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New ADA 30-C and 60-P Journal

11738 Views 51 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  CmLaracy

I recently got back into planted tanks after spending a few years in SW reefs. I'm still relatively new to planted tanks and have enjoyed reading various members tank journals. I decided that I would go with pressurized CO2 this time and also with smaller tanks. I selected two tanks from ADA, a 30-C because I've always liked cubes and a 60-P for a more traditional layout.

I ordered the 30-C cube from Aquaforest in SF, CA and it arrived well packed and with a free copy of the ADA 2006 layout. Will definitely order from the Lo brothers again.

The rest of my order came from ADG, and the Senske's were very pleasant to deal with. My 60-P came boxed separately from the rest of my order and was well packed. I also ordered a large bag of Aquasoil and two grey line kits for my glass CO2 diffusors. In my opinion both outfits are great to deal with. The ADA tanks have very clean lines and good silicon jobs, glass is a bit thinner than what I expected but that shouldn't be an issue.

I bought a set of glass intake/output tubes from Cal Aqua labs and they look great and a set of glass diffusors from Aquatic Magic which have not arrived yet. For filtration I will be using Eheim 2224's with Hydor inline heaters. And both tanks will be lit by a pair of 70 watt metal halide PFO pendants running 10k bulbs off electronic ballasts.

I plan on running both tanks off the same CO2 system so I ordered a small manifold from Rex Grigg and when that arrives I'll hook up the CO2 system to run off the light timer via a solenoid.

I'm still in the process of building my own stands for each ADA tank. I've finished the small 30-C stand. I followed the general directions from other folks that have done ADA like stands, I used 3/4" MDF and two coats of primer and sprayed a flat black for the finish coat.

Still deciding on plants and such, I may go with Eco complete for the small cube since that is what I used on my last planted tank. I may use the Aquasoil on the 60-P only unless I hear that Aquasoil is so much better than Eco. I do plan on some HC or similar foreground plant in both tanks.

Some pics

Tanks unpacked

Tanks moved to basement fishroom along with other equipment

Door open on stand (it comes completely off since its such a small stand - the Eheim barely fits in there.

The tanks behind the ADA are my nano reef setups, two 2.5G tanks plumbed to a common 10G sump and a 1 gallon cylinder reef and a large in-wall reef.
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Ohhh this is like candy to my eyes. Two? Wonderful!

Are you going to aquascape and plant them to compliment each other or do something completely different in both?

The stand looks a bit flimsy since it's so tall with a small foot print, is it?

With the AS/Eco thing I think AS is 100x better! this after using both back to back.
Jessica - yes I do plan on different aquascapes for both tanks. I'm still researching what would work for a beginner such as myself.

eklikewhoa - the stand itself is very sturdy but because it has a narrow base and a high profile it is not as stable as a standard cabinet. The stand sits at 36" tall - a bit taller than those nano-cube stands but much more solid in terms of how it was built. I have kids so I may have to add a wider base or anchor it into a wall to prevent the accidental tipping incident.
Update on progress.

Added larger base to stand to improve stability. Made DIY foam base for tank (aquamat). The Eheim piping will eventually be replaced with clear plastic returns that I plan on making as well. The Eheim 2224 and Hydor and metal halide ballast are mounted inside the cabinet as well as a power strip in the upper section.

Updated setup with door closed.

Door open

Still need to hook up the CO2 system and decide on an aquascape.
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I can't wait to see how it all starts coming together :)
It's too bad Eheim doesn't have clear uptake/outtake tubes. I can't wait to see how you are going to aquascape these 2 tanks! :)
Thanks - I was tempted to buy the ADA lily tubes for this tank but I'm going to try to make some tubes from 1/2" rigid acrylic tubing first.

I'm still struggling with a good layout for this cube. Originally I thought 12x12 would be plenty of room but I put the aquasoil in tonight and two rocks and its looking a bit cramped. I did a graduated substrate, thin in the front rising to about 3 inches or so in the back. I'm planning a fairly large area for HC starting from the front and going up to the rocks which are arranged in a slightly staggered fashion. Some B.Japonica around the back of the rocks, and a small branchy wood that I have on order Aquaforest. And the background filled in with Rotala and other stems. I also wanted to plant some Eleocharis acicularis on the sides of the tank as a transition from the foreground to mid/back. Any suggestions on better use of space or plants?
These ADA tanks are so neat! These will be my next purchase when Im ready for a small tank.

I cant wait to see these tank up and running. What kind of stand is that for the little cube>?
Thanks - I'm kind of stuck on the layout for this tank. I'll post up what I've done so far. Basically a gradiant of aquasoil with two rocks that will be at the border of a denser growth of stems. The area in front of the rocks will be a large open space of HC and I might place some riccia rocks around the transition. The basic idea is a meadow which you will follow up between the rocks and into a denser forest like growth. There are a few problems - one is that I have so much flow in the tank - I might not be able to keep the stems in a neat arrangement on the right hand side of the tank. And the soil grade prevents any deep rooting plants from being on the front section plus the current in the front section is quite high as well. If I turn down the flow on the Eheim too much (on the outlet side) I get leaks :(

Peteypop, the stand for the 30-C cube I built myself - inspired by the nice work DIY work that others have done on here for their ADA setups. The stand cost me around $50 to make and a few hours of my time.

Here is a pic of the tank as it stands with the AS and rocks.

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I think having the smaller rock more towards the front would look better.

With the flow on your eheim you could just pack it full of media/floss to slow it down. I just fired up a 2211 I just got and was a bit worried about the flow for my MINI-M but after a day it slowed down to a perfect rate.
Update - flow in the tank seems to be ok now that I have planted some stems in the back. I planted some HC in the front and Rotala/Cabomba in the back and some B.Japonica by the rocks. I'll probably replace the Cabomba with something else once the tank has grown in a bit. Still need to plant a few more things when I get some time. I'll see how the rock looks once its grown in a bit, it should not be as prominent.

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I like the Cabomba, it's not frequently used in aquascapes, not sure why.
Looks really nice, You're deffinatly getting back into the hobby and doing it right! Those tanks look very nice!

I like the layout you have now, I would give it some time to mature. The only thing I might change in the future is a finer leaved stem, I like cabomba but I think something finer and a bit lighter would look better in there... Maybe rotala walachii(Spelling?) which is a very fine leaved light yello-red plant.

What is going to go into the tank as far as fauna?

Welcome to the forum!


PS, mind sharing some pictures of your reefs? they look really nice!
Thanks :) - I took an updated front pic today. My Brighty K Step 1 came in today so I'm going to start to use that. The tank is going through the cycle now and the associated algae bloom appears to be in full force. The HC and rest of the plants are pearling still despite the brown algae (diatoms?). I've done a few water changes but I still have the brown algae - should I raise my pendant and/or reduce my 8 hr photoperiod? I also switched to RO/DI water - when I first started this tank I used tap water with prime. The TDS on that measured out around 55 or so.

I need to take some pics of the other tanks one of these days. My camera skills are terrible.

I agree on the fine leaved plants, I plan on getting some more delicate plants once the tank is established. As for livestock, probably just snails and some cherry shrimp and maybe an otto. I don't want to stock the tank until I get things settled with growth and the algae problem.

Front shot

Algae on HC
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Tank update:

The HC is starting to grow in now - I need to trim and replant the middle. So far I'm liking the Aquasoil over Eco. Once the cycle is complete the AS is stable I plan on looking for some fine leaf plants so I can replant the middle.

Fish Newb, I was able to snap some photos of the 2.5g reef nanos. I moved the cylinder tank and replaced it with another one of my 2.5g nano tanks to complete the trio.

Three 2.5g nanos sharing a common sump.

Nano 1

Nano 2

Nano 3
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WOW u are a serious fishkeeper!
love the reefs! i would be in heaven there (when can i move in)

the new nano looks really nice, i bought the same tank and scaped it a grassland style!
my suggestions for the larger one... check page 54 of the style of ada catalouge! do it like that! just buy a job lot of mixed crypts and a few stems and stuff!

just incase your wondering

thats what i did with mine

keep it up! good luck with the scapes, and thoose lovely reefs!
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Felix, thanks your tank looks good I added in another rock into my scape to get a little more height. I like the height in your central rock formation. I'm going to try and grow out my foreground more and replant some smaller stems in the back again. The stems I had in there were growing too fast and shading themselves and the HC foreground. I'm hoping that on smaller / finer leafed plants this will be less of an issue. I don't want to be trimming this tank constantly :)

Tank update: Looks like the cycle is complete. The rotala rotundifolia and cabomba were a bit too large for the scale of this tank so I transferred them to my shrimp tank. They were shading the HC foreground so I decided to remove them and look for a better stem(s) for the back. I also added in another rock to give a little more structural height to the middle. I temporarily replanted the hairgrass around the back to grow out a bit more. Planted a small hygro in the back to see how fast it grows - will pull it once I get the other stems in. I also put a black background on the tank.

I'm going to start building the stand for my ADA 60-P tank soon and I want to order all my plants at once from Aquaspotworld. For the cube I'm planning on ordering the following plants.

All of these stems are either really small or fine leaves - any other suggestions I should look at?

Microcarpaea minima
Rotala sp. 'Nanjenshan'
Myriophyllum mattogrossense

For the 60-P I plan on adding in a few more Rotala and pulling some other plants from my shrimp tank. I'm plan on a HC foreground there as well, I just like the way HC looks compared to glosso.

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