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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well after much research and help from Frank at Aquarium Design Group my ADA Mini M is up and running. I had this tank setup for the first time about a year ago but it got torn down when I moved plus I was having very bad algae problems. I feel much more confident about my setup this time. Here is a link that I found very helpful and answered a lot of my questions. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=168992
I have always been the type of person that will work towards what I want or find a substitute. This was the case for this project as well. I love ADA's product line but honestly can't afford everything. I decided I would buy what was the most important from ADA and make the rest. The stand and light were made by me to look like their products. I also made the lily pipes from clear plastic pipe (no it was not easy haha). Anyway enough with the talking onto the specs and pictures. I will try my best to update as much as possible.

AQUARIUM: ADA mini m

LIGHTING: I custom made an ADA style light and I am using the 27w 8000k ADA bulb

STAND: I custom made the stand to look like the ADA stand

CO2: 5lb tank with Victor VTS 253A-320 regulator, Fabco nv-55-18 needle valve, and Burkert 6011 solenoid. Using an ebay diffuser

FILTER: Eheim 2213 with 13mm clear ADA hoses hooked up to plastic lily pipes I made

SUBSTRATE: ADA Amazonia

FERTS: Green Bacter - 3 drops after water changes
Brighty K - 1 squirt dosed daily
Green Brighty Step 1 - 2 squirts dosed daily
Flourish Excel - half a capful dosed daily
Eca - 3 drops dosed weekly

FLORA: Hemianthus callitrichoides, Lilaeopsis Mauritius

FAUNA: 2 otocinclus

Hardscape:


Plants in the tank:


Tank just filled (still cloudy):


Tank after water cleared:
 

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Awesome DIY! You sir, have skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The plastic pipes I got from a local plastic shop, I can't remember the name of it. Basically I heated up the stove top and held the pipe over the heat where I needed to make the first bend. The key is you have to spin the pipe so it doesn't get too hot. It will easily bubble if it gets too hot or kink when you bend it. After you get the first bend then test fit it to make sure it's right, if so move to the second bend.
 

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Absolutely love the tank, aquascape, and stand. I'm not very big on the light solution - in my opinion it doesn't quite fit the cleanliness of the rest of the setup. I think having polished piping instead of black would go a long way to keeping the beauty of the setup. That's a very minor nitpick, though, I'm just offering some constructive criticism!

Keep up the good work!

Another thought: you could build a small shelf above the CO2 canister for the dry goods, might help you keep things organized in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Clean and simple. Good DIY skills as well.

Is the stand made of MDF? Looks painted as well. Would you mind briefly explaining the materials used? I'm impressed on how it turned out.
Yes. It is actually covered in Formica. I thought about painting it but I figured putting Formica down would make it last longer and look better. The door was hung using euro hinges which was the hardest part of the whole thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Absolutely love the tank, aquascape, and stand. I'm not very big on the light solution - in my opinion it doesn't quite fit the cleanliness of the rest of the setup. I think having polished piping instead of black would go a long way to keeping the beauty of the setup. That's a very minor nitpick, though, I'm just offering some constructive criticism!

Keep up the good work!

Another thought: you could build a small shelf above the CO2 canister for the dry goods, might help you keep things organized in the long run.
Thank you! Yeah I definitely think polished pipe would look good too. Putting a shelf in never even crossed my mind but I like the idea. I think I might add one in the future.
 

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Yes. It is actually covered in Formica. I thought about painting it but I figured putting Formica down would make it last longer and look better. The door was hung using euro hinges which was the hardest part of the whole thing.
I've heard how hard formica is to work with, so your level of skill definitely shows.

I used euro hinges with my ADA style stand and I understand what you mean. Took a lot of double checking my measurements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Can you show me how the tubing is exiting the stand and entering the tank?
Sure. In the picture the lily pipe to the right is the inflow and the lily pipe to the left is the outflow. So basically it goes down the tube on the right, gets cycled through the Eheim 2213 canister filter and then comes up the tube to the left where the water is returned into the tank. Hope that helps. Also, typically I don't use the suction cups but I have been playing with the height of my lily pipes.


So technically I have been using a 24w 6500k bulb that I have had since my old tank setup. I decided I wanted to switch to the ADA Solar Mini bulb since I needed a new bulb anyways. Problem was the connector I had was a straight 4 pin adapter and the ADA bulb uses a square 4 pin adapter. So I ordered an ADA bulb and a square pin adapter. After work tonight I grabbed a beer and the connector and got to work. Just finished up and man is this bulb BRIGHT! It makes my tank pop even more now. Anyway below are pictures showing it off and on, even though it's way brighter in person.

 

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Looking great. What material is that reflector in the light hood? If it's metallic, which I'm assuming it is, you should lap it with some fine grit sandpaper. If you can get a mirror finish on it, your PAR values should go up.

As an alternative, you can use a little bit of chocolate from a chocolate bar, but that's another story... :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's a scrap piece of metal from a heat duct pipe (A new one that is haha). It reflects a good amount but sand paper probably would help out. I had a reflector from my old light but I couldn't get it to fit unfortunately
 
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