AGA 2008 Contest: Best of Show

November 16th, 2008

At the AGA Convention banquet tonight, the winners of the 2008 Aquascaping Contest were announced. For more information, better pictures, and runner ups, please visit the AGA convention website. Without further adieu, here is the best of show aquarium. The judges liked this aquarium very much. Karen Randal noted how the use of sand and varying size rocks in the foreground really added realism to the scape. Amano had some issues with the driftwood because it looked distorted from the use of a wide-angle lens for this picture. He also thought that the background plants could be a little bit more lush.


Due to his criticisms of the Best in Show tank, Amano offered his top two picks for best of show, even though he was ultimately overruled by the scoring of other judges. Amano really liked how this next aquarium has the bare-bottom of the aquarium exposed to create the look of a lake. He also liked how the lake reflected the color of the sky and clouds in the background. Basically, he valued the originality of this idea.

Amano Pick 2

Amano was also very impressed with the rock-work in this next aquarium. He found the attention to detail, and the creation of depth very good. He also noted how it was a big risk to use rocks in the foreground, but that ultimately the aquascaper pulled it off.

Amano pick 1

For me, of all of the tanks that I saw this evening, my pick would be the following tank. I really like the sense of depth created in this tank, plus the whole glacier theme, and incorporation of a snow-covered mountain in the background. That’s a little bit unconventional, and overall, a very cool scape.IMG_6971

My runner up would this this scape. The depth is incredible. The background is a little overdone, but the close density of the plants on either bank is really impressive .IMG_6961

Please leave your thoughts for the best tanks in this contest.

5 Responses to “AGA 2008 Contest: Best of Show”

  1. Mark Says:

    My favs are “Morning Glory” and “Meander”. Of course they are all good. Where’s the Dutch aquascapes?

    I couldn’t do a “Road to Samsara” for long because I’d want to grow it all out. What a very good disciplined technique!

    Thanks for posting. Must have been fun!

  2. Tomas Says:

    Great! Congratulations for all!

  3. guitarfish Says:

    Yeah, those are nice too Mark. Meander was done by Jason Baliban, who was the only aquascaper that was present at the convention to accept their ribbon. I agree that most of these scapes exhibit a tremendous amount of discipline and patience to pull off.

  4. Dan Says:

    My favorite this year was “The enchanted garden”, it is packed with delicate plants in Dutch style. “Plantsmanship at its finest”.
    It brings back the memories of times when the contest was for live “aquatic garden” tanks and less “nature morte”, rock and wood work with few dark green plants, as most of them was this year.
    Keep up the planting spirit Mr Shay Fertig.

    Maybe the lack of ADA products in his tank distracted the judges? 😉

  5. guitarfish Says:

    Dan, thanks for your comment! I agree that “The Enchanted Garden” is a nice Dutch style scape. There are too many people trying to copy Amano, to which even Amano acknowledged at his presentation at the AGA.

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