Andrew's Mini M is done with sophomore year at ASU. Updated on last page
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
A Hill
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Andrew's Mini M is done with sophomore year at ASU. Updated on last page


So in just under two months (August) I'll be moving, 2800 or so miles, flying really, from Rhode Island to Arizona to attend Arizona State University. Like many other addicts before me have done, I'm brining the obsession with me and have been thinking about my future tank for a while. It is going to be a nano, 10g or less for sure. Everything about it has to look really nice, since other people will be in my dorm specifically my room mate and suite mates. It also will serve as a stress relief and an anchor to hopefully keep me a bit sane. Luckily, AquaTouch is somewhat close and AAPE seems like they are a great group and I'm planning on attending their meeting in September, probably with some moss for them

So thats the backdrop to this thread. Nothing will be set up and no water will be in here until late August or September, I want this tank to be perfect, at least, from the hardware point of view.

Tank: ADA Mini M (pretty set on this, might change though)
Light: ADA Solar Mini M
CO2 : Unsure: Advanced system, 5# w/reg, or Paintball CO2? Opinions?
Filtration: Eheim 2011, probably metal pipes (glass too breakable in a dorm?)
Substrate: ADA Amazonia powder type (probly)

Flora: Moss, Stems, everything I've never kept!
Fauna: Shrimp, dario dario, CPD, Pigmy corry are all options that I have right now.

Hardscape: Unknown

Other stuff like tools will be Rumford Aquatics, base substrate if used will probly be RootMedic. I'm going to try and buy things from others here before venturing elsewhere.

So anyone have any opinions ideas etc? I'm not sure on the CO2 right now, I'm pretty set on my aquarium being the mini m it is a real shame the Mini L doesn't have a mini solar light to go with it or I'd be buying that.

Tips tricks and advice from others who have had dorm room aquariums is appreciated,
-Andrew
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Old 06-21-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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I would definitely go with the ADA advanced system if you're going for aesthetics. It's small, sleek and just can't be beat. If you want to hide it, it's possible to hide it in a desk's pencil holder completely. But of the co2 systems, it's the only one I'd ever consider having out on display.

I was in the same boat as you and bought the ada Mini system in totality just for the dorms and the apartment to add a bit of class to the apartment. Easy to move across country too. I should know, I've done it twice.

You should seriously consider picking up one of the ADA complete system packages for sale on the adgshop website - $25 for shipping and it comes with everything, plus hardscape materials for free. If I were buying mine all over again, that's the deal I'd go for in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:46 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm probably going with that for CO2, I can get CO2 tanks filled down the street from campus though, so I may go the other route, which surprisingly seems to be a bit more expensive initially. I'm more concerned with someone not liking the fact that there is a large CO2 tank sitting in the dorm room and making trouble.

I'm probably going to try to buy many parts lightly used because once someone opens the package it drops in value substantially even if it is not even noticeable. I'll probably buy the tank and light new, and aquasoil new, and after that hunt around. I've already got the filter, all my fauna and much of my flora, a good selection of hardscape stuff, but can always use more. So for me buying the complete package isn't ideal.

-Andrew
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:10 AM   #4
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Try out what tuonor (the man who started it all), I and other fluval edge owners did as a nano CO2 set up.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...co2-shown.html
Maybe yikesjason still has an extra regulator set up.
If you are planning a build let me know as I have extra fittings (for free) and an extra needle valve (for cheap)
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:57 AM   #5
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I agree, the leland reg is the same as the other ADA reg, but much cheaper. This is a much better reg than the advance system and still looks cool if done right.
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:39 AM   #6
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It looks comparable to the "speed regulator" that seem about right? Minus the $299 price tag? I'll have to look into it more, I could always just get the other pieces ADA besides the actual regulator and add a bit better looking solenoid.

The thing that kills me with the ADA rig is the co2 price, the problem is I'm not sure I want a 2.5# or 5# co2 tank in my room, if anything happened or someone decided to mess with it or anything... blah granted if the same happened with the ADA one I'd be out of $15 but less damage may result. I dunno. There is a local place I can fill the CO2 tank if I go the larger route. If not, I'm going to try and buy a ADA system used.

Decisions decisions. The bright side is that for some reason when you graduate from high school you get given money, so I figured instead of using it on items that wouldn't last I'd spend a good chunk of it on my aquarium which I'll probably have forever. (I have a 10g that my dad bought my brother and I before we were in elementary school... it has now held my CRS and many rare moss species, so I figure the tank is a decent investment and good use of money compared to say pizza on a pizza night.)

I think I pretty much have to use CO2 pressurized with the mini solar m so that is my only dilemma right now, next will be deciding on filter pipes and other glassware. Although, I'm leaning towards the metal filter pipes for durability's sake, I would hate to accidentally break them one night or leave one out and have someone step on my $100 piece of glass.

-Andrew
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:59 AM   #7
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Alternatively, you can buy inexpensive lily pipes from eBay. Losing $30 is a lot less painful than losing $200. They both pretty much look and perform the same.
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TLE041 View Post
Alternatively, you can buy inexpensive lily pipes from eBay. Losing $30 is a lot less painful than losing $200. They both pretty much look and perform the same.
I hadn't thought of that, there is this option. I also could have some acrylic pipes made or make some myself...

Thanks for the ideas,
-Andrew
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Old 06-21-2010, 06:21 AM   #9
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There's a pretty significant difference between the hong kong lily pipes and the ADA lily pipes for the mini sizes. Basically the hong kong ones take up more space from being 'traditional' lily pipe sizes, and the mini lily pipes from the ADA line is somewhat more unique.

Fortunately, compared to some other brands the ADA lily pipes have thicker glass, which makes them a little bit more resilient to breaking. However, i'd highly recommend a spring-loaded tube cleaner for cleaning, since you're at largest risk of breaking any lily pipe when you're scrubbing algae out of it.

The mini co2 system is perfect for the Nano systems - those cartridges will last a good month or two once your system stabilizes. I wouldn't necessarily go for the fancy regulator if you're going to just use cartridges. 5 lb co2 tanks are pretty annoying to have under desks / to hide without a dedicated aquarium stand. One of my favorite uses of the Mini series was having them next to my computer, so for me, the cartridge co2 system worked perfectly.

It all depends on what you want - would you rather have the 'best of the best' aesthetically and spend the money on that, or do you want more quantity? For me, I just compiled the full ADA mini system over about a 2 year period and it was worth the buy. Others would rather have more systems for the same dollar amount. Each is equally valid and just comes down to what you, at the end of the day, want sitting next to you through college.

I had a 55 gal and a 30 gal for 2 years in college - and I moved apartments every year. I ended up just throwing or giving them away when I moved because that was a serious pain (and for me a serious waste of money). The Mini system on the other hand I could fit -everything- (co2, lily pipes, tank, light, filter & filter tubes) perfectly fine and safe into the Solar Mini box and just dragged it around country twice. The key in college is mobility. You don't want to be moving lots of heavy furniture and junk around town every year when you move, it just sucks.
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
There's a pretty significant difference between the hong kong lily pipes and the ADA lily pipes for the mini sizes. Basically the hong kong ones take up more space from being 'traditional' lily pipe sizes, and the mini lily pipes from the ADA line is somewhat more unique.

Fortunately, compared to some other brands the ADA lily pipes have thicker glass, which makes them a little bit more resilient to breaking. However, i'd highly recommend a spring-loaded tube cleaner for cleaning, since you're at largest risk of breaking any lily pipe when you're scrubbing algae out of it.
Good to know, I've read elsewhere that the cheap lilies have less quality than the real deal. I think for me it may be smart to get the SS ones to avoid any possible chance of something happening. If I don't like them I can always get a cheap pair of glass ones or a set of ADA glass ones to switch out. I figure the metal ones will also not show anything growing on the insides which will probably be nice when I'm in need of maintenance and over loaded with other things to do. I'm also figuring everything I buy for this tank will last for at least a decade, with that mindset I think the Metal pipes may be the ones for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
The mini co2 system is perfect for the Nano systems - those cartridges will last a good month or two once your system stabilizes. I wouldn't necessarily go for the fancy regulator if you're going to just use cartridges. 5 lb co2 tanks are pretty annoying to have under desks / to hide without a dedicated aquarium stand. One of my favorite uses of the Mini series was having them next to my computer, so for me, the cartridge co2 system worked perfectly.

It all depends on what you want - would you rather have the 'best of the best' aesthetically and spend the money on that, or do you want more quantity? For me, I just compiled the full ADA mini system over about a 2 year period and it was worth the buy. Others would rather have more systems for the same dollar amount. Each is equally valid and just comes down to what you, at the end of the day, want sitting next to you through college.
This is a major factor for me so I am leaning towards this, if I find I want a larger setup with a 5# tank and I have the room I can always sell the system off. I'm going to be buying the system this week most likely since I just found a used one with the el valve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
I had a 55 gal and a 30 gal for 2 years in college - and I moved apartments every year. I ended up just throwing or giving them away when I moved because that was a serious pain (and for me a serious waste of money). The Mini system on the other hand I could fit -everything- (co2, lily pipes, tank, light, filter & filter tubes) perfectly fine and safe into the Solar Mini box and just dragged it around country twice. The key in college is mobility. You don't want to be moving lots of heavy furniture and junk around town every year when you move, it just sucks.
Well, I'll have at least 8 10 gallon aquariums at home while I'm in school, growing moss and other plants and stuff while I'm away, kind of like my warehouse. I'll also probably still have my 55g set up at home. Key word, "At Home" so I'll have the volume of selection behind me. Yet, I'm in the same boat, ever semester I'll probably be taking the tank down, or moving it somewhere. Mobility is key, especially if I'm looking at this tank to be around for at least the next 10 years or so.

While the CO2 cartridges are a bit more expensive, I've never had pressurized co2 before *gasp!* and while in college I won't have my gym expenses nor some other expenses so I'll have some extra money in some sense each month (yeah right! At least I chose the cheaper school!)

My goal is to spend less than $500 initially for equipment and it looks like I'll be able to do this with the exception of filter pipes and extra glassware and filter media. One hell of an expensive cost per gallon these tiny tanks are, I just set up a 4 foot tank rack with 8 10g aquariums for about the same amount But each is worth it for sure!

-Andrew
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Old 06-21-2010, 07:37 AM   #11
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You know man, it is pretty expensive when you think of the cost per gallon; but I've never thought twice or regretted my decision to buy it. Now my big tanks? I regretted buying those pretty quick. But again, I've had to move around a lot. You just can't beat the overall aesthetic feel to the tank and it's equipment...it actually fits in with the interior decor - For example, the picture in my Mini S thread where I'm still trying to get a better picture of the hanging painting in the background with the tank.
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:05 AM   #12
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You know man, it is pretty expensive when you think of the cost per gallon; but I've never thought twice or regretted my decision to buy it. Now my big tanks? I regretted buying those pretty quick. But again, I've had to move around a lot. You just can't beat the overall aesthetic feel to the tank and it's equipment...it actually fits in with the interior decor - For example, the picture in my Mini S thread where I'm still trying to get a better picture of the hanging painting in the background with the tank.
I agree 100% I prefer smaller tanks, I pretty much hate my 55g, but the fish like the room to swim around in it so I have kept it. Granted, it was a free tank, so I can't really complain...

Over the years in this hobby we all learn that its best done right or not done at all, I've been planning my dorm room tank for a year or two as crazy as it may sound and am not going to have any regrets, thats for sure. Eventually, it'll sit at my office desk after college. Hopefully that desk will be the desk of the CEO of the next big startup .

-Andrew
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Old 06-21-2010, 08:09 AM   #13
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You sound pretty similar to me; in that case: ADA all the way man, ADA all the way.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:39 AM   #14
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You sound pretty similar to me; in that case: ADA all the way man, ADA all the way.
Ehh not all the way but they have some good looking products I'll keep to simple canister filters until I have the cash lol.

If I did have a larger budget, this would be such an awesome stand for the aquarium, albeit a bit short. (The picture is from the gilt website)

-Andrew
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:55 AM   #15
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that would look nice if you have a japanese style room with tatami mats and all furniture are low.
But I think that'll look good on top of a pedestal too.
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