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: 4

Martial Hervy

Aquarium Size W120×D50×H50(cm)
Aquatic Plants
Bolbitis heudelotii
Microsorum sp. trident
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Bucephalandra sp.
Fissidens fontanus
Fissidens miroshaki
Riccardia graeffei
Rotala rotundifolia
Callicostella sp. ‘Gunung sumpit’
Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’
Vesicularia sp.
Taxiphyllum sp. ‘Flame’
Marsilea crenata
Cryptocoryne beckettii var. petchii
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne albida brown

Fish & Invertebrates
Paracheirodon simulans

Interview with the Bronze Prize Winner
Whatever the experience of the aquascaper, this hobby gives something unique every time

Age/45 years old
Occupation/ Biologist
Years of experience in the aquarium hobby/10 years
Any other hobbies besides aquarium/ Hiking, Trekking, Gardening, and DIY activities
Record of awards in the past IAPLC/
IAPLC2015: rank 27
IAPLC2016: rank 13
IAPLC2017: rank 15
IAPLC2018: rank 58

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

I generally base my layouts on pieces of hardscape I find in the wild rather than on trying to recreate an existing landscape. The inspiration often starts with an interesting texture or movement, then I try to showcase it in an organized landscape. This year I had found these large roots with very nice details and when I began to play with them I found that they could be used to draw very strong hardscape lines and that the level of detail and the texture was giving a very organic rendering. I was also trying to create something with a very dynamic effect with some impact and depth. I used a plantation largely based on epiphyte plants and I tried to drive it to compliment the hardscape and to accentuate the initial dynamic intention. What I particularly like with this approach is that you discover the layout as it emerges.


AJ: What fascinates or attracts you the most about the planted aquarium hobby?

I like both the technical and creative sides of aquascaping. It is fun to observe these little ecosystems and play to get them as balanced and healthy as possible. Then on the creative side, you have at home a window in which you can let the nature do its thing or get the help from Nature to create a landscape you have in mind. I like the idea that this part of the hobby, whatever the experience of the aquascaper, gives something unique every time.


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

In the future, I hope to continue creating the kind of aquascape I have pleasure taking care of. I am currently working on a new hardscape, I have some ideas for the plantation and hopefully I should have something to enter for next year IAPLC. Regarding dreams relating to the aquarium hobby…ranking in the top 7 at IAPLC was one of them.
Trying to create dynamic composition.