30-minute tank set-up


Yes, an aquascape in half an hour! That was the challenge George Farmer set himself with this aquarium.

Inspiration for an aquascape can come from the unlikeliest of circumstances — as I discovered when tidying my garage.

Sifting through the ‘jungle’ I found an old 40 x 20 x 20cm/16 x 8 x 8” tank and joked to my wife: “I bet I could do a half-decent aquascape in that in half an hour!”

“Don’t be silly,” she mocked, but, undaunted, I relished the challenge I had set myself. So here’s the timeline from start to finish, the details having been accurately extracted from the image data on the camera!

1.34pm Cleaning the tank
It was already quite clean, so a quick wipe down with window cleaner saw it right. I positioned the tank in the kitchen ready to be set up and photographed.

1.40pm Adding the sand
I had some spare sand left over from an existing set-up and poured in a thin layer. I wasn’t using live plants, so this was a purely aesthetic project.

1.43pm Positioning pebbles
I positioned the two largest pebbles first then added six smaller ones. Considerable time was taken over this to try and create a pleasing balance.

1.49pm Plastic planting
Smaller pebbles and pea gravel were sprinkled around the larger pebbles to create more interesting textures. A plastic plant acts as a focal point.

1.55pm Time for equipment
A spare clip-on lamp, 10w heater and small internal filter were fitted. The filter media consisted of a mature sponge cut from an existing filter on a mature aquarium.

2.03pm The final touches
The water used to fill the tank came from a mature 160 l/35 gal planted tank. I began acclimatising the Microrasbora fish at the 29-minute point.  Job done — just!

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