ADA conversion - for fun - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
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ADA conversion - for fun

Hey all

I don't know about everyone else but I am extremely taken away by aquariums and have been for some time now. However, there is apparently an overall chicness to planted tanks, aquascaping, and great plant growth that I was completely unaware of and am taken back by. One of the many things that I have learned over my years is that chic means money and usually lots of it. Ask Steve Jobs, he'll tell you all about it. While you're at it have him explain niche also.

Bottom line we have all spent more than what we would have thought needed for our aquariums at one time or another. I can't cite the name but someone on this form has a signature that says: "Something this expensive has to be illegal, any minute now I expect a federal agency to break down my door and confiscate my fish food." And I can't agree with him more. About the most expensive gear out there is ADA. Please don't think I am berating, flaming, or upset because I'm just stating an objective observation. Also, rightfully so that ADA is expensive because their equipment/products are good. I was cruzing their site tonight and I got to thinking... What if everything I bought came from ADA... so I decided to tally up what I spent and convert it over to all ADA comparable gear. This is what we have, enjoy.


Now, I have a 125 gallon "display tank" in my living room that can be seen here and I have invested a lot of time, effort, training (in the form of learning), and last but not least money and this is exactly how much money:

Disclaimer: There are going to be some items that will not matter such as plants, fish, and odds and ends. But, the items that do match up I'll do a comparison to.

My cost:
Tank .... 379.00
Stand.... 209.00
Lighting.. 670.00 (100.00 shipping)
Substrate.. 424.00 (roughly 25 bags over time)
2 X 10 lb pressurized co2 - traded a gaming tower on craigslist ~ 150.00
co2 diffuser - DIY old pump & gravel vacuum w/ venturi loop - free
glass drop checker... 9.00 ebay
My overall..... 1841.00 (not counting the countless fish and plants)

My ADA cost:
Tank (closest by volume).... 1199.00
Stand (Not the right one but closest)....349.00
Lighting 899.00
Substrate (ADA sells by liters and not by lb so I hope my conversion on this is right....) 568.50
2 x 10 lb co2 .... (I had to add it together and the tanks alone are only 74 grams. I have a 20 lb co2 system this is going to get messy. 74g is ~ 2 oz so 8 of the ADA bottles make a lb. I need 20 lb worth, daymn) 2720.00
co2 diffuser.... 90.00
glass drop checker 42.00
My overall ADA..... 5867.50

So, the tiny co2 bottles made it a tad unrealistic but even subtracting the 2700 dollar cost I'm still up over 3K which is 1k more and I didn't even take into account that all of ADA would need to be shipped. I am going to put down an additional 1000 for shipping because that is a lot of substrate, the tank is heavy, and lighting is fragile.

So with all the co2, shipping all of the equipment, and most of all having an ADA stamp on everything.... 6867.50. Now I know what you're thinking and your right this isn't down to a tee and there are some inaccuracies that can't be matched up and to be honest I can accept that.

The reason I did this is to show just how important I find sections of this site. The swap and shop will help you achieve all of your goals as far as gear and plants. Everything on there may not be the cadillac but it will get the job done for a fraction of the cost. Most importantly the real value of this entire site comes from the experience and knowledge. Every single post has tid bits of information that can be used to turn your planted tank into exactly what you want and trust me.... you usually have to pay for that kind of action.

Long live the planted tank and all of those that contribute to its knowledge and legacy.

cheers,
Abe
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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 08:00 AM
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Cost of buying cheap then not being happy and upgrading equipment to ADA later
7714.00
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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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haha, way to spin it. Touche my good man... Touche. On the serious side though someone starting out isn't going to want to put down that amount of money.
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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 08:21 AM
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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soc200 View Post
"Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have."
+2 to that
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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 12:02 PM
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Some people can afford it, some people cant. ADA is akin to a ferarri. It looks super awsome (fast) but its still just another car (equipment) in the end. Its more of a status symbol and great looks.

HOWEVER

ADA quality is some of the best there is in our hobby. Considering the fact its imported one would think it would be even more expensive. Even the most simple product is actually complex. I like to cite the lily pipe in this instance as it looks stupid simple. However it has many functions to optimally maintain a tank. Aeration, flow, surface skimming, ect. So what may seem like and overly priced peice of glass, really isnt. Im almost certain a lot of R&D went into ADA products.

Although I dont ALWAYS buy ADA, infact most my stuff right now isnt ADA. Right now I have knockoff drop checker, and lily pipes (ADA outflow on the way but will keep inflow). Also all the other equipment isnt ADA.


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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 12:26 PM
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Save you money...buy ada...simple
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 02:38 PM
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Just buy the ADA, so you have nothing else to upgrade to. You will always be itching for the ADA if you don't get it in the first place.

You've already carried out a detailed comparison, so you are extremely serious, and probably are dreaming about ADA (or Mr. Amano himself) in your sleep. Don't torture yourself by not getting the ADA setup, unless your family will starve for the months ahead if you choose the ADA route.

I recently bought an ADA 60P tank, it is $80usd here in Hong Kong, more than $40 bucks cheaper than the States I think. I love the ADA tank, it is crystal clear, I haven't scrubbed my tank glass with anything since I got it (more than 2 months ago). I love not being able to see the sillicone, so black mold or diatoms can grow on the edges. And well... I like the ADA sticker at the bottom right too.
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 03:41 PM
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Well it would be extremely not fun to pay all that for ADA and get an awkwardly scaped swampy jungle. You can buy other rimless tanks for much less, have fun learning to make your own lily pipes, make mineralized soil, collect your own rocks and sticks and learn how to scape without so much pressure on yourself.
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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrium View Post
Hey all

My cost:
Tank .... 379.00
Stand.... 209.00
Lighting.. 670.00 (100.00 shipping)
Substrate.. 424.00 (roughly 25 bags over time)
2 X 10 lb pressurized co2 - traded a gaming tower on craigslist ~ 150.00
co2 diffuser - DIY old pump & gravel vacuum w/ venturi loop - free

glass drop checker... 9.00 ebay
My overall..... 1841.00 (not counting the countless fish and plants)

My ADA cost:
Tank (closest by volume).... 1199.00
Stand (Not the right one but closest)....349.00
Lighting 899.00
Substrate (ADA sells by liters and not by lb so I hope my conversion on this is right....) 568.50
2 x 10 lb co2 .... (I had to add it together and the tanks alone are only 74 grams. I have a 20 lb co2 system this is going to get messy. 74g is ~ 2 oz so 8 of the ADA bottles make a lb. I need 20 lb worth, daymn) 2720.00
co2 diffuser.... 90.00

glass drop checker 42.00
My overall ADA..... 5867.50

So, the tiny co2 bottles made it a tad unrealistic but even subtracting the 2700 dollar cost I'm still up over 3K which is 1k more and I didn't even take into account that all of ADA would need to be shipped. I am going to put down an additional 1000 for shipping because that is a lot of substrate, the tank is heavy, and lighting is fragile.
Not defending ADA. Obviously it's more expensive. What product that has function and form isn't. As other's have said, Ferrari to a ____, but let's keep it real.

Your co2 comparison is not valid. You are adding up a co2 regulator from ADA that takes small disposable bottles marketing for nano tanks. ADA does sell another regulator that takes our standard co2 bottles. The regulator is around $300 and the bottles you would purchase like you would for most other regulators. So that comparison alone is off by around $2,400.
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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefroastbeef View Post
Just buy the ADA, so you have nothing else to upgrade to. You will always be itching for the ADA if you don't get it in the first place.

You've already carried out a detailed comparison, so you are extremely serious, and probably are dreaming about ADA (or Mr. Amano himself) in your sleep. Don't torture yourself by not getting the ADA setup, unless your family will starve for the months ahead if you choose the ADA route.

I recently bought an ADA 60P tank, it is $80usd here in Hong Kong, more than $40 bucks cheaper than the States I think. I love the ADA tank, it is crystal clear, I haven't scrubbed my tank glass with anything since I got it (more than 2 months ago). I love not being able to see the sillicone, so black mold or diatoms can grow on the edges. And well... I like the ADA sticker at the bottom right too.
Meh you can always replace family. You might only ever have one shot at ADA (or Mr. Amano LOL, gross).


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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 10:40 PM
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While I have no objection to the quality of ADA equipment and products, I see several issues with owning an all ADA system.

The obvious one is the substantial additional cost. In some areas, I can see where the additional cost may be justified. There are items they make that have no other real equivalent. For example, I used AquaSoil when I redid my 90 gal planted tank because there is nothing else quite like it.

However, on most of the other products there are other alternatives that I believe to be just as good, and in some cases better, from a quality standpoint, and cost much less. For example, I think that Eheim canister filters are at least as good as the ADA canister filters, and while Eheim is expensive, it's still a lot less that ADA.

The other issues I see are more subtle. Because ADA products have limited distribution, it's usually not possible to drop by you LFS and just pick up what you need. I would also question how quickly I could get replacement parts when something breaks. I have noted that on the online stores in the USA, some products seem to be out of stock or not carried in inventory.

In my opinion, ADA, while nice, doesn't really deliver good value, especially when you want to set up larger tanks, 70 gal or larger. If your one of those people that doesn't need to consider price when making purchases, then by all means go with an all ADA system. However, if your "dirt poor" like most of us, and money spent on the aquarium hobby is what you have left over from paying all your monthly bills, then go with top quality alternatives where possible. You'll still have a system with components that you'll never really need to upgrade.
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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 10:50 PM
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At the end of the day, I like my plants and fish, not the tank they are housed in. Which was the conclusion the last time I bought a tank. I could have one nice ADA tank or four AGA tanks. I opted for the four because, after all, im not sitting around going "Man, thats an awesome tank!" Im thinking things like "Man, thats a bunch of awesome plants!"

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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-02-2011, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, a lot of responses and a couple of attacks but I that is the forum machine at work. A couple of points I'd just like to clear up right quick.


Roastbeef:
Quote:
You've already carried out a detailed comparison, so you are extremely serious, and probably are dreaming about ADA (or Mr. Amano himself) in your sleep. Don't torture yourself by not getting the ADA setup, unless your family will starve for the months ahead if you choose the ADA route.
Thank you for your genuine concern for my family. We are fine and to be honest my muse for this thread actually came from here while I was reading the responses to what this gentlemen got for his birthday. Those shots or jeers or whatever you want to call them made me think of the actual comparison.

And Houseofcards you actually even quoted where I said that the co2 made it unrealistic so what was the point of the quote?
Abrium said:
Quote:
So, the tiny co2 bottles made it a tad unrealistic but even subtracting the 2700 dollar cost I'm still up over 3K which is 1k more and I didn't even take into account that all of ADA would need to be shipped.
I know that everyone is going to fall on one side of the fence or another and it all comes down to personal preference. I just thought it would be nice to actually look up and attempt to convert the cost. Those that enjoyed it, great. I was taken back myself.

If you feel inclined convert your complete system to ADA and post what your findings are.
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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-03-2011, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Abrium View Post
...
And Houseofcards you actually even quoted where I said that the co2 made it unrealistic so what was the point of the quote?
.
Well if you knew it was unrealistic why did you still include it in your totals in the first place. And then bold it to show impact. I mean honestly, I know you did this in fun and I'm really trying not to be overly argumentative with you, but many will simply look at your bolded totals and assume the numbers are fairly accurate.

They're are many different types of hobbyists here and the ADA stuff is definitely not for all of them. If you are just into collecting plants and growing them out I'm not sure how much the ADA look will do for you, but if your look at this as art I think you are more inclined to spend the money. I mean there's an ADA gallery for that reason. Just like the wrong frame or pedestal could distract from a piece of art work the wrong tank or stand can do the same to an aquascape.
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