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Opinions on 240L aquariums. Fluval Roma vs Eheim Vivaline vs Juwel Rio

jamila169

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
170
Location
N Derbyshire
is that the only place it could go? It might be just me, but having tanks in a high traffic area is a great help in spotting issues quickly and also for ad hoc maintenance. My first tank 40 years ago was just goldfish, gravel UG filter and elodea, I had it in the lounge where anyone glancing in the general direction could see any problems starting (and get me to sort it, but that was part of the deal for 12 year old me) .
If you're planning to go planted you'll need to heat it which might give you issues in an uninsulated room like that as well as well as having to fight bikes and a gas meter to maintain it (it doesn't look like you could easily stand in front of it/lean over it without risking being bonked in the head, and you'll be doing a lot of that). If I were you, I'd find a more ideal place for it , start smaller and work up to the large tank/external filter stuff, it's a whole different ball game to cold water, things get out of hand relatively quickly(quicker than a cold water tank IME) and it needs to be in a place where you're motivated to do the tweaks, sometimes daily, that it needs.
Most of my maintenance is wanders past on way to kettle 'hi fish! Oh, that needs trimming/whats that?/oh bugger, hair algae' spends 10 minutes sorting it out, forgets what I was originally doing If you can't do that easily it can become a chore and get put off 'until I've got time' and those odd 10 minutes can end up being a whole day of slog , or multiple days of micromanagement that you didn't need to do (being ill a couple of weeks after setting up a new tank can have the same effect)
I'm not trying to put you off here, just saying that starting with a nail in your boot will make it a lot harder
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
69
Location
Germany
Thanks for all your help 😊

I just looked at the Oase Highline, it’s nearly £1.5k for the tank alone! Way over my budget.

I might just go for the Vivaline! Do you think this is a sensible option?
The Vivaline 240 and equivalent Juwel or Fluval are good options. Note that the cover/lid on these tanks cannot be removed as it is needed to keep structural integrity. Apart from that, any of these models should last many years.

For the foreseeable future it will only have gravel and 2 goldfish. I would like to aquascape as some point but I have been told there is no point now as the goldfish will dig up the plants and honestly, just finding and trying to understand how a larger tank + external filter will work is hurting my head! 😂. Do you think the Ecco pro filter will be okay for my purposes for the time being? I’m not really sure I have any other options without spending a fortune.
Adequate filtering and water circulation are critical to the balance of the aquarium. If you plan to have a densely planted tank, then you can delegate part of the filtering to the plants provided you have enough circulation. Otherwise, the filter will be one of the most important parts in the system. So, you can keep the Ecco Pro filter but I would strongly suggest that you add another external filter or at the very least a circulation pump (there are threads on this forum about such pumps; as an example, have a look at this, this, or this). The circulation pump is to be installed inside the aquarium and helps increasing the flow, which will be insufficient if you only use the Ecco Pro. If you can afford it, go for a second filter such as an EHEIM professionel 4+ 350 or Oase BioMaster 600. The advantage of the Oase is that it is easier to clean.

I also wanted to ask, can I put the filter anywhere in the cabinet?
The ecco pro is a cylinder 20cm in diameter x 40cm height; the other filters I listed above have a square base with a side of ~25cm and are ~45cm tall. If you install two large external filters and one CO2 system you will still have ~1/3 of the cabinet empty - look at this example of a 120cm cabinet. As you see in this example, the filters are often placed on the left or right side of the cabinet to simplify the pipe routing.

And how often do you think I will need to clean/access it? Because we have bikes in front of the space at the moment. Ideally it would go on the far left so I could just angle one of the bikes out.
You will need to access the cabinet at least on a weekly basis because of water changes. The pre-filter (which is a part of the filter) will likely need to be cleaned every 1-2 weeks, depending on your aquarium. The filter itself should only need a clean every few months. And I wonder how you plan to actually to enjoy your new aquarium with all that stuff in front of it... can't you find a nicer place for your new aquarium?

How would I add an LED strip to a tank, if needed?
Easily. If you go for the Eheim Vivaline then you can buy an Eheim ClassicLED or PowerLED light bar and install it directly on the cover's frame without the need of adapters. There are many other alternatives on the market but you might need to get a suitable mounting bracket. The PowerLED are good lights in case you decide to upgrade. In any case, you will need to buy an electronic timer for the lights. It can be a simple electrical plug with timer - but this does not allow you to control the light intensity. Eheim has a dimmer for the ClassicLED that you can consider.
 
Last edited:

RuthL

Seedling
Joined
11 Jun 2021
Messages
10
Location
Beckenham
is that the only place it could go? It might be just me, but having tanks in a high traffic area is a great help in spotting issues quickly and also for ad hoc maintenance. My first tank 40 years ago was just goldfish, gravel UG filter and elodea, I had it in the lounge where anyone glancing in the general direction could see any problems starting (and get me to sort it, but that was part of the deal for 12 year old me) .
If you're planning to go planted you'll need to heat it which might give you issues in an uninsulated room like that as well as well as having to fight bikes and a gas meter to maintain it (it doesn't look like you could easily stand in front of it/lean over it without risking being bonked in the head, and you'll be doing a lot of that). If I were you, I'd find a more ideal place for it , start smaller and work up to the large tank/external filter stuff, it's a whole different ball game to cold water, things get out of hand relatively quickly(quicker than a cold water tank IME) and it needs to be in a place where you're motivated to do the tweaks, sometimes daily, that it needs.
Most of my maintenance is wanders past on way to kettle 'hi fish! Oh, that needs trimming/whats that?/oh bugger, hair algae' spends 10 minutes sorting it out, forgets what I was originally doing If you can't do that easily it can become a chore and get put off 'until I've got time' and those odd 10 minutes can end up being a whole day of slog , or multiple days of micromanagement that you didn't need to do (being ill a couple of weeks after setting up a new tank can have the same effect)
I'm not trying to put you off here, just saying that starting with a nail in your boot will make it a lot harder
We are in a townhouse and it is pretty much the only place it can go! Ground floor is kitchen/diner (no room) + the garage, where it is now. We had plans to renovate it into a utility/snug but ran out of money! I am in there all the time though as that’s where our second fridge/freezer + washing machine etc are. I do water change, gravel vac, full clean etc weekly, plus rinse sponges/clean glass etc in between that. 2nd floor is master bed (no room), large lounge + small shower room. It could potentially go in the lounge but 2nd + 3rd floors have light brown carpet, and I’m not sure about negotiating buckets of water in the shower room sink. Plus it’s soft water in there. 3rd floor is 3 bedrooms (no room) + dressing room which will eventually be a bathroom … but again with soft water. I don’t want to be carrying buckets up + down the stairs or spilling gunk on the carpet. And I don’t think it would look right in the lounge really.

So … it pretty much has to go in the garage (?). I will have to move the first bike out slightly to access the filter, I think. But will the gas meter be a problem with the Vivaline? I wasn’t expecting it to be that much taller than my current set-up? I can access it currently okay, using a large gravel vac and long-handled cleaner normally, but I can also physically reach down into the bottom of the tank. I’m getting concerned now about spending so much money on a new tank which will potentially be cumbersome! Not sure what else to do. Originally my fishies were in a smaller tank, I upgraded to the Rio 125 only last summer and became more interested in maintaining an aquarium. It was fine for 4 months or so but then started becoming difficult to maintain, with white dust & algae developing after only a few days. I just thought they needed a bigger tank, but it’s becoming difficult now to know what to do! I think I will definitely stick with cold water for the foreseeable future though.
 

RuthL

Seedling
Joined
11 Jun 2021
Messages
10
Location
Beckenham
The Vivaline 240 and equivalent Juwel or Fluval are good options. Note that the cover/lid on these tanks cannot be removed as it is needed to keep structural integrity. Apart from that, any of these models should last many years.


Adequate filtering and water circulation are critical to the balance of the aquarium. If you plan to have a densely planted tank, then you can delegate part of the filtering to the plants provided you have enough circulation. Otherwise, the filter will be one of the most important parts in the system. So, you can keep the Ecco Pro filter but I would strongly suggest that you add another external filter or at the very least a circulation pump (there are threads on this forum about such pumps; as an example, have a look at this, this, or this). The circulation pump is to be installed inside the aquarium and helps increasing the flow, which will be insufficient if you only use the Ecco Pro. If you can afford it, go for a second filter such as an EHEIM professionel 4+ 350 or Oase BioMaster 600. The advantage of the Oase is that it is easier to clean.


The ecco pro is a cylinder 20cm in diameter x 40cm height; the other filters I listed above have a square base with a side of ~25cm and are ~45cm tall. If you install two large external filters and one CO2 system you will still have ~1/3 of the cabinet empty - look at this example of a 120cm cabinet. As you see in this example, the filters are often placed on the left or right side of the cabinet to simplify the pipe routing.


You will need to access the cabinet at least on a weekly basis because of water changes. The pre-filter (which is a part of the filter) will likely need to be cleaned every 1-2 weeks, depending on your aquarium. The filter itself should only need a clean every few months. And I wonder how you plan to actually to enjoy your new aquarium with all that stuff in front of it... can't you find a nicer place for your new aquarium?


Easily. If you go for the Eheim Vivaline then you can buy an Eheim ClassicLED or PowerLED light bar and install it directly on the cover's frame without the need of adapters. There are many other alternatives on the market but you might need to get a suitable mounting bracket. The PowerLED are good lights in case you decide to upgrade. In any case, you will need to buy an electronic timer for the lights. It can be a simple electrical plug with timer - but this does not allow you to control the light intensity. Eheim has a dimmer for the ClassicLED that you can consider.
Thank you. What do you mean about not being able to remove lid? How do I clean glass + substrate?

Why do I need to access the cabinet for water changes? Feeling like this is all getting very technical now 😩 … how do I route a pipe? Is that the pipes from the external filter that go in and out of the tank?

I’ve just seen a Vivaline on eBay but without the filter. £250. I could buy that and then choose my own filter (or one you recommend! 😂)
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
69
Location
Germany
Thank you. What do you mean about not being able to remove lid? How do I clean glass + substrate?

An aquarium lid/cover is usually separate from the tank. It just sits on top of the tank. So, you can replace it if needed or remove it during deeper cleaning.
1623962626715.jpeg

However, in aquariums such as the Vivaline and Rio the frame of the cover is glued to the glass and cannot be removed. Of course, the cover can be opened :)

Why do I need to access the cabinet for water changes?
To shut down the filter and other equipment such as heaters. And you will likely keep some of the regular maintenance materials stored in the cabinet. Fertilizers, which are used on a daily or at least weekly basis, will also be in the cabinet…

Feeling like this is all getting very technical now 😩 … how do I route a pipe? Is that the pipes from the external filter that go in and out of the tank?
Yep. There are two pipes per filter, one is siphoning the water out of the aquarium, and the other is pushing the water back into the tank. You do not want kinks or bends in these pipes and want them out of the way so that they are not accidentally disconnected. As such, the filter should be located in such a way that no complicated pipe routing is required.
I’ve just seen a Vivaline on eBay but without the filter. £250. I could buy that and then choose my own filter (or one you recommend! 😂)
It could be a good deal. But for that price, you should be able to return it in case the aquarium is leaking or has scratches in the glass. A new Vivaline 24 with cabinet, delivery and 3y warranty costs ~375 GBP around here…
 

jamila169

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
170
Location
N Derbyshire
@RuthL it might be that it is a bit small -but goldfish are filthy beggars anyway, I used to change 50% of my water weekly and spend ages with the gravel vac to pull all the crud out.
The thing about big tanks is that bucketing water changes is something everyone tries to avoid if it's more than one 15l bucket - you could feasibly siphon out with a hose either through a window to a ground floor drain or the kitchen sink and get a barrel and a submersible pump to lift the new water to the tank, a 6m head pump is less than £70 , we had one of these for pond water changes years ago, Clarke Hippo 2 1" 250W 85Lpm 6m Head Submersible Water Pump (230V) - Machine Mart - Machine Mart fill up one of these Plastic Barrel Butt 120 Litre Clamp Ring Water Storage Container Drum FASTPOST | eBay with water and treat it and a pump will make short work of getting it to wherever you want it . Modern external filters have shut offs that lessen the risk of accidental floods, and you can stick it in a suitable receptacle before opening it to contain any drips
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
69
Location
Germany
Just to add to @jamila169 excellent suggestion that if the aquarium is on the same floor as the water outlet you can also put a bucket or container under a tap on a bathtub, shower or kitchen sink, adjust the water temperature, leave the tap running, and then use a small pump (such as Eheim Universal, Oase OptiMax, SunSun CTP) to pump the water out from the container into the aquarium. Smaller aquarium pumps only cope with a head height of ~1 meter or less. So, you will need a stronger pump if the head height is greater. For that purpose, a submersible pump like the one @jamila169 suggested, is often the simplest solution. Just make sure it has a outflow regulator valve because you want to fill the aquarium rather slowly. Do not forget to add water dechlorinator/conditioner during the process. You can do a water change easily using such a method - you really do not want use a bucket to change +100 liters of water every week ;)

George Farmer has several videos showing this water change process (look at the 3min mark)
 

jkh13

Member
Thread starter
Joined
9 Nov 2014
Messages
68
Update on this - I bought the Eheim vivaline 240.

It's been a great tank so far, I really like the cover as it opens up fully allowing easy access to the water. I am running two externals with it, one no brand 1200lph and the ECCO Eheim which came with it. Cabinet is wide open at the back so was easy to route piping. One thing it doesn't have is shelves inside the cabinet so requires some drilling if you want to hang plug extensions inside the cabinet.

Overall seems high quality, one bad thing though is the instructions are terrible for building the cabinet, made of cheap paper with crappy diagrams and printing.
 
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