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New in 2022!
The Aquashella Aquascaping Contest, sponsored by Fluval, includes qualifying rounds at Aquashella Orlando and Aquashella Dallas, with the champion to be crowned at Aquashella Chicago in October!

Anyone can enter, and just like other aquascaping competitions, competitors must apply and be selected for participation in either the qualifying rounds or the final competition. Watch these elite contestants build out their competition aquascapes live on Saturday, and view the final results and their finished inspirational designs on Sunday.

Aquascapers must submit samples of their recent work to be selected as a contestant, Aquashella and its sponsors will provide hardscape materials such as rock, driftwood, and substrate as well as live plants to be used to build your aquascapes in the provided aquariums. These materials will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the onset of the competition on Friday. Finding sponsors for materials not provided that the scraper prefers in their aquascapes, additional equipment not provided, or entry fees are acceptable, but placing a sponsor’s logo on finished entries is not.

Contestants must not substitute any provided items for any other equipment or materials. Supplemental materials can be brought and used by scapers, assuming these are not replacing materials provided, but the competition organizer has made its best attempt to provide all materials necessary to build a first class aquascape in the time provided.

Example: A competitor cannot substitute rock for their own; as rock is provided by the contest sponsors. If the competitor would like to install Jackfruit Leaves or decorative gravel, this would be allowed, as these decorative leaves and gravels are not among the products provided by the program sponsors.

Additional rules for aquascape designs and judging criteria can be found by
following this link

9 Aquascapers will go head to head at each qualifying round of competition and only 3 from each qualifying contest will be chosen to go on to compete in the final round in Chicago, against a new pool of contestants (and influencers!), for the final $5,000 Grand Prize!

Regional round 1st place winners in Dallas also receive a $1000 prize.

Those who compete in person at any of the qualifying or final rounds get to go home with over $1,000 in Fluval equipment used as part of the aquascape designs at Aquashella. Contestants are required to use and showcase the provided Fluval products in their design and must use the materials provided on-site (36”x18”x18” or 36”x22”x22” tanks, lights, heaters, filters, tools, substrates) as part of their competition scapes.

The following products and equipment will be provided at each festival for contestants to build their aquascapes with/within:

Equipment provided:

  • (2) Fluval Plant 3.0 LED 46w 36-46in
  • (1) Fluval M 200Watt Submersible Heater
  • (1) Fluval Curved Scissors 9.8in
  • (1) Fluval Spring Scissors 5.9in
  • (1) Fluval Straight Forceps 10.6in
  • (1) Fluval Pincha Shovel 12.6in
  • (1) Fluval Algae Shaver 24.8in
  • (1) Fluval 407 Canister Filter
  • (1) Fluval X07 Spray Bar
  • (2) Fluval Stratum 17.6lb

Hardscape materials provided:

  • Fluval Stratum 17.6lb
  • Caribsea Eco Complete 20lb
  • Caribsea Super Naturals
  • Moonlight Sand 20lb
  • Caribsea Peace River 20lb
  • Caribsea Dragon Stone rock (assorted sizes)
  • Pisces USA Alpine Jade rock (assorted sizes)
  • Pisces USA Alpine Glitter rock (assorted sizes)
  • Pisces USA Galaxy Glitter rock (assorted sizes)
  • Pisces USA Spiderwood (assorted sizes and shapes)
  • Pisces USA Ghostwood (assorted sizes and shapes)
  • Live plants and mosses, variety (sufficient for everyone to use)
  • Note * more items may be added

Entry Requirements:

Contestants are asked to submit their entries to; entries must comply with the following rules and include the following in their submission. 

Contest Entrance Rules and Submission Criteria:

  1. The competition is open to all aquascapers.
  2. Teams are allowed, if you wish to form a team for a single entry, be sure to indicate your teammates on your entry. Note that if a team wins the grand prize, there is only 1 prize, and it is up to the team to determine how the items and winnings are distributed. 
  3. We want to see how you aquascape and see samples of your work. Emailed entry submissions must include the following:
    1. 4 to 6 high-quality photos of recently completed aquascape(s), ensure at least 1 is a full tank frontal photo, capturing an entire scape
    2. A 30-second video of aquascape
    3. A 30-second video of the aquascaper summarizing their aquascape techniques. Think of answering questions about what the key features of the design are, or why you choose a certain placement.
    4. A photo of and bio of yourself! If you are entering as a team, we need a bio for each team member, and a team photo. Individual photos of teammates are also acceptable.
    5. An indication of which event you are applying to compete at; Orlando qualifying round, Dallas qualifying round, or Chicago Final Competition
  4. Entries will be evaluated by our internal teams, with 9 entries selected to compete in person in Orlando, 9 entries selected to compete in-person in Dallas, and 9 selected to compete in-person in Chicago (in addition to the 6 qualifiers from Dallas and Chicago).
    1. The winning 3 aquascapes in Orlando will be asked to travel to Chicago to compete for the grand prize.
    2. The winning 3 aquascapes in Dallas will be asked to travel to Chicago to compete for the grand prize.
    3. An additional 9 will be invited from online-only entries, without a qualifying round, to compete in Chicago for the grand prize.
  5. Aquashella Aquarium Festival and its assigns hold all rights to submission materials and copyrights transfer upon submission to allow for the festival to promote and evaluate all entries.


Orlando Qualifying Round – February 7, 2022, selected contestants will be notified by February 8th, 2022
Dallas Qualifying Round – July 8, 2022, selected contestants will be notified by July 12, 2022
Chicago Final Competition – September 1, 2022, selected contestants will be notified by September 5, 2022

Submissions will be evaluated by our evaluators and internal teams for completeness, design, and selection for competition for each round.

Selected contestants will be asked to then submit their $199 entrance fee to compete, and are responsible for their own travel to the competition locations.

Limited scholarships for the competition entrance fees are available; please contact Shawn Hale at and we can try to help with our available funds!