On October 5-8, the 4th National Aquarium Competition of Landscaping Skills for College Students, undertaken by Shanghai Ocean University (SHOU), was held on Lin’gang Campus. It attracted nearly 200 students from 30 colleges and universities in 20 provinces and cities nationwide. The farthest students came from Tarim University of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, more than 4,000km away from Shanghai. The Competition adopted four mainstream and popular landscaping styles in contemporary aquascaping industry (i.e., rock scaping, wood scaping, rock & wood scaping, and water & land scaping) as entry types, and classified the entries into four specifications and ten groups according to aquarium sizes.
On the morning of October 6, a brief yet ceremonious opening ceremony was held, at which Wu Jiamin, Secretary of SHOU CPC Committee, presented a welcome speech. Huang Shuolin, Chairman of the Steering Committee of Education, declared the opening of the Competition. After that, players formally entered the arena, received their vouchers according to the procedure, and picked up their landscaping materials for landscape design. The competition process consisted of placement of rock and wood materials, fixing of aquatic plants as well as installation & debugging of equipment, going on tensely but in order. By 22:00, all participating teams had completed their works with satisfaction.
On the morning of October 7, the council of referees composed of five experts (Liu Bo, Chairman of the Aquascaping Branch of Chinese Association of Fishery, and others) scored 99 works presented by all participating teams, and elected the first, second and third prizes of each group.
At the end of the prize-awarding ceremony, five referees exchanged ideas in details with players about the strength and weakness of their works concerned, and personally demonstrated their own extraordinary landscaping skills on the spot.
Aquarium landscaping means to use aquatic plants, landscaping rocks, dead-wood and other materials to design and arrange a full set of the ecosystem within a limited space from an aesthetic perspective according to the living habits and characteristics of aquatic organisms and aquatic plants. This requires a profound understanding of the theories on aesthetics, biology and material science and related practical skills. For instance, when paving bottom sand and planting aquatic plants, one needs to consider the buoyancy and flow of water, the variety of aquatic plants, the status of water quality and so forth, and to control the cost of landscaping materials below the quota.
After evaluation on practical skills, the works presented by participants will be carefully conserved by the students majoring in Aquaria Science and Technology in SHOU. During this period, participants can contact by QQ, WeChat and other network tools with our students for a timely adjustment of maintenance plans. One month later, when these aquatic plants have basically grown up, the competition will enter the phase of evaluation on completed works.