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Thread: Java's Low Tech AquaMaxx 9.1

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Java's Low Tech AquaMaxx 9.1

    FTS 05.23.2017





    HI All,

    I'm new to freshwater but have several years of experience with saltwater reef tanks. Recently I was forced to take down my 70 gallon reef and have decided I'd like to give freshwater planted a go. I plan to start small and low tech to get my feet wet. Thoughts, suggestions and feedback are appreciated.

    Nothing is set in stone but pretty sure I'll be going with the following:

    Tank: AquaMaxx 9.1 gallon Low Iron (23.7" x 9.5" x 9.5" )
    Filtration: Odyssea CFS 130, Zoo Med Nano 10 or SunSun Modular Canister Filter (6x9 small version) - I'm unsure if I want the canister to sit behind the tank or below the table it's on. In either instance I will not be able to hide it. Thoughts on performance of each for a tank this size?
    Lighting: Chihiros A-Series Aquatic Aquarium High Output LED - 39w - Heavily leaning toward this light, I think they look great over small tanks...I have concerns about this being too much light for a low tech tank but I believe the lights are dimmable to some extent (I think I've read that there are switches that adjust power level) but need to do some additional research. Also, it looks like these all come from overseas so might take a while to get. Alternate Suggestions?
    Scape: My vision is a small manzanita stump with fingering roots and some seriyu or dragon stone...I like the idea of having height one the sides and some open area in the middle for swimming space with carpeting plants in the front and a few tall items in the back corners.
    Inhabitants: Neon, Cardinal or Green Tetras (5-7) and something like Galaxy Rasbora (5-7). Unsure if I want to try shrimp but once the tank is mature I'm will consider some options.

    So far I only have a mock up of the tank. I'm waiting for the console table that the tank will be placed on to get here before I buy everything.
    Last edited by JavaJacketOC; 05-23-2017 at 11:12 PM.

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    On Duty 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER Zenzu's Avatar
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    Awesome tank size! I wouldn't over think filtration too much on a small tank, you can get away with a sponge filter, but asthetically speaking a canister with glass lily pipes would look proper.

    For low tech the world is your oyster there are so many great nano tank fixtures on amazon, heck you could even make your own light with cut to length led strip. I recently bought a no name 16" china led on amazon for $18 shipped 2 day and it's done it's job and then some.

    If you can find the right stump, I think the scape will look awesome. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
    Awesome tank size! I wouldn't over think filtration too much on a small tank, you can get away with a sponge filter, but asthetically speaking a canister with glass lily pipes would look proper.

    For low tech the world is your oyster there are so many great nano tank fixtures on amazon, heck you could even make your own light with cut to length led strip. I recently bought a no name 16" china led on amazon for $18 shipped 2 day and it's done it's job and then some.

    If you can find the right stump, I think the scape will look awesome. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
    Can you link the light you bought? I like to consider all options when starting a new tank.


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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr sc91006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaJacketOC View Post
    Can you link the light you bought? I like to consider all options when starting a new tank.


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    Just search Ebay for Chihiros A-Series, there are a bunch of sellers.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sc91006 View Post
    Just search Ebay for Chihiros A-Series, there are a bunch of sellers.
    I'm considering these a lot...just 4-5 week delivery time.


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    SCAPE Member Super Duper Master Scaper swoof's Avatar
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    Look into the Finnex PX 360 Canister, much better than the zoo med. I use a Sicce whale 200 on my ADA 60F.
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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    The sicces are awesome. They are a little underpowered for what they are rated, but **** they are reliable.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaJacketOC View Post
    HI All,

    I'm new to freshwater but have several years of experience with saltwater reef tanks. Recently I was forced to take down my 70 gallon reef and have decided I'd like to give freshwater planted a go. I plan to start small and low tech to get my feet wet. Thoughts, suggestions and feedback are appreciated.

    Nothing is set in stone but pretty sure I'll be going with the following:

    Tank: AquaMaxx 9.1 gallon Low Iron (23.7" x 9.5" x 9.5" )
    Filtration: Odyssea CFS 130, Zoo Med Nano 10 or SunSun Modular Canister Filter (6x9 small version) - I'm unsure if I want the canister to sit behind the tank or below the table it's on. In either instance I will not be able to hide it. Thoughts on performance of each for a tank this size?
    Lighting: Chihiros A-Series Aquatic Aquarium High Output LED - 39w - Heavily leaning toward this light, I think they look great over small tanks...I have concerns about this being too much light for a low tech tank but I believe the lights are dimmable to some extent (I think I've read that there are switches that adjust power level) but need to do some additional research. Also, it looks like these all come from overseas so might take a while to get. Alternate Suggestions?
    Scape: My vision is a small manzanita stump with fingering roots and some seriyu or dragon stone...I like the idea of having height one the sides and some open area in the middle for swimming space with carpeting plants in the front and a few tall items in the back corners.
    Inhabitants: Neon, Cardinal or Green Tetras (5-7) and something like Galaxy Rasbora (5-7). Unsure if I want to try shrimp but once the tank is mature I'm will consider some options.

    So far I only have a mock up of the tank. I'm waiting for the console table that the tank will be placed on to get here before I buy everything.

    Where did you get the starbuck's cup? Is that mail-order only?

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    SCAPE Member Super Duper Master Scaper swoof's Avatar
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    Nick, you know I had it turned all the way down right?
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    SCAPE Member Just Planted JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    Look into the Finnex PX 360 Canister, much better than the zoo med. I use a Sicce whale 200 on my ADA 60F.

    Thank you for this suggestion, I've read up on it and watched a couple videos. This looks like it would be a really good fit size wise and performance wise.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    Nick, you know I had it turned all the way down right?
    Your sicce? I wasn't paying attention.

    They just are not nearly as powerful as sicce says they are. They are extremely durable, though.

    If you test their lift against what they publish, they fall short. Same as their rate for gph.

    All manufacturers are guilty of it, but sicce could fairly adjust their numbers.

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    On Duty 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER Zenzu's Avatar
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    Loving the derail. yes all manufacturers, literally all do, exaggerate their products capabilities. However canisters should perform near the numbers if conditions are ideal. I would like to add that all the numbers for lift and gph are based on the pump solely... without the canister, fittings, inflow/outflow pipes or media... so obviously adding these components that the pump needs to pump water through would greatly decrease performance, which in turn would account for the discrepancies you are experiencing.

    PS: You don't need to quote people in your reply. If you really feel like people will get confused about who you are talking to you can always @Nick Shades

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    On Duty 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER Zenzu's Avatar
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    Justin, I order stuff from China all the time, It's honestly not that bad as long as it's something you don't need asap. In your case I would order it asap and while it travels to you, you can always piece together other components.

    The single most important piece of advice I could give you is... Do not rush, take your time and do everything right the first time. It's a huge pita to redo a tank, substrate does not like being moved and neither do plants or fish. Take your time and be patient, it will save you headaches later.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post
    Justin, I order stuff from China all the time, It's honestly not that bad as long as it's something you don't need asap. In your case I would order it asap and while it travels to you, you can always piece together other components.

    The single most important piece of advice I could give you is... Do not rush, take your time and do everything right the first time. It's a huge pita to redo a tank, substrate does not like being moved and neither do plants or fish. Take your time and be patient, it will save you headaches later.
    Yeah, this feels very similar to saltwater which is all about taking your time. As far as stuff from China, I have no issue with it...but I don't typically want to wait 5 weeks for shipping, lol. That being said, I'm going to snoop around for some tanks with the light you linked in our messaging and see if I just want to try that since it's not very expensive. I just don't want dark sides because the fixture stops 3" short of the edge, but if I can raise it a few inches off the rim it might compensate.

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    On Duty 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER Zenzu's Avatar
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    Well as I stated your tank is not deep at all, infact it is one of the shallowest tanks made, pretty much any light will give you the par numbers you need to sustain carpet plants. The light I linked also comes in other sizes, there is a 24" version.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Java's Low Tech AquaMaxx 9.1

    Some updates. I picked up some Seriyu Rock and a piece of spiderwood while I was in San Diego last weekend. I played with a few arrangements and think I'll be going with something like what I have laid out below.

    Ordered the following:

    Tank: AquaMaxx 9.1 gallon Low Iron (23.7" x 9.5" x 9.5" )
    Filtration: Finnex PX-360 Compact Canister Aquarium Filter (thanks for the suggestion @swoof)
    Lighting: Bivisen LED Aquarium Lighting from Amazon. I may end up ordering a Chihiros A-Series light if I hate this one but will just have to see how it performs.

    I'm still waiting on the console table this tank will go on but should have it within the next 10 days...in the mean time I'm trying to decide what substrate to use. I am leaning toward a carpeting types but need to see different substrate size options in person.




    Last edited by JavaJacketOC; 05-08-2017 at 11:36 PM.

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    SCAPE Member Super Duper Master Scaper swoof's Avatar
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    contro soil small grain will work well for a carpeting plant.
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    SCAPE Member Just Planted JavaJacketOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    contro soil small grain will work well for a carpeting plant.
    I didn't see this in any of the local stores I've visited and ended up ordering Seachem Flourite Black Sand. I plan to rinse it well to get rid of anything really dusty.

    I am thinking I may want to do something a little more coarse below the sand but then I feel like I may be over thinking it for such a small tank, lol.


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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Nick Shades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zenzu View Post

    PS: You don't need to quote people in your reply. If you really feel like people will get confused about who you are talking to you can always @Nick Shades
    I typically use tapatalk and it auto quotes.

    I don't personally understand the reason why people get upset about the quoting "nuisance," as the alerts can be disabled through the forum or whatever app is creating the nuisance.

    When firing off a quick response on my phone, editing out a quote is far more work than just responding, using the utility of the app.

    Sent from my 1+3t

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr walzon1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaJacketOC View Post
    I didn't see this in any of the local stores I've visited and ended up ordering Seachem Flourite Black Sand. I plan to rinse it well to get rid of anything really dusty.

    I am thinking I may want to do something a little more coarse below the sand but then I feel like I may be over thinking it for such a small tank, lol.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Fluorite? What is this 1990? did I go back in time? J/K I use old school stuff a lot it will definitely hold your plants down, but there are so many more and better options. In My opinion pool filter sand would be a way better option especially with those nice black rocks, great contrast just an idea.

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