Mawoka's Blog - My 180l Aquarium

My 180l Aquarium

02 May 2023

Why did I get one?

It all started after a visit at a relative who has one and I really liked it, so I started to inform myself. At first, I had the plan to get the typical guppies, neon tetras and some other fishes everyone has.

Why the Juwel Rio 180?

The bigger the better... I mean, the larger, the more stable the water, right? That's why I've wanted to start with a 160l no-name set (light, heater, cover and tank) but after some more research, I've discovered the Juwel Rio 180 set with the matching base cabinet (in white), the cover, a filter, a heater and the LED for ~400€.

Base setup

So I got it at Hornbach (German retailer) and it arrived some days later on a palette. We moved it up the stairs, positioned it and tried to get it level (not easy if your floor isn't completely flat).

Empty set-up aquarium

Then, I've tested the LED and... One tube wasn't working properly!

One LED tube not glowing completely

I've informed them and they shipped a replacement tube without any problems.

Setup inside

At first, I put some nutrified sand-stuff on the base (10kg) and on top of that, 25kg or 35kg of fine black gravel from Dennerle, which I didn't wash before.

Aquarium filled with gravel and sand

After that, I went to my local DIY-store with an aqarium-departement and the really nice seller gave me some plants, which I've planted afterwards.

Aquarium filled with plants and water

Soon I discovered, that the "grass" in the front had some moss in it.

Some moss is growing out of the grass

Some days later, I got a used Co2-setup with a pH-Controller, a 2kg Co2 bottle and a magnetic valve for 50€(!) at a really nice seller! He even calibrated the controller and the electrode and showed me how to use it and recommended Harlequin rasbora. Algea started to grow and after the aquarium was ready, I got my first inhabitants.


12 Harlequin rasbora and a yellow catfish moved in. All of them are still alive and happy (I guess). End of April, a single Guppy moved in, because the already mentioned relative didn't want tis poor guy to produce more of his species.


After some time, some Amano-shrimp moved in and one month later, some more moved in for a total of 7 amano shrimp. In Q1 of 2023 6 blue Neocaridina Davidi moved in and in Q2, 12 red-white-red neocaridina Davidi shrimp moved in as well, but one died 2 days after they moved in. This is the 2nd death. The first death was a spotted nerite, but the other 2 spotted nerites are still doing well and putting their eggs on everything...


I started to get some blue-green algae, but I just removed the gravel it sat on over and over again, since there were still some small pieces left, but after I got rid of all of them, everything was fine.


No real downs so far and I am really happy with the aquarium.

Some basic parameter

  • Temperature: 24.5°C
  • Total Water Hardness: Hard. Don't really know, but at around 8-10°dGH.
  • Carbonate Hardness: 12°dGH or something
  • pH: controlled digitally and set to 6.8
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