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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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ADA Mini S

Hi all, returning to the hobby with my first attempt at a proper aquascape. Bought an ADA Mini S (which looks beautiful), and have just completed my hardscape. What does everyone think of it? Any advice/constructive criticism much appreciated! Im going for a nature stye aquarium with rock and wood, with the focal point of driftwood on the right hand side.

Truth be told I am quite happy with how it looks at the moment, however I am a little unsure of the orientation of the wood atm, any tips?

Moreover, Has anyone any experience with ADA Slim wood? I am wondering how long I will have to soak it for.

Tank - ADA Mini S
Light - Up Aqua Pro LED
Filter - Shiruba PF-60 HOB
Substrate - ADA Aquasoil Amazonia powder
Stone - Seiryu Stone
Wood - ADA Slim wood

Thanks!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 06:13 PM
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That should be a fun setup.

Right now it looks to me like you have too focal points The rocks on the left competing with the wood grouping on the right. You have to use one or the other as support.

So probably in your case the wood would be the focal and the rock should be placed around the wood and scattered about a bit. The rocks looks pretty big considering the size of the wood so you should try to build up the wood with more substrate and try to place the rocks partially buried around the base of the wood which will always act as a substrate support.

ADA Slim wood I'm pretty sure is like spider wood (It's a root). They aren't as dense as some other wood used and should sink within a week or so.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 06:20 PM
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+1. You need some height. Build the substrate up and scatter rocks around the base.

Good work so far. I've been contemplating getting another Mini S myself.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys, duly noted. i am soaking my driftwood now and once it is done I will have a play around with the scape and see what I can come up with.

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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post

Right now it looks to me like you have too focal points The rocks on the left competing with the wood grouping on the right. You have to use one or the other as support.
What you are saying makes sense, however surely I could build up plants on the right and make it a stronger focal point with having less/no plants on the left making that the support?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FJK_12 View Post
What you are saying makes sense, however surely I could build up plants on the right and make it a stronger focal point with having less/no plants on the left making that the support?
Even if you build up with plants on the right, the rocks are still very large and would conflict IMO (especially because the wood isn't really that large.) If you push them in more and use ground cover from the wood to the rocks it might reduce that area and develop the right as the main focal point.

In the end you have to like it. I'm just given you what I see.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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So, an update on my Mini S. I went ahead and made some adjustments on my hardscape, and decided to place some rocks at the base of the wood on the right and get some more height. Its an evolution as opposed to a complete change from the previous scape as I actually quite liked what I had before (despite agreeing on the advice).

I have gone ahead and planted too, once again its my first experience of planting properly for a long time, so it took some getting used too. I find the aqua soil powder type quite difficult to plant in, with plants floating back up (any advice here?) and working on such a small scale is relatively difficult too.

My setup will be low tech - and yes I know most here are more interested in high tech - but I'm sure I can get somewhere with it, so don't leave just yet!

Going into this cold with little prior proper experience with plants I wasn't sure what to get, so after some research I decided on:
Mote Carlo
S. Repens
Anubias Nana
Rotala Indica
Cryptocoryne Wendtii
Narrow leaf microsorum

Im not entirely sold on the rotala on the left, and may get rid of it - plus some adjustments are definitely needed with the crypts at the back. bear in mind this photo was taken straight after flooding and I have cleaned things up a bit since. So its looking a little messy but things are still in their beginning stages!

Ive used some flourish tabs, and have some excel, any advice on whether the excel is required with my root tabs?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 09:40 PM
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Excel is covering a different base than the root tabs. Root tabs are fertilization, and excel is a carbon source to substitute for or in addition to CO2. Excel use is mostly dependent on light, but I personally like it and would recommend using it, especially if not housing any sensitive shrimp or fish. Though you could certainly get by without it.

But I like the tank, and the hardscape changes. And I agree with you on the Rotala; I think it may be detracting from the focus and height of the grouping on the right.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2016, 08:25 PM
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looking good so far.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Update

About a month or so in, tank is now with me at university. S.repens, Monte Carlo and anubias are growing very well, which I am very happy about - however I am still struggling with the right background plants. I have some crypts in now and it looks slightly off, and I can't work out whether it is the plants I am choosing or how I am planting them. I also have some eleocharis 'mini' Im wondering where to put, anyone have any ideas?

Currently dosing excel flourish every 2 days and am using root tabs. Almost through with the cycle and am thinking about inhabitants, with some Chilli Rasboras and some CRS my main idea at the moment. Although may go for a Betta for more wow factor.

Having a bit of algae which is an eyesore, but planning on leaving it as a feast for the shrimp when I get them aha. Should make them happy...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 09:48 PM
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Any closer shots of the monte carlo?

I'm not a fan of those crypts, looks too large for your tank. Maybe try some rotala stems? I also think some hair grass that reaches the top of the tank would work in the back.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 03:59 AM
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Put the E. acicularis 'Mini' in the foreground. Agree with Coues you should switch the Crypts for like R. rotundifolia or something.
I think the tank is a bit on the small side for Boraras briggitae, maybe just the shrimp or the Betta. The Betta may not play nice with the shrimp.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Close up of monte carlo (and algae covered rocks) - has spread well, although looks a little odd in that back corner. At first I thought it would be nice to have something different though! May plant my dwarf hair grass in that back corner an then move the monte carlo to the foreground. Does anyone know if ripping up the monte carlo and replanting it would be difficult? if it is I may just stick with it and try a full on carpet.

And thanks for the input guys, may try out some rotala green or some tall hair grass, hopefully I can get a better effect. Still very much a work in progress! Hopefully by the time the cycle has finished I will have settled on a good layout ready for the fauna.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-10-2016, 03:39 PM
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Looks good.

I agree smaller size leafs would look good and the rotala sp. green is a good choice, although the maintenance looks pretty low right now. You could also leave the crypt and put moss covered rocks around the base and grow the monte carlo all around the foreground.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone, a couple of questions I have:

I've recently added more ADA aqua soil to help with planting etc.. will this cause my cycle to take longer with more ammonia being leeched by the new soil? Or are the amounts not significant and any beneficial bacteria I have will convert it anyway?

Also Ive noticed small white stringy things which to me look like dust as opposed to worms, and they also seem to increase in number after a water change. Not sure what they are, they are about 1 - 2mm and float about in the water. You can see some in the picture I took after I did a water change today.

EDIT: On closer inspection some of them to be moving on the glass.. they must be worms of some sort, can anyone identify them?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-11-2016, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FJK_12 View Post
Hi everyone, a couple of questions I have:

I've recently added more ADA aqua soil to help with planting etc.. will this cause my cycle to take longer with more ammonia being leeched by the new soil? Or are the amounts not significant and any beneficial bacteria I have will convert it anyway?

Also Ive noticed small white stringy things which to me look like dust as opposed to worms, and they also seem to increase in number after a water change. Not sure what they are, they are about 1 - 2mm and float about in the water. You can see some in the picture I took after I did a water change today.

EDIT: On closer inspection some of them to be moving on the glass.. they must be worms of some sort, can anyone identify them?

adding the extra ada soil is fine. it wont affect the tank significantly. i never seen the little worms swimming in water. i do see them in my soil.
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