? Plenum or DSB which is better at decreasing nitrates

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Rico Horton

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Oct 1, 2003
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:? i am trying to decide which way to set up my new 50reg tank? should i set it up with the plenum and 4"s of sand or should i go with a DSB and run a remote refugium under the tank? my goal is to have a tank filter system that really knocks the nitrates down.
 

mojoreef

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Hey Rico thier was just a study done comparing DSB's and Plenums and the results over 25 tanks was that thier are virtualy the same. Remember though a true plenum does not use fine grain sand. it actually uses coarser grains and has to be setup proper in order to work.IMHO if I had to choice between the 2 I would go plenum.


hope it helps


Mike
 

Rico Horton

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Mountlake Terrace, WA
plenum or DSB?

thank's for the tip. i think the plenum might be the way to go. it certainly at least would be easier on the pocket book and i could still add the remote refugium if i wanted with skimmer later on. :idea:
 

Doug1

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Either one will work, if you know the dynamics involved, DSB is a good choice for lagoonal tank , a plenum is better suited for a hi flow, high energy environment. Personally I think hi flow closed loop and a efficient skimmer is a good way to go for most tanks
 

aquariumdebacle

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Dsb

I have gone totally against conventional wisdom. I have a dsb and a trickle filter. My logic is that the gas exchange provided by the bio-balls is more important than the excess nitrates. At the break-n period (first year) I believe this important for a dsb. Next year I'll take a look at it. Nothin like empirical evidence to comfirm your worst fears.
 

Rico Horton

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Mountlake Terrace, WA
?plenum or DSB

:) thanks for response guys. will update you on how things are going with the aquarium. so far i have an EV-180 protein skimmer and using compact fl. for lighting. i have about 80 to 100lbs of fiji live rock. i have one red sea purple tang and a banded coral shrimp in a mature 29gal tank waiting to go into the 50gal regular. the live rock is in an even older 29gal tank in the dark filled with salt water also waiting to be placed in the 50gal tank. will take it one step at a time.
 

mojoreef

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Dan I agree with you on the gas exchange. it is very imortant. Although the ioballs are a great source for this, they work against the biological system of a DSB. As you know the upper layer of the Snadbed is the areobic zone and contains the bacteria that use ammonia/nitrite for a source to fix energy. the zone below this is the anerobic zone this is the zone that fizes nitrate. Now when you create a system (bioballs) that produces nitrates in a seperate location this means that you are hopeing the nitrate in the water column (produced by the bioballs) penetrates the areobic zone of the bed in order to get to the area that will actually use it. Baically it has to pass through a zone (areobic) that produces it as waste, (or in simple terms you want the critters in this zone to eat thier own poop). thats an unlikely event.

Rico I will look for a good link for ya on how to set that plenumn up properly so you get the best out of it.

Mike
 

Rico Horton

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Oct 1, 2003
Messages
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Location
Mountlake Terrace, WA
?Plenum or DSB

thanks mike, i was looking around on the internet to see who custom builds a nice plenum but did not have any luck with that. guess cuz most reefers build thier own.
 

Rico Horton

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Oct 1, 2003
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Mountlake Terrace, WA
DSB OR PLENUM?

:idea: well what does everyone think about a combination of both in the same tank? DSB in the tank and remote refugium/plenum sump under the tank? or will the two not work together?
 

Doug1

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Southern Oregon
The problem I see with using both a DSB and a trickle filter( wet/dry) is that while the W/D is efficient at reducing ammonous nitrogen compouunds to nitrate, because of the time lage and distance involved you will have some available N in the water column. In either a LR/DSB or LR/plenumn the theory is that the nitrite reduction takes place at the surfaces due to aerobic bacteria and the nitrate produced is reduced to free Nitrogen and the odd carbon,etc molecule released or consumed by the anerobic bacteria in the deeper layers of the DSB or the interior of the LR. It's the proximaty of the 2 zones, coupled with osmotic , hydraulic factors, depending on water flow and other factors, that makes or breaks the system.
My fear is that with a 50 gal tank and a fractional volume sump, you just don't have enough space and volume to exercize a lot of options. I suspect that a large system such as Mikes with its sheer tank volume, coupled with mega water movement and sumps, refugiums, and a super skimmer has more chance of success, if for no other reason than sheer volume, plus the large display tank to biofiltration ratio.
Its hard to simplify this without creating more questions than answered, but the bottom line is you are trying to replicate the ocean in a drop of water, so to speak. I think the bigger the reservoir, the more grace you get.
 
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