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Old 02-28-2003, 12:24 PM   #1
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Berlin System and DSB

Ok, I don't want to start a long winded discussion, just though I would point out something I just came across and was very interesting...

I read the article on Berlin Systems on this site and in doing what I would think to be massive research now, on my new system,( when I get the $ to do so), I noticed something was missing.. There is no mention about a DSB in any of the books or articles. I just read an excerpt from an article mentioning Lee Chin Eng and it stated in there that all you need, to do this type of system is:

Great Water Flow
2.2 lbs. LR per Gal
"NO SAND, CC, Nothing at all for substrate"
Big Protien Skimmer
Add Trace elements as needed to keep in balance

Now, they all say Mechanical filtration is neccessary, however, I wonder about this. All mention detritus build up and the mechanical filter will catch it. All mention cleaning them once a week or more often to prevent Nitrate buildup.

If you have enough Detrivores i.e hermits, snails, pods, filter feeders, the list goes on, wouldn't that take place of the mechanical filtration?

The DSB theory that is talked about in these forums is cool, but, are they all Plenums? or are they in fact time bombs waiting to happen?
I don't know..maybe the reason we have OTS?

I hate sounding like re-inventing the wheel, and I hope I am not the only one out here that reads and gathers as much information as I can, however it seems to be a never ending story..Confusion and mayhem in the brain.

To be continued...
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Old 02-28-2003, 01:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Now, they all say Mechanical filtration is neccessary, however, I wonder about this. All mention detritus build up and the mechanical filter will catch it. All mention cleaning them once a week or more often to prevent Nitrate buildup.
The way I explain my system is to call it a modified Berlin method. The sand bed is the modification. With a DSB (w/infauna) the detritus is taken care of for you. No substrate is sort of old school but is still done by some hobbyists. I don't buy the OTS time bomb theory (yet). Dr. Ron's theory of OTS revolves around heavy metal build up. Other sites relate stories about nutrient build up and/or a toxic release from the nether regions of the DSB. I have disturbed my DSB by digging out cup fulls to seed a new tank. I have not experienced a toxic release (yet). This DSB has been set up for 4 or 5 years so I'm still on the young end as far as OTS anecdotes go. I don't recommend a bare bottom simply because fo the detritus build up (and subsequent breakdown). I think a sand bed of some depth to house suitable sand infauna is almost required for a low maintenance tank. The "deep" in DSB is for denitrification which can, arguably, be accomplished with LR alone, making a shallow sand bed a viable alternative.
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If you have enough Detrivores i.e hermits, snails, pods, filter feeders, the list goes on, wouldn't that take place of the mechanical filtration?
exactly
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:27 AM   #3
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My tank has been up for 2 weeks. 50# Tonga LR in for one week with 50# of base. Another 45# of Fiji LR coming Tuesday.
I plan on this being a FOwLR setup
The lfs set up my tank with 100# of aragonite. I removed 98% of it the other night so I could aquascape, using the base rock right on the bottom glass. The aragonite is now in a 10 gal trash can, waiting to go back in. There's still a lot of fine powder sediment on the bottom glass and in the sump.

Should I try go vacuum the silt out of the sump and bottom of the tank?

Should I forget about putting the aragonite back in and go with a DSB instead?

Will adding Sundown (assuming the local Home Depot has it) be problem for the LR that's in the tank right now?

Should I put the LR in the 20gal Rubbermaid that I mixed 15 gal in last night while the sand settles?

Should I add any Live Sand?
If yes, should I add it immediately or wait, and what would the waiting period be?

I guess that's all for now (on this topic anyway).
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Old 03-01-2003, 11:51 AM   #4
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Should I try go vacuum the silt out of the sump and bottom of the tank?
no
Quote:
Should I forget about putting the aragonite back in and go with a DSB instead?
Is it sand or gravel? Sand - reuse, gravel - save for other uses
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Will adding Sundown (assuming the local Home Depot has it) be problem for the LR that's in the tank right now?
no, the resulting cloudy water will clear, then use a turkey baster to gently blow off the dust
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Should I put the LR in the 20gal Rubbermaid that I mixed 15 gal in last night while the sand settles?
I wouldn't. I'd put it in the tank (see above)
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Should I add any Live Sand?
no, it will become live in a couple weeks
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Old 03-01-2003, 08:02 PM   #5
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Finally found a HomeDepot that has Sundown in stock. I'll get 8-9 bags in the am and start putting it in.
Two questions. The base and LR that's already in the tank will get covered if I just add the sand while the rock is in the tank.
Should I remove it while I put the sand in?
I expect I won't be able to see the bottom to place the rock back other than just lay it all on top of the new bed.
The original aragonite is a mixed grained sand (.5-3mm). I am planing on adding it back as a top layer (about 1" deep).
Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:28 PM   #6
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Which Home Depot did you find the sand at? I'm going to have some shipped down here to Ga soon and I want to find a few different HD stores that carry it.
Logan J
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:33 PM   #7
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Do not add the .5-3mm on top of the sand especially to a depth of 1". IT will beocme clogged with detritus and kill the DSB. Read the articles I posted in another thread about DSB's. They will help you understand how they function. You may put SOME (very little) of the large stuff on top in isolated places as rip-rap to encourage amphipods to breed. You might mix some of the aragonite into the sand in a small ratio, say 1 part aragonite to 20 or 30 parts sand to add some diversity to the particle size. Remember the larger particles will have a tendency to rise to the top as the sand is stirred by the infauna.
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Mark. You just saved me from making a rather large mistake.
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:50 PM   #9
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Sandown source

I called 4 different Home Depot stores. 2 said they don't carry it, 1 said they have 2 bags but should get more on Tuesday and one said they didn't have it but checked inventory at another store. That store (Hamilton, NJ) has 144, 40# bags in stock.
I'll be there at 8:00 a.m. to get 8 or 9 bags.
Here's the address and phone number, but shipping might get expensive.
750 Highway Rt 130
Robbinsville, NJ 08691
(609)585-0411
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Old 03-02-2003, 06:00 AM   #10
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Thanks. Shipping shouldn't be a problem. If I buy at least a pallet, HD will ship it to Dalton at no charge...interstore transfer or something to that effect.
Logan J
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