Jump to content

5g ADA Rimless - 24 Months in

Recommended Posts









Couldn't pick my favorite, so here are a few - I turned on the lights tonight to snap a few quick shots, so not everything was opened up or otherwise particularly happy to be photographed. My ricordias are both splitting (one has 3 mouths now, the monti cap is out of control (going to have to frag it around the glass), GSP has settled in, Birdsnest is doing well, Xenia is pouting because I give it a hard time everytime it tries to lean over and propogate - I think it is going to split 4 ways now... it's the @#$@ zoos that just are never that happy...


The newest additions are doing good so far - I know sponges and gorgonia are notoriously difficult to keep, but I think (and hope) these species will bode well. I like the added color for sure.


Next addition will most likely be some bright green cap and a nice blue acro up on the top rim of the left mound...


I have been keeping close tabs on my water params and noted on the worst days that my Salinity can swing by as much as .0012, so I have started doing top offs twice daily. The tank is also sucking down about 1 full degree of kH and 10-20ppm of Ca a day so I am adding those back with Bi-Ionic supplements.


Perhaps more tomorrow...

Share this post

Link to post

Wow Wow Wow.....every time I see pictures of this tank I just can't believe the overall clarity of the tank. I'm not sure if it is due to it being a rimless tank, an ADA, or just your overall husbandry but the water looks crystal clear. Everything looks incredibly healthy in there.


You might have said this in the past pages, but where did you get the ADA?

Share this post

Link to post

Thx - I think the clarity is more about constant maintenance than the actual tank, though rimless tanks are really nice looking... I change the water 1-2 a week, depending on how heavily I feed and if I have added new livestock. I also razor blade the glass every week to keep is sparkling. Now that the tank has started to age, I am getting some algae growth in the silicone joints that I can't get out, but oh well... so it is with things like this.


You can get ADA tanks here:




I got mine for a LFS

Share this post

Link to post

Amazing work, both fresh and your new project. I do both as well :D


I'm having the same issues with salinity swings, and I am afraid I am coming to realize that I have no real solution other than an ATO. I already have so much junk crammed into the back of my NC12 that I have no idea where to put it though.

Share this post

Link to post

Thanks :)


I bought an ATO from AquaHub, but I am not sure if I am going to be able to make it work for this tank :(

Share this post

Link to post

This tank is incredible! Especially because it is so simple. 50%+ water changes weekly is huge though? How do you do that without stressing out the system? Water changes were always the hardest part for me because you have to bring in the water, mix it, match the temp, and then taking water out and putting water in is tough.


Could you possibly go over your process of changing water in that tank? (mixing, matching temp, changing, etc). Also, how do you keep it so clean? The walls are very clean on the tank and the sand is even very clean looking. I would think a lot of water would slosh out cleaning a tank like that.

Share this post

Link to post

Thx :)


I have a 7-gallon bucket with measures on the side. It sits on a rolling plant base (the kind of thing you set a potted plant on w/ wheels). I roll it into the kitchen, next to my RO/DI unit to fill up - takes about 85 minutes to put 7 gallons in. I then weigh out 1kg of Reef Crystals using a digital scale I got from Target, in an extra tupperware container. That salt gets dumped in my 7g bucket, which is then wheeled over to a temporary spot with power plugs.




In the bucket, I am running a Rio 90 PH with the Hydor gadget that spins around, sending the water in different directions. I also have a cheap 100w heater in there. I let it mix for 24 hours




At water change time, I take another 5 gallon bucket (from Home Depot w/o measures) and this short piece of tubing with an elbow adapter on it:




I place the elbow end of the tubing just under the water surface, creating a whirlpool effect, siphoning water from the top of the tank to get rid of any slim that has built up.


I empty about 1 gallon out of the tank - just enough to not expose any of the corals to air. With the water level lowered, I think use my trusty razor blade to clean the glass (also in that last picture and from Home Depot). I then refill the tank with 1 gallon of fresh water, using my tupperware container again to scoop water from the source to the tank.


At this point I usually grab my turkey baster - and use it to stir up the sand around the glass and in some of the more dirty areas. Once I have it all in the water column, I then do another round of siphoning, removing as much of the floating gunk as possible.


Typically I repeat this process of removing and adding 1 gallon at a time until I have finished my 7g of new water. Just before the last refill of fresh water in the tank, with the water level still lower, I use a substrate leveler to put the sand back where I want it, a pair of long tweezers to move things around, and then I use a dry rag to clean the top rim of the tank of any salt creep, etc.


With all of the water back in the tank, I do a final pass with Windex and a paper towel to clean the glass and the little table top. And then I clean up and forget about it for 6 days.


Well, except that I need to dose Alk/Ca and Mg almost daily to keep my levels up, and I am doing frequent top offs to try and keep my salinity stable.


Too much detail?

Share this post

Link to post

Thanks for the link to the ADA tanks Dan. I think my next tank will be the Cube Garden 60-P (24x12x14). I will be planning for it probably over the next couple of months. The only thing that I think I will miss as opposed to my current BC29 are the back chambers where I can keep the skimmer, media, etc. I might have to set up a canister filter and also set up my Phosban reactor on this tank to make up for those.


Why do you say you can't run an ATO on this tank? Just because you don't want to switch in the display?

Share this post

Link to post

No problem - I think I could live with 1 switch in the display, but I need to figure out how to rig it up. I run the water line to the top of the tank, which may also cause a problem. I got this piece of plastic that is supposed to be mold-able, but I am not sure if it will meet my aesthetic requirements...


I just haven't had much time to mess with it.


The very first photo of my FW tank in this thread is a 60-P.

Share this post

Link to post

I did not read your whole thread - but are you feeding those sponges anything? Definitely keep us updated on how they do! BTW very nice tank!

Share this post

Link to post

I am feeding the tank Cyclopeez 2-3 times a week. I am also adding little meety things for the shrimp. I also buy green water from a LFS about once a month, which is supposed to be live plantkon, etc.


I have a few naturally occuring sponges in the tank that have thrived, but these are certainly much bigger. Time will tell, but the vendor claims long term success with them, so here's to hoping!

Share this post

Link to post

Well thank you for the reply and pictures. Any temp problems? Evaporation problems? I would think you would have to top off that tank all the time?


I was really getting going with the hobby when I lived in Los Angeles, but had to liquidate everything when I moved to New York. They don't have as good of stores if hardly any at all here so it make it difficult. Plus if I am out of town here and there for 3 or 4 days things can get tricky. How is the saltwater selection in Arizona?

Share this post

Link to post

We have 4 stores in Phoenix that are pretty good for the Reef hobby and a pretty good local group.


I don't have any temp problems (there is a small heater in the back that you can't really see in these pictures - but you can see it if you look back farther in this thread). Evaporation is my biggest problem, and it isn't too bad. Worst case, my Sa can swing 0.0012 in a day, which is a lot, but manageable. If I am not here, I have to have someone watch the tank in my absence, but so far it has worked out quite well.


A tiny, clean nano like this is a lot of work, but rewarding as well.


That montipora has really exploded, it looks great.


Thanks - I have been scraping away from the glass with my "nimble nano" but it is slowly winning - any advice on fragging it cleanly? I am down to about 1/4 inch to the glass...

Share this post

Link to post

Hey Dan. Just browsed through your entire thread again....just can't get enough of these tanks right now.


What ever happened to the mini nems and the green bottlebrush macro that you had back in Feb/March? I know that in one post you mentioned that it looked like it was getting darker in color and didn't see anything after that.


How about the Green Clown Goby that you had? Still in there and kicking?

Share this post

Link to post

Let's see... The "Shaving Brush Plants" sent out an extensive root system throughout most of the tank and shot up new heads in places that I didn't want them. I started to move them around and cut them out and ultimately it dead off on me - I think it didn't like my tampering.


The Red Grape Caulerpa was a bust, it all died, as did most of that first really big red macro I had. I got sick of the Green Caulerpa and ended up ripping it out. I have a few different types of red macros left as well as Halimeda.


The mini nems both migrated to a cave area in the back of the tank and I never saw them again... I am guessing they are still back there, but I am not 100% sure, as I really can't see back there.... They were really cool and I would like to add a few more if I could be sure they wouldn't go running for shade.


The GBG (I had 2) were awesome, unfortunately, if you fill the water too high, they ultimately end up slipping out of the tank and drying up on the floor :(. This is a common problem with ADA tanks and why many people keep their water line lower. I just don't like it unless it is filled to the top. They lasted a few months but ultimately both ended up DOTF (died-up on the floor). I am currently looking for some kind of a transparent netting or something that I could arrange over the top of the tank.


Right now I have 2x Sexy Shrimp (probably why I don't have long term success with zoos), 1x Porcelain Crab (I bought a second one at one point but s/he disappeared one day) and I think 1x Pom Pom Crab, though I haven't seen her in a month or two (the other one mysteriously died one day, a few months back).

Share this post

Link to post

The sponge with the encrusting zoanthids is awesome! I've never seen them open, but they sell them on sealifeinc.net. I think that may be my next order. Love the tank too. I love the rimless look.

Share this post

Link to post

Thanks for the replies about some of your old inhabitants.


-Stinks that the green bottlebrush algae turned out to be a pain, was pretty cool looking. Looked like a little grove of trees in the background.

-I have heard a number of people say that the only downside of mini nems are that they are small, for one, and that they tend to migrate around the tank. Just hard to keep track of....I can only imagine them in a larger tank.

-Sorry to hear about the GCB deciding to become a fish stick. I'm afraid that some sort of mesh netting would detract from the overall beauty of the rimless but there has to be some way to make it more aesthetic. I have seen a number of people make frames and then drape the really fine netting over it....just never seen it on this size of tank.


Quick question about your 60-P, what sort of stand are you using for it? I have started looking around at things I would need for that tank and it looks like finding a stand that is 24-26" long is going to be a little tough. Might have to build one myself but would rather save the trouble and buy one if I could find it.

Share this post

Link to post

My 60-P used to sit on a filing cabinet that came with my desk (which is the case in the earlier photos in this thread). I then moved it to one of these:




Now, I am considering having a custom stand built that will fit it's dimensions more perfectly. I really like this kind of a look and know a guy locally that builds these:



Share this post

Link to post



I finally broke down and ordered a couple of corals I have been eyeing for a while, a Royal Blue Acropora Tenuis and Montipora Confusa... The Acro seems more purple than blue, but I am still pretty happy with it. Crossing my fingers my light and flow will be good enough...






They have only been in the tank for a couple of hours and the Acro is already opened up and happy.


I also decided to reach around the back of the tank and snap some "blind shots" to see if I could find anything back there... Still looking for my Mini Carpet Nems, but I did find a couple of strange sponge looking things.






and this one:






A few other photos actually turned out ok - strange to see the tank from a different perspective:








There are definitely a lot of feather dusters and spiral-things back here






Then a couple of side shots:






The orange cap seems to recover quickly from my consistent scraping at its edges






The Porcelain Crab is happy as ever and the ball sponge seems to be doing quite well






The one problem I have been having lately is with this stuff:




It seems to get all over the place - easy enough to remove, but a royal PITA... I try and remove as much of it as I can each water change, but it seems to be beating me. I am tempted to float a bag of Purigen in the tank for a week and see if that helps...





Share this post

Link to post

I just dropped a 100ml bag of Purigen in the tank to hopefully help remedy my recent cyano problem...


Anyone have a good sponge ID link?

Share this post

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Sign Up or Sign In to hide this.