This year, the contest entries will be evaluated in a new way. Our team made this decision because of the increase in the number of entries and the complexity of their evaluation. 12 jury members are divided into 3 teams. Each team specializes in its own criteria. The members of the jury will evaluate the entries, not consulting with others. The average points for each criterion will be summed up to make the total points. Points given by the organizers for the fulfillment of the requirements during registering application will be added to the points given by the members of the jury.

The total points = Criteria of the members of the jury (Criterion 1. Viability (JM 1 + JM 2 + JM 3 + JM 4)/4) + (Criterion 2. Design (JM 5 + JM 6 + JM 7 + JM 8)/4) + (Criterion 3. Conformity (JM 9 + JM 10 + JM 11 + JM 12)/4) + Criteria of the organizers (Criterion 4. Information about biotope + Criterion 5. Information about aquarium + Criterion 6. Quality of photos).

JM – jury member.

Team 1 evaluates the system viability


Jeremy Gay (Great Britain)

Author of three books, the former Practical Fishkeeping and Pet Product Marketing magazine editor, and a former aquatic store manager, where he won 11 industry awards. He collected fish in Sri Lanka and the Amazon, visited fish farms around the world, and judged competitions and fish shows. He judged the ADA IAPLC in 2012 and 2013 and gave seminars at AQUA 2013. He is currently the Business Development manager for Evolution Aqua. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Piotr Kierzkowski (Poland)

Biologist, worked at the Zoological Institute of the University of Wroclaw. Aquarist and diver. Author of films about nature biotopes. Co-founder of an Internet project Definite Aquascape TV. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.


Michael Salter (Canada)

Aquarist for over 25 years. Actively interested in biotopes for the last 16 years, especially in biotopes of West Africa. Currently he maintains several West and Central African biotopes. He filmed freshwater aquatic habitats in Thailand. Creator and administrator of the Facebook group Mormyrid Keepers. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.


Jeroen Vanhooren (Belgium)

Hobbyist for 30 years, three years active in biotope aquaristic. Owner of a room with 8 biotope aquaria. Is interested in studying biotopes all over the world. Administrator of Biotope Aquaristics Facebook group. Co-author with Chris Englezou of several blogs on biotope aquaria at cefishessentials.com. 3rd place in the finals of the Heiko Bleher’s International Biotope Aquarium Contest in 2016. Participant of BADC 2016 and 2017. Participated with ten aquaria with the 7th place as the best result.

Team 2 evaluates natural beauty of biotope aquaria


Mert Aykuta (Turkey)

Aquarist for 18 years. Professional biotope aquarium designer for last 7 years. Expert in creating North African biotopes aquaria. Currently maintains African great lakes (Tanganyika, Malawi) biotopes. One of the founders and administrator of the Facebook group Biotope Aquarium Design Turkey. Winner of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016. 2nd place in International Biotope Aquarium Contest by Heiko Bleher 2016 in Milan. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2017.


Petra Bašić (Croatia)

Aquarist for decade with years of biotope research experience. One of the organizers of biggest aquarium and terrarium exhibition in South East Europe AkTer Fest in Zagreb. Biotope and aquascape judge in CAC 2014. Currently managing director in Aquatic Design, company specializing in biotope and aquascape aquarium design. Also, a consultant for biotope aquarium design in the region. Moderator and editorial board member at regional aquaristic forum. Winner of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2014 and 2013. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2015, 2016 and 2017.


Víctor Ortiz (Mexico)

Aquarist since he was 3 years old. Aquatic biologist with a master’s degree in conservation. Explorer of water bodies in southeastern Mexico and a promoter of biotope aquaristic as a tool for environmental education. He is responsible for the Endemic Killi Rescue Initiative in Oaxaca, Mexico. Author of articles in Killi Fish Associations bulletins, admin of the group “Biotope Aquariums of Mexico“, organizer and a judge of the “1st Mexican Biotope and Aquascaping Aquarium Competition 2018 (COMABA)“. Participant of BADC 2014, 20152016, 2017, AGA, CAC and AquaPetz contests from 2014 to 2017, where he managed to get 4 first places, 2 second places, 3 third places, one 11th and one 12th place.


Yuriy Yancher (Ukraine)

Professional aquarist and aquadesigner. Author of a unique Internet project on the history of aquarium GlassBox-History.com, as well as the community in Facebook GlassBoxHistory – aquarium evolution. For 11 years he had worked at the Aquarium of the Dnepropetrovsk University, where a significant part of the exhibition is devoted to the fauna of the local water bodies. He decorated exposition aquaria by geographic regions. Author of articles and reports on the history of aquaristic and aquaria. He travels a lot around the world to visit public aquaria. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2016 and 2017.

Team 3 evaluates conformity of aquatic animals and decorations to the specified biotope


Anton Lamboj (Austria)

Biologist with main focus on evolution, biodiversity and systematics of cichlids from West and Central Africa. Aquarist since more than 50 years, he collected fishes on numerous field trips, kept over 1000 fish species and is currently running about 50 aquaria. Chief editor of the Austrian aquarium and terrarium magazine, author of five books and more than 400 articles. Participant of BADC 2013.


Alexey Malyshev (Russia)

Traveller and explorer of nature biotopes of Russia and other countries. Author of online publications about aquatic life of rivers and lakes in Russia. Winner of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2012. Silver prize winner of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2011. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Creator and administrator of the Facebook group Biotopefish.


Ivan Mikolji (Venezuela)

Researcher of wildlife found in Venezuela. Specializes in taking photos and videos of rare species. Author of documentaries about tropical fish in their nature biotopes. Founder and president of the Foundation of Fish of Venezuela. He now also protects continental freshwater bodies, including all kinds of aquatic flora and fauna. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.


Michael Tuccinardi (USA)

Mike has a background spanning both aquarium hobby and industry, having worked with fish in some capacity since the age of 13. He has traveled extensively throughout South America and Asia, documenting both aquarium fisheries in these regions and the native habitats of the many popular aquarium species that occur there. Mike is a Senior Editor and publisher of the English language edition of AMAZONAS Magazine and has regularly written about his experiences in the field and biotope aquarium design for this publication.