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  1. #1
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    Returning to the hobby, ADA style

    Hi Team,

    Long time between posts for me.

    Long story short, when I split with my ex she kept my aquarium.

    Now 5 years later I have been going through my ADA Nature Aqruarium books, and thinking about upscaling from my Fluval Edge to an ADA Style tank, with 3-4 discus and some other schooling fish.

    I was originally thinking of going for fully planted, but I think I will go with more of a scape of nice wood, and a few slow grown anubius etc, nothing too fancy, and leaving the scape to do the talking.

    I guess in the last 5 years the hobby seems to have changed farily significantly, and noticing that, at least in sydney, the number of LFS's is nowhere near what it used to be, including my LFS in cremorne recently closing its doors.

    I am thinking of a tank somewhere around 36"W x 16"D x 24"H, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 250L.

    Ultimately I would like to go to a low maintenance style of setup, obviously discus cannot be neglected, but I dont want to be doing a 3 hour regiment every week, but I'd love to be able to do a water change in, say, 1 hour go to woah, which I think should be easily achivable with the right setup.

    I'd love any input, especially regarding someone to do the scape for me!

  2. #2
    Eternal Moderator Merrilyn's Avatar
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    Welcome back to the forum Ellwa. I've gone down the ADA road too and I'm very happy with my choice. Why not give George at SLS a ring and have a chat to him. George supplies all the ADA gear and is great with advice. Not sure if they set up tanks for customers, but worth asking. Photos of your progress would be awesome.
    Thirty-five years keeping and breeding discus, and I'm still learning :P

    Merrilyn has passed, but will not be forgotten - Goodbye dear friend

  3. #3
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    Hi ellwa,

    There certainly is some nice gear around, with ADA one of the best. My Angel tank is running ADA substrate with which I am very happy.

    Cheers,
    Scott

  4. #4
    Wrigglers
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    Thanks for the tips.

    I am in two minds regarding the tank, either go ADA, that only seems to come in the ADA silver metallic kind of finish for the cabinet, or the Cade, that comes in that beautiful Piano black finish.
    not much difference in the price, but I do love the look of the Cade systems. any tips?

    I got all of my other discus through George at SLS, and I think I will use his services again.

    I am a huge fan of being able to turn to somebody for advice, and have always enjoyed talking with george over the years.

    The thing that got me about the ADA(style) is the longevity of the scapes.

    I struggled with my last tank build to get it to where I would have liked it, mostly because I didn't outlay the funds all in one go.

    This time around I want to be ready to go from the outset, with everything in place, not adding equipment here there and everywhere.

    In terms of the kind of look i have in mind, these are the kind of things that spring to mind.




    obviously, not necessarily something that will be easily replicated in a 5x18x18, but you get the point.

  5. #5
    Eternal Moderator Merrilyn's Avatar
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    I've gone super planted in my Cade 60 x 45 x 45, something like the Amano tank above, but it does need regular trimming, or it quickly becomes a jungle. It's too small for discus but I have wild beta macrostomas in there.

    If you're looking for something with minimal maintenance, that top tank is drool worthy
    Thirty-five years keeping and breeding discus, and I'm still learning :P

    Merrilyn has passed, but will not be forgotten - Goodbye dear friend

  6. #6
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    I'm with Merrilyn,

    top tank is easy to clean (gravel vac to your hears content)
    lower DOCs (dead plant matter from leaves just the woodto worry about)
    Cheaper setup (no expensive substrate and fertilizers)
    Less stress on your fish (no chemical swings from fertilisers, no ph swings from CO2, stable high temps that discus love but some plants find harder to tolerate.)

    if you were to go a full planted ADA garden, spend the time and money, get your CO2 sorted, this is the bigest downfall of planted tanks.
    get your plants well established then introduce your fish load slowly, George's igwami discus tanks is one of my all time favorites but you'll need to invest the time money and energy to get something like that setup and running well.

  7. #7
    Wrigglers
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    Quote Originally Posted by ILLUSN View Post
    I'm with Merrilyn,

    top tank is easy to clean (gravel vac to your hears content)
    lower DOCs (dead plant matter from leaves just the woodto worry about)
    Cheaper setup (no expensive substrate and fertilizers)
    Less stress on your fish (no chemical swings from fertilisers, no ph swings from CO2, stable high temps that discus love but some plants find harder to tolerate.)

    if you were to go a full planted ADA garden, spend the time and money, get your CO2 sorted, this is the bigest downfall of planted tanks.
    get your plants well established then introduce your fish load slowly, George's igwami discus tanks is one of my all time favorites but you'll need to invest the time money and energy to get something like that setup and running well.
    Yea -- that is basically my thining.

    I currently have a few small piece of DW with some Anubias on them in my Fluval Edge, and will transfer them over, but they go great guns without too much ferts/co2/light.

    I think i would still go down the road of putting a decent substrate, for if in the future I decided to plant etc.

    However, as I am quite maintenance time poor, I think i will go for something on the low-tech side(except the light, I think i'll DIY a light fitting that does sunrise/sunset as well as moonlight that phases over 28 nights.
    (i do rock&roll & theatre lighting for a living).

    but then go for a beautiful hard scape that doesn't require CO2 and the full regiment of ferts.

    I ran my last discus tank around 30-32deg. and the discus had a great time. I did find it a little difficult to find suitable tank mates at those kind of temps, though.

    I'm pretty confident that I'm going to go with a Cade 900, and then I guess(going with what I know) Eheim canister and heater, and going without doing hugely planted, I don't need to worry about under-gravel heating cables, and I'll have some amazing water at WC time to feed my sustainable garden on my balcony.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellwa View Post
    However, as I am quite maintenance time poor, I think i will go for something on the low-tech side(except the light, I think i'll DIY a light fitting that does sunrise/sunset as well as moonlight that phases over 28 nights.
    (i do rock&roll & theatre lighting for a living).
    Please tell me you are going to document your build. I have seen store bought systems that do the "sunrise/sunset", but not the phases of the moon. I for one would be interested in following the construction and maybe trying to build on myself.

    Jason

  9. #9
    Wrigglers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Please tell me you are going to document your build. I have seen store bought systems that do the "sunrise/sunset", but not the phases of the moon. I for one would be interested in following the construction and maybe trying to build on myself.

    Jason
    of course I'll document, the best way for communities like ours to grow is by sharing information.

    I used a moon tube setup in my previous discus tank, it was a system that I got via ebay, and did 28day moon phasing, and worked really well.

    I would love to do something lighting wise that is an 'all-in-one' solution, I really like the look of the Maxspect lights, and I think to DIY a light that would be suitable would cost me close to the same as buying an off-the-shelf unit.

    The best option I've come upon in my very limited research in the last few days has been this: http://www.aquastyleonline.com/categ.../DIY-LED-Kits/
    I'm very technical minded, so not too concerned about difficulties piecing it all together, but I'm not convinced it would be cheaper than just buying a unit ready made.

    I'm sure that one of the lighting gurus in my car club could help doing the phasing of the moonlights though if it came to that..

    I will certainly keep ya'll posted as I move forward.

    At this point I am fairly confident I'm going to go with a Cade CB900, mostly based on price point.

    The alternative to the CB900, is the HL800 marine tank. My thinking here is, running a sump with an over flow is going to maximise oxygenation of the water in the tank. its even easier for water changes, just remove water straight out of the sump, and it makes the whole look better, I think, because I dont have to have heater, airstone, blah blah blah in the tank, it can all live in the sump.

    again, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Last edited by ellwa; Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 03:10 AM.

  10. #10
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    Gorgeous photos!!!!

    I'm in the middle of 3 led projects right now
    A 600w marine build for an 8 footer
    A 360w build for my 5x2.5x2.5 Altum tank
    A 105w water cooled build for dads planted tank (just finished and re-setup)
    all would be along the same lines as a maxspec type unit but I have chosen manual dimming and old school timers. These units have much higher output/W (newer led types and tighter optics)
    shoot me a PM if you need a hand, I'll have write ups done soon just waiting for the plants in dads tank to finish settling into the EI routine.

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