Rules of the contest

Accepting entries and preliminary selection

Anyone can participate in qualifying stage, conditions of participation are the same for everyone, regardless of citizenship, nationality and place of residence.
To enter the contest you should fill in an entry form for each tank not later than 24:00 GMT, August 31, 2015. If you have no confirmation of your application within two days, please contact contest committee via e-mail: All entries will be processed September 1 - 4. Please make sure to fill in correct data in the application form as follows:
1. Category. The contest is split into five categories: North America (including Central America), South America, Africa, Eurasia, Australia & Oceania. A participant can submit only one entry for each category. Not more than five entries in total can be submitted by participant.
2. Name of the biotope. It should contain the following information: type of water body (river, lake, stream, etc.), name of the water body if known, area and country name (e.g.: Lake Tanganyika. Shallow waters in Ndole Bay, Zambia).
3. Description of the biotope. It should be as detailed as possible with explicit indication of the population, vegetation and environment (type and composition of the soil, presence of stones and driftwood). Please provide links to information sources on the Internet, books and other publications if possible.
4. Fishes and plants. All aquatic organisms should originate from the specified continent preferrably from the particular biotope. Exceptions can be made for some invasive species and cosmopolites.
5. Мain photo of the aquarium, front view. Photos of aquariums should be taken specially for the contest using digital camera with a resolution of at least 2000 pixels on the longest side in JPEG graphical format. The file size should not exceed 4 MB. Blurry, fuzzy pictures, photos with clearly visible defects are not accepted. The original photo (1) can be cropped by the author within the front glass of the aquarium (2) if it has a part of composition above water. WARNING! Only underwater part of the aquarium is evaluated by the jury (3). The part above water may give just a general impression. The organizing committee has the right to crop the picture additionally if author's crop does not satisfy the conditions. Drawing and picture cloning are not allowed! Should the contest organizing committee or the judges have any suspects on using software for modifying and transformation the picture, the entry will be disqualified immediately. Corrections of color and white balance are permitted only to compensate defects of original photo.
6. Additional photos (up to 3) may be used to provide a closeup view of aquarium elements or aquatic organisms.
7. Photo to confirm authorship. The aquarium on submitted photos should be setup by the participant himself. To confirm the authorship a photo of the aquarium with an A4 sheet with hand written name of the contest "Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2015" should be uploaded. This photo is for the contest organizing committee use only and will not be published on our website.
8. Contact information of the author: name and surname, country and place of residence, contact phone number and e-mail address.
The organizing committee has the right to refuse an application if it does not meet the rules.

Evaluating entries and selecting participants for the finals of the contest

1. September 5 to 15 submitted entries are evalutated by the jury. All entries are numbered and presented to the judges anonimously. The aquariums are evaluated according to the rules and criteria. The maximum score from each judge is 100 points. The final ranking in each category is determined accumulating all judges scores.
2. September 20 the results of the qualifying stage will be announced.
2. A participant placed 1st in each category is advanced to the final round. Participant placed 1st in several categories is advanced to the final round in the category with higher score.
3. Contest participants advanced to the finals (finalists) should explicitly confirm or decline their participation in the final round until October 5. Hotel accomodation expenses of the finalists from other cities and countries are taken by the contest organizing committee. The finalists from other cities and countries travel to St. Petersburg at their own expense.
4. Finalists should provide the organizing committee until November 1 with the biotop name and description, list of required fishes and plants and pictures of the natural biotop for preparing information cards for the final round.

Final round of the contest

1. The final round is held November 19-21 during ZooSphere exhibition in St. Petersburg.
2. All finalists are provided with a separate place with aquarium, all the necessary equipment, decorations, fishes and plants for setting up their biotope aquariums.
3. The aquariums are set up November 19-20. The members of the jury vote November 20. The contest award ceremony is November 21.
Good luck!