Ed's Rio 180

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Ed Seeley, 4 Jan 2008.

  1. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Well as I picked up my tank today I thought I'd start my journal of it's development off.
    Nothing much will be happening until the substrate arrives from Richard and the plants from Aquaspot world, but the hardware's almost all done!

    I have to start here by saying how brilliant Maidenhead aquatics at Derby were for getting me the tank at the discounted price and then having it at their store within the week!

    Anyway went to pick it up today. Got it back and assembled the cabinet - no photos of this as if you've put IKEA furniture together you'll know how it goes!

    Then the first problem. I had measured VERY carefully to check this would go into the alcove by the fire place. the gap was 101cm and the tank is just under 101cm. Perfect fit, I thought.

    However it seems that the gap was 101cm AT THE BACK!!!! At the front it was just under 101cm - about 1mm too small!!! Fortunately one of the walls is lined in cork (don't ask) so that was easy to shave some off to get a good fit. This took much doing and offering the stand up then shaving some off etc., but then the stand went in. Great, I thought, job done! But no...

    The tank's trim acutally sticks out a little further! More trimming...

    Anyway after an hour or so of very carefull slight trimming I have a tank that looks like it was made for the gap!!! Here are the pictures.

    100_1967.jpg

    The two sides with the close fits!
    100_1970.jpg

    100_1968.jpg

    Now I'm just waiting for Aquasoil and everything else...

    Oh, and surprisingly my tank arrived with the filter already stuck in! It was all sealed up and everything, but already positioned. Is this true on all new Juwels?
     
  2. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Yeah the rio tanks all have a jumbo internal filter pre-installed, you can easily remove if it necessary if you later want to switch to an external later on.

    I see its got T5's in it, much better than T8's :)

    Sam
     
  3. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Yeah it's got the High-lites and came with Day and Nature bulbs so pretty happy with that! Definitely keeping the filter, but will be putting sintered glass media in the bottom section to improve the biological performance and I can put some mature media in from my Ehiem.
     
  4. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Nice. Any idea what's going into the tank at the moment?
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Oh yeah. I'm rather Left-brained with things like this and already have apretty detailed plan.
    Here it is from another thread on here:

     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    ADA stuff arrived this morning (Thanks Richard!!!) so I just need to get the stuff for the hardscape. Unfortunately went to the Stone merchants near me, who have a great selection of cobbles and rocks - including holestone and Spaghetti rock - but they are shut weekends!!! And actually a good job as I liked the look of something called Angel stone cobbles, but the brochure says they contain Calcium Carbonate and that's not good for a soft water tank! So I think it might have to be Lakeland, which are a darker blueish grey colour, almost black when wet, or Caledonian cobbles which are grey granite.

    The wood is proving even harder. Nowhere near me has anything except Mopani wood or big lumps of Bogwood that are totally useless for what I want So after typing this I'm off to my local wood to get some beech branches and see if I can find any suitable ones.
     
  7. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    If you can justify the journey glovers in fenton, stoke-on-trent have the unipac wood in, thats where I got mine, give them a call first they might be able to post you some.
     
  8. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks Garuf but the wood is probably sorted. A quick walk round my local wood found quite a lot of dead standing wood, not lying on the ground, that looked pretty good. After a few hours scraping off all the bark (some much easier than others!) I have some really great branches. The only problem is they float like corks at the moment so I've got them in the tank soaking. I've half filled the tank with warm tap water and put some stones on to hold the wood down so at the moment the tank looks like this;
    100_1979.jpg

    A close up on the wood. What do you reckon? I think it'll look good once it's soaked and got a little darker.
    100_1981.jpg
     
  9. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    They will take ages to sink won't they? I tried soaking some wood I picked from outside once.... Took me 3 months and yet it still floats like a cork.... and they stain the water a lot as well. How do you know if the wood are safe to be used with fish? Don't some of them release some kinda sap that would be deadly to fishes?
     
  10. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    These are all Beech and Oak - both totally safe. Really the only ones that need to be avoided, as far as I can tell, are softwood as they often have lots of resin and will rot more quickly.

    They probably won't sink on there own for ages, but once they've got some more water in them and are less bouyant I will be able to secure them to some slate to weigh them down and set them at the angles I am after. The slate can then be buried under the substrate. I've got some thinner branches soaking outside that sank after a week in cold water so I'm hopeful some time in hot water will go a long way towards starting them sinking.
     
  11. zig

    zig Member

    Messages:
    686
    Location:
    Dublin Ireland
    Ok we won't ask about the cork tiles :lol:
     
  12. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Yeah I need to think about the backdrop! All ideas will be welcome!


    Well Day 6 and the wood is soaking nicely. Some branches are starting to sink already!
    At first I soaked them in hot tap water and the water went cloudy with bacteria and slightly hazy with tannins. I changed all the water after 12 hours and that went cloudy too, though less tannin stained. I changed this after 24 hours and decided to add salt to try and kill off any bacteria.
    After 24 hours the water seemed even more cloudy! I then had an idea; usually not a good thing! ;)
    I put 50 litres of water in and added Milton disinfectant tablets to the water. This is a non-toxic disinfectant used mainly for babies bottles and things and is supposed to be fine to use without even rinsing. I have used it for fish equipment before and never had any toxicity issues.
    That was left for 48 hours and the water was perfectly clear and there is only a slight tannin colour to the water.
    I have now drained that water off, scrubbed the wood and replaced it with clean hot water. I also decided on the four pieces I liked the best, but one of those literally fell apart during cleaning - not a good sign - so was binned. The three remaining pieces are good and solid and should look good IMHO. I think a lot of the tannin colour is actually coming from the one piece of bogwood I've been soaking for the 'pile' at the end of the tank.

    The plants arrived today and I'll let the wood soak in fresh water until Saturday and get the cobbles tomorrow or Friday so Saturday will be the big set up day! Can't wait! :D
     
  13. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    *looks at the date today* I think its time for an update! :lol:
     
  14. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    You're dead right! See next post!!! ;)
    Just finished after a long day!
     
  15. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Had a long day today.

    Had to get mature media out of my Ehiem, remove all the plants and fish from the Cube tank in the living room and set up the Rio, therefore I've only just finished and turned the computer on!

    I have tried to take plenty of photos, but I've missed a lot of things.

    First I had to sort the cobbles and wood out. The wood is nearly sinking and there is no cloudiness from it either. However there was no way the wood was going to sit in the positions I wanted so I had to work out a solution. The answer that finally came to me was to cable tie the wood to piece of slate. This keeps the wood submerged and at the right angle.
    What I did was cut the base of the wood at the correct angle, then drill a whole through the base to pass the cable ties through.
    100_1994.jpg

    I attached the three pieces of wood to separate pieces of slate to allow me to arrange them.
    This is what I came up with!
    100_1996.jpg

    I then got the cobbles after sorting through three bags to pick the most even colours and best size shape to form my 'ribbon' of cobbles.
    100_1997.jpg

    Next I added the powersand special, some old peat out of my external filter and some mulm from that filter to the back area and added the sand and Tetraplant complete from my cube tank to the front and then added the remainder of the complete to that area and mixed it in.
    100_2007.jpg

    I then added the Aquasoil Amazonia. (I'd got two bags, but only needed one as it turns out, although it seems to have settled a fair bit with planting so I may need a fair bit to top up.)
    100_2009.jpg

    Next I added the moss to the branches. I decided I'd have to do this in situ early on so the moss didn't dry out too much. There is Weeping moss on the two higher branches and Spiky moss on the two lower ones.
    I then came up with the idea of putting damp kitchen roll over the branches to keep them damp and it seems to have worked well.
    After doing that I added the sand to the foreground.
    100_2010.jpg

    At that point the pictures stop! I realised this was taking ages and suddenly needed to hurry and the pictures were the bit that got forgotten.
     
  16. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Id suggest that you need more wood, thinner, and more spindly less sand, and moss on some tiny pebbles between your cobbles so they appear older.
    An interesting tank, Well done, I'll be keeping my eye upon it.
     
  17. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    So I'll have to explain without pictures.

    The next thing I did was position the bogwood in the left corner and tie the Anubias nana 'Petite' and Flame moss to them. In the middle of the bogwood pieces is a coconut cave for the Pelvicachromis taeniatus 'Bipindi' that are planned for this tank. This already has Flame moss and an Anubias nana 'Golden' on it.

    Then I added a little water very carefully and then started planting the sand around the bogwood with some of the Echinodorus tennellus from the cube. I'm no good with tweezers so this job took ages.
    Once that was done the Eleocharis sp.'Japan' was then planted in front of the cobbles on the right side and then the Glossostigma to the left of that. There's a bare patch of sand in between the glosso and the tennellus.

    After planting the sand I added a bit more water and started on the Aquasoil. I planted the 6 Crinum calamistratum behind the cobbles so their leaves will come up through the branches. Next to them is the very small patch of Rotala sp.'Pearl' that I hope will bulk up so I can spread that along in front of the Crinums. These two seem a perfect match to me.

    The Nymphaea micrantha have been split into two groups. 12 are on the left hand side and a patch of three are on the very left behind the end crinum.
    I've planted Hygrophila sp.'Pantanal Wavy' in front of the Juwel filter.
    At the rear left of the Aquasoil 'island' is Hygrophila lacustris, then Eleocharis vivipara. In hindsight these ought to be the other way round so the Hairgrass leaves can flow out from the island and I may try and switch them tomorrow.
    Then, finally, behind the wood is a big drift of Cabomba 'piauhyensis'.

    Finally I added the drop checker and diffuser and then spotted a bare gap next to the Rotala. This was the perfect point for my 3 Echindorus 'Oriental' so I added those. I also added a dose of EasyCarbo and will be dosing with that initially as well as adding my trace/potassium mix daily.

    And here is the tank as it is now.
    100_2012.jpg

    100_2014.jpg

    The floating stuff is some Ludwigia helminthorrhiza from the cube that I want to try and secure above the Anubias grove. I'm hoping to do this around the Hydor Koralia I am going to add to boost the flow. However I may just take it out once everything starts growing.
     
  18. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks Garuf.

    I know what you mean about the wood, but I have an image in my head of a few bigger bits rather than the usual thin pieces. I'm not sure these are right, but they're as close as I've found to what I had envisioned! Hopefully the mosses will soften them even more.

    I did think about moss near the cobbles, but don't want to go down the moss-covered-pebbles route but to keep the cobbles looking 'cleaner'. The idea was they looked like river cobbles surrounding a patch of plants in a West African stream, but I've gone away from this idea by planting the foreground and adding lots of non-West African plants. I'm also not sure the cobbles are prominent enough at the moment (and will only get less prominent as the plants grow) but kinda like the effect at the moment.
     
  19. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Interesting, maybe some smaller cobbles to create a break line?
    I think I know what you mean, If you have a look at the ada winner this year that's what I mean by a break line.
    Are you planning on hiding the filter or are you leaving it prominent?
     
  20. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hopefully the Hygrophila sp.'Pantanal Wavy' and the Cabomba should hide most of the filter when they grow. There will also be a big patch of Nymphaea micrantha growing in front of the Hygrophila.
     

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