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Mjenner's Juwel Rio 125 Planted Tank

mjenner

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Hi again, getting a little trigger-happy with the posts at the moment, probably because work isn't too interesting at the moment, still, I have to pay for all this somehow! :)

As I am aiming for a jungle-style tank along the same vein as Paulo's tank, I am now quite concerned that I might not have enough flow...

I was doing a few sums on the train on the way home following on from the conversation about flow and I've worked out the following (copied from a note on my iphone):

  • Tank Size = 125l

    Min Flow 10xHour = 1250l/h
    Target Flow 15xHour = 1875l/h

    Fluval 205 Flow = 420l/h (hmm, little bit worrying)
    Fluval 205 Flow (less 40% to account for hoses and media)= 252l/h (arrrgh!)
    Hydor Koralia Nano =909l/h (phew)

    Current Flow = 1191l/h = 9.58x per hr
    With 2nd Nano = 2070l/h = 16.56x per hr

So with the one Koralia Nano we're just under 10x per hour, not great but just about feasable, I think there's more and more of a justification to get another Koralia Nano or a Koralia 1 and move the flow past 15x per hour.

Sound like a plan?

As usual, comments and criticism welcome :).

Cheers,

Matt
 

Stu Worrall

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ive got a tetratec ex1200 on my rio 125 and it seems to do the job quite well. Now that its all grown in ive been considering getting a koralia one after speaking with dave spencer to get rid of some of the dead spots.

If youre going for lilys id recommend you use your juwel heater for now and invest in an external hydor heater when youve got the money as they are so easy to use and take equipment out of the tank (plus you dont have to worry about blowing up the glass heater on water changes!)
 

mjenner

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Hi Stu,

Yep, I'd agree, I'm not going to have to get a new heater for now, I've found my backup heater and I'll use that for now, the Juwel one will go in the bits box as a backup as the thermostat seems to be a little flaky (it seems stable, but not accurate anymore).

Well, that frees up a little cash for the second Koralia powerhead. The new filter and in-line heater will be on the wish-list, but we'll have to wait for that... :)

A question about the in-line heater though, won't you have just the same problem as with a normal heater if it's not turned off during water changes? If the flow stops in the line won't it damage the inline heater as well if it's left on by accident?

Well, I think after the second powerhead and once all the bits are delivered, it's time to buy the plants and then that's it for spending on the tank for a while or my fiancee will kill me! :)

Cheers,

Matt
 

Stu Worrall

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mjenner said:
A question about the in-line heater though, won't you have just the same problem as with a normal heater if it's not turned off during water changes? If the flow stops in the line won't it damage the inline heater as well if it's left on by accident?
according to the instructions the heater "should" sense that theres no flow and turn the heater off but ive never chanced this and just turned it and the filter off at water change. The problem I had with my internal heater was that I splashed cold water on it at water change and cracked it :oops: I suppose there's less chance of doing this with the external
 

mjenner

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Ah yep, luckily (touch wood) the longest I've ever left a heater out of the water has been for a couple of minutes, then it's normally "oh c**p!" and I shove it down into the tank water to cool it down again and switch it off (but it normally hasn't got to the "doing an impression of a cooling rod in a nuclear reactor" stage, so it's not too bad hopefully).

Although now I've said that, I'm probably going to break one now! :)

Typically now though all the plugs go off before I go in the tank (barring the lights, need to see what I'm doing), probably safer that way too. :)
 

mjenner

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Well, another item on the list has just been delivered, the light has arrived!

I've also ordered the second Koralia Nano pump so we should have about 16x flow and some extra sintered glass filter media for the filter. And that's the absolute end of the spending, the bank account can't take anymore! :) (apart from the plants of course! :))

Just got to wait for the final bits to arrive now! :)
 

mjenner

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22/02/2009 - A Busy Weekend Tidying and Organising

Well, it's been a busy weekend! I had a nice alarm-call at 9am on Saturday by the postman, my second Koralia Nano had arrived and I only ordered it at 3pm the day before, I must say Charterhouse Aquatics are amazingly quick with their deliveries! :)

The new stuff so far:
NewKit1_web.jpg


I then decided to add the Fluorite to the tank, that stuff says it's pre-washed but can benefit from a rinse, they weren't kidding!

DirtyCleanFluorite_web.jpg

Coffee anyone? :D
WashingFlourite_web.jpg


The equipment's in and the Fluorite's down (I'll decide on aquascaping next), I ended up going for the Fluval inlet/outlet as I've realised I've bought the wrong size glass inlet/outlet (DOH!) so that'll be going on ebay again as soon as I get it :(.

The T5s are a heck of a lot brighter than I'd thought, particularly with reflectors. I've put one of my T8's back in but I need to move the reflector up order to do that and I think it doesn't actually look any brighter as I think it means that some of the reflected light from the T5's is blocked?.

TankStage1_web.jpg


I've been wondering how people get extra tubes into a Juwel hood with reflectors successfully, it worked ok when I had the T8 bar, but with the T5's you can really see the difference if the reflectors aren't quite aligned right, and you have to lift them up to put the other bulb in, or the reflector blocks most of the T8 bulb.

Paulo mentioned mounting the T8 bulb on the lids, I've been thinking about that too, but I think that I'll have the same issue, if I use reflectors (which seems to be of real benefit) something I'm going to have to think about I guess, maybe there are some other makes of reflector, but all the shops round here just stock the Arcadia ones :(.

The old Arcadia T8 reflectors are now balanced on the T5 tubes, need to find some T5 clips at some point to hold them properly but they'll stay there ok for now.

I put the old CO2 diffuser in for now, as I'm tempted to order some plants as the tank's looking odd all empty like that and I should be able to get the CO2 up to an ok level until the diffusers arrive and the Korialias in each corner should push the water about fairly well, all being well it should bounce off the front class and spiral off to the corners.

The next question (besides what to do with the T8 tubes) is I guess Aquascaping... I think I'll have to have a think about that one, I really like Paulo's tank but I don't really want to clone it (much as I would love to have his tank in my living room! :D) so I'll have to have a bit of a think, I really want to try a carpet but I'm faced with a possible situation where I might not have enough light if I can't find a better way of mounting these tubes :(.

On a happier note, I finally organised my cupboard underneath the tank! I've put in separate plugbanks and screwed my T8 ballast to the wall of the cupboard like I planned on doing quite a while ago, and organised the rats nest of cables, much happer with that now :) :

CleanCupboard_web.jpg


I'll have a think about a plant-list tomorrow but I'm quite tempted to go with Java Plants 30" Collection (http://www.java-plants.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_30&products_id=256), as I started off with a pack from here the first time I set the tank up and it looked really good and was quite good value, I can then swap out the unwanted plants for other plants as/when I spot them?

But, as always, I'm open to suggestions, I'm planning on £20-£30 for plants, I'll probably go back to java-plants again as they delivered me REALLY good quality plants last time round (all at least as good as I could get down my local Maidenhead Aquatics, many a lot better :) ) but if you've got any ideas, I'd welcome any comments and criticism as always! :)

Cheers
 

StevenA

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Looks like it'll be a good journal mate 8) The two Koralia nano's are a good idea, they'll certainly help with the flow and Co2 circulation. I've got a Koralia 2 in my tank, and I wish I'd had it from the start, cos it's made a real difference :D I love seeing pictures of the equipment inside the cabinet by the way, nice one ;) And I've used Java plants about 5 times over the last year or two, and have been impressed with the quality every time, I just wish the dispatch was a bit quicker. I'm following this journal with interest mate, keep it up you're doing a great job ;)
 

mjenner

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Cheers Tourney! :)

I'll let you know my preliminary plant list and see what you guys think. I think I remember reading somewhere that it's better to plant with fast-growing stem plants initially and then replace them with your plants of choice? Is that true or will I be ok starting with the plants I want? My ultimate plan is to have a nice carpet of glosso at the front (providing I get the light situation sorted) do you think I would be wasting my money if I planted that straight away?

Comments and criticism welcome, as always,

Thanks

Matt
 

mjenner

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Lighting Ponderings
Well, I spent the whole commute this morning wondering what to do about my lighting...

The problem is that the centre brace means my T8's have to be pushed closer to the centre next to the T5's which means they clash with the reflectors, which in turn reduces the reflected light.

If I don't have the two T8's, it means I technically have about 1.46wpg, but as far as my eye can tell it looks noticably brighter than 4x18w T8's.

Now, taking the assumption that a T5 watt is more efficient than a T8 watt (in terms of comparison, I know this is a pretty bad way of doing it) then that's ok, I've heard various values for conversion of T5 wattage values, such as 1 watt of T5 is equivalent to 1.22, 1.4 to even 2 watts of T8/T12 light (various web sources), with a more conservative figure in mind (1.4), I've got just over 2wpg which is roughly where I was expecting to be. However, I believe most people just take their wattage literally, and 48w of T5 is 48w in a wpg calculation, so I need to have between 60 and 80w of T5 to effectively grow the high-light species, what's the concensus opinion?

- Chance it on the light I've got at the moment? (48w T5 with Reflectors)
- Add one or both T8's to elevate the light levels (but in turn block and move the reflector on the T5's to do so, limiting the T5's effectiveness)?

I think the big issue in this is the size of the reflector, if I could get a smaller one, I might be able to have the T5 under a correctly aimed reflector.

I drew a cross-section to illustrate the issue:

LightingCross-Section.jpg


On a brighter note, my Hong-Kong el-cheapo ceramic diffusers have arrived and they look really nice, I'm going to hook one up in each corner under the koralia nano's so they should distribute the CO2 rich water around the tank nicely all being well.

Once I sort the lighting issue out, I'll think a bit more about what plants to choose, :)

If you'd like to comment on the lighting issue, I started a thread in the lighting section here:

http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=4972#p54845

Cheers,

Matt
 

mjenner

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Ok, I've spoken with Ed Seeley who says he's happily got Glosso, HC and Hairgrass growing under the same lighting conditions with just the standard High-Lite system, so that's put my mind at ease.

I've had a chance to look at the glassware now I've got home, it all looks really good, I've not decided what I'm going to do with the Lily Pipe and inlet that are too small for my tank, I'm thinking of keeping them for my little cube tank and getting a small external filter for it when I eventually revamp that tank too! Otherwise failing that, there's always eBay again! :)

Here's a pic of the bits from today's delivery:

IMG_7573_web.jpg


I've ordered some hose and a Y connector (along with some 4dKH solution for the drop checker), I'm going to put one diffuser under each Koralia so that the CO2 gets distributed around evenly. Both hose lengths and angles should be identical, so in theory the output of the two little diffusers should be fairly balanced.

Once that arrives, it's time to order the plants, should be sometime this week, so hopefully I'll be able to receive the plants by sometime next week and fill the tank.

Looking forward to the day I can post pics of the tank filled with plants, rather than just equipment! :)

Matt
 

mjenner

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Thanks, I think I might try and heat up the hose a little bit so that it goes on a bit more easily. I was already a bit worried about that bit anyway.

It would be more than a little annoying to have them travel all the way from Hong Kong to the UK and survive, and then end up breaking it connecting it! :).
 

hellohefalump

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lol yeah...
heating up the hose is a really good idea. Get a jug of really hot water and just dangle the end in it for a little while. That works well.

Like I said, just do it really gently and don't try to force the hose on too hard.
 

JohnC

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mjenner said:
Thanks, I think I might try and heat up the hose a little bit so that it goes on a bit more easily. I was already a bit worried about that bit anyway.

It would be more than a little annoying to have them travel all the way from Hong Kong to the UK and survive, and then end up breaking it connecting it! :).

If you end up breaking any of it give me a shout/mail. i've got a spare set from the same people i am not using just now.

Best Regards,

John
 

mjenner

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Glassware in the Tank
Well, the clear hose arrived and I've added the two diffusers in each back corner of the tank under the koralia powerheads. Luckily the hose went on to the diffusers without any casualties and minimal cursing once it had the hot-water treatment.

I think they'll look pretty good there hopefully, definately a lot better than the old JBL diffuser which looked like a plastic bubble helter-skelter on the side of the tank! :).

One problem I did encounter was that the suckers for the diffusers had got creased in transit, but I managed to fix them thanks to a handy hint I remembered. To fix as creased sucker, you can often put them on a hot radiator for 30mins or so, preferably stuck as best they can to the metal so they soften when they're flat. I did this with mine and it softened them up enough to get rid of the crease and they're sucking to the tank perfectly now! :)

So all the equipment is in and waiting for action, but I still haven't looked at getting a plant list together yet as today was a bit hectic at work, I'll try and sort something out tomorrow and get the order in before Friday.

So far I'm pretty sure I'd like to include at least some of the following:

Foreground:
  • Glossostigma Elatinoides
Fore/Midground:
  • Hemianthus micranthemoides
Mid/Background:
  • Cryptocoryne Undulata
    (A couple of other cryptocorynes)
    Possibly Blyxa Japonica
    Didiplis Diandra
    Limnophila aromatica
    Limnophila Hippuroides
Background:
  • Red Lotus Lilly (I might transplant it back from my cube tank, it used to reside in my main tank for a while)
    Rotala Rotundifola

This is more like a wish list of cool plants I've seen rather than a proper planting list, so I'll have to have a bit more of a think... but if anyone's got any ideas of good plants, let me know! :)

Cheers,

Matt
 

mjenner

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I'm thinking about a hard-scape, they're definately effective, but I can't decide on one at the moment.

I think I'll need to see some wood and rocks in my hands before I can decide, so I'll be popping to Maidenhead Aquatics at the weekend to take a look, but I don't think I can get any of that Redmoor wood there, only bog-wood which I had in my last setup which leached tannins into the water ALL the time, I also can't really afford to ship-stone from a mail-order company.

Worst-case I'll go jungle, I do like the Dutch style (albeit a bit more relaxed) so it's something to have a think about, with my size tank, and my impulsive purchases, it makes it hard to be disciplined into an exact style, look or planting scheme, different aquascapes have tended to just evolve for me over time in the tank in the past rather than planning it. :)
 
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