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Should Aquatic Plant Central sponsor an aquascaping contest?

  • No, there are already too many aquascaping contests!

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In this week's weekly topic, Jeff Ludwig suggested that we have an aquascaping contest based on only one plant.

Although an aquascaping contest using only one plant might be interesting and instructive for the participants, I don't think most members will be willing to devote one of their setups to such a layout. However, members, prove me wrong.

Should APC sponsor an aquascaping contest? And what would make this one different from all the other aquascaping contests sponsored by Aquabotanic, our friends at AquaticQuotient, ADA, and AGA?

If APC is to have its own aquascaping contest, then it must do something original and of high quality. However, we need ideas and suggestions. Feel free to post on this thread, or, if you want, send me a private message with your idea.

Let's see what the APC membership can do to help place this forum on the map!

Carlos
 

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The single species tank idea is great, but probably beyond the means of most, unless it's a small tank with a fast grower. I've seen anubias-only tanks that were striking enough that I'd like to try that, if the contest were 3 plants, then I would know what 3 Anubias I would want. Only problem, you'd have to check back with me in about 3 years :wink:

I say go for it. A 3-species tank would really give some a motivation to do a tank that's more focused than the usual.
 

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Good Ideas

I do like the idea with one type of plant.
But lets put a spin on it, like the TV show THE IRON CHEF.
The plant picked for the contest should be the main focus point and you can use other type of plants to accent it.
It should be a tank available to all like a 5.5 to a 10 gal. only.

Ken
 

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Biotope Contest

How about having an adjunct Biotope contest?

I am concerned about the direction of the AGA biotope contest since it has no guidelines. This would give us a chance to develop some guidelines among our members and then have us try them out. The preparation could be used as an on-line learning experience and also prep us for the AGA contest.

A biotope contest would give us members who like to walk in the local ditches to find their plants a chance to have their work recognized since these kind of tanks are often based on natural design, and do not often meet conventional planted aquaria aquascaping contest criteria.

If you wanted to limit it, which I think is a good idea, we could limit it to one of my favorite types of biotope, the Local Biotope, where the entrant is limited to his/her local environment within say a 25 mile radius of his residence. This would also eliminate the very general theme type of biotopes, which are my least favorite, such as having someone putting a bunch of rocks into a tank and calling it an African Rift Lake Biotope.

I think it would generate far less participation than the aquascape category but there are a significant number of our members who are biotopists, and we could probably get others to participate.

Steve Pituch
 

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I think a single species contest would be awesome, but I'm not sure how many people would be up for it. I would :)

Why not have a trial run? Polls are nice, but when you really get down to it, the number of people who decide to participate will determine success.

I think another neat idea for a contest is a journal type thing, and I'd be willing to participate in this. The participants would start with an empty tank (size of their choice), and light, filter, substrate, CO2, etc would be totally their choice, and plant selection, 'scaping, etc, would be their choice. This might a be a little tougher on the wallet, or us "cheapos" can show everyone how we get by with less. :wink:

The contest would start out with pics of the empty (equipped) tank and then the tank newly planted. A weekly photo submission keeps you in the contest after that. 9-12 weeks would be a good contest deadline.

This type of contest would be more educational to new people and experienced alike for obvious reasons. Further, it could be a chance for the low-tech and non-CO2 people to show off. Of course, 9-12 weeks might be a little limiting for them.

Lots of people start these journal types of threads in the forums, but few, including myself, follow through for various reasons. Incentive might keep us on top...
 

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Single species idea is great, and even better...make the tank size a max of 15g? Then it would be really cheap to setup, and it won't need any high maintenance...but who picks the species, the judges or the aquascapers? It would be better to let the aquascaper choose to see the unique desgins they can come up with!

:arrow: Could you make the contest during the summer, I'm pretty broke now..:oops:
 

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IF a single species, you don't want to let slow growing scapers hanging. Also don't want a contest when there are already so many going on. With that in mind, I think that a contest in late fall or early winter would be good :)

Also, a required bi-weekly or monthly journal from start to finish would be really cool!...regardless of contest theme :) I know this limits it to new tanks, but hey....trying to keep this contest more original and productive :)
 

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I like the ideas listed so far. It would be nice to compare what people do, given certain parameters. Using a ten gallon, aqua scape a tank using these plants. Keep a journal. That way it is easier to judge. Everyone had the same base, but took them in different directions. I like an article in aqua journal were contestants are given a 10 gallon tanks and driftwood pieces. It is interesting all the different combos people come up with, and the best driftwood positions really stand out. I've got an extra tank that I would enter.
 

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I'm always game for seeing new stuff. I think a single plant is too restrictive...but 3maximum would be interesting. So would a low light only or a crypt only etc contest
That's what I was trying to do when I pitched the aquascaping contest to Robert last year and it turned out that almost nobody was interested in doing something like that.

I personally don't think APC should to a contest, it seems that everyone and their mothers are doing contests. At this rate we'll have a different one every month. I like the idea of featured tanks though, perhaps some sort of general membership poll to vote for a featured aquascape/aquascaper each month and that person gets interviewed and maybe 50 extra points on their account.

Although, I like Steve's idea of a biotope contest. It's something that hasn't been done before and we've got a pretty interested group of biotopers here.

An alternate to the above, why not just do an informal group aquascape thing. On one ofthe miniature figure painting boards I belong to sometimes people all get the same mini and set a time limit for painting then show off/compare their work. I think it would be a lot of fun to see how differently we would all use the same plants in a 10g tank. I just don't like the idea of a general web-wide aquascaping contest....again.....and again....and again.....

Best,
Phil[/quote]
 

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Hmm...A lot of you think that we should have an aquascaping contest. I'd be interested to know what the prizes should be? Ribbons, products, cash?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A few things to keep in mind...

1) There are already four major contests out there: ADA, Aquabotanic, AquaticQuotient, and AGA. We can't have another contest just because we can. We have to create an original contest with a significant number of entries (ball park range --twenty five or over).

2) We didn't see too much participation out of another restricted contest (AB).

3) We are a very young forum (not even two months old). It may be best to wait until the forum has matured a little more.

4) Could we really get a lot of entries with a standard sized tank, setup only for this contest? Would it make a difference if the prize is really good?

5) I am very doubtful of a biotope contest. Even the much larger, more well advertised AGA Biotope contest category barely turns in five entries per year... and many of those aren't even real biotopes.

Carlos
 

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IMHO, i think a contest would be nice but I do agree with Phil that maybe it should be only for members of this forum. Not really a big deal since membership is easy. It also might bring others to join the forum and boost the knowledge about what is happening here. I am really pleased wiht what i see so far here and I believe that I have found a new favorite place. It seem like many of the people hear are sort of the "higher caliber". MEaning that thaty are very knowledgeable and truely seem to want to improve the hobby and seem genuine in helping newbies.

I really like the idea of specific parameters. 10 gallon, limited number of plants. I am not sure about the idea of a specific pre chosen single plant. Especially if it is anubias. That would be way to expensive for some of us. I also like the idea of A focus plant, like Ken mentioned, and then the scaper gets to choose one or two plants to go along wiht it. I relly like the idea of a 10 or 15 gallon tank. CHeap but they have wonderful aquascaping potential. The grow in time would not be to long either. Just my two cents worth. Maybe we should give it a wack on this board and see how it goes. Give the winner some points and or something small like that. Aside from bragging rights, of course:)
 

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I think a low light contest would be ideal. It would be more cost effective and a change of pace from my 29 gallon, high light, co2 obsession. I've been thinking of aquascape designs using that tall 15 gallon cube that has been in stores lately (See "How to 'scape a cube or hex") so I hope that it falls into the contest's size parameters. I hope it includes driftwood and Java fern also.
 

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tsunami said:
1) There are already four major contests out there: ADA, Aquabotanic, AquaticQuotient, and AGA. We can't have another contest just because we can. We have to create an original contest with a significant number of entries (ball park range --twenty five or over).
Right, this is a problem. The AGA will need to address this soon, but the same tanks get entered into multiple contests and frankly I think this is stupid. You really need to require tanks be original submissions that won't be submitted anywhere else and then there isn't enough to go around.... to crowded as it is. I also have some other reservations about tanks that have been posted on a forum before the "blind" voting at the AGA but that is a topic for another forum :)

The point of single plant wasn't to develop a knock-out aquascape, but rather to be instructional... using hardscape effectively. As far as cost, a 10 gallon leader is really cheap and standard, I'm willling to do something like this.

The problem with the one-plant/iron chef idea is where in the world are we going to get enough source material for 10-15 of us simulataneously?? I mean, how much Hemianthus (which is what I had in mind) is out there? :) I usually need to let my plants grow for a few months before they look halfway decent, I mean even the best stock from a LFS is crap, those folks who need to mail order have a real fight on their hands...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I do disagree on your first point...I think suggesting something like that would hurt the aquascaper looking for more advice from multiple sources with different tastes. As you said, it would spread tanks very thinly --most contests would fold. Heck, if I only have one original tank, I'd enter it into the ADA. I bet most would. AGA, AQ, AB, etc would turn into non-events. Are you suggesting this?

I have usually found mail order to be far and beyond higher in quality than anything my LFS can provide. We will definitely be chosing something very common in the trade and very maleable.

We will continue to plan this out, but there will be raffles for the plant chosen as the 'theme ingredient.' There will be plenty of chances to get it and from multiple sources may it be java moss, hairgrass, H. micranthemoides, Cryptocorynes, etc.

We're not going to choose something like Rotala macrandra or Eusteralis stellata.

The deadline will be set some time in December or even January. Time shouldn't be an issue --especially since we are working with small tanks.

Carlos
 

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tsunami said:
Heck, if I only have one original tank, I'd enter it into the ADA. I bet most would. AGA, AQ, AB, etc would turn into non-events. Are you suggesting this?
I have very mixed feelings here. I think we should have (for general planted tanks) ADA (difficult multinational) and AGA (mainly US, a little easier to rank)... I really hate drawing attention away from the AGA.

With all of these other contests that allow re-entries, it ruins the most important aspect of the contest which its the anonymous judging. I mean, if I were a judge last year at the AGA, I would have picked out James's tank in an instant... infact I prolly already commented on it earlier on the AB forums. This could help or hurt but the problem it that it does something.

It also prevents less experienced aquascapers from having their creations rank. If Luis wanted, he could enter all of his tanks and win every prize in the AB contest IMO. I love his work, but I've already seen it, and I think its only fair you get to enter a tank to one contest once...

To be honest, I've had terrible luck with mail order in the past, I'm trying a new vendor this time, I hope things look a lot better...

Definately count me in tho, it sounds like a lot of fun...

Jeff
 
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