Last Updated on February 11, 2023 by Jakob

Remember when you had that goldfish bowl as a kid? It wasn’t exactly a work of art was it? Well take a look at these! Welcome to the incredible craft of aquascaping. In fact, aquascaping is so popular that there’s one very competitive International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) that host entries from around the world to crown the best underwater artist. Crafting the perfect habitat for fish is a skill in itself, but rarely do we focus on anything beyond practical fishkeeping, let alone turning them into works of art. After all, the fish don’t care!

Even if you’re a seasoned aquarium enthusiast, I doubt you’ve ever created anything like this, these fish tanks are going to blow your mind. The level of detail is incredible making these tanks look better than a snippet of the finest reefs in the ocean.

If you want to find aquascaping ideas, then take a look at these for inspiration.

Asian and Eastern European countries generally dominate the top positions. Here are some other incredible entries from around the world too. Check out: IAPLC Grand Prize Works, IAPLC 2011 Top 27, IAPLC 2013 Top 6, IAPLC 2012 Top 200, and the first Eastern European Planted Aquarium Design Contest.


1. This silent underwater forest.

Forest Scent, Pavel Bautin. Russia. 2010 IAPLC Grand Prize Winner

2. This magical rainforest

Pale Wind, Takayuki Fukada. Japan. 2013 IAPLC Gold Prize

3. A stunning underwater pineforest

Whisper of the pines, Serkan Çetinkol. Turkey. 2013 IAPLC Top 27

4. This vibrant display in the art of aquascaping

Verve!, Chow Wai Sun. Hong Kong. 2011 IAPLC Bronze Prize

5. This minimalist aquascaping example is amazing

Way to heaven, Dmitriy Parshin. Russia.

6. This Tetra Desert

Wild West, Stjepan Erdeljić. Croatia.

7. A royal garden

Georgi Chaushev, Bulgaria. 2012 IAPLC Top 100.

8. These Giant underwater trees

Francisco Wu, Spain. 2012 IAPLC Top 100.

9. Aquascaping meets design:

Long Tran Hoang, Vietnam. 2012 IAPLC Third Place.

10. This underwater valley

Pilgrimage, Shintaro Matsui. Japan. 2013 IAPLC Fifth Place.

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