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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
While playing the waiting game for my DSM to finish for my Mr. Aqua 6.5 (about another month), I stumbled upon an ADA Mini-M for sale locally. I promised myself for years if I found a local ADA tank that I could fit somewhere I would jump on it, so I did!

The tank came with a Finnex Fuge Ray that the original owner said was too much for the tank. Par readings might say it's true, but compared to Overkill (my Mr. Aqua 6.5) this light is dull... I got her home, gave her a brief scrub down and then added some Brightwell Aquatics FlorinVolcanit that I had left over and some petrified wood and this is what we have so far:



I need to hit up another LFS to get some more small rubble bits of pagoda stone to fill in the gap. I plan to have this setup somewhat off-center and not be somewhat symmetrical as Overkill. I was thinking I'd make this a rock scape to counter my current wood only scape, but I'm thinking the rock pile needs a piece of wood jutting out of it to offset it and add a place for me to anchor some Windelov Java Fern and Needle Leaf Java Fern. I'm going to do my best to keep different plants from being introduced that I currently have and keep this setup basic. I do plan on injecting CO2, so I'll either have to get another bottle or gang off the regulator.

I've named the project 'Inspire' for a few reasons. First off I've found that ADA tanks have always been a motivational factor for a lot of us. Originally for us that are stateside, we had a bit of time where we couldn't get our hands on these tanks and when we could they were expensive to boot. On top of that when I would get into projects that got a lot of attention as a kid my Dad would always tell me one phrase "Aim to inspire, not to impress" to keep me to his humble standards as a Japanese kid being raised in ego based America.

Thoughts or recommendations on the carpet for this? I was originally thinking I'd try to keep a short carpet of Ranunculus Inundatus, but I already have that in Overkill.

I have to say though, they make a pretty pair together:

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bringing over a question from my other thread that was relating to this build.

Mts much? What light do you have on the ADA tank? How many days till you flood? So many questions!
MTS should stop here as I don't have any more room for tanks till I move. It's going to be a problem when I buy my house in a year... The light is a plain Jane Finnex Fugeray. This is my first experience with Finnex and right now it seems dim. I'm fairly sure it's because of the other tank throwing out tons of light from two fixtures, but I'm not sure if the Fuge Ray will be enough. The previous owner said he had to tone the light down with screen, but he was growing crypts and moss. For flooding this tank it will be possibly around the same time as I get ready to flood Overkill. I'm trying to keep this setup a lot more simple, so once I get the carpet in and possible wood (someone talk me out of it, please!) I'll get to that phase. That said, I still need a carpet idea. I know I don't want HC (dwarf or cuba) or Monte Carlo as they will be a pain to trim in this small setup. I was thinking maybe Glosso, but it's the same issue as those other carpet plants. Maybe a Crypt Parva carpet? I just need to raise the rock section and find enough Parva... Seems too simple and bland though.
 

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Ah more pagoda stone! Heheh I feel like it looks best when the parallel rock layers are perpendicular to the ground. That's my opinion on it. If anything, all of the pagoda stone layers should at least be angled the same way.

If I can trim Monte Carlo in a Fluval Edge then you can't complain about the Mini-M. Heheh jk Crypt parva will prob be the least troublesome.

The Finnex Fugeray would prob be medium light for this tank. The par values chart can be found at you-know-where. It's less than the Fugeray 2 and Planted+ for sure. So it would be good for low-medium light plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well bereninga, I took your recommendation to heart. It was in my mind yesterday during the rescape, but when I got to the last stone placement I settled on the last setup. I got a little bit anxious with everything so I sprayed it down after resetting the rocks and added the Needle Java Fern I had and some Windelov Fern I picked up on Friday. I wish I waited because it's hard to rescape once this substrate is wet. To keep with the Japanese traditions on this tank without being following an Amano book as a guideline, I realized I should have put the rocks on the right and done my flow right to left... Oh well. I have the tank wrapped up in cling wrap for now. As this tank sits to the right of my monitor I'll be glancing at it a lot and I'll see what suits it. The rock I have suits more of the setup I have, but going right to left would be ideal to this.

But that said, less gabbing on my part and I'll let a pic make my argument.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did some poking around on other build threads and have come to the conclusion that I'll be running a Finnex PX-360 as a filter on the Mini-M and most likely be adding a 16" Planted + to the setup to kick up the lighting. My only debate is heating. With the PX-360 I could add another Hydor inline heater, but I'm somewhat limited on space with this setup. The reason I'm going with the PX-360 is that it can sit on level with the tank which means no excessive tubing. I'm considering either a Finnex 50w with an external controller or a Cobalt 50w Neotherm. I've not much experience with the Finnex heaters or the Cobalts, so I'm unsure which way to go. Anyone ever run either in a Mini-M?
 

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Hey, Tihsho. Looking good! I love the plateau. It's always been one of my favorites.

The PX-360 which is the same filter I'm using on my Mini-M (albeit under a different brand name) is really good for a Mini-M. For me, it's perfect. It's got a lot of flow, which I like, but it may be too much for others. So just keep that in mind.
I'd say that the simplicity of going tubeless trumps any inline heater, especially if space is an issue. My filter sits right next to the tank as perfect as could be. (If it were stainless steel, I'd swear it was made by ADA for this very tank.)
All that said, after I got my Shiruba XB=305, I came across the ZooMed Nano 30, and thought that I may have gone that route had I known about it.
The plus that the PX-360 has over the ZooMed is that the spray bar does not need to be cut if you want flow from right to left or left to right as it comes in two pieces.
And, honestly, I have no buyer's remorse. It's a good filter. Right on up there with EHEIM and Fluval.

I love the Colbalt heater that I have. I think that the 25W might be enough for you, depending on how cold your house gets. My house drops to the mid 50s at night and the tank stays at 75 without problems.

Anyway, keep updating and I'll keep checking in.

Ugly
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey UG! Thanks for stopping by! I actually noticed you had a Shiruba and that was motivation as I literally went out to purchase an Eheim 2211 that day. Rather then going out to get it, I spent some time searching around for it and only could find a few places with it. It was out of stock in a lot (3 of the other sites I found) and AFA wanted $20 just to ship it economy to me... So I bagged that idea. Stumbling through Amazon I found the Finnex model and it looks like I'll be ordering it tonight.

As for the heater, I never even considered going lower than 50w. Why? No reason, just never came to mind. My office gets around the 60's at night and sometimes the low 50's depending whether or not I forget to close the window to vent out the hot air from the last two incandescent fixtures I have + a series of PC's and a server running this and that. I guess I'll dig into your build thread to check out the Cobalt.

Thanks for the input!

Do you have any recommendations for something as a carpet? Keep in mind I'm bumping the lighting up and will be using CO2. I kind of want something shorter than Eleocharis Parvula but know it's going to be a bear to coax it to grow the way I want. Plus I think Parvula is way too tall for this tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
From a little digging during lunch it looks like a plant I'm thinking about does exist; Eleocharis 'Belem'. Now where the heck can I find some?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well the Finnex PX-360 showed up a day early :)

But sadly I wished it was all smiles :( It looks like Finnex's model is smaller than the Shiruba model I was looking at. So if you go to AFA's site and check out the Shiruba XB-305 and then go to their listing for the Shiruba XB-303 you'll notice something... The XB-303 is slightly smaller because it's missing one of the three media baskets. After some careful poking back on Finnex's site, if you check out the packaging for the Finnex PX-360(bottom of that link), you'll notice it's the same as the Shiruba's with new branding...

With that said I'm messing around currently with layouts that fit the bill for what the product is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Little update.

On Friday I picked up more Lace Java Fern (AKA Windelov) and thickened up the bush behind the rocks and moved some Rotala 'Goais' in to start off some carpet. I'm not sure I want that in there or not, but I figured I'd try. I also got in my Cobalt 25w in and set it in the tank waiting to be plugged in for when flood day comes around. I'm seeing if I can find some Eleocharis 'Belem' locally, but I'm not having any luck. I'm also trying to figure out what thread I should use to tie off some of my Caloglossa ср. Beccarii to some stainless steel mesh so I can tuck that between all of the rock structures for a red accent. I'm thinking I'll be needing more of it as well to get that done. Anyone in Maryland selling or trading plants?

Pics of this weekends progress (not much).

 

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Did some poking around on other build threads and have come to the conclusion that I'll be running a Finnex PX-360 as a filter on the Mini-M and most likely be adding a 16" Planted + to the setup to kick up the lighting. My only debate is heating. With the PX-360 I could add another Hydor inline heater, but I'm somewhat limited on space with this setup. The reason I'm going with the PX-360 is that it can sit on level with the tank which means no excessive tubing. I'm considering either a Finnex 50w with an external controller or a Cobalt 50w Neotherm. I've not much experience with the Finnex heaters or the Cobalts, so I'm unsure which way to go. Anyone ever run either in a Mini-M?
I have the Finnex 50w with an external controller. But the heater is pretty big and should be placed horizontally according to the directions. I actually took it out of my Edge because it took up too much space. That Cobalt one looks less obvious since it's black at least instead of stainless steal. That price tho!

Since this is a dry start and I don't see any foreground plants yet, I don't see why you still can't move your hardscape. I'd say that this is the best time to move stuff around because once there are more plants, it will be even more difficult.

Adam C from you-know-where sells Eleocharis 'Belem'. I bought some from him and he sells a good amount for a cheap price. He grows it emersed. When it transitioned to submerged in my tank though, there was a bit of die-off and that attracted some algae. After that, it grows nice and short. I think the transition is normal for most plants though.

The windelov looks nice. Do you think the Caloglossa ср. Beccarii will get lost among the rocks and shade if you place them in the cracks? I've never seen the plant, so I don't know how bright it is.

I see the MTS is spreading. heheh
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm actually pretty content with the new hardscape. The flow right to left isn't that big of a deal. I'm actually mentally planning another ADA tank for the new house when I move. I think I will save that idea of right to left for a whole different scape which I wanted to do in this tank, but found the dimensions to be a very very big constraint.

I'll poke around on there to see if I can find belem. I spoke to one person who had some listed, but the issue is the temp and shipping right now. A lot of people selling plants live in California which means insulated shipping must be done, but they want to ship flat rate only which risks the plants during shipping. I know there is a large plant group in my area, I'm just not a paying member so I don't get invites to the meets or auctions.

Thanks, I love the look of Windelov and I hope it fills in much thicker over time. I plant to hide the outlet of the canister behind it so it looks as if water is running down stream across the Windelov. As for losing the Caloglossa, I'm unsure. Maybe I'll stick to some Mini Pelia there instead, but find another source of red for contrast.

MTS will be done here for now. I only see 2 more tanks in the future when I move. Finally setting up a 180 I inherited that I've never had the space to run and another ADA tank or a 12 gallon long. Besides that I plan on converting my current emersed setups to ExoTerras in a rack setup.
 

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MTS will be done here for now. I only see 2 more tanks in the future when I move. Finally setting up a 180 I inherited that I've never had the space to run and another ADA tank or a 12 gallon long. Besides that I plan on converting my current emersed setups to ExoTerras in a rack setup.
Is that a 180 gallon or a 180P? What are the dimensions? I think the biggest tank that I'd go is like 50 gallons. I've always dreamed of like a 90 gallon, but that just sounds like a TON of water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's a custom tank my Dad had made overseas (Thailand) decades ago that he gave to me. Since I've been born (26 years) I remember this tank being furniture as it has a nice custom stand that's extremely nice for it being a host for a tank. It's never been full that I can remember. Kicker on this tank is it's rimless :) But it has glass supports siliconed in for bracing.
 

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How the heck did he get that over here? That's such a cool story about that tank. That's something you can hand down for generations! It's only destiny that it's been handed down to you. I'm the first gen of my family to be into aquariums (as far as I know). What are the dimensions? Can't wait to see the journal on that one! 180 gallons? When are you moving and to where?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Perk of being stationed overseas, the US pays for shipping ;)

It's like 6' x 2' x 2' or 7' x 2' x 2'. Either a 180 or 200 something if I remember. I'm currently renting a house and looking to buy a place of my own in the upcoming year (not too soon, but soon.) Sadly once I move tank expansion is going to be put on hold because garage expansion starts day 1 of ownership.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dry Start Day 1 (not really, but because the rest of the plants are in I'm starting counting here!)

Got a bunch of plants in today from Bartohog and I spent a quick bit of time getting them in and planted.

Plants include the following:

1 - Eleocharis sp. 'Belem'
2 - Rotala Mexicana 'Goais'
3 - Litorella Uniflora
4 - Narrow Leaf Java Fern
5 - Mini Pellia
6 - Mini Fissidens



 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
He actually kinda does. The reason I say kinda, is that some of the stuff I really wanted he was out of or just doesn't have. But that said, for most people he is a one stop shop for rare stuff.
 
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