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"In The Arms of Cthulhu" - 180L - 1st May - BBA

JohnC

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Filled and planted 2 weeks.
2.5 month update.
3.5 month update.
8 month update.



Hello and welcome to my new journal.

And yes, believe it or not this is my first "Normal" shaped planted tank. I am aiming to run this for a couple of months along side the corner then break the corner down.

The tank is a Rio 180 which i inherited from my sister whom had been using it for keeping bearded dragons. After ALOT of cleaning and rubbing off old tape i got it to a state where i would actually keep fish in it.

DSCF4180.jpg


The tank was actually the beech model but its going into my period themed flat so I spent a bit of time with Ronseal "Paint and Grain" making it a deep mahogany wood effect instead. I'm quite happy with the results and would recommend it to anyone struggling with horrible laminate facings in the wrong colours....

DSCF4181.jpg


The Base unit is a bust up victorian sideboard which I picked up in an auction for £30. I've treated the woodworm 8) and cut holes in the back for the pipework. The real wood top and sides are quite thick and i've added extra support to the base to compensate for worm damage. I've not tested the tank or base yet with a fill but if there are any issues with the cupboard i'll add extra support.

I've bought in a couple of EX 1200 filters to nail the flow problem on the head from the start of this tank. I am aiming to run the reactor off one and the hydor heater off the other. I do have spraybars which i was planning on using for the outflows but i'm not final on this yet. You can see in the photo a large ream of tubing i found from a bike supply merchant. It's 16/22 and cost less then £1 a meter. I got tons spare just because it was so cheap.

Layout wise I'm aiming for a combination of dragon stone and redmoor. I'm going to aim to have a built up terrace area on one side where the majority of the planting will be. The redmoor will arc over and down into a sand substrate in the other side of the tank. I'll do some test layouts later next week for general feedback.

I have some tropica plant substrate and alot of inert gravel and sand for the substrate. Although depending on how much of it is planted I could use the rest of the Flora Base I have kicking about here instead. But i'm a little too uprooting and replanting happy to be really very comfortable with the soft clay granule substrates yet...

Plants wise I'll use alot of the stuff from my corner, with HC cascading down from the terrace between the stones onto the sand below. I also wanted to add some stems for the first time in a while to fill out the planted area. Possibly the Rotata green, red combo that looks so nice prunes into bushes. I think this would suit the scale.

More soon, I'm getting very excited about getting this finally up and running after so many months of planning.

Best Regards,
John
 

JohnC

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

Hi,

I was clearing out my camera and found this photo from Xmas. It show the difference in colour before I painted the laminate.

DSCF3881.jpg


Best Regards,
John
 
A

Anonymous

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

nice wood i also like the coulor change on the wood of the tank makes a big diferance
 

JohnC

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

Corki said:
Nice wood. Have you treated it with something because it looks shiny in the photo? Nothing like good ol Victorian engineering to hold the weight of a tank :thumbup:

the new paint has a coat of polyurethane varnish. the colour is alot closer to the base than the photo shops. my camera is playing silly buggers with colours at the moment.
 

JohnC

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

nah, that's just redmoor wood from various shops.
 

JohnC

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

Stunned by how long this set up is taking me :)

I have everything in place now and am finding a bit more time in between the endless renovation.

Currently installing the DIY pipework.

Here is a rough diagram of what I am doing.

IMG_1867.jpg


I found a bunch of 21.5 push-fit pipe fittings in B&Q which I am using to make the dual "cross-fire" spraybar filter system. Thus running one filter with the hydor and one with the CO2 reactor so I don't end up with the weedy flow issue I had with the same stuff running on one 405 in my corner. This will hopefully also allow me to avoid using additional pumps in the tank.

About to start assembling now.

IMG_1866.jpg


Best Regards,
John
 

niru

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

Thats a nice one mate!! Love it!

Am more eager than you to see it progress (since I only have to see the snaps & read the descrip, not actually work on it ;) )... Keep going!

-niru
 

JohnC

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

Finished intake outtake pipe work.

IMG_1868.jpg
 

JohnC

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Pipework Done!

Pipework is complete.

IMG_1887.jpg


IMG_1888.jpg


IMG_1889.jpg


Just need to glue it all together. Question on this. Silicon be enough? or glue (hot glue gun or super) + tape? All of the above? :)

Going to find a drink and ponder the next step.

Best Regards,
John
 

JohnC

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Re: New Hope - Rio 180 - Update 16th Sep - Pipework Done!

Alastair said:
Looking good. You have patience to do that. Just wondering though, are the two pieces of spray bar separated once in the tank. The flow isn't running the whole length from each filter is it?

Hi Alastair,

The two bits of spray bar are both terminated in the centre. I was considering making one with the inflows from both filters running into it but surmised that this would lead to reduced performance with the flow "butting" against each other. Worse still the weaker of the two might have been overcome by the other completely which would have been either my heater or CO2 reactor being ineffective.

Best Regards,
John
 

JohnC

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Re: New Hope - Rio 180 - Update 16th Sep - Hardscape

Hi,

Not got far in the last few months with this due to end less work commitments. But first musings about hardscape have started.

IMG_3068.jpg


I've made a little tray to represent the footprint of the tank to save me scraping it to bits with all the rocks.

I'm aiming to do an over canopy of weeping moss on redmoor. Under this in the darker zone small crypts and nano anubias. You can't really see the empty area under the upper roots on the photo very well. I've got a nano variant of needle fern i'd like to incorporate somewhere plus a lot of fissidens to add. The area under the redmoor will have a flora base substrate in the planting zone. The open areas i'm aiming to keep inert sand and gravel.

Beyond that i'm scratching my head about weather to include some backing stems in the back right third since i've been enjoying stems again. Pruning them to arc back from the upper branches to higher on the back glass if you know what I mean. Possibly rotala rotundifolia, green or red, i'm unsure about which.

The wood & rock layout are not final in any way before we get any "that stick should be 15cm to the left" chat :D, so feel free to chip in. I'm going to bring the bulk of the hardscape more left to fill the empty space, but that would amplify the back right corner issue.

Plant suggestions and comments welcome.

Best Regards,
John
 

JohnC

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Re: New Hope - Rio 180 - Update 7th Dec - Hardscape

Addition - Height wise the current hardscape will be higher up in the tank then currently indicated. The top of the photo is roughly the height the tank is. I'm thinking i'll knock off the upper branches of the wood that point rouge directions to keep that downward "droopy" feel of the wood, which will be amplified by the weeping moss. This would allow the stem "crown" in that area to be better shaped.
 

JohnC

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Re: New Hope - Rio 180 - Update 7th Dec - Hardscape

Alastair said:
Looks great mate. I'd leave the top branches on they look really good. When's it going in the tank lol

Probably a couple of weeks. I have a good amount of plants in the corner and other tanks to use but will need to order stuff in on top of that. Plus some of the wood is still a bit buoyant.
 

JohnC

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Re: 100cm - Rio 180 - My first "Normal" tank!!!

chilled84 said:
hijac said:
Finished intake outtake pipe work.

.....

Flow may be hinderd on them 90 degree elbows?? Apart from that ace work.


It wasn't but i'll confess i've switched out the white pipework for more standard tubing as I was finding it too tricky getting decent, strong, water tight joins. The straight forward solution of excessive amounts of clips and more tubing turned out easier in the long run.

I should take a video of the empty tank running. The whirl of the water is fantastic. Especially when I come from the nightmare circulation issues of the corner tank. This tank should have no problems on that front. 8)
 

JohnC

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Re: New Hope - Rio 180 - Update 7th Dec - Hardscape

Current plant list plan...

Foreish ground

Glossostigma elatinoides
Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides (or similar variety i can get my hands on)

Inside the wood mass

Microsorum pteropus (special nano needle version)
Anubias nana petite
Various small crypts

On the wood and some of the border rocks

Vesicularia ferriei (weeping moss)
fissidens fontanus

Angled up the diagonal to the back right

rotala rotundifolia (& possibly rotala green)
Ludwigia arcuata

Leaving a sand strip along the front and a patch at the left.

Best Regards,
John
 

JohnC

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Re: New Hope - Rio 180 - Setting Up!

Hello!,

Finally getting around to doing this. Plants are all in the corner currently. Substrate and main rockwork in.

I'm going to leave the planting until tomorrow day so I get a good run at it.

Here are some photos.

IMG_3428.jpg

Dividers in and me remembering to add a background so that the photos show up. 8)

IMG_3435.jpg

I've used a tight sock with the Molar clay from the bonsai place to bulk up the substrate mound. The substrate is a bag of flora base I had laying around overcapped with Mayan Aquasoil. With Tropica plant substrate right at the very bottom (also as I had some laying around).

IMG_3438.jpg

This is adding more Aquasoil. The sand is just plain sand from BnQ (fish safe). Although it will look dirtier in the future I feel it matches up to the dragon stone really well.

IMG_3449.jpg

An idea of how the wood will pan out. I'm going to take it all out again now and continue soaking it overnight as I have to "moss it up" tomorrow anyway. I have additional small pieces of dragon stone that will be added once I have the final wood layout.

Questions, comments or critique happily taken,

Best Regards,
John
 
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