Matt's Rio 180 Journal

Discussion in 'Journals' started by MattB, 14 May 2009.

  1. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    Hi All,

    So finally I have all the bits for my tank, and it actually has water in it! Apologies for the poor pictures, turns out the camera on the G1 is as bad as that on the iPhone!

    Equipment:

    Tank: Juwel Rio 180
    Filtration: Juwel Internal + Tetratec EX700
    Substrate: Caribsea Eco-Complete
    CO2: 2kg FE, Wave Reg+Solenoid, Rhinox 2000 Diffuser
    Ferts: TPN+

    Hardscape: Big old piece of wood!
    Plants: Glosso, Blyxa Japonica, Anubias, Java Fern, Tiger Lily, Pogostemon Helferi

    So the tank arrived the other day, and I first started by putting together the stand. It was confusing to begin with, as I seemed to have instructions for about seven different stands... but eventually I managed it.

    1241527384310u.th.jpg

    The tank was massive compared to our other two...

    1241521342927.th.jpg

    Unfortunately, Royal Mail failed to deliver my regulator on time, and my plants hadn't arrived yet, so it would be a few days before I could fill it up.

    So yesterday finally the plants arrived, along with the regulator and a few other bits and pieces, so, much to my girlfriends dismay, I started to go about making a mess of the living room.

    My initial 'vision' was sketchy - I knew I wanted a Glosso carpet along the front, and the Blyxa behind the wood. The lily would go near the Juwel filter, hopefully obscuring it a bit, and the wood would have the anubias and java fern attached to the main part of it.

    I think I managed this for the most part however I learnt a few lessons, namely that you should attach ferns and similar plants to hardscape BEFORE it is in the tank... Also, that my girlfriend has a lot more patience than me when it comes to the fiddly business of tying stuff onto things, and that if you get anough of it stuck to your hands and then wash them, eco-complete will bung up your sink.

    Anyway, after the water had cleared a little bit, this is what it looked like:

    20090514080919m.th.jpg

    Right-hand side.

    20090514080909.th.jpg

    Left-hand side.

    [​IMG]

    The middle.

    [​IMG]

    My view from the sofa.

    No CO2 yet, as I didn't have time to put it in last night - that is tonight's job. (By the way, thanks for the FE's Dan, most appreciated!)

    Predictably, I now have a couple of questions - any advice would be really appreciated.

    - Planting the glosso in the eco-complete was difficult. What I did was separate the plants into individual stems (each one was quite long), and put them almost horixontally in the substrate, probably 1-2cm deep. I left them showing a couple of leaves on the surface, but since the water went in they have rearranged themselves and many stems are showing 1cm-2cm if stem above the eco-complete (I think you can see how they are in the photos.) Will they be fine like this? Should I try and push them further in? Any thoughts?

    - I keep looking at it and wondering if I haven't planted enough? I was wary of planting too much this time as I planted lots of Hygro Polysperma in my Rekord, not realising that it would 'fill in' so quickly (subsequently the lower leaves rotted away) - have I got enough plant mass in there?

    - There are no fish in there at the moment, and I am setting up the CO2 tonight. How many bps should I start it on? I have a drop checker on order, it arrived a few days ago in fact, but the postman managed to smash it in my letter box (came all the way from the other side of the world, only for the postie to force it through the door and break it, nightmare!) so I don't have a reliable way of measuring the CO2 until its replacement arrives (should be in the next couple of days) but I understand that without fish to gas, I don't need to worry too much?

    Any advice/criticism would be welcomed....

    Thanks everyone for the help so far, no doubt I'll have a wealth of questions over the next few weeks...

    Matt
     
  2. soton_dave

    soton_dave Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Southampton
    looks like a good start,well done on planting the glosso,when i done my hc it seemed to take forever.

    i planted my hc in eco complete and had the same thing happen,when the flow got hold of them they pulled out and started floating around so i pulled them up and replanted them leaving just the top couple of leaves showing but mine grew all leggy but since putting another light in its growing alot better.

    im still learning about CO2 myself but id pump it in whilst youve got no fish in there,my drop checker is nearly yellow with fish in there and they all seem happy.mines running about 2-3bps(but thats on my setup,all bubble counters are different so my 2-3bps may be someone elses 1bps) and the plants seem to like it and ive had no algae problems so far so it seems to be working for me.im pretty sure most algea problems stem from poor CO2/flow at least thats what i can gather after reading loads of posts on the subject.

    hope this helps and others correct me if im wrong,but like i say im still learning

    cheers dave
     
  3. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Neath, South Wales
    Looking nice mate, not a bad start. Will be interesting to see how it looks in a few weeks/months once it has grown in a bit.

    Get that blinking sticker off the front tho lol! :lol:
     
  4. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    Thanks Joe!

    And..er...yeah, in all the excitement forgot to take the sticker off! Had previously left it on because didn't want to remove it until it had water in it and I was sure there were no leaks!

    Thanks Dave, yeah the glosso took a long time to sort out, and it was a bit soul-destroying to watch it all reach for the sky as soon as I started up the filter! But sure it will get there eventually.

    As for CO2 I think you may be right - I'm just going to set it up tonight and pump it in, then once the drop checker turns up, I'll make sure it is at an acceptable level and then set the fish loose...
     
  5. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    Hi Matt,

    I have just had a look at your Flickr account. You go to some interesting places.

    For now, with a low plant mass, you could help yourself by keeping the lighting back at four or five hours, and slowly build it up as the plant mass increases. Is it just stock lighting?

    When you get the CO2 running just keep the drop checker yellow. Promote as much rapid plant growth as you can, for now, to help keep the algae away. No need to rush getting the fish in, unless you are one of those impatient people, of course. :D

    Dave.
     
  6. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    Thanks Dave. My flickr account has been cruelly neglected over the last couple of years - I just haven't done much photography to be honest. I'm keen to start taking more photos though - hopefully I'll have a lot more to upload over the course of the summer. Got some fun trips coming up too, so lots of opportunities for snapping.

    Yes, it is just stock lighting - 2x45w T5 tubes - so 2wpg roughly. After seeing others attempts with the Rio 180 stock lighting, I think this should be enough? I'm programming the timers for the lights tonight, so I'll put it on for 5 hours in the evening to start with.

    I am actually one of those impatient people, probably. But I have 2 mature filters so when I am ready I can just plonk the media in the new filters and them put the fish in.

    Next challenge is setting up my CO2 proper! I haven't 'fired' the FE yet, have to say I'm a little nervous!
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    looks good! :D
     
  8. soton_dave

    soton_dave Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Southampton
    lol know what ya mean about firing up the FE,when i done mine i was all hyped up ready for something to happen then a short pssst and that was it....lol.bit of a let down really but tbh i didnt know what to expect.

    forgot to say in my earlier post that im dosing easy carbo as well as CO2 after reading that it helps hc and also has the benifit of keeping algae at bay so may be something worth thinking about
     
  9. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    OK - finally got over my fear of becoming a gas-fuelled missile, and fired my FE. What a lot of fuss about nothing eh! Short pfft, then that was it! Now the FE is sitting there happily, churning CO2 into the aquarium.

    The blyxa seems pretty unwilling to stay in the ground though. It just keeps coming up!
     
  10. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    It's looking great Matt.

    I always cut my Blyxa roots back to about 1cm, then push down hard with tweezers into my soil, even some of the leaves may be in the soil too. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks for them to get rooted.
     
  11. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    Thanks TDI. I have managed to get the Blyxa to stay put for the moment, but I didn't cut it down - should I uproot some of it and cut it down or would it be best to leave it as it is now? It's the height it was when it came from the shop, about 5-10cm.
     
  12. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    My zenkeri is melting! Meeeeelting!

    No, seriously, the stems of the zenkeri seem to be kind of disintegrating?

    It's only been in there 48 hours, but I'm dosing 8ml off TPN+ every morning, and the co2 is going in at 3bps, for 8 hours, lights on 5 hours per day in the evening.

    Is it just adjusting to being submersed?
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Disintegration, browning, melting, translucency, holes, black spots, distortion and deformation are all symptoms of poor CO2.

    Cheers,
     
  14. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    OK, thanks ceg. I will up the CO2 during daylight hours.

    Am I right in saying that it is unecessary to inject CO2 whilst the lights are off, because the plants won't use it?

    I know most seem to turn theirs on a couple of hours before lights on, presumably to make sure that when the lights do come on there is a plentiful supply, but is there any advantage to having it going 24/7? As there are no fish in there I can put as much as I want in at the moment...
     
  15. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Matt,
    Yes one of the main advantages of 24/7 CO2 is that of less complexity. No need for a solenoid. Another advantage may be that stability is enhanced. The CO2 buildup overnight, due to it's not being consumed, helps to have high concentration levels when the light goes on, which is the most critical time of the photoperiod.

    The main disadvantage of 24/7 is that the fish don't get a break from elevated levels. Since he plants also consume oxygen at night they actually compete with the fish overnight, so in the morning you have high CO2 plus low O2 which is a bad combination for fish. This therefore limits the max allowable injection rate, which can be problematic for some plants.

    Adding a solenoid has the advantage of allowing you to drive the injection rate higher during the photoperiod and then shutting the gas off earlier, which allows the CO2 to dissipate overnight. Overall consumption is also lower. The penalty is that of ensuring that the gas goes on early enough to drive concentration levels back up to an acceptable level at lights on.

    The main problem is due to our conventional method of CO2 injection i.e. diffusers and reactors, which have poor efficiency and very slow saturation times, measured in hours. There is a higher tech injection method which uses industrial venturi injectors such as the Mazzei injectors. This method has the ability to saturate the water column within minutes, but it's another level of complexity/expense and is not at all well known in Europe.

    In any case, both the 24/7 and the solenoid methods work but each require "tuning" based on your particular tank. Dan Crawford for example uses the 24/7 method I believe, with brilliant success. Of course he pays strict attention to other factors such as lighting, flow and nutrients.

    As you say, since there are no fish yet, you can drive to any level you want and then start to throttle back when it's time to add fauna.

    Cheers,
     
  16. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    Thanks for the explanation, ceg!

    I have a solenoid attached to my reg, and I was keen to use it due to it making a 2kg FE last longer than it would otherwise. So once the fish go in (they're being transplanted from my other tanks so it won't bee too long) I'll try and keep the solenoid on a timer, timed with the lights - probably gas on a couple of hours before lights at first, and see how that works out.

    The drop checker (I have a JBL one right now because my glass one keeps getting smashed on the way over from Asia!) is showing light green at the far end of the tank at the moment, so I think that is good - the manual says blue is not enough, dark green is OK and light green is good. So CO2 seems to be ok, or adequate at least.

    I have a Hydor Koralia 1 sat above the diffuser, which is pushing it to the other end (hopefully), and the EX700 has the intake on the back left corner, and spray bar along the back left hand side. The Juwel internal filter is taking care of the right side. Could I organise the flow better? I am noticing that the CO2 mist seems to be drawn into a 'whirlpool' just ahead of the koralia. Is this symptomatic of a bad flow pattern? If so, how could I organise it better?

    Thanks again for all the advice!

    Matt
     
  17. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    The Blyxa appears to be melting quite a lot now as well, the Zenkeri has stopped for the moment, touch wood.

    I read elsewhere that Blyxa often melts following introduction to a new environment - so I will wait for a few weeks to see whether it eventually stops. I have re-adjusted the Koralia so that it points at the Blyxa now, just in case it was in a dead spot. I am also injecting a crazy amount of CO2 (or it seems that way to me anyway, having come from a DIY system to pressurised, the extra control you have with the FE system is amazing.)

    The glosso appears to be....doing something. I can't work out if it growing, or slowly slipping out of the substrate! Either way, I can see a couple of shoots that seem to be creeping along and putting tiny roots out down into the substrate, so I'm hoping this is the early sign of carpet-esque growth.

    I am now on the hunt for a medium-height bushy plant to put in the bottom right corner, to cover up the internal filter and fill in the gap where the tiger lotus is. Any ideas? I have LOTS of Hygrophila Polysperma sititng in another tank - could I temporarily use that or would it eat up all the nutrients in the water, leaving none for the other plants?
     
  18. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I'd leave it, as it's starting to get established now.
     
  19. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    Awesome, thanks. I had read elsewhere that it doesn't like being fiddled with, so I had decided to leave it be.
     
  20. MattB

    MattB Member

    Messages:
    30
    So this is what it looks like a few days in:

    [​IMG]

    But the Blyxa really is melting horribly:

    [​IMG]

    The glosso is growing, without doubt, but some is growing up and some is growing across.

    [​IMG]

    Any suggestions for the Blyxa? Is there any chance it will grow back or is it a goner?
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice