On The Level - Certified Aquascape Contractors
On The Level - Certified Aquascape Contractors

Certified Aquascape Contractors

Is This the Next Opportunity for Your Landscape Business?

John Janes | Landscaping Marketing Manager

As home-based work and school have become the new normal in 2020, more and more homeowners have turned their focus to landscaping projects. You’ve probably already noticed one of the big design demands: water feature installations. So how can you turn this growing trend into profit for your business? Becoming a Certified Aquascape Contractor (CAC) is great place to start.

We caught up Greg Wittstock, CEO and founder of Aquascape Inc., and a few of the country’s top CAC artists on a project site at—drum roll, please—Shaquille O’Neal’s Georgia residence to learn why and how this certification program can bring big benefits to your business.

Greg Wittstock

Who should consider becoming an aquascape contractor?

Artistic Qualities: John and Tristan Adams, father-son duo of Modern Design Aquascaping Inc., explain that a combined interest in art and nature is a must. “The best advice I can give to contractors interested in becoming aquascapers is (to ask yourself) if it’s artistically appealing to you to create something. If you don’t have the artistic inspiration, it’s just not going to be your thing.”


John and Tristan Adams

John and Tristan Adams, Modern Design Aquascaping

Residential Focus: Dan Harp, of Mark The Pond Guy and 2018 CAC Artist of the Year, explains that pond installations are a design-build application; you have to evolve with the project. Commercial work can get a bit tricky since the plans are usually already laid out in advance, and leave less room for fluid design.


Dan Harp

Dan Harp, of Mark The Pond Guy

Why partner with Aquascape Inc. to become a CAC?


  • Industry Expertise: Wittstock founded Aquascape Inc. in 1991, and started the Certified Aquascape Contractor training program 20 years ago. It has since expanded to a multi-tier certification program, offering online, hands-on and continuing education opportunities. Wittstock and his team travel the country putting on installation demos to teach contractors how to build ponds properly and successfully.
  • Competitive Edge: Becoming a CAC is also a way to set you apart from the competition. John Adams informed us that they spend three quarters of their time fixing projects done by contractors who haven’t been through the certification program or properly trained in this type of application. “It’s clear that it’s better to learn how to do something right than to just try to wing it.”
  • Networking Opportunities: Once you become a CAC, you are instantly plugged into a network of experts across the globe. Adams and Harp both find the collaborative environment to be one of the biggest benefits the program. Since becoming CACs, they’ve traveled the country to work with other contractors on special builds, and been able to tap the network for continued learning and professional development.
  • Revenue Growth: Water features are the highest profit category of landscaping. Wittstock explains that most of the residential landscape contractors who go through the certification program end up solely focusing on water features. “This is art. You charge by what you are able to create.”

As an added bonus, CACs have access to exclusive discounts on Caterpillar rentals and new equipment. To learn more about becoming a CAC and Aquascape’s professional partnership programs, visit: Aquascapeinc.com.

Become a Certified Aquascape Contractor

Are you ready to set yourself apart from your competition? Check out this certification program for water feature installers in the industry. 

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Blog author John Janes

John Janes

Landscaping Marketing Manager

John Janes has been bringing his diversified expertise to sales and marketing initiatives at Caterpillar for more than a decade. Not only does he hold an LIC certification from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), CSP and ASM certifications from the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA), but Janes also serves as an American Concrete Institute (ACI)-certified concrete flatwork technician.