Is this a Photo Contest?
No. The winners of the Contest portion of this event will be the best aquascapes, not necessarily the best photographs. It is important, though, that your photos be sharp and clear so that the judges (and the viewers) can see your aquascape as well as possible.
Are amateur and beginner submissons judged right along with those from advanced and professional aquascapers?
Yes, we don't try to decide who is advanced, novice, etc. Each submission is judged on it's own merits. One year a beginner even won best of show.
That Biotope tank doesn't have any plants in it! Why didn't you disqualify it?
There is no requirement that the Biotope Aquascape contain plants. If the entrant is attempting to emulate a biotope with little or no plants, such as the rocky floor of Lake Malawi, then this is perfectly acceptable. But take not that in this case, the choice and placement of rocks will matter quite a bit to the judges! For more details on biotope aquariums, please see our guidelines page for more information.
What are the Awards?
Ribbons and cash. Cash awards will be made via PayPal, to the e-mail address registered for the entrant.
It is completely free to enter the AGA Aquascaping Contest this year -- no entry fee! But to help pay for the awards, we are asking for donations.
Why are marine tanks not eligible to be entered?
This event was organized by a group of aquatic gardeners, whose main interest (and expertise) is planted freshwater aquaria. Our goal is to provide freshwater aquascapers with a forum to display their efforts, and compare approaches used in different parts of the world. We have widened the eligibility rules of the event to include all types of freshwater, brackish water and paludarium set-ups. This means that a hobbyist who is interested in African Rift Lake Cichlids or one who is interested in Mudskippers or other brackish tank inhabitants, or even someone who uses plastic plants in their tanks can also become involved.
However, the inclusion of saltwater tanks will require an immense amount of extra work, and goes beyond our areas of expertise, so we have chosen not to include marine aquaria.
Why won't you tell me my overall ranking?
Because the judges' job is to pick the top three placers, they often do not rank much further down than their top 10 or so. This gives a fairly good result for the top three, but beyond this, the rankings are essentially meaningless. Non-placing entries are ordered by tank size.