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A New 60P setup and progress report …

Ossie

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1 Jul 2022
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87
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Helens Bay
I have kept fish since I was 10 years old on and off until a few years ago. I always admired beautifully planted tanks and have just bought an ADA P60, the 45cm deep version … with a Twinstar 60SM …
I am currently cycling the tank without lighting as I have no plants yet …
I hope to update my progress as I go along …
 

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Ossie

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Today I would like to talk about why I have started Aquascaping and what are my main goals.
First I would like to say that when I started fish keeping all those years ago things were very different. It was simply a matter of some being given a small leaky metal framed tank with pea gravel, heater bulb and fish.
It was a very basic set up but it gave me an indescribable feeling of peace and escapism that I simply cannot put into words. i don’t imagine that it was any fun for the fish or the plants So this time I want to do things better.
I have had other fish tanks throughout my adult life with some success but never on the Aquascaping level.

I have some goals and wishes which are my personal preferences.

1. To have the most beautiful Aquascape that I can achieve.
2. To provide and ideal environment for my fish and plants.
3. To achieve a full cycle with my filter.
4. To enjoy everything including the maintenance.
5. To buy the best quality equipment that I can afford.
6. To engage with others to share views and knowledge.
7. To disguise as much of the technical equipment as possible.
8. To provide a cabinet which fits in to our home decoration scheme.
9. To adjust and adapt the Aquascape as my experience and knowledge expands.
10. To sit back and loose myself in a darkened room and simple relax and enjoy.

Now today would would not be today without a photograph.

I have opted for an All Pond Solutions Hang on the Back 500 filter Filled as per the Pimp my filter man. The first photo is when I put in the Aqua Soil by Tropica and the next is the result of one days filtration. I am very happy with both the result and the noise level …
Have a look …
 

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Ossie

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My Equipment to date …

ADA P60 45cm deep version …
Twinstar 60Sm …
All pond solutions 500 Hang on Back filter with Biohome filter media …
ADA Base Matt …
ADA Black back Film …
Aquael 100w Flat heater …
12 litres of Tropica Aqua soil …
9 litres of Tropica powder soil …
3 Litres of JBL, Volcanic media in mesh bags …
One ADA Thermometer …
Dooa Scissors and Tweezers … On the way …
Dernelle Cleaning Sponge … On it’s way …
Dimmer Control for the light …
Oase 350 Skimmer … On it‘s way …
One piece of Manzanita wood … On it’s way …
Seachem Prime and Stability …
Api Water testing kit …
Topica Root tabs … To be deliver today …
Other rocks and wood …
Fish food for seeding filter …

As you can see that is quite a list and still not finished, I am a bit daunted by the hardscaping phase which will come next. I am watching You tube videos and the professionals make it look so easy but my plans just look amateur.
I have to get over my stingy feelings about the price of rock and wood …

Anyway there you go …
 

Ossie

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My piece of redwood, It looks as if it has been Tangoed …
 

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Ossie

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I have added the Zip bags of Volcanic Rock to the tank to hopefully colonise the with bacteria. Eventually I hope to use them to give depth to the substrate …
 

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Ossie

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I have been working on a hood for my setup to match my other walnut furniture.
it is not finished yet but I think it looks quite good … It will stop the fish jumping out and hide away the plumbing. Any thoughts appreciated.
8811C47A-7342-4227-93DF-7C63F082D4BC.jpeg
 

Ossie

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Looking forward to the fish.
I have a little knowledge of keeping Tropical Fish. Ideally I would have liked a couple of Angel Fish but my tank is simply too small, especially when it with have all the hardscape etc. i saw a couple of stunners in my local fish store but I couldn’t do it to them. I will however have a small shoal of Phantom Tetras. These are much overlooked but I love them …
look at this handsome fellow …
 

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Ossie

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I am working my way to achieve the 25 posts and my next query is, after my tank is cycled, how should I start the lighting sequence. I can programme my Twinstar with this little controller but for how long and should I gradually increase the %.
 

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Ossie

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Yes I will consider a pair, I have had Rams before. I think they would fit in well …
I know it is a little bit early but it gives me a little bit of motivation. There is a lot of waiting around during Cycling but i don’t mind as the little bacteria are munching night and day
 

Hufsa

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Welcome to Ukaps! :wave:
Im looking forward to following your journal 😊
I hope you wont mind a few comments from me as I was reading your post, I only mean well

3. To achieve a full cycle with my filter.
This point stood out to me, "I wonder what he means by this? This almost sounds like something the Pondguru would say"
I have opted for an All Pond Solutions Hang on the Back 500 filter Filled as per the Pimp my filter man.
All pond solutions 500 Hang on Back filter with Biohome filter media …
Oh, yep, there it is.
His filter setup guides are alright, but quite a few of us on this forum have taken issue with his quite frankly total lack of understanding how plants work when it comes to nitrogen.
Please note: Tanks with heavy stock and feeding (e.g. cichlid, goldfish, predator or fry tanks) and marine tanks may require 1.5kg - 2kg per 100 litres to achieve the full cycle filtration which will result in the reduction of nitrates. Do not worry about plant growth being affected in a tank which reads zero nitrates - the nitrate is processed into soluble nitrogen which is easily used by plants, boosting their growth.
This is just wrong and shows how little he knows about plants. Plants can only take up bound nitrogen, not the gas he claims his media will produce.

We have several threads on the forum about the differences in biomedia, if you are interested in reading more. I wont get into a tirade about his claims of a full cycle and insinuating that his media is the only media on the market that will allow you to unlock this magical full potential, as it would turn into a very long rant, and because we as planted tank keepers use plants to remove nitrates so efficiently that we must continually add nitrate back into the tank through fertilizer as otherwise our plants would starve.
The TLDR is that it doesnt matter what media you use, almost all of us have been through this process of buying expensive biomedia, figuring out it doesnt make a lick of difference, and come out the other side to the liberating truth that you can use whatever you want and it will do a perfectly good job.

The good news is that the biohome media you have got is perfectly fine and you can continue to use this. If you need more filter media in the future you can look at cheaper options and use the saved money to buy more plants, which is much better and more fun to spend money on.


I have been working on a hood for my setup to match my other walnut furniture.
it is not finished yet but I think it looks quite good … It will stop the fish jumping out and hide away the plumbing. Any thoughts appreciated. View attachment 191516
I really like the look of this hood, I wouldnt mind seeing more details of it if you have pictures? Im looking to make something similar in the future 😃
Are you planning to keep the light exposed? A lot of aquascaper lights are not rated waterproof enough to be used under a closed hood, so this might be wise.

I am working my way to achieve the 25 posts and my next query is, after my tank is cycled, how should I start the lighting sequence. I can programme my Twinstar with this little controller but for how long and should I gradually increase the %.
Start at 6-8 hours of light, 6 if youre the patient kind that doesnt like anything to go wrong, and 8 if you just want things to get going asap. We are all different :lol:
Limit your ramp to 30 minutes to ramp up and 30 minutes to ramp down. Extended periods of low light benefits mainly algae and not plants. You can add these 30+30 minutes on top of your other hours.
You would be wise not to run your light at 100%, this is a very common mistake. Im not personally familiar with this light but im sure the others will chime in with a suitable startup percentage for Twinstar. As your tank gets settled and your plants grow, you will be able to slowly increase the percentage :thumbup:
 

Ossie

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Thank you for your reply,
I admit that I know very little about this new form of Aquarium keeping. I am impossible to offend and only wish to achieve a well balanced and beautiful tank. Starting off it is very confusing. Thank you for your compliment about the hood. I will take more pictures as it progresses. It will cover the entire top of the tank. The piece you see is just the front. I wanted the light heat sink to be exposed to allow the heat to dissipate.
I am also making it waterproof. I don’t have a workshop or shed but I have some good tools. I work outside.
I should be ready for the plants and the lighting in a few weeks and I appreciated your lighting advice. Meanwhile I keep it off.

Thank you again for your sound advice …
 

Ossie

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I tested the water today, I bought the API test Kit. I didn’t find it a chore.
After a week The PH is 6.5
The Ammonia level is 0.5 ppm.
The Nitrite level is 0 ppm.
and the Nitrate level is 20ppm.

I have absolutely no idea what these figures mean and how far I am from completing the new tank cycling.
I would love to hear how my setup is doing …

Thank you …
 

erwin123

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Because you have listed Tropica Soil and Tropica root tabs in your equipment list - just a gentle warning that the stuff releases ammonia - getting to 0ppm Ammonia may take a longer time. You'll need patience and maybe some hardy plants like Paraguay suggested (not magic water that promises to cycle your tank faster :cool: ) Since you have a HOB filter, you could even dump a garden plant or two in it. My HOB filter is used as a planter.
 

Ossie

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Thank you,
I hope to plant the tank in two weeks time after the No light stage. I will heavily plant and am currently making a list of the plants I like.
I am having a little trouble spelling the Latin names when researching But that will improve with time …
Not all the plants I like are available, for example Bucephalandra Ini Blue …
Anyway I can’t do anything serously wrong at the moment as I don’t have any fish or plants.

I will use the time while waiting to work on the hood, hardscape design and plant choice.
oh and the Co2 setup …
 

Ossie

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On the subject of Co2 injection,
This my equipment …
The bill is starting to add up …
 

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Ossie

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Hello,

I wonder has anyone had similar thoughts, Should I have bought a bigger tank. The 90 x 45 x 45 is beautiful but my resons for buying the 60 are as follows …

1, It fits very well into my kitchen for size and decor.
2, I don’t have enough experience For a 90P.
D3, A 90 is more expensive.
4, It is more work.
5, A large canister filter is required for bigger tanks.
6, I would feel overwhelmed …

I am very happy with my tank, just a thought …
 

Ossie

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I am expecting another package tomorrow, I have completely forgotten what I ordered. I will not look it up. I like getting packages …
Best not tell the wife …
 

Ossie

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Oh by the way I removed the rock from the submerged redwood today and it did Not float.
there’s a supprise, I hope the colour tones down, I am expecting slime.
What a strange remark …
 
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