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Old 02-27-2021, 06:50 PM   #1
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Plenum with AIO internal filtration?

Hello there!
I am getting back to this wonderful hobby after a 20 year hiatus and I am setting up a 20 gallon cube tank that has an all-in-one internal filtration system. I, like many of you, have scanned the internet for advice on “the best” or “optimal” set up.

My internal filter will have bio balls, ceramic rings, and after established, some bio chem green.
The tank will have some easy plants and a light bio-load.

I just saw the you tube videos about the “need” for a plenum under my gravel system. Do you all think it is needed or overkill or simply a benefit? I am just designing my system and trying to make optimal decisions for my future aquatic critters.
Thank you for any thoughts!
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:05 PM   #2
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Plenum?
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:29 PM   #3
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Thank you. I saw that thread and I believe I understand what and how the Plenum works, but It left me with questions... if I am running a plenum system, does that mean I should not siphon clean my gravel? Or do I simply siphon off the top? And, is using the internal filtration system already installed and additionally having a plenum underneath simply overkill?
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:31 PM   #4
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Overfiltration is good. Less bacteria in the water, the better. You shouldn't have to vacuum
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:32 PM   #5
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That being said, if your only going to lightly stock your tank, then the included filter would be sufficient
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:36 PM   #6
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Thank you very much. And may I ask another? Is there a risk of toxins being released if the substrate is disturbed all the way down to the plenum surface?
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:09 PM   #7
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No, but if you don't have water flow thru the substrate then harmful bacteria etc can build up there potentially causing problems later. If water is flowing thru the gravel it will allow (varying by water volume) beneficial nitrifying bacteria to grow
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:12 PM   #8
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Of course, that's just my 2 cents on a plenum vs a traditional under gravel filter
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:15 AM   #9
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Thank you again!
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