NEWSFrequently Asked IAPLC Questions2023.12.08

Q. Can I change my work after entering it?
A. Once entered, works cannot be changed. Therefore, please carefully determine if your work is complete, if the photograph you chose is correct, and so on, before entering it.

Q. Why are there no separate categories by aquarium size and layout style?
A. The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC), held since 2001, is dedicated to contributing toward the greater spread of aquatic plant layouts. Because of this, we have chosen not to restrict layout styles or aquarium sizes.
From the beginning, there were many different layout styles by country and area, and Takashi Amano, who initially conceived this contest, believed that instead of grading separately for each layout style, it would be best to rate the appeal of aquascapes by a single standard, regardless of style. In this way, aquatic plant layouts would be elevated to the level of art and culture, not merely the hobby that is aquariums. The IAPLC steering committee considers this philosophy to be part of IAPLC’s identity, and carries out current contests under this approach.
Additionally, regarding aquarium sizes, since the contest is carried out by photographs, it becomes possible to use layout techniques to show the aquarium is larger than it actually is, bring out a sense of depth, and so on. This creates interesting new aspects for consideration in the creation of aquatic plant layouts.
Conversely, while large aquariums make it easier to create dramatic and imposing layouts, there are negatives as well, such as difficulties in fully expressing details in a photograph. We hope that you can treat considering these size-related pros and cons as another interesting aspect of IAPLC.

Q. How are the 100 works in the preliminary screening chosen?
A. Works entered thus far have been evaluated by the IAPLC steering committee using identically sized (most recently B5) photo print-outs, with any information of entrant (name, country of origin and so on) omitted. Out of these, 100 works are chosen.
Additionally, instead of a numerical scoring method, the 100 works are rated based on originality, thematic consistency, individuality, creativity, and overall appeal of the aquascape as our primary standards for grading.

Q. I feel that there is a certain bias in countries and regions chosen.
A. For both preliminary and world screenings, neither the creator nor their country of origin appear at all in the materials being screened, and as such, no bias can be created in grading or selection. What you are seeing is a percentage reflecting a larger number of submissions from certain countries and areas.

Q. Am I not allowed to submit works to both IAPLC and other contests?
A. We do not allow multiple applications involving other contests, except those officially authorized by IAPLC. Please submit an unpublished work. However, small-scale local contests are held all around the world, and the IAPLC steering committee cannot possibly be aware of all of them. The current state of affairs is that on the question of whether a work has not been published before, we are forced to trust the applicant. In recent years, we have seen an increasing number of cases where a duplicate application is pointed out after results are announced, so please be careful.
However, from IAPLC2024 onward, top 100 works will be permitted to enter other contests one year after the IAPLC world rankings are determined (exact date will depend on the year). For those that were not selected as the top 100 works, submission to other contests is permitted from any date after the IAPLC world rankings are determined. However, even for contests that the results are announced after the IAPLC world rankings are determined, please do not make any submissions to contests that overlap with the application period (beginning of applications to the date where world rankings are determined) of IAPLC.
We believe that ‘one work, one contest’ constitutes basic manners for submissions.

Q. What are the IAPLC authorized contests?
A. Aquatic plant layout contests organized by ADA distributors in overseas, as well as aquatic plant layout contests that have long-standing collaborative relationships with ADA, are considered officially IAPLC authorized contests. We are not accepting applications for IAPLC authorized contests.

Q. How is copyright of the entries handled?
A. Until IAPLC 2023, copyright of the entries belonged to Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd. (ADA), but from 2024 onward, they will belong to the entrants. Instead, ADA will retain the right to use the submitted work for one year after the date of the IAPLC world rankings determination (exact date will depend on the year).
Additionally, if it is after the date of the IAPLC world rankings determination, then excepting corporate advertisements and other commercial uses, the entrants may use the entries freely on their own social media, web contents, etc.
Furthermore, even during the period where ADA holds the rights to use the entries, if it was not part of the top 100 works (below 100th), it may be submitted to other contests. (For further details, please consult the contest Q&A above ‘Q. Am I not allowed to submit works to both IAPLC and other contests?’)
For the top 100 works, they can not be submitted to other contests while ADA holds the rights, but we take a flexible approach in permitting usage to online and magazine articles and the like, if contacted by either the entrant or those who wish to use it.
※In order to prevent misuse of videos or images, please understand that ADA holds copyright for all published works, printed works, videos, and web contents that ADA creates involving IAPLC entries.

Q. Are we not allowed to publicly display submitted works until the IAPLC world rankings are announced?
A. We understand both wanting to show your masterpieces on social media, and enjoying the screening period, but please restrict this to small groups, such as friends, and refrain from sharing with the unspecified number. This is in order to carry out a more careful screening process, and we ask for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Q. Are we not allowed to publicly display the production process or timelapses until the IAPLC world rankings are announced either?
A. Even if the state shown is not identical to the final work, it may allow for determining the creator. As such, once again, in the interest of a more careful screening process, please do not share this with the unspecified number.

Q. What are the penalties for being disqualified?
A. After taking care to confirm the situation, we will take appropriate action depending on the circumstances, such as canceling awards and prize money, or revoking the right to make submissions to the following year’s IAPLC. Cancellation of prizes and the like places a great strain on other entrants as well, so please follow the rules carefully when making your submission. Additionally, in recent years, there have been a number of cases where a rules violation only becomes apparent after being pointed out by a third party, which disrupts proper running of the contest.