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ADA 60-P planted tank 'Prairie' (month 5)

pariahrob

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15 Mar 2012
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644
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Warminster
LIVING INDEX

Here is where I will keep an updated list of the tank, with gear and inhabitants listed, so you don't have to trawl through the journal to see what it's all about. I'll try to add the latest photos as well.

7233477850_2f914740ef.jpg




Hardware:

DIY cabinet 60 x 30 x 70 cm (WxDxH)
ADA Cube Garden 60-P
Fluval CO2 system with glass diffuser, J pipe and glass check valve
gUSH lily pipes
Rena XP2 filter, with some fluvial ceramic media and API ammonia pouch. Carbon removed.
Hydor in line heater 250W
Arcadia T5 luminaire (2 plant pro bulbs)

Hardscape and substrate:

ADA power sand special
ADA bacter 100
Penac P
Penac W
ADA amazonia aquasoil. About 6kG normal (type 2), with 2KG powder type on top.
Dragonstone

Flora

Hemainthus Callitrichoides
Glossostigma Elatinoides
Pogostemon Erectus
Pogostemon Helferi
Saggitarius
Alternanthera Reineckii
Eleocharis Parvula
Blyxa Japonica
Vallisneria Spiralis
echinodorus quadricostatus
Hydrocotyl tripartita

Fauna

6 Cherry shrimp
4 Rillie shrimp
6 Amano Shrimp
10 Celestial Pearl Danios
As many nerite snails as I can't find (they're like gremlins - so not good as always wet!)

Regular treatments

ADA Green Brighty Step 1
CO2 at 2bps (slightly lime drop checker)





Hi all, I'm pretty new here and although I've asked a few questions elsewhere on the boards it seems like a good time to start recording my progress with my first planted tank.

As you can see from the title I'm opting for the ADA 60P for my tank, purely based on reputation of build quality, size I can currently accommodate and clarity of glass. I like the minimalist style but don't like the costs involved quite as much!
With this in mind I'm building my own cabinet, which is pretty much done. It's very much a rip off of the Do!aqua style with the exemption of an orange door (I have a thing for grey and orange-must be the software I use at work).

Anyway thanks in advance for pointing out errors I make, or for helping me a long the way. Here's a shot of my cabinet as it is so far.

7014753301_072e14b3cc.jpg

I realise the orange might be a bit too in your face as well. It will probably end up satin grey with the rest of it.
 

darren636

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

i am sure we could use a how to regarding the building of the cab. i like the orange btw.
 

pariahrob

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15 Mar 2012
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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Ok, well here is a quick run down.

The frame is 40mm square finished timber, which has been treated to be water resistant. The shell is water resistant board. It's like a very fine MDF but doesn't flake or rot like the normal stuff. The board I used was 18mm. I could have got away with 12mm I think but it was helping to spread the load and I prefer to be safe.

This was made to fit my tank exactly, so is 60 x 30 cm, while being 70 cm tall, to fit the space it's going in.

I made the top and bottom first. The frame is both bonded and screwed to the board.

6843827446_33774d727a.jpg

I should have taken more photos at various stages but basically I built the frame, with everything bonded and screwed, added the boards for sides, back and front panel. I then jumped up and down on it for a few minutes to see if it would hold up to my weight, which it did fine.

Once I knew it was strong enough, I filled the gaps and screw holes (I'd counter-sunk the screws for a smoother look) and primed. I used cheap and cheerful halfords own grey for this. Not a great paint and not really for the task but it was really only to help show up surface imperfections.

6868994898_e01a768921.jpg

I then used a simple filler to smooth the last of the gaps before priming with rust-oleum surface primer, which is pretty good for areas that might get wet.

The finished colours are plasti-cote for the grey and rust-oleum for the orange. They are both on the satin side of gloss. I expect I could buff them and get a high gloss finish but I like it how it is.

Sorry for the brief overview. Next time I undertake anything I'll try and photograph it properly.

Cheers all!
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Oh yeah!

The door is made out of the same board as the cabinet and is held on by three butt hinges. Nothing fancy at all. I'll be hanging some bits and bobs on the back soon as well, otherwise I'd have used something thinner. Saying that it helped with the maths too. It sits nice and flush with the front top panel.
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Thanks Andy, I'm pretty pleased with it. I'm going to keep the orange for now and see if it distracts too much once the tank is set up.
It's easy enough to remove and re-paint.

I'm off to go rock hunting on Wednesday. I'll try a few LFSs first but may end up ordering some. I'd hunt in the wild for some but I have no idea what to look out for other than aesthetically. I'd rather not condemn my fish before I even have them!

RR
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

After some thought I've decided that the cabinet should be all grey. The orange is nice but I want the focus to be the scape not the stand.
I"ve removed the door and hinges and rubbed down and re-sprayed. The rust-oleum went straight on with out needing a re-prime which is handy.
I'll get the door on in the morning and snap a photo, then off to Acres to check out some new toys! Exciting times.
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

I'm a 3D artist and often end up constructing things virtually before I build for real. Helps me visualise what I'm doing and also makes it easier to buy the right materials in the right quantities.

I built a quick tank first to the right dimensions and then continued to build the stand. I actually ran a dynamics simulation on it to see how it would cope with lots of moving weight. It stood up to 420KG before warping. It's not 100% physically accurate but pretty close. Certainly enough for me to be confident anyway.

Here's a quick grab of my model, which I used as a moving blueprint.

6875809592_a0402bd52b.jpg
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Hi all,

I was going to post a photo of the cabinet but I've decided to hold off til tomorrow. I've just ordered an arcadia luminaire which will arrive tomorrow and I think I'm going to build a frame to suspend it from, rather than have it sitting on the edge of the tank. I'm opting for a reasonably sturdy timber upright, with a 'U' shaped steel crossmember. I'll probably finish the timber in the same grey as the body and I'll space the uprights using some rubber washers, similar to tap washers.

I'll update tomorrow or Saturday, hopefully once I can source an arcadia suspension kit locally.

This is the bad boy I have on it's way.

6880897948_862a6dc464.jpg
 

Ady34

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Hi,
really nice photos and presentation.... better without the Lurcher hair! ;)
Looking forward to seeing this journal come together, its nice to see the effort folk will go to and your cabinet looks excellent. :thumbup:
Think if your looking for any more planting tongs and pinsettes, George Farmer had a batch for sale recently in a 'garage clearout' in the for sale section, there were some fluval ones in there too!
Cheerio,
Ady.
 

Ady34

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Ady34 said:
Think if your looking for any more planting tongs and pinsettes, George Farmer had a batch for sale recently in a 'garage clearout' in the for sale section, there were some fluval ones in there too!

scratch that, they dont appear to be there anymore..... you may not have wanted any more anyway!
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Thanks. It seemed a shame to post shoddy photos when I have decent gear. Just being lazy with my phone.

I'm pretty pleased with my cabinet so far. Tomorrow I intend to sort out the frame to hang the luminaire from. Fingers crossed!

That's a shame. I'm on the lookout for tools but I'm sure I'll find what I need.

I'll dig up the links for the glassware but it was an eBay store. Great service and price too.

Cheers!
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Today was fairly productive. I built the supports for my luminaire. Two uprights attached to the cabinet with rubber spacers, so they don't touch the glass (and it leaves room for a background). Topped by two stainless steel brackets from which the suspension kit us hung.

I took a trip to Acres Supplies and the guys there sorted me out with the wires and connectors from Arcadia. Helpful as always. Only downside is that they've sold the paludarium with the tree frogs, which I always enjoyed seeing. I'm sure something new will be along soon. There is talk of something with a rain system!

Anyway, the Arcadia suspension attached:
6886556886_36a998d154.jpg

Nice gear and looks pretty neat and tidy.

The whole lot was then set up and hung from the supports, which I sprayed the same silk grey as the cabinet. I've not clipped the suspension wires yet. I'll wait until the tank is there and I've decided on plants, so I can set it to the right height before trimming.
The cable from the OT5 is just held by zip ties for now but will go in trunking on the rear of the uprights tomorrow.

6886556766_04f2d790cd.jpg

Which is all good news as it means I can get on to the fun stuff now. On Monday I shall be placing a fairly hefty order with TGM. Think this will make a good start:

ADA 60-P
A load of amazonia with some fine to finish (it's a small tank, so will help with the scale).
Nutrients and ferts.
I'm probably going to go for Manten stone but have no idea how much I need. I'll probably over-order which will give me more choice for my scape.
Power sand to help my scape get off to a good start.
Some scissors, as I'm going for some HC or maybe glosso and I'll be needing to do some trimming.

Then I'll be back to Acres to pick up a Rena XP2 and some clear pipes. I have already ordered some lily pipes.
In line heater and a few other bits and bobs.

I'm not buying any plants yet, as I want to get my scape just right first and I can see myself adjusting for a while before I'm happy, unless it just falls into place.

Let the fun begin!
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Well, my tank and substrate plus a whole bunch of other bits and bobs are ordered and will be delivered on Wednesday but in my excitement I decided to stop by Acres and pick up a couple of other bits.

I've gone for the API master test kit and a bottle of stress coat.

6892507538_74bdbecd6a.jpg

I'm going to be adding a CO2 kit as well and I'll start adding liquid ferts too but I need more research first.

Two More Sleeps!
 

greenink

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ADA 60-P planted tank

Blimey. Looking nicely set up. Some quick thoughts:

- the light supports going behind the tank means you'll always need a solid background to the tank; Mark Evans and lots of others have the light supports at the side so you can see clear through the back. That allows you to have a more frosted background or even none. And it means you can 'under-light' the background to get the 'sunrise' effect, as you have greater flexibility about how close the background is. Maybe worth considering.

- manten stone hugely expensive for what it is; pop down your local quarry and it's 1/10th of the price for something similar

- I'd get some easy carbo too, just to nuke any algae that starts

- you're going to want to raise and lower the light (if you're a tinkerer as almost all fish people are!) so I'd be nervous about clipping the wires too much

- lots of people are very sceptical about test kits - see ceg's post on these. Might want to read before you open any bottles!

- what's your fert dosing going to be? Like lots of people I came round to EI eventually and wish I'd done it earlier - much easier than it looks, especially if you get a few big syringes (eg 20/50ml)

- very small fish make tanks look a lot bigger; cherry shrimp take a couple of months to sexually mature so get them in early if you want them to breed enough to sort detritus without shelling out loads. A clean up crew is the best way to start, but ottos are quite sensitive to ammonia so not great until the Amazonia has leached out its toxins

- with aquasoil you do really need to cycle as will leach ammonia

- CO2 is MUCH cheaper if you use beer gas or a fire extinguisher. Regs and solenoids are also much cheaper from HK than anywhere else and work fine.

- work out a really easy way of changing 50% of the water!
 

pariahrob

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Thanks Mike. Good read and lots to think about.

My original plan was to have the lights suspended from the sides as suggested but the space whee the whole setup is going didn't quite allow for it, so I'll have to make do. I've been debating which background too; black, white, or frosted. I already ordered some frosted but if that looks bad then it makes my choice that bit easier! I would like to try our some backlighting though.

So true! I actually changed my mind and went for dragonstone but refused to pay the ADA prices for it. I found somewhere up near Liverpool that sells it for about a quarter of the price, so have 20KGs on the way. I'm not sure if that is too little or too much but I can always get more, or donate some to a worthy cause.

Easy cargo. On it. Thanks for the tip. Would that be in addition to a CO2 setup? I'm ordering a FE system but will gladly get some easycarbo too if it's needed.

I've been wondering about the light height too. I am a bit of a tinkerer, so I might just change it so the excess is up top. WIll look a little neater.

As for my frets I don't know yet. I like to DIY if I can but I've read a few threads, including the one suggested and I'm not quite sure I fully get it. I'll keep going though and see where it leads.

As for test kits, I've read a few things about them too. I think I will start out using them. If I start with my naked tap water and do regular tests then surely that will give me an approximate baseline to work on? As an indicator at least?

I'll be fish less for a good few weeks, to let the tank cycle, then I'll get the cleanup crew in and fish to taste. Undecided what I'll go for yet. I do like some of the tetras and they suit scopes well but not sure what kind.

I also have a contact who can get me top grade CRS at very good prices, so once I'm up and running and have a better idea of things I'll probably go down that road, as they look so good against the green.

Thanks again for all your advice. Lots to get to grips with!

This time tomorrow I'll have pretty much all I need except flora and fauna.

On that note is there any benefit or helm to be had/done from setting up my scape plant less for a few days? Just thinking it might help me while I get my layout sorted and so on.
 

Ady34

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Re: ADA 60-P planted tank

Hi there,
pariahrob said:
As for my frets I don't know yet. I like to DIY if I can but I've read a few threads, including the one suggested and I'm not quite sure I fully get it. I'll keep going though and see where it leads.
Check out some of the sponsor sites such as aquarium plant food uk, theyll pre mix your macro and micro EI salts for you so no need for measuring individual elements, then just add water and dose accordingly. Basically EI is just adding ferts in excess so as to ensure enough of the vital traces for healthy plant growth, thus eliminating the worry of underdosing your tank. :thumbup: Im going to move onto this in a few weeks when my TPN+ runs out.
Cheerio,
Ady.
 
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