Ray's 90cm - Growing Pains Over?

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Ray, 5 Aug 2008.

  1. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Well, this has been the longest time in the planning and procurement stages - I've been thinking about this since last November and started buying stuff in January. Anyway, I now have everything except the plants so time to start the journal. Regulars may have seen I am thinking of aqauscapes on another thread here: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2344

    Here is the tank and stand:
    CIMG1621.jpg

    I built my own ADA style stand after quotes from AE seemed a tad expensive. We wanted a gloss black finish and that adds almost 300 quid to the normal price of a 90cm stand. Given the time again I'd have ordered it - you pay extra for good reason due to the extra work involved. This stand took me a weekend to assemble and 4 months spraying and sanding ad infinitum to finish.

    Tank is 90L, 45D and 50H = 200L and was made to order by LFS, I paid about 30 quid extra for "extra clear" glass but I am not sure that it is opti white. The bottom right corner is drilled so filter in and out can be plumbed in. Lighting is an Arcadia overtank luminaire which thanks to the weak pound was a steal shipped from the UK by Fish Fur Feathers. Its has 4*39w but I only plan on using half that. Here is the tank being test filled:
    CIMG1639.jpg

    Here is a shot of the underneath plumbing for the filter:
    CIMG1646.jpg

    Tetratec EX1200 filter, Hydror 300W in line filter, Aquamas in line CO2 reactor. I am sure I need to improve on this, but not sure how yet. I think that I need some quick release fittings (Eheim double taps on entry and exit from tank, do they restrict flow? Advice welcome!). I made a mistake only putting 50cm clearance through the doors and the filter only just fits. If I could find a squatter, quieter one with the same output I'd change.
    Finally CO2 ready to go:
    CIMG1645.jpg

    I'm about to order my plants from http://www.aquaspotworld.com for delivery to myself here on vacation in Malaysia - then the plants will come home in my luggage - save on shipping costs :D
     
  2. tanker

    tanker Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    I'm from Malaysia~ Where's this Aquaspot anyway, i dont see its address. Probably doesnt have an operating shop and trade exclusively through the Web. Seems to have a very wide variety of plants. how much does it take to deliver to Malaysia? i might get some from it in the future :D
     
  3. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,275
    Location:
    London
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Looking great so far, look foward to seeing this setup and planted :) keep us posted
     
  4. tanker

    tanker Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Malaysia
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Btw, comparing the size of the filter with your aquarium, its massive. I'm sure it'll do a good job. great stand you've got there
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Hey tanker, Aquaspot World is a member of this forum. Why not send a PM?

    Ray, while you are there why not order some Ludwigia pantanal? http://www.aquaspotworld.com/index.php? ... il&pid=538
    This is the only place I've ever seen it for sale. This is a difficult one and is a CO2 junkie but a beautiful little plant well worth the effort since you are down there. :idea:

    Blyxa aubertii is another nice one that you don't find readily around here as is Bacopa myriophylloides. There are so many nice plants there that are not available around here it's a great opportunity. Even if you don't want some of these I'm sure there are plenty of folk who would love to try some. Shipping charges from Switzerland to UK is nothing in comparison. :idea:

    Cheers,
     
  6. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Well, I am back. Plants are with me and so I have to set it up this weekend. I also got some very nice driftwood for next to nothing.

    Only plant not to survive is the Blyxia Japonica - it had turned to a stinking green mush. I've salvaged 3 or 4 1cm sections of stalk - can it grow back from that? Also, what looks like some seeds - is that possible!? If so how to grow them - dry them out for a few days then add to damp compost? To be fair, Aquaspot do warn Blyxia is not covered by thier live shipping guarantee so I guess this is not uncommon.

    Not in my plan for this scape and a little late in the day, but maybe another time...
    I was very tempted by the B. Aubertii but in the end maybe all for the best since I don't want 2 bags of mush!
     
  7. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Photo Update 19.08.08

    So last weekend I returned from Malaysia with a bag full of plants and driftwood. Sunday I found time to set things up. I was so pleased with my new driftwood that the old piece was abandoned. Unfortunately I was pressed for time and forgot to take many photo's after the first stages. Here we are first a layer of peat on the bottom:

    CIMG1784.jpg

    Then some JBL Aquabasis Plus I originally bought to make the sand go further, The separation is L shaped pieces of clear plastic fruit punnet cut into an X to make 4 wall pieces per punnet:

    CIMG1786.jpg

    Then in goes the Aqua Soil and the sand.

    CIMG1787.jpg

    Finally plant up and fill, this is about 1am right after filling. Mostly crypts, I've a large number of different types. Backdrop is Cyperus Helfrei, C. Balansea and C. Retrospiralis. I still have some fissidens and some flame moss plus a couple of portions of narrow leaf fern. I'm not sure what to do with them exactly, some on the wood (almost seems a shame to cover it) and some on moss stones along the sand frontier I think.

    CIMG1788.jpg

    But now I am in a mess. My Tetratec EX1200 has leaked after a few hours of operation both Sunday and Monday night. The Swiss distributor has referred me to the shop but the shop is a web shop and I have to wait patiently for them to respond to my email. Meantime no circulation and no CO2 so no lights. The water is going slightly milky - bacterial bloom from the ammonia leaching aquasoil I presume. If my filter were running the zeolite and purigen would clean that out... :twisted:

    I'm tempted to order something else for a filter and when the 1200 gets repaired/replaced I will just sell it on ebay - I've lost faith and if it leaks all over the living room while I am at work again my wife will be less than understanding....

    The JBL e1500 sounds interesting, but I'm a little worried about noise and build quality, otherwise an Eheim 3e 2076 fits nicely into my cabinet. Its a little lacking in filter media compared to the Tetratec but gives more flow (up to 1650Lph). I think loaded with Effisubstrat Pro it should compensate for the limited media? I really want something utterly reliable and quiet. Another possibility is the Eheim Classic 2150 which offers 12L of media and 1200/Lph. What is the real difference between the Classic and Pro range?
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Photo Update 19.08.08

    Shame about the EX1200. I've just set one up last week and had no problems... Hope I'm not in for a suprise one evening soon :(

    The classic range are a bit more basic looking, being a round cylinder with a motor head on top. Water is drawn in from the bottom and up through the media. The pro range are more like the EX1200, having a square footprint. They also have better media baskets compared to the classic which tends to be a large media basket with circular plastic mesh which you put in to seperate sponges/ceramic media.

    I find my 2213 is a bit basic, but it does the job. There is certainly a knack to getting them primed and running, which might be why I'm avoiding switching it off at the moment :lol:

    I recently set up a Pro 2222. It was pretty painless, but I still had problems getting it primed. Not as many as the classic but I think I didn't have the technique ;)

    Lovely wood by the way! Did you have any problems with HM Customs and the plants?
     
  9. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,275
    Location:
    London
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Looking good :) tres bon, j'adore
    Going to look great when the plants fill in, that piece of wood is just amazing :)
     
  10. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    I love my 2224 even if it is disgustingly far of the mark when it says its 700lph. The trick with priming is to make sure you use the tube taps to keep water in the tubes then allow the inside to drain to the top of the filter into the filter before hitting the power switch.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Filter Decision Time

    Thanks for the answer Steve, and comments guys. Do you find your Eheim's quieter than the EX1200?

    Decision time. I'm limited by the 500mm height of my DIY stand doors, I want to be able to slide the filter in and out.

    Code:
    Filter  	     	      Cost  Pump		Watts	Media	Dimensions
    			                (Euro) Output     			   (HxL)
    
    EX1200	                109	1200		20	   12L	500x260
    2250 Classic             156	1200		28	   12L	415x315
    2028 Pro II	           148	1050		20	   7.3L	455x210
    2076 Pro 3e              198	1650		10-35	6.6L	474x264
    Problem with the 2250 is the input hose is 25/34mm which is bigger than my bulkead, so I need a reducer. Also is it a bit primative?
    Problem with 2028 is slightly reduced flow - is 1050Lph enough on a 200L tank?
    Problem with the 2076 is the tiny media volume - would 2 trays of Effisubstrat be as good as 4 trays of Bio Balls and ceramic noodles in the EX1200?

    Does anyone know the margin LFS has on filters? Can I haggle them down towards the internet price?

    To get the plants by post from outside Eurpe would have been troublesome. My first order of Aqua Soil from Germany was rejected by Swiss customs - "soil" is a bad word in customs offices. In the end I had to hand carry 18L back from a trip to the UK. The wood is 4 pieces lashed together with cable ties, but even in the shop I could see what it was possible to do. The final result exceeds my wildest dreams.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Didn't realise you were in Switzerland :)

    Not sure if it's worth mentioning but the classic has the lower intake jutting out from the bottom of the canister which adds to the dimensions and potential awkwardness of your restricted space. Worth checking on this :)

    I'd still prefer the EX1200, but then I've not had a problem with mine (yet! :? ) I've been running an EX700 with no issues for over a year so I'm confident. I'm finding my EX1200 has a slight buzz to it, but I think that's a gas pocket as I have been injecting CO2 with the diffuser under/near the filter inlet. I've now moved it.

    I also find my 2213 classic gets air building up inside over a few weeks and starts to hum/buzz too. I tend to give it a rock every few weeks/once a month) and it burps out bubbles and carries on. Sometimes it takes a few attempts over the period of a day though. This could be down to age, as this was bought second hand about 6 months ago, but it could be down to design too I guess.

    Either way, neither are loud enough to be anoying. Both are in my bedroom (EX1200 in a cabinet, 2213 sitting on a sideboard). I have no problems sleeping ;)
     
  13. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    That Aquaspotworld has Old Black Wood! So they ship to UK?

    I'd love to get my hands on some of the wood you've got Ray, thats awesome. Going to make quite an impact on the look of the tank... even with heavy planting. Nice one!
     
  14. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Actually I got the wood from PetsWonderland in Mid Valley Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpur - its a pet supermarket but being in Asia it has a large display planted tank with CO2 in the green, a huge assortment of lights and they carried ADA substrates and toolsets (the latter locked in a glass cabinet). These 4 pieces cost me RM 90 - that's about 15 pounds!

    Aquaspot do deliver to the UK. Eds has used them if you search this forum for his experience. They have a lot of choice for plants and prices are reasonable. I'd say the quantities are on average slightly less than you get in Tropica pots but I had some nice surprises like 10 or 12 pieces of C. Balansea and C. Helfrei in one portion to offset some of the more stingy portions. Anyway, I spent $132 and I have plenty of plants for this tank (about 200). Not sure if they do wood, you'd have to check.
     
  15. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    They have some good rare plants. Love the other species of Balansae, retrospiralis etc..
    We get nailed for prices in our hobby over here :mad:

    Guess you forget it when you look at your very own well done tank :)
     
  16. pompeyfan

    pompeyfan Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Problem with the 2250 is the input hose is 25/34mm which is bigger than my bulkead, so I need a reducer. Also is it a bit primative?
    Problem with 2028 is slightly reduced flow - is 1050Lph enough on a 200L tank?
    Problem with the 2076 is the tiny media volume - would 2 trays of Effisubstrat be as good as 4 trays of Bio Balls and ceramic noodles in the EX1200?

    Does anyone know the margin LFS has on filters? Can I haggle them down towards the internet price?

    Ray,

    I have been running a 2076 for just over a year now, a good filter, except for the 'safety adaptor' (the bit the hoses connect to) :arghh: The lever that closes the ball valves, also 'throws' two levers that lock this connector to the head unit. I've snapped THREE of these levers on differnt units due to jamming of the lever and/or red release button, which should eject the hose connector, once the in/outflow lever is isolated. This is a design flaw IMHO, since other cannisters like the 2028 or Fluval have separate levers for isolate and release. I think Eheim have over complicated the 3e connector as my first replacement one fitted worse than the original. After much disscusion with my LFS :rolleyes: , i have a second replacement head unit now from the bigger 2078 model. This is small consilation though, as i have now bought two Eheim 16mm double taps (@£38) to ensure i never have to use the ....ing 3e lever! :twisted:

    If i had the money again, i was going to suggest a Tetratec but as your using a lot of towels.... :lol:

    For my next 230 Litre project though, i'm going to use the 2250 from my turtle tank. This has been uprated with a 1260 pump unit which maintains an excellent long term rate of flow through split 16mm outlets, with full media. A 'basic' 2x grid divider is inside the 'bucket', but if you can find a large media bag, you can manage a shed-load of rings, balls or whatever, easily. I use 1" bactoballs, GRID, 1" ceramics (poured in), 4" Effisubstat (bagged), 1" medium foam, GRID then 1" while poly pad (both cut from pond filter sheets). Draining then moving the cannister can be a performance, compared to a newer (Fluval FX5) design with a 'drain cock', but long maintenance intervals make up for that IMO. The original 1250 pump unit boxed with the 2250 is a good pump, i just needed more flow to deal with bigger 'loads' :wideyed: from a 5ft turtle tank.

    My LFS manager looks like this bloke> :oops: when i SHOW him internet prices. :lol:

    Cheers, pete.
     
  17. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    i run a 2028 ray. faultless bit of kit.

    tanks looking great. will you be getting some mosses on that wood? keep an eye on those c helferi runners.

    mark
     
  18. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Thank you Pete and Mark and Steve, between you you've answered my question. I went to the LFS and got a 2028. It cost me twice the price of the Tetratec but I don't care because:

    a) They had one running in the shop and unlike the Tetratec it makes noise at all.
    b) They are there, they sell lots and if there is a problem they will fix it on the spot or give you a loaner while it goes back to Eheim.
    c) Its an Eheim and everyone who has a 2028 swears by it rather than at it.

    I told my sob story to the boss and negotiated 20% off on the filter and 50% on the media, not quite internet price but good enough and with the extra service I'm well chuffed - the assistant unboxed it with me, added the media and gave me a 20 minute walk through on the whole unit. Actually she advised me to get the 2028 over the 2076, and if I need more flow a tiny powerhead will suffice.

    Absolutely, I have a bag of flame moss, a bag of fissidens fontanus, a bag of narrow leaf java fern and a portion of eleocharis parvula. Some of the mosses and all the ferns will go on the wood. The rest of the moss will go on moss stones around my "coastline". I want moss stones on some of the coast, and in front of the wood I plan a grassy area with P.Helfrei highlights, then the crypts will line the "path" going back...

    I'm stuck with the moss - which one should go on the moss stones and which one on the wood? Dan and Eds, I think you know how they grow?
     
  19. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal - Update 01-09-2008

    Time for an update, some quick blurry photo's - apologies in advance. Its running nicely now with the Eheim 2028 and the Aquamas drop CO2 reactor.

    Last week was no fun - massive crypt melt left a sort of WWI devestation! Less expected, the ammonia from that and the Aquasoil caused disgusting brown surface scum:
    DSC_0003_2.jpg
    The only good thing about surface scum like that is it stops gass exchange - my CO2 was in the yellow 24 hours/day!

    Two 90% water changes later and we seem to be coming out of the woods. Also crypts that completely vanished are resurfacing from the Aqausoil with new leaves. I've added to the wood some flame moss and fissidens plus Java Fern 'Narrow' stripped of leaves as the the CAU guys reccomend - it certainly makes it easier to tie it.

    DSC_0001.jpg
    DSC_0004.jpg

    Also a shoreline in front of the wood with dwarf hairgrass and P. Helfri highlights. When I have time I will add some moss stones further along and see which effect I like better.
    DSC_0005.jpg

    There is a lot of growing in to do and I am nowhere near finished positioning everything, but you get the idea how its gonna be...
     
  20. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Re: Ray's 90cm Asian Theme Journal

    Looking good Ray! Glad your filter troubles are behind you. :D

    Cheers,
     

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