Fish bowl Jaubert plenum 8.8g

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besskurz

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Hello y'all,

I started reefing 2 years ago. When I was still living in Brazil. At that time, I was learning a lot with youtube videos. Berlin method is widely promoted, so for a new guy, I thought this was the only way to reef. My first AIO lasted a bit more than a year until I had to move to the US.
So I decided to start over my journey in the hobby but with a couple restrictions. I live in an apartment, so tank cannot be very large.

I started to search ways to reef maybe with a canister - thing that I always taught to be wrong. Forgive my ignorance at that time. - and I found some videos about a guy called Jabuert. I become obsessed with this wierd method. I researched a lot and later I found his patent, a couple other videos, reef in jars, old fashion reefs from 70 and 80's.. a thread here on reef2reef of @Subsea and than I got confident enough to try something different.

My main goals were focused in ULM (ultra low maintenance):
No External filtration (sump, canister)
No ATO
No water changes (if possible)
No fish

I travel a lot and I don't want to dump work to my wife. Sometimes we both are not at home, recently we were for 1 entire month out of home.

Here is a list of equipments:

Tank / bowl - vbw1614 8.8 gal
Heater - hygger hg-802
Wavemaker - jebao mlw-5
Lighting- Reefbreeders reef nano led
Sand - carib sea coarse + fine sand
Rocks - around 7 lb
Midia - siporax
Stand - landen
Air stone and 10 bucks air pump.

Cycle started on May 27th 2022.

I'm going to post a couple pictures of the construction.

Screenshot_20220529-192827_YouTube.jpg

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Cycle was done with dr. Tim. Amnonia was never a problem.
Once I bought a couple frags I had an algae outbreak I was dosing reef AB. Maybe this was the reason.
Corals were too little to remove from the plugs and with plenty hair algae.
It was very rough, spread very fast. I tried to do 5 day blackout, couple water changes of 70% aprox 4gal.. but I finally solve with brightwell microbacter clean, i had to connect a canister fluval 107 with phosphate sponge and phosguard. My caulerpa died in the process, blastos... I don't even want to count.

I added two mollies temporarily to eat algae as well. I gave them back to lfs cuz I was going in a trip for 1 month.

During this time, I was watching the tank remotely and it really thrived. My wife told me I need to stay away from the tank longer. lol

Copepods population is very high. I dose everyday a bit of home growth phyto.

I recently added a few more macro algae from GCE. Thumbs up to Russ.

Had a few losses in the process, but now I believe the system is getting more and more stable.

Kh is 8.5, I don't test much as it's really simple to make a big WC - which deviates from original goal.
20221120_171500.jpg

Glass is not very clean, but i will get 1 or 2 more Astraea snail.

Livestock is today:
2x zoas
1x leather toadstool
3x rock flower anemone
1x gsp
1x Florida zoa
A lot of macros

Going forward I will test more water quality to ensure water changes are not needed. I'm gonna make a couple investiments in this black Friday

Suggestions, questions, advices are welcome!
 
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Subsea

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Interesting. Might I suggest you get a nice diver collected uncured live rock with interesting micro inverts and perhaps a decorative shrimp. Also, consider a low light red macro like Bortacladia.

PS: In the small confines of your bowl, I suggest you go with 2” fine sandbed that will accomplish denitrification. I am all about ultra low maintenance, however, I suggest you use micro inverts & algae to recycle nutrients. Also consider snails in your clean up crew. Jaubert Plenum uses bacteria in reducing oxygen environment to break apart & consume oxygen molecule in NO3 and to release free nitrogen gas into the water to be released to athmosphere. I suggest you leave that nitrate in your bowl to grow things. Like in most things, “It’s a Question of Balance”.

Incidently, I worked for a year in Brazil for Petrobras as a subsea engineer in deep water drilling.


 
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Interesting. Might I suggest you get a nice diver collected uncured live rock with interesting micro inverts and perhaps a decorative shrimp. Also, consider a low light red macro like Bortacladia.

PS: In the small confines of your bowl, I suggest you go with 2” fine sandbed that will accomplish denitrification. I am all about ultra low maintenance, however, I suggest you use micro inverts & algae to recycle nutrients. Also consider snails in your clean up crew. Jaubert Plenum uses bacteria in reducing oxygen environment to break apart & consume oxygen molecule in NO3 and to release free nitrogen gas into the water to be released to athmosphere. I suggest you leave that nitrate in your bowl to grow things. Like in most things, “It’s a Question of Balance”.

Incidently, I worked for a year in Brazil for Petrobras as a subsea engineer in deep water drilling.


Thanks for the advices @Subsea . Now your nickname makes a lot of sense

FIne sandbed layer was bigger, but as times goes by, it seems to decrease in size, maybe it's due to the normal accommodation of the grains. In a future bowl, I would add a layer of 3-4" already expecting this event.

I have 2x astreas, 2x Tongan nassarius, 2x red leg hermit ( I used to have like 10 assorted hermits, but these two killed all others) and 15-20x dwarf cerith.

I had 4x sexy shrimps but they vanished misteriously during the algae outbreak. Do you have any suggestion of shrimp?

Macros I have, 1x mermaid fan, 4x shaving brush, 2x halimeda, a handfull of Botryocladia (Red Grape), Red Gracilaria, Bryothamnion triquetrum, 1x gorgonian purple candelabra.

Most of them are in the back of the bowl.
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I would love to add an uncured live rock but I could not find in the beginning.
Maybe in the next reef or if I find a very small piece I could throw in the back.
 
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besskurz

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Couple new pictures.

Flavia was added today.

Stylophora added 2 weeks ago. Not sure if light will be enough.

Rock flowers decided to be friends.

Zoas started to spread to the rocks. They were temporarily closed in the pic.

After trimming shaving brush and adding favia, I did a 2-3 gal WC to remove a bit of the dirt.

Btw, I sold 1 shaving and a bit of gracilaria this week.

I tried to setup an arduino ph probe without success. Calibration was an issue.
I'm going to get an old fashion pen and start measuring Ph to raise a bit KH.


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besskurz

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After spending couple days in NYC, here are a couple pictures of the bowl:

20221231_123254.jpg

Air Bubbles are throwing a lot of organic mather to the lid. Similar to a skimmer. I have to make a good clean btw.

I believe I was overfeeding the two remaining hermit crabs. I was feeding pellets every other day. I'm a bit confuse because they were eating everything and all copepods where jumping over the pellets.

I will reduce phyto from eye ball measure, to 4-5ml day.

20221231_133729.jpg

Nitrates are a bit high...but zoas are growing like weed. I would say... it grows one / two new mouth/head every week.

When I left to travel nitrates were near 10. I thought.. it was suppose to decrease because of the anoxid filtration but it did exactly the opposite.

One hermit crab died... and copepods population decreased.
Maybe nitrates were the reason to their death, our Nitrates are high because of their death? Good question.

I'm going to buy probably a hanna checker cuz these colors are just bad.


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I traveled with 8.4 and after 6 days it's 7.9.
Kh drops slightly less than 0.1 day.
1ml of KH per day is enought to replace daily consumption.

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Zoas, toadstool and sps are doing fine.
Sps is btw not growing like crazy.

1672519648931837419915090010618.jpg

If you scroll up to Dec 4th pic, you can see the growth.

Bubble algae is appearing in couple spots.

Macros are doing fine too. With exception of the shaving brush which is kinda bending. But at same time seems that another one is growing from the same bed.

The other calcareous algae are not doing well
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My kalk is actually kalk+2. It should help with calcium, strontium and magnesium. Let's see how it goes in the next months.

16725197595387810076066320566734.jpg

Gsp growing well

16725197868012958625253652833975.jpg

Favia is already spreading


16725198183534732878016330920416.jpg

This anemone is with a funny shape. Dunno why.

That's all for 2022. I'm happy with the results so far.
 
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besskurz

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Hey @Subsea what do you think about this dark spot? It this something your was used to find in your sandbed?

I read that some dangerous gases might be trapped in the sand and this could lead to crash the tank.
Not sure how much of this is real or myth.

Eventually I could siphon out this portion of sand.

I'm a bit confuse as well with this red spot at the right side. Not sure if this would be cyano. I never had in the tank. As precaution I'm covering this area from direct sunlight.

20230115_163804.jpg
20230115_163901.jpg
 

Subsea

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The light purple looks like cynobacteria. Not sure what dark round image is just above cyno. Then the light brown is probably diatoms.

For 20 years, I operated Jaubert plenum with 6” DSB. I could see thru the glass a cross section of sand bed. A hydrogen sulfide line would migrate up and down showing the transition between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. In this zone, denitrification occurs. If I stirred it up, I sometimes smelled rotten egg, which is organic decomposition in the absence of oxygen. At less than 5ppm, hydrogen sulfide can be smelled by human nose. At 20ppm, olfactory syatem shuts down and in a few minutes you will die. I sometimes smell h2s in my well water.
 

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Let unpack some things:
1.
I already commented about hydrogen sulfide. A fear not likely to happen in highly circulated reef aquarium with robust gas exchange. I have been Reefing for 51 years and have never seen this happen And have only heard it by fear mongals on the internet.

2.
Nitrate at 10pm is not high. I consider that the lower limit for nitrate.

I don’t think high nitrate would kill hermit crabs. Yes, their decomposition would contribute to nitrate.

3.
For such a small aquarium, you have too many carnivore with shrimps and hermit crabs eating the same thing contributing detritus, which you have too few consumers of. I don’t like hermit crabs because they eat snails and take over the shell of what they just eat, including other hermit crabs. I suggest you get rid of your hermits and get a Coral Banded Shrimp, if you want a crowd pleaser.

4.
You have some very nice corals and your pictures are excellent. I will comment that including an SPS coral in with a high nutrient system with zero nutrient export may creat a higher maintenance demand on a low maintenance system, particularly if you leave for a month at a time



Hey @Subsea what do you think about this dark spot? It this something your was used to find in your sandbed?

I read that some dangerous gases might be trapped in the sand and this could lead to crash the tank.
Not sure how much of this is real or myth.

Eventually I could siphon out this portion of sand.

I'm a bit confuse as well with this red spot at the right side. Not sure if this would be cyano. I never had in the tank. As precaution I'm covering this area from direct sunlight.

20230115_163804.jpg
20230115_163901.jpg
 

Subsea

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1673887166317.jpeg
“Endothermic”. Why is endothermic emphasized?

For denitrification to occur requires bacteria in a low oxygen environment to break down the nitrate molecule to consume oxygen and free up N2 as a gas to be exported. Because of the energy required to break apart the oxygen bond, denitrification bacteria take 16 hours to double in population as opposed to 20 minutes, maybe because of this energy required, reduction chemistry generates heat.
 

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“When I left to travel nitrates were near 10. I thought.. it was suppose to decrease because of the anoxid filtration but it did exactly the opposite.”

Lets get specific with respect to nitrification and denitrification:

Nitrification breaks down ammonia to nitrite to nitrate using different bacteria thru oxidation chemistry.

Denitrification using reduction chemistry in low oxygen environment breaks apart nitrate to consume oxygen.

Considering that denitrification bacteria take 50 times as long as nitrification bacteria to multiply, I would expect increasing nitrate after a heavy feeding before you leave on trip.
 
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The light purple looks like cynobacteria. Not sure what dark round image is just above cyno. Then the light brown is probably diatoms.

For 20 years, I operated Jaubert plenum with 6” DSB. I could see thru the glass a cross section of sand bed. A hydrogen sulfide line would migrate up and down showing the transition between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. In this zone, denitrification occurs. If I stirred it up, I sometimes smelled rotten egg, which is organic decomposition in the absence of oxygen. At less than 5ppm, hydrogen sulfide can be smelled by human nose. At 20ppm, olfactory syatem shuts down and in a few minutes you will die. I sometimes smell h2s in my well water.
If you are talking about these guys I highlighted, they are dwarf ceriths.
Screenshot_20230116_125407_Gallery.jpg
 
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Light purple is lower right and dark circle is lower left of your circle. I think I would further investigate the dark circle to see how extensive it went further into sand bed. If covering glass removes black spot then it is most likely only where light transmission comes thru the glass onto the sandbed.
With the exception of the “black hole”, my sandbed on 25 year mature 75G display looks like your substrate cross section.
 

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The light purple looks like cynobacteria. Not sure what dark round image is just above cyno. Then the light brown is probably diatoms.

For 20 years, I operated Jaubert plenum with 6” DSB I could see thru the glass a cross section of sand bed. A hydrogen sulfide line would migrate up and down showing the transition between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. In this zone is where denitrification occurs. If I stirred it up, I sometimes smelled rotten egg which is organic decomposition in the absence of oxygen:
 
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The light purple looks like cynobacteria. Not sure what dark round image is just above cyno. Then the light brown is probably diatoms.

For 20 years, I operated Jaubert plenum with 6” DSB I could see thru the glass a cross section of sand bed. A hydrogen sulfide line would migrate up and down showing the transition between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. In this zone is where denitrification occurs. If I stirred it up, I sometimes smelled rotten egg which is organic decomposition in the absence of oxygen:
I let it cover for the last couple days and it seems to reduce the diatoms and cyano.
The Black hole looks to remain the same.

I remember of seeing the anemone attached to the glass several months ago somewhere near the same spot. I will try to find a picture and post tomorrow the reduction of diato/cyano.

I'm always extra careful to do not disturb the sandbed. Not sure if its right or wrong... but I see that you even stirred it up. Lol
 
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Let unpack some things:
1.
I already commented about hydrogen sulfide. A fear not likely to happen in highly circulated reef aquarium with robust gas exchange. I have been Reefing for 51 years and have never seen this happen And have only heard it by fear mongals on the internet.

2.
Nitrate at 10pm is not high. I consider that the lower limit for nitrate.

I don’t think high nitrate would kill hermit crabs. Yes, their decomposition would contribute to nitrate.

3.
For such a small aquarium, you have too many carnivore with shrimps and hermit crabs eating the same thing contributing detritus, which you have too few consumers of. I don’t like hermit crabs because they eat snails and take over the shell of what they just eat, including other hermit crabs. I suggest you get rid of your hermits and get a Coral Banded Shrimp, if you want a crowd pleaser.

4.
You have some very nice corals and your pictures are excellent. I will comment that including an SPS coral in with a high nutrient system with zero nutrient export may creat a higher maintenance demand on a low maintenance system, particularly if you leave for a month at a time
1- perfect
2- noted. I was always with a mindset of zero nutrients everywhere... but if there are no nitrates... macros would die... you are absolutely right.
3- actually In not sure if I mentioned. I lost all shrimps long ago... they started to dissapear one by one. I bet the hermits killed them all. Now I have only one hermit crab, he is a big boy - maybe the psychopath who killed all others. I started to have some bubble algae and that's why 2 weeks ago I bought a emerald crab. But for my surprise in the first days he started to eat several other macros lol not sure if he was only making a tasting session. I'm feeding him and the psyco crab with some pellets. They seem to respect each other.
4- "may create a higher maintenance demand on a low maintenance system" - do you meant the SPS would require more often wc's, phosphate management..dosing and so forth?
 
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1673887166317.jpeg
“Endothermic”. Why is endothermic emphasized?

For denitrification to occur requires bacteria in a low oxygen environment to break down the nitrate molecule to consume oxygen and free up N2 as a gas to be exported. Because of the energy required to break apart the oxygen bond, denitrification bacteria take 16 hours to double in population as opposed to 20 minutes, maybe because of this energy required, reduction chemistry generates heat.
“Endothermic”. Why is endothermic emphasized?

I could not find exactly the reason.
This was a screenshot of this video:
 
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“When I left to travel nitrates were near 10. I thought.. it was suppose to decrease because of the anoxid filtration but it did exactly the opposite.”

Lets get specific with respect to nitrification and denitrification:

Nitrification breaks down ammonia to nitrite to nitrate using different bacteria thru oxidation chemistry.

Denitrification using reduction chemistry in low oxygen environment breaks apart nitrate to consume oxygen.

Considering that denitrification bacteria take 50 times as long as nitrification bacteria to multiply, I would expect increasing nitrate after a heavy feeding before you leave on trip.
Well before leaving I feed with reef roids and a phytoplankton.. and I would say... 10 pellets maximum, cuz there was only 2 hermits.
But as I said... I noticed a big drop in the copepods population. I guess, this might be a potential reason.
 
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“4- "may create a higher maintenance demand on a low maintenance system" - do you meant the SPS would require more often wc's, phosphate management..dosing and so forth?”

Yes to all of the above. The most important, you did not mention; high alkalinity demanding. With dsb and also with Jaubert Plenum, both pH and oxygen decrease with depth. At a pH of 7.7, depending on temperature, aroggonite begins to dissolve, this buffers the water with alkalinity and minerals required for growth.
 
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Now I feel that I'm deviating a little from the original concept.. i think i mentioned before that im dosing kalk daily. When I'm out, I simply don't dose.

5ml day is actually helping to slowly increase levels. My original plan is to reach 10 kh.
I know that traveling frequently may be against stability in this parameter, but it would take several weeks to drop below 7.

20230118_122254.jpg


And I still have to make a picture of the black hole! This week is been very busy. Everytime I'm hole is dark and all lights are shut.

I was reading in the weekend a thread here at R2R about a folk who lives in the Florida keys... and spend his time collecting critters and corals. He is retired...that's a big difference... but I would love to make a switch in career and start making my money out of the hobby.
@Subsea I saw you got a couple tanks outdoor. Do you farm any corals there?
 
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