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To plenum or not to Plenum, that is my question.


Ronjunior
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Howdy-

I setup a 125g with live rock down the middle of the tank (for 2 sided viewing pleasure behind a couch). I didn't put a plenum down, just crushed coral substrate with rock on top. I plan on building this as reef system over time, should I redo it, or is it really necessary to have a plenum?DOH!

Thanks!

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There are many ways to skin a cat in this hobby, as well as many opinions across the board. To answer your question, "is it necessary". Absolutely not.

IMO, a plenum system isnt even in the top 3 ways of how a reef tank should be operarated, but that is just my opinion. I will say crushed coral is awful, with the only benefit coming from it is if you truly just ;ike the way it looks, becasue it is nothing more than a nearly impossibly to clean detritus trap, with zero denitrification value.

A shallow sand bed doesnt have any real denitrification value either, BUT if regularly maintained, it can be fairly easily cleaned without posing a risk to your sytem.

 

I run both a DSB and a BB in my tanks as not too long ago I thought it was the best of both worlds....but now im not so sure. i must say that i doubt i will ever have a substrate again, and will be removing it the first opportunity that makes sense.

 

Again, personal preference, but i would encourage you to really look into the advantages and disadvantages of all the different ways before replacing what youve got with a plenum system.

 

How long ago did you add the crushed coral???

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I want a sandbed, I just can't afford to buy the white stuff for my 125 gallon tank. I just bought an existing fish only setup with stand a few weeks ago and put it all back; I didn't need all the live rock so the leftover is brewing in the garage. I can't wait to start putting corals and anenomes when I can afford them. (I have to sell an extra tank and live rock to break even on the stand and system I bought or my wife will have a tizy)

Don't know of any inexpensive options for a good looking 1-2 inch SB, but would switch if I could find one.

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Head to your local HD or Lowes and check out their sand. Look for playsand that is white. Look for silica sand or argonite. It should only be 5 bucks for 50lbs of it. That should suit your needs nicely.

Doesn't sillica sand have sillicate in it? which is something that we do not want in our tanks...

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I like the look of a shallow sand bed, BB looks way to unnatural to me and a shallow sand bed lets you keep alot of cool fish that could not be kept without a sand bed...

 

As for cleanging the sand bad...Get a sand shifting goby!!! I have a diamond goby and my sand is always white no matter what and he is cool to watch.

 

But like someone else said, what ever works for you then go for it...but look at what alot of the others are doing and you can see a trend and when it comes to substrate, this trend is there for a reason and not hype (this includes people using sand or going bare bottom). Crushed Coral is outdated, it works but can cause you problems...it's like have a car from the 30's, it will run but can cause you alot of problems.

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Randy Holmes-Farley doses silica into his tank. The amount of silica that dissolves into the water from sand is negligable at best. There is probably more silica in your salt mix.

 

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2003/feature.htm

 

http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen9.html

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20030624151937/http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/2000/feb/features/1/default.asp

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Randy Holmes-Farley doses silica into his tank. The amount of silica that dissolves into the water from sand is negligable at best. There is probably more silica in your salt mix.

 

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2003/feature.htm

 

http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen9.html

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20030624151937/http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/2000/feb/features/1/default.asp

interesting...Thanks...glad I asked.

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Looks like Lowes has 100# bags of Quikrete commercial grade white silica sand for $7.28... definately beats the $1/lb at the LFS. It doesn't sound like it's washed so I'm trying to locate their pool grade sand to see if it's white, but having a hard time finding it.... I'll keep on trying.

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The sand at Lowes broke when I moved it so I ended up with a good feeling for and handful of the white sand. Has some specles, but my concern is it's really fine grade sand. Will that end up floating around too much being pulled up with the powerheads/water movement? Also, wondering if it's a magnet cleaner scratch disaster waiting to happen on the glass?

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Looks like I'll start moving my live rock to a heated can tonight to clean out the tank....before I change my mind. Wife quote, "aren't there other projects to be done?" First things first though, right? Want to find some cheap sandsifters/snails,starfish and crabs, etc. soon. Don't they multiply quickly? Online pricing for what they call "reef cleaner/detritus/algae" packages seem a bit overpriced.

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HELP??? Things went bad in the garbage can where I put all my live rock from my own tank...the pond pump ended up hitting 97 degrees for awhile!!! (I should have just put it with the bin of rock I'm selling :( which is just dandy, but wasn't big enough ) I'm afraid to put it back in the tank with my fish with a possible dieoff/ammonia spike later on, but there isn't a place to put my fish. I was going to do a full water change as suggested by Seahorse NW due to the previous owners having too much ditrius and high Nitrates. If I bother to replace all the water, it may just end up with high Nitrates again and wasted $25 on salts! Any opinions?

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HELP??? Things went bad in the garbage can where I put all my live rock from my own tank...the pond pump ended up hitting 97 degrees for awhile!!! (I should have just put it with the bin of rock I'm selling :( which is just dandy' date=' but wasn't big enough ) I'm afraid to put it back in the tank with my fish with a possible dieoff/ammonia spike later on, but there isn't a place to put my fish. I was going to do a full water change as suggested by Seahorse NW due to the previous owners having too much ditrius and high Nitrates. If I bother to replace all the water, it may just end up with high Nitrates again and wasted $25 on salts! Any opinions?[/quote']

 

Its fine. Just get it back down to between 80 and 90. There might be a little bit of die off depending on what exactly is stuck to your rock, but the bacteria should be fine and able to handle it. IF theres a spike it will be minimal. I like to cook my rock at 90 and have pushed 100 quite a few times........Although..again..depending on what other life is on your rock.......but it shouldnt be too much cause for worry

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Well I had a thought, I stole my son's 10 gallon mealworm breeding tank, cleaned it and put the fish in there for now. Now I'm trying to clean this sand from Lowes....it states on the bag it's washed and screened. For being washed, it sure makes my pot murky even after 10 rinses. Anybody use that commercial white sand from Quikcrete before? I'm thinking of just sticking it in the aquarium and let the Ocean Clear canister take the murk out overnight.

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FWIW, that canister wont help a whole lot. IF you had several large filter socks, and changed them out and cleaned them every 30 minutes...it could help.

 

Cloudy water is just part of the game when starting up.

 

Here is a pic AFTER wasting "800" gallons of water rinsing it through an old screen door i had lying around.

 

sand.jpg

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