October 12-13, 2019 | Saturday 10 am - 6 pm | Sunday 10 am - 4 pm
Secaucus, NJ | Meadowlands Exposition Center

Aquascaping Small Tank Contest Information & Rules

First 30 entries will be accepted. Deadline to register is October 1st or once 30 entries are received.

Entry fee: $125 – This cost includes a 2-day pass to the show floor and seminars as well as $250+ worth of merchandise. The 2-Day Pass is for the contestant only – any additional persons must purchase a day pass or weekend pass online or show site.  No refunds once the entry is submitted.

Small tank entrants at Aquatic Experience are provided the following items to use and keep (valued over $200.00)

• A 14.61 gallon Fluval Rimless Glass Aquarium (15”D x 15”W x 15”H)
• Fluval Aquaclear 30, hang on back Filter
• Fluval Nano LED with Bluetooth Lighting
• Fluval Tool Set
• Fluval Stratum Substrate (up to two 4.4lb bags) or Eco-Complete black (one 20lb bag) and/or light sand (amount(s) must be specified on the entry form; up to 10lbs)

Small tank entrants will receive the following items to use at Aquatic Experience:
• One Show Floor  and seminar pass
• Winner’s 1st-3rd place will receive cash prizes and trophy; 1st – 6th will also receive a ribbon
• If needed, additional electrical outlets will be available on-site

• The small tank contest is for a single entrant only
• Entrant assumes all responsibility for travel expenses
• Aquascaping must be done within the hours listed:

    • Friday, Oct. 11, from 11:00am – 6:00pm and Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10:00am – 1:00pm

• Judging will take place on the show floor Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, from 1:00pm-4:30pm
• All tanks MUST be set up on-site; no swap-outs, no exceptions
• Entrants are responsible for supplying their own hardscape, plants and animals for their aquascape. These materials may be grown out ahead of time in any way desired by the entrant, including in a similarly sized tank, and brought to the site, ready to re-assemble
• Live animals may be used in the tank, but are not required. It is the responsibility of the entrant to select animals appropriate for the size of the tank
• All entrants MUST use the provided: Fluval Nano Tank, Fluval Aura High Output LED Lighting and Fluval Aquaclear filter
• Several micron filters will be available for use as needed by all entrants to clear tanks after set-up. Use of these is not guaranteed as there are limited quantities available
• Entrants MAY choose to substitute other substrate and may use a background of their choice, or no background at all
• Entrants may use a heater but must supply their own
• Entrants are responsible for supplying any and all substitutions
• The aquascape may not extend beyond the footprint of the tank due to space limitations
• Sponsorship of any kind (monetary or donation of material must be declared to the contest chairs (Karen Randall karenran@verizon.net) before the start of the competition
• No sponsorship or promotional materials (business cards, signs, flyers, etc.) may be displayed at any time in the aquascaping area. Any display of promotional materials even after judging is grounds for disqualification, confiscation of any prize money as well as all contest materials
• Team T-Shirt, polo shirts, hats, etc. are okay to wear, but must not display any sponsorships
• In the event that an entrant is unable to participate or does not check in by 6:00pm on Friday, it will be assumed a no-show and that slot may be given to a person on the waiting list if they are present at the event. Please make sure to include a cell phone number with your entry if you are wait-listed so we can contact you in the event of an opening
• Tanks that are not scaped or only “dry scaped” are not eligible for prizes, and are also not eligible to receive any of the equipment or other “perks” that go along with the entry fee. You may not take home an empty tank, just because you paid an entry fee.  You are also not eligible for a free hall or speaker pass if you do not scape your tank; no refunds
• Competitors who do not clean up their area in a reasonable way when leaving for the day, or who damage table cloth stands or tables may be disqualified and lose entry fee as well as rights to all other benefits of the competition. Please be careful, courteous and clean up after yourself
• Tanks that, in the opinion of the judges are a “political statement”, or are not scaped in the true spirit of the competition may be disqualified. If disqualified, the entrant will not be allowed to take the equipment home.  This is not meant to discourage beginners.  New scapers are always welcome

1st Place Trophy, Ribbon & $750.00
2nd Place Trophy, Ribbon & $500.00
3rd Place Trophy, Ribbon & $250.00
4th Place Trophy & Ribbon
5th Place Trophy & Ribbon
6th Place Trophy & Ribbon
People’s Choice Award Ribbon & Bragging Rights

• Winners and prize money will be announced and awarded on the show floor Saturday, Oct. 12, at 5:00pm
• Ribbons will be displayed on the winning tanks through the end of the Show, Oct. 13th
• At the end of the Aquatic Experience, the tanks and provided equipment will remain the property of the entrants
• Tanks must be up and operating during ALL show days and hours. You may NOT dismantle your tank at any time before the closing of the show at 4:00 pm on Sunday
• At the close of show, Sunday, October 21st starting at 4:00pm, all small tanks must be taken down and removed by the entrants. Tanks not claimed by 8:00pm will become the property of the Aquatic ExperienceTanks must be drained and water dumped OUTSIDE as directed by Aquatic Experience Staff
o All Substrate MUST be removed and put in dumpsters behind the convention hall or taken with you
o PLEASE be respectful of the rules. Anything not cleaned up by you and your team must be cleaned up by an AGA/NJAGC volunteer
Questions about substitutions or rules, please contact Karen Randall with the AGA at karenran@verizon.net  Please be aware that these rules were not put in place to trip you up.  They were put in place because of the problems we have had in the past.  Most seem common sense.  If you don’t understand something, please ask

Rules for Judging:

Overall Impression – maximum 50 points
• Does the aquarium as a whole; plants, animals (if used) and hardscape, create a positive visual impact?
• Do all parts of the aquarium work together to present a harmonious and cohesive whole?
• Do the plants and animals (if used) appear healthy?
• Hardware should be as inconspicuous as possible and the whole area, including tank glass, should be clean
• If used, the background should add to the impression of the aquascape in a positive way without drawing the eye away from the scape itself
• Water should be clear

Composition: Balance, Use of Space, Use of Color – maximum 60 points
• Is the aquascape laid out well?
• Does the aquarist make good use of differences in color, leaf size and shape, and height (growth habit or trimming) to maximize contrast between groups of plants?
• Does the aquarist use the space effectively, balancing planted areas and negative space?
• Do the species and planting enhance or detract from the sense of depth and scale?

Selection & Use of Plants, Hardscape Materials, and Animals – maximum 50 points
• Has the aquarist selected plants appropriately?
• Do the colors, shape and size of the fish or other animals, if used, harmonize with the plants? Are schooling fish present in sufficient numbers to make a suitable school?
• Are hardscape materials well chosen for character, size and form? Is the hardscape well balanced and in proper scale for the aquascape?
Viability of Aquascape – maximum 40 points
• With appropriate grooming and maintenance, would the plants selected be suitable for use in the aquarium if maintained as-is for a long period?
• If visible, are the fish and other animals likely to grow too large for the aquarium, cause damage to the aquascape, or each other at adult size?
• Please note – Due to the short-term nature of this competition, lack of animals in a tank will NOT be a deduction, although the use of appropriate animals, could enhance an aquascape. It is up to the entrants to decide whether or not to use animals in the display, keeping in mind the nature of the competition. Deductions WILL be made for unhealthy animals

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Reject

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.