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Old 12-24-2003, 03:49 PM   #1
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any ideas welcome

I have a sealife pro 200 sump system. I have been scratching my head over how to effectively change over from bio balls which it came with to a deep sand bed which I would rather have in the sump area then in my display tank area. I am really nevous about removing my bio balls but the high nitrate thing is really starting to annoy me and my corals. So .. here is my plan put a rubber maid container where the bio balls now reside and fill the container with sand leaving enouch room for the water to spill over and continue on to my return so that I would have a waterfall effect. Forgive my drawling but at least it'll give you idea of what I am thinking. Any one ever done anyting like this before or thoughts on if it'll work and do what I want it to would be great!! or alternitives TIA
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Old 12-24-2003, 03:51 PM   #2
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grr i dont think the pics came through trying again
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Old 12-24-2003, 03:55 PM   #3
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third time is the charm
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Old 12-24-2003, 05:05 PM   #4
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hmm I think you'll end up with the same issue with this plan as you do with the Bio-balls. The nitrates build up because there isn't an area devoid of oxygen. An area devoid of oxygen forces the bacteria to process the nitrate to get the oxygen they need to survive. if your DSB allows water to flow down through it and out the bottom, then all of the sand bed will be well oxygenated by the water. You can go with your plan above, but modify it so the water simply passes over the DSB, not flows through it.
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Old 12-24-2003, 05:22 PM   #5
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yes that is what I intend for it to do is run over the top of the sand not flow through the rubbermaid container will not have holes in the bottom of it at all. I know it looks that way in my pic though lol. So the the water will spill over on top of the sand, run across the top of the sand and then spill into the return. The sand in there will be really deep I was thinking like 8" to 10" so as to leave a area that would not be touched by the constant stream of water running across the surface. Though I am still pondering a erosion issue as I have the feeling that the current will slowly move the sand into the main tank.
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Old 12-24-2003, 05:44 PM   #6
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I was just looking at the pictures a little bit more... about how much surface area will that tub of sand have? It's hard to judge scale in that photo.

as far as errosion... if you can come up with a way to keep the flow of water being "directed" at the sand and just simply fill and flow over the sand, you'll probably be ok. I would go with a good olithic (sp) sand if you can find one. This will be a heavier grain sand and might help lesson the shifting you're concerned about. as far as it ending up in the main tank, it would have to pass through the sponge filters there first so as long as you keep the sponge filter where it is in the unit you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
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Old 12-25-2003, 10:54 AM   #7
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the surface area is 12" L x 14"W then 11" deep and if I took the grate out which is removable it would more like 15" deep but I am thinking that would be overkill lol. And I didnt think about the sponge filter in there ,silly me, I think that will stop the majority of the sand from going through to the intake. And I looked at it today I think that it would be a fairly gentle spill over into the sand bed area not nearly as forceful as I was thinking. I have never heard of olithic sand but I will attempt to locate some and if I cant I will find a larger grain size to help keep it in place. I was going to attempt, money allowing, to fill up a good portion of that deep sand bed with live sand form Liverocks.com or some such and then top it off with courser sand. Thank you so much for your help really helps to have someone else to brain storm with! I will let ya know how this turns out as it may help others who have bio balls convert over to something more useful! Now if I can only find a plastic container that is the perfect size!!
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