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Juwel Vision 260

simonm74

Member
Joined
3 Oct 2010
Messages
38
Hi all,

I've posted on here occasionally before but I've just set up a new tank so I thought I'd take the opportunity to introduce myself properly and start a journal, as much as a record for myself as anything else.

I kept fish in my teens, starting with the classic two shubunkins in a bowl, and eventually moving on to a five-foot planted tank which gradually went to rack and ruin when I went off to university!

I got back into the hobby a few years ago in my late thirties and things had certainly moved on, with a greater focus of aquascaping, better lighting and CO2 injection now being pretty standard. I had a Juwel Rio 125 for a few years which was great for getting back into the hobby, I learnt a lot but I was making it up as I went along so I also made a lot of rookie mistakes. As you can see I just plonked the plants in randomly and hoped for the best!

DSC_0008.JPG


Having won a bit of money on the cricket earlier this year I decided to treat myself to an upgrade, with a budget of £1500. The build quality of my Juwel tank is excellent so I was happy to get another of those. Space considerations ruled out a bigger Rio but the Vision 260 was just the right size and shape for the space I had in mind.

The Plan

My overall goal is a natural-looking environment where fish, plants, shrimp and bacteria all live together in good health and harmony. I prefer the Dutch-style aquarium look but purists would probably disapprove of me using rocks and bogwood!

Being a bit of a perfectionist I spent several months accumulating all the equipment I wanted and doing dry runs of the setup. The first thing I did was to rip out the internal filter (anyone want to buy it?) - the one on my Rio is excellent but they take up a lot of room and I wanted as little equipment in the tank as possible. I also wanted an internal background as the walls in the room are red! I went for a Back To Nature Slimline - I had one on my Rio tank, they are expensive but look great. It took ages cutting it to the right size and gluing it in to my satisfaction but I got there in the end.

Here's my shopping list:

Juwel Vision 260 aquarium and stand
2x Juwel reflectors
48W blue moonlight led strips (x2)
Eheim 2178 external thermofilter
Eheim 2178 filter media set and sintered glass
Eheim Installation Sets 1 & 2
Eheim Extension Sets 1 & 2 (several of these to make a spraybar and filter inlet)
Back to Nature Slimline basalt/grey background
Hydor Koralia Smart Wave kit with 2x Nano 1600 powerheads (recycled from old tank)
2kg FE CO2 setup with Up Aqua regulator (recycled from old tank)
Up Aqua inline CO2 diffuser
Big piece of bogwood from the garden centre
"Green rockery" rocks from the garden centre
ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia 9 Litre (x3)
ADA Power Sand Special M 6 Litres
ADA Aqua Soil Powder Amazonia 3 Litre
"B.D. Trading" white aquarium sand 5kg
Filter tubing, CO2 tubing, various plugs, electronic timers, extension lead etc.

Plants (Aquarium Gardens "Dutch Aquascaping Plant Collection for Tanks up to 48 inches"):

Ludwigia Glandulosa
Pogostemon Erectus
Echinodorus granat
Hygrophila Polysperma
Rotala Rotundifolia
Bacopa Amplexicaulis
Cryptocorne Willisii
Cryptocoryne Walkerii
Rotala Wallichii
Lobelia Cardinalis
Micranthemum Micranthemoides
Pogostemon Helferi
Staurogyne Rubescens

plus

Aponogeton Ulvaceus
Nymphaea Maculata
Staurogyne Repens

I ended up going £200 over budget but I wanted to do everything properly.

The Setup

The three rocks I bought were far too big when I got them home so I smashed them up into smaller pieces with a sledgehammer (great fun) - it's amazing how many medium-sized rocks you get from one large rock!

The hardest thing to find was some sand which wasn't beige or yellow. After trying numerous places I finally found what I needed at a garden centre.

Day zero, setting up the equipment and hardscape, duly arrived on July 16th. After a long day this was how it looked:

Day 0.JPG


I had planned on putting a little "plant island" in the sand but I decided against it in the end.

Sunday July 17th was Day 1, I planted up the tank and filled it with water. I poured the water in so gently that a lot of the sand and Aqua Soil powder floated, which made things look a bit messy.

Day 1a.JPG


Testing the moonlight:

Day 1b.JPG


Ferts/Dosing/CO2

Since Day 1 I've been doing standard EI dosing using instructions and chemicals from www.aquariumplantfood.co.uk. For the first three weeks I also dosed 60ml per day of Flourish Excel but I decided that was overkill so I've now switched down to 30ml daily and an extra 30ml on water change days (still a lot but there is no livestock so I'm hoping it doesn't matter?) Until I introduce any critters I've also cranked the CO2 up nice and high at about 160 bubbles per minute, the Up Aqua diffuser does a great job of creating absolutely tiny bubbles and my drop checker (just above the substrate at the back corner furthest from the filter return) is a nice yellowy-green.

I did 50% water changes on days 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 17, 21, 24 and 27. I'm aiming for twice a week until the tank is six weeks old and then once a week thereafter.

Flow/Turnover

The filter return is via a spraybar which extends the full length of the tank, with the holes about half an inch below the surface pointing to the front glass. In my opinion the holes on the Eheim Extension Kit spraybar are far too large (3mm diameter). I've blocked off half of them with electrical tape to give what I'd call adequate flow at best, even with a filter "rated" as 1850lph. I've augmented this with 2x 1600lph powerheads, operating alternately for one minute via a SmartWave kit, so the total rated turnover is 3450lph. After initially placing the powerheads on the side I moved them so that they're now attached to the spraybar, pointing in the same direction as the spraybar flow. Observing the tiny CO2 bubbles I seem to have a pretty good circular flow from back to front, down, front to back and up the back wall - the plants sway nicely without it resembling a whirlpool!

Issues

On day 3 the tank became cloudy white and I began to notice little white tufts on the bogwood. This got quite bad, at one point I couldn't see from one end of the tank to the other, but after reading a few posts on here I crossed my fingers and did nothing and three weeks after appearing it suddenly got a lot better and is now barely noticeable. I assume this was a bacterial bloom and part of the normal cycling process.

On day 26 I noticed small brown spots on the front glass and parts of the sand, and also quite large ones on the inside of the filter return pipe. I'm guessing/hoping that these are diatoms and also part of the normal cycling process. If things noticeably deteriorate I have an Otto in my old tank which I will move over.

Progress

After nearly four weeks all the plants except the Pogostemon Erectus and Micranthemum Micranthemoides seem to be doing well. I've already pruned the stem plants once and moved things around a bit and another prune will be needed soon. In particular the Rotala Rotundifolia behind the bogwood is growing slowly but steadily and I'm hoping that this will turn red and become a really spectacular specimen plant eventually.

I've not done any testing yet but I'm planning on buying some ammonia/nitrite testing kits in a couple of weeks, and if things are all clear I can begin moving the fish from my Rio over to their new home!

Day 25.JPG


Thanks for reading - UKAPS is a great source of advice and encouragement so I hope I can add to the knowledge-sharing. Any thoughts/advice/questions will be gratefully received!
 

Manisha

Member
Joined
1 Apr 2016
Messages
762
Location
Bangor Northern Ireland
Genius with the spray bar and power heads :) Also glad your keeping your aponogeton ulvaceus & Nymphaea Maculata, beautiful plants & suit large tanks well :)
 

simonm74

Member
Thread starter
Joined
3 Oct 2010
Messages
38
Thanks all.

Funnily enough I started off using the JBL Proflora Direct diffuser but the few bubbles it produced were quite large and I got the feeling that they were just going to the top of the water and straight back into the air, so I switched to the Up Aqua which produces a fine mist (although it's a bit unsightly). I like to see where my money's going! Once the aquarium is established I might switch back to the JBL diffuser for aesthetic reasons - maybe it's more effective as dissolving CO2 and that's why there were fewer bubbles?

I couldn't find a way of attaching my powerheads to the back of the tank (because of the internal background) so I had to cut off the little red knobs and use cable ties to attach them to the spraybar. Bit of a drastic step - no going back from that - but it was the only way I could think of to have them pointing forward. They seem pretty solidly attached now though - cable ties are massively underrated in my view!

DSC_0594.JPG


Anyway I bought some ammonia and nitrite test kits yesterday and tested the water, using my established tank as a comparison as I'm rubbish at reading those little colour cards. On my established tank ammonia and nitrite were both zero as expected. On my new tank ammonia was low (0.25ppm?), but the nitrite was sky high so I guess cycling is still in progress. I'm a bit surprised by this as it's been four weeks and I used some established media in the filter, but I guess I'll just have to wait a few more weeks before adding fish.

DSC_0599.JPG


The suspected bacterial bloom which has turned the water cloudy white seems to come and go and hasn't completely disappeared yet. The brown spots of algae (diatoms?) on the glass and sand are worse but I'm not too worried yet. I've also got a couple of spots of bluey-green algae on the sand and bogwood which I'm watching like a hawk, hopefully these will abate once cycling has finished.

Manisha, I wanted an aponogeton as I've got an aponogeton crispus in my other tank; it grows like wildfire and is constantly flowering. The new one is looking good too and sending up new leaves every few days. The nymphaea was a bulb which I rescued from my other tank, it was doing nothing in there but has burst into life in its new home and getting visibly bigger every day!
 

Madhav

Member
Joined
5 Jul 2016
Messages
231
Location
Singapore
Thanks all.

Funnily enough I started off using the JBL Proflora Direct diffuser but the few bubbles it produced were quite large and I got the feeling that they were just going to the top of the water and straight back into the air, so I switched to the Up Aqua which produces a fine mist (although it's a bit unsightly). I like to see where my money's going! Once the aquarium is established I might switch back to the JBL diffuser for aesthetic reasons - maybe it's more effective as dissolving CO2 and that's why there were fewer bubbles?

I couldn't find a way of attaching my powerheads to the back of the tank (because of the internal background) so I had to cut off the little red knobs and use cable ties to attach them to the spraybar. Bit of a drastic step - no going back from that - but it was the only way I could think of to have them pointing forward. They seem pretty solidly attached now though - cable ties are massively underrated in my view!

View attachment 89027

Anyway I bought some ammonia and nitrite test kits yesterday and tested the water, using my established tank as a comparison as I'm rubbish at reading those little colour cards. On my established tank ammonia and nitrite were both zero as expected. On my new tank ammonia was low (0.25ppm?), but the nitrite was sky high so I guess cycling is still in progress. I'm a bit surprised by this as it's been four weeks and I used some established media in the filter, but I guess I'll just have to wait a few more weeks before adding fish.

View attachment 89028

The suspected bacterial bloom which has turned the water cloudy white seems to come and go and hasn't completely disappeared yet. The brown spots of algae (diatoms?) on the glass and sand are worse but I'm not too worried yet. I've also got a couple of spots of bluey-green algae on the sand and bogwood which I'm watching like a hawk, hopefully these will abate once cycling has finished.

Manisha, I wanted an aponogeton as I've got an aponogeton crispus in my other tank; it grows like wildfire and is constantly flowering. The new one is looking good too and sending up new leaves every few days. The nymphaea was a bulb which I rescued from my other tank, it was doing nothing in there but has burst into life in its new home and getting visibly bigger every day!
Great start, love to see its evolution...keep posting.

Sent from my HUAWEI GRA-UL00 using Tapatalk
 
Joined
14 Dec 2014
Messages
99
Thanks all.

Funnily enough I started off using the JBL Proflora Direct diffuser but the few bubbles it produced were quite large and I got the feeling that they were just going to the top of the water and straight back into the air, so I switched to the Up Aqua which produces a fine mist (although it's a bit unsightly). I like to see where my money's going! Once the aquarium is established I might switch back to the JBL diffuser for aesthetic reasons - maybe it's more effective as dissolving CO2 and that's why there were fewer bubbles?

I couldn't find a way of attaching my powerheads to the back of the tank (because of the internal background) so I had to cut off the little red knobs and use cable ties to attach them to the spraybar. Bit of a drastic step - no going back from that - but it was the only way I could think of to have them pointing forward. They seem pretty solidly attached now though - cable ties are massively underrated in my view!

View attachment 89027

Anyway I bought some ammonia and nitrite test kits yesterday and tested the water, using my established tank as a comparison as I'm rubbish at reading those little colour cards. On my established tank ammonia and nitrite were both zero as expected. On my new tank ammonia was low (0.25ppm?), but the nitrite was sky high so I guess cycling is still in progress. I'm a bit surprised by this as it's been four weeks and I used some established media in the filter, but I guess I'll just have to wait a few more weeks before adding fish.

View attachment 89028

The suspected bacterial bloom which has turned the water cloudy white seems to come and go and hasn't completely disappeared yet. The brown spots of algae (diatoms?) on the glass and sand are worse but I'm not too worried yet. I've also got a couple of spots of bluey-green algae on the sand and bogwood which I'm watching like a hawk, hopefully these will abate once cycling has finished.

Manisha, I wanted an aponogeton as I've got an aponogeton crispus in my other tank; it grows like wildfire and is constantly flowering. The new one is looking good too and sending up new leaves every few days. The nymphaea was a bulb which I rescued from my other tank, it was doing nothing in there but has burst into life in its new home and getting visibly bigger every day!


Your right about the size of the bubbles but in my situation they circle around in the flow and hardly get to the top. Note that the bubble counter built in the proflora works like a magnifying glass so the bubbles there are smaller then casual bubble counters. Good luck :)
 

simonm74

Member
Thread starter
Joined
3 Oct 2010
Messages
38
I've been meaning to post an update on this setup for ages but it's taken a while to get around to it!

Anyway, I had a lot of teething problems with the tank. Difficulties getting the flow and CO2 distribution right (a common problem with bow-front tanks I now realise), a bacterial bloom from my bogwood, a powerhead running backwards unnoticed (!) and starting off with the lighting too bright all led to algae getting the upper hand. After three months the plants had deteriorated so much that I felt that I had no option but to strip the tank down and start again.

DSC_0181.JPG


So I spent the weekend of October 22nd temporarily rehousing all the tank's residents, throwing away the old plants, scrubbing all the algae-afflicted rocks and equipment and replanting. I also replaced my biggest rock with a piece of bogwood from my old tank. Started on Friday evening and finished late on Sunday evening!

DSC_0317.JPG


I ordered a new spraybar with smaller holes to give a bit more "oomph", and changed the direction so that it pointed straight down the back wall. My thinking was that CO2-enriched water would be pushed towards the bottom of the stem plants, which I felt was where it was lacking most, and then recirculated around the tank by the two powerheads pointing straight towards the front. I'm pleased to say that this has had the desired affect; the tank is now full of tiny bubbles and there are as many at the bottom as at the top. The stem plants are no longer losing their lower leaves.

I took the reflectors off the light tubes for the first month or so of the new setup to try to prevent algae from getting a foothold as it had before. This seems to have done the trick - the only algae problems I've had have been a diatom outbreak early on. This was starting to get concerning so as a last resort I bought a pack of six otos. To my amazement they sorted it within a week or so, hoovering up the diatoms from even the smallest leaves!

Apart from reconfiguring the flow, stabilising the CO2 and removing the reflectors (they're now back on), the only change I made was to put some zeolite and purigen my filter. I've kept up with doing 50% water changes on Mondays and Fridays. Overkill perhaps but it's not too onerous and "if it ain't broke" etc.

So this is how the tank looks today. I'm really pleased with it at the moment, it's been a lot of hard work and there have been some bleak moments but the moral of the story is - if you're having problems, don't give up, keep persevering and you will get there eventually!

DSC_0095.JPG


Current stocking list:

7 x Green Neon Tetra
6 x Oto
3 x Platy (and a couple of babies)
approx 20 x Cherry Shrimp (red, blue and brown/white)
1 x Polka Dot Loach
2 x Amano Shrimp
2 x Cherry Barb
3 x Olive Nerite Snail
6 x Panda Cory (juveniles)

The only things left on my to-do list for this setup are to upgrade to the new Juwel Helialux LED lights, which sound amazing (although I'm a bit reluctant to change anything at the moment as everything seems very well balanced!), and to get some more fish! I'm looking for a shoal of small fish like barbs or harlequins, and maybe a one or two "marquee signings" like gouramis, rams or angels. Any suggestions??
 

simonm74

Member
Thread starter
Joined
3 Oct 2010
Messages
38
DSC_0704.JPG


Quick update as I haven't posted one for ages.

The sand path became too much of a pain to maintain as the Amazonia is so light is was constantly blowing onto the sand (or being moved there by the shrimps), so I gave up and let the carpet of micranthemum monte carlo take over.

The current is quite strong so a lot of the fish hide away during the day and only properly come out when the powerheads go off at ten. I'm on the lookout for some more active shoalers. The copper harlequins stay out in the open but don't really do anything interesting! I'd love some tiger barbs but I fear for my shrimp population.

Apart from that everything seems to be ticking over nicely.

Current stocking list:

4 x Green Neon Tetra
2-4ish x Oto
2 x Platy (tank-bred)
approx 150 x Cherry Shrimp (red, blue and brown/white, black and every hybrid imaginable!)
1 x Polka Dot Loach
3 x Zebra Loach
2 x Amano Shrimp
1 x Cherry Barb
2-3 x Olive Nerite Snail
5 x Panda Cory (juveniles)
5 x Honey Gourami
8 x Copper Harlequin
 

alto

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2014
Messages
6,228
Well done on this project - I'm always a little bit in awe of those going down the sand pathway :wideyed:

Shrimp & any substrate browsing fish (cories, most loaches, even dwarf cichlids) love to move soil onto the sand path - no idea why they never seem to move it OFF the path - should be random movement but somehow it seems unidirectional ;)
Given your current that may also be a contributor

If current isn't the issue, you should see interesting behaviour from the rasboras if you increase the shoal to 18 or so (which tends to be my minimum # for shoaling, schooling fish - though this does restrict the number of different species in a tank). They should be active & almost constantly in motion & some decent Follow Me behaviour with the shoal breaking up & reforming
I try to select mostly males as prefer their color & shape but include several females as the males will "show off" & you'll get to see their spawning dance

I suspect Tiger Barbs will downsize the shrimp substantially though is carpet is thick enough they'll continue beneath it, though they obviously won't do much as algae crew - also Tiger Barbs are substantial fish as adults

You might try adding some Microdevario kubotai, they seem to shoal in & about the rasboras, so 12-13 each should go be you an idea of behaviour

Crypts - wendtii "green", willisii should both remain green, parva as well but more particular & often slower growing
 
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