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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone!

My names Mark, and I am looking forward to keeping this journal documenting my initial tank setup that will be utilizing the ADA 60-F Cube Garden! Now this is my first ever ADA build, and I couldn't be happier. From the first time I saw the shallow tanks made by Aqua Design Amano, I fell in love. Something about the long and low dimensions of this tank I find so appealing. With this journal I hope to record all of my knowledge and experiences learned while caring for this aquarium. Inspiration for this tank has been drawn from builds by The Green Machine's James Findley, his works Tributary and Crimson Sky in particular.

As of right now, we are in the beginning stages of the build. I just pulled the trigger (today) on my tank, substrate and a few pieces of hardscape that I may or may not use (depending on shape of wood). Let me give you a rundown of what I have just purchased:

On The Way:

-ADA 60-F Cube Garden
-ADA Garden Mat (60x30 cm)
-ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia (9 liters) normal type
-ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia (3 liters) powder type
-ADA Power Sand Special-S (2 liters)

-ADA Hornwood Medium (x1)
-ADA Hornwood Small (x1)
-ADA Wood Tight (10m)

Now I know your probably thinking, "two pieces of hardscape? Odd numbers are more desirable in a planted tank." Yeah yeah yeah, I know this.:grin2: Hence why I have another nice piece of ADA Hornwood already in my possession (as well as some spiderwood).

This build will be High-tech, utilizing the EI dosing method of dry ferts via Greenleaf Aquariums, injected Co2 (also from GLA), and high lighting. Now I do have to acquire a few more pieces to this extravagant puzzle,

these "pieces" include:

-A filter (probably gonna go with Eheim)
-Lily Pipes (not necessary but desired)
-An attractive stand (maybe Pier1 or IKEA)
-Inline Co2 diffuser (I have a pollen glass to use temporarily)
-Manifold block for my regulator to split Co2
-New light possibly (currently have a Finnex Planted+ 20" that I may be able to use if suspended)

All of this equipment isn't for nothing, I mean what's a planted tank without any plants?! :laugh2: The plans I have for flora and fauna aren't solidified, but that's the fun! Adapting to how the tank functions will make the selection unique. However, this doesn't mean I don't have any in mind.:wink2: Possibilities are as follows:

Fauna:

Fish:

-Celestial Pearl Danios (Definitely)
-Dwarf Emerald Rasboras (?)
-Chili Rasboras (?)
-Ember Tetras (?)
-Espei Rasboras
-Ottos (Definitely)
-Other small fish (feel free to suggest!)

Inverts:

-Taiwan Bee Shrimp (Blue Bolts & Shadow Panda's)
-Amano Shrimp

Flora:

-AR Mini
-Ammania sp. Bonsai (Rotala Bonsai)?
-Dwarf Hairgrass
-Anubias nana petite
-Bucephalandra (mini blue, silver powder, turtle)
-Pogostemon Helferi (Downoi)
-Pogostemon Erectus
-Staurogyne Repens
-Fissidens Fontanus
-Tonina Fluviatillis Lotus Blossom
-Trident Java Fern
- HC Cuba?
-Erios?

Again, these are all possibilities and nothing is permanent, most are just plants I have access to as of right now. I'm pretty comfortable with knowing the growth habits of these plants and how they will look when grown in, those marked with a "?" I am not too sure as I have yet to obtain them, but a little research goes a long way.

This will conclude the intro into what will hopefully be a beautiful and breathtaking scape when I'm finished with it! I'll make sure to keep this well updated and include even minute steps along the way, to give you a sense of belonging if you do end up following along with this thread for Shallow Waters.

Thanks for your time!:smile2:




 

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Sounds like the beginnings of an awesome build, Mark!

Your fish list looks good, although I think having both Danio margaritatus and erthromicron could be repetitive and/or cause hybrids, unless you mean microdevario kubotai as the emerald dwarf rasbora.

I think CPDs with Chili Rasboras would provide nice contrasting colors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like the beginnings of an awesome build, Mark!

Your fish list looks good, although I think having both Danio margaritatus and erthromicron could be repetitive and/or cause hybrids, unless you mean microdevario kubotai as the emerald dwarf rasbora.

I think CPDs with Chili Rasboras would provide nice contrasting colors.
Ahh yes I was thinking erythromicron. I've had these little guys before and the males are nicely colored. I completely agree with the contrast between the chili rasbora and CPD's. They would compliment nicely.:smile2: also, thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tiny update!

Today I got in my tropica Ammania sp. bonsai (Rotala Bonsai). Looks healthy and I'm surprised at how many stems were in that tiny little cup! Planted as many as I could fit into my 40B to transition them from their emersed state to submersed so I can use them without any melt in my 60-F.

Here's some pics! (iPhone quality):
Also an above tank pic of my 40B
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got in my material that I'm gonna be using to bank up my substrate. Blank black coroplast signs 18" x 24". A five pack only cost around 15$ so I should be set for awhile! They look very similar to TGM substrate supports.
Very easy to cut to size as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Shipment came in! I'll be doing an update later tonight after work. Gonna need some hard scape advice and ideas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So as one might imagine, I was EXTREMELY happy to find my package sitting on my doorstep when I got home that contained all of my equipment (for the most part).
First step in unboxing was checking the tank for any cracks or damage via shipping. I was pretty worried considering it came all the way from California to Delaware.

Despite a small puncture in my aquasoil bag, everything made it to me in one piece!

I threw together some quick little hardscape ideas before heading to work. I definitely like two of the pieces of hornwood I have and their curved shape, but the one smaller piece is a weird 'knuckle' of sorts. Might take some positioning to get this one to look right.

Please share your thoughts! :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know this build is creeping along slowly, and trust me when I say the anxiety is hitting me hard. I just can't wait to get scaping this beauty! I've been holding out for cyber Monday so I can snag the rest of my gear for much cheaper than usual and hopefully with free shipping. Was at the petstore today and they had an interesting piece of mopani wood that is different from any others I've seen. Most are just warped knuckles of ugly wood, but this one resembles a small stump, and is riddled with holes as if it had termites or something. It would be perfect wood for shrimps. It also matches fairly well with my other pieces of driftwood. Just figured I'd share my unique little find. Stay tuned, as this build will be taking off in the next week or so!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, today I finally received the final major piece of the puzzle, my Besta stand from IKEA. The second I got home from work I broke it out and slammed it together. I was surprised to find how perfectly the tank fits on the stand, almost seamless!

Now I had been thinking of suspending my light fixture atop the tank to keep that seamless and minimalistic look going. Following a guideline via another forum, I crafted an arm to hover over my tank and support my Finnex Planted +. Strapped to the stand with conduit hangers. I drilled holes in the pipe to string cables through, and painted the whole thing black with heat resistant spray paint beforehand. If anyone would like the link to that thread please let me know! In the pictures it will look a bit crooked and un-level. I am aware of this. I will go back and fine tune everything, being antsy to get scaping I rushed the whole process.

Now the scaping is where I need your input folks. I would really love to use these pieces of wood that I just bought soley for the making of this build, however if you think I should subtract or substitute any driftwood out please let me know. I like the idea of my hardscape breaking the surface of the water in spots. Here are a few mock ups of my current ideas.
 

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You're off to a great start. I love your enthusiasm.

Of the four hardscapes you tried, I like the first one the best. However, I can't help but think that it's a bit too balanced. Perhaps if you were to shift all pieces more to the left or right, it would give the hardscape more tension.

By doing it this way it will open up a full half to a third of the tank. This would allow a large area for more concentrated plant mass.

The way that I see it, with shallow, open-top tanks like the 60F, much of the beauty of them is looking at them from above. So by having a more open space you can see a wide, pretty swath of carpet or stem tops as you are standing looking down into the tank.

Meaning, I think you should adjust your layout to give the tank two different focal points: one from above (the plants) and one from straight on (the DW).

I can't see your other tank too clearly, but from what I can see, you've got great growth going on there so there is no doubt in my mind that you can grow plants, so I'm sure this tank will come out great.

Keep it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree completely with the whole 'looking above the tank' point that you made Ugly. I stare at the top of my 40B all the time haha, the plants are just so beautiful from above! When I get home I'll take your advice into consideration and try to alter that first pictured scape style. I'm gonna lean towards keeping the hard scape off to the right side of the tank! Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here's a couple of quick adjusted scapes. They offer good planting space still, I know they are kinda evenly spaced though which sucks, I just wish I had the tiniest bit more room to work with! Oh well. Let me know what your thoughts are. (iPhone quality pics, sorry)
 

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Mark,

Great start! I am a huge fan of TGM! I'm pretty sure I have watched every video they have about a dozen times.

I recently ordered the exact same tank as an early Christmas present to myself. As of now that is all I have ordered. I've been all over the place on design and layout ideas and have not committed to anything as yet. I am pleased to see you are using the Finnex fixture, I've considered the doing a very similar stand/suspended light over my tank. I've been wavering on the LED vs T5 Vs CFL. I have two planted systems right now a 40b (about 6 weeks old) and a 54g corner tank that is over 5 years old. Both of these tanks have LEDs (custom built) so I know plants grow well when you have them adjusted properly. I'll be curious to see your results with this light suspended.

I have never done a DSM and after reading UG's thread (all in one night I might add) I feel compelled to give it a try.

I guess the short of my overly long story is I will be following along!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mark,

Great start! I am a huge fan of TGM! I'm pretty sure I have watched every video they have about a dozen times.

I recently ordered the exact same tank as an early Christmas present to myself. As of now that is all I have ordered. I've been all over the place on design and layout ideas and have not committed to anything as yet. I am pleased to see you are using the Finnex fixture, I've considered the doing a very similar stand/suspended light over my tank. I've been wavering on the LED vs T5 Vs CFL. I have two planted systems right now a 40b (about 6 weeks old) and a 54g corner tank that is over 5 years old. Both of these tanks have LEDs (custom built) so I know plants grow well when you have them adjusted properly. I'll be curious to see your results with this light suspended.

I have never done a DSM and after reading UG's thread (all in one night I might add) I feel compelled to give it a try.

I guess the short of my overly long story is I will be following along!
I'm pleased to hear your in the same boat as myself ! I've also got a 40B planted right next to this new tank. I appreciate you following along, please, if you do start a thread for your 60F send me the link! I'd love to follow. Being my first Ada tank I wanted to go all out so I bought good equipment and built it to my liking, the stand that is. I've actually settled on a hard scape. I know I've been asking for some help in deciding , but figured it's my tank and I'm gonna work with what I have to make it appealing to my interests. So get ready cause planting will be happening very soon! Here's shots of the final scape layout :
 

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I like it! Suggestions and others comments are great but ultimately the tank has to make you happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hit the local fish store today to find they had just gotten in some CPD's! I couldn't resist any longer and bought ten of the little guys. Lucky for me the woman working said she was only charging me for 10 even though she gave me 12. Very generous! Gonna house these in my planted 40 breeder until I plant and cycle my 60F. Can't wait to see these beauties color up!

Next on the list, maybe axelrodi blue or chili rasboras? Might snag some Pygmy cories too, we shall see!
 

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Hit the local fish store today to find they had just gotten in some CPD's! I couldn't resist any longer and bought ten of the little guys. Lucky for me the woman working said she was only charging me for 10 even though she gave me 12. Very generous! Gonna house these in my planted 40 breeder until I plant and cycle my 60F. Can't wait to see these beauties color up!

Next on the list, maybe axelrodi blue or chili rasboras? Might snag some Pygmy cories too, we shall see!
Jealous!!!!

I just ordered my stone and substrate for my tank. The tank still hasn't arrived which is a good thing as I would probably rush things together. I really want to take my time and do this right!
 
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