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Fiske

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5 Oct 2016
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325
Location
Denmark
So I've spent an inordinate amount of time considering what tank I'd want for upgrading from my 45P. Starting out considering a 60P, from there on fantasizing about 90Ps and 120Ps (ignoring the fact that my floors seems to be made of custard). Back to the 60P as an immediate upgrade. Then I was thinking about the reasons (apart from litreage) that made me want to upgrade: the front to back depth of the 45P. This is not much higher in a 60P. Enter the 60H-(45). The 60 x 45 footprint is nice, but the height bothered me, I still was damn close to pull the trigger here.
More thinking: Drive to Sweden to get an Opthiwhite, eg 80 x 40 x 40? Find someone willing to ship an Aquascaper tank to Denmark (reeeally not something I was ready for, costs and risk of damage etc.)? Buy a custom tank and take out a second mortgage to pay for it?

Then I sort of remembered George Farmer talking about Aquascaper tanks on youtube. Did he mention something about availability of these outside the UK? Yes, why, he did! "UK, Australia and Denmark" sayeth the man. Weird; I hadn't seen it anywhere despite searching a LOT. So I asked him in comments if he could elaborate, and surely; within just a short time (I think 1-2 hours) I had a pointer. Good man!

2018-04-22%2013.14.25.jpg


Absolutely great! Really beautiful tank, with a lovely footprint, with very good minimal silicone work. And a very nice cabinet too, with a nice oak veneer. This stuff might not be ADA, but it is awfully close (I'd say that the silicone work on this particular tank is as good as my 45P), at a much more palatable price. Just to compare, an ADA 60H(45) plus an ADA stand would probably cost twice as much, or there about.

Also bought a Kessil A160WE Tuna Sun + controller.

Which I kind of regret. This thing is NOISY. Annoying buzzing whirr, that can be heard clearly several meters away. Even the overbearing Mrs. Fiske put her foot down. Kind of sours them grapes...:banghead:
 

alto

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Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
6,179
Fantastic tank :D

The A160 - RETURN IT
The humming should only be noticeable up close, not loud even then but the pitch grabs my attention

In theory the 360 should be less prone to noise as more space in the light holder

There are other lights equally as nice - I like this one for access to the tank without moving anything, but easy enough to slide the Twinstar back as well :)
 

Zeus.

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1 Oct 2016
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Yorkshire,UK
The A160 - RETURN IT

+1

I have four 160 tuna suns and if I was doing a Aquascaper 600 I wouldn't use one either, think I would go for the Twinstar better spread of light, two 160 tuna suns maybe if I had them already. The kessil controller nice piece of kit for the money IMO.
Think you may struggle with getting enough light to the ends of the tank, but if doing an island type scape the 160 could work well
 

Fiske

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5 Oct 2016
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I went back to the seller with the Kessil. After a bit of listening, and compairing with the other units he had running in the shop (in general shop noise + radio), I had to admit I couldn't hear "my" unit being more noisy than the others. Luckily, and much to the store and the sellers credit, he was completely willing to take it back despite the fact I had opened all the packages and assembling everything. He also reimbursed the price difference in cash between the Kessil and the Twinstar 600S I ended up with instead. So 110% excellent service.
Think you may struggle with getting enough light to the ends of the tank, but if doing an island type scape the 160 could work well
Initially I was going for an island type, so that wouldn't be a problem; I am however reconsidering that. Light is not a problem with this unit:

2018-04-30%2014.28.05.jpg



I most definitely am off to get a TC420! :eek:
 

Zeus.

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the Twinstar 600S

Completely different light and a better choice IMO thinking of getting some Twinstars myself just talks ATM with some other members on how to resolve the hanging of them as the pendant hanging which twinstar do isnt that good IMO
 

Fiske

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Completely different light and a better choice IMO thinking of getting some Twinstars myself just talks ATM with some other members on how to resolve the hanging of them as the pendant hanging which twinstar do isnt that good IMO

Yeah, this is definitely a death star photon blaster as ceg would call it. And while I'm a bit miffed that the Kessil didn't work out, the light quality colourwise is way better on the Twinstar. I'll miss the single point shimmer effects, and I liked that the unit was so small (although the clunky gooseneck kinda ruined that), but this was the better choice.
I shyed away from the pendant version for exactly those reasons btw.
 

Fiske

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Did a small leak test. Not going to fill it all the way until I got a system sorted for waterchange. Not exactly a Python, but maybe a... Boa?

More techie stuff:
Got the TC420. Nifty piece of gear, and the manual is hilarious. Tried it out. Works nicely. But Twinstar is being silly and the female connector on the lamp will not accept any male connector in the house. Not the one I fitted on the TC420, not the extra one with terminals I have, not the one I fitted on my ADA451 diy dimmer. Only the one on the powersupply. Seems there is no way past some cable cutting here, which annoys me. Is Twinstar being Apple-ish? So I have to cut. I could make a vote here: Cut lamp or powersupply?

BTW, if anyone wonders how Aquascaper stands look on the inside, here's your chance; I had a hard time finding pics of this less fashionable view.

It's not leaking from the bottom:

2018-05-02%2012.07.34.jpg


Testing TC420:

2018-05-04%2010.05.28.jpg


Twinstar going Apple (this is the silliest thing all week):

2018-05-04%2010.06.06.jpg


Roooomy:

2018-05-02%2012.08.41.jpg
 

Kalum

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You can get a connector from maplin, pretty sure it's 5.5mm/2.5mm, no cutting needed
 

Fiske

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It's a freaking standard DC barrel jack. Not exactly rocket science. :banghead:

All other connectors fit with each other, except that one. Looks a bit like there are some flanges on the center protruding part inside the female connector, I think maybe there's something wrong there, but it's hard to see. I'll cut the damn powersupply, fit a new jack on that, and use the one from the PSU to connect to the lamp from the 420. A power supply is easy to replace. (Although finding a new one ACCEPTABLE to this picky female might be harder :banghead:
 

Kalum

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Feel free to cut away but like I said a simple trip to maplin to get an off the shelf connector, I've got it on my twinstar 600s and tc421
 

Fiske

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Some quality time with a Vernier gauge revealed that despite the fact that all connectors could... well, connect, except one: all mine are 2.1 mm and Twinstars are 2.5 mm, as others have pointed out. I'll refrain from commenting on how the Twinstar male connected great to a 2.1mm, and just mention that an adaptor has been ordered. I guess less than half a millimeter makes an enormous difference... :banghead: at least for females.
 

Fiske

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Sorted the connector issue in the spring; apparently it confused the dealer I used too and they sent the wrong one first time around. So there's that. I wonder if it's some metric/imperial/whatever confusion resulting in a 0.4 mm difference, in practicality it doesn't prevent connection, which would be the logical reason for a difference. Anyway...

For a long time nothing happened...

I slowly got everything aquired and planned, more or less. Then, as it usually happens, an explosion of activity and energy (Hah!).

Some hardscaping:

2018-10-03%2011.02.35.jpg


Now the fern had grown attached to this wood; which is balanced precariously on top of another piece of wood. I guess you can see where this is going...

Still going with this, added some water, a few C. wendtii. And some buces visibly glued to the wood :what:

2018-10-03%2014.29.09.jpg


And this is the point where I broke my 3½ week cigarette break :banghead:
 
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Fiske

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So yeah, there is a reason I'm cutting this update into more than one post.

The above picture is from the point where my planning went tits up. It might not be visible, but at this moment my filter isn't hooked up. There's a few hoses, but I still needed to connect the atomizer, and before I could do that I wanted to make sure it was properly sealed. And to do that I needed to fit my regulator on the CO2 bottle, so I could blow some pressurized CO2 through the atomizer. And to do that I usually use a pair of multigrip pliers, since there's a safety bar on the bottle that doesn't leave much room for tools. So I went into the workshop I share with the rest of the residents in the "compound" (LOL).

And they were gone.

All of the 2-3 ones that had a suitable size for the job.

Every single one.

And no usable substitutes (which I kind of knew, since the multigrips really were substitutes in the first place).

Some times I consider how easy my life could be if I was a hermit.
On an otherwise deserted island...:rage:

Cue cigarette break.
 

Fiske

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1 word



l o l

I wish that could have been my reaction at the time ;)

Anyway. Next day, hit the shop, buy multigrips; 2 pairs. With the intention to never let them outta my sight. Test the atomizer, yeah, it needs a tightening. Fit it on hoses, filter is ready to go, just add a bit of material from old filter. Boy, we are ROLLING!

And take a long hard look at my work from the day before.... Looks like *oop, doesn't it?

Yeah.

And that top piece of wood balancing on another piece of wood? Yeah, it wobbles like an ether binge on a unicycle. Like cough in the next room, and it would topple.

Magic solution? Yup. Superglue. Know what happens when you try to glue two WET pieces of wood together?


...


Nothing, that's what. Except, if you has immense luck like me, you might risk sticking them to your hands instead. Try tying your shoes then.
Another long think. And another cigarette... :arghh:
 

Fiske

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So, logical step: try plastic strips. Wasn't working in a way that I liked. At all.

Solution: Rip plants off driftwood, take the 2 pieces, lay them on the substrate, side by side, really. And get to planting, doofus; since we're approaching the end of your 2nd of two days off. And experience has kindly pointed out that plants don't survive well in buckets.

So yeah, end of day 2 ended up with this, warts and all. And it looks like dung. But a lot of the plants got in, filter is running, CO2 is running, lights, camera etc.

2018-10-04%2015.45.46.jpg


At this point a couple of cherries had slipped in and seemed happy. I blame poor eyesight.
 

Fiske

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On the third day of planting...

Actually, I had to sort out some distractions (work), before I could dedicate a long afternoon to getting the last plants (heh) in, and get the tank in a somewhat finished state. Starting this journal I mentioned that this should be an upgrade (as in replacing) my ADA 45P. What I didn't mention was that I also had 4 Parosphromenus in a 25l. One of those died during the winter, not sure why. Gradually I saw less and less of the remaining 3, and I actually had started to scavenge wood, botanicals and plants from the tank to use in this one. And there they were!

Since I had partly demolished their home, and I sort of have given up on getting a brood out of them since I couldn't get water params right in their tank; well, they'd have to move too. So they moved to the ADA whilst I dismantled the 25L.

I had grossly underestimated how many plants were actually in these 2 tanks.

So I'm finishing up on the planting, and moving some of the botanicals from the 45P. I took care to empty them of water, so I was fairly sure no fish or shrimp were inside. Well, suddenly I notice one of the Paros looking disapproving at me from inside the new tank. Oops!
The couple of canary shrimps were still fine, and the tank reused plants, hardscape, some water and filtermaterial from existing tanks, I decided to move everyone. Shrimp, CPDs, Paros, and one lone Hara jerdoni all made the transfer. And thus the 3rd day ended in a succesful way:

2018-10-05%2016.49.02.jpg


Total count: 11 CPDs, 3 Paros, 1 Hara. Oodles of shrimp.

All plants from the previous tanks, except the parrot feather; nabbed a few stalks from my tub.
 
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Fiske

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Last post on this for today, promise :p

Tech:

Aquascaper 600
And stand
Twinstar 600S w. TC420
Oase Biomaster 600 with Oase 150W heater, stock outlet and spraybar for now.
Qanvee atomizer on return hose
Probably an Eheim skimmer at some point, but not at the mo.

Inside:

Tropica Aquarium soil
Riversand
Seiryu stone
Manzanita
Botanicals from tanninaquatics.com

Plants

Cryptocoryne crispatula var. balansae
C. wendtii
C. albida "brown"
C. undulatus
Cryptocoryne ? (can't for the life of me remember... willisii, maybe?)
Bucephelandra "red"
Microsorum pteropus
Aponogeton undulatus
Myriophyllum sp "Roraima"
Limnobium
Lemna minor

2018-10-05%2019.25.38.jpg
 

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