Rules and Regulations:

1. A ten dollar ($10.00) Entry Fee is required to hold a tank for all contestants.

2. Entry fees are non-refundable.

3. Parental help is strictly limited to heavy lifting.

4. All water loading and electrical connections will be made by booth personnel only.

5. Parents may coax, encourage & suggest. They may not ‘tell’ the child what to do.

6. Parents may not move, touch or in any way manipulate tank decor. When placing ’HEAVY OBJECTS’ in the tank, the Parent(s) must receive direction(s) from the child.

7. The contestant will provide:

▪ All Decorations
▪ Background
▪ Gravel
▪ Fish


▪ A ten (10) gallon aquarium with light and full hood (Tank: 20”L x 10”W x 12”H)
▪ 50 watt heater
▪ Ten gallon size power filter
▪ Thermometer
▪ Chemicals to condition water
▪ Fish food
▪ Net for fish

8. At the end of the show all contestants will receive the aquariums and accessories as AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO’s “Thank You” for participating.

9. To receive a tank it must not only be paid for ($10.00 entry fee) but it must be properly decorated – Not just gravel and fish.

10. AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO & Booth Personnel reserve the right to disqualify any entrant for any reason.

11. AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO and its representatives are not responsible or liable for the loss, theft, damage  or condition of the fish, decorations or equipment.

12. All tanks not claimed by 8:00pm Sunday night (04/24/2016) will be donated to local school classrooms.

13. Judges decisions are final.

14. Rules & Regulations are subject to change without notice. (Please check for updates before signing your entry form.)

15. There will be a “sign up for info on next year’s Kid’s Aquarium Contest” book located adjacent to the contest. Encourage your friends to sign up at the show to enter the contest next year… if they are unable to do so for this year.


Judging is separated by 3 age groups:

A. Group I – ages 5, 6, 7 & 8
B. Group II – ages 9, 10, 11 & 12
C. Group III – ages 13, 14, 15 & 16

Judges distribute awards to each age group for 2 separate categories plus Sponsor Sweepstakes and Best of Show:

First, second and third place winner, for each age group within each the Natural and Creative categories. Aquariums within the Natural and Creative categories combined will be awarded the Sponsor Sweepstakes Award of first, second and third. Also awarded will be Best of Show overall combined – first, second and third place. All children will be honored with a participation ribbon and the rewards of responsible pet ownership.

“Natural” Category: Any aquarium in this category should mimic nature. Examples include a natural lake bottom, stream or river. Although we encourage natural objects, plants, rocks, driftwood, etc., we have had contestants add pollution to make an inventive statement.

“Creative” Category: Aquariums in this category are a stretch of your child’s imagination. A creative aquarium can include dinosaurs, holiday snowmen, mirrors or even city sky lights. Handmade decorations and or anything store bought as a decorator set such as a movie set or themed.

Set Up:

Thursday, April 21st 12:00pm – 8:00pm & Friday, April 22nd 7:30am – 9:30am at AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO held at OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

On set-up and teardown days you may unload adjacent to Building #16, where the contest will take place. On Friday April 22nd vehicles parked near building must be move to parking lot by 9:30am.

There is no charge for admission on set up day.
Each contestant will receive a wristband good for FREE admission to AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO for all three days with a paying adult. You may purchase admission tickets online at

Pick up:

On Sunday, April 24th between 6:00pm – 8:00pm you may remove your aquarium.
The water in the aquarium will already be prepared with the appropriate chemicals so it is ideal to keep the water by bringing a clean container that you can transport the water in. A large bucket works the best. Bring a pitcher or large cup. The tanks are cumbersome and heavy so a children’s wagon is an IDEAL way to transport the aquarium and supplies to your vehicle. We also suggest bringing a container for your fish. This may include a tight sealed plastic container or plastic bag with a closure.