February 17, 2007 – The ADA Product Showcase

February 2007 Meeting

“The ADA Product Showcase”
The fourth meeting of the NJAGC was held on Saturday, February 17, 2007, hosted by Sergio Canabal and his family at their home in Montclair, NJ.

The meeting was slated for a 1:00 start and got underway shortly after that. Sergio and his wife really went all out with the food and drinks – bruschetta and chicken franchaise to name a few. I had to make sure I was at the NJAGC meeting and not at Fascino’s.

NJAGC This way

NJAGC Door Sign

In attendance were 16 people:
Joseph HoetzlJay L.Frank ZillittoSergio Canabal
Larry Hart
Vince Lim
Irwan Gohor
Ingo Schobert
Jon EdwardGeorge WillmsJens RohloffGiulio Sista
Rhonda Gallo
Paula Benyei
Mike Firrincili
Walter Reed


Bon Appétit

As folks turned up, we saw the start of what is certainly to become a gorgeous tank. Sergio recently purchased an ADA Cube Garden 120-P and left it (well almost) to be hard scaped during this meeting. The tank rests on an ADA Garden Mat, sitting on top of a re-enforced AGA stand. He had already mapped out what he wanted to do, and decided on the placement of the wood he had for this tank.
Giuoli walking in
Giulio walks in bearing gifts

Tank on Arrival

The tank as it was when we walked in

Once everyone settled in, we gathered in the living room.

Mike Firrincili and Jay L. started off with a welcome and some business and announcements about the club.

Sergio also had his 45 gallon tank running, which he is currently using as a holding spot for many of the plants that will adorn the ADA tank.

He thinks he is tearing it down once the new tank is ready, but where will he grow out and test new ideas for the new tank?

Mike kicks off the meeting


George, Jon, Walter, Sergio, Vince (going through a bag of goodies)

Mike addressing the club

Ingo, Larry, Walter, Frank and Jon


Some plants destined for the new tank

The new tank will be about as high tech as it gets. Auto-everything – water changes, fertilizer dosing all programmed into his computer. With the press of one button on his remote control, he demonstrated how he will deliver the macro and micro nutrients to his tank, complete with magnetic stirrers so that the solutions don’t settle.

High tech wonder

Chem 801+ Fluid Dynamics 701

After some further explanations of the whole system we set out to hard scape the tank.

that empty feeling inside

Ready for the hard scape

Sergio mapped out where he wanted the sand to go with a permanent market on the bottom of the tank. So, with that, he, Jay and Mike began placing the cardboard that will separate the sand from the aqua soil while it is setup.

Power Sand Details

Power sand in the back right

Once the cardboard was held in place by some rocks that will eventually become part of the scape, the ADA Power Sand Special M went in.

Power Sand detail

Power sand in the back left

Layout from the top

Top down view of the tank with power sand in place

It is important to keep the ADA power sand away from the edges, and to only apply a thin layer of it so you don’t wind up seeing it later on.

Power Sand going in

Jay, Frank, Sergio, Larry, Mike, Vince and Walter look at the power sand

Inspecting the power sand application

Giulio, George, Jon, Frank, Vince, Sergio, Larry, Mike’s ear, Ingo, Walter’s back

Once everyone had a chance to see how the power sand is used, the ADA Bright Sand went in.

Jay arranging the Brighty Sand

Jay using the improvised ADA tool, Irwan, and Mike

Awating the aqua soil

Bright sand in, ready for the aqua soil

Next, before the aqua soil goes down in the back, some ADA Tourmaline BC was sprinkled over the power sand.

Sergio putting the Tourmanline BC in ADA Nature Aquarium Goods Tourmaline BC
Sergio scooping out the Tourmaline BC, while Mike and George look on ADA Tourmaline

And then, the ADA Amazonia Aqua soil goes in. Sergio wanted a sloping effect, higher in the back, which helps to create the sense of depth in the tank.

Filling the back with aquasoil

The ADA aqua soil amazonia going in

More Aquasoil filling

Jay shaping the aqua soil

And what would a meeting be without the “Ingo looking into a tank” shot?

Ingo looking into the tank

Sergio and Ingo checking out the substrates

And some other views before removing the cardboard separators.

Before the removal

Right side looking left with Irwan looking on

Sand to soil details

ADA Bright Sand to ADA Aqua soil merge – just a little spillage…but not that kind Mike

Once Sergio was happy with the layout of the sand and aqua soil, the cardboard was carefully removed.

Working the cardboard out Working the cardboard out further

Tada! Cardboard removed!

Next up was the wood. Since Sergio already mapped out how he wanted the wood placed, it was really just a matter of putting in back in the way is was when we arrived (well, close to it anyway).

jay and Sergio arranging the wood

Jay and Sergio working on the wood parts of the scape

Right side wood work

right side wood detail

Finally, the rocks were placed in the tank. Numerous positions and setup were tried and commented on.

Jay placing some rocks

Just one lonely rock left

What, just one rock left?!

And, the final product.

Hard scape complete

We all had a chance to view the final outcome of the tank’s hard scape and we debated on planting strategies. Sergio was expecting a plant shipment but it didn’t arrive in time, but he is planning some anubias along the front and moss on the wood. But we’ll have to wait to see the tank in all its glory.

The meeting began to wrap up, but not before a little auction of plants that Irwan donated to the club. Irwan has to briefly give up planted tanks and brought in a wide assortment of plants.

Thanks for your generosity Irwan, see you soon!

Now, you put some of this in your spaghetti sauce and it tastes great!

Mike with the Cyprus Helferi

After the auction, there was the usual plant swap, and it certainly wasn’t a let down.
That, along with any of Irwan’s items that didn’t move in the auction were picked up by the members.

Just look at the smiles on those faces on the right…ahhhh, plants!

Rhonda, Sergio, Walter, Vine, Paula and Ingo

And here are some more sights from the meeting…

George, Giulio, Jay, Frank, Jon, Sergio

Completed hard scape

Mike checking out the finished product

What, we actually have fish in our tanks?!

Jon, Irwan, and Jay

Frank, Mike and Larry

Left side hard scape detail

Jay, Paula, Ingo and Sergio

Sergio’s idea of plastic plants – you are supposed to take them out of the bags!

Right side scape detail

Sergio adding to his soon to be grow out tank 🙂

Rhonda, Sergio, Jon and Ingo

Now, I think we all know who’s hand that is, so if the aqua soil is messed up in that area, you know who to blame!

Sergio and Melissa – Thank you for opening your doors to us!

Until next meeting,
Joseph Hoetzl

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