Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall

1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI 53713

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About Event

In its second year, the Great Lakes Aquascaping Championship is an aquatic gardeners association sanctioned event. There will be two tank size classes to compete in – the large tank (50g) “Live” competition and the standard tank (15g) competition. The event is held in conjunction with Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo and is an educational event designed to promote and showcase the hobby of aquatic gardening. It will be held Feb. 9-11, 2018 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI.

There are two contest categories:

Standard tank category:

  • Registration includes a generous 15-gallon aquarium and equipment package provided by Aqueon, one event t-shirt, and a weekend pass to the Garden Expo all for only $100.
  • 20 available spots
  • Prizes for 1st-5th place

Large tank “Live-Design” category:

  • 6 available spots
  • Submit a photo of an aquascape you have completed as part of your application. Large tank applications are due by November 30th. Applications will be assessed by our application review committee to ensure applicants have a basic understanding of aquascaping concepts. Final selection for the 6 spots will be by random draw of all qualified applicants.
  • Large tank “Live-Design” contestants will be provided with one event t-shirt, 2 weekend Garden Expo passes, a generous 50-gallon aquarium and equipment package provided by Aqueon, a rock and driftwood package provided by Segrest Farms, and a complete plant package. Large tank “Live-Design” contestants may use no rock, driftwood, or plants other than what is provided to complete their aquascape.
  • There are two registration “tiers” for selected contestants to choose from
    • $100 to compete only (do not keep any of the equipment or aquascaping package) or
    • $250 all inclusive (includes entry, equipment, and aquascaping package)
  • Prizes for 1st-3rd place

Large tank “Live-Design” Contestants must submit a photo of an aquascape they have completed as part of their application. Large tank applications are due by November 30th. Applications will be assessed by our application review committee to ensure applicants have a basic understanding of aquascaping concepts. Final selection for the 6 spots will be by random draw of all qualified applicants.

NOTE: Parking is NOT included in entry fees.

Wisconsin Public Television’s Garden Expo is a midwinter oasis for people ready to venture out and dig their hands in the dirt. Now in its 25th year, this three-day event celebrates the latest trends in gardening, landscaping and edibles, and attracts more than 20,000 people from across the Midwest. Join other gardening enthusiasts to share ideas, gain inspiration and create something new. All proceeds support Wisconsin Public Television.

 

Sponsors

Venue

Event Location

  • Visit Us

    1919 Alliant Energy Center Way

    Madison, WI 53713 USA

  • Call Us
    310.55.1213
  • Email Us
    megan1967@gmail.com

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Directions

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Judges

Speaker
Aquarium Design Group (ADG) was founded in 2000 by brothers Mike and Jeff Senske. Combining a lifelong passion for aquariums with their love for art, design, and architecture, Mike and his brother set out to create a new kind of custom aquarium design, installation, and maintenance firm founded on the belief that the aquarium could be elevated to the same respected heights as other forms of art. To balance the specific needs of the precious life forms that make their work possible with an aesthetic sensitivity to form, function, and space would become their life's work. And to have the word aquascape become a fundamental term in the aquarium ownership conversation would become their obsession.
Mike Senske

Aquarium Design Group

Speaker
Brandon is the Vice President of Florida Aquatic Nurseries (FAN), Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, one of the largest producers of aquatic plants in the United States. He has been with FAN since 2006 and works in all aspects of the company from hybridizing new plant varieties to developing business plans. He attended the University of Florida where he received a BS with a specialization in Landscape and Nursery Management. Hybridizing of waterlilies has always been his passion and working with great mentors like his father Brad and Uncle Bruce, Brandon has had excellent training.  He is a member of the Florida Tropical Fish Farms Association and Florida Nursery and Growers and Landscapers Association, and is on the board of directors for the Florida Aquaculture Association and the International Waterlily and Water Garden Society.
Brandon McLane

Vice President of Florida Aquatic Nurseries

Large Tank Rules & Judging Criteria

RULES

  • Competitors will be chosen based on photos submitted demonstrating their understanding of the principles of aquascaping.
  • Contestant registration is not complete until the entry fee is paid in full.  Entry fees are non-refundable.  If an entrant who has registered does not compete, their entry fee and reserved equipment is forfeit.
  • Parking is not included in the weekend pass.
  • Entrant assumes all responsibility for travel, lodging and other personal expenses.
  • Aquascaping must be done within the hours listed below so that attendees can view the work in progress:
    • Friday 2/9 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    • Saturday 2/10 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • All entries must be finished by 5:00 PM on Saturday, February 10.
  • All entries shall be set up on-site.
  • All entries shall use all of the Aqueon aquarium equipment provided. Supplemental lighting is permitted.
  • Two types of aquascaping substrate will be available on site for the Live Design contest: white silica sand, and Red Flint sand (darker than silica sand and fine, not a gravel).  A dark aquatic plant soil may be included in the equipment package but is not guaranteed, if it is included it may be used. Live Design entrants must use only the substrates available on site.
  • Entrants may adhere any background to their aquarium OTHER than painting the aquarium, or use no background at all.
  • Entrants will be provided with one package of plants, rock, and wood with which to create their aquascape.  The materials entrants receive will be determined by a draft on-site at 1:00pm Friday 2/9.
  • Live animals may be used in the aquascape, but are not required or provided.  Any animals must be of appropriate size and number for the aquarium!
  • Nothing on or around the display shall indicate who the entrant is, or display any sponsorship until after the prizes are awarded Sunday.
  • Entrants may sell their entry, but a sign indicating that the display is for sale may not be posted until after the prizes are awarded Sunday.
  • Judging will take place starting at 5:00pm Saturday, 2/10, at the judging committee’s discretion.
  • Winners will be announced at 10:30 AM on Sunday, 2/11.
  • All displays shall remain intact until 4:00 PM on Sunday, 2/11.
  • Any display or related equipment not removed by 6:00 PM on Sunday will become the property of MAAH.
  • Failure to follow these rules may result in forfeit of placement, prizes, entry fee, and sponsored equipment.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Each entry will be judged according to the AGA criteria described below to determine the entry’s score of up to 200 points.

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 appear healthy?
  • Hardware should be as inconspicuous as possible, and clean.
  • 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 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.

Small Tank Rules | Criteria

RULES

  • Entrant assumes all responsibility for travel, lodging and other personal expenses
  • Contestant registration is not complete until the entry fee is paid in full.  Entry fees are non-refundable.  If an entrant who has registered does not compete, their entry fee and reserved equipment is forfeit.
  • Parking is not included in the weekend pass.
  • Aquascaping must be done within the hours listed below so that attendees can view the work in progress:
    • Friday 2/9 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    • Saturday 2/10 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • All entries must be finished by 5:00 PM on Saturday, February 10
  • All entries shall be set up on-site; no swap-outs – no exceptions
  • All entries shall use all of the Aqueon aquarium equipment provided.  Supplemental lighting is permitted.
  • Two types of aquascaping substrate will be available on site: white silica sand and Red Flint sand (darker than silica sand and fine, not a gravel).  Entrants are welcome to bring their own substrate.  If we are able to find a substrate sponsor, a plant-specific substrate may be included in the equipment package.
  • Entrants may adhere any background to their aquarium OTHER than painting the aquarium, or use no background at all.
  • Entrants are responsible for choosing and providing any hardscape, plants and animals for their aquascape. These materials may be grown out ahead of time in any way desired by the entrant, including a similarly-sized tank, and brought to the site ready to reassemble.
  • Live animals may be used in the aquascape, but are not required or provided.  Any animals must be of appropriate size and number for the aquarium!
  • Nothing on or around the display shall indicate who the entrant is, or display any sponsorship until after the prizes are awarded Sunday.
  • Entrants may sell their entry, but a sign indicating that the display is for sale may not be posted until after the prizes are awarded Sunday.
  • Judging will take place starting at 5:00pm Saturday, 2/10, at the judging committee’s discretion.
  • Winners will be announced at 10:30 AM on Sunday, 2/11
  • All displays shall remain intact until 4:00 PM on Sunday, 2/11.
  • Any display or related equipment not removed by 6:00 PM on Sunday will become the property of MAAH.
  • Failure to follow event rules may result in forfeit of placement, prizes, entry fee, and sponsored equipment.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Each entry will be judged according to the AGA criteria described below to determine the entry’s score of up to 200 points.

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 appear healthy?
  • Hardware should be as inconspicuous as possible, and clean.
  • 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 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.

Schedule

 

Friday, February 9, 2018
  • 12:00 pm - Garden Expo Doors Open

    The Great Lakes Aquascaping Championship begins! Aquascaping will begin at 12pm and continue until 8pm.

  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm - Lg Tank Equip. Draft

    Participants in the large tank "Live Design" contest will participate in a draft to determine what materials and plants they will be working with.

  • 8:00 pm - Garden Expo Closes

    Aquascaping is done for the day.

Saturday, Febrary 10, 2018
  • 9:00 pm - Garden Expo Doors Open

    Aquascaping starts for the day!

  • 5:00 pm - Aquascaping Ends

  • 5:00 pm - Judging Starts

Sunday, Febrary 11, 2018
  • 10:00 am - Garden Expo Doors Open

  • 10:30 am - Results Announced & Prizes

  • 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm - Teardown