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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just getting started in the hobby, so here's the journal for my first planted tank. All feedback is welcome!

Here's the set up:

Tank: ADA Mini-L

Substrate: ADA Amazonia II Aqua Soil

Lighting: Current Nova Extreme 18" fixture with 2 T5HO 10000K Bulbs

Filter: Eheim 2213

CO2: 5 lb. canister with Milwaukee regulator and GLA Nano diffuser

Flora:

  • Micro Sword
  • HC
  • Red Wendtii
  • Crypt Parva
  • Ambulia
  • Ludwigia Repens x Arcuata

Fauna:

  • 3 Otos

I'll keep this post current as the tank evolves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Over the past couple of nights I got the tank set up on the stand, put in the substrate and a couple of rocks. Last night I added Micro Sword and a tiny bit of HC. I'm going to start things out with the soil immersed, and fill the tank up in a few weeks.


Tonight I covered the tank in plastic wrap and began misting:

 

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looks good...what are you gonna keep and are you dosing anything to help the cycle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
isu712 - Yeah, I'm not totally sold on these rocks. I plan to go rock shopping today to replace the left ones, hopefully with something a bit bigger and less flat.

adrianng1996 - Thanks! Not dosing anything yet. Once it's filled I'll probably add some shrimp first, maybe otos and tetras later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Last night I found a couple of rocks I liked at the LFS, as well as a fresh shipment of HC.

I replaced the rocks on the left side with a big monolithic one, and added a new rock to the back right corner where I also planted the HC.

I'm liking the look of this much more than before.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Alan! I got the plants for this tank from AquaTek on Burnet Rd. It's a great shop and the guys there have been really helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After spending some time looking at the tank and noticing how nice the HC looked, I decided to reduce the area of microsword carpet, and fill the empty space with HC.

Growth of the HC has been very good so far. The microsword is doing ok; some are sending out runners and new growth, but the tips of several have melted.

Also, my new Eheim 2213 canister filter came in last week, which is pretty exciting. All that's left now is a CO2 setup which I plan to purchase in 3 weeks or so. With luck, the tank will be ready to fill in 4-6 weeks.



 

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Nice looking rocks and the tank is coming along really nice.

Out of curiosity, why did you plant the microsword at the foreground?
Don't you think you are not going to be able to see the HC once the MS grow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
actioncia - Thanks! Yes, the HC was growing emersed.

MONARK - The microsword is all in front of the rocks now, so it shouldn't block the view of the HC.

The Gipper - Yes, I like it a lot actually. It comes with 4 legs that sit on the edge of the tank. A suspended lighting setup would be ideal, but I didn't feel like drilling into my apartment's ceiling ;)

AlexXx - Me too. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My HC carpet filled almost all the way in, and I got the feeling the microsword was not too pleased with being emersed, so I took the plunge and filled the tank this week.

I got a 5 lb. CO2 canister with a Milwaukee regulator and GLA Nano diffuser. I also planted a Red Wendtii and Crypt Parva.

Things are looking pretty good. There is a little algae at the bottom from pooled water during the dry start, but it looks to be clearing up.









 

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Tank: ADA Mini-L

Substrate: ADA Amazonia II Aqua Soil

Lighting: Current Nova Extreme 18" fixture with 2 T5HO 10000K Bulbs

Filter: Eheim 2213

CO2: 5 lb. canister with Milwaukee regulator and GLA Nano diffuser
Dude! Nice setup.. I was actually part of another forum and started to do some research on the ADA Mini-L... when I googled it, I found this thread so I had to register to follow along! What's even more bizarre, I already had all the equipment that you listed on my shopping list for the tank. However, instead of large rocks, I want to use smaller ones with a nice piece of wood (for example: LINK). Anyway, I was comparing the Current 18" fixture you have with an Archaea clip on lamp but was leaning more toward the Current because it's cheaper. I noticed that the Current either comes with a freshwater option that looks like it comes with a bright pinkish hue lamp with a white one versus the 10k lamps that are all white... Do you (or any of you guys) know the difference and which is better (looks and benefits)?

Are the legs removable on the Current if you ever wanted to suspend it from some steel cables or something?

Lastly, I'm trying to gauge my overall cost with this setup... if you don't mind, would you be so kind as to list how much you got everything for and from where (if the deals were better)?

Thanks! :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Brian - I also chose the Current light over the Archaea clip-on, since I liked the look and cost better.

As for the bulbs, I think you can get either a freshwater package with 1 10KK bulb and 1 pink bulb, or a saltwater package with 1 460nm blue bulb and 1 10KK bulb. The latter is what I got, and I bought a second 10KK bulb to replace the blue one.

The legs of the Current lamp are indeed removable (they don't come attached, you have to slide them in.)

I got a coupon from offers.com and used that to get the filter and light on sale. I think it was from either PetMountain.com or Drs. Foster Smith. The tank and soil are from adana-usa.com, the GLA diffuser is direct from GLA, and the CO2 setup was from aquariumplants.com.
 
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