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The End of The Beginning

Joined
27 Oct 2009
Messages
2,914
Location
Cumbria
As the title suggests I'm right at the very start of my first journal, in fact, its so early that I don't even have a plan yet other than some rough ideas. I'll try and put some flesh on the bones of the situation. Been keeping planted tanks for about 25 years with varying levels of success. Read any gods amount of other poeples jounals and admired many videos and photographs of other peoples works of art and thought one day. So, that days here 😀

I was intending to do this properly and get all my stuff together with a plan but unfortunately/fortunately my hand has been forced a bit and I need to get a wiggle on so what better place to start than right at the beginning, the shopping phase. Some furniture has been ordered where my old tank sits so I need to strip it down. Its been there for probably 12/13 years so I've had my moneys worth and it still works and looks fine. To be fair up to this point its took a back seat to a growing family and the costs associated so everything was done on a budget but now its time for a bit of me time 😉

The intention is to get a new tank,cabinet,lighting and substrate but to use the filter,co2 system,hardscape and plants from the old tank. I will however be getting some more varieties of plants and hardscape. The tank still has some fish in so If I can I'm going to run the two systems parallel until things are settled then shut the old one down.

So, let's go shopping 😀 Which isn't as easy as I thought. I've always been a fan of the TMC 600 in white and thought I"d get one one day. But that's where the first problem began, they are only available in 600x450x300 in clear silicone. I tried scaling that up using some card today and I just can't get my head round the 300mm height. Firstly I'm not much of an Aquascaper. When I read posts on layout, focus,tension etc Ill have to be honest, I don't know what anyone's talking about. I either like what I see (for some reason) or I don't. I can see the practical benefits of a lower tank but it just doesn't do it for me, plus, me not being a scaper I prefer to jungle up a bit. The Dutch stuff has me Salivating. I do intend to get some hardscape feature going to draw the eye but mainly going for dense planting. I'm also considering some tall plants so I fear the lack of height won't show them off to their fullest.

That being said there does seem to be retailers with the 600x450x450 in clear silicone but trying to get one is like herding cats. they either don't deliver or are out of stock. Another big points is my glassware. I have two sets of lilly pipes, one set soaking in bleach while the other is in the tank. Both are far too big for a 300mm tank unless I have the intake elevated really high on the sucker.

That leaves me with either black silicone or ada 90 H. With this being a treat to my self I wouldn't like to get black silicone and after a while wish I'd held out for a clear as they do exist....somewhere. I am quite prepared to pay the extra for an ADA at this point but can't even seem to find a supplier for them! Even greem machine which is where I used to browse the ADA stuff in hope one day doesn't appear to have any! I don't know, perhaps the black silicone will frame the picture if you like, certainly seems like easiest option right now.

First things first then, first hurdle, anyone know where I could source the ADA or clear silicone 600x450x450 or, any suggestions for a set up I may have over looked. Has to be in white gloss finish though. You know how it is when you have to balance practicality with her indoors deco to keep the deal sweet 🙄

I have realised the typo in the title but can't be bothered to boot the laptop to change it 🙂


Tapatalk On Blackberry PlayBook
 
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ADA does a 60 x 45 x 45 as well - look for the 60H (8mm)
75P is also a nice tank (75 x 45 x 45) but then lighting is more limited as this is not as standard a length (lots of fixtures will "fit" but many will have the same actual lights as a fixture sold for a 60cm tank)

90P is 90 x 45 x 45 (back to standard lighting)
90H is 90 x 45 x 60 and easily runs double the price of the 90P, it's also an unlikely tank height for aquascaping so not many shops will be inclined to stock this tank dimension, note that ADA has also supposedly discontinued some tank sizes recently.

In the past TMC made the TMC 600 in the 45cm height & black/white silicone upon special order - you might check Wisey's journal Aurora Aquatica as I believe he mentions tank sourcing (somewhere 😉)
TMC Signature 60x45x45 Optiwhite
Charcoal grey cabinet
I quite like the black silicone as white needs more attention re algae & take care with any colored aquarium meds (methylene blue will stain as will some of the analine dyes)
(black also has higher tensile strength but that concern is seldom mentioned anymore ...)

I agree that 30cm height is too shallow for me, I think that 60 x 45 dimension looks more balanced with at least 36cm height (I'd chose 45)
I also feel that fish are more comfortable in deeper tanks
 
Thanks, yes I meant the 60H. Still couldn't seem to find a UK stockist for ADA stuff. I'll check out the topic you linked although I may have read it already. I seem to have read every topic relating to TMC signature. Meth blue etc isn't too much of a worry to me as I will be introducing some RCS in early on from a little breeding setup I have. Copper based meds and shrimp don't mix 😱 However I hear what you're saying on the black silicone, I'm sort of swaying on the subject. Was looking at my existing tank before trying to imagine what it would look like with black silicone and did indeed notice the amount of algae that does eventually get in behind. Whether that situation would be avoided with black I don't know.

Another bonus is with black if I decided on lighting I could push the button right now at charterhouse and get the majority of my equipment on the road.

Hmm, decisions decisions. I think I'm just used to seeing so many pictures of great scapes with clear silicone that black looks odd somehow.

Tapatalk On Blackberry PlayBook
 
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ADA still lists Aquatic Design Centre as a distributor for the UK so you might contact them - if nothing else seems they could sort you with a tank 🙂

TGM was having a sale on all things ADA a few months ago - perhaps call & speak with the manager/owner

Note that many meds that are considered "shrimp safe" - as much as any are ... issue is that a recently molted shrimp is very sensitive until new shell hardens - contain dyes
Eg I use formalin to treat external parasites but many prefer malachite green etc based meds
 
Cheers, just checked TGM and the 60H is showing up so that now becomes an option for the tank. Not sure what was going on yesterday, maybe the site was under maintenance or something. No tanks were showing, pity the glass cover is out of stock but maybe they could get one in and send both together. Also waiting on a place called Distant Waters to ring me back, they show both the cabinet and tank in clear but on their site there's no option in the dropdown for the cabinet in 600mm and both are on back order. Depending on how long it takes to get both in and delivered depends on the next move.

Preferably I'd like to get both from the same supplier to keep delivery costs down but if I can't it is what it is.
 
As you will see from my journals (as Alto kindly mentions), I have the TMC Signature 60x45x45. In hindsight I would have bought the 30 high, I always struggled to use the available height in my first scape, but if you look at my "Round Two" journal started at the weekend I have filled in some of the height with hardscape and stems to grow in later.

I don't mind the black silicone, I would have bought clear if it was available in the 45 high tank, but I checked at TMC and they did not list clear as being an option on the 45, black only. I still think it looks like a really nice aquarium, the quality is excellent and the price is right.

When sourcing my aquarium I did find a few places that mentioned the clear in the 45, but I think, and this is just an assumption, that it was errors in their product listings as when you speak to these places and they check its actually black that they had available.
 
I am quite prepared to pay the extra for an ADA at this point but can't even seem to find a supplier for them!

Why don´t you order a tank at the size and glass specification you want in a glass shop/factory?

Here in Portugal we don´t buy ADA tanks... my goodness... with that amount of money i buy 3 or 4 tanks made by order. My tank was made with transparent silicone and the most clear glass. With 100*40*40 it costs me 120 euros! .
 
As you will see from my journals (as Alto kindly mentions), I have the TMC Signature 60x45x45. In hindsight I would have bought the 30 high, I always struggled to use the available height in my first scape, but if you look at my "Round Two" journal started at the weekend I have filled in some of the height with hardscape and stems to grow in later.

I don't mind the black silicone, I would have bought clear if it was available in the 45 high tank, but I checked at TMC and they did not list clear as being an option on the 45, black only. I still think it looks like a really nice aquarium, the quality is excellent and the price is right.

When sourcing my aquarium I did find a few places that mentioned the clear in the 45, but I think, and this is just an assumption, that it was errors in their product listings as when you speak to these places and they check its actually black that they had available.

Yes subscribed to "round two" hopefully if you're learning from your mistakes from round one I can learn from your mistakes from round two as well 😉 I believe you're right regarding the clear silicone. Companies are listing the clear but when you actually ring up they're black. I wonder why TMC did this, strength perhaps? They must realise that I would guess the majority of aquascapers prefer clear. People will have had so many requests for it. Coming back to the height, again the 300mm would require me either getting new shorted pipes or having them sitting high up on the tank side (inlet anyway) I also have some Balansae that I want to incorporate and a couple of swords from my existing so filling the height shouldn't be an issue. Also going covered glass top. That being said and now I know TGM is back in the game it would appear that tank and cabinet can be sorted, either the ADA 60H or Black silicone, the more I think about the black silicone and see tanks with it on the less of an issue it becomes to me.

Why don´t you order a tank at the size and glass specification you want in a glass shop/factory?

Here in Portugal we don´t buy ADA tanks... my goodness... with that amount of money i buy 3 or 4 tanks made by order. My tank was made with transparent silicone and the most clear glass. With 100*40*40 it costs me 120 euros! .

I don’t, know of any aquarium builders and to be honest unless the delivery charges are OTT on the ADA there's approx £30 between it and the TMC Black. Getting them both from the same supplier would be the ideal for delivery costs but TGM have 15% off at the minute and the tanks come with clips for the glass cover which I would have to buy. Once I get some final prices I can see if it's worth putting a price on satisfaction 🙂 Wanted to do this for years so I would hate to get something and wish I hadn't over say £30/40

So now I'm at lighting, been searching a few threads in here. Aiming for something low profile and silver, the tank will be in a corner of the living room between two couches so I'm avoiding looking round from a seated position and having light shining down in my eyes so ceiling mounting is out the question. Looking for something sat on the rim and stylish (see previous comment on other half)

So far in the running I've been looking at Arcadia stretch although reading experiences from other users I would probably need two. A growbeam tile (not sure how to mount. Arcadia Blade (anyone have any experience?) and because I have little or no experience in LED I could go down the route of playing it safe with APS T5

As always any advice or other suggestions much appreciated.
 
I bought the ADA clips for a tenner and then had a plexiglass cover cut for my TMC Sig, works well to reduce evaporation and stop jumpers (I lost 5 of 6 Odessa barbs in the space of a week).
 
Yeah, had a similar experience with some hatchet fish. Back in the day I had an open top aquarium with a 125watt mercury vapour hanging above. caused issues with condensation on windows, bleaching wall paper and fish losses. Not for me, plus my missus wasn't too happy. Looks good but but just not practical, you also have the issue of things like air fresheners and furniture polish etc getting into the water column. One of the reasons I'm after a light that sits as low as possible rather than suspended, if I suspend the light or hang above on brackets I can see me getting a bad time, my old system when the light was off you could still see the pattern on the wall 🙂
 
So now I'm at lighting, been searching a few threads in here. Aiming for something low profile and silver,
Check with TMC on availability of the Horizon lighting (initially the FW version was delayed) - it received good response at Interzoo etc
For a 60cm or 90 cm tank, you use multiples of the 30cm x 45cm panel (or 45 x 45 cm panel)

Possible cons on this sort of lighting
- intensity control/programming - email TMC in regards to whether their AquaRay controller runs this system as well
- filter inlets etc
- lighting while working in the tank

From their website, sounds as if TMC is still manufacturing aquariums to request, so if you prefer the clear silicone ...
 
Thanks for the heads up. Managed to see one at complete aquatics but it was the marine version. TMC site was a bit vague. Also remembered the UP Pro Led light U series P
quite an aesthetically pleasing light but I know nothing about how adequate the lighting will be. :wideyed: The lighting is by far the hardest bit 😀

So far I'm leaning towards the UP PRO or the Blade. The stretch doesn’t seem to be that powerful going by accounts in the forum. Growbeam tile is still a possibility with white brackets but is quite high up from the tank and looks a bit cumbersome. Like you say with TMC Horizon it may prove awkward working on the tank unless one 450x450 would do.
 
are you heading to the ukaps aquascaping experience Saturday AWB, I was looking at an Ada 60h to downsize my 90cm tank but I'm interested to see the tanks and cabinets supplied for the hardscape competition first, http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/welcome-to-ukaps-crystal-aqua.39492/ new sponsor is supplying the tanks and cabinets I believe, maybe worth a look.
 
I will have a journal starting very shortly I have a ada 60 (h) sat on a tmc signature cabinet and im using kessil tuna sun a160 for lighting and it all sits very well together
 
are you heading to the ukaps aquascaping experience Saturday AWB, I was looking at an Ada 60h to downsize my 90cm tank but I'm interested to see the tanks and cabinets supplied for the hardscape competition first, http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/welcome-to-ukaps-crystal-aqua.39492/ new sponsor is supplying the tanks and cabinets I believe, maybe worth a look.

Would love to but unfortunately I have some decorating and a floor to put in before the move round which I'll have to do at weekends. looking forward to seeing what's on offer though. I was looking at placing orders this weekend but I may hold of and see what's happening at this event.

I will have a journal starting very shortly I have a ada 60 (h) sat on a tmc signature cabinet and im using kessil tuna sun a160 for lighting and it all sits very well together

Looking forward to that.

Regards lighting, I think I'm going for the UP Pro LED U Series P. Thus far I haven't seen any complaints about it in either this forum and there's a decent review of the fitting here
It's currently ticking all the boxes for price, can be dimmed with cheap ebay controller, aesthetically pleasing and sits low on the tank. Reading reviews it seems to sit in the medium lighting bracket so more wiggle room for me regarding dosing etc.

The horizon tile was another tempting deal, the fact that it sits flush to the tank was perfect but like was mentioned would need took off the tank to work on it which isn't that much of a worry because |I generally do that in daylight but my worry is that I would have to get a single 450x450 tile to allow for pipework and with the close proximity to the surface maybe would result in too concentrated of a beam where as the UP extends to the full sides of the tank.

The arcadia blade again, a contender but I can't find much info on it. The Arcadia rep was in here but left little information and no one seems to have on. Also sits a bit higher on the tank.

Sooo unless someone pops up and says don't get the UP, so far I'm thinking...

TMC Signature white
ADA 60H (depending if anyone gets back to me regarding TMC 600x450x450 clear silicone)
UP Pro LED U Series P

My credit card is getting warm 🙂

So now substrate, any suggestions? Bearing in mind that I may need to swap some fish over pretty quick. Looking to avoid using ones that leach high amounts of Ammonia at the beginning so which to avoid is the first question. If I pull this off I intend to get the new tank set up pretty quickly using the filter and some old water from my existing tank to speed up the process. My existing tank is an Aqua One AR850 which came with a built in trickle filter the converted to a canister because of the trickle gassing off co2. I think I could split the media out the canister and run that in the trickle with Liquid Carbon while I get the other tank going then try and get the fish over within a week or so and put all the mature media back in the canister at shutdown so the quicker the cycling process the better.
 
Tropica soil - this can stand alone or combine with Tropica substrate (I use this in addition as tap water is extremely soft) or ADA Power Sand etc
For this size of tank you could do powder or "regular" or a mixture

Tropica has an App you can follow

I like to use Seachem's Ammonia Alert for new tank + fish (I'm lazy)

Unless your present tank has a very high bioload, you can generally remove 25% of media to establish new tank, just monitor fish in existing tank, perhaps increase water change frequency for a few days ... to stimulate bacterial growth in the new tank, just feed as if fish were present.
Not having fish present in newly planted tank allows you to run higher CO2 levels & gives plants a chance to establish roots etc without fish disturbing substrate
 
Thanks, that was one of my main concerns with the Tropica stuff, lowering the hardness and PH. My tapwater is extremely soft, doesn't even measure on standard test kits and about 15ppm on the tds meter so I was avoiding products that did that. How come you think it might be beneficial? I actually put some coral gravel discretely in the back of my tank, just a teaspoon full now and again just to counter the softness and dose 2 tsp of mag sulf on WC day. This routine keeps my TDS about 180-200 with a 50% weekly and a KH of around 3/4dgh, obviously the salts in the EI make up a fair proportion of the TDS.

That Ammonia thing looks ideal however I notice it says not to be used in an acidic tank. If I have extremely low hardness, substrate bringing to down and co2 surely this will pretty much result in a low PH most of the time. I could be wrong but my understanding was that Ammonia was only toxic in neutral or higher, below that it converts to something else no?

Previously I've used Tesco cat litter in all my setups but not even taking a chance with it on this one. Got to start at the foundations I guess. Not sure how long between stripping the old tank which is low stocked. Probably got about 5 Panda corys. 2x SAE (one false) and a couple of random Neons. I haven't replaced any losses for years since I knew this day was coming just didn't realise it was coming this soon!

Looking at the calculator on UKAPS I'm going to need about 14 ltrs so I guess 2x9ltr bags will be more than enough.
 
relatively depressing journal title though 😉
 
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