sorry to keep you hanging guys, the verdict is vision 450 100%. rio 400 got a major thumbs down from the misses. i'm quite pleased as the vision does have twice the light, 4 tubes as opposed to 2 in the rio. and loads of room to play with.
andy - thanks for the fluval pic. personally i still prefer the juwel but the other thing she doesn't like is open tops / luminaires. this may sound petty but at night when the lights are off in the lounge neither of us want the room to be filled with overspill light from a luminaire. with the juwels it's all contained beneath the lid.
I have also had a big change of plan with the layout i want to incorporate a reasonable sized sand foreground so will divide the substrate in two. all i need to find is some kind of flexable water safe plastic i can use to divide and seperate the sand / ecocomplete. i need like a massive ruler that can sand on it's side and be bent in a big curve. any thoughts?
so the front will be sand, carpet of something bordering the sand then bogwood with planted anubias, stems and other stuff at the back.
i have not ordered yet, i forgot to ask wether it xane with t5's the store model had t8's still. however the LFS price is Â£835 and an ebay site is Â£599 (still a brand new one) it's silly to consider anything buy ebay, just need to ask them about t5/t8 but either way for that saving i'll get it either way. i will add a couple of t5's to it anyway so should be okay with light. i do hope they're T5 though that would be awesome.
just tried to order and the ebay store cant tell me which lighting they have and cannot get any 450's for a few weeks. tough life they just lost a Â£600 sale. now onto pet-supermarket to order as we speak. they get them direct from juwel out to the customer so cant tell me anything about the product but i think it's a safe bet it will have t5's. they sell at Â£630, still not bad plus free delivery. i wont grumble about lights either way for that price.
i'm awaiting the manager to call me back to take the card numbers..
I've got a bow fronted tank (albeit just a small Aqua 40 cube) and it ruins the depth completely - looking through the front (curved) pane it looks about 10cm from front to back when, in fact, it's nearly 30cm! The effect is worse the further from the tank you are. It's an effect that I suppose could be made to work in your favour.
arrived today. it came with the new "high-lites" T5's one nature and one daytube (4100K & 9000K). it depends where they order from as i'm sure wholesalers will clear old stock before supplying the new spec tanks. i got mine from http://www.pet-supermarket.co.uk/. when i asked this question originally they did not know the answer but said they order directly from juwel in germany so in theory it should be the T5 equipped version. on arrival i am pleased to say their theory was correct. for the price of the tank i would be happy with either so it was a nice bonus.
as to the bowfront, thanks for the comment but at this size i dont think it will be a problem. this things a monster, i cant believe it's in my living room and the misses is still talking to me it's as long as my bath and 5 ft tall lol. i'm still a bit shocked at the sheer size of it.
These things always look bigger in your home than they did in a huge showroom. oops what have i done - ha ha.
Thanks peter. i thought of that but really want one layer as with all my fiddling about changing scapes any layered substrate would get mixed up quite quickly. I have decided now on ecocomplete 6 bags ordered for 2/3 of the tank. the other 1/3 will be play sand substrate split side by side not on top i you know what i mean. i just need to find the right bit of plastic to use as a divider. off to B&Q tomorrow to see what i can find.
Tropica substrate only contains sphagnum moss and clay, it does not contain any nutrients. Im not sure how it works well for the long term except at initial startup because it contains no nutrient value, messy stuff as well unless well buried under a good layer of gravel, it basically has the consistency of a very loose powdered clay.
I think I've decided (?!) when I move house to use Aquaclay Ground. I used to think black was best, but then thought it looked a little artificial. The malaya AS looks good, but I can't afford it. I too am looking for something 'complete' rather than a layer underneath, basically because I want a nice looking substrate as well. I thought about mixing laterite with some aquatic soil with some Aquaclay and topping off with neat aquaclay. I know this is a layerered approach. but as I said I wanted a nice looking top layer.