DSB maintenance

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by gavster, 7 Oct 2011.

  1. gavster

    gavster

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    I was completely sold on a DSB over reactors and now I'm not sure anymore. I've just been told that if you have a DSB it needs to be pulled out and redone every so often or it can turn against itself and cause problem later on. I want my new system to be simple and maintenance friendly so this would be a huge inconvenience. Is this true? Secondly would it not be simpler and easier to maintain with reactors? I already have a Phosphate and Nitrate reactor which only needed cleaning and re-packing every 6 months or so?
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    if you want to remove it, then you will need a biological media source, bio-balls, ceramic rings, zeo-stones etc
    but the change must be done slowly
     
  4. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    I have no idea why you need to: "I've just been told that if you have a DSB it needs to be pulled out and redone every so often or it can turn against itself"

    That can cause even more issues! a DSB is a very important part of the entire system!
     
  5. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    only if you use them :) i dont

    you are supposed to change some of the sand every 12 months, not all of it but some else you get old tank syndrome or a build up of nasty sulphurs, irons etc
     
  6. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Agree, but then you use some other form like rings :)

    That is why I vacuum my sump during water changes.
    Does the "remove some of the sand" rule then still applies?
     
  7. gavster

    gavster Thread Starter

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    Sorry, just to clarify. Its not set up yet. Its a brand new tank I've had built for a DSB but want to know if I should continue with this route. I know DSB's are great. I don't want to start a DSB over non DSB war like the tiresome BB over Apple debate. I simply want to know which will be the best LONG TERM maintenance friendly version. Changing reactor media in my opinion just seems a far safer and easier option than having a DSB blow up in my face (figuratively) or having the schlep of pulling the whoke thing out every x years.
     
  8. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Okay, i have had mine running for 8yrs now and maintenance to date is 0. Maybe because it is large, my tank is 8ft and the DSB is 6ft. Never had a nitrate issue, on the other hand i dont run or need a Ultra Low Nutrient system, so nitrates around the 5 mark i consider fine.
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    its the deep parts that store the sulphur and iron deposits, the black stuff u see on the glass at the bottom, sometimes the anoxic gases can bubble up

    both routes work well, its now a matter of preference and budget
     
  10. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i know most will disagree with my next statement, but i find my corals are healthiest at 5ppm of nitrates, even SPS, yes they not as colourful as zeovit, but damn close
     
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  11. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    I wouldn't disagree with that statement, running ULNS is risky business.
     
  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i mean i have a clam now almost 25cm, its grown 5cm in 2months
     
  13. blackghostknife

    blackghostknife

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    RiaanP will give you all the info you need on DSB and more, I'm sure he will comment on this shortly!;)
     
  14. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    A dsb which has been set up correctly, should require very little in the form of maintenance. There are some reported concerns with regards to it becoming a nutrient sink, which with significant disturbance could have severely negative effects, but don't think thats your question at the moment. Should this be a concenr, I would recommend a remote dsb, very simple to plumb and toss out, clean, etc every few years. You mentioned you want to keep it simple, then dsb is the way to go, BUT its gotta be set up correctly, which in itself is an increadibly easy thing to do.

    You say you already have a phosphate reactor? I asume something like rowaphos, or similar iron oxide media? 6 mothns would only be practical on very low stocked systems, unless you are using large volumes, which I would also not recommend, rather use less more often.

    Nitrate reactor? Sulphur? YOU said you want to keep it simple........ Don't get me wrong, they do work, but have the potential to wipe out an entire system if not maintained properly.


    I would highlyrecommend siphoning off the dsb whenever you do water changes, which IMHO is not more work than normal maintenance.

    There is literally tonnes of info avail on the net re DSB, study it objectively, then decide for yourself.
     
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  15. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Only read that now. No doubt dsb.
     
  16. gavster

    gavster Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys. Irie Ivan I've bought all the stuff. Yet to use it. Now this is getting more complicated... You say the nitrate reactor could mean more problems.... This is getting ridiculous. The other important fact I forgot to mention is that I'm concerned they've built the DSB too small. Only 600 x 450 for a 5 foot tank hence me complaining and then having them tell me that I shouldn't go the DSB route anyway and should go with the reactors for the DSB maintenance reason I mentioned...
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2011
  17. gavster

    gavster Thread Starter

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    PS. I just spoke to my contact at the LFS and he's says its a bio pellet reactor and not a sulphur reactor, if that helps.
     
  18. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    Hi dallas you are quite right! Even sps needs some nutrients in the water to grow. More nutrients more zoolanthe which will assist in growth. If you want colour you want to reduce nutrients thus less zoolanthe and brilliant colourz!!!
     
  19. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i am personally not a DSB user never have been and probably never will, i have seen alot of people run them.. most with sucess and few without in the short term (3-4 years or so).. but that being said i do believe the LR within the display to be of utmost importance for the colonisation of bacteria.. and i like large frequent waterchanges to rejuvenate the system and keep nitrates and phos at lowist levels...

    NP pellets are the flavour of the month.. still alot of testing needs to be done to obtain long term results (i mean 3-5 years worth of data) before they can be proclaimed as the be all and end all.. they have filled the DSB's slot as the next best thing and for lazy people like me it seems to be a solution..

    a bio pellet reactor equipped with the right number of pellets in relation to water volume needed to be serviced and a battery back up system of some sort to keep it viable during a power outage is probably the easiest.. i think its performance can also more effectivley be measured aswell..
     
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  20. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    I am not too familiar on the bio pellets, but I would assume something in the line of a media which facilitates bacterial growth with possibly a carbon source incorporated to feed the bacteria, whose growth is often limited by carbon availability. Could be relatively maintenance free...,
    As you already have the equipment for both, I suggest you incorporate both to make up for the inefficiencies in one another.
    Even though the size you mentioned is a bit small for your system, I would still advise adding the dsb, as other than
    denitrification, it offers other benefits: think detrivores, planktonic food, buffering capabilities, etc.
     
  21. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    @irie ivan so good to have you back man.. i hope this will be a regular occurence :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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