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Old 02-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #11
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I was told about having a plenum in my tank. A deep sand base will help my tank biologically? I can't remember full terms.. But I put egg crate in both tank and fuge with screens and deep base of crushed coral and sand.. I was told to grow all my algae . Hair algae. Ditritus. Alond with whatever wants to grow in there. Plus my macro.. So the algae in the fuge will out compete what's in the main tank... I think I might have done that backwards since I started my display tank before the fuge.....
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:53 PM   #12
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There are different ways silica is in different substrates. Just like the extremely combustible element hydrogen can explode in an oxygen environment, it can also be very stable when molecularly bound with oxygen. Silica can form extremely secure molecular bond in a granite structure or it can have a very loose or no molecular bond at all such as in most coral based sands.
The silica does not need be soluble in water, it can cause issues in a particulate form. And adding a silica source to a DSB in a sump could cause a diatom outbreak in a main tank because of that. I'm not saying it DID, I'm saying it COULD.
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:27 PM   #13
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I'm still not understanding how an insoluble thing like sand, or even tank glass can cause issues. What issues are these exactly?
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:01 PM   #14
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Mr X is 100% right. For silica from sand, or anything else, to feed diatoms in the main tank it would have to be transported into the main tank where the diatoms would be growing. They can't grow without feeding on it. This is a moot point anyway as it really isn't the focus of this thread. That's a discussion for a sand "type" or diatom thread.

Now, about plenums. I would never use one in a display tank for any reason. Having one in a sump is doable. I used one for over 10 years continually with success but I also agree with Mr.X that they are not needed and carry some risks. If you want to remove nitrates there are two basic natural ways: one is bacteriological using some combination of a sandbed (like a plenum) and live rock that promotes denitrifying bacteria in low oxygen (anoxic) zones, and the other method is done by growing algae like cheato, culerpa, ATS, or whatever that consumes nitrates as part of it's food.

Both can work and are usually combined (if the DSM is used at all) but deep sand beds haven't been good for evrybody. If something ever does go wrong and areas in the sand go anaerobic it's far better to have it in a sump where it can be dealt with separately from the display tank. In a worst case senerio it can even be removed without the display tank needing to be broken down. Just food for thought.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:27 AM   #15
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Thank you for that info! I technically don't have true plenums.. Just egg crate with 2 bags of crushed coral. 2 bags of aragonite . And one bag of live sand. Makes about 7".. Which is to my advantage. Because I can actually reach the bottom of my tank now!! lol
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:59 AM   #16
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I don't know. A 7" sand bed is deeper than anything I've heard of people using. I believe you that it's a convenience when trying to reach things inside the tank above the sand. Are you sure that it won't go anaerobic on you at some point. I've seen 4" coarse aragonite sand beds go anaerobic in a reef. Where did you read about this? Maybe someone else could chime in and explain it. I honestly don't understand how this can be safe. I'm not saying it isn't, but it gies against what I know.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #17
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http://forum.marinedepot.com/Topic66381-11-1.aspx this is the only thing I can find via google..
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #18
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I am finding new info. Well old. But new to me.. It goes both ways. To have a dsb or not. One site says you really don't have to worry about anaerobic due to the cycle in the tank is only ammonia trates and trites.. Some day if you turn over your dsb with a siphon you will b fine. Some say tgey work perfect. But if you turn it over once in a while. You will release all the trates. That's what causes a crash..
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:35 PM   #19
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Www.reef-Eden.net/dsbs.html .. If that shows up. Give that a moment to read. Very interesting
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:02 PM   #20
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The first post only had one responder give a very adversarial opinion with absolutely no advice on any part of setting up or maintaining a DSB and the other link didn't show up on my iPod.

As someone who has used a plenum style DSB in more than one system successfully (one for over 10 years continuously) I can say that I had great success. That said, I've never heard anything about the type of DSB you are using.

If you ever find any info on it I'd love to read it. A 7" DSB using a mix of substrate types and sizes over a piece of un-elevated egg crate. Sounds crazy. lol I wish the gurus here would chime in on this one. You may want to make a thread on Reef Central and see what the consensus is there. I'm always up for learning something new. ^_^
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