IAPLC top 200: “Journey Begins” by Edgardo Villagracia

The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest also known as IAPLC is one of the most prestigious competition for the aquatic gardeners all around the world.  It receives more than a thousand entries each year from 55 countries.  There is no entry fee on this contest so this is open to everybody.  The entry needs to meet the following conditions:

  1. Only the work of the contestant is accepted.
  2. Only one submission is allowed per contestant
  3. If the contestant uses the old entry in the past and used the same layout style, materials or simply mirror reversed the design will be subject for point deduction
  4. Picture taken should be within the year.
  5. Using of plants that can hardly survive in the water is subject for point deduction
  6. Pictures should be taken only from the front side. Taking pictures from an angle only, maybe subjected for point deduction.

As you can see here, IAPLC is a tough competition especially to aquarists who can’t buy very good equipments and have a limited means.  However, on this article we will feature one of the most respected aquatic gardeners from the Philippines Mr. Edgardo Villagracia.

Photo by Edgardo Villagracia

Photo by Edgardo Villagracia


A: Tank Size: 36”x16”x16”  (40 gallons)

B: Lights: PL 55Wx1, PL 11Wx6, Osram mini spiral 23W x 6

C: Substrate: Pebbles top with Black Bicol Sand

D: Filtration: Undergravel system and internal filter

E: CO2:   DIY CO2

FAUNA: Harlequin Rasbora and Rasbora Espie

FLORA: Glossostigma Elatinoides,Rotala Rotundifolia, Blyxia Japonica, Pearlweed, Elatine Orientalis, Java moss,Hydrocotyle Maritima

Why nature aquarium?  My scape is not purely a nature aquarium.  It is a nature aquarium mixed Iwagumi concept, because of the hardscape.

What is your inspiration for the design?  I really want to create an aquascape that I can be proud of.  Getting in to the top 200 in IAPLC 2012  is really something and very inspiring for me.

How do you maintain your tank?  I do regular cleaning of glass tank.  30% water change twice a week and dosing of micro ferts every water changes.

What are the things you could have done better?  I think I can do better trimmings of the stemmed plants and adding hardscape in place of the java moss will make it look better and perhaps adding more medium sized stones on the right side to blend the hardscape on the left side will make the scape more effective.

Any encouraging words for other aquarists?  Focus on the scape and be creative regardless of whether you are using common plants or rare plants

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