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  1. [M] [Q] Filtration & Berlin method
    by steve/rhythm.com (Steve Tyree) (Wed, 14 Jul 1993)
  2. Coral sand in reef tanks
    by tse/ra.nrl.navy.mil (Anthony Tse) (Wed, 29 Dec 1993)

[M] [Q] Filtration & Berlin method

by steve/rhythm.com (Steve Tyree)
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1993
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria

In article <21kqcp$f2f-at-hpchase.rose.hp.com> dbs-at-hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy) writes:
>: to keep your tank clean.
>
>As long as we're talking about Berlin systems it's important to note that
>the stereotypic Berlin system is not bare bottom.They incoroporate a substrate
>about 2" thick composed of a calcerous material. The material is an aggregrate
>whose particle sizes I would estimate to range from .5-5mm in diameter.

 Dave is absolutely right here. The PVC matrix is an experimental mechanism.
Having a substrate is considered normal europian berliner. This matrix was
designed to see if lowering particulate matter levels would lower nitrate
levels. They are below the bottom scale of the best kit hach has. Whether
this is due to the matrix or good quality live rock is unknown. I believe 
others have achieved these levels with a substrate.It looks like having high
order algae on your live rock is very important in achieving near natural
nitrate levels. (high order algae is coralline types, rhodophyta and other
macro algae). The slower growing ones which have some type of calcium
structure or form are more desirable due to possibly better stony coral
compatability. Berliner reefs have been known to run very exceptionally 
well even with some detectable nitrates. This could be due to a lowering of
dissolved organics due to the primary berliner filter (protein skimmer).
 The best unpredicted benifit of the matrix, occurs when an asexually pro-
pagated fragment or cutting gets knocked off its perch. It is very easy
to find because the matrix is elevated by 2 inches.

 Steve Tyree - Reef Breeder


Coral sand in reef tanks

by tse/ra.nrl.navy.mil (Anthony Tse)
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1993
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <2fsj9v$log-at-hpchase.rose.hp.com> dbs-at-hprnd.rose.hp.com (Dave Sheehy) writes:
>I haven't done it yet but I am planning to. I yanked my biomedia a couple of
>months ago and I want to monitor the reef for a few months to get a new
>baseline of the conditions. That way I can tell for sure if anything changes.
>BTW, my nitrate levels don't seem to have changed much since yanking the
>biomedia. They've always been and continue to be around 6-7 ppm total nitrate.
>But, I'm not using the most accurate test kit in the world either so I need
>to upgrade before I add substrate. Julian had the same experience. His tank
>with a bare bottom continually had low levels (~5 ppm NO3-) of nitrate until
>he added substrate. He didn't mention in his column that he started observing
>populations of zooplankton that he weren't there before. At MACNA V he 
>presented a slide of his reef showing a bunch of zooplankton on the glass that
>showed up after he added substrate. The substrate apparently really does 
>provide a refugia for various organisms inhabit and reproduce in. That's 
>another benefit of substrate that you should consider. Ohh, and with substrate
>there's no more siphoning detritus. If that's true, there's one maintenance
>chore I'm not going to miss.

    I was never a believer in siphoning detritus, becasue 1) my 75g
has a thin substrate, and 2) I am lazy.  I used to clean out the bottom
of my sump once every six months, not that I think it's needed, it's
because I felt guilty when everyone said I should.  I haven't done
that in over a year.  I can't now even if I want to, my sump is full of
live rocks.  The sumpless, substrateless 60g is full of detritus on the
bottom of the tank.  This is the tank where I may add a thick substrate
if I ever get around to it.  As to nitrate, it dropped off the bottom of
LaMotte scale as soon as I removed my media in the 75g.  Nitrate in
the 60g was always below LaMotte's scale after the cycle.  I did test
both tanks' water against freshly mixed Tropic Marin.  Even though they
are all below LaMott's scale, you can tell who has higher nitrate if
you compare the test samples side by side agaist a white piece of
paper.  Both tanks have lower nitrate then freshly mixed Tropic Marin
(w/ DI water), so when I do my weekly 10g change to both tanks, I am adding
nitrate to my tanks.  So, in my case, I don't think a substrate is going to
make any difference in term of nitrate.  (BTW, I feed everyday and I feed a
lot).  A population of zooplankton would be very interesting though.

-Anthony


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