Rio 300 plans

Discussion in 'Journals' started by howardish, 18 Sep 2008.

  1. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    Hi all,

    thought i would look for a bit of constructive criticism on the plans of my new tank.

    Its not up and running yet..the idea is to get peoples opinions first before i go filling it up and realising im not prepared!

    Specs:
    Tanks: Rio 300 - 121 x 51 x 62 cm

    Lighting: 4 x 54w t5 - 2x nature, 2x day tubes

    Filtration: Tetratec ex1200, will also be adding Tetratec ex600 eventually. Have a 600lph pump to cope for now.

    Substrate: 6 x 5.8kg tubs of Tetra Plant Complete Substrate, topped with 2cm of Argos play sand

    Hardscape: 5x aquascaping rocks

    CO2: JBL Easy set 2, added solenoid valve, Rhinox 5000diffuser set up directly below filter intake.

    Ferts: KNO3 - 3x 40ml/week, KH2PO4 - 3x20ml/week, TPN+ - 3x15ml/week. Will adjust accordingly during first weeks.

    50% waterchange / week

    Anyway, heres some pics of what it presently looks like water-less.

    DSC00022.jpg

    DSC00023-1.jpg

    I intend to plant up at both back corners heavily, with it descending in height toward the front, with a glosso carpet.

    intended plants are:
    Valisneria torta - back right
    Rotala Macandra - back left
    Hygrophila Polysperma - back left, next to Rotala
    Eleocharis Vivipara - back middle > midground
    Heteranthera Zosterifolia - back right, next to/infront of vallis.
    Blyxa Japonica - Left side, right side.
    Glossostigma Elatinoides - entire front

    Intended fish:
    12 x corydoras pepper
    25 x neon tetra
    15 x ottos
    (cant have shrimp as the houses pipes are all copper based :( )

    I think ive covered most of it.

    If anyone has any ideas that will help please please please tell me...any criticism is welcomed

    Thanks, Howard
     
  2. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

    Messages:
    1,127
    I think you need higher rocks, they'll just get buried under plant.
     
  3. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    good start. however the rock positioning don't lend it self to great scape. how many rocks do you have? if you don't have any more try clumping the ones you have into one arrangement on the left side or the right. or maybe centrally and have everything growing around it.
     
  4. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    hmmm

    i did try various ideas

    I currently have 5 large rocks. i did think of doing 2 on the left and 3 on the right, unfortunately none have much height.

    I will go play with them now to see what i can come up with and report back asap

    Thanks :D
     
  5. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    also you have the rocks what looks to be perfectly spaced apart, go for a more natural look (e.g. not the same width apart ;) )
     
  6. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    ok ok, iv had a play ;)

    heres what i have come up with:
    front:
    DSC00025.jpg

    right:
    DSC00026.jpg

    left:
    DSC00027.jpg

    Thanks for making me move them as i think this looks better

    any thoughts?

    thanks, Howard
     
  7. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    Neath, South Wales
    It still looks a bit lost to me, I think in a tank that size you will need more rock if thats to be your only hardscape
     
  8. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    The idea is to have the rocks closer to the front and only have glosso infront.

    that way hopefully the rocks will still be on display but with growth around the sides and behind

    i quite like the current layout..that added to the fact i cant really afford more rocks :( i think i might leave it as it is now, possibly with some slight playing around. I may, and probably intend to get, a large piece of wood. maybe sticking out towards the middle from the right side in between the rocks..thoughts?

    I intend to order plants this weekend, has anyone got an opinion on my list? any that i shouldnt/should get?

    Thanks, Howard
     
  9. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Good set up, just need to get some more ideas on hardscape maybe. Try and lay out the rocks in a less uniform way, they're really good looking with lots of detail so you should do alright with them :)

    Know its a big ol' tank but it does seem like a lot of stems, unless you're going for short and bushy style I guess.

    On the right track... just keep progressing.
     
  10. san-ho-zay

    san-ho-zay Member

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Otley, UK
    Looks like a promising setup Howard :cool:. I'd just comment on a couple of practical things:

    a. 2cm of sand over Tetra complete could be a problem. If you get the Tetra stuff into the water column you have a nightmare of annoying brown debris to contend with. You need to be really careful with any planting and replanting.

    b. Perhaps you already are but I'd treat the H. polysperma as a temporary resident. With the lighting you've got, good CO2 and good dosing, the growth will be frightening. I've used it for a while as a tank filler (in a Rio 300 too). Once I got the CO2 and dosing right, apart from having to prune it every other day, what I found was that it got so bouyant that a sandy substrate wouldn't hold it down.

    I think I'd give a couple of shrimp a go. I've got copper piping and they do OK in my Rio 125.
     
  11. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    it might look beter if you can make 1 set of rocs higher than the other, at the moment it is all one level and a bit flat.
     
  12. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    Afternoon all, thanks for the comments =]

    firstly, yes the polysperma is likely a temporary plant while it settles in. If it doesnt need pruning it'l likely stay there but otherwise (which im sure is more likely) il remove it and replace with a slower grower once things settle...thanks :)

    im hoping the tetra substrate and sand wont b a problem...its all in there now. I have a pretty good idea of the layout and look i want so hoping that if i get the plants i want in there from the start and in the right places then the replanting/uprooting shouldnt be a problem. I still have about 5 kilos of sand left? would you recomend adding this ontop or would this be too much?

    Sorry i sound like such a newbie everyone..its cos...wel.. i am one :lol:

    Thanks for all your help..much appreciated!
     
  13. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    Hi all..

    An update on my tank progress (if anyones interested :? )

    I filled it with water last saturday and got everything running...
    installed the CO2...
    primed filter...
    made sure all was running correctly...
    and that the tank didnt go through the roof...(as yet it hasnt)
    I am not yet dosing for obvious reasons...I do have the Drop checker in the yellow though

    I ordered plants from 2 different suppliers..the majority from AE & some that tropica dont do from Plants Alive...

    I received the latter today which consisted of the Didiplis, R. Macandra & Hydrocotyle Verticillata.

    Just wanted to post my current layout - i moved the rocks slightly and think they look in much better positions.

    DSC00046.jpg

    Right:
    DSC00047.jpg

    Left:
    DSC00048.jpg


    The water is still quite cloudy, which only came on yesterday morning -over a week after being set up...any ideas anyone?

    The idea is to have a glosso carpet at the front, and almost a V-shaped layout with the R. Macranda on the left, then H. Zosterifolia, Eleocharis Parvula in the center, D. Diandra behind the right rocks, with Vallis in the back right corner. Blyxa Japonica will be down the left side and Bacopa monnerii on the right.

    Im sorry for the ramble..i just want to make sure you know how i failed miserably when it all goes wrong :lol:

    C&C is more than welcome...i will try to take it all on board to prevent total destruction!

    Thanks for reading...Howard
     
  14. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    get some more plants in there, otherwise your asking for algae ;) you ant ot get at least 50-75% in.

    cant wait for it to fill in :)
     
  15. jay

    jay Member

    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Harrow, Middlesex
    Those are some awesome rocks, great texture and I hope you keep that hydro in check or it could ruin the scape... especially at the front there.
     
  16. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    I only realised recently that hydro was going to be a problem...if it does start to get leggy it will be moved towards the right hand side or totally removed..any ideas what i could put there if problems start?

    I currently am not dosing..lights are on for a minimal time and the other plants should arrive tuesday so hopefully i shouldnt have too much of a problem

    I did notice that i planted one of the D Diandra stems upside down though :lol:

    I will probably post another update tuesday when the plants arrive :)

    Thanks for reading, Howard
     
  17. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    This will probably be Ok where it is, but if it doesn't establish well a good trick is to leave it floating for a week or two.

    I believe this is normal, nothing to be worried about and will pass of it's own accord... it is a bacterial bloom and is common with new tanks. It will pass as the tanks bacterial colony establish and settle in. Someone else might come along and give you an opinion on how long to expect it to last.

    Lots of water changes are a good idea, not for the cloudiness per se, but just good practice on a new tank (or any tank which has had major changes).

    Thanks for shairng :)
     
  18. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    Water changes :( not looking forward to them!

    50% of 300..thats 150 Litres!!! (incase any of you dont know :lol: )

    im off to the LFS today to hopefully pick up about 10metres of tubing to fit on the pump i have from the removed juwel filter. Stick this out the window into the gutter and turn on the pump...then to fill i have a sexy looking black bin sitting in the corner of my room to fill with a hose, dechlorinate and then use the pump to send it back in...fool proof eh :?

    May also pick up some glosso as AE didnt get the delivery of that this week.

    Thanks, Howard
     
  19. oldwhitewood

    oldwhitewood Member

    Messages:
    356
    The rocks you have got look really good and the tank certainly looks fresh.

    For what you are trying to do I'm not sure using stem plants in the background would be such a good idea. I prefer the second layout you did with the rocks each at opposing ends, but I would maybe break up the right one and use one or two of the rocks to give you your three rock formation thing. To be honest in a tank that size, I know how big the rio 300's are I used to always want one myself! in a tank that size you would need either more rocks say 5 different areas rather than 5 as inkeeping with the iwagumi astetic. Either that or two much larger rocks which would dominate the layout as a nod to the smaller ones.

    [​IMG]

    Something like that.

    At the moment it seems with those smaller rock sizes you have you are really looking at this kind of thing.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. howardish

    howardish Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Southend On Sea, Essex
    Hi, thanks for your thoughts.

    I do agree with what you are saying...the rocks are quite stumpy, however, i dont intend for the hardscape to be too visible...they are mainly there to fill in gaps that i can see appearing as things grow and hopefully break things up slightly.

    Heres an image of what i would like it to look like:

    http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2 ... ol=2&id=94

    but hopefully with my own take on it.

    im obviously not intending for it to be anything like ADA style any time/year/century soon.

    If, as the scape develops these gaps look too major i will probably trek across country to TGM and hand pick some bits to fill in.

    Thanks for your input, i appreciate the time everyone takes to help out :)

    Howard
     

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