IAPLC 2023 - Grand Prize Winner - let's study it


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  • Oct 29, 2022
    Miami, FL
    For 2023, this is the best work in the IAPLC. To me, it's a beautiful aquascape with some very strong compositional features and everything working in harmony. I wish I knew the title of the work in English.

    Although I am not a competitive aquascaper, I like to study the winning works to see what I can learn from them. This is all about art, not science. Science and husbandry will teach you to grow healthy plants. Art (no pun intended) is about using the healthy plants (and hardscape) to create something that truly speaks to you. As this is the IAPLC, the contest created by Takashi Amano, the creator of the "nature aquarium", I would assume each work should be trying to capture the idealized essence of nature.

    With that in mind, what can we learn from this winning work?​

    Right off the bat, I can see this photo is perfect. Everything from the ripples on the water surface to the line of fish that seem to be coming into the cave works together. Reflection is kept to a minimum and used wisely in the shadows of the left side.

    Compositionally, the hole in the back is right on the golden ratio and the vanishing point is well defined. I can count 5 or 6 levels of depth making it seem VERY deep.

    The plant choices are very good at working with the overall vibe to give you the ambiance that I think the aquascaper was going for. There are a couple of choices that go off script but overall they work very well.

    Would you call this a nature aquarium, forest scape or diorama?

    What lessons can you draw from this that you could apply to your tank?
    I am following a ton of FB planted aquarium and general aquariums/aquascaping pages, and there is many posts complaining about this year's results saying that there are many aquascapes that didn't show in the top 100 and they deserve to be here, for me the IAPLC criteria for choosing the winners and ranking everyone was always very vague to me, so I started the point of view of those people complaining about the rankings !

    What do you think?
    I wish I knew the title of the work in English.​
    It means Source/Origin

    This tank is amazing, very skillful wood work and use of moss. What make it stand out is use of layers, both vertical and horizontal. Horizontal layers or elevations make the tank has a lot of depth along with bold use of wood in the front.
    The use of bright green plants in the center is refreshing and gives lightness as a contrast to very heavy shadows and dark green plants.