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ADA 180P Dream Tank Build

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Hello All,

For years, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the aquarium hobby from multiple platforms. Nevertheless, I don’t doubt that my path to the present day has been similar to many aquarists. I began my childhood with your basic setups, stocked with different, interesting freshwater fish, and in 2007 tried my hand at saltwater tanks, graduated to larger setups with more intricate SPS displays, and finally found myself looking for the chance to enjoy my home aquarium without the intensity of managing the balance between eight different water parameters. So here I am, ready to create what I hope to be something as enjoyable as it is inspiring.

One thing constant between each experience has been my reliance on forums like this for advice and inspiration. They have made all the difference, and exploring each hobbyist’s personal experience through this 15-inch, keyboard-equipped “window” has become half of the joy of the hobby for me. Hence, I have decided to create a thread here at The Planted Tank to share my freshwater adventure with all of you, in hopes of providing the same troubleshooting tips, inspiration and forum for discussion that has been invaluable to me over the years.

As a precursor to this thread, I thought I’d share some general thoughts with you about how I have realized success in the past. My three-part philosophy is simple: (1) Copying someone else’s formula for success is nothing to be ashamed of; learn from their mistakes, avoid making the same ones, and use their achievements as a springboard to further advance the cause. (2) Stability is everything; it also affords us the opportunity to learn what effect small changes have on the overall health and performance of our closed-loop ecosystems. (3) Simplicity is just as rewarding as complexity: it’s fun to have the guts of a nuclear submarine behind those wooden doors, but simplicity will ultimately bring you peace of mind knowing that your aquarium inhabitants are self-sustainable and doing the bulk of the work that you would otherwise get a machine to do. Not to mention… you’ll save a fortune in time and money.

From here on out, I’ll attempt to post updates fairly regularly and share my opinion on the products I have chosen to use and the health/growth of the inhabitants of the tank (plant and animal). I welcome everyone’s comments, criticisms and advice, as I am always learning and know that for everything I know, there is always someone who knows ten times more.


Happy Reading!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update #1 - Delivery!

First delivery has arrived!

Well, it arrived a few days ago, but the excitement still hasn't worn off. I’ve decided to go with an all-ADA setup, namely because I am a big fan of their aesthetics and whatever they are doing seems to be working. I’m using ADA product almost exclusively, except for the stand which I am having built custom to capture my idea for something a little more interesting than your typical cabinet-style stand.

What came with today's shipment (see pics attached):

ADA 180P (180cm x 60cm x 60cm)
ADA Super Jet Filter ES-2400
Approx. 100kg of Manten Stone
CO2 Tower w/ 2lb canister
Lily Pipes
Various other glass parts and accessories - to be detailed in future post

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update #2 - Stand Build: Part 1

Stand Build: Part 1



My stand concept has evolved over time, thankfully to a point that is practical but still unique. My goal has been opposite to most – display as many mechanical elements as possible. With so much of the equipment in stainless, it would be a shame to hide it all behind a closed door. So, I took some inspiration from a display cabinet at a clothing store (see picture attached) and went to town.


The stand is 180cm (70.86") long x 60cm (23.62") wide x 80cm (31.5") high. It's made of 1.5" square HSS steel tubing, with 11ga. tubing over the open span, and 12ga. for the remainder. If you're in the process of building a DIY steel stand, take note that the gauge of steel is important, but not as important as the welds. The welds on a steel frame like this need to be FULL PENETRATION. Needless to say, if you're careless, you'll be sending your tank back to the manufacturer in a crate much smaller than the one it came in.


The interior will be top-lit by LEDs and is meant to showcase the filter and CO2 tower. Plumbing will eventually be fabricated out of stainless, and attached to the lily pipe via a bridge of clear tubing. The only encumbrance on the stand will be a low profile, centre mounted “control box”. The control box will be the hub for all electrical components, including light ballasts, air pump, NA controller/solenoids and additional timers.

I live almost 400 feet in the air, and was not about to chance this tank showering my neighbours and their drywall. I used an internet-based job board called “Elance” to tender out the engineering for the steel stand. I had a really great guy out of the US run some load tests and eventually churn out a report for my fabricator to use. My fabricator, Andrew from Custom Prototypes in Etobicoke, Ontario, did a spectacular job on the steel frame. It was a rush job and the frame was ready within two days of giving him the green light.

I had him add heavy duty self leveling stainless feet to ensure I could get the stand perfectly level. I have been advised that with a rimless tank (this being my first) any variation in level will give the waterline a “tilted” look. The self leveling feet add an additional 5cm (2") to the height of the stand, bringing it to 33.5" in overall height. The triangular steel plate holding each foot is 3/8" solid.


Steel frame pictures below:
 

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I didn't know the ADA Co2 tower was compatible with the North American standard. Did you find a place that is willing to refill that tank?
My first thought. And I agree with Tom, 2lbs is going to be very small on that sized tank, almost like a disposable setup on a nano. However, I look forward to this thread. Maybe the 3rd one ever posted on the board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You will certainly want a larger CO2 gas tank.
Well, you'll soon realize it.
I think you're right. I have an extra 10lb CO2 cylinder previously used for a calcium reactor that I may hook up instead. The nearest place to fill up is about 40 mins away, so the more volume the better. Now to figure out how to make it look semi-decent...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey, same city as you.

I didn't know the ADA Co2 tower was compatible with the North American standard. Did you find a place that is willing to refill that tank?
Another good call. I just realized that the CO2 canister sent in with the tower doesn't have a D.O.T. identification number. Without it, the Japanese canister can't be refilled in Canada. I'll need to find a replacement for it, which shouldn't be a big deal.
 

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Another good call. I just realized that the CO2 canister sent in with the tower doesn't have a D.O.T. identification number. Without it, the Japanese canister can't be refilled in Canada. I'll need to find a replacement for it, which shouldn't be a big deal.
If you're worried about aesthetics, you can clean, polish, flash chrome the new cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update #2 - Stand Build: Part 1

Stand Build: Part 1



My stand concept has evolved over time, thankfully to a point that is practical but still unique. My goal has been opposite to most – display as many mechanical elements as possible. With so much of the equipment in stainless, it would be a shame to hide it all behind a closed door. So, I took some inspiration from a display cabinet at a clothing store (see picture attached) and went to town.

The stand is 180cm (70.86”) L x 60cm (23.62”) W x 80cm (31.5”) H. The tubular frame is made of 1.5” x 1.5” HSS, 11ga. along the spans and columns supporting the open face, and 12ga. for the remainder. This is a bit overkill (in this particular case, you could technically get away with 14ga. all around), but better safe than sorry. For all you DIY folks, the weld is just as important as the gauge of steel you use. You’ll want to ensure you use FULL PENETRATION WELDS, otherwise, the loading may cause a failure and you’ll be sending the tank back to the manufacturer in a crate much smaller than the one they used to ship it to you…

The interior will be top-lit and is meant to showcase the filter and CO2 tower. Plumbing will eventually be fabricated out of stainless, and attached to the lily pipe via a bridge of clear tubing. The only encumbrance on the stand will be a low profile “control box”. The control box will be the central hub for all electrical components, including light ballasts, air pump, aquarium controller and additional timers.

I live almost 400 feet in the air, and was not about to chance this tank showering my neighbours and their drywall. I used an internet-based job board called “Elance” to tender out the engineering for the steel stand. I had a really great guy out of the US run some load tests and eventually churn out a report for my fabricator to use. My fabricator, Andrew from Custom Prototypes in Etobicoke, Ontario, did a spectacular job on the steel frame. It was a rush job and the frame was ready within two days of giving him the green light.

I had him add heavy duty self-levelling stainless feet to ensure I could get the stand perfectly level. The stainless feet add an additional 2” in height, giving the stand a total height of 33.5”. I have been advised that with a rimless tank (this being my first) any variation in level will give the waterline a “tilted” look, which I'd prefer to avoid.


*This is a duplicate post as the first go-around was flagged for moderator approval for some reason*
 

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