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Vladguan's mid-high tech AR850

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  • Vladguan's mid-high tech AR850

    Photo taken with Samsung Galaxy Nexus in a dark room with exposure set to 0, white balance set to daylight and scene set to night mode:


    Exposure set to +1 and the rest the same:


    3x 7000K LEDs moonlight set to 9V and exposure set to +1 a and the rest the same (normally set to 6V but camera cannot pick it up even with exposure set to max of +3):


    Introduction:
    Got the AR850 as a second hand unit in 2011 and sold my old 2ft tank with cabinet. Then, after a year, I ripped the guts out off the light housing and replaced with LEDs (20x 3LED modules producing 900LMs). I recently replaced them with 20x 4LED modules producing 1200LMs). The AR850 uses non-standard sized fluorescent tubes and because of that, costs a fair bit. The light cover is also very tight and I gathered that is why there is a crack in it with constant taking off and putting on. Have since replaced with a brand new cover. I have PMed a member full instructions on the build of the LED lights and can PM the same instructions if anyone else wants to build there own low-to-mid tech lights.

    I had my 2ft tank with home-made cabinet since 2000 and was mainly used to keep goldfish.

    Specifications:
    Aqua One AR850 with cabinet and built-in filtration (new power head as I snapped the impeller shaft during routine cleaning).
    20x 4LED module at 6000 to 7000K and currently set to be on from 9am to 12:30pm, off between 12:30pm and 2pm, and then on again from 2pm to 8pm. These are attached to 2x 33x3mm aluminium strips that are 750mm in length.
    3x 7000K LEDs running at 6V and on from 8am to 6am. These are attached to the crossbar bracing of the above aluminium strips.
    Both lights will be hooked up to an as yet to be finished custom-built timer box with 2 digital LCD timers and independent power (each timer has 3x7day programs and rechargeable battery to keep the time). Will update once it is complete.
    300W heater (unknown brand).
    Gravel substrate.
    2 pieces of driftwood
    1 piece of ornamental turtle (one of the juvenile Bristlenose loves to get under it)
    2 camouflaged Bristlenose caves

    Flora:
    1 Banana Lily (5 floating leaf and another about to unfurl)
    2 cut lily pads waiting for roots
    2 Java Moses (one attached to horizontally placed drift wood and other attached to vertically placed root style drift wood)
    1 Alternanthera Reineckii Purple
    1 Hygrophila Polysperma
    2 Cuttings from Hygrophila Polysperma

    Fauna:
    15+ Sunset Tuxedo Platies
    5+ Wagtail Platies
    1 15cm Bristlenose catfish
    1 12cm Bristlenose catfish
    2 juvenile Bristlenose catfish
    Lots of Ramshorns
    1 Glyptophysa

    I have not used any fertilizers nor root tabs. Have been using Dino Spit and about to order some Dino Dung. the Banana Lily and Hygrophila Polysperma are thriving.

    Cheers all and thanks for viewing.
    Last edited by vladguan; 23-01-15, 11:38 AM. Reason: update and correction
    Planted Community Jungle.
    Planted RCS Vase.

  • #2
    Very neat and nice tank there mate. Are they piles of pebble on the left side of the tank?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tompham View Post
      Very neat and nice tank there mate. Are they piles of pebble on the left side of the tank?
      Cheers Tompham. They are actually two halves of ceramic lolly jars in shape of a walnut, siliconed to a piece of glass each and then sprinkled with substrate and stuck using a layer of silicone. I am planning to make it blend in more by ramping it up creating two little hills.
      Planted Community Jungle.
      Planted RCS Vase.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi all,

        Update: I have finished the timer box. The LCD timers are very programmable. I have set the day-time one to be on from 9am to 8pm and have 3 lots of 30 minute off times and the night-time one to be on between 7:55pm and 6am. With the battery backup, it will not require repogramming after power outtages etc.

        Pics:






        I am now planning to propagate the Banana Lily. It turns out that the dropping of the lower leaves is a natural thing. I will also aim to not burry the bananas so deep as apparently, the petals wont reach as far. Currently there are 4 pads and one on its way.
        Planted Community Jungle.
        Planted RCS Vase.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's looking great Vlad - I love the humpies/igloos.

          The banana lillies will naturally have all of their leaves at the top of the tank. You only have to pick them off if you want the plant to stay low, otherwise the whole lot will be on top - which isn't a probem. Just a choice. The leaves on top will block out some of the light, but if they block out too much, you can pick some leaves off.

          If you wanted to you could attach some java fern/needle leaf/narrow leaf/windelov java fern or bolbitis to the driftwood?

          The molloes seem to really be enjoying the tank, it's going well!
          "Weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place" - Jackie French
          Gardening is just racism for plants - Amber, The Old Guys

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Vlad,

            I think I missed this post the first time around. This helps me heaps as I was wondering about stock levels for my AR850 which is still cycling for the first time (no seeding from previous tanks).

            I also considered going with some live bearers just because it would be nice to see them breed etc. I have to resist putting in tetras as I am sure they will eat the fry.

            Also thanks for PMing me the build details. I have read it but for the moment, I think it's too technical for me. Also I secretly hope that in a year or so, LEDs will be brighter so maybe I will do mine then. I am also hoping for Fluorescent tube fittings already fitted with strip LEDs. I don't know how bright they are, but T8 tubes are available from ebay. In fact, I am not even sure of the actual lights required for the AR850. The longer ones are 60cm I believe. Check this one out.

            Do you think that your mod brightness is on par with the fluorescents? With all their faults, those fluorescents are very bright in terms of lumens.

            If you are keen to hide the equipment, consider the cheap Aquaone branded 3D backgrounds. I got one for $40 and glued it to the back. You look like you are a technical person so I am sure you can go one step further and hide the heater behind it. I didn't have the technical know how nor didn't want to muck around and risk stale water in the back of the tank. I suspect you'd need a powerhead to drive the water in/out.

            Any ideas as to how to hide the filter intake/box? I stuck some javamoss on mine hoping it will be covered. Also thought about covering the intake pipe with java fern or something. If get an Anubia growing on my filter intake, perhaps it will make it more valuable come time to sell?

            I can you like to tinker but why didn't you just whack a coupla timers (manual ones) on a power board? I reckon a cooler mod would be a internet-wifi-controlled timer and camera so you could watch the tank when you are away!

            Enough rambling, hope to see the evolution of this tank.

            Comment


            • #7
              Cheers DE, those igloos/BN caves took awhile to make (mainly getting the glass bottom cut properly). BTW they are platies not molies
              i do have java moss on the two pieces of DW.
              Last edited by vladguan; 24-06-13, 08:42 PM.
              Planted Community Jungle.
              Planted RCS Vase.

              Comment


              • #8
                See reply in bold
                Originally posted by Rebel View Post
                Hi Vlad,

                I think I missed this post the first time around. This helps me heaps as I was wondering about stock levels for my AR850 which is still cycling for the first time (no seeding from previous tanks).

                I also considered going with some live bearers just because it would be nice to see them breed etc. I have to resist putting in tetras as I am sure they will eat the fry.
                most likely will. I had black skirt tetras with gupies and I think the tetras ate the Frys.

                Also thanks for PMing me the build details. I have read it but for the moment, I think it's too technical for me. Also I secretly hope that in a year or so, LEDs will be brighter so maybe I will do mine then. I am also hoping for Fluorescent tube fittings already fitted with strip LEDs. I don't know how bright they are, but T8 tubes are available from ebay. In fact, I am not even sure of the actual lights required for the AR850. The longer ones are 60cm I believe. Check this one out.
                The AR850 has two 30inch and one 23.5inch T8 tubes which are not standard length and as such wont have any direct replacement led in T8 fitments

                Do you think that your mod brightness is on par with the fluorescents? With all their faults, those fluorescents are very bright in terms of lumens.
                The issue is they require replacement twicw a year and is a pain to do. the 20x4LED modules produce 1200lm and all in 120deg beam whereas the two 30inch T8 combined may produce more but half are wasted without reflector.

                If you are keen to hide the equipment, consider the cheap Aquaone branded 3D backgrounds. I got one for $40 and glued it to the back. You look like you are a technical person so I am sure you can go one step further and hide the heater behind it. I didn't have the technical know how nor didn't want to muck around and risk stale water in the back of the tank. I suspect you'd need a powerhead to drive the water in/out.
                cheers for idea but that requires redoing which I dont have the time nor spare tank for.

                Any ideas as to how to hide the filter intake/box? I stuck some javamoss on mine hoping it will be covered. Also thought about covering the intake pipe with java fern or something. If get an Anubia growing on my filter intake, perhaps it will make it more valuable come time to sell?
                others have grown taller plants around the intake.

                I can you like to tinker but why didn't you just whack a coupla timers (manual ones) on a power board? I reckon a cooler mod would be a internet-wifi-controlled timer and camera so you could watch the tank when you are away!
                haha, wife would say i might as well live with the tank. anyhow manual timers need adjusting after power outtages and are only at 15 minute intervals as opposed to 1min, plus only one 4 outlet board is required for the pump, heater and the timer box. the LCD timers were only $6.6y each with free delivery and is much neater.

                Enough rambling, hope to see the evolution of this tank.
                Planted Community Jungle.
                Planted RCS Vase.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks Vlad, for your answers.

                  How's your growth and evolution. Love to see another pic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rebel View Post
                    Thanks Vlad, for your answers.

                    How's your growth and evolution. Love to see another pic.
                    No worries, the banana lily is growing very well. 5 leaves (largest is about 12x8cms and the smallest about half that) with one about to unfurl and another one 5cm from the bottom. The Bacopa Australis has reached the height of the Alternanthera Reineckii Purple. The Alternanthera Reineckii Purple is growing slower (may need more iron balls in the substrate).

                    Otherwise, I have sold over 30 of the Platies and guess what, there is about 20 under 1.5cm swimming about (approx 2 is born per week). The two juvenile BNs have also grown (1cm for one and 2cm for the other). The Java Moss is more stable now as well (not losing branches as much).

                    Just waiting for the female (supposedly) BNs to mature and mate with the males.

                    Will take a pic tonight and update the post.

                    The snail trap (made from cherry tomato punnet) is also working well. Been trapping over 30 over night and also squashing over 30 every night. These ramshorns sure breed fast.
                    Planted Community Jungle.
                    Planted RCS Vase.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Updates:

                      Pic of the lily pads from below with one between two two bunches about to unfurl.
                      IMG_20130627_193136.jpg

                      The Alternanthera Reineckii Purple and the Bacopa Australis. As you can see compared with the first lot of pics, the Bacopa has grown alot. Notice the snail trap.
                      IMG_20130627_193737.jpg

                      And the 6cm BN munching on an algae flake.
                      IMG_20130628_092334.jpg
                      Planted Community Jungle.
                      Planted RCS Vase.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That lily is really taking off! I can see the nice fry. Did you source the fish locally?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, all my fish and plants were either from my LFS (Aggies) or local private sellers on Gumtree.
                          Planted Community Jungle.
                          Planted RCS Vase.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Update.
                            I've snipped two of the largest pads of the banana lily. hopefully they take root and I will start selling them. I have also propagated the Hygrophila Polysperma by cutting two latteral stems and planted them in a small cup and placed in the tank. the main stem of the bacopa has also reached the water surface. Also, I've trimmed the duckbill so I can have it facing the side of the tank and now all the ramshorns are gathering around the outlet. the rear right corner is amass with them. now one squash, and I can kill 30+.
                            Last edited by vladguan; 08-07-13, 10:03 PM. Reason: correction
                            Planted Community Jungle.
                            Planted RCS Vase.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another update.
                              Got 3 pots of Crypts which turned out to be 14 individual plants so planted them in the foreground in pairs. Also removed one of the BN caves and rearranged the driftwoods as well as made two more clippings of the H. Polysperma.


                              A closeup of the smallest BN. Still hoping it is a female. It is about 6cm in length and has tiny bristles on the edge of its mouth.


                              Anyone know how long it takes for the H. Polysperma cuttings to develop root?
                              Planted Community Jungle.
                              Planted RCS Vase.

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