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I think y'all should take your surprise and disappointment one step further by taking even the merest of positive steps. A lot of folks seem to be willing to complain about the results but so far Norbert S. is the only one who has even said which 'scapes he thought were good.

People who want to disagree with the contest results should propose their own rankings; 1 through 5 in each category, complete with your justification for why they are the best in that category. Given the load that the contest site has been bearing recently it is probably best *not* to link to the site; either simply list the entries or copy a photo from the site and link to the copy. You can use your own criteria if you want. If you want to stay consistent with the AGA judging criteria, then you can find those attached below.

It might be interesting to see whether there is any consensus ranking that differs from the contest results. I would also be interested in seeing any proposed revisions for the guidelines below.


Roger Miller
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Criteria

There are four basic criteria which we wish considered in the judging of the aquascapes entered in the contest. They are:

* Overall Impression (between 1 - 35 points)
* Composition, Balance, Use of Space, Use of Color (between 1 - 30 points)
* Selection & Use of Materials (between 1 - 20 points)
* Viability of Aquascape (between 1 - 15 points)

To assist the judges, and to clarify and expand upon the basic criteria, these are some of the things we ask each judge to consider when reviewing each entry:

* Overall Impression - maximum 35 points
o Does the aquascape make a significant positive visual impression upon the viewer?
o Do all parts of the aquascape work together to present a harmonious whole?
* Composition, Balance, Use of Space, Use of Color - maximum 30 points
o Is the aquascape laid out well?
o Does balance exist between the various components of the aquascape? Is space within the aquarium used effectively? Do open areas exist and balance and complement more enclosed spaces?
o Are the colors of the various elements of the aquascape complementary and do they work well together?
* Selection & Use of Materials - maximum 20 points
o Are the materials selected for use within the aquascape appropriate for use in an aquarium?
o Are the various materials harmonious with one another? i.e. if several rocks and/or pieces of driftwood are used, do they compliment one another or do they produce a discordant effect?
* Viability of Aquascape - maximum 15 points
o Is the aquascape set up in a manner which, with proper maintenance, is likely to lead to long term success of the aquarium?
o If used, are the plants selected for the aquascape appropriate for long term use in an aquarium?
o If visible, are the animals selected as inhabitants of the tank likely to cause damage to one another or to the aquascape itself?
 

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I agree that the judge's coments sometimes seemed to over-emphasize maintenance requirements. It's impossible for me to say how much that consideration might have effected the scoring. "Viability" -- the judging criteria where I think maintenance requirments might be considered -- is the lowest points category. The repeated comments on maintenance requirements may have been made more because they were easy comments to make than because they reflected the judge's scoring.

Incidentally, the criteria I listed earlier are from the AGA site. They are not something I made up.


Roger Miller
 
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