Zergling's MrAqua 18" Low Iron Cube - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Zergling's MrAqua 18" Low Iron Cube

Got the tank started on Dec 6, right before I got busy with work and having future in-laws staying over for the holidays.

Tank : MrAqua MA-465LI Cube
Stand : Hagen Exo Terra Cabinet Stand - I don't like the stand at all. I might have a mistake during the assembly, but it is nowhere near as sturdy as any of the other wooden aquarium stands I've assembled before.
Lighting : Archaea 36W Power Compact fixture with the ADA PC bulb. The fixture is 4+ years old, and I recently had to replace the ballast with a Fulham Workhorse.
Filtration : Rena XP2. Currently also have an old Penn Plax HOB filter, to help jumpstart the cycle.
Substrate : is the new ADA Aqua Soil Multi-type, and ADA Nile Sand
Hardscape : Seiryu (sp?) rocks, and some very nice gnarly manzanita from Tom Barr.
CO2 : I have pressurized CO2 ready, but have not installed it yet.
Ferts : EI dosing, when CO2 gets started.


2.6L of ADA Nile Sand. I know it doesn't look much, but during this time I really intended on having only half an inch of sand or less.


The sand flattened a little bit, then the rocks added. The rocks are basically there as decoration and my (feeble) attempt to keep the aqua soil from mixing with the sand.


Added a very nice piece of manzanita. Added a few short pieces in my attempt to have some cohesion between the wood and the rocks.


Added the bolbitus, trident java fern, and weeping moss.


Unfortunately, I might have had one too many New Castle's by the time I was filling with water, so a bunch of aqua soil granules ended up on the sand. Will need to take that out....


I added some red stems at the back and finally got to install the XP2 along with Do!Aqua Inflow and ADA Outflow glass pipes last sunday, but have not gotten to take updated pics yet. I'll try to post updated pics tomorrow.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 09:26 AM
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 11:34 AM
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Looks wonderful.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 12:40 PM
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Looks like you're off to a good start
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 05:52 PM
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How do you plan to keep the sand clean? Vaccum it a bunch, but then that is messy. The tank looks nice and simple.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 07:10 PM
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waiting for more on this
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Subscribed.
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Looks wonderful.
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Looks like you're off to a good start
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waiting for more on this
Thanks folks!

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How do you plan to keep the sand clean? Vaccum it a bunch, but then that is messy. The tank looks nice and simple.
To be honest, I haven't used sand in aquariums in a very long time. Most likely a combination of a few things --
- don't overfeed.
- good flow to minimize detritius settling on the sand.
- weekly vacuuming.


As promised, a couple of pics from earlier.






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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 06:15 AM
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Slick glass! I love the driftwood, it's very evocative!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Slick glass! I love the driftwood, it's very evocative!
The Low Iron is indeed very nice. I can actually notice the slight clarity difference between this and my ADA 120-P (which was bought in '07, so doesn't have the low iron glass unlike the newer ones), even with both having crystal clear water.

The driftwood is another fine manzanita piece from plantbrain. Money well spent!

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 07:11 AM
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Show me how it's done Nathan!

Looks GREAT so far bro. Can't wait to see it in it's glory.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 07:19 AM
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Really liking the hardscape. The ferns against the rocks really make it stand out.

----gauny----
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"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others" -pericles

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-21-2011, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Show me how it's done Nathan!

Looks GREAT so far bro. Can't wait to see it in it's glory.
What up Nick! Same here same here, can't wait for it to get fully grown in. Hopefully I could keep my hands off this tank (unlike the 120-P LOL!) and just let the plants grow in

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Really liking the hardscape. The ferns against the rocks really make it stand out.
Thanks!

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2012, 06:23 AM
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any updates?
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2012, 06:35 AM
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-19-2012, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Not much new on the tank. I've been staying with weekly 50% water changes, no CO2, and up until last week, no fert dosing.

Last week I was getting diatoms everywhere. In my tanks, this usually happens when nitrates are bottoming out, which was (sort of) confirmed by the API test kit. So I cleaned the glass, did a 50% water change, and dosed 1/4tsp of KNO3 (roughly 8.42 ppm of nitrates). So far, diatoms seems to have stopped, but I noticed today that I'm now getting green algae on the rocks -- not sure yet if it is GSA or GDA. I should be able to tell in a few days.

Anywho, quick pics.





I dumped a big clump of Ludwigia Arcuata from my big tank during a recent massive trim, and I'll get around to properly planting them once I'm fully recovered from my very bad spell of neck spasms on MLK. There's also Rotala sp "Singapore" there and a yet-to-be-confirmed Ludwigia sp (looks very close to Lacustris).

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Last edited by zergling; 01-25-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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