DIY ADA Nature Design Planted Nano

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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-20, 12:53

Alrighty so time has FINALLY come!!! I got the Fluval Spec V tank for my office (used.) I FINALLY got my ADA Amazonia Powder substrate. And this weekend I will be setting up stuff to go. Hopefully if all goes according to plan, the tank will be set up and starting to cycle by the end of the weekend. I am VERY excited for this. I still haven't fully decided on what to put in the tank. Ember tetras are at the top of the list as well as a few shrimp. I was able to pull a few photos from the video I watched of Takashi Amano's Nature series of videos on how to set up tanks. I printed these off for reference and will use them for the designing of the layout. I am not going to follow EXACTLY to the layout he has since this is only a 5 gallon tank it would be difficult to do. I am using a tan/brown small gravel substrate instead of the white/tan sand and I won't be doing a skinny back to wide front opening, instead I will be making it look more of the shape of a river. I plan to take pictures of the progress and show it on here. Bare with me as I don't have any branches and not many plants yet. But I will show progress of the tank as it goes along. This is my first actual project tank and I'm excited for it. Smile

Here are some of the photos from the video:

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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-23, 20:13

Lookie what IIIII got!!

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Post  bronzefighter on 2014-06-23, 21:12

Ohh very cool. I'm excited to see how this turns out! I absoulutly love my Spec V, fluval did an awesome job with this tank. One word of advice, before you fill the tank or anything grab a piece of plastic and superglue the bottom filter slit closed. This improved the filtration on my tank a bunch!
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-23, 21:46

How does it get water into the filter if you grew that shut?
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Post  bronzefighter on 2014-06-23, 22:19

The filter has 2 intakes: the fake overflow on the top, and a small slit about 3" from the bottom. I found that the small slit allows a lot of bypass and also lets too much debris into the filter, since it is placed right in front of the biomedia. With it glued shut water is forced over the fake overflow and down through the media. It really cut down on any surface scum and stuff like that (including duckweed!), and cut down on any maintenence I would have to do to the filter sponge. I think I have a diagram of it somewhere on my computer if that doens't make since.

I also took a bag of purigen and put it on the floor under the sponge, since you have a good 1" or so of clearence.
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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-06-23, 22:33

I am excited to see what you come up with Shorty. Keep us updated! Very Happy
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-23, 23:11

Pics are uploading to Photobucket now. Smile must eat something though. Somehow this took priority lol whistle
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-24, 00:27

OK pics tomorrow. I promise. Finished up laundry and now I'm tired.
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-24, 10:45

Alright here are pictures as promised!

All washed up ready to go:
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Starting the 'Koke' Stone: (I used drive way gravel hehe)
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Both sides laid out:
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'River bed' rock laid:
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Amazonia Aqua Soil Powder adding:
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Wasn't happy with the height, added some more:
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Both sides of ADA added:
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Top view of substrate complete!
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TA DA!! Very Happy
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I can't wait to start adding plants! Now to decide with wet or dry start? Anyone want to weigh in?
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Post  bronzefighter on 2014-06-24, 11:08

Wow that looks great! Just a suggestion, take some plastic and place it inbetween the ADA and the rocks. I have a feeling that overtime it will settle and mix due to the different grain sizes.

And if you have the patience, go for a dry start!
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-24, 11:31

I used a plastic spoon and poured it into the gaps of the rocks to help secure them into place and reduce settling. I did the same with the 'river' rock substrate as well.
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Post  bronzefighter on 2014-06-24, 12:01

ShortyKiloGyrl wrote:I used a plastic spoon and poured it into the gaps of the rocks to help secure them into place and reduce settling. I did the same with the 'river' rock substrate as well.

Gotcha. I'd just be worried about the sand settling and mixing with the river substrate. But more power to you if you're confident!  Very Happy 

Got any idea what plants/fish/etc you're gonna throw in there?
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-24, 12:21

I was going to do Scarlet Badis. However, after talking to WetSpot it sounds like they are difficult to feed and require live foods which would be difficult at work. Through talking to them further I believe I'm going to get some Pseudomugil cf. paskai "Irian Red Neon Rainbow" and either green neon tetra or blue neon rasbora with some yellow shrimp I think.
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Post  bronzefighter on 2014-06-24, 12:41

ShortyKiloGyrl wrote:I was going to do Scarlet Badis. However, after talking to WetSpot it sounds like they are difficult to feed and require live foods which would be difficult at work. Through talking to them further I believe I'm going to get some Pseudomugil cf. paskai "Irian Red Neon Rainbow" and either green neon tetra or blue neon rasbora with some yellow shrimp I think.

Cool! I had 5 Psuedimugil sp. "Neon Red Blue Eyes" rainbows in mine. They were beautiful, and the dominant male actually one first prize in a bowl show for GSAS. Sadly, they were crazy jumpers. I lost 4 of them over the span of 6 months just from them jumping out of that little opening in the cover. The last male has been moved into a more secure location. I'm thinking I want to replace them with a small school of Boraras brigittae.
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-24, 13:19

Oh man, they jumped through the top opening? I wonder if I can devise a way to block that from happening.
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Post  bronzefighter on 2014-06-24, 13:28

ShortyKiloGyrl wrote:Oh man, they jumped through the top opening? I wonder if I can devise a way to block that from happening.

Yeah  Crying or Very sad at first I thought they might have been hiding, but every so often I'd find a little rainbow fishstick on the ground or behind the tank. I've heard more than one person refer to the little Psuedomugil Rainbows as "gymnasts of the tank." I though about placing a small piece of acrylic or the like on the lid, but I just never got around to doing it.
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-06-24, 13:35

Hmm I'll have to look and see what I can do. Definitely good to know.
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-11, 01:22

Finally got some plants in, but not finished yet.

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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-07-11, 10:10

Looking pretty Amano there...just needs the wood element. Very nice inspiration. Is the ADA soil large enough that it will not seep through the rocks?
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-11, 10:34

I have a piece of wood on it's way that I'm going to be tying moss around Smile So far the substrate hasn't seeped through the rocks. The bigger rocks are about 3" across at the base and then tier up. Prior to filling I also took a spoon and pushed it into the crevices. I as well have the water flow turned down all the way. It was very strong like others had said. It was knocking plants around.
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Post  MRTom on 2014-07-12, 17:38

Have you done any water changes on this yet? How do you keep the floor in place?
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-12, 17:53

No water change yet, but will be today. It's stays in place well when I filled it. I just use a larger yogurt container to fill and remove water. Smile
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Post  hose91 on 2014-07-29, 16:25

Is this tank where the little driftwood "trees" are going to go? They should look very cool along with the green tetra's! Love to see an update on the plant growth if you've got one. I like what you're doing with this tank.
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-29, 16:31

One of the trees is going in here and one in my mom's tank. Smile No updates yet. Will definitely iteky post some new pics when I get my other plant shipment next week and plant it some more. I am on the hunt for some dwarf four leaf clover to put under the tree like a little field now Smile
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Post  hose91 on 2014-07-29, 17:05

Ah, nice! I'm such a plant newbie still. Definitely climbing the learning curve, but there have been a few fatalities thus far. Looking forward to seeing the end product!
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-29, 17:09

I'm a newbie too. Just since about February or March. I just kind of jumped in. I did one tank and started at that with brackish waters lol. Then I converted 3 other tanks now with plants. I'm just kind of jumping in head first lol Smile Sink or swim right?? Wink
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-29, 18:20

So the stock for this tank I plan on the following:
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and

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Post  cichlid-gal on 2014-07-29, 20:07

Primary colors...those will look really nice together...LOL. No really, nice stocking. I don't know much about shrimp but I have a tank and stand just waiting for us to be done with all our travel/vacation stuff that's targeted for shrimp. Can't wait to see everything setup and going. Looking good so far.
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-29, 23:30

I wanted to do Scarlet Badis. After talking things over with a sales rep from WetSpot we came up with the rainbows and either blue neon rasbora or the neon green tetra. She said the tetras would pop more color in the brighter light but if I added floating plants the rasbora would have better colors. I'm not a fan of floating plants so that left me with one option. There will be about 12 fish, 6 of each maybe 5 of each and then I'm thinking 5-6 shrimp. The rep suggested the amounts for the tank size. I'm excited to see all these colors pop in the tank!
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Post  hose91 on 2014-07-30, 02:59

ShortyKiloGyrl wrote:I'm a newbie too. Just since about February or March. I just kind of jumped in. I did one tank and started at that with brackish waters lol. Then I converted 3 other tanks now with plants. I'm just kind of jumping in head first lol Smile Sink or swim right?? Wink

Hah, absolutely! I have no plants in my Mbuna tank, but joined GSAS and went to my first meeting/auction in June. I'd been wanting to try plants, and sorta got carried away by the auction. There was a LOT of stuff, and the auction setup is pretty slick. So...I brought home a ton of plants with no tank to put them in, except for the 10G I bought...at the auction  Laughing 

Now I've got 4 tanks going, plants in three of them. It's a challenge, but a fun one. I really do love the variety of things you can do in this hobby. Should have started years ago...
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-07-30, 10:54

I have had fish for as long as I remember. I got my first one in second grade, 19 years ago, oh man. My mom cared for the fish until I got old enough. It was a comet goldfish I won at the school carnival. It lived until my senior year and was about 5.5" when she died. She laid eggs all over the tank about 2 weeks prior to passing. I knew what to expect after all the eggs, I was in my second year of natural resources and we had raised salmon fry. I kept tropical fish after that other than some lion head goldfish. When my favorite one of those passed I didn't get anymore. I just recently started the venture into planted and a brackish tank in the last year. I'm considering discus as my next big jump. My boyfriend wants me to do salt water though. Smile
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-08-13, 11:43

Okay, so after vacation the tank didn't do so well. I junked a few plants changed some things and ideas around and re-planted/scaped last night. So far I plan on it sticking this way with adding dwarf four leaf clover and the moss "tree." Then it should be ready soon for fish.

Here is the update:
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Post  fishNAbowl on 2014-08-13, 13:19

Spot On - Very nice set up. I can't wait for updated pictures in a month or so.
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-08-13, 14:12

I couldn't wait to use my new light for the 20 so I set it up over this one. Due to Lack of space right now the nano was already sitting inside the empty 20. So worked well, however I am starting to notice brown algae in a few spots on glass and some on the gravel. I am going to dull it down and see how it goes
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Post  PokeSephiroth on 2014-08-13, 17:52

I don't know why, but I keep imagining one of those sides being ALL stargrass. LOL... could you imagine... =P

When done right though, it does look pretty neat. Here's an example of what I'm talking about. The Stargrass is on the left side (not mine)
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-08-13, 18:16

Wow that does look pretty cool!
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-08-13, 18:19

Here is a front view of how it looks now.

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Post  MRTom on 2014-08-13, 19:55

Very nice, I gotta say that driveway gravel is growing on me Smile Good job!
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Post  ShortyKiloGyrl on 2014-08-13, 22:32

MRTom wrote:Very nice, I gotta say that driveway gravel is growing on me Smile Good job!

Haha thanks! I was a little hesitant at first but liked it once it got washed.
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