Ading Bio-Cubes to a DSB

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Tiger eye, 6 Mar 2013.

  1. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    Hi hi I've been having high Nitrates of aproxemitley +- 25 - 30 and Phosphates of +- 1.0.
    I have a 110 liter DT with a 900 x 300 x 350 sump with a Skims sm121 Skimmer a DSB a 200W Jager Heater a DIY Carbon Reactor (Using Boyu Carbon) a DIY Phosphate Reactor (Using Seachem Phosgard) I do a 30% water change once a month ( I've tried doing it by weekley but stuf tends to hapen and the the routine gets throwen out the window)

    All my Corals look Fantastic but I'me scared that if the DSB is strugeling now then when I move the sump to the new 250 liter DT then I'me gona sit with a problem.

    Can I just ad a 100g Bio-Cubes in a Filter Bag in the same chamber as the skimmer?
    Or is this going to corse more problems than good???

    here is a pick of my corals.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    Will work but, it will be beter to take out the DSB. I took my DSB out a while ago run only bio cubes... no3 was 50ppm and po4 was 0.66 is down after 3weeks to no3 2ppm and po4 0.03ppm
     
  4. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i have to agree, i would say the DSB would eventually become a nutrient trap and leach back into the system, i would say remove it for optimal performance from the cubes...
     
  5. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    Agreed with leslie... this is how I did it...
    http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/showthread.php?t=41289
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    What is the size of your DSB?
    and the flow rate across the DSB. Sump width of 300mm you should have a pump that delivers 2000L/h back into display. Note, not the pump rating, but what it does deliver after taking head height and back pressure into account.

    You've seen my system. And I'm happy with my DSB. I've been away for work more in the last 3 months than I've been at home. I have confidence in my filtration. Tank sitter only need to give food.

    Also take into account where softies and LPS do occur on the reefs. They are lower down and actually prefer a bit of dirty water. SPS and you can aim for 0 phosphates, but pin cushions like some. Maybe the reason why pin cushions go into sulking mode when you add phosphate remover. Not sure on that, got no scientific proof. But they are lower down in the reefs.
     
  7. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    That's 100% correct. The DSB will eventually start leaching nutrients back into the system, increasing your bioload & thus creating more work for the cubes.
    I removed my DSB before i added the cubes & i haven't looked back since!
    One thing about the cubes though. Rather double the amount you use. If you see the nutrients gets lower than you want, just remove 10% per week until it reaches equilibrium.
     
    Last edited: 6 Mar 2013
  8. JamesHunter

    JamesHunter

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    I have a 80cm by 60cm by 20cm deep DSB with 3 kgs of cubes been running like that for 8 months at what point will it leach back?
     
  9. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Well, it differs from system to system, but i could never get my dsb's to run for more than a year & 6 month without it leaching nutrients back into the system & my nitrates climbing through the roof.
    If i remember correctly from one of ron shimek's articles, he stated that a dsb should idealy be replaced once a year...
    I would suggest you leave your dsb until it gets dirty & starts leaching nutrients. @JamesHunter
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye Thread Starter

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    I was afraid all the bacteria would die and cause a amoniac spike.
     
  11. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    If you do it right it will never happen!
    What you got to do is completely isolate the dsb from the rest of the tank. Shut down all return pumps & make sure that none of the water from that compartment can reach the rest o fthe tank... Then you can just remove the dsb by syphoning it out with a hose.
    Whenever the water level drops too low, just fill the compartment up with freshwater again till youre done!
    After the dsb is out, just thoroughly scrup the compartment & then fill up the sump with clean water again.
    Just add a bacterial supplement afterwards to help the remaining bacterial colonies to cope with the bioload till everything is back in equilibrium!
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I started my remote DSB in August 2011, post 87
    Upgrade my Downgrade - Page 5 - Marine Aquariums South Africa

    Something I do not understand, is al the accusations that it is a nutrient trap and will release nutrients back to the system. What becomes of detritus, once its broken down? Once worms and copepods, bacteria etc, consumed all that can be consumed. It becomes silt. Or in other words mud. Or more surface area for bacteria to house on.

    Number one issue with DSB setups is incorrect flow. You will get into issues if you do have excess settlement covering the top. Number 2 is not enough diversity of live. No critters digging through it. Be that copepods or a few small hermits, cucumber or strombidae snails. Then your bristle worms and spaghetti worms. Not even mentioning the bacteria. Not properly seeding the DSB. Also a barren landscape with no place for bristle worms or copepods to hide will obviously have less life running around. A small piece of life rock on the sand, few empty shells will do the trick.

    Yes, I do believe in the Orca cubes. But why throw out something that is working and providing so much extra in diversity and food in my system.

    Before you chuck out your DSB, look at the flow rate across. Do you get 2000L/h over your sand? Is there settlement. If there are settlement, just add another small return pump to push water directly back to the first chamber. Do that test for a month. And see if that helps. If not, then go ahead. Just remember, nothing good happens fast.
     
  13. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    The DSB is obviously not working for him Riaan. Yes, Riaan has given some vary valid points, and to add to that, size of dsb in terms of surface area must be at least 2 thirds tank base size.
    Also, a better result will be obtained by using aragonite instead of plysand.
     
  14. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    It is true riaan, but from personal experience, i have only had short-medium term success with dsb's.
    The problem is not the settlement of particles in the substrate. It is the gathering of poisonous chemicals along with the silt.
    The plus of a dsb is the biological stability it provides your system. It has incredible biological abilities... But it also has the ability to absorb all kinds of nasties.
    I will upload a pic of my last dsb the day i removed it tomorrow, & i will see if i can find the lab test results i did for the water at the bottom of the dsb. It scared the heck out of me!
    Im not at all against dsb's in any way, in fact, i still believe its one of the best natural biological filtration methods. Im just a firm believer in the fact that a dsb needs to be changed out once in a while!
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    The smallest DSB in relation to the tank I run was 33%. But then again the fish bioload was not excessive. And i had a lot of liverock in the display. Obviously goes hand in hand.
     
  16. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye Thread Starter

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    Ok I think i see my problem. I put some flakes in the water at the bedining of the sump and it went strate down. It did not even make the half way mark. So i think flow may be my problem. I do have a 2300 l/h return pump.
     
  17. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye Thread Starter

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    Sorry for the spelling but I'm halfway asleep. I did it over the DSB.
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    So realistically, you get about 1000 maybe 1400 L/h back into the display.

    Just add a 1000l/h Hailey pump for a test run. Pump directly back to first chamber. If that improves the situation you then know that you have to upgrade your return pump.

    Just note that a bigger return pump also means more water head height in the display. It will increase slightly, as long as your overflow can handle it. Just unplugged the ATU when you switch on a bigger return pump. The water level in the return chamber will drop. Fill that with saltwater until it stabilize. then switch your ATU back on.
     
  19. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye Thread Starter

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    Thanks @RiaanP for the advice. I do have a 1000 l/h pump sumeware just need to go look for it. I did buy a 4800 l/h pump from Prash06 and this thing is a beast when I tested it I put it in a 25 liter drum with water and no pipes and it took 20 seconds to emty the drum it even sprayed the water higher than the gerage roof at one stage.
    But I think its a bit too much for the 3ft (110 l)tank but good for the 4ft (250 l) what do you think?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    seems a bit big.
    But you can always T off the return line, feeding reactors or just flowing back to the display.

    Another thing with too small a return pump is that you will end up with settlement in your display as well. You simply do not have enough turnover to push the suspended particles over the overflow. With that, you will find algae growing in your display, no matter how effective your filtration system is below. You simply do not get the dirty water through the sump.

    There are an old guideline of about 3 to 5 times your display turnover via your sump for a DSB. But that is not correct if you just take different widths of sumps into account. a 300 wide sump will have double the flow rate than a 600mm wide. And the 600mm will have more settlement than the 300mm. I believe that is the reason for DSB "failures". This calculation was easy to work out, oh, 250L system, any pump from 750 to 1250L/h would be OK. But obvious that is wrong in the first place, it should be a pump that delivers into display anything from 750 to 1250L/h. But this is still not taking the flow rate due to sump width into account.

    A much better guideline is a 6 to 10mm water head height over the last divider in your sump. Problem is that it is a lot more difficult to calculate the correct return pump. Using this formula for flow rate helps
    Q = 1.84(L – 0.2H)H**(3/2)
    anyway, on your 300mm wide sump, that is a delivery of 2000L/h into the display (after head height).
     
    Last edited: 7 Mar 2013
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    to simplify that calculation,
    for every 150mm width of the sump, you need 1000L/h water delivered into the display.

    150 - 1000
    300 - 2000
    450 - 3000
    600 - 4000
     
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