Finish or sell my ADA setup? I don't know what to do.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:57 AM   #1
Jaguar
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Default Finish or sell my ADA setup? I don't know what to do.

Hey folks.

I bought myself an ADA 60-P last Christmas. I dry started some HC shortly after, thinking I'd be able to get it filled sooner rather than later. Didn't happen. It sat until this past summer, when I finally found employment and had stable income. I bought a dual stage regulator, had a custom stand built, and so on - I was hoping to buy a CO2 cylinder when I got suddenly fired for reasons out of my control (long story - I'll explain if anyone wants). So now the tank's been sitting since August going nowhere. I don't know if or when I'll be able to afford a CO2 cylinder - right now it's hard to even pay the rent. My cat needs almost all of his teeth extracted so all of my little spare money will be going into that savings for a while.

So I have a few options.

1. I could leave the tank as is and hope one day soon I can come up with money for a CO2 cylinder. But that's not all I need - I also need a bubble counter and some kind of diffuser. So I don't know how long that would take. It could be another 6 months for all I know. Especially with my cat needing surgery.

2. I could fill the tank without hooking up the CO2. I don't know if my medium LED lights would just cause the algae to go crazy... since the tank has been sitting dry for so long there's a good amount of algae (cyano) going on. Once it was cycled I could move my fish into it (they're sitting in a bb 20g in the dining room) and I could finally get a scape in place and get it growing. But again, algae... maybe I could do DIY CO2... but would it be enough? I could go paintball CO2 for now if it would be significantly cheaper and get me by until I could get a full size cylinder...?

3. Just sell it and move on from the hobby. Sometimes I feel this might be the best option. But I live in a rather small area that's not huge for this hobby and since it is such an expensive setup I may never be able to sell it. I've already poured over 1k into it and considering that's 2 months of rent and groceries... and I still need more. Most of my plants have died since they've been sitting out of water for 6 months and I also need other things for the tank like the CO2 cylinder, diffuser, bubble counter, lily pipes, inline heater, and my LED light bar is still unfinished.

Input please...
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:30 AM   #2
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There's no reason you need to have c02. It's pretty ridiculous to me to have waited that long to use the tank. Just because it's an ADA tank doesn't mean it's a law that you have to have all high tech stuff and a glorious iwagumi setup. Just change your expectations and start your tank right away. If in the future you have the funds, then you can always switch to high tech, but in the mean time you can make a gorgeous low tech setup that some lucky fishes will be happy to live in.

You could also consider going low tech and house shrimps who (at least in my opinion) do great with low techs. Trust me, shrimps will be more interesting than watching your grass grow and pearl if you had a injected c02 setup.

So don't give up, just change your unrealistic expectations of the "perfect tank" that you want to make. Some plants thrive with c02 so just don't get those kinds - focus more on low tech plants and you'll do fine. Stop wasting time with an empty tank and start your tank already!


... also, if it makes you feel better, everyone and their mother is trying a HC tank. Be original and go a different route.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:38 AM   #3
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Algae is the biggest concern. Unless i seriously raise my light bar I have at least medium lght. I've had a really bad issue with cyano and green algaes in all of my tanks, not sure why. I'd rather have the tank empty than start off on the wrong foot (again) and have to wage war with algae again. Been there done that

My HC carpet is already an inch thick and covers 75% of the tank bottom.. I'm not pulling it out now - I'd pull all my AquaSoil out with it :P I wasn't planning on doing an Iwagumi setup - I wanted to do a really lush jungle-y tank with lots of different textures and driftwood hardscape. The less AquaSoil showing the better.

I would love to fill it and just be done with it. But again I'm scared that a ton of algae will REALLY make me want to throw it out for good. But I appreciate the input!
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:15 AM   #4
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I filled it up. I figured if worst came to worst I could drain it again. It looks awful because I have little to no plants and no hardscape - the driftwood I intended to use in the tank never got waterlogged. I pulled out a good amount of HC and trimmed it up and planted what I could. Hopefully new growth will help keep the cyano from taking hold again. I'm going to go see if I can grab any free trimmings at a LFS tomorrow and work on soaking this driftwood.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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Toss in a bunch of floaters to help diffuse the light. You'll be fine then, and theyll soak up a ton of extra nutrients too.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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given your state of affairs, i'd get my priorities in order and sell to pay for rent, food and medical bills. it wouldnt sit right having a pretty ada tank with lots of things not happening correctly and seeing my cat and pain and having both of us sitting on the sidewalk homeless.

some people have created master pieces with basic aqueon 10 gallon tanks, and likewise, people have grown huge messes with ada tanks. a tank is a tank... and the hobby is not going anywhere soon. jump back in when your house is in order otherwise, other areas in your life that are suffering will likely impact this hobby. life just like your tank is all about balance and compromise. just find yours and you will do fine. good luck
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:51 AM   #7
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Lots of dead HC on the left hand side. Don't know why. Going to see if it bounces back, if not I'll pull it out.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:03 PM   #8
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If tanking brings you joy and you can make ends meet without selling it, then keep it. If you need the cash, you need the cash.

You can get diffusers and bubble counters for a couple bucks each on eBay if you decide to keep it. DIY CO2 may be an option if you prefer to remain high-tech. Using champagne yeast could get you a couple months of CO2 power.

I've found that I need at least something to keep me occupied when times are tough. Since tanking is cheaper than going to the movies, paying for high-end cable packages and such? I'd pick the tank. I'd also go low-tech, as others suggested. Would sell the HC and get plants that require less effort.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
If tanking brings you joy and you can make ends meet without selling it, then keep it. If you need the cash, you need the cash.

You can get diffusers and bubble counters for a couple bucks each on eBay if you decide to keep it. DIY CO2 may be an option if you prefer to remain high-tech. Using champagne yeast could get you a couple months of CO2 power.

I've found that I need at least something to keep me occupied when times are tough. Since tanking is cheaper than going to the movies, paying for high-end cable packages and such? I'd pick the tank. I'd also go low-tech, as others suggested. Would sell the HC and get plants that require less effort.
Well said. If you don't have CO2, that HC is not going to make it. At least not very well. You are also woefully under-planted in general. That's going to cause issues, CO2 or not.

Honestly? Sell your lights, the HC before it dies or becomes covered in algae and your CO2 equipment that you have bought. With that money, buy some driftwood and focus on buying plants. Tom Barr, plantbrain here, has a terrific selection. Ask him for some gnarled/burled pieces and you can do a nice woodigumi. h4n here sells a lot of nice ferns and mosses and many anubias varieties. Those will be your staples. Also, buy a Finnex Fugeray, will provide low to medium light and you won't need to hang it 10 feet above your tank. Lily pipes can wait. I doubt you will want to deal with maintaining the HC, even if it grew properly despite the lack of CO2. I know I did not.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
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Good idea about the lights. You could get something much more sleek and cheaper to suit low-tech needs and use the leftover cash on the tank.

Though, being in Canada will mean you'll likely have to stick with Canadian hobbyists when getting plants.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Good idea about the lights. You could get something much more sleek and cheaper to suit low-tech needs and use the leftover cash on the tank.

Though, being in Canada will mean you'll likely have to stick with Canadian hobbyists when getting plants.
Good point on Canada, did not notice.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:40 PM   #12
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I don't have nearly as fancy of a tank, but as a college student I'm having to make-do with extremely limited funds as well. Everything I've got going on is low-tech, and lit with either stock lighting, or thrift-store lamps with cheap CFLs (store-brand 23 watt CFLs were on sale $.78 last week! I stocked up. And by stocked up, I mean I bought two... ) I'm just this side of struggling to pay rent, living on pasta and tinned tomatoes, but when I sit down in front of my tank, even as algae-infested as it is (I'm working on it...), I can watch my fish and take a deep breath and everything is okay for a little bit.

If you desperately need the money, sell things off. But if you're managing, as long as you don't spend any MORE money on the tank, I'd say keep it as a low-tech and take what comfort you can from it. I tried for a while, while trying to save up for a car, to live completely luxury-free. It was miserable, and not having a car is worth it (imo) if I can have a hobby and a few nice things in my life.

(Toothless kitty might enjoy it, too, if you give him a recovery bed close enough to the tank to see, but far enough to not jump in )
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Last edited by Silmarwen; 11-20-2012 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: Typos. Typos everywhere!
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:31 PM   #13
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I've been an Under-Employed American Statistic for 18mos. I can completely understand your situation right about now. I think it's important to have some type of Hobby as an escape from the Stress.

For me the Dogs & the Aqua-Hobby stayed, although I've greatly downsized the Aquariums. I sadly lost a dog to Cancer a few weeks ago and for now, my other dog will the only dog in my home vs. the usual pack of 2-3 dogs I've had over the years.

Over the last 18mos. I've sold off all my other Hobby toys. Fortunately, they had enough value to help the cash flow.

My advice would be to seriously advertise that tank, so close to Christmas maybe someone will see the value and opportunity. Keep in mind you would NOT get the retail you paid. What is good for you is your ARE in Canada so supply/demand goes in your favor.

Best of luck.

Last edited by DogFish; 11-20-2012 at 05:04 PM.. Reason: sp
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:51 PM   #14
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I think you've gotten some good ideas so far. While money is almost always an issue, I do not sense that it is THE issue here. This hobby can be done very inexpensively, as the many students and DIYers can attest.

It seems to me that your fear of failing to grow your plants is battling your enjoyment of a planted tank. This is a natural dichotomy and the way to tame it is to simply accept failures as part of the hobby. You are intelligently anticipating that you have too much light for no CO2, so okay, adjust your lighting or add floaters. Change your plant selection.

You certainly have enough gear and knowledge to have a rewarding setup and it sounds like the rewards will be as welcome as ever. Good luck to you and your cat.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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Good advice so far, just settle for DIY CO2 or Excel for now and if you do need to sell the tank know that it being an ADA will allow you to get full price for it less the shipping costs you paid. Just stipulate that it is in flawless condition and advertise on Craigslist in a 300 mile radius - you'd sell it fast.

I went through a period of being poor about 8 years ago and learned lots of money saving techniques that keep my pocket full to this day. One of the big ones is to get yourself a PuR dispenser DS-1800Z and get used to drinking nothing but filtered tap water. It's not only much cheaper but healthier as well, breaking yourself from caffeine addiction is the hardest part - just use tea to abate headaches until you can free yourself from it completely and you'll find yourself sleeping better than ever.

Learning to cook from scratch can save you lots as well or at least only buy things that are on sale 2 for 1 at your local foodstore - go weekly and buy in bulk the things you eat regularly to last until the next sale. Everyone needs internet but ditch the cable TV - you can fill all your media needs online and life is way more peaceful without the constant bombardment of commercialism and propaganda.
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