In the marine aquarium side of the hobby, we pay a lot of lip service to ‘Aquascape’ as a concept. But in freshwater aquariums, the aquascape of the Nature Aquarium is practically a religious affair. Every year, contestants from all over the globe enter their prized aquarium aquascapes into the International Aquatic Plant Layout Competition and every year, the tanks that come out on top are nothing short of mind blowing.
“the tanks that come out on top are nothing short of mind blowing”
This year’s top winners of the IAPLC continue to push the envelope of what is possible with the Nature Aquarium concept. Who would have thought that aquascapers around the world would be able to recreate nearly entire landscapes using living freshwater plants, rock and wood to create truly living works of art?
We’ve waxed poetically many times about how the reef aquarium hobby should get in step and really drive people to get more creative and inspired like the Nature Aquarists have. This time we’ll let the inspiration come from the aquarium works of the 2015 IAPLC winners which this year are incredibly well presented in this overview video.
It is moving to see how much time, effort and energy has been placed in each of these winning aquascapes. The amount of preparation and planning that has gone into each of these masterpieces is an awesome labor of love, and it shows what is partly missing from the marine side of the hobby. The meticulous amount of attention to detail in these world-class aquariums practically makes us embarrassed to have ever been proud of a reef tank.
Furthermore, with the passing of Takashi Amano earlier this year, it is moving to see how he touched and inspired each of the entries, and the sheer reverence that is paid to Takashi-sensei by each of the featured winners. If you’re working on your first tank, or your first tank this week, definitely see if you can push yourself to create something that goes beyond the standard fare, and take a page from these inspirational freshwater aquariums.