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Luichenwai 04-29-2010 03:12 PM

ADA Mini-M Shrimp Journal
I just placed an order for my first ADA Cube!
Well a DO!AQUA Cube

Tank:ADA Mini-M
Lighting: 26w power compact fluorescent bulb clip on (
Substrate: 3M black quartz fine grade
Plants: Undecided
Inhabitants: Red Cherry Shrimp
Filter: Red Sea Nano HOB with pre filter

I'm on the search for some nice stones/rocks. I'll be going to local nurseries and places that sell bonsai trees for the stones/rocks.

This tank will be relatively low tech. I dont dose or use CO2.

I currently have a lot of small narrow leaf Java fern plantlets that I will use for the time being until I find something else to plant.

Any suggestions?

zeldar 04-29-2010 07:21 PM

The Red Sea nano filter might not be able to keep up with a mini-m. I had one on my 2.5 gallon, and the substrate was constantly dirty with only 1 betta in the tank and limited feedings. It also doesn't produce very good flow. Just my experience but I would go with a AquaClear 20 or similar.

Good luck with the new tank!

Luichenwai 04-29-2010 08:29 PM

Thanks for the heads up Zeldar.
IS this too much light the Mini-M if im not dosing or using Co2?

zeldar 04-29-2010 08:33 PM

Well you might have too much light with no co2. It all depends on which plants you want to grow. I have 26watts over my mini-m growing HC and its fine. I do have a DIY co2 on there though. You should give DIY co2 a chance. Its really easy to setup up and the only thing you probably need to buy is a $6 nano diffuser off ebay. The rest of the supplies you probably have at home.

Oh, forgot to mention, if its too much light and you are getting algae you can try raising the light up higher from the water surface. I know this might be hard with the light you have though.

Luichenwai 04-29-2010 10:49 PM

ACtually. I might cancel my light order. I just noticed that It will probably not cover the whole length of the cube. I"m looking for different options of light now...

The cube is actually going to go on my bar countertop so space is limited. I don't want much clutter.

1) I found that Coralife makes a 9" mini. Total 18W... but it doesn't allow for mounting legs so i'm not sure how i would use it.

2) Then there is Archaea clip on 27W Cost the most though.

3) The light that I was planning on ordering....

4) Get 2 Ott-Lights


rrrrramos 04-29-2010 11:23 PM

I'd say go all out and get the Archaea lamp. It's the best bet for a Mini-M behind the Solar series, and provides the same light.
I also have to agree with zeldar that a Red Sea Nano is too underpowered for the Mini-M. I had one on mine when my canister was down, and it really felt like there was no movement at all.
I don't know what your budget is, but if you can afford to spend a little bit you can get the ADA Co2 System and the parts to have it take up zero counterspace (you can hang it from the side of the tank) Or if you go the DIY route, I've found Vitamin Water bottles work great for nano tanks and take up very little room.
I don't know if you're looking for suggestions for plants, but with 26/27W over the Mini-M, you can grow just about anything. I've currently got Glosso, HC, HM and H. tenellum growing in mine, all carpeting. Anubias nana 'petite' is another slow grower that seems like it was made for a nano tank.

zeldar 04-29-2010 11:39 PM

Yea I use 2 ott-lites for 26watts total on my mini-m. It is kinda expensive to have to buy 2 but like you, I had very limited room and had to have my lights behind the tank. It seems to be carpeting my HC great though. I have mine sitting on styrofoam so the lights are about 2 inces from the water surface.

Luichenwai 04-29-2010 11:41 PM

Thanks.. you guys say I can grow "anything" is that with or without Co2?

I'm really eying that archaea lamp. Its nice and sleek. .. I"m selling off my 20 gal long tank/stand with a whole bunch of stuff to downside to this cube so I'm trying to keep costs at a minimum (after the light of course!) :-)

rrrrramos 04-30-2010 12:20 AM


Originally Posted by Luichenwai (Post 1057987)
Thanks.. you guys say I can grow "anything" is that with or without Co2?

I'm really eying that archaea lamp. Its nice and sleek. .. I"m selling off my 20 gal long tank/stand with a whole bunch of stuff to downside to this cube so I'm trying to keep costs at a minimum (after the light of course!) :-)

I've used Co2 on all my tanks, be it DIY or pressurized, so I can't help with that part. On smaller tanks such as this one you can probably get away with using Excel as a carbon substitute though.

-kenny- 04-30-2010 12:42 AM

I use 2 ott light knock-offs from Officemax. 20 bucks each

Luichenwai 04-30-2010 12:54 AM

Kenny- What are the lights called? do they use screw in bulbs?

NVM I found it.. Catalina... Great Find!.. I was hoping it used the spiral compact twist in type bulbs. But oh well

rrrrramos 04-30-2010 02:48 AM

The Office Max lights are made by a company called Tensor. Both my roommates and my gf work from Omax, I got them at the great price of free for my Mini-S. They are good but you'll have to put something under them to raise them high enough for the M. That's what dissuaded me from using them on mine tbh.
Also, if you're going that route, having them staggered on the sides looks great and distributes the light better. I don't know what kind of space constraints we're talking about here, but the lights only go out about 4" max from the sides, and you can use some of the corner moulding for doorways to raise it (the square ones with all the circles, I don't know what they are called exactly), and they are generally the same size as the bases of the ott-lites.

Luichenwai 04-30-2010 12:10 PM

I actually found those lights for even cheaper. $9.99!!! I'll post up where I found them after I get them. I don't want to tell people get them here and they turn out to be crap. I'm actually waiting for them to open so I can ask if it comes with the bulb.

Even though it doesn't sit high enough for that price, I'll find something to raise it up.

I just placed an order for 2 of the Ott-lite types from

Great price! and only $2.95 shipping if under $25..

On to my next question. I'm still trying to decide on how to scape this tank. I only have some narrow leaf Java Fern. What are other neat plants I could use with the 26Watt lighting (no co2, no ferts(maybe excel)) I would like to have a nice carpet of something. I've always wanted a carpet of HC. but will it survive in this situation?

zeldar 04-30-2010 02:09 PM

I got away with growing HC in an excel only tank for a while. It didn't look great like you see in co2 tanks. It grows pretty stringy and is lighter green than normal. Algae eventually took hold and the HC didn't really recover.

Luichenwai 04-30-2010 02:11 PM

Looks like I'm going to go with Marsilea Minuta. I'm going to try to make the WHOLE tank a nice carpet of this. I also need to hunt down some nice rocks. I might throw some Narrow Leaf Java fern in the back.

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