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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-13-2012 06:38 PM
150EH The only real cost will be the CO2 if you use a small system as mentioned above by the 'Green Flash' but my nano has no CO2 and has excellent growth from the Aqua Soil, but there are some plants that will not grow well without CO2, other than that costs are minimal.

I didn't use all of the ADA soil amendments but I would like to try them as you seen the amazing difference in the link mentioned earlier, his root mass is just unbelievable using all the ADA substrate goodies and it's only $136 over the cost of a plain setup.

My nano is all of the shelf items like, a stock 2.5 gallon Aqueon tank that I cleaned up nicely with just an Exacto knife, a Red Sea nano filter, a UP Aqua UA-F17 LED (this is my only piece of hight tech gear), Aqua Soil, plants and shrimp. The whole thing cost me $247.08 and out of that I have spent $90.04 on shrimp and shipping as I killed the first 2 batches of shrimp I bought, but the tank has no heater or thermometer,no fertilizers or Excel has ever been used and the shrimp are breeding well.

The one thing I can say about a nano setup is it is much harder that a larger setup, my tanks have always been large and with a large volume of water you can absorb mistakes without any casualties but with a nano a small mistake adding ferts, Excel, or just a small ammonia spike can wipe out your live stock. I only feed my shrimp every other day and a tiny amount in a feeding dish so I can remove the excess, I change 1 quart of water weekly, and I alternate cleaning my filter intake sponge or filter media every other week with a water temperature around 70 degrees so I won't kill the bacteria (these tanks have very little area for beneficial bacteria and this is where those substrate additives can really help) and when I do the filter media I always add a fresh 1/8 teaspoon of activated carbon, this routine has paid off with a lot of Tangerine Tiger offspring!

Good luck and consider trying a low tech nano as you can always add CO2 anytime and if you click on the 2.5 gallon shrimp nano in my signature line you can see the growth I've had over the last couple of months has filled the tank without CO2.
10-13-2012 05:59 AM
Originally Posted by kelsnels92 View Post

@ bitFUUL really now? I see that they have CO2 for larger systems as well. What's the difference between the ADA & the GLA systems?
Well two things mostly;

The first is, lets say you get the 75 gram disposable cartridge CO2 system from ADA, you would probably use 1 a month, at $15 each, that is over $200 a year for CO2.

The second problem is since ADA is based in Japan, the other regulators they sell are for use with metric tanks, here in the US we use CGA threads.

However ADG sells an ADA speed regulator that comes with a custom brass metric to standard adapter that works great and can use a 5 lb or 10 lb CO2 tank that will last a long time. The bad news is that reg and adapter cost $400.

Now, I would say it is better to invest in a quality reg because well something that is pressurized and potentially dangerous is not the part of a setup you want to skimp out on.

Another option would be a GLA Atomic paintball reg, they combine a pleasing aesthetic look and top quality performance. A 24oz paintball canister only costs $3-$5 to fill up and could last up to 6 months depending on your bubble count.

You would really like that ADA M setup, I think it is a great starting point, you would need a 3L bag of Aquasoil of your choice, maybe powder Amazonia, I wouldn't waste money on the additives though. Then maybe the GLA reg for $180, a 20-24oz canister $14-30, a diffuser of your choice, glass or inline, and dry ferts, GLA has a dry ferts starter package you could pick up. Look up dry dosing its pretty easy. For a filter you could run an Eheim 2211 and if you want add a pair of lily pipes. I would ballpark a nano setup with ADA and other good equipment $500+.
10-13-2012 05:10 AM
kelsnels92 @ 150EH -- That thread is amazing! Very informative. I'll definitely have to check it out.

Anyone know the ballpark cost of running a nano tank set up?
10-11-2012 08:51 PM
150EH Get all that you can afford from ADA if you want a really nice tank, look at this thread for some of the answers about substrate additives and the like there are other good threads too but at the moments this is what is comming to mind.
10-11-2012 04:29 PM
kelsnels92 Thanks for the fast replies!

I know nanos take a lot of work to keep levels and such correct. I used to own a 30 gallon reef tank - not super small, but still needed attentive care. What I meant was more like... saving time during water changes and cutting the time to complete the set up money wise?

Idk. It's either going to be a nano under 10 gallons or a 20 gallon set up. I just love the way some of those nanos end up looking!

@ bitFUUL really now? I see that they have CO2 for larger systems as well. What's the difference between the ADA & the GLA systems?
10-11-2012 02:04 PM
bitFUUL My what I've seen, you don't really get a discount for buying a bundle from ADA. If you're looking to cut some corners, GLA still has their "mini-m sized tank" on sale for $45:

Plus I personally would recommend a GLA CO2 system over anything ADA has.
10-11-2012 11:25 AM
Geniusdudekiran I don't have time at the moment to go into detail on this topic but I will do so this evening. However, I will say that nano tanks requiring less time is a myth -- especially if you're planning to go high-tech.
10-11-2012 07:07 AM
New to Nano Set-Up

Hey there guys!

I've owned freshwater tanks in the past but never a planted tank. However, due to financial reasons and amount of time/space, so far my research is pointing me toward an ADA Mini-M Cube Garden. I wasn't sure if I should buy everything individually or buy a package, such as this: ADA Mini M Premier Set.

I know I need CO2 and fertilizer and such. Does anyone have experience with the ADA fertilizers, CO2 systems, substrate, etc? Or should I look elsewhere for these parts?

Also, I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for stocking? I wouldn't be adverse to turning this into a really well-done betta tank but I'd love to have a little bit of variety if at all possible.

Thanks so much for the help!
- Kelsey

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