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dmcentire 01-03-2009 09:34 AM

ADA Mini-S Tank: General opinions wanted
I wanted to share one of my tanks I recently set up in a few hours. The tank is an ADA (Do!Aqua version) Mini-S tank (31cm wide) that I recently picked up from Aqua Forest in San Francisco. It uses 3 Ryuoh stones, ADA Amazonia II substrate, and many plants included glossostigma, H.C., and other stemmed plants.

CO2 injection
  • I am using a Dazs CO2 diffuser for this tank, I have other as well that work just fine, but I like the bubbles from the Dazs unit as they appear to be smaller than those from the ADA/Do!Aqua models.
  • The CO2 source is a paintball cylinder (I have a friend in the business). The CO2 is solenoid controlled with the light.
  • The bubble counter is on the side, and I use an NV-55 needle valve for the highest precision, it works the best in my opinion
  • The lighting is a Tom's Aquatics with a 13W CF bulb.
  • Currently the timer runs for 10 hours a day
  • I use a Tom's Aquatics C80 mini canister filter with this setup:
  1. I dump all filter media that it originally comes with.
  2. One side gets plain old filter floss for mechanical filtration.
  3. The other side gets a filling of Matrix bio media and a bag of Purigen for chemical, I use that instead of carbon.
  4. I also added some pre-colonized plastic media to help jump start the cycling process; this may get replaced with more Matrix later.
  • The filter pipes are Do!Aqua, although I will replace them with the Cal-Aqua Fluxus pipe setup, I like them better and they are half the price. They are also easier to clean than the Do!Aqua pipes.
This tank also has two plants that are recovering from other tanks, the H.C. and some tall stemmed plants in the back were right on the edge of not making it in the tanks they were in, so I moved them here to try and revive them. It seems to be working. Right now the tank is cycling so there is no livestock at this time.

Thanks for reading, and any comments would be appreciated on any of the above information or on the photos.


dmcentire 01-03-2009 09:48 AM


BTDarters 01-03-2009 11:01 AM

Nice tank! I like the setup.


Craigthor 01-03-2009 01:14 PM

Looks good. Any close ups of the tank? Just curious of seam quality and if the edges are beveled like the ADA ones. Also what was the price?

dougiefresh 01-03-2009 01:52 PM

Great rock layout scape.

The only thing I can comment on, is possibly the light may not be bright enough for a few of the plants like the HC and glosso. But may do the job. Also, if you can use clear tubing for the lily pipes vs the smoke dark colored.

dougiefresh 01-03-2009 01:56 PM

Also do you know if the Do!Aqua stuff is available online or will be soon? Thanks!

Phoenix-cry 01-03-2009 02:07 PM

The set up looks great! I love the rock placement.

Ugly Genius 01-03-2009 04:09 PM

Nice setup.
I think I saw that exact tank and some of those exact rocks at AFA. When that Do!aqua tank came in, I was seriously thinking of buying it. (It was something like $33.00 or some comparative-to-AFA ridiculously low price.) It cool to see all those things come alive.
I love your plant choices.
Keep it up!

ZooTycoonMaster 01-03-2009 04:13 PM

Wow it's very beautiful! I like the plant choices and layout:)

mott 01-03-2009 05:42 PM

Looks fantastic! Great rock placement. Why is the water level so low?

dmcentire 01-03-2009 05:43 PM

The Do!Aqua tank
The tank was $39 I believe, compared to the ADA Mini-S at $60 from Aqua Forest Aquarium. I'll get some photos of the tank and it's edges.

Also, on the lighting, I do believe that it's not enough so I am working on an 18-watt solution that I believe will do much better. Also, I am going to experiment with an LED option that I really like. I found a 10-watt LED on ebay from Hong Kong that is extremely bright. Even though it's rated at 10 watts, it's 650 lumens! That's almost as bright as my LCD projector which is rated at 1000 lumens. Here's some sample photos I took of the 3 lighting systems before starting the tank:

This is the light I am using right now. They are really hard to find, by the way, the only place I can find that sells them is and that's also where I found the CO2 paintball regulator. The LED option is a little "bluer" than I'd like it to be but it's supposed to be in the plant growth temperature. I was probably going to use two of them. If anyone wants some more photos of the lights themselves let me know, I have quite a few as I wanted to document this tank build with lots of photos.

As far as the vinyl tubing, I have of course preferred the clear tubing (even going to the trouble of finding tubing with NO printing on it) but it generally grows algae quicker than I'd like it to. I found the Hagen 1/2" smoke tubing is both softer and easier to work with (makes bends a lot easier) it also has the advantage of slowing down the algae growth to almost nothing. I only have to brush out the tubing on my other tanks maybe once every 3 months or so instead of every 3-4 weeks for the clear tubing.

I was just preparing for a water change just before the photos were taken, so I had started to siphon the water when I stopped to take the photos. I found that sometimes after a water change if I am not careful the substrate can be stirred up slightly and it can make the water a little cloudy until it settles again. I have a fancy "siphon from a bottle and fill the tank through a sponge" refill kit I made to prevent substrate disturbances but I didn't want to take any chances before photographs were taken.

Thanks again for all the comments!

btmarquis 01-03-2009 11:33 PM

Looks good! Ive never seen those tanks before. Very nice. I would fill the water right to the top.

CL 01-03-2009 11:42 PM

It's nice to see a Do!Aqua tank! The LED's look awesome, maybe you can get the mh shimmering effect. Do you have a link for the LED fixture?

windfish 01-04-2009 02:55 AM

Nice tank! Did they have any other sizes at AFA?

dmcentire 01-04-2009 06:16 PM

The Do!Aqua tanks appear to ME as being almost the same as the ADA tanks, other than the logo on the front. I'll get some photos posted. On the lighting, the LED light is NOT a complete setup, it's a 10W bulb all by itself. I got some on ebay and had to mount them to CPU fans to keep them cool. If I just hooked them up to a 12V source they would burn themselves out in less than a minute (I was told). Here are some photos of the light assembly, but keep in mind it's a prototype and does not have a mounting method just yet:

Also, I don't think AFA has any more Do!Aqua tanks any more. I talked to Stephen (one of the owners) about it and he said because of the Japanese Yen they are not sure when the next shipment will be placed from Japan. Last time they got a 40-foot container back in mid-October that included quite a few tanks, but I think they sold most of them.

I also just got their last 60-F which is the same footprint as the 60-P ADA tank, but it's short. I think it's about 7-8" tall. I am going to use it just to harvest more plants, and I may post photos of it on here if it's remotely interesting.

Thanks again for reading,


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