Water Colors Aquascaping Competition

It's time to show off your skills.
Entries due by February 29, 2020

Entry Categories


Aquariums 10 gallons and under


Aquariums from 11 - 54 gallons


Aquariums 55 gallons or more

Entry Guidelines

Any freshwater aquarium owned by a Michigan resident is eligible for entry.

Each entrant can submit up to 2 entries in each category. Each submission should be a separate aquascape.

Submit 2 pictures for your entry: 1 of your aquascape only and 1 of you with your aquascape.

Please crop your first picture in a way which focuses on your aquascape, not the tank as a whole or the room it is in.

Submissions will be kept anonymous. Judges will only see both photos once the judging is over.

Please avoid sharing pictures of your entry on social media during the competition to maintain anonymity. Your entry may be disqualified if it’s identified.

Water Colors employees and their immediate families may not enter.



Enter Now

Each entry will receive a coupon for 30% off plants. Submit up to 9 entries to make the most of this offer! These coupons can be used for one transaction each and cannot be combined with any other offer. Scroll down to see a list of prizes for winning entries.

Entry Form

Please submit a separate form for each entry

    Judging Guidelines

    Entries will be judged by these 4 categories


    An aquascape that creates a positive impression should look as good to a casual viewer as an expert.

    It should also blend the basic rules of design with aquarium proficiency.

    Ask yourself these questions:

    Is the aquascape laid out in a logical and pleasing way?

    Is it unique and memorable?




    Each of your elements should work individually and together.

    An aquascape should have a clear focal point.

    Plants and hardscape should be well grouped and coordinated.

    Take your picture when the tank is clear and the fish are well posed. Some small lighting edits and cropping are ok but don’t otherwise edit the photo.




    Your materials should be chosen for their visual impact and be logical additions to the tank.

    For example, a piece of driftwood in an African cichlid tank may look beautiful but could result in negative points in this category.

    Hardscape elements should be natural and appropriate for an aquarium. Livestock should complement and not distract from the aquascape.

    Points will be deducted for fish and plants that are unhealthy or in insufficient numbers. 




    Viability refers to the possible long-term success of the tank.

    Points will be taken off for fish which would rapidly outgrow their tank, grow up to eat each other, or require different environments.

    Background plants in the foreground, even if they are still small, could also result in lost points.

    Not every part of your aquarium needs to be fully mature but it should be deliberately laid out with clear intention.