Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal
Aquarium Size W1,200×D600×H450(mm)

Aquatic Plants
Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’ / Fissidens splachnobryoides / Micranthemum sp. / Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘Cuba’ / Microsurum pteropus ‘Narrow Leaf’ / Microsorum pteropus ’Trident’ / Hygrophila pinnatifida / Rotala rotundifolia ‘Green’ / Rotala rotundifolia ‘Hra’ / Helanthium tenellum ‘Red’. / Bucephalandra sp. / Taxiphyllum sp. ‘Flame Moss’ / Bolbitis heudelotii / Isopterygium sp. / Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides

Fish & Invertebrates
Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
Minh Tran Duc
Country: Viet Nam
Age: 38 years old
Occupation: Senior Art Director
Aquarium experience: 9 years
Hobbies besides aquarium: Photography, Graphic design, Travel
Record of awards in the past IAPLC:
IAPLC 2021 26th
IAPLC 2022 40th

“I want my work to make the viewers feel like they are in the underwater world”

AJ    Tell us what you wanted to express with your layout work; layout theme, motif, ideas behind your winning work.
The motif of overall is a large tree stump blocking the water flow. This tree is eroded by the water flowing from front to back. Even swept away by the water flow, this tree stump still clings tightly to surrounding objects. With this idea behind, I wanted to promote the strong vitality of wanting to rise, the pride, strength, and connection with nature.

AJ    What was the most difficult aspect of creating and maintaining this layout work?
As you can see in the layout, I tried to make the focus point as low as possible. Because it was very low, taking care of the focus point was very difficult, especially roots from above. It took me a lot of time to take care of it.

AJ    What are the key points when you select aquatic plants and fish species?
The intention was that I wanted the overall composition this year to be bright green, but still have dark greens for contrast as well as the different leaf shapes of the plants: the bright green of the Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’, slightly dark blue Cuban Hemianthus callitrichoides, dark green Anubias barteri var. nana, winding ferns.
I choose fish with colors that are not too bright as well as moderate proportions so that the fish and the composition blend together into one.

AJ    What fascinate or attract you the most about the planted aquarium hobby?
It’s imagination. When I look at a certain work, I often imagine many other things: a cloud, the shape of an animal, if I were a fish in the that aquarium – how would I feel ? In addition, what interests me the most is the change of the plants day by day. With each work I create, I’m always curious about which direction the plants will grow 5 or 6 months after planting. Because this is something I can’t control, I really like it.

AJ    What kind of aquascape do you want to create in the future? Do you have any dreams relating to the aquarium hobby?
I want my work to make the viewers feel like they are in the underwater world. The plants and fish must be guaranteed to grow in the best conditions. In terms of composition, I try to make a contrast between dark and light, far and near, big and small, peaceful and strong to bring more emotions and curiositis to the viewers.

AJ     What do you think about the IAPLC?
Becoming a contestant of IAPLC was my dream. When I was a student, I saw works of IAPLC and in my mind I always thought: I must join IAPLC. I was very curious why they can create such wonderful works. And now, 4 years passed after my first participation in IAPLC, I feel very proud of that and I am still trying to learn works from IAPLC every year. For me, works from IAPLC always make me excited and interesting, it helps me develop for the future.