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30 Cube Journal - ADA Style - Lots of pics!

23349 Views 42 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  Anupam
My latest project in the making - Bedroom 30cm Cube Nano Tank

Chapter 1. Foundation equipment - Tank/Light/Stand

First task was to find a nice size tank that I felt would be a good size. Something not too small but not too big either. I was happy with the Aqua one 30cm cube tank.

Second, was to find a light that would be suitable. I chose a cheap ebay light fixture with 2x 24w compact fluros. This was more than sufficient light for this sized tank.

Third, to find a stand that looked neat and flush with the tank. Results after searching many furniture stores/aquarium shops failed miserably. I then sourced another hobbiest who helped me with this stand.

Here is a few pics of the stand in progress:

Next task was to find a nice location for this unit. After setting everything up, it was moved upstairs to a bedroom.

Cabinet opened to show space for canister filter/Co2 Gear etc

Stand has two holes on the side replicated from ADA show stands. They look pretty nifty imo, perfect for the tubing to and from the filters/co2.

Light chosen with the 2x 24w 8000k compact fluro lights. They came with 2 switches so light levels could be cut in half easily.

The light is suspended from stainless steel line atteched to a bent solid steel bar

The height of the stand was made to suit easy access of the inside of the tank without the back pains. A few more pics to finish.

Hardscape materials boiled, cleaned and dried ready for use:

Next update, Hardscape and ADA equipment. Any comments, critiques welcome.


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This must have been a revelation, for I also have recently acquired a 30-C. My only problem was in finding the right lighting. Now that you have posted, I think I will go ahead and set it up! The spin-off ADA stand as well as the arm look great!

Overall set up also look wonderful! Look foward to seeing the actual set up!
Man this looks awesome. Thanks for posting the pictures!

Is the stand reinforced in any way? It looks like an accidental bump might send everything toppling, or at the very least send some water over the top
Hey whatsup

i was just wondering where you purchased those lights from? They are perfect for smaller tanks, not having to use a metal hailide.
Man this looks awesome. Thanks for posting the pictures!

Is the stand reinforced in any way? It looks like an accidental bump might send everything toppling, or at the very least send some water over the top
I thought the same when I made the stand for Saph and was thinking of adding extra sheets of MDF on the bottom. But once it was finished I was surprised how stable it was. The damn thing is pretty heavy as well. Considering the weight of the tank filled with those rocks, water and substrate, I think it will have to be a pretty big knock to topple it over.
looks great! i also made a stand for my 30c but cant find a nice light for it since im in the uk?
sweet hardscape materials cant wait to see this wet
Re: 30 Cube Journal - ADA Style - Lots of pics! 08/10 Update - Hardscape Complete

Chapter 2.1 Hardscape complete.

After a few tries, I thought this was the best I could do with what I had. I had a choice of two different types of rocks and the greyish ones turned out the better choice. Overall im happy with the scape, I was sitting there for about an hour just looking at the wood, ive never seen a more interesting piece!..Any suggestions for what plants to use?

Next Update - Equipment/Plant selections.


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looks great so far!

what type of light is that? have the ebay seller name handy?

also, what substrate is that?
I think that works really well with the cube. Are you going to make it a minimalist-type setup so you don't hide the nice detail and arrangement of the hardscape?
The light is a 350mm 2x 24w Compact Fluro fitting. Can be purchased from ebay seller 1Guppy1. Soil is ADA Amazonia powder form.

Yes I was thinking of the minimal approach with just a few varieties of plants. Any plant suggestions?
You could go in a number of different directions here. Of course, the common minimalist approach would probably be an HC foreground, and make some hairgrass in the back.
Can't wait. Don't keep us waiting! :)
Great looking hardscape. Cant wait for the next update.
Hi All,

Just a minor update. Package arrived today with ADA goodies. Will do a step by step review on each product shortly. You can also see the ADA Mini M light/stand fixture. That will be saved for the next project.

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look at all those ADA silver packages..
I am envious of your tank...It is looking great btw,
Looking forward for updates

This already rocks... I can only imagine how awesome it'll be finished... much less established!

Whatever other plants you go with, I hope you go for some unique and beautiful moss on those branches.

30cm Cube Journal - ADA Style - 29/11 Major Update!

Major Update - Day 14

Hi All,

Apoligies for the late update. Been doing a bit of travelling and house renovations.

I've finally got everything up and running and the tank fully planted. It has been running for two weeks. No issues or hassles so far.


Filtration: Eheim 2213 canister filter (Reduced to run @ 70% flow)
Heating: Room temperature (24'C)
Lighting: 2x 24w 6500k Power Compacts (8 hours a day)
Substrate: ADA Amazonia powder (3L for this size tank)
Co2: 1 bubbler per second when lights are on only - ADA 74g mini co2 bottle, 74 YA Regulator, EL Valve, Cal aqua Inline diffuser
Misc: ADA glass inflow pipe, outflow lilypipe, drop checker, clear tubing, pressurised tubing


Rotala Rotundifolia Green
Xmas Moss
Echinodorus Tenellus
Hemianthus Callitrichoides
Anbuias Nana Petite

5 Caridina Longistrosis
10x Caridina sp.
3 Ottocinclus

30% Water change twice weekly
1 Push ADA Brighty K daily
1 Push ADA Step 1 Every water change

So far i've been happy with the setup. No initial problems with the setup although I had to use the double taps for the Eheim 2213 to reduce the flow. Everything else works beautifully.

Please excuse the reflections on the photos. Any comments, suggestions welcome!


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very nice, prime work. Nice shrimp as well, I love the whole layout!
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