The Aquatic Gardeners Association is excited to announce the results for the 2018 AGA International Aquascaping Contest. The contest again had an outstanding 589 entries submitted to the various categories, with some stunning aquascapes making the judging very difficult.

As in past contests, the success of the contest is dependent on the hard work of our esteemed panel of judges. Many of our judges take time from their other obligations at work and home to judge in our contest. Without their willingness to judge the entries, our aquascaping contest would not be the success it is today. For this year’s judges in the aquatic gardens, we have returning as a judge, Andre Longarco from Aquabase Brazil, Jeff Miotke and Karen Randall from the United States, and Xiaozhuang Wong from Singapore. We were also fortunate to again have Marco Aukes judge our Dutch category again along with the AGA’s own Phil Edwards and Karen Randall. And something new for this year, Cara Wade volunteered her expertise to help judge the Biotope and Paludarium categories in collaboration with Karen and Phil. As the chair of the contest and a former judge, I cannot stress enough how thankful the AGA is to have these individuals judge our contest.

Our contest would not be the success it is without our contest sponsors. We had some outstanding companies support this year's contest including Seachem, Ultum Nature Systems, and Nature Art LiuYong. In addition to our corporate sponsors, we again had the Chicago Aquatic Plant Society sponsor the contest and Bernat Hostas donate to the contest as individual supporter. And finally, Amazonas is supporting this year’s contest as the media sponsor. Without all the support provided by these companies, individuals and clubs, our contest would not be nearly as successful!

Finally, I would like to thank Jen Williams for providing this year’s contest graphics. And a huge thank you to Erik Olson our tech guru, who significantly simplified the entry process this year and who does all the behind the scenes work to ensure that the contest runs smoothly.

So, without further ado, enjoy this year's aquascapes!

Bailin Shaw
AGA Contest Chair


It is always a great honor and a huge pleasure to be part of jury of this awesome and so important contest. This year I had a lot of fun and learned so much with all layouts and aquascapers. Thank you so much for the honor and opportunity! Great energies from Brazil. Namaste.
— André Longarco
We saw some really amazing work this year. Thank you all for sharing your tanks! If there is a word of advise I can give overall it is to edit. As the quality of aquascapes has increased over the years we are seeing a trend to make layouts more and more complicated in an effort to stand out. Look at your work critically. Make sure that every aspect is important to your vision. Tight editing makes all types of art more impactful!
— Karen Randall
It is my pleasure to be on the judging committee this year. I see plenty of good works and am glad that AGA has quite a few different categories and tank sizes so that more works can be represented. As aquascaping competitions evolve the trend has generally been towards ever increasing hardscape complexity. While having technical hardscape work can be impressive plant usage and health are also important factors that should not be neglected. Consequently aesthetics is often more affected by overall composition; play on open/negative spaces interaction between key focal points - than by sheer amount of complex detail squeezed into a particular aquascape. I thank contestants for all their hard work; your contribution to this competition and the aquascaping world is invaluable ~
— Dennis Wong
Over the years I've watched styles and skills evolve in this contest and 2018 is no exception: the entries in Paludarium and Biotope this year show a continuing progression in talent with an intriguing range of vision and designs. It is an honor to be involved in the judging process of such work.
— Cara Wade

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