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A month into the hobby, a life long dream coming true.

JustMike

New Member
Joined
6 Jan 2022
Messages
11
Location
Belgium
Hello all!

I've always been drawn to aquaria for as long as i can remember. I just never felt like the time was right to delve in, because when i start with something i like to really immerse myself in the subject matter and this takes time which i haven't had much of in the past few years.

Life having settled down a bit, it felt like the time was right to finally give it a shot. I figured i'd be pleased with just a 30l nano tank and that would be it, but after having that planted out and waiting for occupants, my wife and i felt the tingle... We both just felt the love and decided we'd need a bigger tank right off the bat. We did a bit of rescaping of our house furniture to make room for a 1m wide tank. Faith was apparently on our side because we soon found a secondhand juwel rio 180 near us with furniture. This tank had been running for a good year but it's owner had been battling algea constantly and decided to throw in the ring. This ment i had a cycled filter, fish that needed a home, and a filthy tank that needed a cleaning.

I had initially planned on taking the time to do more research, but as there where already fish living in that tank i was pressured into setting it up quickly, with whatever knowledge i had gathered up to that point, which in the grand scheme of things wasn't all that much really.

So what did i end up with?
A juwel rio 180 tank. 100 x 40 x 50. No fancy rimless aquascaping tank with skylights but still absolutely overjoyed! I enjoy keeping the costs down somewhat so this was a great deal.

The lights where originally t5's, but the previous owner threw money at it and upgraded to Sera t5 Led tubes with electronic controller. There's a daylight sunrise tube, 22w, 6000-8000 kelvin. And a plantcolor tube, 11w, 2800 kelvin. No PAR readings found as of yet.

Pump is standard internal, though pimped a little with 3 cirax boxes in the lower basket of the filter. Will this flow enough? Probably not, how will i know? Still figuring this out. Apparently i can switch out the 600l/h pump for the 1000l/h pump. How will my gourami's like this i wonder...

Soil is dennerle deponit. Substrate is a black 'quartz' type gravel.

Stone is dragonstone, wood is red moor i believe?

Plants... How i enjoyed picking these out!
Foreground: Micranthemum MC, Eleocharis, cryptocoryne parva, hydrocotyle vulgaris.
Mid: cryptocoryne wendtii, anubias, bucephalandra, microsorum, alternanthera mini.
Rear: echindorus, ludwigia, ceratophylum hipporoides? Valisneria gigantea, rotala.
Moss is christmass moss.
Floaters are limnobium laveagata and salvinia.

Forgot some of the full plant names but that's ok, the chaos within me can't be contained even though i have plenty notebooks and plenty of pledges that i'll finally start using them...

I picked the tank up on the 24th of december and spent the entire day cleaning it up, scaping in a hurry, faster then i really wanted to, planting, filling, and finally after christmass dinner reintroducing the fish that where left in it being a false rosy tetra, a hockeystick tetra, a female betta and a clown loach. We weren't really keen on these fish except for the false rosy tetra. My wife liked it so he was allowed to stay while i found a new home for the other little buddies, the hockeystick tetra and clown loach found a very big tank with friends of the same type and the female betta was adopted by another very enthousiastic fish keeper that was looking for a betta.

Over two weeks we got 6 ottocinclus affinis, 7 false rosy tetra (with the one we had allready), 18 cardinal tetra, 3 honey gourami and 4 amano shrimp.

Being in a rush this was the first picture i took...
IMG20211225222016.jpg


I'll ad more tomorow including some of the plants thay seem to be doing less than well now... Rotala and alternanthera have pretty much disappeared!
 

heliophyte

Member
Joined
15 Dec 2021
Messages
77
Location
Netherlands
Picking out plants is a lot of fun indeed. I'm still in the planning stage for my tank. I started off with a list of about 6 plants, thinking a small amount of species will give a cleaner more natural look.
But the more I read and watch, the more cool plants I find.... so now my list is at 18 species for a 80 cm tank :(
I'm figuring that it's fun to at least see for myself how all the different species will do. Since I already know I will redo my tank at some point anyway, I can go for that cleaner look then, with the species I like the most.
 

bazz

Member
Joined
24 Jan 2009
Messages
335
Location
Lincoln
Pump is standard internal, though pimped a little with 3 cirax boxes in the lower basket of the filter. Will this flow enough? Probably not, how will i know? Still figuring this out. Apparently i can switch out the 600l/h pump for the 1000l/h pump.
Hi and welcome,
I've seen quite a few really nice planted Juwel aquariums over the years using the standard filters.
If you are concerned about the flow you could add a circulation pump/gyre and/or as you say, 'you can upgrade the pump'. You should be aiming for a gentle flow throughout the tank ideally being able to see all the plants gently swaying.
Just keep those lights pretty low especially during the running in period.
Look forward to seeing some more photos.
 
Joined
27 Aug 2021
Messages
78
Location
Ayrshire
Hi and welcome. I think the juwel tanks are brilliant for planted tanks. Think george has done a fair few over his time. The filters always seem to really clean water well.
Looking forward to seeing how it progresses.
 

JustMike

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Jan 2022
Messages
11
Location
Belgium
Thanks for all the welcomes!

I've always enjoyed browsing forums on the topics i was researching. From motorcycles to archery... At first it's good to get a general feel of the atmosphere on a forum before signing up and devoting time to it.

I was very pleased with the tone, friendliness, and eagerness to help on this forum, coupled with what seems like an absolutely giant knowledge base. A lot of what is known and proven here still has to trickle down into the rest of the hobbybase which is rife with old hard truths.

The often scientific approach shown by many members is great to see, where failure gets looked at critically, analytically, and positively. Failures are often just great learning moments, if you're so inclined!

So, for anyone still wondering. This is a low tech tank. It will remain as such.

Ferts are from an EI kit by plantedbox Belgium. They recommend dosing a third of the normal dose for non co2 tanks.

Plants. My crypts are doing well, they're growing new leaves all over. Eleocharis has shown some new growth but has stopped. The MC has new growth, showing signs of runners but old leaves often melted. Hydrocotyle shows new leaves, though one plant dissapeared. This plant was in the same corner as the alternantera that dissapeared. Ceratophylum demersum has grown well (duh). Anubias seem mostly okay, buce has some melting leaves. Valisneria was losing leaves, apparently i planted this one to deep, i've resolved this issue and spotted new growth aswell.


Picking out plants is a lot of fun indeed. I'm still in the planning stage for my tank. I started off with a list of about 6 plants, thinking a small amount of species will give a cleaner more natural look.
But the more I read and watch, the more cool plants I find.... so now my list is at 18 species for a 80 cm tank :(
I'm figuring that it's fun to at least see for myself how all the different species will do. Since I already know I will redo my tank at some point anyway, I can go for that cleaner look then, with the species I like the most.

I just couldn't control myself much in the plant section. I love plants really, i have a very wild garden with many species so i couldn't have my water garden being boring. I might have overdone it a bit, and certainly should have done a better job at keeping the tags so i'd know the exact variety i bought... And as you say, some will work, some won't. It's good to get an idea of this!

Hi and welcome,
I've seen quite a few really nice planted Juwel aquariums over the years using the standard filters.
If you are concerned about the flow you could add a circulation pump/gyre and/or as you say, 'you can upgrade the pump'. You should be aiming for a gentle flow throughout the tank ideally being able to see all the plants gently swaying.
Just keep those lights pretty low especially during the running in period.
Look forward to seeing some more photos.

I will have a look at those types of pumps. Another subject to add to the 'must read' list after 'practical water changes', 'water testing and it's importance', 'ferts in low tech tanks', 'why are my plants melting', 'is my light to bright', 'do i need to vacuum my tank or is detritus a good thing', 'where did that snail come from' and so forth... Having the time of my life really!

Hi and welcome. I think the juwel tanks are brilliant for planted tanks. Think george has done a fair few over his time. The filters always seem to really clean water well.
Looking forward to seeing how it progresses.

George as in Farmer? Well, if he can manage, then why couldn't i?.... There will be a few reasons i bet, haha. I have no qualms with this internal filter, i've enjoyed setting it up and cleaning it, except for the fact that it seems to be a nerite attractor. I just hope it has enough flow and capacity for my bioload. Which i think is a little high since the entire family was so enthousiastic and all had an opinion on what livestock to add...


Quickly dropping a question.
Alternantera mini and rotala completely dissapeared. They where planted in the rear. Will have to see why plants melt. The alternantera in my 30l is growing fine i think. Output of the filter is aimed upper middle as all juwel 180 threads suggest.

Attached are two pictures if hygrophila pinnatifida 24 hours apart. Need to find out what causes this.

IMG20220106183721.jpg


IMG20220107175454.jpg


Particularly the discoloration on the one leaf mid picture. It's been planted a week ago, ferts are 1/3 EI dose. Light i think is at 50% capacity for 7 hours per day. 0 ammonia, 1ppm nitrate, pH 7,5. Tap water.
 

JustMike

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Jan 2022
Messages
11
Location
Belgium
Let's give you all a good view on the tank as it was after the first planting round.

IMG20211229123502.jpg


It felt somewhat lacking. Back to the store for anubia, ludwigia, buce, limnobium and valisneria!

IMG20220103133007__01.jpg


Some closeups.
IMG20220106183903.jpg

IMG20220106183837.jpg

IMG20211229123502.jpg IMG20220103133007__01.jpg IMG20220106183903.jpg IMG20220106183837.jpg IMG20220106183821.jpg IMG20220106183756.jpg IMG20220106183743.jpg IMG20220106183737.jpg IMG20220106183726.jpg IMG20220106183714.jpg IMG20220106183709.jpg IMG20220106183659.jpg

Also uploaded a short clip to youtube, showing the flow! Hard to gauge if this is enough though i'm guessing it's not. There's a 600l pump, which in reality will be nearer to 500l/h, the tank containing about 160l, would require a flow of atleast 1600l/h from what i've read on here so will have to act.
Short youtube clip!
 

GHNelson

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
14 Dec 2008
Messages
5,537
Location
Hemel Hempstead
Hi
Hygrophila pinnatifida might not survive without Co2...its one of the more difficult plants to get going in a low energy aquarium!
The Hornwort/Bucephalandra are melting this could indicate that you may have low levels of ammonia.
 

JustMike

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Jan 2022
Messages
11
Location
Belgium
30% is about right for low tech EI - my tanks all sit somewhere between 20% and 30%. AR mini I find picky too. It goes nuts in one tank and dies off in another. My working theory is that it likes decent soil, good light, softer water, and flow. I'm collecting more data points...
Cheers,
Simon

Soil? check. Good light? Haven't a clue really. Soft water? Nope, and flow? Lacking there aswell, especially in the spot it was in... Oh my, off to a great start! 😁

As for EI, i'll just keep dosing this. It's to soon for me to make usefull connections from what i observe to what i dose... I check the amazon frogbit daily for colouring though as per Darryl's instructions. It's a somewhat good green i guess so not changing that.

Oh - and good luck with the pinnatifida. @Hufsa and I have spent the last year diligently failing to grow it!

Yeah i was looking for hygrophila dimorfis i think but it wasn't in stock. Then i saw the pinnatifida and remembered seeing it in a youtube clip and i really liked how it looked. I figured i must have seen it in a clip from Mark Davis, meaning it would be low tech proof, but my mind has fooled itself again! I'll see what happens, while it tossed a bunch of leaves, there was actually some new growth aswell so who knows. Will certainly keep an eye on it!

Hi
The Hornwort/Bucephalandra are melting this could indicate that you may have low levels of ammonia.

Hmm, okay. I didn't know that plantmelt could be a sign of ammonia. I observe the fish daily and those are all happy as a clam. I've tested yesterday aswell and test showed less than 1 ppm. These JBL pro tests don't have a reading for 0. I know tests have a poor reputation here but i still use them for an admittedly false sense of security i guess. Thanks for the tip. Water change in the morning!
 
Joined
27 Aug 2021
Messages
78
Location
Ayrshire
How about adding half doses of a liquid carbon product to help with your stem plants.

Also, ive seen on various forms, people adapt the outlet so you can attach a spray bar, by way of some cut hose and a section of spray bar which will give much much better flow.
 

JustMike

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
6 Jan 2022
Messages
11
Location
Belgium
We're about 2 weeks further now and i added some plants back then. Egeria Densa, cryptocoryne crispatula, cryptocoryne wilissi, echinodorus grisebachi and echinodorus ozelot.

Most of these plants seem to be doing just fine. Just the tallest crypt i've added isn't looking to happy.
IMG20220123134217.jpg


It does seem to be making new leaves, but i can't quite get a snapshot of it due to the angle.

Some leaves on anubias have brown spots, i assume these are algea?
IMG20220123130559.jpg


Aaand as some of you predicted, the pinnatifida is definatly on it's way out. Some made new leaves after the melt but then died down, the rest will be gone within two weeks aswell. This will leave me with an open spot for a new plant to try out. Still have to do some research on what to go for. Maybe some bolbitis?
IMG20220123130618.jpg


The Vallisneria gigantea seems to be doing well though as you can see in the background of the last picture. They're putting out rhizomes and making baby plants!

Fish are also quite happy, though i feel i made a mistake in my cleaning crew. From a video i gathered it would be a good idea to add cleaners first to keep algea in check, but my weak lighting and low tech approach have led to very little algea growth. I'm worried my ottocinclus affinis will starve. I've added courgettes to their diet now, but i need a source of aufwuchs. Trying to get repashy soilent green but it's sold out everywhere.

Anyway here's an overall shot of how it looks!
IMG20220123130549__01__01.jpg


IMG20220123130607.jpg


IMG20220123130604.jpg


IMG20220122180651.jpg


IMG20220122180727.jpg


And one last picture for the duckweed index!
IMG20220123140627.jpg
 
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