Introduction and background:
Got the AR850 as a second hand unit in 2011 and sold my old 2ft tank with cabinet (with home-made cabinet since 2000 and was mainly used to keep goldfish).
. Then, after a year, I ripped the guts out off the light housing and replaced with LEDs (20x 3LED modules producing 1200LMs). I then replaced them with 20x 4LED modules producing 1600LMs a few months later. The AR850 uses non-standard sized fluorescent tubes and because of that, costs a fair bit. The light cover is also very tight and I gathered that is why there is a crack in it with constant taking off and putting on. Have since replaced with a brand new cover.
I have since replaced the LED modules with 4 high powered LED offroad lights in August last year. These are 9W, 1000Lumens each. They were too deep for the lower section of the light hood so I completely gutted out the light hood.
Testing the light:
Test fit into light hood:
The lights were meant to be flood beam type but were still too narrow so I used a dremel tool to cut out the lens.
I have also made two timer boxes using jiffy boxes and 4 digital timers. One timer for daylight, one for moonlight, one for CO2 solenoid and one for cooling fans.
Pics of one of them:
* Aqua One AR850 with cabinet and built-in filtration (new power head as I snapped the impeller shaft during routine cleaning). Using Japanese Filter Mat, fine wool and Seachem Matrix media.
* 4x 9W/1000lm LED offroad lights for daytime and 3 low powered LEDs painted blue for moonlight. The high powered lights are cooled by 3 Noctua 40mm fans which run very quiet.
* Eheim Jager 250W heater (I had a Shogun Ocean Free 200W heater which failed after 6 months of use and swapped it for the Eheim with a $5 refund).
* Internal powerhead driven CO2 reactor using Aqua One Maxi 101 powerhead and two NUK brand baby bottles superglued together for the chamber. It is based on Tom Barr's dual venturi reactor:
* Up Aqua 1L/660g CO2 bottle with ISTA compact, dual gauge regulator with integrated solenoid, ISTA check valve, generic stainless steel check valve, ISTA bubble counter and ISTA drop checker.
* Aqua One Nautilus 1100 canister, yet to be setup as I am awaiting the completion of external CO2 reactor and possibly external heater chamber.
* Substrate consists of inert gravel caped with quartz sand. The gravel has not changed since getting the tank (not planted for some years) so have actually got quite a bit of nutrients built up.
* 2 pieces of driftwood
* 2 camouflaged Bristlenose caves
Flora (Jungle theme):
* Java Moss - some on one of the BN caves and some on DW.
* Subwassertang - on DWs.
* Hygrophila Polysperma - planted everywhere.
* Alternanthera Reineckii Purple - planted together off centre on the right.
* Hydrilla Verticillata - planted on the left.
* Limnophila Aromatica - planted off centre on the left.
* Java Fern - Regular - planted below the filter outlet.
* Java Fern Windelov - Planted off centre on the left.
* Crypt Balansae - planted at the back left and right.
* Crypt Wendtii - planted at the back left and right.
* Native Vallisneria - planted at back left and right.
* Lindernia Variegated - planted next to the Windelov.
* Anubias (can't remember which type) - planted near font right.
* Staurogyne Repens - planted in the foreground.
* Blue Stricta - planted in the backround.
* 19 Cardinal Tetras.
* 6 Lemon Tetras.
* 2 Bristlenose Catfish.
* 6 Caridina Typus shrimp, the Australian equivalent to the Amano shrimp.
* 100+ Red Cherry Shrimp.
* Lots of ramshorn and pond snails.
* Blackworms and bristleworms in substrate.
I am not using any dosing regime, just dosing daily according to the recommended amounts of the following:
* Dino Dung root tabs when ever needed.
* 6 drops of Dino Pee daily.
* 0.5ml of Dino Spit daily.
* 0.5ml of Seachem Flourish daily.
Photo of the tank in the beginning with Plays, Mollies, BNs, Java Moss, Banana Lilies, Alternanthera Reineckii purple and Hygrophila Polysperma:
Photos of tank after last weekends trim:
That is all for now. Stay tuned for the external CO2 reactor, heater and canister filter installation.