Aquascaping: A Whole New Dimension

Shallow Aquariums

The ADA Cube Garden-F series is a range of shallow aquariums. These aquariums open a whole new world to the aquascaper, allowing creativity to flow freely and imagination to run wild! If you don’t see the size you want please contact us for a quote for a custom build Opti-white aquarium.

Professional aquascaper and founder of The Green Machine James Findley explains that not only are these aquariums incredibly fun to work with, but they also make it very simple to achieve outstanding results, and present ample opportunity for individual experimentation and artistic interpretation.

James Findley’s latest work entitled ‘Tributary’ demonstrates what can be achieved with these unusual aquariums:

‘Tributary’ Aquascape by James Findley

Tributary Aquascape Photo

Tributary Aquascape Photo

Tributary Aquascape Photo

Tributary Aquascape Photo


The following photo was taken just after planting:

'Tributary' Aquascape by James Findley

Something New…

James chose the ADA Cube Garden 120-F (120x30x20cm ) because he wanted the opportunity to experiment with something new: ‘Shallow tanks provide a fantastic opportunity to do something a bit different, and to really experiment with aquascaping in a fun and inventive way. Variety is one of the things I love about aquascaping, and pushing the boundaries is what makes it so fun and exciting!’

James adds that one of the things he particularly enjoyed about working on this size aquarium was the opportunity to experiment with emergent plant growth and the placing of aquatic hardscape outside of the traditional parameters of the aquarium: ‘this creates a dual perspective, in which you can see both below and above the water, and each aspect is equally as beautiful. It adds a whole new dimension to your aquascape’

Nature’s Microcosm…

James wanted to explore the microcosm of nature and the way that sometimes the smallest, least obvious and most discrete things in life can be the most beautiful and awe-inspiring, yet so often go unnoticed. He describes how this inspired him to create this aquascape, and how the shallow dimensions of the Cube Garden 120-F naturally lent themselves to an exercise in the minute. James entitled this aquascape ‘Tributary’ because it focuses on the smallest element of the stream, and celebrates the beauty of what is often overlooked.

This aquascape is indeed very unusual and certainly original: one of the most striking elements of this work is the way in which James has banked up the substrate very highly at the two diagonally opposite corners of the aquarium. This helped him to create the feeling of a tributary, in which the flow of the water naturally pushes the substrate to the sides. He chose to place the outflow pipe in the centre of this rivulet to add to the authenticity of the aquascape, and create the natural flow of a tributary.

Lighting Solutions…

Because these tanks are very shallow they can easily be lit by fluorescent lights, such as the ADA Solar II, which use less energy than metal halides.

‘Tributary’ by James Findley uses a bespoke light stand by TGM, if you would like one please contact us for a quote.

Plant List

Available Sizes…

We can make a custom Opti-White aquarium in any size. The ADA Cube Garden is available in the following sizes, all are normally avaialble to collect but if you are travelling far please call ahead to make sure we have one in store ready for you:

Cube Garden 45-F (45x24x16cm)

Cube Garden 60-F (60x30x18cm)

Cube Garden 75-F (75x30x20cm)

Cube Garden 90-F (90x30x20cm)

Cube Garden 120-F (120x30x20cm)

If you don’t see the size you want please contact us now to inquire about a custom build Opti-White aquarium, which can be made to almost any specifications and is normally ready in around 2 weeks, or sometimes sooner!


These new shallow aquariums have a multitude of benefits;

– Provide a new and exciting challenge

– Are fun to work with

– Make it simple to achieve truly outstanding results

– Are well suited to emergent plant growth and interesting hardscape formations

– Can be lit with fluorescent lights using less energy than metal halides

Like this article? Other articles by The Green Machine that you might like are;

1 thought on “Aquascaping: A Whole New Dimension

  1. I am wondering if I could replicate this with a few twist in a 90x45x45 tank.
    What’s your take ?

  2. It is by far the most beautiful aquascape, and it’s been inspiring me for my own project at home. Great work!

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