First rimless, Third planted, mid-tech! Mr. Aqua 17g
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
kman
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First rimless, Third planted, mid-tech! Mr. Aqua 17g


Here goes nuthin'!

I did it. I tore down my old Fluval Edge tank and upgraded to my first "serious" tank. It's a Mr. Aqua 720li (low iron), essentially ADA 60P clone. 17.1 gallon rimless. Lighting is a 24" Current USA Satellite+ LED, with a ramp timer. No co2. Flourish, Excel and root tabs. Let's see how it goes!

I'll reserve post #2 for current photos, and keep that updated as the thread progresses. I have a bunch of in-progress stuff I want to post before I get to the current state, though, so stay tuned...

Last edited by kman; 02-18-2014 at 09:44 PM.. Reason: clarify title
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:51 PM   #2
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Reserved for most current photos...

9/6/14: (scrubdown branch for algae removal, replant all, new EBR and Mystery snail):



8/15/14: (new red reineckii, still fighting algae and sad anubias)



6/16/14: (Plants growing like crazy, I may need a partial rescape soon!)



3/8/14: (some plants need a trim soon!)



2/23/14:





2/17/14:


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Old 02-17-2014, 08:11 PM   #3
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Here's the current lineup:

Hardware:
Mr. Aqua MA-720LI Rimless Aquarium (low iron glass, 17.1 gallons)
Current USA Satellite Plus Freshwater LED Lamp (24", PAR 36 @ 12")
Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 50-Watt Heater Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 50-Watt Heater

Finnex  PX-360 Compact Canister Aquarium Filter Finnex PX-360 Compact Canister Aquarium Filter


Fauna:
A Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster Ialius)
Six Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi)
A Golden Mystery Snail (Golden bridgesii)
A Zebra Nerite Snail (Neritina natalensis), and
Four Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus).
... and something else, TBD (golden white cloud tetras, rummy nose tetras?)

Flora:
From old Edge tank:
Anubias Nana (Anubias barteri v. 'Nana')
Hygrophilia 'Kompakt' (Hygrophilia corymbosa 'Kompakt')
Crypt parva (Cryptocoryne parva)
Java Fern "Narrow Leaf" (Microsorium pteropus)
Glossostigma (Glossostigma elatinoides)
New for this tank:
Amazon Sword Plant (Echinodorus amazonicus)
Baby Tears (Hemianthus micranthemoides)
Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
Vallisneria nana
Rotala rotundifolia
Christmas Moss (Vesicularia montagnei)
Anubias petite (I think, mislabeled at PetSmart!)

Ferts:
Flourish
Flourish Excel
Osmocote+ capsules
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:30 PM   #4
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This is the big update post! LOTS of pics to follow.

Here is my old Fluval Edge tank, (which I have now broken down completely). The new one is going in the same location.



I bought a fabulous piece of twisted root wood at Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica, and that will be the new focal point of this tank, instead of the Manzanita I had in my Edge.



The challenge, as step one, was simple: How to get the new tank up and running as quickly as possible, to get the new inhabitants in place as soon as possible without cycling issues?

Generally, beneficial bacteria primarily live in the filter media. My thinking is the second largest population is likely in the substrate. Obviously the canister filter is moving to the new tank. Frankly, I need the extra substrate, too, so I don't have to buy too much and don't waste what I have. The problem, of course, is disturbing established tank substrate unleashes a world of ickyness (not ich-iness, one hopes, but who knows!). If not handled correctly, it can unleash a massive bacterial bloom, or a huge algae infestation, or a massive ammonia spike as the cycle tries to reestablish.

So here's what I did:

I dumped one new bag of Activ-Flora to set the base layer in the new tank.



Moved all old tank fauna to a 5 gal bucket with a heater and an airstone, with a mix of old tank water and new (treated) water. Moved all old tank plants to another bucket with a mix of old tank water and new (treated) water. Pulled all old hard scape items that weren't transferring to the new tank. Filter was turned off and moved to the tank (still off for now, since it hadn't been flooded yet). I set up a temp HOB filter on the old tank to try to keep the water clean while I worked.

Once all that was left in the tank was water and gravel, the work started. I topped up the old tank with clean treated water. Then I filled yet another 5 gal bucket (good thing I have about 5!) with fresh treated water, and started cleaning gravel. I swished everything thoroughly inside the old tank, then handful by handful, started bringing gravel and into the bucket with the clean water. Once I had 10-15 handfuls in the bucket, I swished it thoroughly in there, too, and then started transferring to the new tank. It was pretty clean by the time it reached the new tank. I dumped the old water and put new clean water in the bucket 3 times during the process, and continued until all the gravel had been transferred.



Time to start the scape!



Add some water from the bucket with the plants:



Time to start placing the fauna:



The old tank was pretty gross, even with the HOB filter running, but the double rinse seemed to do a good job, because the new tank flooded great, with the mix of water from old tank (the clean stuff from plant bucket) and new treated water.

Here are a couple of shots from during the flood:





Barely hazy, and once I kicked on the canister filter, that cleared up quickly, too.

Only issue is the root was really floaty. I had a rock from an old setup on hand that did a decent job of holding it down, until it's soaked enough to stay put on its own.

I tested the water the next morning and the parameters were nearly perfect... pH 7.4, ammonia .25, nitrite 0, nitrate 20 (tap water tests at 5).

I added neon tetras and let them spend the day in the tank. That evening, parameters were even better, with ammonia down to zero. I added the rest of the critters and continued to monitor water conditions every 12 hours.

This afternoon, water parameters are pH 7.4. Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 15, dead normal for my old tank.

I'm going to give it the rest of the week, and continue daily water tests, but by the time I have a chance to hit my LFS next weekend to pick up some new fish, I'd say this tank is done. There really was barely any cycle change. Success! (Ok, success for sure by the end of the week, but things are looking so good I'm willing to risk a little Mission Accomplished sign with reasonable confidence! )
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:38 PM   #5
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My wife missed the burnt orange splash of color from the old tank. Also, the one thing I missed about the old tank was the clear glass top that the water covered, so you had a perfect clear view from the top as easily as from the front. Made for excellent ease of viewing.

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone:

1) I'll build a small platform for the tank that will raise it a few inches, for easier viewing, and

2) I'll paint it a similar orange color, bringing that splash of color back in the room.





I can already tell I'll likely do a 2.0 version of the stand, and spend a little more time on it, but this should do fine for now. It needs about 48 more hours for the paint to cure before I put a 17 gallon tank on it, though! Pics to follow.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:40 PM   #6
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Looking good, keep it up and the wife happy and you will be successful!
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:03 PM   #7
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And finally, we're current to today. Last night I pulled the root out and attached the Christmas moss, Anubias nana, and Anubias petite (PetSmart had a nana mislabeled AND marked down... $2 score!) with fishing line, inserted my Osmocote+ root tabs under the stem plants, and wedged the root into place a little more securely. It's still floaty, so I kept the rock to weigh it down, but it's not as bad as it was before. Maybe I can remove the rock by the end of the week.

Here she is:





I'll do a water change and put the stand in place in a couple of days. LOVING this tank so far. The Sat+ light is really awesome, too. Fits the tank perfectly and puts out a great amount of light. And the ramp timer is really cool, too. I'm loving the gradual lights, dimming on and off instead of the jarring transition my old mechanical timers had. They worked fine, of course, but this is just that much nicer. I'll have to see if I shoot a time lapse of the lights turning on and off... Perhaps later today and tonight!

Speaking of time lapse, I shot a time lapse video of the tank last night. It's an hour of the tank, compressed into just over a minute. As usual, the golden mystery snail steals the show. My Nerite snail was snoozing elsewhere, I guess. The Dwarf Gourami makes the rounds, and the tetras are their usual twitchy selves, schooling in area, then another, then back to the first. Oy. Well, the snail is fun to watch, at least.

Oops, the YouTube link helps:

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Old 02-17-2014, 10:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parrottbay View Post
Looking good, keep it up and the wife happy and you will be successful!
Truer words are seldom spoken.

Oh, looking at that last pic, I'm reminded I need to call a plastic shop so I can try my hand at some DIY acrylic lily pipes...
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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No change in water params this morning, so all seems well.

Tonight, I'll do a partial water change, just because, and see if I can get the tank lifted to put the stand underneath. I'll post a full photo of the final setup then.

I did a quick video of the "sunrise" light ramp up yesterday, but unfortunately my phone ran low on battery and it interrupted the fade out video, so I'll have to finish that one, and combining the two into one complete video, this evening.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:19 PM   #10
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Ahhh.. so here's the build thread! Thanks for sharing the link in the club.

The tank is looking good. I'm glad you decided to roll with the high clarity version. It just shouts quality to me. Nice DW choice. Nature Aquarium is definitely one of my favorite LFS's. Toru, the owner, is like the Mr. Miyagi of planted tanks. My DW piece in my 60p originated from that shop...worth every penny. Mine was super floaty as well. I had to tie a rock to the bottom with fishing line and net to keep it down. You'll also run into that short phase where you'll see white fungus growing on it. Fun!

Anyways, nice timelapse video. You're lucky to get a Sat+ and Ramp Timer that works smoothly together. I've heard from some that they experience flickering or strobe effect.

Keep the updates coming, following
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Cali77 View Post
Ahhh.. so here's the build thread! Thanks for sharing the link in the club.

The tank is looking good. I'm glad you decided to roll with the high clarity version. It just shouts quality to me. Nice DW choice. Nature Aquarium is definitely one of my favorite LFS's. Toru, the owner, is like the Mr. Miyagi of planted tanks. My DW piece in my 60p originated from that shop...worth every penny. Mine was super floaty as well. I had to tie a rock to the bottom with fishing line and net to keep it down. You'll also run into that short phase where you'll see white fungus growing on it. Fun!

Anyways, nice timelapse video. You're lucky to get a Sat+ and Ramp Timer that works smoothly together. I've heard from some that they experience flickering or strobe effect.

Keep the updates coming, following
I hope that dang wood gets suitably sinky soon, or I'll look my patience and just screw a slate tile to the bottom. Effective, but a PITA if I never need to move it down the road! I had the white fuzz on my Manzanita branches, which cleared up on it's own a few days later, but so far nothing on this. But yeah, LOVE that root. I knew that was the centerpiece the moment I saw it.

Reading the Sat+ thread, I think the strobing effect comes from choosing custom colors? The stock colors aren't supposed to have that, per the manuf.'s claims in the posts they made in that thread. I do hope I can afford to pick up the higher end ramp timer at some point, though, because I'd really love to automate a kick-over to the blue moonlights at the end of the day, instead of just fade to black. I'll take what I can get for now, though... the fade definitely beats the *click* of my old mechanical timer. Oh, it'd also be nice to have more than one light cycle per day, while I'm dreaming. An hour or two in the morning gets the lights going at feeding time (so I don't have to manually turn them on and off... back to the CLICK!), then back off until the longer light period at the end of the day. That would be perfect. I'm fine with manually kicking off lightning storms and such when showing off the tank, but yeah. Automated Moonlights would be killer. (so would an hour of sunrise/sunset mode at the start and finish of the day, for that matter, but I'd still be a lot happier with even just the auto moonlight mode for an hour or whatever)

But that's just kvetching. Overall, I'm pleased as punch with my setup! Although I started noticing some bio-film last night, I make need to look into something to deal with that...
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:48 PM   #12
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Sounds good, man.. I predict co2 and a second Sat+ in your future! Haha

Anyways, I'm using the eheim skim350 and it makes short work of that dastardly surface scum. But if you get Lily pipes, there's a DIY surface skimmer, that doesn't look too bad, that you can put over the intake.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_Cali77 View Post
Sounds good, man.. I predict co2 and a second Sat+ in your future! Haha

Anyways, I'm using the eheim skim350 and it makes short work of that dastardly surface scum. But if you get Lily pipes, there's a DIY surface skimmer, that doesn't look too bad, that you can put over the intake.
Ha! I was just looking over your tank build thread, trying to find the name of that skimmer. I knew it was in there somewhere but it takes a little while to go through nearly 30 pages.

Tell me more of this DIY skimmer, though? I'm hoping to DIY some acrylic lily pipes, just trying to get the raw materials and things have been busy. If that doesn't work out, I'll try some fleabay hong kong glass ones, but I like the durability of acrylic better... plus cheep!
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:48 AM   #14
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Here's that thread for the DIY

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=293066
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:07 AM   #15
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Interesting. Now the ol' hamster wheel is spinning...
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