GARF'S NEW INTERN - ARTICLE BY TREVER - BULLET PROOF REEFS

A good aquarium should be built from the bottom up and the Bulletproof Reef Tank is no exception;

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A plenum should be used to cover the bottom of the tank. A plenum can be made from egg crate (available at Home Depot and other hardware stores). Once the egg crate is cut to the size of the aquarium floor, put PVC pipes under the egg crate (attach them with nylon tie wraps) to allow for a space of water under the plenum. Nylon screening should be used to wrap the plenum; this will prevent the substrate from falling through.

The plenum helps rid the aquarium of animal waste products by allowing a dead water space in which denitrification may take place. A 1 inch hole should be made on one side of the plenum; a tube will be stuck through this into the water beneath the plenum. The top of the tube will have a powerhead water pump and will circulate water between the top of the tank and the bottom.

After several months this tube can be removed; because of biological processes which occur in the top layer of water (photosynthesis for example) the pH of the top layer and bottom layer will be different and the two layers will mix on their own through diffusion.

On top of the plenum place a three to four inch layer of aragonite gravel. The type of gravel used at GARF is Seafloor Special Grade from Carib Sea. Next, you’ll want to install the rock formations. There is no longer any need to take rocks from the wild; not only do rocks from the ocean often carry undesirable pests, like Aiptasia anemones and corallivorous starfish, taking rock from the ocean often destroys valuable habitat.

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