My question thread...

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I've been reading around this forum the past week and have got answers to lots of questions but i got, sort of, very confused too...:( Some of these q's are going to sound stupid but umm.. researching is all very well but i havta ask too!

Just now i was reading the 'DSB setup for beginners' and 'BB or sand bed' threads and there are a few things i'd like to confirm and ask.

It was not my intention to get a dsb, but was reading about it and it sounded good. But as far as i can make out it needs a sump. Reading other threads, "sump needed" also came up a couple of times. Is a sump really needed even though i'm not going for dsb? - at the moment, maybe later on. That too the tank being a nano (113L) with a FOWLER setup. That being as i read that LR is needed to help with filteration.

Is DSB in-tank, a dsb in the tank? As far as i made out it wasn't possible to even put fish in as they will eat the critters?

What type of substrate will be the best for a fish only nano? (possibly 113L), i'm not keen on BB and was given crushed coral as an option by one lfs. Its a ph buffer, i know,are there other benefits though?
I read that live sand is an option as well. What exactly is live sand and would that be layd out like any regular substrate? Waht are it benefits?

What test kits would i need to start with? I have nitrate, nitrite, ammonia,(SW+FW) and will the normal ph test kIt that is used for FW aquariums work with SW?

Tnx for the info.
 

Kanga

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It was not my intention to get a dsb, but was reading about it and it sounded good. But as far as i can make out it needs a sump. Reading other threads, "sump needed" also came up a couple of times. Is a sump really needed even though i'm not going for dsb? - at the moment, maybe later on. That too the tank being a nano (113L) with a FOWLER setup. That being as i read that LR is needed to help with filteration.
You dont "have" to have a sump but it is much better IMO.

Any reason why you would prefer not to have a sump? Pretty simple to hook up.

Yes Live Rock will certainly aid filtration'
Is DSB in-tank, a dsb in the tank? As far as i made out it wasn't possible to even put fish in as they will eat the critters?
IT is possible, but IMO not the best way of doing.

The type of fish will determine whether they will eat pods etc.

What type of substrate will be the best for a fish only nano? (possibly 113L), i'm not keen on BB and was given crushed coral as an option by one lfs. Its a ph buffer, i know,are there other benefits though?
I read that live sand is an option as well. What exactly is live sand and would that be layd out like any regular substrate? Waht are it benefits?
Sea sand from flat rocks is what I have in my tank and 1/2 my DSB, works a charm and looks great. Make sure you collect from below the low water mark

How fine is the crushed coral you were offered, it needs to be sugar grain size.



What test kits would i need to start with? I have nitrate, nitrite, ammonia,(SW+FW) and will the normal ph test kIt that is used for FW aquariums work with SW?
Should be fine for Fish Only


Remember you would be best off topping up with R/O water
 

Mike

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Qurstions are good, research will only take you so far, ok here is my take on it.


DSB's will, if correctly set up export loads of baddies from the water, but they are not a must have item.

for your nano, i would advise the liverock placed in the tank, then the thinnest scattering of very fine sand on the base, around the rock work.
I use live sand, it is sand taken from the sea bed, it contains bacteria and even critters that are beneficial to the removal of detritus. The reason i would go for the thinnest layer, is that the deeper you lay the sand, the more crap can gather in it, which in your nano could cause rather dangerously high nitrates.
Crushed coral can leave quite large particles, which in turn can catch detritus and then you are back to your nitrate trap.

Test kits, only use those designed specifically for Marine, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and ph will do to start with, also a refractometer for salinity (S.G)
 

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Hi Sabi - I am now going to prove the "many ways to skin a cat" theory nicely, for you ;-)

I know - the debate is as old as time itself - whether to go Bare Bottom (BB) or DSB in your tank... Now - seeing that you have a Nano tank - puts this whole issue in a different perspective.

Have a look at Alfie & Tristan's Nano thread ([NCE] Alfie and Tristan's Nano - Marine Aquariums of South Africa). Alfie has used a "semi-DSB" (nearly a DSB, BUT not yet there). This will work for you as well - if you would prefer to go this way.

My personal opinion about DSB's:
(taking into account that this would be for bigger tanks than a nano)...
A DSB is a brilliant filtering method - there are quite a few european reefers and american reefers who not believe in using skimmers - if they have skimmers, it is just "for in case"... They rely purely on their DSB's for filtering. DSB's are slow to really get started (this means that the amount of bacteria must grow in the substrate, the micro critters must propagate enough, etc), BUT once it's started, it works absolutely wonderfully!
I would say that one should have a DSB in that tank, in the following circumstances:
- you don't have too much SPS corals requiring very high water flow
- you keep fish/critters that prefer to have a sandy bottom
- you have hermit crabs (not too nice for them to try and "skate around" on glass only :)
- you have a VERY decent skimmer that can take more "muck" out of the water than what ends up on top of the DSB (not enough food for the critters that lives IN the sand, to live on - so they will die)
- personal preferance on the looks

A DSB can be kept remotely, IF you have a big enough sump (a DSB is only worh having if the surface area is maximal - meaning HUGE).... otherwise it is not really worth having a DSB - because the DSB cannot work optimally if it is too small.....
Having your DSB remotely, means you can have it in a sump, or even in a completely seperate tank purely for the DSB, or even in a bucket.... where you have your DSB is not so important, as long as it is AFTER you skimmer, and in-line with your water-flow...

Hope I have not bored you or gave you TOO much redundant information ;-)

Hope you learnt some more....
 
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An in-tank DSB for a nano is not really nice. Space is limited alreayd, don't make it worse

Nitrates in a nano are easily controlled by regular water changes
 
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Sabi, try to get good quality LR for any setup. For a nano you can do a lot with the space to make it look good if you use smaller pieces of LR. Your caves etc. are just smaller but can give the same appearance as a bigger tank. The DSB (Semi) works well for me so far, I don't have any problems with nitrates or phosphates in my nano.

As far as water changes are concerned I am only doing every second week, just got to top up the water on a daily basis.

I also run a Boyu wavemaker for about 10 minutes twice a day to stir up any detritus for the skimmer to export.
 
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A DSB is a brilliant filtering method - there are quite a few european reefers and american reefers who not believe in using skimmers - if they have skimmers, it is just "for in case"... They rely purely on their DSB's for filtering.
Anyone on the forum run a system without Skimmer, using only DSB for filtration ?
 
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for your nano, i would advise the liverock placed in the tank, then the thinnest scattering of very fine sand on the base, around the rock work.
I use live sand, it is sand taken from the sea bed, it contains bacteria and even critters that are beneficial to the removal of detritus. The reason i would go for the thinnest layer, is that the deeper you lay the sand, the more crap can gather in it, which in your nano could cause rather dangerously high nitrates.
Crushed coral can leave quite large particles, which in turn can catch detritus and then you are back to your nitrate trap.

Test kits, only use those designed specifically for Marine, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and ph will do to start with, also a refractometer for salinity (S.G)
Will a hydrometer not work for the salinity?
Sea sand from flat rocks is what I have in my tank and 1/2 my DSB, works a charm and looks great. Make sure you collect from below the low water mark
Ok. i think i'll be better off with the sand.
Thanks Kanga and W-Man, this made me understand better.

Hi Sabi - I am now going to prove the "many ways to skin a cat" theory nicely, for you ;-)

I know - the debate is as old as time itself - whether to go Bare Bottom (BB) or DSB in your tank... Now - seeing that you have a Nano tank - puts this whole issue in a different perspective.

Have a look at Alfie & Tristan's Nano thread ([NCE] Alfie and Tristan's Nano - Marine Aquariums of South Africa). Alfie has used a "semi-DSB" (nearly a DSB, BUT not yet there). This will work for you as well - if you would prefer to go this way.

My personal opinion about DSB's:
(taking into account that this would be for bigger tanks than a nano)...
A DSB is a brilliant filtering method - there are quite a few european reefers and american reefers who not believe in using skimmers - if they have skimmers, it is just "for in case"... They rely purely on their DSB's for filtering. DSB's are slow to really get started (this means that the amount of bacteria must grow in the substrate, the micro critters must propagate enough, etc), BUT once it's started, it works absolutely wonderfully!
I would say that one should have a DSB in that tank, in the following circumstances:
- you don't have too much SPS corals requiring very high water flow
- you keep fish/critters that prefer to have a sandy bottom
- you have hermit crabs (not too nice for them to try and "skate around" on glass only :)
- you have a VERY decent skimmer that can take more "muck" out of the water than what ends up on top of the DSB (not enough food for the critters that lives IN the sand, to live on - so they will die)
- personal preferance on the looks

A DSB can be kept remotely, IF you have a big enough sump (a DSB is only worh having if the surface area is maximal - meaning HUGE).... otherwise it is not really worth having a DSB - because the DSB cannot work optimally if it is too small.....
Having your DSB remotely, means you can have it in a sump, or even in a completely seperate tank purely for the DSB, or even in a bucket.... where you have your DSB is not so important, as long as it is AFTER you skimmer, and in-line with your water-flow...

Hope I have not bored you or gave you TOO much redundant information ;-)

Hope you learnt some more....
I did, and you did not, thanks a lot.

If i do this...
A thin layer of sand for substrate, LR, a skimmer, an aquaclear or resun power filter for filtration and powerheads, would that work for now? While I'd like to start on the small side and as cheaply as possible, then as i get experience maybe go higher, i want to do it properly. The last thing i need is for me to get fish etc. and have them die!
Is a sump only for DSB's or are there other ways of using it?
 

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Will a hydrometer not work for the salinity?
For now, it will, you can also borrow a refractometer from another reefkeeper every so often to compare to your Hydrometer.

Ok. i think i'll be better off with the sand.
Thanks Kanga and W-Man, this made me understand better.
Our pleasure it why we here:thumbup:
I trust you know where Flat Rocks? If not PM I will explain.


If i do this...
A thin layer of sand for substrate, LR, a skimmer, an aquaclear or resun power filter for filtration and powerheads, would that work for now? While I'd like to start on the small side and as cheaply as possible, then as i get experience maybe go higher, i want to do it properly. The last thing i need is for me to get fish etc. and have them die!
The Aquaclear could work as a Phosphate Media and Carbon reactor

Good thinking
Is a sump only for DSB's or are there other ways of using it?
I Sump is not an absolute must but it does make it easier.
However a DSB can take many forms, a Plastic storage container even a 25L drum, Let me find a Pic
 

Kanga

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Here we go this is how simple and cheap it could be

6547a47fb3203e6.jpg
 
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Sabi, try to get good quality LR for any setup. For a nano you can do a lot with the space to make it look good if you use smaller pieces of LR. Your caves etc. are just smaller but can give the same appearance as a bigger tank. The DSB (Semi) works well for me so far, I don't have any problems with nitrates or phosphates in my nano.

As far as water changes are concerned I am only doing every second week, just got to top up the water on a daily basis.

I also run a Boyu wavemaker for about 10 minutes twice a day to stir up any detritus for the skimmer to export.
Thanks for letting me know.
Does R/O water have to be used? For water change and top up?

Kanga:
How fine is the crushed coral you were offered, it needs to be sugar grain size.
Chap at U-A didnt show me, i asked for a quote on substrate and he quoted crushed coral.

You dont "have" to have a sump but it is much better IMO.

Any reason why you would prefer not to have a sump? Pretty simple to hook up.
Its not that i dont want to have one, it's because before i found marineaqua..sa i was following this guide and kinda got confused. If it will be for the better i dont mind getting one. After i get to know if/what the other ways of using a sump are, i do have a spare 30l tank...
 

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Does R/O water have to be used? For water change and top up?
Only for top up, to replace water that evaporates, sea water for water changes
Chap at U-A didnt show me, i asked for a quote on substrate and he quoted crushed coral.
OK thats might be a big to use only, I mixed Sand from flat rocks and the Crushed coral, however next time just sand for me.

Its not that i dont want to have one, it's because before i found marineaqua..sa i was following this guide and kinda got confused. If it will be for the better i dont mind getting one. After i get to know if/what the other ways of using a sump are, i do have a spare 30l tank...
OK, like I said not a dead essential to have a DSB but I would.
 
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Here we go this is how simple and cheap it could be

6547a47fb3203e6.jpg
lol, thats nice to see, thanks again! Going to read the dsb thread again to night and will be back with more q's...
 
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Only for top up, to replace water that evaporates, sea water for water changes
Sea water can be used? Thats good! So salt must be added into the r/o water only? Where will i get r/o water?
 

Kanga

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Sea water can be used? Thats good! So salt must be added into the r/o water only? Where will i get r/o water?
Ok Hang on

You will have evaporation in your tank same as with FW, as your water level drops the SG increases, we then add R/O to bring the SG back to normal.
You do this with pure R/O

To do water changes you have 2 options

Using Saltwater made with R/O and Salt Mix
Using Saltwater Collected from the Sea
 
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Ok Hang on

You will have evaporation in your tank same as with FW, as your water level drops the SG increases, we then add R/O to bring the SG back to normal.
You do this with pure R/O

To do water changes you have 2 options

Using Saltwater made with R/O and Salt Mix
Using Saltwater Collected from the Sea
Hehe, rushed up there,eh. Thanks for all the info, kanga.
What happens if normal tap (dechlorinated) water is used? Just curious...
 

Kanga

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Hehe, rushed up there,eh. Thanks for all the info, kanga.
What happens if normal tap (dechlorinated) water is used? Just curious...
OK in non technical terms, you end up with an Algae farm like Viper:whistling:

With R/O you remove all impurities from the water. These impurities fuel algae growth and messes with the water parameters in your system.

3 option
1) Buy R/O unit (R1500 +/-)
2) Buy R/O from an LFS (R20 a drum I think, but then the TDS could be anything)
3) Get 2 or 3 25 liter drums which will last you a while with a 100L tank, and Kanga will fill them for you FOC.
 
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Alrighty, i'm going to make a sump.
Here we go this is how simple and cheap it could be

6547a47fb3203e6.jpg
from this i am of the opinion the outlet is lower than the inlet, right?
edit: forgot to ask, does the color of the material that is used for the sump need to be clear?
 

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