The Aquatic Gazette

Fat Guy’s ADA Mini M (2)

In Build on May 17, 2011 at 00:01

Welcome to Edition 2! If you have missed out on Edition 1, it can be found here: Enjoy this edition!

(33 days later, from establishment)

Fat Guy: I had called around to different stores trying to find Ember Tetras, as I really liked the way that they look. But my hunt came up empty as not one store in my vicinity had them in stock. Regardless, I was determined to pick up some fish today for my Mini M. I had been considering Celestial Pearl Danios and found some at Pacific. (a local fish shop) I was a couple of heartbeats away from purchasing them but as I took a couple of careful walks around the tanks and observed the tetras and rasboras et al, I watched how they behaved and tried to imagine them in my tank and the aquascape that I have created. It was at this moment, that I came across a tank labeled “Chilli Rasboras ‘rare’.

This tank was full of lovely Boraras Brigittae that were going for US$6.98 for 3. Regardless of the price, I really enjoyed watching the shoal and the handful that were, really pushing into the current in the tank. So I paid for 12 of them and got one free by accident, but this balances the purchase because I later noticed that one of them was missing an eyeball. I also noticed two spots of ich on one of them and so I am expecting an outbreak. I can only keep my finger crossed because I did not quarantine them.

After bringing them home and adding them to the Mini M, they were a lovely fit. They mesh extremely well with the scape I have created. I also pulled out a large female Cherry Shrimp from my Fulval Edge breeding tank and added her to the setup. The Cherry Shrimp are bigger than the Boraras Brigittae, which is awesome. The Otocinclus however, now looks out of place, but it is a wonderful inhabitant nonetheless.

I decreased the current in the tank to a nice gentle flow. Now I will have to see how the balance of co2 I have been maintaing is affected by the reduction of water flow. I am definitely still battling diatoms on the HC, as you can see in the pictures, but new growth is really pushing through and a lot of the roots are close to the powersand which makes me a happy planted aquarist.

The tank with two Cherry shrimps and an Otocinclus
The boraras brigittae getting acclimated in a deli cup.

Here they are in the tank. It’s nice to see the Otocinclus cleaning the diffuser in this shot, now I need to find a way to get him to clean the diatoms off of the lily pipes, the Otocinclus is such a great fish for a nano like this. When I first introduced him to the tank, I was moments away from accidentally gassing him with too much co2, I’m very glad I did not.

(74 days later, from establishment)

I’ve been aggressively cutting the HC and it has really paid off, although it has been very time consuming. My nano diffuser broke today when I was adjusting its position so I had to purchase another, here in New York City. I think the quality of glass and pressure had a lot to do with the break, as the diffuser seemed to burst from the bottom curve after I bumped it on the glass. The only downside with the diffuser I purchased today is that it is not as small as my previous one. Unfortunately I lost all my Boraras Brigittae from a severe ich outbreak, but I picked up 6 Emerald Eye Rasboras from New World Aquarium on 38th street. I’m very happy with these fish, and they are also super healthy. I also snagged an amano shrimp for some maintenance and it is a monster. To clean the rocks, I’ve been using an old head from an Oral B Sonicare brush that I hook up to the sonicare base.

To clean my lily pipes, I made a simple bleach solution with 1 part bleach to 4 parts water and used some ornament wire that I twisted together to scrape the tubes with. I also used a little piece of paper towel to push through the pipes. All in all, it was not as painstaking as I thought it would be, but definitely a delicate task. Fortunately nothing broke and the pipes look super clean.

The filter was treated to a backwashing and I swapped out some filter floss. I noticed that the Eheim 2211 runs super quiet when clean but makes a little more noise when dirty. Below is the tank with the clean pipes. I also threw in a picture of one of my female cherry shrimps for good measure. She’s is super red and has already produced some offspring that are hiding in the HC.

I’ve been removing with a toothbrush a little bit of filamentous hair algae. It hasn’t been a problem, just appearing in certain spots. But I’ve stayed the course and haven’t had any significant outbreaks. For the future, I’m looking to get a shorter pair of curved scissors to cut the HC on the right side of the rock as it is really hard to trim in that area with the 10″ curved scissors that I currently have.

This is the last edition of Fat Guy’s Mini M. We would like to thank him for sharing his experiences us, showcasing that less is indeed more in a good looking nano aquarium. We look forward to featuring more of his work in the future. If you would like to read his build in its entirety and follow his progress, his thread can be found here:


credit: Fat Guy


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