The Oscars of the Aquascaping world happened yesterday, albeit digitally because the Nature Aquarium Party that should have been was canceled due to Covid-19. This year’s IAPLC 2020 received 2358 entries from 84 countries, with Siak Wee Yeo of Malaysia scooping the Grand Prize with his work entitled Eden.
With a total score of 1787 points, Eden also took the Best Aquarium Prize, selected by each judge and its creator Mr. Siak Wee Yeo pockets a cool million Yen (nearly $10,000.)
Japan had the highest number of entries with 640, followed by China with 408, Germany with 94, Indonesia with 88, and India with 87. The USA had 58 entries but American Steven Chong scooped Gold Prize and World Ranking No.2 with his scape “undying.”
The contest was started by the late aquascaping guru and global planted tank game-changer Takashi Amano, of Aqua Design Amano fame. Now at nearly twenty years old, the standard of the annual competition is incredibly high and even top scapers are lucky if they rank within the first 500.
Like in previous years, it’s the three-dimensional dioramas that ranked most highly again this year, with clever use of scale, lighting, peepholes, and scenic painting with fine-leaved plants. Months in the making, these winning scapes are built to compete, the scaper building gravity-defying hardscape arrangements before greening them up, growing them in, adding just the right number and species of fish to complement the scape and then waiting, D-SLR in hand, for that perfectly composed shot.
The top 127 entries were announced and showed off on Saturday’s YouTube live stream in ascending order, with an almost full list of 2020 entries listed on the IAPLC website. Massive congratulations to everyone involved.