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Although this is not my best ranking, but in my very humble opinion, this is one of my most special and memorable work so far. I enjoyed the process of creating this layout very much, it makes me feel like a newbie again: feeling excited, nervous, worried and motivated. I feel that it is hard for me to go back to my "old" style again.....this will be the way forward - a true underwater layout!

I have never done this before but i think "Samurai" will not be possible without the help of my following friends, so i would like to thank each and every one of them properly.

The main idea for the hardscape came from a photo by Miroslava Avila, my friend from Mexico. When i saw that photo she posted on FB, i instantly knew that is what i am going to do for iaplc22. I asked for her permission to use that photo as my reference and she generously agreed. 

I discussed this layout from the very beginning with Juan Puchades and Siak Wee Yeo, in fact, the idea of using Samurai Gourami came from both of them and hence the title of the tank was decided fairly easily. Both of them gave me invaluable input from start to finish and i adjusted the design many times following their suggestions. 

Masashi Ono gave me very important information about Samurai Gourami, without his advice, i was happily having only 25 fish in my tank which i thought is sufficient for the final photo. But i ended up having close to 60 in the tank and in the final photo only about 20+ were visible, just as what Ono san was telling me.

Roger Goh saw the tank only right before the final photo was taken. He pointed out that the mosses/fissidens on the foreground were too dense and it should be reduced to make them look scarce and natural. I removed some of them and he is right, less is more in this case.

My 8 years old son, Hunter, suggested 2 modifications to the tank which i followed. He said i should remove a big rock on the left side underneath the big wood because the rock is blocking the view. He also told me that the twigs should not be only on the ground, but must have some twigs on the mosses as well. I did what he told me and he is right too you know!!

Ronson Ng thanks for your lotus!! They are not only beautiful but extremely healthy too.

Cool Yuan Aquarium - thank you for your Samurai Gourami. You probably brought in more than 100 fish because of my request and you gave me all the beautiful female fish, while keeping all the ugly male fish in your shop where no other customer will buy. 

Nature Inspiration - thanks for always supplying items for my aquascaping needs in short notice. 

YL Aquatic Studio - thanks for sending the last batch of Samurai Gourami from 300km away so that i can have enough fish for the photo session.

It has been a fun ride and i enjoyed every moment of it!

Author Josh Sim / Malaysia

Title : SAMURAI
Author: Josh Sim
Masashi Ono

Winning Work IAPLC 2013 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2013
Masashi Ono

Beautiful Autumn - IAPLC 2014 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2014
Masashi Ono

Root under the water - IAPLC 2015 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2015
Masashi Ono

Early Autumn - IAPLC 2016 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2016
Masashi Ono

The garden of Brunei Beauty - IAPLC 2017 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2017
Masashi Ono

Fine Works IAPLC 2018 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2018
Masashi Ono

Winning Works IAPLC 2019 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2019
Masashi Ono

Fine Works IAPLC 2020 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2020
Masashi Ono

Asian breeze - IAPLC 2021 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2021
Masashi Ono

Habitat - IAPLC 2022 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2022
Masashi Ono

Stage of blue paradise - IAPLC 2023 - Masashi Ono / Japan

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2023
Dave Chow

Frenzy Wave - AGA 2016 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2016
Dave Chow

The Rise of Dragons - AGA 2017 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2017
Dave Chow

Wind of Kind - Honorable Mention AGA 2015 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2015
Dave Chow

Galloping - 1st Place AGA 2014 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

AGA International Aquascaping Contest - 2014
Dave Chow

Happiness is the way - Honour Prize IAPC 2013 - Dave Chow / HongKong China

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest - 2013