MarcoRocks presents an Aquascaping Contest like no other.

Join 10 competitors as they intensely compete for prizes and recognition in a contest that pushes the boundaries of Rock Scaping. Competitors will choose from a selection of dry rock and be given a time limit to complete an aquascape. 

Contestants will be evaluated on 

Artistic Impression (1. Composition / 2. Layout / 3. Creativity)
Use of Hardscape Materials (Rocks, Glue, Mortar)

Contestants will be able to compete Saturday with awards given out Sunday. 

Follow along online and at the show as the event is live-streamed. Look for our ad in Amazonas and Reef Hobbyist Magazine!

Meet Our Panel of Judges

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Rules and Regulations

The entry fee is $50 and comes with (1) 2-Day General Admission to The Aquatic Expo ($35 value).  Solo entries only, no teams.

Entry fees are non-refundable for any reason at any time. Forfeited entry fees will go towards the prize packages for winners. If a contestant chooses not to compete but would still like to attend, their entry fee will be converted to a 2-Day Event Ticket.

  • Participants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Registration must be completed by the deadline (May 25th 2023).
  • Solo entries only, no teams.
  • Participants must be present in the allotted scaping time to compete and win.
    Awards will be presented on Day 2 of the event.
  • This event is primarily a friendly way for hobbyists to share their aquascaping efforts with each other, and to learn better techniques through the display and evaluation of those efforts. The contest will also allow hobbyists to compete for awards. The event is open to all hobbyists, regardless of age, national origin or degree of experience in the hobby.
  • Competitors must provide their own specialty tools if needed.  The use of power tools is prohibited.
  • Competitors must use the provided aquascape materials to create their aquascape; outside materials are prohibited.
  • Asking advice or displaying photos to current contest judges is forbidden. The first offense will result in a warning, and the second offense will result in the disqualification of the aquascape and contestant.
  • Do not include personal identifying information in your aquascape.. This includes titles, descriptive text, and photographs. The contest committee reserves the right to remove such identifying information, and/or disqualify the contestant.
  • Competitors are not allowed to alter their entries once the judging period has started.

Judging will be conducted with each aquascape identified only by number; i.e. the judges will not be expected to know the identity of the person whose aquascape they are considering, nor will they base their score on the person creating in any way, only the creation.. Judges do not communicate with each other when scoring each aquascape.

Awards (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) will be given to the three highest-placed aquascapes.  

1st Place – First place contestants will be awarded their entry fee doubled in return, a $100 Cash Prize.  They may also keep their creation, up to 100lbs of rock!  A trophy will be awarded during the Awards Ceremony on stage Sunday as well, please plan to attend!  

2nd Place – Second place contestants may also keep their creation, up to 100lbs of rock!  A trophy will be awarded during the Awards Ceremony on stage Sunday as well, please plan to attend!  

3rd Place – A trophy will be awarded during the Awards Ceremony on stage Sunday as well, please plan to attend!  

After the winners are tabulated, the judges will also choose, by vote, a Best of Show Aquascape, and a Most Innovative Aquascape. They will communicate with each other about this decision for these awards ONLY.

Judges are asked to provide feedback on the qualities of each aquascape in the contest. These comments will be placed on the website associated with the appropriate aquascapes. 

The decisions of the judges are final.

Basic Criteria

Composition/Layout

Judges will look for overall balance and harmony in a rockscape, as well as function.  The ability to provide proper flow and lighting in a reef tank is as important as its appearance!  Movability will be observed as well, since lifting 100lb structures in one piece out of a tank is challenging. 

Creativity

This contest is unique in that we are creating a hardscape out of water, and the judges know this, as well as being aware of the “tank” footprint limitations. The judges will be looking for examples of your skill and creativity displayed with the materials and guidelines given.

 

Provided Materials

  • The provided table is 6ft x 24in; your scape MUST fit inside this footprint!
  • Up to 100 lbs MarcoRocks (chosen by contestant)
  • 10oz bottle SuperGlue Gel Extra Thick
  • BSI Glue Accelerator
  • E-Marco-400 Aquascaping Mortar Complete Kit
  • 20 (18oz) Solo Cups

Competitors must provide their own specialty tools.  The use of power tools is prohibited, and the contestant assumes all liability for damage created by their tools.  

Competitors must use the provided aquascape materials to create their aquascape; outside materials are prohibited.

Once the competition is over a silent auction will be held to award the remaining creations to the attendees. While the contestant may bid on their own creation or any others, they are not entitled to any monetary gains from the auction. 

By participating every competitor agrees to the following.

  • Their works will be photographed, and the images and media are the property of The Aquatic Expo to be used to promote future events.  Any prior publicly posted image can be used by TAE to promote the current event.
  • Video and Images captured by TAE are the property of TAE and can be used in any scenario to promote the competition or future competitions
  • A competitor’s likeness and name may be used to promote the event and may appear in promotional media and on the website.
  • During the competition, the event may be live-streamed, and authorized members of the TAE media staff may interview competitors. 

Sustainable Reef, all contest sponsors, and the organizing committee are not responsible for any injuries, loss, or theft of your personal belongings experienced at The Aquatic Expo during the event.