Every year I'm amazed at the outstanding aquascapes that are entered in our anual contest and think that this year's entries just couldn't top the previous year's tanks. However, as usual, I'm surprised and excited about the turnout and the quality of the aquascapes entered in this year's contest. Each year, new trends in aquascaping appear in the entries and for this year, the trend toward mimicry of nature scenes was evident in a number of the aquascapes. In addition to the natural scenic aquascapes, we had an especially strong showing in our small tank category and some superb tanks in the extra-large category. So all-in-all, another excellent year for our contest and hobby.

Before we open the contest for viewing, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all of the individuals who helped with our contest. I'd like to begin by extending our gratitude to George Farmer, Bob Vivian from the Pittsburgh Area Planted Aquarium Society, Karen Randall of the Aquatic Gardeners Association, and Takashi Amano from Aqua Design Amano, our esteemed judges who had the difficult task of judging and ranking all the fine aquascapes. I'd also like to thank Zoe Stevens-Lavigne for our beautiful graphics, and Antonio Nikolic, Bushan Dalvi, Efren Leonida, Hedson Hinojosa, and Jerry Smith for helping to get the word out about the contest nationally and internationally. Without the efforts of our volunteers, our contests wouldn't be as successful as they have been from year to year.

Finally, I would like to extend a huge thanks to Seachem and The Dallas-Fort Worth Aquatic Plant Club for their sponsorship of this year's contest.

Without the efforts of our volunteers and the sponsorship of the contest, the AGA International Aquascaping Contest wouldn't be a success it has been from year to year.

So, without further ado, enjoy the aquascapes!

Kind Regards,
Bailin Shaw
Aquascaping Contest Chair


It has been an honour and a privilage to help judge the 2008 AGA International Aquascaping Contest.

The standard keeps getting better every year with new innovations and design ideas combined with super plant health resulting in some truly stunning aquascapes.

Thank you to all entrants who have impressed and inspired me so much this year.

Keep up the good work!
— George Farmer
It has been another year of wonderful aquascapes including somce very innovative work. Thank you all for participating. It has been a privilege to evaluate them. You ALL deserve kudos for being willing to share your work with other aquarists. We learn something new from each new tank that we see. Good luck in '09!
— Karen Randall
You guys got guts! To lay down your talent so that a know-it-all judge can rank it is a bold stroke. Take pride folks. You pulled it off superbly...This year's entries bear witness to the growing creativity in our hobby.We're gaining in our appreciation of "aquascaping as art"...

Psst! Here's some inside scoop for future entrants: 1. Judges are distracted by signs of tank equipment in the photos. 2. Entries with photos with different colored backgrounds or taken at different times or other inconsistencies only confuse judges. 3. Less is more. Busy is not better. Reduce the varieties of plants and fish in your tanks. And 4. Introduce a STRONG compelling focal point. It will make any 'scape more dramatic...All of the highest ranking entrants were mindful of these issues. A word to the wise.
— Bob Vivian

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