I posted just recently on "aquascaping" (like landscaping for planted aquariums) with one of my new ideas. Last week I got my new issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist, including the top 10 winners of the Aquatic Plants Layout Contest of 2008. The layouts are simply amazing.
You can view all of the entrants at the AGA website here. You can view the index of aquascapes by category:
Also, I found a blog that has posted only the pictures of the top 20 aquariums. I encourage you to go to Aquatic Eden and check them out. Here are the links:
My favorites are the tanks that placed 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15 and 20. Of course, I wouldn't mind having any one of them. I think there were several hundred entries - maybe over a thousand. I imagine even the last place entrant would look really nice in my living room!
Takashi Amano (the master of aquascaping) tries to recreate nature scenes with his aquatic layouts. Several of the aquatic plant layouts resemble specific scenes from nature, such as on a beach, in a forest, or in the mountains. I think the 15th place entrant did a great job of recreating a picture I took in the Italian Dolomites.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="This aquascape by Peter Kirwan (copyright) took 15th place overall at the Aquatic Plants Layout Contest. It's probably my favorite."][/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="Picture of the Italian Dolomites from my vacation (summer 2007)"][/caption]
I am not quite into aquascaping in the professional or competitive sense, and I don't forsee myself ever joining the ranks of the competition, but I do enjoy planting in my aquariums. Here are my two aquariums:
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="486" caption="My 29 gallon planted tank"][/caption]
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="My 10 gallon planted tank"][/caption]