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Fuzz's ADA 60-P (Updated 7/26/11)

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Hey this is my first tank journal starting from initial setup of the tank. Been lurking on the forums for a while building my own low-tech budget tank and then I got hooked and decided to go for the good stuff.

It's an ADA 60p on a home-made stand. Right now I just have the new Amazonia Soil and Nile sand with some rocks while I'm deciding on the layout.

Setting up the sand:

Soil, sand, and rock layout as of now:

Full shot:

sorry it's dark I'll get a better shot of the stand and everything later

Inside the cabinet with some equipment:

Crappy paint job on the inside, I got kinda lazy with it :x

I have a branchy piece of manzanita driftwood from my first setup with moss and regular/needle-leaf java fern that will go on the right side.

I'm also gonna carpet the sides with dwarf hair grass and include stem plants in the corners and put some crypts in there somewhere.

This is all the stuff I'm intending to put in there so I'll upload more pictures as I get it set up.
Let me know what you think, I'm open for critiques!


- Tank: ADA 60p
- Stand: Custom made stand to fit the tank
- CO2: 5lb tank, single gauge regulator
- Filter: DIY filter made out of an aluminum canister
- Light: ZooMed 24" Fixture suspended from an overhead shelf.


- Eleocharis Parvula (Dwarf Hair Grass) carpet
- Cryptocoryne Wendtii
- Bacopa Caroliniana
- Mayaca Fluviatilis
- Lindernia sp. 'India'
- Clinopodium Brownei (a.k.a. Lindernia Anagallis)
- Alternanthera Reineckii
- Hemianthus Micranthemoides (Baby Tears)
- Hemianthus Callitrichoides (Dwarf Baby Tears)
- Hydrocotyle Verticillata

on the driftwood:
- Microsorum pteropus (needle leaf/ regular/ wendelov)
- Christmas Moss
- Mini Pellia

Not sure what kind of fish I want yet so let me know if you have any suggestions for that. I know I at least want oto's and/or cory's, some shrimp, and cool schooling fish.

Thanks for looking and I'll keep you guys updated as it progresses!
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Your off to a great start. I really love your stand and light fixture. Maybe you can run the lights power cord along the doors trim so that it's not hanging behind the tank?

To me the large rock in the front left feels out of place and obstructive. Since it's so large in the front and maybe because it looks different than the others, my eyes are
naturally drawn to focus on it instead of the overall beauty. Another small concern I have is that the 2 smaller rocks will become completely hidden once the DHG fills in.

I look forward to seeing the Manzi in place and how it all turns out. Best of luck! :icon_mrgr

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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, the tank and substrate were from ADG, it was a birthday present :)

I was hoping for the stem plants and the driftwood to replace the need for more rocks but I may play around with them some more and see if I like it. I have a couple extra rocks but I picked out the ones I liked most for right now. It's not Iwagumi style so I wasn't going for a very rock heavy layout. The right side is going to be mainly just the driftwood and hair grass to give kind of a hilly meadow with a mossy tree on it and stem plants behind. And the left side was gonna be a rocky mountain with bits of grass near the front and stem plants layering behind

Also I was going to get some frosted tint on the back of the tank to hide the wall texture and that annoying power cord. If it's still noticeable I may be able to hide it on the side. Right now the cord is just going to an outlet in the wall near the middle of the cabinet so it hangs over in the way but eventually it will connect to a power strip inside the cabinet so I can move it away from the background.

That front rock is pretty large but at first I was picturing that it would give more perspective and depth with it being in the front and the smaller ones being in the back like they are farther in the background. I'm still playing around with the layout figuring out what I like before I set up the plants. It's frustrating though working with soil and sand especially with that slope because all the soil keeps rolling down into the sand and I'm afraid if I move that rock now I may really mess it up :( If you have any suggestions for how to avoid that it would be really helpful because I do want to try out different layouts for that rock but I don't want to mess up the soil and sand border.

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1,077 Posts
Nice setup and tank. All you guys that are getting this tank are taking my ideas for when I want to do mine. So now when I do mine its going to seem like I am copying everyone else, lol. :-(

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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The canister for the filter is custom made from an aluminum container. They're mostly used as time capsules or air-tight storage right now but they were originally used as WWII supply containers (info from my dad, not sure how accurate that is). The pump is external with 200 G/H (757 L/H according to google convert) and will be mounted on the back of the cabinet eventually. I have a DIY reactor that will diffuse the CO2 and will be inline with everything in the cabinet eventually.

I'm considering putting dividers between the sand and soil if I notice it getting too mixed up but for right now I'm just gonna leave it so it's easier to work with. I'm hoping the HG will grow a bit into the sand and hide the border to keep it from looking so obvious.

Aw I'm sorry for using your ideas :( but it doesn't matter if it's similar layout and stuff I'm sure they will still look very different because of plants and everything. I've been kinda working on a setup like this for a while in another tank and when I got this I wanted to recreate it better.

This is an older picture of my first setup in a de-rimmed 10g.

That's the same driftwood I'm gonna put in the new tank but now it has moss and needle leaf java fern on it, I don't have any current pictures of it but you guys will see when I get it in there.

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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Planted the HG a few days ago:

Doing a dry start to let the roots take hold while I wait for more plants and my filter pipes.

Hair grass around the rocks:

Here's a couple bits of HC that my room-mate gave me to put in front of the largest rock:

He's still waiting on his carpet to fill in so he could only give me this small portion. Hopefully once his starts filling in I can get more. This should help the large rock seem less massive once it grows in.

Full shot of the outside of the cabinet (sorry it's so bright around it, had to do it to get the cabinet to show up):

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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The tank's looking nice :)
Can't wait for that awesome piece of driftwood to be placed in..
Thanks :) I like it too, should turn out much nicer than my original tank. I like the extra room because the driftwood I have is slightly too wide and too tall for the 10g and I couldn't really do much with it, but the extra room should really help give me more options for placement.

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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey guys it's been a couple weeks and I finally got it all set up. Had a set back with my original pump that was leaking and drawing in air, so I replaced it with a BlueLine 175GPH pump. Now I got it all filled and planted.

Here's a full shot of the filled tank:

As you can tell I've had a bit of an avalanche of soil that's been flowing into the sand :( gonna try to get that sorted out.

I also added some extra clumps of some submersed grass I had to fill in the empty spots so it can carpet quicker.

View from the right side:

Put some low growing Hydrocotyle in the open space between the rocks:

Moss on the driftwood & my DIY drop checker:

Close-up of the Christmas moss:

Here's a shot of my DIY acrylic lily pipe, check out the tiny vortex!

Matching acrylic inflow:

Found this little guy crawling around on my glass, must have been in one of my plant packages. Hopefully there's not enough of them to keep breeding but I wouldn't mind having a couple snails running around cleaning up my tank.

This is a cool shot of the tank with the reflection from my mirror (also makes a nice avatar pic ;))

Now all I need to do is wait for my plants to grow in and get the tank cycled so I can start stocking! Let me know what you think. Thanks for looking! :)
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