bprinehart's Mr. Aqua 25 Cube / High Tech 1st Attempt Advice and Criticism Welcome!
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:30 AM   #1
bprinehart
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bprinehart's Mr. Aqua 25 Cube / High Tech 1st Attempt Advice and Criticism Welcome!


Hello PT and thanks for stopping by my thread!

I've been lurking here for quite a few months, researching, gathering, planning and I'm just about ready to set sail on my new adventure in aquaria.

About Me:
I'm a 37 year old computer geek, married with an awesome wife and a beautiful child. I've been taking care of aquariums pretty much my whole life, starting with ye olde goldfish bowl at a very early age, axolotls as a teen, cichlids as a young adult onto reefs and marine tanks, and now back to freshwater and plants.

Inspiration for this tank:

I'd be totally lying if I didn't say that seeing shots of the Amano Iwagumi / Nature style over and over again didn't lure me over to the dark side, although I see myself moving more towards a hybrid aesthetic rather than sticking to strict rules about arrangements. One of my other hobbies is collecting and smoking tobacco pipes. (I know, it's a filthy habit. But I don't do it very often, mainly when I'm fishing, and I enjoy the beauty of the briar wood and craftsmanship more than anything.) Most quality pipes are made from briar wood, which primarily comes from the large burls that form at the bases of the heath tree / bush depending on the size of the specimen. These are found all over the rocky cliffs and scrub forests of the mediterranean and a few other locales throughout the world. I've always romanticised the image of the stout little tree clinging to life in a rocky crag, managing to thrive in an otherwise inhospitable environment. I'm always amazed at how mother nature manages to cling onto life in the places that are out of the way. So even if only tangentially this is the image I have in my mind when I set about to make a tank for my office: a stubborn old tree on a mountain side.

About the tank:

Mr. Aqua 25G cube 18"x18"x18"

Equipment:
Circulation- Vortech MP10w-ES Circulation Pump

Filtration- SunSun HW-302 Canister

CO2 - Modified Reef Octopus BioPellet Reactor / DIY Cerges Reactor (Had this lying around from my reefing days and decided it was absolutely perfect for my purposes)
5lb Aluminum CO2 canister purchased from local homebrew warehouse
Matheson 3104c Dual Stage Regulator (Fleabay special )
CGA320.Com Post Body Kit

Heater- DIY Inline

Controller- Neptune Apex Jr controller w/ Temp Probe (I plan to add a pH probe to this for solenoid control)

Lighting- Beamswork Green Element Evo 6500K 10x 3w LED

Substrate / Hardscape- ADA Aquasoil Amazonia, Lava Rock rubble for help with the slope, Seiryu / Ryuoh Stone and some spider wood.

Dosing philosophy: I think for me the EI method will make the most sense. Please feel free to chime in on what you use and recommend.

Stocking List: (All plants on order as of 06/18/15):

Flora:
HC Cuba
Helanthium tenellum
Pogostemon helferi aka "Downoi"
Alternanthera reineckii sp. mini
Staurogyne repens
Lindernia Rotundifolia (Varigated)
Ludwigia rubin
Anubias nana petite
Bucephalandra catherine
Cryptocoryne wendtii "Florida Sunset"
Rotala enie
Rotala Caterpillar
Rotala colorata

Fauna:
Still TBD

I think that about sums it up for a good start to the journal. Some pics of where we are right now to follow in next post.

Last edited by bprinehart; 06-18-2015 at 11:15 PM.. Reason: updated
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:20 PM   #2
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Some pictures....finally figured this out.

Which scape do you guys like better the first or second? I'm leaning towards the first (top) personally.
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Old 06-02-2015, 01:35 PM   #3
natebuchholz
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Great looking start! I think my vote is for the first of the two scapes, however, I would suggest omitting the driftwood or doing something different with it to better integrate it into your scape. Right now it just looks to alien to be in the little world you have created.
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:06 PM   #4
bprinehart
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Thanks for the feedback Nate! I'll keep tweaking at it and then seeing what I can come up with. I really like that 12G Mr. Aqua you have. How is your emmersed project coming along?

-Brian
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bprinehart View Post
Thanks for the feedback Nate! I'll keep tweaking at it and then seeing what I can come up with. I really like that 12G Mr. Aqua you have. How is your emmersed project coming along?

-Brian
I'm excited to see what you come up with. It is really difficult to mix driftwood and rock in a scape.

Thank you for the kind words; the emersed project is going great! I can't stop my plants from growing. It's currently re-growing from selling all of my stock.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:38 PM   #6
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Great start Brian!
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:24 PM   #7
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Right now I'm trying to figure out where to get my water from. This tank is in my office. We use an ion exchange system here because we're on a well. So our pH is usually pretty low to begin with out of the tap, 6.5 and lower typically, and it's super soft. Pushing CO2 I want to make sure I have decent decent control over pH fluctuations and prevent crashes. Also, I don't think water that's full of sodium ions is recommended. I have fairly decent water out of the tap at home, pH about 7.2 and about 3 dKh. But the idea of hauling 100lbs of water in every week to do a water changes doesn't excite me greatly.

I'm debating whether to go ahead and try to start a carpet with DSM while investigating our water parameters a bit more.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:36 PM   #8
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You mind showing where your intake and returns are? The pictures don't show any unless you removed them for the shots. Not sure if they are HOB or if you drilled the tank. And your planning on doing about 50% water changes every week?
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:39 PM   #9
bprinehart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SevenportsJohn View Post
You mind showing where your intake and returns are? The pictures don't show any unless you removed them for the shots. Not sure if they are HOB or if you drilled the tank. And your planning on doing about 50% water changes every week?
John-

They're there. Just glass. Hang on back type. And yeah, if I go with the EI dosing regime, I would be commiting to 50% weekly changes.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SevenportsJohn View Post
You mind showing where your intake and returns are? The pictures don't show any unless you removed them for the shots. Not sure if they are HOB or if you drilled the tank. And your planning on doing about 50% water changes every week?
Hey John,
I think there is a frosted background on this tank making it hard to see the intake and outtake but, if you look close it is visible. Looks like a standard Sunsun canister for filtration.

^Ha ha, you beat me to it
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Last edited by natebuchholz; 06-03-2015 at 05:40 PM.. Reason: too slow.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bprinehart View Post
John-

They're there. Just glass. Hang on back type. And yeah, if I go with the EI dosing regime, I would be commiting to 50% weekly changes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by natebuchholz View Post
Hey John,
I think there is a frosted background on this tank making it hard to see the intake and outtake but, if you look close it is visible. Looks like a standard Sunsun canister for filtration.

^Ha ha, you beat me to it
Haha, holy crap no wonder. It is frosted, didn't notice that.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:44 PM   #12
bprinehart
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:11 PM   #13
bprinehart
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OK so I think I've got my water situation figured out. I'm going to have to lug my tap water in from home. The only issue I have at home is I've got less than 1 dKH out of the tap there, and slightly less than 3 degrees of GH. So my plan is to condition the water with Seachem equillibrium, and bicarbonate of soda to boost my tap up to about 4degrees of each. I think that coupled with keeping a small amount of crushed coral in my SunSun should help me to maintain a stable GH and KH while injecting CO2.

Anybody have any thoughts or experience with similar situation, does this sound like a sound plan of action?

-Brian
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:36 PM   #14
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Just got this bad boy in and hacked in place.

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Old 06-18-2015, 11:16 PM   #15
bprinehart
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Got a nice package deal containing all the plant species I had my eyes on for a very fair price IMO. Should have the plants Monday or Tuesday :woot:!

HC Cuba
Helanthium tenellum
Pogostemon helferi aka "Downoi"
Alternanthera reineckii sp. mini
Staurogyne repens
Lindernia Rotundifolia (Varigated)
Ludwigia rubin
Anubias nana petite
Bucephalandra catherine
Cryptocoryne wendtii "Florida Sunset"
Rotala enie
Rotala Caterpillar
Rotala colorata
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