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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here are the specs:

ADA Mini M
Solar Mini M Light
27 Watt PC
Power Sand S
Aquasoil Amazonia 3L
Amazonia Powder 3L
Clear Super
Bacter 100
Eheim 2211
Ryuoh stone (from TPT)
5lb CO2 tank
Currently 1 to 1.5 bps
aqmagic nano diffuser
DIY Drop Checker
Cal Aqua 13mm lily pipes (From TPT)

Purchased clear tubing and reducer to switch out the green tubing that came with the eheim.
I wanted to find a cheaper alternative for high quality tubing, and was able to.
Used the site Computer Liquid Cooling & Premium Air Products, Parts, Kits & Accessories | Sidewinder Computers and ordered:
-----3/8 "to 1/2" reducer
-----6 feet of 1/2" durelene pvc tubing
-----1 foot of 3/8" durelene pvc tubing
Really wonderful tubing that isn't too stiff and fits perfectly with the lily pipes and the eheim quick disconnects.

DIY Garden mat:
Made from a rubber drawer liner that I purchased at a Dollar Store
here in NYC. I cut the mat to the size of the tank and placed it between the
tank and the lighting stand of the Solar Mini M.

Plants: Glosso and HC (from Pacific Aquarium on Delancey Street here in NYC)
Fauna: Will be: White Cloud Mountain Minnows (currently in a holding tank) and Cardinal Japonica or Cherry Shrimp (breeding in my other tanks)

So far I'm dosing 1ml of Flourish Potassium and .5ml of Flourish Trace after a
50% water change every morning
I will eventually be doing weekly water changes of 1/3 of the tank once my
plants start to establish.

Between 8 to 10 hours during the day

Aquarium Cover:
I have a curious cat so I keep a cover on the tank when I'm not home.
Went to a sign/glass company in Queens and had 1/4" glass cut to 12" X 8" for $10. Fits perfectly, especially with the metal tabs that came with the
tank for an optional top.

Here are some random snaps of my progress

Because my power sand and solar mini m light were on backorder from ADG
and got held up in customs, I decided to run my Eheim 2211 as an
additional filter on my fluval edge tank. Then I purchased some white
cloud mountain minnows for the fluval, however, they started eating my
cherry shrimp babies. So I made a quick tank with a glass orchid container
that I had leftover and put the minnows in there as well as my eheim 2211
and a whisper 30 filter. Once the light and sand came, I switched the eheim
to the ADA Mini M and kept the whisper on the minnow tank. The filter has been on the other tanks for about 4 to 4.5 weeks. I was adding nutrafin cycle on the white cloud tank with the eheim, mainly
because I found the bottle that I never used that came with my fluval edge,
and just wanted to give it a try.

progression shots of setting up the eheim 2211

So the dry scape:

I started with placing a layer of bacter 100 and clear super before I added
the power sand. Then I used a good amount of Power sand to aid in making
the large slope in the back of the tank. I made sure to keep the power sand
a couple centimeters away from the front of the tank. Then I added
a little more bacter 100 and clear super. Then came the Aquasoil Normal
type. I used the entire 3L bag. I sloped it with a baking spatula. Placed my rock setup which I had been contemplating for months (believe it or not), found a scape I enjoyed. Used the golden ration of 1:1.618. Then added a
little bit of power sand.

planted January 7, 2011
The tank is mainly HC. However, I found some really sexy glosso at Pacific
Aquarium and decided to plant the glosso in the back left corner in the photo.
I didn't plant too much glosso, but I mixed in some HC with it as well. I think
it may give the tank a nice contrast in depth and color. Experienced some
water clouding the past couple of days. So I've been Just doing daily
water changes and replanting the HC or Glosso that comes loose and
floats to the top. I planted the HC in clumps of three or four. Planting
was a little more difficult than I had predicted. It took a lot of patience,
especially trying to maintain the slope while planting, misting and slowly filling with water.
But once the water reached the top and the substrate adjusted a hair and resettled
from the vigorous planting, was I happy with the initial outcome. I honestly spent
hours yesterday watching the water circulate and the plants pearl.
My next project is going to be drilling the IKEA cabinet for the filter tubing. Best, el g

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks Zareth and boostfed.

Zareth, that's funny. When I ordered this light it was out of stock as well. The extra time I waited, seemed to be just enough for me to refill my CO2 tank, acclimate a new filter, plan a layout and just get things ready. I'm eager to put the fish in the tank. Waiting for the first signs of algae to set in. I need to snag a nitrite test kit to figure out what stage the tank is at. I just bought a 1.5" drill bit and drilled a hole in the ikea cabinet. Everything is looking pretty peachy now.

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Nice set up. I see, ADA has a new dropchecker design :)

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Yeah, Fat Guy ordered the very last Solar Mini M that we had on the container order ;). Every single one that came in was sold the day they arrived!

In any event, this hardscape looks like it's going to be a fun one to follow!

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the positive comments. I'm really excited about this tank and am very happy to finally have it up and running. My nitrites are around .2, but I'm glad that I've had the eheim running on another tank before setting this one up. I'm going to keep doing the 50% water change each day until Friday (1 week after planning). The water is still a little cloudy before each water change from the Aquasoil. I added some more clear super to the water column after a water change today. I can't imagine that it hurt. I'm looking forward to getting the tank cycled and then adding the white clouds. I could probably add them sooner because they are such a hardy fish, but I'd rather stay patient and stay the course. Still no signs of any algae, but I know that it is right around the corner. The HC and Glosso are doing well so far. And I feel quite happy with my daily dose of 1ml potassium and .5ml of seachem comprehensive. I wonder if anybody out there is using these products for their minis. I'm also very happy with the solar mini m light. I had been contemplating a clip on light or hampton before this purchase, but decided to stick with the solar mainly for quality and overall coherency with these tanks. I couldn't be happier. Reading the above posts, it sounds like ADG needs to get more of these lights. They're awesome and I dig it! (I'm currently watching my cat stare down into the tank for the first time. It's making me a little nervous, but I'm glad that I have a glass top that I put on when I'm away or asleep. He seems more interested in knocking over my test tubes and dosing syringes more than getting a face full of water). By the way, I'm happy to read that some have spotted the drop checker. It works like a charm. If you are contemplating one for a tank and have some aroma therapy oils laying around, I say go for it and make one!!

Thanks again for the nice comments. I am really looking forward to posting updates of this tanks progress. much love, el g.

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Hey Fat Guy,

Just ruthlessly trim the glosso down to the very base of the stem and it will carpet out as opposed to trying to go out - it's a stem plant, so it's natural craving is to grow up. Keeping co2 levels up will also encourage horizontal growth.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Frank. I learned a lot today doing this trim. It's been awhile since I've grown plants other than moss. Everything seems to be doing really well though. New root sprouts on both the glosso and HC. I think that I'm gonna keep the glosso in the background for now and not let it get to the front. I also planted some HC in between the glosso on Friday, so we'll see. Everything is pearling and still no algae in the system. I'm thinking about turning the co2 completely off at night. Doesn't make any sense to keep it on when the lights are off. I usually don't turn it off at night because I'm lazy, but will probably have to when I put the fish in.

When amano talks about aerating with his lily pipes for 14 hours when the lights are off, is that essentially done by raising the lily pipe to break the surface tension? I'm also wondering when to add the fish. So far, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. I'm wondering if I should wait for the HC and glosso to kick off before adding fish to avoid excessive nitrates in the water column and algae blooms. any thoughts?
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