Up The Eco-Sand Plenum System
Live sand systems are a
completely different type of filtration because there is little real filtration. These systems depend on living
organisms, rather than filtration systems, to maintain water quality
Bacteria, copepods, and other organisms have adapted to remove wastes
better than conventional filtration. The only other type of equipment
needed is a protein skimmer which helps to remove organics from the main
body of water and in gas exchange.
- Place the Eco-Sand Plenum on
the bottom of the aquarium with nothing between the filter and the
aquarium. Placing the uplift tube at the front of the tank makes it
easier to remove once the reef has been built and the tank cycled.
The uplift tube is provided for the initial cycling of the aquarium.
The powerhead mounted thereon will bring oxygen into the sand and
encourage the growth of bacteria in the sand bed. Many types of
bacteria switch from nitrifying to denitrifying bacteria in the
absence of oxygen, but it is important to get the colony started by
using the ammonia and nitrite produced by the fresh live rock.
- Place washed CaribSea reef
aragonite sand on top of the Eco-Sand Plenum, approximately
20 lbs. per square foot is required. Aragonite will stabilize the
calcium carbonate and pH chemistry in line with natural parameters.
- Place live rock on top of the CaribSea
substrate, being careful not to lay large pieces of flat-shaped rock
flat on the substrate surface. Dr. Jaubert recommends leaving 75% of
the substrate surface unencumbered, allowing for maintenance and
chemical interfacing with aquarium water. The live rock should be
positioned so that plateaus or shelves are available at different
heights, allowing the corals to be positioned where they are
provided with the proper illumination. (Note: if live sand is used
in conjunction with live rock, it must be very coarse or it will
block the diffusion of water and chemicals through the substrate.)
- Start the protein skimmer and
lighting system once the live rock is in place. Use the Eco-Sand
Plenum as an undergravel filter until there is no more
detectable ammonia or nitrite. At this time, remove the powerhead
and the uplift tube capping it off.