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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First off, this would not have been possible without the generosity of Homer_Simpson. Last week, he offered me ADA aquasoil Amazonia II for free...and I didn't even ask for it! I was definitely surpirsed and more importantly, VERY appreciative for the great gift. It was my birthday just on Feb 6, and probably as great a birthday present as one could get! So thanks again HS for the great gift. Watch out for some shipments to come your way as the weather gets warmer!

I have never really used any ADA products other than the books, so this will be my first time attempting some sort of 100% ADA-inspired tank.






Goals:
- To keep a good track of how much will be spent on the tank.
- To have a Nature Aquarium inspired tank.
- To try to use DIY on certain aspects to keep costs down so it gives others a good idea on how to build an ADA-inspired tank on a small budget.

I will greatly appreciate comments and suggestions, as this will be a work-in-progress.

Tank dimensions: 5 gallon, 16" x 8.5" x 10", $10.
Substrate: ADA aquasoil Amazonia II, FREE from Homer_Simpson
Lighting: Decided! 2x 13w 6500k CF spiral bulbs, DIY lighting system. $20
CO2: 2 litre DIY bottle
Filtration: Undecided
Flora: HC (Hemianthus callitrichoides)
Fauna: Undecided

Notes:
The tank originally had a top brace. I used an exacto knife to cut it off. It seems that the top brace is not needed for well-constructed tanks under 10g. The first time I tried to take a top brace off, I broke off pieces of glass on my 2.5 gallon. This time, I took my time and cut off the top brace w/o any damage. Then I used carpet razors to scrape off the excess silicon seams on the top.

This will be my 2nd attempt at HC emersed growth after the 1st try failed.

Looking forward to comments and help!

Regards,
Dexter
 

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Awesome Dex. Look forward to seeing your progress as I would love to get something low-budget ADA-style nano going in my work office. It's pretty drab in here and it'd be nice to have some life.

Keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I might beat Cmlaracy's record for longest thread w/o water in the tank. :D

Right now short on $$$, so I think I will try emersed, that way, no filter is needed.

Some ideas I have thought of for filtration:

Internal filter, cheapest route, however, the cheapest. Should run $10-20.
Mini canister filter, either Zoo Med 501 or Tom Rapids C-80. $40-50. Best filter available probably, keeps tank real estate free.
mini HOBs -- I have tried HOB w/ co2. It works pretty well too, but would like to try the canister route.

Lighting--just today I saw spiral CF 13w bulbs at 6500k at Home Depot. Prices of CF spirals are getting cheaper and cheaper, and more variety. Pretty excited about this, they only sold 4100k prior, and 6500k looks way better. I am thinking of building a canopy that can run 3x 13w spiral bulbs, then suspending the lights (as shown in recent thread). I estimate this should cost around $30.

As for cabinet, I am getting pretty handy at them building simple designs, built two this week. Just need wood + screws + piano hinges, estimating to be ($30). I have black matte paint already.

Another issue to resolve is heating. Maybe an inline heater to keep the tank free of most equipment. This would work for a canister filter, just plumb it inline. CO2 can be done in-line as well.

Thanks vonzorfox, hopefully I can live up to expectations lol.
 

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It's always nice to see someone doing things like this that is in the same town as where i am. That way i know what you use can be found locally... subscribed....good luck , would luv some picture updates
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Internal you could try an elite mini... pretty small.
And that tank isn't an ADA huh?
Looks like the frame is still on the bottom
I think I looked into the elite mini. Haven't found any locally, and I think the flow is recommend for maximum 3 gallon. Maybe I could run 2 of those, but it will take too much space.

Thanks for suggestion.

It's always nice to see someone doing things like this that is in the same town as where i am. That way i know what you use can be found locally... subscribed....good luck , would luv some picture updates
Yeah the only hard items to find is probably the ADA aquasoil. Otherwise, rimless tanks you can custom order. Hopefully my project turns out well.

looks promising
only thing i would say is to dry plant the hc. other good plants i would reccomend are echinodorus tennellus for a good bushy space filling and easy plant, plus maybe some small crypts
Good idea! I have some tennellus so I'll give that a go. I'm constantly pushing people to trade fsome crypts to me for stem plants. Crypts grow too slow and are expensive to buy. Whereas stem plants grow so prolifically it's easy to use them for trade.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey guys, I did a DIY lighting system and added HC today.



See the thread on DIY section for the DIY lighting system that cost about $20. Extremely easy to build.

The scape is just tempoary, I haven't decided what to do yet.

Oh yeah, sadly, I started with a 3x3 inch full pad of lush HC. After the failed emersed experiment the first time, I only have a few bits of HC left. So hopefully that grows back!
 

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I think I looked into the elite mini. Haven't found any locally, and I think the flow is recommend for maximum 3 gallon. Maybe I could run 2 of those, but it will take too much space.

Thanks for suggestion.
Hey Dekstr, PJ pets carry the elite mini filter (i brought mine in the thornhill promenade locations few weeks ago) It is $13.87

But...I think they also have a sales on the pirates aquarium kit for $25 which include a 3gallon acrylic tank, fish food, conditioner and the elite mini filter...
if you want an extra tank, it is a pretty good deal...
 

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btw...i felt that the flow of the elite mini filter is too powerful in my 3 gallon tank...it kinda concentrate all the water outflow in one spot creating a powerful current...if my shrimp accidentally swim into the water outflow path, it will get blown all the way to the side and hit the glass

I pretty much turn the flow rate to minimum in my 3g tank now..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for suggestions. I will try to drop by PJs sometime to pick up that elite mini filter. The pirate aquarium kit... not really feeling it lol. I will take a look when I have time.

I think the flow on a 5g will be good. Funny comment on the shrimp getting blown off the path and hitting the glass!

The tank will probably house a couple of RCS and small fish.
 
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