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Old 12-16-2002, 10:47 AM   #1
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Who thinks I should replace my UGF+CC with a DSB

Why should I do this and what are the +'s and -'s.

Should I reuse my UGF with a DSB?

How do you control waste materials in a DSB?

I am at a stage of difficulty that if this will benefit me and I am positive it will then I should change this now. My inexperience is the problem, but I don't want to tear down for minimal results?

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Old 12-16-2002, 11:21 AM   #2
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My understanding is that with 4" of the correct type of sand, a protein skimmer and a pound of live rock per gallon you will not need to worry about controlling waste build up in your sand bed. The sand bed can be seeded with sand from an established tank and all the critters will multiply very quickly. They will process most of the waste... not sure of all the scientific details of it but I know that it works. Anything the sand bed does not handle the protein skimmer does. After about 2 months I am not seeing any significant changes in my water quality. I seeded my DSB with about 8 oz from an established tank and in 2 weeks I had worm trails and denitrifying bubbles along the glass. The best reason I know of to replace your under gravel with a DSB is less maintenance and a more consistent water quality, thus fewer water changes, less cost. Everyone preaches that the reef aquarium has to be a very stable environment, I think the best way to achieve stability is to not have to mess with it.

One thing I will warn you about is that adding a sand bed with livestock in your tank is difficult. I only had live rock and a couple of damsels when I got my sand. The sand creates a huge cloud with just 1-2 cups added. Maybe someone has a good process on how to do this without making a mess but I lost the damsels and my rock was covered with dust for some time.

So, less maintenance, less cost, more stability. Those are the reasons I can think of and the reasons I got back into this. 10 years ago I was working my butt off to keep up with a 29 gallon. Now I can just enjoy my 72 gallon.

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Old 12-16-2002, 03:06 PM   #3
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I would go with a DSB myself. It will save you time and frustration down the road.

I've only used a UG filter once and that was on a freshwater tank. I was not impressed with it and hated the crud that would accumulate underneath the plates. Oh, and you cannot use a UG with sand unless you buy a certain kind of screen for it or the sand will simply fall through the openings.

Remember one thing....when you take out the UG you will have to add a powerhead or two to make up the flow.....
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:09 PM   #4
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I say definatly get rid of the UGF. Or you will have a headache that will never go away.
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Old 12-16-2002, 10:12 PM   #5
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Lose the UGF. If you try to use it with a DSB, you will only keep the DSB oxygenated and this will defeat the purpose of the DSB. You will have a much easier time maintaining the tank without the UGF. Also, if you put play sand on top of a UGF, the sand will seep down into the filter plates and cause it to stop up eventually. Inoculate the DSB with some live sand either ordered or from a well established tank. Not the bagged stuff that claims to have millions of billions of bacteria per square inch either...you need "real" live sand with critters...worms, pods, ect.... I'm not saying that the bagged sand is no good...it probably does have the bacteria in it, but you need the critters too. Add a PH or two to get flow up to at least 10x tank volume. The DSB, after it matures, will help keep your nitrates under control.
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Old 12-16-2002, 10:58 PM   #6
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I say,

Ditch the UGF. I did and I don't regret it...I dont think you will either...

I know these pics don't do justice, but it sure shows the diference in look.

I believe you will love it when you add sand because it will look more native to the habitat of the ocean...IMO
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Old 12-17-2002, 12:10 PM   #7
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If you buy live sand does it have to be cured?
How about if you buy it online?

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dsb, ugf

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