An Evening with George Farmer

Hi guys, as you know last night we hosted our first special event. We dedicated an evening to Aquascaping. Anybody that reads PFK will be familiar with the Pro Aquascaper George Farmer. A few months ago, I approached George and asked him if he would like to come to Scotland and put on show for Lothian Fishkeepers. After explaining that we were an online based group and that we had many keen aquascapers within our community that would love the chance to learn something from him, he agreed to come up for the evening.

Lots of discussions followed that conversation and George informed me that this would not only be his first ever show for a Facebook group, it would also be his first show in Scotland too. 
we spent the next couple of months planning and sourcing various sponsors etc to make the show run smoothly and to make sure the night was a success.
Mirabello 60 surrounded by Neutro products and Tropica plants
We were very lucky to be offered support for the evening by several companies such as Fintail products, Aqua Essentials and Tropica. This gave us a fantastic aquarium with all the required substrate, plants and hardscape which George would use to create a unique work of art on the evening. We would then offer this finished set up to one of the lucky audience members as a prize at the end of the show.

The hall was booked, the tickets sold and George en route to a very wintery Livingston when disaster struck. Georges train journey was interrupted by a annoying gas leak which meant he would be late by about 90 minutes.
This didn't stop George from delivering a fantastic show however. Arriving at just after 1830, we were able to set up and start the show at 1900 with everyone sitting waiting eagerly to learn the theory behind these underwater gardens.

For the first hour, we listened to all the different styles of aquascape layouts. we heard how to source various hardscaping items locally and even delved into the science behind aquatic plants and the necessity of CO2.

We then moved onto the practical part of the evening and gathered round and watched while George talked us through each step.

The foundation of a successful planted aquarium lies within the substrate. Georges choice for the evening was the Tropica aquarium soil. With this in place, George turned to his choice of wood.
I was impressed at the time and thought George put into positioning the main wood feature. (This perticular piece of wood George actually used for his latest feature for PFK!) It's comforting to know I'm not he only person that obsesses over this part of the aquascape. 

We were then shown how to unpack and prepare new plants, with the help from Emily, Andrea and Jacki.

The aquascape was taking shape now and we watched as the last few plants were added to the rear of the aquarium. Finally George showed us a brilliant trick to attaching anubias to wood by using super glue. This method was and is far easier than using any wires or strings.

We had a discussion about various methods of CO2 and fertilisers which I personally found useful as I'm about to embark on a CO2 journey this week.

Finally, the water was added and using his infamous red collinder,  George demonstrated an excellent way to fill the tank without disrupting the completed aquascape. I have to admit I was a little worried that the table might not hold but luck was on my side at that point.

And we have our finished aquascape. The first George Farmer scape in scotland.
Time for the prizes!
With thanks going to Aqua Essentials, we were able to give out a bunch of Neutro products along with some excellent plants.
At the very end, everybody was desperate to see who was taking home the Mirabello 60. With credit going to Fintail products for the aquarium itself and aqua essentials again for the aquascape, it was Bob Tweedie that had that lucky number. With the help of John Cudworth, the water was drained and George and I carried the tank out into Bob's car which signalled the end of the evening.

All in all, I had a fantastic time. I'm delighted with the way the evening turned out and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves which was all I hoped for.
Big thank you to George for coming up to Scotland and hope we can have him back up again in the future.
Special thanks have to go to Andy and John. Andy provided the projector and photography skills through the evening and John was kind enough to meet George off the train and bring him through to livingston.
All in all, thanks to everyone who came along and hope to see you all at our table sale in April!

Bye for now

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