad fact is how many actually try to get ready "for next year". How many competed on the IAPLC, and other competitions?

George, Dan, Graeme and others do a fantastic job in getting the UK Aquascaping "scene" going forward and doing very good at it.

I admire them for their perseverance, professional manner and attitude. :thumbup:

It is an expensive hobby, but if ones buy's good quality kit then it lasts for a long time.

So maybe that this opportunity to commit yourself to get ready for "next year", there are not many UK competitions, but lots of european ones. :)
 

JEK

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15 Dec 2008
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Denmark
andyh said:
Looks like great fun!

I have to admit that pic 3 is my favourite, it looks awesome!

That's the danish team´s tank. :thumbup:
 

George Farmer

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There's a short video (in German) about the whole event. There's a few seconds of Dan and I 'scaping at about 0.55s.

http://www.aqua-szene.de/2011/01/video- ... erste-tag/

I was interviewed throughout the day, in English, by www.aquanet.tv (part of Rainforest production), so maybe that will be made public soon.

There was some good banter between us and Oliver Knott in particular... 'Blitzkreig' was Oliver's favourite word of the day! :lol:
 

George Farmer

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We also had an Iron Aquascaper Contest. 1hr to aquascape an empty tank from scratch. We were up against the Danish. Unfortunately we couldn't stick around on the Sunday to hear the results or other country's entries.

Images courtesy of Jorgen Ravn
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UK entry
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Danish entry
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Garuf

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You came 3rd and they came 4th over all. The results are in the AoPAC thread on ASW.
 
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