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FlSHRFun 12-06-2010 02:45 AM

FlSHRFun's ADA 60-F Iwagumi [Pictures & Video]
I moved out for college, and the apartment I'm staying at could use a lil' more life.
So, I decided to set up an aquarium to give myself something to do when I'm not studying other than play games. :hihi:

Since my room's upstairs and it's not too big, I decided to stick with something small.
The 60-F really caught my eye. It's less than 10 gallons, but its dimensions give it a much larger appearance.
Whenever I share my pictures with a friend or family member, they think I have a 30 or 50 gallon tank. :biggrin:
I must say, water changes on 8.6 gallons sure are a breeze!

Anyway, I started the whole project late August. However, I kept the updates to myself.
I did this because I've seen threads where people post up their ambitious ideas, yet don't update regularly. It leaves me so anxious! :icon_lol:
I didn't want to be a hypocrite and do the same to you all, so I've waited 3 months to finally post this journal.
Hurray! No waiting for updates! :proud:

My setup:
Tank: ADA 60-F (approximately 8.6 gallons)
Light: 150W Metal Halide
CO2: Injected (5 lb.)
Fertilizers: Rootmedic RootCaps, Macro, & Micro Liquid Solution
Filter: Eheim 2215

- Coralife 9W UV Sterilizer, only on at night.
- Hydor ETH

- Hemianthus callitrichoide (dwarf baby tears)
- Taxiphyllum incendia-stipes (flame moss)

- Paracheirodon simulans (green neon tetras)
- Caridina multidentata (amano shrimps)
- Otocinclus macrospilus (otos)


Yes, I know I'm not following the norm around here.
But, before you get out your pitch-forks and torches, please remember that the "watts per gallon" rule is practically obsolete now-a-days.
If anything, this journal will prove to you that the submersed growth can be just as effective as immersed growth, if not more effective.

In fact, I think I achieved faster results by jumping into submersed growth.
With the dry-start method, plants could only absorb as much CO2 you let in whenever you open the saran wrap.
Yes, that's enough for growth... but, with the submersed method I could really crank up the CO2 and dose fertilizers as needed.
I planted the HC 09.24.2010, and as of 12.04.2010 (2 months & 10 days)... I think I've achieved a very thick, dense HC carpet that is to my liking.
A similar carpet via dry-start method probably would've taken longer.

Now, onto the photos... I'd like to apologize in advance for the photos.
I took the photos and video with my Canon EOS 7D, and I uploaded them to Photobucket.
For some reason the photos are ENORMOUS. But, if your forum settings are set to automatically resize the photos, then you're good to go.
If not, I'd recommend changing your settings... sorry!

How it stood as of 08.31.2010.

Slowly collecting all the glassware and other necessities...

Picked up a used "FishNeedIt" 150W Metal Halide.
Got it hanging from a DIY bent conduit light stand. $2/10ft. :proud:

Seiryu Stones I picked up from a member on TPT. Thanks!

AquaSoil Amazonia I, Power Sand Special S, Nile Sand, and a fresh 8000K 150W Metal Halide "Green" bulb by ADA.

I finally set up my hardscape as of 09.03.2010. :proud:

Going for a "valley" look.

Picked up some dimmable LED lights from Home Depot and bolted it to the back of my stand.

My intentions are to set it on a timer to mimic dawn and dusk.
Hopefully this way the inhabitants aren't spooked too much when the lights are suddenly shut on/off.

This is how it looks when the lights in my room are on.

With my lights off, all you can see is the silhouette.

Well, I finally got it planted and filled! Photo taken 09.24.2010.
I'm doing a fishless cycle, this way I can crank up the CO2 without gassing the inhabitants.
I'm also dosing some of Seachem's "Stability" to get my beneficial bacteria going.
To add to that, the ADA Power Sand Special also has Bacter 100 & Clear Super.
I guess I went a lil' overboard, but it certainly sped up my cycling time... It wasn't instant like taking water and filter media from an establish tank, though.

Photo taken 10.13.2010.
I'm battling the algae and cranking up the CO2. (Yellow dropchecker, lol)
Still no fauna, so no risk of gassing the inhabitants.

10.15.2010. (2 days later) Slight improvement. Added some flame moss.

My mess behind/under the scenes to keep my lil' ecosystem thriving.

My $3 tool rack.

Eheim 2215. I know, I know. "That filter's overkill for ~8.5 gallons!"
Yeah, well... I took it off an old 46 gallon from my parents' place. So it was free.
As for overkill... it's keeping my water pretty darn clean.
I'm also running a Coralife 9W Turbo Twist UV Sterilizer.
The UV's on a timer with my lunar lights. So, it doesn't denature any of my fertilizers that I dose in the morning.
Also running a Hydor ETH. Best heater I've ever used.

5 lb. CO2 tank with a "Nature Beast" CO2 Regulator along with my water conditioners & additives.
Yes, when I took this picture, I needed to refill my CO2. Don't worry, it's full now.

Drilled holes through my stand for my dirty filter pipes. :icon_lol:

Drilled another hole through the stand for my CO2 tubing.
I better not have algae growth in my bubble counter... if I did, I'd quit the hobby. :hihi:

How it stands as of 10.23.2010.
The water has been completely cycled and I've added 5 Amanos & 2 Otos.

The HC seems to be growing well! :angel:

Just a warning ahead of time... I'm obsessed with pearling pictures. :icon_lol:

The Amanos are a great clean-up crew!

My otos behave very strangely... :confused1:

My Amanos love screwing up the substrate line between my Amazonia & Nile Sand. I have to use my tweezers to pick each grain back to its proper location. :angryfire
Once the HC completely covers the Amazonia, that won't be a problem.

Two Amanos crossing the horizon.

How it stands as of 10.30.2010. Still a bit of AquaSoil to cover in the front and the bottom left.

The Amanos are molting! :biggrin:

For about a week or less, my Amanos were displaying very peculiar behavior.
They would climb on the CO2 tubing and just claw at the surface of the water... all day!
After a few days, they just stopped. I wonder why they did that. Were they eating the biofilm?

After a long day of pearling. :)

Finally added some fish to the picture. 15x Green Neon Tetras.
Fish were added 11.04.2010. Photos were taken 11.07.2010.

11.25.2010. Only 14x Green Neon Tetras. No corpse found. Probably in the bellies of the Amanos. RIP :(

Grooming the flame moss. Whoops! Looks like some of my HC trimmings got stuck in the moss. :icon_redf

How it stands as of 12.04.2010.

The HC carpet has grown in some more. The Amanos can't mess up my substrate, now. :hihi:

I'm very satisfied with the HC carpet.

"What's the temperature in here?"

My lunar light setup.

Finally, what you probably clicked the thread for in the first place... my video!
Unfortunately, TPT doesn't allow embedding of YouTube videos into posts so...
Please click the following link:
FlSHRFun's ADA 60-F Iwagumi Video (HD! Up to 1080p!)

Remember, this video goes all the way up to 1080p! :biggrin:
Hope you all enjoy!

!shadow! 12-06-2010 02:59 AM

very nice l was worried about the look of the soil mixing in with the sand but it looks like you handled it well. by the way "I have to use my tweezers to pick each grain back to its proper location" << insanity :). If l didn't know any better i'd think this was a 40g breeder. You make it look so much bigger than what it actually is. Lastly l think l might have to get me one of those lights to grow hc
:hihi: . thanks for sharing!

plantedpufferfreak 12-06-2010 03:02 AM

pretty impressive!

Tenzo 12-06-2010 05:18 AM

absolutely stunning! :D

Centromochlus 12-06-2010 05:22 AM

Nice setup! I really like the green neons.

And nice photography too... but it took forever to load!
Have you considered making the pictures a little smaller? ;)

TeamTeal 12-06-2010 05:33 AM

i love it. very detailed and nicely done.
the scape is beautiful and the HC carpet is so thick and lush :D

FDNY911 12-06-2010 05:34 AM

AMAZING! I LOVE IT ! Totally jacking the LED Dimmer idea! lol

Noahma 12-06-2010 05:51 AM


Jaggedfury 12-06-2010 05:55 AM

Nice! Don't see much of 60-F tanks. Love it looks.

FlSHRFun 12-06-2010 06:57 PM

Thanks, everybody! I'm glad ya'll enjoyed it.
Please, don't forget to watch the video and rate!

Yes, the 60-F certainly looks larger than it really is. Primary reason why I chose it! :)
I'm not OCD, but the Amanos mixing the AquaSoil with the Nile Sand just really irritated me, lol.
I had to keep them separated, even if I had to do it one grain at a time.
The ADA 8000K 150W MH "Green" is amazing for HC growth, provided you supply plentiful CO2 and a balance of fertilizers.
Plus, the "Green" bulb really does bring out the green pigments on the HC. I really enjoy it.

Sorry, again, about the pictures. I took them with my SLR which saves them in huge files.
I thought the Photobucket would compress and resize the photos. Guess I was wrong.
After waiting so long to upload the photos, I just really didn't want to delete them and do it again.
I'm very sorry for the load time.

Feel free to use the LED dimmer idea. It's a public forum to share ideas. I don't have a patent on this, nor am I the first to have a backlight behind my aquarium.

Again, thank you all for your input!

If you forgot to watch the video or missed the link, you can view it here!

Centromochlus 12-06-2010 07:08 PM

Where did you purchase the LED light fixture that you have in the back of the tank?

FlSHRFun 12-09-2010 04:33 AM

I purchased the LEDs from Home Depot or Lowes. I cannot remember exactly.
It's a Utilitech 18" LED Fixture. I tried searching up the fixture online. However, I found no results. Might just have to check it out in stores.

Just FYI, the photos and videos of the LED backlights are on the lowest dim setting. It can get up to 5x brighter.

Fat Guy 12-09-2010 05:51 AM

I really enjoyed the photos and the video. Looks wonderful. Nice job. -el g

beedee 12-09-2010 06:38 AM

wow! so nice, such a great set up and thread!

FlSHRFun 12-09-2010 01:47 PM

Well, Photobucket is being lame...
I got an e-mail saying I've apparently exceeded my bandwidth and the photos will be available again on December 24th.
I'll try and fix the issue, however I'm a bit busy with finals just around the corner.
Please, be patient and I'll get the photos back up asap.

However, the video is still available on YouTube.
Feel free to watch the video here.

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