Edit* some specs Natural Aquario 120 x 45 x 55 superclear glass Natural Aquario Cabinet in matt grey Natural Aquario Light Arm Natural Aquario Stainless Steel inlet and outlets 3 TMC Aquaray 1000nd led tiles on MMS rail and hanging kit TMC Aquaray 8 way controller Eheim 2080 Tetratec ex1501 greenline Hydor 300w inline heater AM1000 co2 reactor (on 2 hours prior to lights) Dennerle profi 1000 regulator German manifold and needle valves In the tank: Natural Aquario Silver Series Bottom soil x 2 Natural Aquario Silver Series Top soil x 3 ADA La Plata Sand mixed with Natural Aquario River sand Bogwood and Manzanita Black Lava Rock Plants List: Taxiphyllum barbieri Blyxa Aubertii Blyxa Japonica Cryptocoryne Retrospiralis Bolbitus Heudelotii Hygrophillia pinnatifida Bucephalandra Melawi Currently using Vimi ferts, just micros at 40ml a day during start up then alternate days Micro and All in One Fauna: 80 Caridina Multidentata (amano shrimp) will update as stocking progresses Hey folks, managed to make some progress today so thought id fire up the journal. Apologies for the long opening post ...... So after seeing the NA set ups at Aquatics Live i was thinking about a 90 but decided against it thinking that i should stop buying new tanks and do a few more scapes in the one i have, yet due to Ed's silvery tongue Ive ended up with a new AquaRio 120cm NA setup minus lights. Im so glad i did as a few weeks ago it arrived as promised. First up was the cabinet, the packaging was all very robust and looked in tact, so it was all about checking out the build quality and functionality. NA have said that they have been working hard on 'improved quality' so i was pretty keen to see what it was all about. Looking straight at the cabinet it was clear the build was good, the doors line up nicely and joints are as good as invisible. A two finger press on the tops of the doors and they swing open smoothly almost fully. To my delight there is no middle brace, i was sure there would be something given its 120 long but no, just loads of space to play with and no obstacles to bend pipes round and/or make me 'hulk out' during maintenance. As far as slots and holes for pipe work and cables go i was originally a little concerned but Ed told me that they had addressed this already and they sure have. No chance you will need to get out the hole saw, which would be criminal anyway! With 2 long slots at the front on each end, 1 hole in the middle, 2 box cut holes at the rear of each side and 2 holes in the back 2 bottom corners you have a cornucopia of choices. Some may say overkill but i like the choice. So here was my first minor niggle... The round holes cut on the back will most likely be used to feed power leads into the cabinet and in the UK we have big plugs... so big they don’t fit through. Ive spoken to NA and they have said that they will look to increase the size a little. I just removed the plug on the extension lead. Next out of the box was the steel pipes, what can i say? They look uber cool, fit the system perfectly and no more breakages! The real test will be once running of course, having a 2080 fire out of one small outlet (no cone like a lily) could be an issue but time will tell.... heres hoping. The inlets have 8 large vertical slots cut into them to let water in opposed to the usual small horizontal layout, i can see this working well and im hoping that with such large area to draw water in that the suction wont be so bad as to turn them into shrimp killers as some glass inlets can. As long as they all work i cant see that ill go back to breaking glass pipes anytime soon... also has the added bonus that if a pipe happens to pop off like i had before it will only drain about an inch or two before stopping So onto the light arm... as i have a 90cm NA light arm currently it was interesting to see that they have reduced the profile significantly from 2.5cm to 1cm with the top beam being solid stainless. This assembles very easily as the cabinet has all the holes predrilled with threaded insets, an allen key later (would have be extra nice if this was included as i have no tools!) and its up. The second niggle.... as im using the MMS rail suspension kit i need holes in that solid piece of steel across the top to hang them. So of i went to see my maintenance manager at work and got him drilling some holes for me, 10 minutes and 2 drill bits later...good as gold. I would also suggest to NA that they may wish to consider pre drilling the holes as a future feature, no doubt they aren’t needed with their own light system but many would appreciate it and if they aren’t used it does nothing to the aesthetic. So finally the glass.... upon opening the box the first thing i notice is that the lids have been included? I thought Ed had said these were an additional cost but in the box they are along with 2 packs of funny looking clips that took me a while to figure out that they were for the lid.... at least one pack is, the second pack im still trying to figure out what they are for As standard the tank comes with the foam matt needed for the top of the cabinet, little bits like that make me smile So with the help of the housemate we lifted the tank up to have a look. The clarity of the glass is very impressive, aside from the edges you simply cant see it as it has almost no colour at all. The quality of the build was good with all sides matching up evenly and next to no silicone to be seen. There are a couple of teeny 1mm marks from manufacturing but without looking with your nose touching the glass you cant see them empty so will vanish entirely once wet. Overall im very impressed, the whole lot looks very well built, well thought out, sturdy and clean. Having not owned an ADA system i cant really compare but i find it hard to quantify where any real improvement, as far a build goes, where it could be much better... possibly a couple of tiny patches where the silicone is only 95% but nothing to justify the price difference that i can think of. So having had it sat in the lounge for far to long while i sort hardscape etc i thought id busy myself putting the gear all together. Having had a few fair few tanks in a relatively short space of time i was adamant this is the last... for now! But i wanted to set it all up right from the start to make maintenance easy, look tidy and make taking pictures stress free (enough of that trying to figure out the camera!) Filtration Eheim 2080.... as all pipework is concealed inside the cabinet i was happy to use the standard Eheim green tubing as i still think its one of the best for performance. Running on one inlet is the Hydor 300w which ive yet to plumb in as its on the old tank. Ill be making sure to fix it to the cabinet with 22mm plumbing clips as a lot of you no doubt know the connection on the hydor’s doesn’t instill much confidence so doing so should mean ill sleep ok at night. Filter media will be alfagrog, some old eheim media mix from my mature filter, 250ml purigen every 3 months and possibly carbon with floss depending on how it all works out. CO2 injection Once the second inlet was attached i plumbed in the AM1000, now i know that these reactors always get mixed reviews but thought id give it a go without any media... well ill have to anyway as once i got it out (bought a few months back) i realised it has been sealed shut by the previous owner which i didn’t know or i wouldn’t have bought it, as long as it doesn’t leak and doesn’t need media then i can live with it. CO2 installation Next was the co2, pretty straight forward, the tank still sits outside the cabinet as i cant get any smaller ones free from work and am still running the dennerle profi2000 reg. I also treated myself to a new manifold from Germany CO2 Verteiler 2 fach Aquaristik which can run two tanks, the needle valve certainly feels really smooth and is 4 full rotations from open to closed which should provide good control. Lights and power First off, light in the cabinet! I have meant to do this so many times but never got round to it, so this time in went a T5 cabinet light fixed to the top that i have added a cabinet auto switch to just to be swish. As TMC have bought out the 1500 tile there are some great deals out there for the older 1000’s so opted for 3 tiles on the MMS rail with suspension kit. I cant express how nice it is to be able to move the lights up and down with such little effort, the only slight draw back i can see is that when i want to raise the lights for maintenance etc that when one end goes up first the tiles slide about and could fall off. Currently looking for a solution to this if you have an idea im all ears. I then fitted the Aquaray 8 way controller programmed for 30 min ramp up 5 hours on 60% then 60mins ramp down until i figure this set up out. Backlighting experiment- to follow If youve made it this far then thanks, i hope to get it wet in the next 3 weeks once all the other bits arrive. As always all comments, critisism’s and suggestions welcome.