This year, the contest entries will be evaluated by 18 jury members divided into 3 teams. Each team specializes in its own criterion. 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 + JM 5 + JM 6)/6) + (Criterion 2. Design (JM 7 + JM 8 + JM 9 + JM 10 + JM 11 + JM 12)/6) + (Criterion 3. Conformity (JM 13 + JM 14 + JM 15 + JM 16 + JM 17 + JM 18)/6) + 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


Li Fan (China)

Biologyist with main foucs on taxonomy and reproductive biology of bitterlings, Rhinogobius, and Atyid shrimps. He has made extensive field works in China, and named over ten new species. He specializes in photographing and breeding freshwater fishes and shrimps. He is currently arranging a photo book about freshwater fishes of China for publication.


Nathan Hill (Great Britain)

Fishkeeper since the age of four. Editor of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. After studying aquatics and ornamental fish management, he went on to be an aquarist for a large public aquarium, a retail manager of multiple sites for the UK’s largest aquatic store chain, a freelance writer and a journalist across a range of aquarium publications, a lecturer in aquatics and a full-time features writer before settling in his current role. He has also acted as master of ceremonies to large aquatics events in the UK. As well as his fishkeeping credentials, he also holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.


Dimitris Lysikatos (Greece)

Aquarist for over 25 years with a love to predatory fish. Last 19 years he is dedicated to Loricariids and South America biotopes. He is one of the creators and the current owner of Aquazone.gr (the biggest aquatic portal in Greece since 2005 with more than 20.000 members) and a jury member of Greek biotope contests. Since 2016 he started biotope research expeditions to South America to collect fish and film. He is currently organizing his next trips and destinations.


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, 2017 and 2018.


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. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2018.

Walter Vazquez-

Walter Vázquez (Argentina)

Winner of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2018.  Argentine aquarist, for 33 years. Lover and specialized in the cichlids of the African Rift Valley. Carries out the only web page in Argentina dedicated to African cichlids. Manages the Facebook group Argentina Biotope Aquariums. He wrote two articles on biotope aquariums in Sweden’s “Ciklid Bladet” magazine and “Biotope One” website Photographer, filmmaker and video editor, the latter is your daily professional work activity. He is part of the organization of the first Biotope Aquarium Contest in Argentina, A.P.B Contest.

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 and 2018.


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, 2017 and 2018.


Flavio Freitas (Brazil)

Aquarist for more than 30 years, 11 years of experience in nature aquarium with participation in several national and international contests with highlight in several works. Materials published in hobby magazines, websites. Moderator of the websites and lover of Amazonian biotopes for more than 10 years. In the last 5 years always putting himself in the top 10 and top 50 on the contests and even the title of the best South American biotope in 2016.


Takayuki Fukada (Japan)

Aquascaper from Tokyo, Japan, for more than 10 years and currently working as a director of aquascape both domestically and internationally. Winner of the IAPLC Competition twice in 2015 and 2016, and has been awarded with Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in recent years. From that experience, he judged various competition mainly in Asia. While teaching aquascape, his current focus is to promote all types of aquaria, including aquatic flora and fauna.


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. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2018.


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, 2017 and 2018.

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


Roman Burkardt (Germany)

Since the age of 6 he is a passionate aquarist. Specialized in cichlids and killifish from North, Central and South America. He made his first journey to Venezuela at the age of 18 to study the local fish in their natural habitat. The travel virus did not let him go. He publishes on his page Sambafisch.de free and freely accessible photos and videos of his travels and helps aquarists to set up their biotope aquarium. He is also on the road a lot as a speaker always with the background to inspire people for the biotope aquarium hobby.


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. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2018.


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, 2017 and 2018. Creator and administrator of the Facebook group Biotopefish.


Marta Mierzeńska (Poland)

Biologist, interested in Lake Tanganyika cichlids, has experience gathered through observation of the fishes in the aquaria of the Tropheus Tanganika company, importing wild fish from Lake Tanganyika, run by her and her husband, Robert. Wrote numerous articles, a book, and delivered countless lectures. In 2007 she established the Tanganika MAGAZYN, Poland’s and world’s only themed magazine about fish and other aquatic animals from Africa’s Lake Tanganyika. It has been issued biannually. It is a professional magazine, publishing scientific papers as well as popular science and educational articles.


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, 2017 and 2018.


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. Member of the jury of Biotope Aquarium Design Contest 2018.