• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up

Tom's ADA 45P - new design


8 Sep 2007
Kawanabe, Kagoshima, Japan 鹿児島県南九州市川辺町
Hi everyone,

I thought it was about time, having not had a tank running for over 5 years, that I started a new journal. I'm now starting to settle into my sleepy town in far southern (and ridiculously hot) Japan, and managed to source a few bits and pieces. I have an ADA 45P on order from a shop in the city, but managed to get everything else within an hour of here. The filter and in-line solenoid were the only exceptions, which I bought online due to price.

Here's what I have so far. The front shelves slide across to reveal the other side (where the CO2 is installed). It's not an aquarium stand, but I've strengthened it with metal brackets. I also attached a wider base underneath for added stability in case of earthquakes (a case of when, not if). It's just a shame I couldn't match the colour, but at least it's practical. The stand itself is also 55cm wide and a little deeper than the tank, again in order to aid stability.


I'm always curious to see where people locate their tanks, so here's a shot in-situ in my kitchen. I really wanted to have it in my living/bedroom, but the choice of flooring (tatami matting) made it too risky with spillages.



I've also decided to try the Do!Aqua CO2 kit (plus the in-line solenoid), but I'm a little worried that the tiny bottle won't last the week! The <60cm aquaria in the ADA Gallery up north mostly seemed to be using similar-sized bottles, but I'd imagine with the amount of maintenance those tanks get, it's no problem switching them over.


The LEDs also seem pretty strong to my eyes. I'm not sure what the ADA Aquaskys are like (other than being nearly 3x the price), but this one claims 750 lumens (if that means anything - I've not used LEDs before). Any guidance would be great :)

Substrate-wise, I'm going for a 3 litre bag each of Amazonia normal and powder. Under that I'm thinking of trying some small lava rocks I found for plants at the 100yen (70p) shop. It looks just like Power Sand to me! Also good for tying some moss to, if people laugh at my daft idea. Again, input appreciated. Will it be of any use under there?

As for ferts, I bought some Brighty K and Step 1. My best successes to date used this combo - not that other cheaper methods don't work, just that I couldn't make them work!!

Anyway, more updates when I go to collect the tank. It might take a few days due to it being the Obon holiday weekend now.

Last edited:
Hi Dean,

I'm planning a relatively classic-style nature aquarium. Think Amano's original book series. As for native species, I honestly don't know yet what is local to here. I saw some Japanese Rice Fish on sale for about 40p each one of the local shops, and they are a definite possibility. Something nice and understated for a rather 'full' scape. Potentially some tasteful guppies too, but will decided fish later. Bound to have some Amano Shrimp (called Yamato Shrimp here) at some point too.

As for plants, I'm thinking about some narrow Microsorum sparingly mixed with Bolbitis on the wood, and then some moss and Crypts for the shaded areas. Probably a lawn of HC, Riccia (?) and hairgrass, and a background of stems and the odd tall, thin Crypt. Undecided really, but I like the sound of that.

I've never really tried stem plants before - I've always opted for slower-growing stuff.

Last edited:
Hi Messy :rolleyes:,
What are the costs for equipment,soil etc like out there ?.
Just curious.
To give an answer in pounds is rather difficult given the current situation, but here's roughly what I paid for a few bits. This is all plus 8% sales tax, as they don't add it into the price until the end.

ADA 45P ¥7500
Baby Eheim Classic with the full media set ¥8000
Amazonia normal ¥1500
Amazonia powder ¥2800 (!!!)
Do!Aqua CO2 kit ¥9500
ADA ferts each ¥1500
LED Light Unit I don't know the brand's reputation, but it's common here (GEX) ¥4900. The ADA Aquasky 45cm is ¥13333 so I passed that up.
Most shops (many supermarkets too!) have lots of pretty nice thin and twisty driftwood (+/-20cm) for around ¥600 each.

ADA is still a top end company, but by no means extortionate compared with decent competition. It's a commonly stocked brand at least to a certain extent in most pet shops. Note I had to order a 45P, but they had 60cm, 30cm cubes and 120Ps in stock. Also remember wages here are a little lower than the UK.
Hi Tom, I, for one, am really interested to hear about your aquascaping experience in Japan. I'd even appreciate seeing photos of a Japanese LFS! ADA are such an influential company, but it would be interesting to hear more about what's happening in their home market. I love Japanese and Zen gardens. Japan is a country I'd love to visit. Andy
Thanks for the pricing details - cheaper in Japan than Canada! (even that Aquasky converts to half the Canada price :wideyed: & Do!Aqua is no longer imported)

Sounds a fantastic project (& adventure!)

More photos of your apartment please (if you don't mind :oops: )
I realise they may earn less etc,but really good prices.Then the wood and fish seem really cheap as well.
Guess we'll always lag behind with the prices of stuff in the UK.
Sorry to go off topic :oops:.
Looking forward to see what you come up with :).
AndyMcD - It's a fascinating country and you really need to visit ;) As for the Japanese LFS, try to imagine the majority as being very cramped, messy, zero health and safety and with very little organisation as to what goes on what shelf...! The exception being this morning where I found one that looked very much like what we might find in the UK (with Asian variety products).

alto - that's pretty much my entire apartment, with the exception of bathroom and toilet! Not much more to see!

As I just mentioned, I visited another 'local' (one hour away) shop today to have a look. They had the standard small-ish range of ADA/Do!Aqua goods (ferts, limited glassware, CO2 stuff, random and extortionate CO2 connector bits, AquaJournals etc etc.), but also ADA's own range of plants. They look very similar to the Tropica ones grown in jelly, and cost anything from 1000 yen (£7.50?) upwards. There were also a couple of wabi kusa at 1900 yen each, and I'm very tempted to go for this option for my background stem plants. Just looking forward to getting the call to say my aquarium has arrived, and then we can play!

Thanks For the reply Tom.

Please don't take photos of the messy LFS. Too much for my OCD!

Very interesting about the Wabi Kusa in the better LFS. I've not seen this in the UK yet (but many times on the ADA videos).

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Hey Stu - I'm really not sure yet. I've let the thermometer sit just on the tank stand for a couple of days, and during the day my room seems to be averaging 28-34, depending on whether I'm using the air-con or not. Nighttime is probably around 26-28. Water temperature I assume would be a couple degrees lower. Will see how it goes, but for winter I'll definitely be getting a heater. Houses here get very cold with no insulation.
My apartment is actually made of maybe 8" of solid concrete, which is much more 'permanent' than the majority around here. The standard new build has a concrete foundation, wooden frame, and pre-formed plastic-type wall panels (often moulded to look convincingly like bricks). Much easier to repair than concrete or other permanent structures after an earthquake - just swap a panel or put a new beam in. There's also no real property market here either, as everyone (with a few very rural exceptions) rents. Houses are expected to last 20-30 years and are just flattened and rebuilt. No insulation, double glazing, central heating etc etc.

Just checked the thermometer. At 8am and having not run the A/C last night, we're at 32 degrees already... I've just filled a large tuppaware pot of water and will keep an eye on the temperature.
Yesterday while at work I had a phone call from the aquarium shop - my 45P arrived :) So, I drove into the city after work to collect it. I also picked up 6 additional cylinders for the CO2 kit. I thought it was a pack of 3, but it turned out to be 6 for around £2 each :) Also, I appear to have made friends with the shop owner. He saw me looking at this month's AquaJournal, and gave me 4 back issues for free (between 1998 and 2004 - periods/styles I actually prefer to today's!), along with a large poster of the huge NA display in Portugal :) Happy day :)


I do wonder whether they've undersold on the Aquasoil though...! I might build it up with some cheaper clay substrates from the local supermarket(!). I do also have the lava stones though for the base layer.



Here's a shot of the light unit, too. Mainly white, with some blue and red. Each colour has iyes individual switch.


Last edited: