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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone!!

Well I'm new to the forum but not new to aquariums. I have been in saltwater for a few years and have enjoyed it thoroughly (well, I'm still enjoying it, scratch the past tense). For the time being I've decided to set up a little FW planted tank instead of upgrading my 29g reef to a 40g breeder (that plan is still in the works, it just needs...more planning. and more money). This tank will go on my desk so I have something in my room to look at (get distracted by). I'm going for the more aesthetic look, something that is calming. So the Iwagumi style tanks came to mind, and that is what I'm trying to shoot for. I have a few buddies that are into these style planted tanks and I have them for reference too. Thought I would post my adventure on here... Here is a list of equipment that I plan on using:

tank: ADA Mini S (roughly 3.5g)
31cm x 18cm x 24cm

filtration: Azoo palm filter, rated for 5-10g. Since this is a small tank, I thought that shelling out 50+ for a canister filter was pointless. Just something with a sponge will suffice, I hope. It's actually not that bad looking. If all else fails and it's a really bad eyesore, I could try to hide it with some plants.

lighting: haven't really figured this one out...I've heard that a high rated desk lamps work okay. Something along the lines of 20-25 watts. I might make a trip to staples or something and have a looksy. If not I could find a small PC or T5 fixture suitable for this application. (space is a factor keep in mind).

substrate: I have access to eco-complete from a fellow aquarist. I've been contemplating if I could do something a little more fine grain to make it look...finer? Like a fine amazonia or something. Any ideas?

CO2: A believe a simple DIY CO2 reactor will be okay...I can have it dialed in by the time it is cycled. I want to go with a classy glass diffuser too. I think that would look nice.


So am I doing ok? Am I missing anything? I will update as I make progress!
 

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So far everything sounds good! And welcome to TPT! In something of that size though, you will be limited to only small inverts, such as snails and maybe a couple shrimp. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So far everything sounds good! And welcome to TPT! In something of that size though, you will be limited to only small inverts, such as snails and maybe a couple shrimp. Good luck!
Yep I realize that...which is perfectly okay.:icon_smil
 

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Well...there are a couple fish that could live in the tank if there is adequite filtration. Microrasboras, specifically chili rasboras, come to mind, in addition to some Killie fish, dwarf livebearers, and wild betta's. I have a pair of wild betta's that are living happily in a 2.5 gallon tank.

Hope that helps
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well...there are a couple fish that could live in the tank if there is adequite filtration. Microrasboras, specifically chili rasboras, come to mind, in addition to some Killie fish, dwarf livebearers, and wild betta's. I have a pair of wild betta's that are living happily in a 2.5 gallon tank.

Hope that helps
I've heard about the rasboras. I might give them a try.

Just a little update, tank along with the filter have been ordered...just waiting on everything to come in!!
 

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I have kept many different boraras species (laymans terms, dwarf rasboras) and they are shoalers/schoolers that should be kept in groups of six or so (preferably more). In a 3.5gl tank, I wouldn't see them being very happy. Remember, 3.5gl's is the empty volume of water. Adding substrate, hardscape, etc, greatly reduces the open swimming area.
Just keep that in mind when picking out your livestock. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have kept many different boraras species (laymans terms, dwarf rasboras) and they are shoalers/schoolers that should be kept in groups of six or so (preferably more). In a 3.5gl tank, I wouldn't see them being very happy. Remember, 3.5gl's is the empty volume of water. Adding substrate, hardscape, etc, greatly reduces the open swimming area.
Just keep that in mind when picking out your livestock. Good luck!
Will keep that in mind...probably going to go with some yellow shrimp. Or maybe some CRS. I'm essentially doing this tank for the flora...the color of the shrimp would give enough contrast to make the tank a little more interesting to look at. Got an email today saying that the tank was shipped. It should arrive friday.

I hate being patient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So I guess being patient payed off. Got some amazonia from a buddy...got everything set up and now it's time to cycle (started 11/21). More being patient:mad:

Some pics:

tank and filter


quintessential ADA shot


close up of the filter






In goes the water


These were taken this morning







I'll do some test later today possibly just to see where I'm at...starting to plan out the stocking list furthermore. I ordered some ryuoh stone too...should be here tomorrow so I can finalize the hardscape. Probably going to change the style of the amazonia layout too...
 

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To be honest, that filter should be enough. Once you plant it and let the filter trap/collect any free floating debris, you might opt to switch out the filter pads for a small handful of ceramic rings or similar media. I run a Red Sea Nano filter and it only has ceramic media in it for the bacteria to colonize on. With all the plants, gravel, and ceramic rings, there should be more than enough biological filtration to justify just one filter, and use your saved money to purchase something else maybe. This being said, it is never a bad idea to overfilter, and as stated in the previous posts, those filters are small enough that you won't be whirl-pooling your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah these filters are cheap too...Thanks for all your input guys.

I actually had a buddy of mine give me some ceramic discs from his filter to kickstart my bacteria growth. I have about 6-7 of those discs in the back of the filter, then the foam filter pads are in there too. Fits nicely...but yes, once everything is settled I might just do away with the foam pads and add more ceramic discs.

A buddy told me about the jello method for DIY CO2. I might give this a try too...seeing as it might prove to last longer. Any thoughts?
 

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Is it still ADA if they use a sticker? I thought all ADA tanks, the ADA logo is printed directly on the tank and the sticker was the "fake" ones.
Just asking. I don't have an ADA so I am not sure about this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Is it still ADA if they use a sticker? I thought all ADA tanks, the ADA logo is printed directly on the tank and the sticker was the "fake" ones.
Just asking. I don't have an ADA so I am not sure about this.
This is the first time I've heard of that one...I bought it direct from ADA. So It should be real. It does have an ADA look to it. The seals are perfect. It looks like any other ADA I've seen.
 
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