Aquarium Plenum - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Aquarium Plenum

I was watching some of Dr. Kevin Novak's YouTubes about "plenums" in the aquarium. It uses an under gravel filter between the substrate and the bottom glass. Now the UGF does't run like normal, or if it is, it only moves a couple of gallons a day. The idea is to 'maybe' allow anoxic regions, but not anaerobic regions. (Even using landscape fabric on top of the UGF for sand).
The idea is to better imitate a more natural substrate as natural substrates are not sealed after a few inches like an aquarium is.
Anybody tried it?
Any thoughts?

Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 06:54 PM
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Plenums have been around for at least 20 years that I can remember, most notably in saltwater tanks in the early 2000s. Of course I tried it then and found as others did that they do work in certain saltwater applications, but tended to fail after a few years. When a plenum system goes wrong it can become a nitrate factory or worse belch out toxic sulfuric gas. My only success with one was using it on a bare bottom marine tank by making one in a partitioned sump followed by an extremely aggressive protein skimmer.

So I moved on to different and more stable systems. Google the subject, there is plenty of hobbyist experiences out there to read. I've not tried it in a freshwater tank so I've no insight there. But I would think a planted tank might be problematic if you were to move things around during planting.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-17-2019, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I reading that the plenum in SW was intended to create an anaerobic region under the plate for denitrification. But I would think that the UGF plate allows a modest flow through that if anything may allow anoxic, but discourage anaerobic. I just might give it a go on a 10g test tank...but I'll use landscape fabric between the UGF and pool filter sand and setup a very modest air lift to move just a couple of gallons a day....and see what happens (I expect not much).
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Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


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