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AGA aquascaping contest


New Member
25 Mar 2008
Looking for a bit of inspiration i decided to take a look at the old entries in the AGA aquascaping contest, does anyone else find the judging a little suspect? First of all there doesnt seem to be enough judges to come to an unbiased opinion of the setups, it also says in the Q&A that the quality of the photo isnt being judged but after reading the comments it clearly was. Also, how can that biotope come second in the 2007 contest when it was up against so many beautiful tanks? its like they decided before hand that biotopes will receive some love that year.

Even if i had the skill to enter this competition (which i dont) im not sure i would, i do love to look at the tanks though so long may it continue.


2 Aug 2007
Well, all judging will be bias to some degree.
ADA is no different, do you think that anyone's can be totally fair?

I really do not think it can be.

I also wonder what tanks look like in the homes. A video might be better, at least to me.
Then color and editing of pictures is a lot tougher, you can see how the fish act within the system, you can see how the plants are, how well placed the tank is in the home, the other features.

As video mpegs are widely used these days, this seems like long distance judging should be done this way, not with single photo's.

Then it would more fair I believe.
You will never have 100% there, but you can improve judging.

The best way to judge is to see in person.
Most contest are like ADA/AGA, sometimes it might seem off, but overall, they tend to be fairly decent.

Judging is a tough job, one I do not care for.

Tom Barr


21 Aug 2007
Chippenham, Wiltshire
I think biotopes are generally much harder to get right as you're restricted to what you can put in there AND you need to make it look nice. There have been so many 'biotopes' over the years that have created a south american pool and then put a clump of crypts in there. Looking at past entries so many of the biotopes have been really poor. The problem I find is that there is no real classification for them. For instance, PFK might set up a biotope tank, but it's an african 'theme' i.e some kribs, some congo tetras, some anubias etc. But when you look at fishbase you find that kribs don't inhabit the same river as congo tetras, so from that point it's unrealistic. It's a question of how far do you take it? Going a bit off track here, but I'm just saying that they might give more kudos to a good biotope as it's harder to create.

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