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Re: [AGA Member] Biotopes

Roger said:
>  It appears to me that they need to be judged on a
> basis that is substantially technical ("Is this a biotope?") and not
> aesthetic, as is the case in other categories.

True.  I would like to have a definition of what a biotope is for the AGA
contest. I agree that if it is aesthetic and has plants, it should go into
one of the other planted categories.  If it is aesthetic and has no plants
then that _could_ be a category that could be defined as the "biotope"
category.  But in that case why don't we just have an "unplanted" category.
The name would make more sense, and there would be no confusion over judging
them with the aesthetic judges.

> Answering the technical
> question is not necessarily something that an aquascaping judge is
> to do.

True but we have had some aesthetic judges that knew a lot about plants
also, and did a good job as technical judges in the biotope category.
> If they are to be judged
> on some other basis then they need an entirely different set of judging
> guidelines.  Setting up a different set of guidelines effectively creates
> separate contest for biotopes.
True.  It would be a separate sub-contest with less participation. But there
are a lot of planted aquaria enthusiasts that are either not yet ready to go
full tilt into aquascaping, or they like the plants themselves more than the
aesthetic part of the hobby.  It would give them an opportunity to
participate in the contest.

> I suppose that we could define our way around that little controversy by
> insisting that the biotope entries must be planted.  That would eliminate
> tanks that represent most of the worlds aquatic biotopes.

This I don't understand.  I thought most biotopes (even the African rift
lakes) have planty of aquatic plants.  Its just people often don't want to
use the plants.  If its a technical (and not aesthetic) biotope and a really
true plantless biotope then at least the other items like rocks and wood
should attempt to mimic the original biotope being modeled.  If its
aesthetic then the realism doesn't matter.

I agree that the AGA contest right now is an "aquascaping" contest and
plants are optional.  But since the AGA is a "planted aquaria" club, maybe a
technical biotope definition would bring in some participation from the
plant lovers that aren't into hardcore aquascaping.

And yes there would need to be some guidlines for a technical biotope

Steve Pituch

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