Converting from Bio-balls to DSB

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by frankie fish, 25 Jul 2009.

  1. frankie fish

    frankie fish

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    I got advice on switching from balls to dsb, can you pls give me advice on how to start,and everything that i need, coz i'm using a over-under sump,my first compartment is filter wool-under-bio balls-over-chunks of liverock-under-ceramics-over-return pump with charcoal
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Dohn

    Dohn MASA Contributor

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    i think you will need to remove the glass pane between the chunks of live rock and ceramics.
    move it next to the one between filter wool and bio balls, on the bio balls chamber, so that you create a baffle for air bubbles and can make yourDSB longer.
     
  4. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Your tank looks great how many hippo tangs you got there?
     
  5. Fires

    Fires

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    Tank look good.
     
  6. Fires

    Fires

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    Why do u wanna go DSB ? Ur tank look healthy
     
  7. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    Because Bioballs are a Nitrate factory. a DSB takes out Nitrates.
     
  8. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Good advice - I agree.

    Firstly, whatever you do, do it SLOWLY.

    The bio balls and ceramic "noodles" are currently converting the ammonia and nitrite which your fish produce into nitrates, which is only slightly toxic, but which will cause algae problems, and which can be deadly to your inverts. I would suggest you you do the conversion in three stages:

    1. Remove the filter wool - this can be done immediately, and in one go. Remove the bio balls or the ceramic noodles (whichever has the largest compartment) into one or more of the other compartments. Add a layer of fine sand (less than 2mm diameter, with a large portion preferably being smaller than 1mm) at least 100mm thick (150mm if possible) into the emptied compartment - this can be done immediately, and also in one go. The sand could be play sand (try Reggies...), a fine building sand, aragonite (if you have money to blow...) or (preferably) real sea sand. Be sure to wash the sand very well before you use it, or it will totally cloud the water.
    2. Remove the bio-balls or noodles which you moved to the other compartments from the sump over a period of (say) 3-4 weeks.
    3. Wait a week or two, and then remove the remoainig bio-balls or ceramic noodles from the other compartment over a period of another few weeks. Fill this compartment with more fine sand up to a depth of 100mm - 150mm.
    If possible, try to get a cup of "live sand" from a few fellow aquarists living in your area, to "seed" your new sand bed. Also, during the (say) 2 months of this chang-over, you should be feeding your fish quite sparingly, and you should not add any new fish or other large organism.

    Once the two compartments of sand has matured for a few weeks, you should ideally remove the glass partitions between them, and move the chunks of live rock onto "egg-crate" racking placed on top of this sand, thus creating one large compartment in the centre 75% of the sump (with only the downflow / skimmer chamber on the one side, and the return pump chamber on the other side of it.

    If you like, you can also add a light or two above the sand bed, and add some caulerpa or chaetomorpha macro algae to further assist in nutrient removal.

    Good luck with the transformation :thumbup:

    Hennie
     
  9. Dohn

    Dohn MASA Contributor

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    Maybe i dont understand what an over under over sump is.
     
  10. THE ANIMAL

    THE ANIMAL

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    :iagree:
    :iagree: just to add remember the water flow should go over the sand never through it. So you must close the under flow.
     
  11. THE ANIMAL

    THE ANIMAL

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    I also converted to a DSB and do not regret it for a day. All my water parameters improved. I can tell you what I dit on my 4 feet tank I'f build a hole new sump like it should be. I then put it up with my old sump and let them run for 6 to 8 weeks After that I started to take out the old sump but this I dit very slow also over a week or two.
    This is the new sump 1 chamber inled from tank(skimmer,uv and so) 2 one DSB and then 3 chamber were return pumps. Then on your DSB you can put your LR like reef maniac said with the egg-crate's. :thumbup:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. frankie fish

    frankie fish Thread Starter

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    AH,thank you,i will start 2morrow with the planning,coz i must do the conversion while the sump is in operation,meaning i will have to block the first "under" water movement,let it go over into the second compartment(remove the balls),remove the pane between the 2nd and the 3rd compartment,block the last pane to let the water go over into the compartment of the ceramics(or should i remove this as well?). Then i should add fine sand on the bottom,and let it mature
     
  13. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    And with a tank full of fish!

    that's why I suggested that you MOVE the bio balls to the other sump compartments - DO NOT remove then from the system until the first compartment of deep sand has matured, else you will lose filtration capacity, and quite likely have an ammonia or nitrite spike, which could harm your fish and inverts.

    No, not at this time. As stated in my previous post, "remove the remaining bio-balls or noodles" -in this case, the ceramic noodles, AFTER the first section of deep sand bed has matured for a few weeks (and that would be a few weeks AFTER you've removed all of the bio balls - and you should remove a small portion of bio-balls at a time, taking a few weeks to completely remove them from the system.)

    No, add the deep sand bed as soon as you have MOVED the bio-balls into the other sump compartments, and you have modified the "under" baffle so the water flows over it into the deep sand bed compartment.

    I hope this is more clear now :whistling:

    Hennie
     
  14. Falcon

    Falcon

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    HEY frankie welcome to masa!

    if you like i could come over on wednesday night and check out your system and give you a few pointers...its nice to meet new refers around our area.and besides i just done the same thing with my 4year old reef lately,removed all the bio balls and rings sponges now dsb in going in.

    pm me your phone number if you interested bro...

    ahmed.
     
  15. frankie fish

    frankie fish Thread Starter

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    Ok,take my nr,0827704924. just give me a call pls.
     
  16. Francois

    Francois

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    Welcome Frankie Fish

    Did the DSB convertions on my tank...and its working perfectly.Just shout if you want some caulerpa algea..

    Regards
    Francois
     
  17. Falcon

    Falcon

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    will give you a call tomorrow and confirm...
     
  18. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hey, I see there are quite a few "Vaal-driehoek" people on MASA

    There's Falcon, Raven, Frankie fish, Francois, Mel, Nadia, the owner of the pet shop in Three Rivers (I think he is a MASA member...) and one or two other "lurkers" as well (who did I forget :whistling:) Oh, and Adele and hubby are in Heidelberg, not too far away either...

    I'm still in Sasolburg for another 2-3 weeks before my project is complete (and I move back to Bloemfontein), why don't we organize a get together at someone's home one evening during the week and talk REEF. Let me know if anyone is interested, I'll bring the beer :biggrin: :biggrin: :1:

    Hennie
     
  19. Francois

    Francois

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    Hey Reef Maniac

    Your 'Project" that you are doing...is it in SASOL One? Cause I work there...

    Regards, Francois
     
  20. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    No, I'm the guy disrupting the traffic on the R59 :whistling:

    Hennie
     
  21. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Dude, just a friendly heads up.... there are all sorts of ppl who read these forms.... many viewing as guests and it is never advisable to give out ANY personal information on an open forum, rather send a PM or an e-mail to give phone numbers, addresses etc :thumbup:
     
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