New member
HAP is almost finished, i have the main structure setup and ready, now i need input on plant lists. The majority of this program is a amalgamation of several programs that i have come across. I have also incorporated aquascaping or aquatic gardening into our program. With the direction the aquatic hobby is headed, aquascaping is widely popular among hobbyist. By incorporating aquascaping we can move beyond just growing plants for sport. I have also added a few extra steps to achieve the higher award ranks. Awards beyond "Senior Aquatic Horticulturist" will now require a written, oral, or video essay on a specific plant of your choice. These will also be will be available for club members, and you retain all rights to your content. I also added plant growing competitions, where members will compete to grow the most of a specific plant in a specified time frame. If there are any questions feel free to email me or message me on here. The only thing that i haven't finalized is the plant list. There are so many plants that im still figuring some of them out. the following link is the google doc of the program outline, if you have any suggestions for edits let me know. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1IYDj0YLbE2X3ghCb2zTKEl4dgq33AuDyueugJ3a1x_s

Heart of America Aquarium Society of Kansas City
Horticultural Award Program (HAP) 2020


-To promote and encourage the keeping and propagation of Aquatic Plants.
-To gather and disseminate information about Aquatic Plants, their cultivation, and propagation methods to insure the availability of a variety of aquatic plant species for Aquarium Hobbyists and Water Gardeners.
-To share their aquascaping efforts with each other, and to learn better techniques through the display and evaluation of those efforts. By holding contests will also allow hobbyists to compete for awards.

An Aquatic Plant is a plant species which, in the wild or natural state, can be found growing wholly submersed; growing emersed with its roots submerged; or floating; as a regular, normal occurrence required for it’s survival at some time dur- ing the course of one complete growing season.
An Aquascape is the result of arranging aquatic plants, as well as rocks, stones, cavework, or driftwood, in an aesthetically pleasing manner within an aquarium- in effect, gardening under water. Aquascape designs include a number of distinct styles, including the garden-like Dutch style and the Japanese-inspired nature style. Typically, an aquascape houses fish well as plants, although it is possible to create an aquascape with plants only, or with rockwork or other hardscape and no plants.

Only aquatic plants, as defined below, are eligible for this program:
  1. An aquatic plant is defined as a plant that can live, grow and propagate while submerged in water for a period of more than one year.
  2. Floating plants are also eligible. They are considered floating if their natural state is to be floating on top of the water and not rooted in any substrate. They must be able to live, grow and propagate in this state.
  3. Marginal, marsh or bog plants are not eligible for this program. These plants live, grow and propagate while partly or mostly submerged. They may be submerged periodically, but this is not the state in which they thrive. Typically, they are not able to live, grow or propagate in a continually submerged state.
  4. Identification will be according to recent texts on aquatic plants.
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New member
-Entrants must be a member in good standing of HAAS. Plants must be owned and maintained by the entrant at the time of propagation. Any plant submitted for the HAP must be propagated in the entrants own tank or pond. Persons with a Family Membership may enter individually or as a family.
-Entrant must identify the plant. The HAP Committee will confirm the identification and guide the entrant to sources for proper identification.
-Either a sample of the plant or a good photo must be submitted for verification of the plant species and propagation or flowering, or the plant may be verified in person at the entrants home by a representative of the HAP Committee.
-A completed HAP Report must be filled out and submitted at the time of verification for each submission. Submission of a photo by the entrant gives HAAS permission to use the photo in club publications and on the club website. Photographers will retain all other rights to the photo. Printed copies of photos will be acceptable, but digital versions are prefered.
-Entrants are encouraged, but not required, to bring their propagated aquatic plants to HAAS auctions and monthly meetings for sale to members and the other hobbyists. Species may be verified at this time.
-All submissions must be verified one time, except for submissions of a Seedling where the entrant shall submit entry for verification twice; once for the Bloom, and once when the Seedling has grown enough to be easily identifiable. All Seedlings submitted must have roots, leaves, and be identifiable as to genus, at least.

Each species, Cultivar, Hybrid, or Varietal shall be eligible for up to 3 submissions – once each For Vegetative (V), Bloom (IB or OB), and Seedling (S) as defined below:

-Vegetative (V): The asexual reproduction by natural means or human intervention. The Vegetative propagated plant must be able to survive on its own without the parent plant. This includes, but is not limited to:
A. Cuttings (from leaves, roots, stems, etc.)
B. Budding (plantlets and budlets)
C. Division
D. Runners
E. Layering
F. Micropropagation (Tissue Culture)
-Blooms(B): Points are earned by documenting any Aquatic Plant into flower or fern with producing spores. All Bloom submissions must be accompanied by a photograph or be verified by the HAP chair or a BOD member.
-Seedlings (S): Points are earned by raising plants from seeds (Seedlings) produced from Blooms grown by entrants and submitted for HAP verification. Blooms must be grown AFTER entrants have acquired plants, and must be submitted for verification BEFORE the seedling is submitted. Entrants cannot submit Seedlings grown from flowers either budded or opened on the plant at the time of purchase. Due to time constraints of the life of a Bloom, photos (either electronic or hard copy) or dried Blooms are acceptable for verification of a submission of a Bloom.

Eligibility Criteria
-Stem (or bunch-type) plants need to include at least five stems. Stem plants should be pruned at least twice while under the aquarist's care. Replant them each time to grow out. Submitted plants should be roughly the same size as the initial plants.
-Rooted plants should be roughly 1/4-1/3 the size of the mother plant and have a full set of roots. Runners without roots will not be considered eligible for HAP points.
Floating plants and mosses need to have at least doubled in amount while under the aquarist's care before being submitted for HAP. If possible, please submit a golf ball sized clump of floating plants or mosses for HAP consideration.
-Plants with a point value of 20 or more must be verified by the HAP chair.
-Find some new plants that aren't in the data bank? Super! We love to see these. Talk to the HAP chair to discuss proper point values when you bring the plants in.

Prohibited Species List
No plant species listed as prohibited or a noxious weed by the State of Kansas or Missouri will be allowed for submission. Any entrant submitting such species BEFORE the plant is placed on such list will not have points or credit for propagation taken away, but no further submissions will be accepted. Refer to list of prohibited species on the HAAS website for any questionable species. Certain plant species have not only become established in the wild, but have actually done so well that they are now con- sidered a noxious weed or a nuisance species. Local, State and Federal Government agencies spend many millions of dollars every year trying to control them. Never discard any of these species in the wild. Even composting washing them down the drain may not be adequate. Interstate distribution or sale and/or interstate transport of federally listed species is illegal. A list of these species can be found at:

HAP will NOT award points for plants on this list. Some plants on the list are native to Kansas and Missouri, and can become nuisance species where they are not indigenous. The HAP Committee or HAAS Board of Directors may choose to add species to the prohibited list from the USDA at any time. Points submitted before the addition to the prohibited list will be awarded to the entrant.

Award Levels
  • Beginning Aquatic Horticulturist -- 30 points (or 3 plants)
  • Associate Aquatic Horticulturist -- 100 points
  • Aquatic Horticulturist -- 250 points
  • Senior Aquatic Horticulturist -- 500 points
  • Master Aquatic Horticulturist -- 750 points, oral or written report,
  • Grand Master Aquatic Horticulturist -- 1000 points, oral or written report,
  • Second Degree Grand Master Aquatic Horticulturist -- 1500 points, 2 oral or written report,
  • Third Degree Grand Master Aquatic Horticulturist -- 2000 points, 2 oral or written report, 1 video,

  • Distinguished Grand Master Aquatic Horticulturist -- 2500 points
-The Rookie of the Year prize is given to the HAP participant that earns the most points in their first twelve consecutive months. The last month of eligibility determines in which calendar year you are considered a rookie.
-Horticulturist of the Year is awarded to the participant that earns the most point between January and December of the calendar year.

Specialization Awards

Entrants who choose to specialize in different categories of aquatic plants may request a certificate in that specialization. The specialization may be members of one family or genus, plants from a specified area (such as Kansas and Missouri native species, or Amazon River species), or other categories depending on the interests of that entrant. Acceptance of the specialization is at the discretion of the HAP Committee.

Newsletter Article and Program

-20 points
will be awarded for each newsletter article accepted for publication in the club newsletter. Acceptance is at the discretion of the newsletter editor. Editor may edit the article, but changes must be approved by the author.
-50 points will be awarded for a video essay discussing the husbandry required for a specific plant. Video will be posted on our members site and all accompanying social media websites. Acceptance of the program is at the discretion of the Program Chairman, and should run a reasonable duration (probably 10 to 15 minutes).
-Articles and programs should provide details and insight on the husbandry conditions that resulted in a successful reproduction of an aquatic plant species, or on some aspect of maintaining planted aquaria or a water garden (aquascape).


Certificates for new category earnings will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting (February), and notice will be published in the club’s newsletter in recognition of the member’s accomplishments. Prizes may be awarded for each year’s highest point winners, depending on availability of prizes.

Plant Growing Competitions

Occasionally, special plant growing competitions will take place. Entrants will be given equal-sized and age plants of the same species and variety. They will be brought back at the same time, and a predetermined monthly meeting, and compared. Photos will be acceptable. Prizes will be awarded to the top three plants, as determined by ballot of the members present at the meeting.


Active member
Everyone should watch Julian and Danon's initial livestream on Facebook. Julain goes over the HAP program.