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RE: AGA International Aquascaping Showcase & Contest

Don wrote:

> C'mon newbies, I know you're tempted to enter. I'm a newbie (started last
> August with my first planted tank) and I figure I have NOTHING to lose in
> this contest. After all, if I don't place in the contest, then it just
> confirms what I already know- I'm a newbie! If I DO place imagine
> how much of
> an ego booster that is. It's a win-win situation. =D   Imagine
> your bragging
> rights too-
> "I had the GUTS and the BALLS to enter the contest. How about you??"

I'd like EVERYONE to be more than "tempted" to enter....... I'd like
everyone to feel that the people on the organizing committee WANT them to
enter. We've spent over 10 months organizing this so that as many people as
possible can take part - this is for "us", not some mythical "them" (those
who are experts...).

The event has TWO sections - one is a Showcase that is completely
non-competitive and is designed purely as a place for people to display
their aquascapes. Nobody will be judging or otherwise commenting on the
entries in the Showcase, so if you would rather avoid the competitive nature
of a judged contest, you can specify that your entry is only to be placed in
the Showcase - it's YOUR call.

The Contest is going to be just as friendly and relaxed as the Showcase, and
doesn't cost any more to enter, you just have to tick off a blank on the
entry form. But in the Contest portion of the event, you will obtain
feedback from some of the biggest names in our (or any other) end of the
hobby. Karen Randall and Neil Frank, both APD members and also prominent AGA
members will be two of the judges. Joining them will be Claus Christensen
from Tropica in Denmark and several other international judges. I can't give
names just yet, as we are still waiting to hear if the people we have asked
can accept, but trust me - if you've been around here for any length of
time, you will instantly recognize the people. (And once I get confirmation,
I will be publicizing the identities of the remaining judges.)

The whole event is for EVERYBODY - from newbie to seasoned pro. I'd like to
see few 10 year olds' tanks with plastic plants and bubbling ornaments......
they are just as valid as the manicured and lovingly maintained aquatic
gardens which more experienced folks (tend to) have. And those into Rift
Lake Cichlids need not feel left out either - this isn't JUST for planted
tanks..... it's for any type of aquascape.

The web-site has all sorts of information to help anyone get ready for
this - check it out and give it a shot.

I also don't want anybody to feel intimidated by the status of the Judges.
Don't feel that you dare not enter because of how "famous" the Judges are -
on the contrary, this is a very valuable opportunity to get honest feedback
on how you are doing from people who REALLY know their stuff. And it only
costs $5.00! (around here, a beer usually costs that much...)

> Hmmmm... Out of curiosity Mr. Purchase would people be able to
> enter their
> algae farms in this contest? Can you imagine the possibilities??
> Imagine the
> beautiful scene-
> "Rolling mounds of hair algae gentling swaying in the current.
> Here and there
> are scattered handfuls of red staghorn algae. Every once in a
> while you see
> the cute head of a contented and full Amano shrimp popping out of
> the mounds,
> like a cute bunny. Off in the shadows a blanket of blue-green
> algae provides
> a nice intermediate color before it fades into the blackness of
> the shadows.
> To the left stands a grand bush of beard algae. Contented and
> happy fish swim
> about and through this peaceful scene."

ANY freshwater, brackish water or paludarium aquascape is more than welcome
to be entered. We hope to see as wide a variety of real world examples as
possible. Personally, as the one who started this, I'd like the event to be
thought of as a sort of "snapshot" of aquascaping as it is being practiced
by hobbyists at the turn of the Millenium.

I don't expect to see 300 "Amano type" aquascapes because that is not the
reality - most of us don't have the patience or the restraint for that sort
of thing. As Karen Randall pointed out in her article in the first issue of
Planted Aquaria (Feb. 2000), style is a very personal thing and we each have
our own. Setting up an aquascape provides each of us the opportunity to
become landscape architects in miniature.

So in short, if you want to enter your "algae farm", be my guest.... if we
get enough of them, we may open a new Class.... <g>

James Purchase

AGA International Aquascaping Showcase & Contest