Mjenner's Juwel Rio 125 Planted Tank

Discussion in 'Journals' started by mjenner, 18 Feb 2009.

  1. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Location:
    Chessington, Surrey
    Hi Everyone,

    After my tank devolved into an algae-filled cess-pool whilst I was in South Africa for 4 weeks after limping along with a horrendous algae problem partly caused by too many fish and partly by not quite so attentive maintainance I decided that as it's a new year I'd start afresh, so this is going to be a journal of my restarting the tank and hopefully doing it "properly".

    I got rid of the 40-50ish guppies and rehoused my 12 harlequin rasboras in my fry-tank in the other room (medium sized cube-tank).

    The tank has been stripped down, the plastics soaked in bleach, then dechlorinated, the tank has been washed in vinegar (to get rid of the limescale) then mild-bleach solution to try and kill any remaining stealth-algal spores waiting to reinfect the new tank (yep, I know it's a losing battle, but I thought I'd try and reduce the initial population as much as possible) then the tank was washed with dechlorinated water 3 times and left to air-dry, I'm figuring that when I fill it I'll use more than enough dechlorinator to get rid of any chlorine left floating around after all that.

    The tank had the following lighting, filter and CO2 (wasn't being used for the last few months to try and reduce maintainance):

    • 4x 18w T8 Tubes (varying types, generally spread-spectrum, only 2 were being used to try and reduce maintainance reqs).
    • Fluval 205 External Filter (with Rowaphos and carbon). (sorry, mentioned it as a 305 in the DIY thread, I mis-read as it was a little late)
    • JBL Pressurised CO2 kit with Solenoid

    I've cleared the old substrate (a Tetra substrate product, came in a yellow tub, with small gravel over it) and it's awaiting 2 bags of Seachem Fluorite.

    I've ordered upgraded lighting in the form of a replacement Juwel Hi-Lite T5 unit with 2 Arcadia J5 28W tubes, probably adding the two extra T8 tubes in for extra light, making it 92W total, might drop that to 1 extra T8 though for easier access to the front of the tank...

    New Tank Spec
    Lighting:
    • Juwel Hi-Lite T5 Unit (2x28W Arcadia J5(T5) Tubes)
    • 2xT8 18W Tubes
    Flitration/Flow:
    • Fluval 205 External Filter (with Smooth Hose and Eheim Inlet/Spraybar Outlet mod)
    • Hydor Koralia Nano Powerhead
    Substrate:
    • Seachem Fluorite (7cm average depth)
    Water Params (from memory):
    • Hardness: 12-14dKh
    • pH: 7.6 (ish)
    CO2:
    • JBL Pressurised CO2 Kit (With CO2, without pH meter)
    • Stock JBL Plastic Spiral style diffuser
    Dosing/Fertiliser:
    • Tropica Plant Nutrition+

    Currently waiting for the orders to arrive and re-organising the cupboard underneath the tank so it's a little more accessable and a little less lethal (plugbanks and adaptors everywhere on the base of the cupboard, along with water, not a good mix!).

    Can anyone see any issues with my setup list or does anyone think I've missed anything (planning on getting dry ferts sometime in the future, but initially probably going with TPN+, going to see how things go initially).

    Comments and Criticism welcome.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
  2. JohnC

    JohnC Member

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    Location:
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    Hi,

    I've got that JBL spiral diffuser and found i got much better economy of CO2 with a cheap ceramic one. The JBL one just spirals the CO2 into the top area then it off gasses every so often in a bunch of huge bubbles. Very wasteful.

    Do you have a drop checker yet with KH4 solution?

    Best Regards,

    John

    edit - i'm gonna presume you got a heater :D
     
  3. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Location:
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    Yep got the stock JBL CO2 indicator, but I do need to get some 4 dKH solution (was using tank water prior to this, wasn't too successful).

    Hehehe, yep 100w stock Juwel heater, although I'm thinking about going in-line in the future (hence the conversion to smooth hose on the filter).

    Hmm, based upon what you're saying, I might try and get a ceramic diffuser...

    What do you think of this:

    http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=1228

    Maybe I will have to get another order into AE, can get the 4dKH solution, and a nicer looking glass drop-checker at the same time. Then that WILL have to be the end of the spending spree (coming up on £200, not that the Significant Other knows quite how much has been spent ;) (although I think she has an idea...))

    Edit - Another thought though, I guess I'll also need a bubble checker if I do that as I can't see the bubble rate in the diffuser? Agh, yet more expense :)
     
  4. JohnC

    JohnC Member

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    Location:
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    hi,

    check e-bay for cheap glassware, i've got all mine from there recently. You can get two diffusers for about a fiver (including shipping) from hong kong that are identical to the more expensive versions. Same with the drop checker.

    Best Regards,

    John
     
  5. hellohefalump

    hellohefalump Member

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    Location:
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    I too wouldn't recommend the JBL spiral diffusers. I used two of these, with the extender units. I'm now using two very small filter (Hagen elite), which I'm running the CO2 tubing into. The impellor chops up the bubbles and it's VERY efficient.
     
  6. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Hmm, hijac you might be on to something there!

    I've ordered a CO2 diffuser, bubble counter, drop-checker and lily pipes (will need to replace my inflow and outflow anyway so thought I'd make it look pretty as they're actually cheaper than the eheim plastic ones!) all in glass!

    Just got to wait for them to deliver them now! :)

    Well, I've ordered two ceramic diffusers now, should look fairly nice and clean, guess it's time to see if they do the trick, if not I'll take a look at a filter, but I'm trying to keep the tank as equipment free as possible.
     
  7. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    I too have a Juwel Rio 125, have a look at my journal for more info, also if you need help with the EI dosing let me know.

    Just a reminder if you removed the internal filter from the tank the Juwel heater is not designed to work totally submersed.

    Also if you want to keep equipment out of the tank you can have a look in the following posts for a DIY CO2 reactor, Ed might make some more of those after the first batch:

    viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4626 & viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4149

    If you are going to keep using only the Fluval 205 I suggest you get a Koralia 1 rather than the Nano, I have a Nano in my tank and its not good enough. Filter should be bigger too, more like a 405.

    Have fun!
     
  8. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Hi Paulo,

    Argh, erm, I wasn't planning on upgrading the 205 at present, in fact I'd only just got it about 3 months ago! :(
    I haven't got room for another filter at present in there at the moment, the fish-load will only be light for now, so I might replace it in a couple of months depending on how things go?

    I've also just got the Koralia Nano :( thinking the 1 was too big... I was thinking of putting it in the back corner to hide it a bit more than in your tank, but it all depends on how the glosso/HC carpet grows I guess (I've always wanted to cultivate one in there and your tank has made me want one even more! :) ).

    Maybe I'll have to supplement it with a second one in the other back corner, the CO2 diffuser I've just ordered comes as a pair, so I might put both in the tank in each corner with the nano over it pointing in a X fashion toward the front of the glass, I used this arrangement in my old Marine tank to create flow as it used to bounce off the glass and move round in a 8 pattern quite nicely, should push the CO2 laden water about quite well, but it might be a bit too turbulent? I'm not sure as I haven't seen/felt the nano in action yet.

    Thanks for the info on the heater... Hmm might have been why it didn't seem to be working too well the last few months... :) (it did maintain water temp but was on the low-side despite being set to it's max heat). Right, another thing for the shopping list, but the backup heater can do the job for now... (hmm, I hope I've still got the backup heater?).

    Looks like I'm pretty much destined to replace everything but the tank from the looks of things ! :wideyed:

    I'll dose TPN+ for now seeing as I've got it, but I'll be buying dry ferts sometime soon and I'll be sure to PM you for some advice.

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  9. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Thats the problem with Juwels and high tech tanks, the only thing I have left in mine original is the glass and the plastic casing of the internal filter, everything else has been upgraded including the powerhead in the internal hehe ;)
     
  10. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Well, quick update, my first order has (partially arrived), we've got the following:

    Fluorite (2x7kg bags)
    Hydor Koralia Nano Pump (now thought to be a little too weedy, might need to get another at some point).
    Tropica Plant Nutrition Plus Fertilizer

    Still waiting on:

    New Lights (Juwel Hi-Lite Bar and 2x28w J5 Tubes)
    Excel Flourish
    2xCO2 Glass Ceramic Diffusers (will probably only use one)
    Glass Bubble Counter
    Glass Drop Checker
    Glass Lily Pipes (inlet and outlet)

    Still need to buy:

    Smooth Clear Hose
    New Heater (seeing as the Juwel one may well be broken and isn't designed to be used submerged... oops :) )
    Plants (obviously) :)

    Also, here's a small pic of the pile of equipment in my now sparkling clean (but empty :( ) tank.

    photo.jpg

    Excuse the picture quality, blame apple for fitting the iPhone with one of the worst cameras on available on a modern phone, I'll break out my DSLR once I start the tank up again.
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    All sounds good :) nice to get everything you need from the off, rather than having to buy when money is available! :lol:

    Sam
     
  12. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Woohoo:

    The light and bulbs are on their way! :)
     
  13. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    I have always found them to be very good with delivery.

    Sam
     
  14. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Any particular reason you went with this option? You could have purchased a 4x24w Luminaire for around the same price on ebay, new from germany. Unless you got it really cheap.
     
  15. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Well, it's not exactly a case of being able to buy everything, I just don't want to jeopardise the tank's success for the want of another £20, but I'm going to have to draw the line at getting another new filter as I can't justify it at the moment (only got that one a little while ago! :) ), the second Hydor Koralia Nano might also have to wait and I only got the glassware because it was so cheap on eBay and was all coming from the same supplier in Hong Kong and I was going to have to buy new inlet and outlet pipes anyway and they would have cost more to get the plastic eheim ones!.

    Not sure if I'm going to be able to afford a new heater, so I might use my backup for now until next month, I need to start saving for flights back to SA next year for my wedding (not to mention all the small point of paying for the remaining bits of the wedding)!

    I really don't want to total up what I've spent on this hobby but I'm going to have to curb my little spending spree soon! :)
     
  16. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    Filtration isn't the issue here, Matt, its all about flow.

    You might find the 205 to be enough filtration, especially if its packed with sintered glass, but there simply wont be enough flow to get all the nutrients and co2 around the tank. This is why its recommended to have at least 10x turnover. Some people even recommend 20x turnover as all filters lose about 40% of their power when filled with media and hoses are connected.
     
  17. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    It was cheap (the deciding factor). I got a bit worried I wouldn't have enough light for a carpet of plants on the bottom and my fiancee doesn't want an open top on the tank or any equipment visible outside the cabinet or tank. So that means no CO2 canister standing beside the tank, or hanging luminaires, everything needs to be inside the cabinet.

    This was one way to make sure it was all inside the tank. Initially I had another 2 T5 bulbs piggy-backing the standard bulbs but I could barely get my hands in the tank without taking the top off, so I decided to go for the "official" solution (which as with most official solutions, probably isn't as good and is more expensive, but it does fit the proper lid doors and I should be able to do without the front T8 tube possibly).

    If I went the luminaire option (believe me I was tempted) I would have had to get my girlfriend to agree to me making a DIY hood, then finding a way to mount the luminaire on/in it. I had to do this with my old aquamedic metal halide when I had marines when I still lived at my parents a few years ago, it was quite good but a lot of work and went rusty on the hinges and you could tell it was DIY which was alright in my bedroom at the time, but not in our lounge really :).

    When I can finally afford a decent Marine setup again when we finally buy somewhere (this place is rented, another reason why I can't hang a luminaire over the tank), I'll be doing it properly and making sure there's LOTS of space in the hood for mounting lights and fans.

    Oh well, I've got the thing now, so I'm going to have to live with it :).
     
  18. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Ed runs his Juwel 180 tank with the internal filter with a Koralia for flow.

    On my Rio 125 I am using the Eheim 2224 which is rated at 700lph which flow is not great, also have the internal filter with a 1000lph pump on it, the Koralia Nano rated at 900lph and another smaller powerhead running at 400lph. And IMO its still not enough flow for my tank. Specially if you then like jungle tikes like myself and the plant mass also reduce flow around the tank.

    Regarding the lighting you can easily had a couple more tubes to the plastic flaps of the Juwel hood, I did that before I purchased the luminaire and worked fine and when you open the flaps the tubes go with it so gives you the same access to the tank as before ;)
     
  19. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    Yup, same here - I'm now running an EX1200 on my 70 litre and things are finally improving. When my scape was more jungle style I was running two EX700's and still needed an additional powerhead to get more flow! :lol:

    Its all about the flow 8)
     
  20. mjenner

    mjenner Member

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    Hi James, hmm, yes, I am concerned about that, but the budget won't stretch to a new filter for now, I might be able to stretch to another Koralia Nano or Koralia 1 as I discussed with Paulo earlier, it's not a perfect solution but that should help with moving nutrients and CO2 around the tank?

    Thanks for the advice so far guys, it's nice having people actively contributing, I haven't really got involved in a forum before, but you guys really seem to know your stuff and it's great having people to talk tanks with for a change! :)
     

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