Do I really need a DSB?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by CJT, 22 May 2011.

  1. CJT

    CJT

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    Please can some one help me.
    Do I really need a DSB?
    The guy I bought the tank from seemed to be running the tank fine without one he had no fishes die etc.
     
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  3. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    well it depends,

    some will argue that its a must, others like myself will say that its not a necessity..

    it really depends on what you want to achiever overall. and how diligent you are with assisting the system in nitrate removal.. waterchanges (with clean NSW) and regular maintenance are key factors to reducing nitrates and other chemistry related nasties.

    tell us more about your system and its intended inhabiitants and we can better assist, include pictures if you can..

    there are alot of alternitive nitrate removal filtration methods (NP pellets for example) but they require some outlay and an intricate understanding of how they work..
     
  4. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    The tank is 1.5 long by 450 wide and 600 high the sump is 600long by 320 wide so it is not big enough to run a DSB as the skimmer takes up too much place.
    I only got the tank on Wed so still busy sorting everythig out.
    I will post some pics
     
  5. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    Here is the Sump
     
  6. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    I am battling to upload the pics
     
  7. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]

    Sump
    Skimmer[​IMG]
     
  8. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    in all honestly i doubt aDSB in that size sump would perform much of a denitrification function, i would suggest looking at plumbing a remote DSB if you absolutley want one and try make it bigger to at least be able to service the tank capacity..

    what size is the tank?

    also you have a pretty good skimmer there (OCTX160?) they work fantastically.
     
  9. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    Thanks Leslie the skimmer came with the tank it was a real bargan.
    I do not know if I want a DSB if I really need one then ok but as you said the sump is way too small.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here are some pics of the tank and filters the previous guy used.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 22 May 2011
  10. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    How the previous set up was done is the water came out the tank into the cannister filter on the left then from there to the sump where it went into the skimmer from the skimmer to the return pump and then through the other cannister filter back into the tank so basically it was filtered twice if thats my correct understanding of how he done it.
     
  11. Tony

    Tony

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    I dont run a DSB in my current tank nor im previous tanks and my nitrates are zero and phosphates at 0.03, I dont run GFO and I dont have much live rock but I do dose with Prodibio once a week and vodka daily. I have since stopped the vodka and switched over to the bio pellets because of cyano but the proof is there.
     
  12. Christo

    Christo

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    Hi!

    Looks like the "worshond" is also interisted
    In keeping marine! LOL
     
  13. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    Ok Tony but I must say I have no idea what prbiotics are where do I get and how much does it cost?
    The cannister filters have small bio balls in how often must they be cleaned and how do I clean them, must i wash everything off and do they need to be replaced or just cleaned?
    Someone was telling me about the Vodka thing what exactly does that do?
     
  14. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    Christo he is very nosy that dog and you must see how he likes drinking the salt water.
     
  15. Tony

    Tony

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    Probiotics are bacteria that you add to your tank. Brands like Seachem Stability and Prodibio. The prices vary and are available from most pet shops. What this does is add many bacterial strains in the tank which help reduce nutrients. I'm not sure you need the canister filters for anything. There is no need to add bio balls as these just trap dirt and work well in a wet dry filter. Just check that those canister filters can handle salt water and the pump impellers wont rust as those are made for freshwater. Vodka is another aspect of probiotics as vodka, sugar or vinegar are all forms of carbon which is food for bacteria. This allows you to boost the bacteria population in your tank to further by giving them another source of food to further help reduce nutrients
     
  16. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    Tony if I do not have the cannister filters then I will have nothing filtering the water at all wont that be a problem?
     
  17. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    Another question I have is when can I add the fish as I got the tank with fish and live rock but obviously had to make up some new water for the tank so the fish is in a bucket with about 150l of water and the live rock i have made about 250l of new water which is in the tank and I put in the sand that came with the tank
     
  18. Orson

    Orson

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    Hi CJT.
    Heres my 5c worth.
    I’m not into the vodka stuff, heard about it but never investigated it. I prefer to drink it.

    In an aquarium fish and corals produce waste products. First come the nitrates (for simplicity think of it as fish wee), Nitrates lead to Nitrates, and Nitrates lead to Amonia.

    Here are the systems I know and how they deal with the above:
    • DSB. The DSB as you know is a thick layer of sand 10cm or more deep. First top 5 cm has aerobic bacteria (lots of oxygen around because of water flow just like with the bioballs). These bacteria break nitrates down into nitrate. This travels slowly down another 5 cm. Here live the anaerobic bacteria, they prefer much less oxygen. They break down the nitrates to harmless nitrogen which bubbles off and joins the rest of the nitrogen in the air (70% of the air is nitrogen).

    • Berlin system. A bare base and lots of porous live rock. Inside the pores a similar process occurs as the water travels deeper into the rock.

    • Algae Scrubber. Illuminate a sheet of plastic hanging like a curtain with water flowing down it. Look it up here on marineaquariumsa, there’s a very good article. The algae grows like mad under the continuous lighting and eats up all the nitrite, nitrate and phosphate in the aquarium water.

    • A combination of all the above.

    Bio balls, trickle filters all work with aerobic bacteria which means nitrite goes to nitrate (less harmful), which requires more frequent water changes to dilute as it builds up.

    In the UK magazine Practical Fish Keeping the first guys to use the Joubert system (as far as I can tell the for runner to the DSB) stopped with 10% water changes every month while using trickle filters and changed to 5% every 8 weeks. They added additives (strontium, calcium, magnesium,…)to their systems to keep every inside happy.

    DSBs can be built in the aquarium. Sacrificing 10 cm wont hurt. Look at building a supporting structure to raise your rock off the sand ever so slightly. Guys use blue pvc type piping with grey joints. Look around on this web site and/or google pictures of reef aquariums to see what I’m talking about.
    With a DSB, past 10 cm deep slowly add more sand slowly over weeks, it black spots develop deep in the sand stop. That’s as deep as you can go, the black spots are where sulphure dioxide is produced which in water forms sulphuric acid, which isn’t cool. The deeper you go the more filtration.
    I do think though that more frequent water changes are beneficial though, but for the trace elements in the salt mix though.
    I personaly prefer a course grain in the deeper 5cm and a fine grain on top for the top 5 cm. Its more stable (less likely to produce the sulphuric acid).
    The protein skimmer you have is decent, skimmers remove up to 90% of the toxin in the water. Its probably the best part of the system you have, that and frequent water changes. Canister filters are better in fresh water aquariums.

    A comprehensive book that isn’t too pricy and explains the basics of filtration and how to properly introduce new fish in an aquarium (very NB) is “The complete book of the Marine Aquarium” by Vincent B. Hargreaves. Look in exclusive books. Its a good start.

    Its up to you? Good luck
     
  19. CJT

    CJT Thread Starter

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    Orson the problem I have is that I do not have the space for a DSB if you look at the pic of my sump.
     
  20. Orson

    Orson

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    the best would be to find a temporary home for the fish or if you have to add him to the aquarium 24 hours after mixing the salt and do very frequent water changes over the next month at least - i'm guessing 1 every week, preferably several small changes several times a week. Add the rock and the fish together, it will act as a Berlin System and help while you get things sorted out.

    Important, change water between the bucket and the aquarium slowly over an hour or 2. I suspect the water in the bucket will have amonia, because of the limited filtration. Amonia changes to amonium when there isn't much aeration. Amonium is harmless, but with a sudden ph change which will occure with fresh sea water it quickly changes to amonia. Your fish will not eat, and with in a week be bent over and die. This is what often happens with fish in a bag from a pet shop if not introduced properly. No way around it but to slowly change the water, dilute the amonia in the water (and hence in the fish).
    This is not ideal but it is what I would try. No new fish for 3 months. Not negotiable.
    It your fish survives, it will be because of live rock, your skimmer and your small frequent water changes.
    Can you fix your skimmer up to your bucket. That could help. Its a decent skimmer and it will take alot of waste out of the water. Will help for the mean time.
    GOOD LUCK
     
  21. Orson

    Orson

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    like I said put a 10cm layer of sand in the aquarium not the sump. It doesn't have to be in the sump. Then you'll have a massive dsb.
     
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