Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal
The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2019 received 1,867 entries from 72 countries and areas around the world. TOP OF THE WORLD 2019 features top 7 works and interviews with the winners.

World Ranking: 2

Takayuki Fukada
Japan / Tankei

Aquarium Size W120×D60×H55(cm)
Aquatic Plants
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Belindae’
Bucephalandra sp. Biblis ‘Sky blue’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Brown sugar’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Cherish’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Chili pepper’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Flora’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Godzilla’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Grappa’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Kedagang purple’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Kedagang round’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Lamandau mini purple’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Little red stars’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Mini coin’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Mini dark needle’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Neo Amanda’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Raven’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Red blade’
Bucephalandra sp. ‘Sexy pink’
Micranthemum sp. Monte Carlo
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Rotala sp.Hra
Ludwigia arcuata
Riccardia chamedryfolia
Fissidens Fontanus

Fish & Invertebrates
Hemigrammus armstrongi
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus
Crossocheilus oblongus
Otocinclus sp.
Caridina multidentata

Interview with the Gold Prize Winner
I would like to commit myself to make the hobby more accessible

Age/49 years old
Occupation/Graphic Designer
Years of experience in the aquarium hobby/11 years
Any other hobbies besides aquarium/Cycling
Record of awards in the past IAPLC/
IAPLC2009: rank 144
IAPLC2010: rank 107
IAPLC2011: rank 13
IAPLC2012: rank 32
IAPLC2013: rank 2
IAPLC2014: rank 5
IAPLC2015: rank 1
IAPLC2016: rank 1
IAPLC2018: rank 3

AJ: Tell us what you wanted to express with your layout work; layout theme, motif, ideas behind your winning work.

From the very beginning, I made up my mind to create a layout using mainly rocks. And one of my biggest challenges at this year’s contest was to figure out how to effectively display the contrast between light and dark with these rocks. The planting of this layout was heavily influenced by my trip to Indonesia and Malaysia last year. I was inspired by many different Bucephalandras that I saw in local plant farms, and thought it would be interesting if I could suggest their potential as layout materials in my work. This is how this year’s layout design came to be.


AJ: What was the most difficult aspect of creating and maintaining this layout work?

It took me a lot of effort to bond and fix rocks because the composition is built with boldly stacked large rocks. I paid close attention to these rocks and tried to secure them rigidly using a bonding method that I had learned during my visit to Indonesia a few years earlier. This method has been introduced recently to Japanese hobbyists.


AJ: What kind of aquascape do you want to create in the future? Do you have any dreams relating to the aquarium hobby?

My dream, or the aim of my activities is to encourage those who enjoy aquascaping worldwide. Luckily, I had many opportunities to visit other countries and learned about different aquascaping trends. So I would like to commit myself to make the hobby more accessible and appealing to everyone by making use of my experience.
Material used for this layout is fossil wood from China