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Old 01-09-2004, 11:45 AM   #1
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Plenum Research

My research on plenums has uncovered a really great site . . .

http://www.garf.org/bulletproofreef/bulletproof.asp

You put in your tank's diminsions, and it tells you everything you need to build the plenums. There is also directions for constructons and two really good diagrams at . . .

http://www.garf.org/bulletproofreef/plenum.html

I plan on doing this set up for my FOWLR setup that I'm getting ready to start.

Question #1: Is a plenum overkill in a 40 gal tank with 20 lbs of LR?

Question #2: What type of sand should be used to cover the plenum?

I was thinking of covering the plenum with plain old regular agrogite (sp?) sand up to about 1" over the plenum. Then put down the 2nd piece of nylon screening and then anohter 1" of regular sand on top of that. Then top the whole thing off with 2.5" of Live Sand.

Is the 1" Riser tube really needed for initial plenum setup?

Thanks in advance for your help,
Todd
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:17 PM   #2
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Why go through all the trouble when a plenum is really the same thing as a DSB and vice versa? The only essential difference is the amount of effort required to implement them.
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
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But there must be some benefit of having that water layer in there. Why else would people do them?

If I do go the route of a DSB, what is the best slection of sands for it's construction? I was thinking of 2-1/2 inches of plain old southdown sand with another 2-1/2 inches of Live Sand on top of that. (5" total)

Would that qualify as a DSB?
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Old 01-09-2004, 01:39 PM   #4
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plenum's provide the same thing as a DSB and were the "typical fashion" until the benefits of a DSB were discovered. the water layer provides an anerobic area for removing nitrates, the same thing a DSB does.

for your sand, buy 95% southdown, then just a few pounds of LS from your LFS or a local fellow reefer. IMO, don't bother with the bagged "live sand" as I fail to see any actual value to it. This includes attempts to contact the manufactures on details with no response from them (there was a thread here where I posted my emails to them. I never got any response)

southdown becomes LS over time, the majority of which happens during the first cycling of your tank.

a DSB is anywhere between 4 to 6 inches in depth. Most will say 4 is a bare minumum, some will say its not enough and that 5-6 is minimum.
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:05 AM   #5
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The one benefit to a plenum system that was not mentioned is the suggested lack of need for kalwasser. The idea is that the ph under the gravel is significantly lower causing the gravel to decompose (not the correct term) and add calcium to the system. I'm still trying to decide myself.
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:07 AM   #6
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oops! how do you delete a post?
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Old 02-17-2004, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
The one benefit to a plenum system that was not mentioned is the suggested lack of need for kalwasser. The idea is that the ph under the gravel is significantly lower causing the gravel to decompose (not the correct term) and add calcium to the system. I'm still trying to decide myself.
To me, if this were a reason behind a plenum system, I don't think I would want one. If the sand were to dissolve at a rate to release enough quantities ALK and Ca in the aquarium, I would think it would have to be swapped out at regular intervals. Seems like a lot of work to me...

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Old 02-17-2004, 09:45 AM   #8
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I agree, just passing on one of the arguments. I personally don't like the looks of gravel. I have been reading about a modified plenum system that daily removes the foul water in the plenum area. So far from what I have read it sounds like a very good idea. However I would still put it in the fuge or sump
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