Proving Ground Desktop Swim Tank: Operating instructions

This post is intended for owners of the Proving Ground Desktop Swim Tank, detailing setup and operating instructions.

Kit contents

Your shipment package will include:

  • Acrylic Swim Tank
  • 800L/H Pump with hook
  • 2 x suction cups (1 with hook, 1 without)
  • 2 x rigged leaders (1 for intruders, 1 for tubes)

Safety instructions

  • Before using the pump, ensure your local voltage matches the pump rating listed on the pump.
  • Always unplug the pump from the power source when disassembling and cleaning (see the supplied pump drawings with your unit for disassembly instructions).
  • If the pump shell or cable show visible damage, stop using the pump.
  • Do not use your swim tank near other electronics.

Important notes

  • Never lift from the tube. The tube is not designed to carry the weight of the tank. Always place hands underneath the tank when transporting.
  • Do not put the tank in the dishwasher. It is acrylic and will deform. Hand wash only using a non abrasive cloth.
  • Do not power on the pump when it is out of the water. Pump must be submerged before powering on.

Pump Orientation

  • Fit the pump to the end with the notch and Swung Flies stickers.
  • Turn the pump on its side with the nozzle pointed into the centre of the tube. This gives access to the control valve at the base of the pump which adjusts the strength of flow.
  • Stick the pump suction cups to the wall of the tank so that the pump sits securely.
  • The cable should be in the far left corner so it won't interfere with the fly line.
  • Minor adjustments to the pump position can be made once the fly is in the tank.

Suction cup positioning

Your Swim Tank is supplied with 2 suction cups: One with a hook and one without. These should be positioned as shown above. 


Fly Setup

If fitting an intruder style fly, use the intruder adapter to fit to the eye of the shank (as above).

If fitting a tube fly, use the tube fly adapter and thread the fly line through the fly from the back, then create a loop at the opposite end.


Fly in Swim Tank

Fill the tank with water (to approximately 5mm above the tube, but below the notch) and power on the pump. Position the fly in the centre of the tube and thread the fly line round the hook on the pump. This keeps the fly centred in the current.

Fly positioned and line passed around hook.

Pass the fly line through the notch.

Loop the fly line around the first suction cup and attach to the hook. The suction cups can be adjusted to lengthen/shorten the line.

For heavy flies, sometimes it is unnecessary to thread through the hook on the pump as the weight of the fly keeps the fly in the current without additional assistance.

Care and maintenance

  • When the pump is unplugged from power source and out of the water, pull out the control valve and clean any debris from the outlet.
  • Remove the strainer and pull out the impeller. Clean and reinstall.
  • Hand wash the tank using a non abrasive cloth. Do not put in the dishwasher. 


  • If the pump isn't working: Check the power source and check that the water level is sufficient (5mm above tube)
  • If the pump is overly loud: Turn off, disassemble and clean the pump.
  • If there is insufficient flow: Check the control valve has been adjusted. Check the impeller for damage. Check that the pipe/strainer isn't stuck. Check the power source.


Hopefully, this article has given you a good overview on how to get started with your tank. As always, if you have any queries at all, get in touch with me at Happy tying and testing!

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