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Old 09-23-2003, 03:12 PM   #1
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Returning to hobby, pls review

After 6 years I'm returning to the hobby of salt water critters. My 1st swt was a complete string of disasters. This time around I did my homework and found out why things went wrong before and how to set up a proper tank.

My future setup:
60 gal tru vu acrylic tank (free)-to be plumbed for reef
35 gal glass tank to be used as a sump (was my old tank)
custom stand to be built by my pop, he's a woodworker, I'm thinking white oak veneer w/ solid wood trim in a cherry stain, 12" canopy
4 x 96watt cf lights, 2 10,000k and 2 blues
Aqua-C skimmer, in sump kind
600 gph pump to a switch (forgot the techincal term) that mechanically will rotate the water return between 4 'heads'
2 rotating powerheads
plus the thermometers and heaters etc...
auto dosers and auto feeders

Critters:
60-80lbs LR
25lbs LS to 'seed' a 4" DSB, considering a plenum underneath
I"m thinking no more than 4 med to small fish in this tank. My old tank was overstocked and under filtered
It will start as FOWLR and I'll slowly work my way into corals

The best part is I've learned not to rush it, I hope to put in water in Jan as I slowly buy all the hardware and wait for the stand to be delivered. I want high end products and am willing to pay for them this time around. I'm actually thinking I'd like a bigger tank But....I'm still moving around every other year or so and 60gal is already going to be a pain in the ***. I found this forum and am so happy to now be in touch with people more knowledgeable than my prior group. I hope to ping ideas off people as they pop into my head, but I think I've got a solid understanding of cycling and timing of how to do it 'right' on this tank.

Thanks for listening to me babble.
e
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Old 09-23-2003, 05:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to AquariumAdvice

your plan looks pretty good to me to start with just a couple of comments.

LR: most folks go for aobut 1.5-2xwater volume so you'll want 90-120 lbs of LR. A portion of that can be base rock to save yourself some money.

DSB: lose th plenum idea. Current trends in DSB are that you WANT an area with no oxygen to force bacteria to break down your nitrates. plenums defeat that purpose. As with the LR, the bulk of your DSB can be built with play sand, such as southdown or yard Right etc. And then top that off with a few pounds of LS. the bacteria and critters will spread easily.

just as some other random tid-bits check out our Articles Section for information ranging from how to Cycle Without Fish, to Quarantines.

hope to hear lots of updates on your tanks progress!!
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Old 09-23-2003, 05:26 PM   #3
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What is a plenum?
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Old 09-23-2003, 05:31 PM   #4
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a plenium is just a space between your sand and bottom of the tank !!
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:35 PM   #5
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You just said with a DSB you'd have an area with no oxygen, that's exactly what a plenum does, plus what I've heard to do is to put down a fine mesh so that your critters can't bury there way down into it.

I'll have to think about it some more. I am reading alot ( mostly at work ) of what I want to make sure I don't screw things up. Plus since I know it's expensive (and never ceases to be) that I'm saving and buying quality hardware up front and not cutting costs (although I am always looking for deals!) So a few months of research and purchasing should help me out.

I know that if I have un-cured live rock that it's probably best to buy 90lbs at once w/ live sand so that it'll all cure together when I"m cycling the tank so afterward I won't have spikes. **** there's alot to know!
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Old 09-23-2003, 07:36 PM   #6
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I thought that DSB was the next step in denitrification technology. I can't remember where I read that plenum was "yesterdays news" but I did read it somewhere.
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Old 09-24-2003, 02:44 PM   #7
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when I first started I was reading up on plenums and I was under the impression that water was passed through this space to keep it from becoming anoxic.

If the anoxic zone is just water (the gap created by the plenum), then there is nothing for the bacteria to live on in that zone so, it would seem, that the area would be wasted?

IMO, if your going for an anoxic area, save yourself the hassle of making a plenum and just make it a solid DSB.
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Old 09-24-2003, 04:59 PM   #8
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Rather than say we are trying to achive levels of no oxygen its more in line to say a DSB will provide areas of low oxygenation.
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Old 09-24-2003, 05:43 PM   #9
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Hmmm...I'm sure a DSB would work, but you'd still have to put a mesh in there to keep critters out from turning the sand over. It's my understanding (although I"m going to do more reading on this now) that the bacteria that converts the nitrate to Nitrogen gas do this in an anerobic state. So you can't have water flow which will add oxygen to the mix. The second reason you'd want a plenum is b/c the sand (being fine) takes up more space that could be used by bacteria.

Through osmosis gasses will exchange to maintain an uniform equillibrum state. Of course that argument also means that oxygen will be present in the plenum or even a DSB. And I just contradicted myself. Ok, so more reading needs to be done.

Most of aquarium keeping is VooDoo anyway, so I'll just use some black magic to make the nitrate go away.
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Old 09-24-2003, 05:51 PM   #10
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IMO, plenums have not been commonly used for almost the last decade. A true DSB is simply that, a 4" - 6" layer of sand in the bottom of the tank.

We've used DSB's with great success for over 5 years now, no plenum, no mesh, etc.
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