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Mr. Junichi Itakura was third in the World Ranking with his layout titled "The Rest of the Dream". It was a classic layout that adhered to the authentic Nature Aquarium style. ADA selected this work as Best Aquarium as its aquascape design with strong focus on fish habitat and the layout expression using various species of aquatic plants renewed our awareness of the basic concept of Nature Aquarium.

IAPLC 2016 Gallery - Look back history - World Ranking 0003 - Silver Prize 

The Rest of the Dream

Author: Junichi Itakura / Japan

Aquarium Size/W180×D60×H60 (cm)

Aquatic Plants

WABI-KUSA Stemmed Plants MIX

WABI-KUSA Stemmed Plants MIX (Red)

WABI-KUSA Rotala rotundifolia(Green)

WABI-KUSA Ludwigia arucuata

Microsorum sp."Tridentleaf"

Ludwigia sp.

Rotala sp. "Ceylon"

Anubias baeteri var. nana "Petite"

Polygonum sp. "Pink'

Vallisneria nana

Cyperus helferi

Fontinalis antipyretica

Nymphaea rubra

Echinodorus tenellus

Echinodorus angustifolius

Fish & Invertebrates

Aphyocharax rathbumi

Mikrogeophagus ramirezi var.

Anomalochromis thomasi

Otocinclus sp.

Caridina japonica


World Ranking 0003 Silver Prize IAPLC 2016


This was my 14th year participating in IAPLC since I entered my 60cm tank layout in 2003. I was surprised to see three Japanese in this year's top ranking, which coincidently is exactly the same as last year. The Grand Prize winner Mr. Fukada is a professional graphic designer and Mr. Tanaka in the 4th place is a famous manga cartoonist representing Japan. While on the other hand, I am just a middle-aged ordinary man who loves aquatic plants, so I have a disadvantage in visual expressions in aquariums (tears). In the recent IAPLC, many of the works in the higher ranking shifted their expressions from underwater to terrestrial environment and they are competing over strong impact. By looking at this, I felt that the origi- nal Nature Aquarium cannot beat them in terms of impact (or they stand on a different footing). Only thing I, an aquatic plants lover, could do was to confront them with the expression of inherent beauty of aquatic plants. When I met Mr. Takashi Amano at NA gallery last time, he said, "Putting small fish and putting small things (materials) in a tank - it's not the way. No, it shouldn't be like that". I still cannot forget it. For this reason, too, I once again created my IAPLC layout in "Nature Aquarium" style originally developed by Mr. Amano and tried to see how the panel of global judges would rate a Nature Aquarium layout (i.e., aquascape featuring aquatic plants) created by an aquatic plants hobbyist other than Mr. Takashi Amano. Fortunately, my work got a very good grade from global judges. It was my greatest pleasure and I am deeply grateful for it. I loved Mr. Takashi Amano and he loved nature. It is my wish that I will continue to inherit "AMANO-ISM" to the best of my ability.

Comment of ADA (Japan)

Although this layout doesn't have a strong impact like other works, we felt the creator's strong belief after seeing the layout created following the basics of Nature Aquarium: consciousness of natural habitat for fish. This layout was well-formed with excellent aquascaping skills, for example, making the middle ground meticulously with stable driftwood composition with moss and ferns grown on them; planting colorful stem plants in the background; and arrangement of Nymphaea and tape-like leaves to make us aware of water surface. If we are allowed to wish for more, we would like to say that it would be better if the clumps of stem plants were made more meticulously. Another thing to note is about recreation of natural habitat for fish. The wide open space in the center is a space for Tetra to swim around in school and the shade of intricately-arranged driftwood is an ideal haven for Small Cichlid that swim at the bottom level of the tank. Having these features, the layout achieved good recreation of fish habitat. Furthermore, tropical fish are swimming between various types of aquatic plants at their own swimming levels in the layout. In view of this, it is fundamentally appealing as an aquascape. This layout truly showed the origin of Nature Aquarium.


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