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What is noteworthy about this work are the contrast between the unique-shaped rocks in front and the distant view at the back of it and the perspective emphasized by a white-sand trail leading towards the background. Furthermore, it is worthy of praise that the creator used a high-level originality to make this superb aquascape while using various conventional techniques including the expressions of sheer cliff and stone pillar, weeds and moss grown around them, and hanging vines. The fish species selected perfectly match the atmosphere of this layout.

Mr. Takayuki Fukada won the first place in the World Ranking with his "Mighty Cave". He won the Grand Prize for two consecutive years and this is the first successive victory in IAPLC history. Three judges chose this layout as their Best Aquarium and highly valued Mr. Fukada's outstanding layout formation and expressions. Another factor that made this layout stand out was the presence of fish as the main figure of aquascape. In this regard, the judges who selected this layout as Best Aquarium stated as follows:

IAPLC 2016 Gallery - Look back history - World Ranking 0001 - Grand Prize 

Mighty Cave

Author: Takayuki Fukada / Japan

Aquarium Size/W120×D60×H55 (cm)

Aquatic Plants

Bolbitis sp.

Hemianthus Callitrichoides "Cuba"

Fontinalis antipyretica

Vesicularia sp.

Riccardia chamedryfolia

Fissidens japonicus

Monosolenium tenerum

Fissidens fontanus

Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae

Fish & Invertebrates

Kryptopterus bicirrhis


World Ranking 0001 Grand Prize IAPLC 2016


Each year when I receive the notice of IAPLC result, my heart beats so fast, I get restless and cannot open the envelope imme- diately. This year, too, I held the envelope under the light of a metal halide lamp and tried to see the results through the enve- lope, which has become like a ritual to me. It took quite a long time until I checked my ranking. When I saw the number "1" on the notice, I didn't understand what it was and even doubted that the number was actually "7" but it just looked like "1" because of the font used. And then, only when I saw the word "Grand Prize", I finally understood what happened to me. At the same time, I couldn't believe that I won the Grand Prize again this year and I got a little scared. This result was too heavy for me and it would take some time for me to digest it together with happiness. I feel immense gratitude towards my fellow hobbyists who pushed me to this height. My gratitude also goes to all the IAPLC participants from all over the world whom I can have friendly competition with. I could never achieve this result alone. Once again, I extend my deepest gratitude and appreciation to fellow hobbyists as well as IAPLC judges and IAPLC Steering Committee members who organized this wonderful event. Thank you.

Comment of Dr. Sergei M. Kochetov (RUSSIA)

Choosing the Best Aquarium at the Contest was not an easy task just like proceeding with the entire evaluation. With this purpose, I selected top 5 aquariums, where the difference in preliminary estimates didn't exceed one point. In the long run, they were narrowed down to auts which have environmy were narrowed such as natural beauty and real biotopes, according to the ditionsing Criteria & Guidelines". As far as I remember I've seen some- thing of the kind while diving in freshwater lakes and river of former USSR. Both aquariums were beautifully and tastefully deco- rated, and I had to analyze fish population, which ultimately deter- mined the choice. I also would like to note that the names of tanks and their sizes also gave a somewhat different mode of perception and, accordingly, evaluation. In the end the best was chosen — the aquarium populated with glass catfishes, called "Mighty Cave". Compared to traditional Red Neons and Rasboras in the alternative, another tank ("Dreamland" *ranked in the 2nd place), that was in my opinion a clear priority. The composition of the layout repro- duces the overhanging plants washed away by water flow shore. Everything is performed very naturally with proper asymmetry increasing the volume and the perception of the aquarium as the compact corner of nature. The shoal of glass catfish was photo- graphed at the right moment.

Comment of Mr. David Boruchowitz (U.S.A.)

When I evaluate the layouts, I take each criterion on which our judgments are made, and rank all of the entries. Then I go to the next criterion, and so on. I find this helps me remain objective, as I don't pay attention to the total score until I have finished judging. Of course, each time I go through the layouts, certain ones are more aesthetically pleasing to me than others, and I always expect that the highest scorer will be one of these. Sometimes I can pick a favorite, and this is usually the top scoring layout, but this year there were more layouts than ever that I would have not been sur- prised to see get the highest ranking. When there are so many simply gorgeous aquarium layouts, I cannot pick a favorite, so I rely on the analytic breakdown of each entry to identify the best one. This year that layout, for me, was a hauntingly beautiful and peaceful aquascape, and one that capitalized on the precept that simplicity and a very tight focus can be as spell-binding as com- plex, intricate creations-or even more so. My favorite? No, but one of the several layouts that completely won me over. A truly beautiful aquarium.

Comment of Mr. Friedrich Bitter (GERMANY)

Again it hasn't been easy to choose just one work out of many good ones, but finally each of us had to find his personal favorite. And herewith I want to present the work I admire the most: the "Mighty Cave". It is the view of a bizarre landscape, as known for example from several regions in Asia. Formed by nature within eons of time, giant rockformations of limestone are dominating the picture. Their surface isn't plain, but rough and rugged; they are an ideal area for many epiphyte plants and bushes. This impression has been put into practice by using similar materials as in nature, even the terres- trial plants had to be replaced by water plants. Probably the creator arranged everything with a lot of passion and attention to every single detail: even from a distance you can discern the long roots, growing into the air. The special dimensions of the aquarium (120x60x55 cm) are helpful to enhance the work's perspective. Fur- thermore the substrate isn't uniform. From bigger pebbles in the foreground it is changing backwards into fine sand. Little pieces of rock, placed in the right way, are important design elements and round up the general picture. Ferns and mosses are mainly used to replace terrestrial plants. Regarding size and structure they are arranged in a similar way as rocks and substrate. That is another good way to enhance the perspective impression. In contrast to other works, the creator of this layout uses just a handful of plant species. Surely with this action he can minimize the duration of working time that is necessary to keep the layout in perfect shape. On the other hand, it is a good tool to increase the lifetime of the whole arrangement. Last but not least: the fish. We shouldn't forget, especially these little creatures are in focus. Again no problem for the creator. He decided to try a species, completely different from the mainstream in aquascaping. Glass catfishes are fascinating animals, especially when they are feeling good and are kept in a whole group. Then they can swim around all together absolutely relaxed. They prefer areas with open water and flow, but also like calm, shady areas, where they can retreat from social contacts within the group. The layout has a lot of those comfort zones; the fish can even hide behind the big rocks. Because the layout is also inter- nally very consistent, there is just one choice left for me: The "Mighty Cave" is my favorite at the IAPLC 2016. And I'm sure, many people will be thrilled like me. Congratulations!



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