Juwel Rio 180

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by Ed Seeley, 16 Dec 2007.

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Which aquarium should I get?

  1. Juwel Rio 180 Black

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. Ehiem Smaragd

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Custom made, or other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hi guys,
    Well Christmas is here and I may be lucky enough to have permission to stick a metre long tank in the lounge!
    As such as Juwel Rio 180 black looks like the perfect choice, but is there anything I should know about them? I have already spotted that the new High Lite units seem to use sizes that you can't get anywhere else other than from Juwel at £20 a go!
    I'm slightly concerned there may be other surprises in store too....

    What do you guys think of them and what would you recommend?
    My other option was looking like an Ehiem Smaragd that has a glass fronted cabinet and chrome effect columns, but it looks like they are harder to get and may be coming to an end of line status.
    Or a custom made job with a very modern looking cabinet...

    Love to hear your opinions.
    I already have a pretty good aquascape idea (IMHO anyway! ;) ), just need to sort whether this is the right tank! :lol:
     
  2. Rob33

    Rob33 Member

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    I've had a Rio 180 for 10 years now, and have had no problems with it.

    I'm still using the original heater. The rubber boot on the pump needs replacing every 3 years or so - but the design has changed, so may not be an issue now.

    It seems that the filter is universally hated, and people remove it, and use an external. But I guess that depends on stocking levels.

    I don't have the high lite unit, so can't comment on that.

    Cabinet is up to the job - i.e. doors haven't fallen off, or come loose.

    I know there have been problems with the centre brace failing on some models (not sure if this was on older, or later - re designed versions).
     
  3. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,089
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Custom for me. I'm happy with my Juwel but it may as well be a custom with the amount of modding I've done.

    You're experienced, so you know exactly what you want. There are no compromises with custom.

    BTW Juwel-sized T5s will be produced by Arcadia and JBL.

    If I went for a 180 litre on a 'regular' budget, hi-tech -

    90x45x45cm braceless rimless, float glass.

    Custom cabinet. PM BigDanne.

    90cm Arcadia overtank luminaire 4 x 39w T5.

    Eheim 2080 Pro 3 with Hydor ETH 300 inline heater. Or 2x cheaper externals. ADA knock-off glassware.

    Good luck with whatever you choose. What will you be doing with it? Planted I'm assuming...?
     
  4. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    I agree with George.

    For me, from now on, it is going to be rimless, braceless and with the only hardware in the tank being glassware, all sat atop a minimalist cabinet. And, all at a huge expense. :lol:

    I hope to get a chance to visit Aquariums Ltd soon, when they open up their showroom, so that I can see a float glass tank sat next to an opti white high clarity to decide if the extra money is worth it.

    I have a Juwel Lido which is a nice piece of furniture and I am very happy with it, but it is unlikely I shall buy another off the shelf tank.

    Dave.
     
  5. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Cheers George and Rob,

    Unfortunately a rim-less one with lumiere is out of the question due to light spill in the room, otherwise I would be very close to doing your suggestion George!
    Therefore it has to be a cabinet with a hood, even if it was a custom, or self-made job.

    The decor plan for it at the moment is based on a habitat described in a West African cichlid book, where there are apparently islands of tree roots and Crinumin an other wise sandy stream. It's a part of the range of Pelvicachromis taeniatus and I'm getting 4 of the 'Bipindi' location sent Tuesday so this will be their hone, probably with my big shoal of cardinals (Although I'm very tempted to stay West African and get 40+ Lampeyes killis).

    At the moment I'm thinking Amazonia substrate 'island' held back by a sweeping ribbon of rounded river cobbles, with a sand foreground that may, or may not, have a full or partial carpet of E.tennellus. The cobbles will sweep from the back of the tank part way along towards the front then curve around to side of the tank in a sweeping curve. At the side of the tank there will be a 'pile' of cobbles that will hide one cave for the pelvics.

    The island will have a nice piece of wood (two or three larger branches, rather than thin and twisty) and will be mainly a sweep of Crinum calamistratum to echo the sweep of the cobbles, and then probably a large block of Cabomba piahuyensis, at least initially as a fast growing background. I may also add some (4+) E.'Oriental' for colour in front of the Crinum at one point.

    At the side in amongst the cobble 'pile' (can't think of a better way to describe it, but it'll be more than just a pile!) will be planted 5ish Nymphaea macrantha or simliar. To the other side, on the sand will be another 'pile' of wood (hiding another cave(s) for the other pair of Pelvicachromis. This will be covered in a lot of Anubias nana 'Petite' and maybe Flame moss and a Anubias nana 'Gold' I have already, but think I'd rather keep it just 'Petite'.

    In front of the cobbles, the sand will be partyl, or completely (or not at all!) planted with the tennellus!!!

    Does that make sense?
     
  6. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Sorry Dave, missed your reply while I was typing!

    As I said the rim-less tanks are not an option - in fact part of the reason I may be getting this is to get rid of my little PFK nano from the room as it isn't liked! :lol: Mainly because of the overhead light!

    The other thing is it has to be as self-contained as possible! There can't be too much going on around the tank!

    With the newer Juwel specs do you guys think I will need to add much? Apart from the CO2 kit I'll move down from another tank and maybe a glass diffuser in the tank; I'm thinking the new spec Juwel lighting should be fine for me at 90W over a 40g tank - and as I'd rather run a lean water coloumn I'm not looking at ridiculous lighting levels here... As to the filter I think I'd like the Juwel one, after looking at them at the store. If the flow isn't enough I'm thinking of maybe adding a Hydor Koralia water pump, but that'd be in the future. Am I being too optomistic?
     
  7. bugs

    bugs Member

    Messages:
    356
    I think the Rena Aqualife tanks are stiff competition for the Juwel tanks...
     
  8. Moss Man

    Moss Man Member

    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    I would definitely go for a custom made one, mainly as you can make it to whatever your specifications, and a lot of tank setups (if all) aren't entirely suitable for plants without modifying. Obviously the opti-white high clarity, bracelless, rimless, minimalist tanks on ADA stands with hanging lighting are usually the most popular, although, they are way out of my price range.

    I think ideally I would like a custom made tank, but realisticlly I have to have a setup, so if it were me, I'd go for the Juwel (and I did), but again I'm not you.
     
  9. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    I'd go for a custom tank, but of the more standard types i.e. with a hood and matching cabinet and pay a little more and get opti-white for the front glass. Having bought a juwel tank in the past, I'd rather buy a 'normal' tank and buy the bits and pieces that I liked rather than what came in the 'kit'.
     
  10. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks for all the replies, and please keep them coming.

    I'm really surprised from the responses as so many of you seem to use Juwels! I have to say, despite everything you've all said (almost all which I agree with completely!), I am still tempted to go with the Juwel!

    I'll try and explain why and please, please, please disagree with me and tell me why you don't like them!
    1. I have always liked the idea of the Juwel filter - I use internal filtera like Ehiem Aquaballs in a number of my other tanks and really like them for simple, easy to clean filters - I just don't want them in a tank on show! As far as I can see the Juwel will disappear into the background pretty well.
    2. The new Juwels already come with T5s (which I love) and should provide enough light (shouldn't it???) without much further modifcation.
    3. The cabinet looks pretty slick and neat in black and, most importantly, it is narrower at the bottom so it will fit in the gap by the fireplace even though the skirting board sticks out at the bottom!

    My ideal option, honestly would be a metal and frosted glass cabinet but I can't marry this with the enclosed hood that is needed, or indeed find a cabinet/hood like that! I know George suggested BigDanne could help with the cabinets; I may have to ask him what sort of things he can do! Problem is it can't be wood as it won't match with the room; black I can get away with, just...

    If I go custom made it'll have to be an Ehiem 2128 with Hydor heater, CO2 reactor and glass lily pipes, but I'll still need a hood...

    This is great feedback guys and thank-you all for taking the time. Give me details then - what's so bad about the Juwels?
     
  11. Maximumbob

    Maximumbob Member

    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Hi Ed,

    I have a Rio 180 and am very happy with it.

    I keep it in my living room with and the light overspill from the hood is negligible (I have an Arc I bar with T5s in it). So for a high traffic area such as a living room it is great. It looks smart and fits in with existing furniture set ups well the beech goes with any of the paler woods..

    I have removed the internal in favour for an eheim thermo external - but have only heard good things about the internals - the only slight downside I would comment on is the slight hum from the pump. Its certainly easy to get used to, but when I switched to the external I found it startlingly quiet in the living room.

    There is an offer on a Maidenhead currently... I cant remember where i picked it up... probably even this forum... but you can check it out here

    http://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/offers_tank.php

    At the price they are selling at maidenhead you could probably afford a little customisation easily :)

    By the way. You mention Bipindi in your post. A friend of mine is selling those atm. They're not from Steve in Runcorn by any chance????
     
  12. zig

    zig Member

    Messages:
    686
    Location:
    Dublin Ireland
    Most of the Juwel tanks are not deep enough front to back IMHO, most off the shelf tanks are the same though I suppose thats why I voted custom or other.
     
  13. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    I voted custom simply because the quality and aesthetics far surpass that of juwel's.
    hope this helps.
     
  14. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    OK.....

    1) The lid on my Juwel is horrible and plasticky, not a nice piece of wood like my 3'
    2) The ballast (T8) is built in which means I can't upgrade it without dismantling it all
    3) It came with a titchy internal that blew my sand everywhere because the flow tried to make up for the minimal media
    4) It came with various bottles and potions most of which I still have 2 years later.
    5) The cabinet has spaces in the back for leads but are too small to get the plugs through
    6) I bought a fluval external to replace the internal but the gaps cut in the lid for leades/tubes aren't deep enough for the tubing so the lid sits too high.

    Designs have changed a bit since mine though....

    I've considered buying a Rio cabinet and getting a custom tank to sit on it as the cabinets are quite good value.
     
  15. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I had seen that and that's a big part of my haste to make up my mind! I guess I'm just going to have to go along and have a really good look and find out.
    I will certainly bear in mind about the build quality of the hood - don't like the sound of the 'plasticy' hood - I thought the Rio tanks were pretty well made.

    Could well be... He goes by Ste1200 on a couple of forums...
    Unfortunately the Royal mail 'guaranteed delivery before 12 next day' let us down and the fish only arrived at 12:10 today - only one pair made it and they were looking a bit shaky, but they're coming round now in the quaratine tank. First time Ste's lost fish posting them, thank you Royal Mail!!! I'm going to wait sending him a group of Matadi until after Christmas!

    Thanks very much for all the feedback guys, please keep it coming if you have anything to add!
     
  16. Maximumbob

    Maximumbob Member

    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Yup.. thats my mate Ste.... I just got some Rams off him - F1 from wildcaught fish. They are beauties.

    A big humbug to the Royal mail from me :(

    good luck with your decision.
     
  17. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    My tank was bought before the Rio's came out, so they may be alot better. I quite like the look of the Rio 240, but it won't quite fit in the alcove of our new house. Oh, well. It'll just have to be the 5' along the wall....if only I can persuade my wife......
     
  18. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Thanks Beeky. I will definitely have a good look at them in the Local Maidenhead Aquatics before the 31st and see! Saw a nice glass tank with glass cabinet today, but the cost was over £800 and that's just tank, hood and cabinet!!!!
     
  19. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Well I went to have a good look at them today and I have to say they got the big thumbs down! I liked them but not the plastic flaps on the hood - they were way too thin and felt flimsy.
    The cabinets didn't look as well finished as expected either. It's a shame as I think they were pretty perfect for the tank I had in mind.

    So I'm off to Wharf Aquatics tomorrow to talk to the guys about a custom build job. My plan is to get a very solid, clean lined cabinet built with a slimline as possible hood to match. (I've pm'ed Dan too).

    Filtration wise I will move my Ehiem 2128 down from upstairs with the CO2 reactor and CO2 kit on. I'm thinking of having the tank made with a section in the back corner to feed the filter intake and outakes in and using glass pipes in the tank to finish off the clean look. It'll also mean no holes will be needed in the hood so no light leak and much cleaner look again.

    All I need to look at now is lighting. I'm going to start a new thread on DIY lighting to ask you all for help with the ins-and-outs of wiring them up. I'm thinking of three 39W T5s, 2 run off a standard ballast and maybe look at running one from a dimmable one, if I can work out how to automatically dim them...

    Thanks for all the help and advice on here and looks like all of you that said Custom job were right after all!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  20. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Well after all that and much deliberating I ordered a Juwel Rio 180 today!

    Apparently the custom made tanks hoods were far too heavy and the poorly finished cabinets were only the ones we looked at in one store; they were fine in the one we looked at today! So I'll have to cope with the plasticy bits and it's saved me a fortune as the custom cabinet and tank was looking at being well over £500, plus filtration, lights etc would have been over a grand when I'd finished. Now I can spend extra cash on more plants and getting Aquasoil and buying some really nice pieces of wood.

    It's coming with the T5 lights, so 90W over a 40g tank should be ok lighting. I'm going to buy two of the D-D gull-wing reflectors rather than the Juwel ones to boost the light some more.
    I think I'll like the filter (but we'll see!) and apparently (according to the Juwel site) you can switch the impellors to up the flow if I need to.
    I just need to sort out the CO2. I'll probably try the glass diffusors, but never really been a fan of those - I've always preferred a reactor! Will be fun trying them out!

    Got to go pay for it tomorrow (The owner of the branch very kindly took the order so I could have it at the offer price as long as I pay tomorrow - He also called me back as they didn't answer the phone when I rang - how's that for customer service eh? And it got him a £200 sale, plus what I see there while browsing tomorrow...) and now wishing that I was having the custom made option, but I think I'll be very happy with it.

    Thank you all for your inputs; they were/are most appreciated.
     

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