The large aquatic gardens category included a lot of beautiful tanks at very similar levels of development. That made judging very difficult.
— Roger Miller
Roger's right... as I received the entries in the mail, I kept saying "ooh, this one's sure to win". And then another day would come and another entry would show up... "No, THAT one's going to win!" In the end, some of the ones I thought were very beautiful didn't even place. Just further evidence of an increasingly talented group of aquarists.
Frequently Asked Question: Why are the first few entries in the "large" category actually less than 200 L? Shouldn't they be in the "medium" category? Since contest close, I've gotten a few people ask this, all from Europe. They are right, of course, the volumes don't match up per se. This is a curious phenomenon in American aquarium manufacturers and hobbyists to call everything with a 48-inch (122cm) front panel a "55 gallon", even if it's as low as 42 gallons. The intent of the "large" category was to include aquascapes that feature this 122cm panel -- you will note they have a very different feel from even the 100cm-wide panels in the "medium" category.