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View Full Version : Jaubert/Monaco System - Share your experience


kowen
01/16/2017, 03:47 PM
The owner of my LFS swears by the Jaubert system. He says all of the tanks in the store are set up that way, and the majority of his clients' tanks are set up that way (the exception being the clients who insist on a refugium).

I'm really interested in learning more about them, but information is a lot harder to find on these than on other systems like refugiums and ATS, even on this site. I looked, but couldn't find any threads dedicated to discussing this system, so here one goes.

If you would, please share your experience with the Jaubert system and any details about it, like plenum depth, gravel bed depth, gravel size, total system size, if the plenum was in the DT, sump, or both, and anything else you care to share.

iced98lx
01/16/2017, 04:51 PM
I hadn't heard of it, but quickly realized why after digging around. Here are a few links I found:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/9/aafeature

(the 2002 date should clue you in to why you don't see much discussion of it here - practices tend to evolve/move quickly)

Advanced did take another look in 2013:
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blog/revisitng-jaubert-method-reefkeeping

Appears it relies on a plenum filter and some DSB type areas?

kowen
01/16/2017, 04:58 PM
I found those links, too. The first one has the most information I've found anywhere.

This LFS owner has been into reefing for something like 25-30 years. He mentioned that he's seen methods come and go and come back again over the years (including refugiums and ATS), and that he's found the most success with Jaubert.

kowen
01/16/2017, 08:56 PM
I need to correct myself. I went back to the LFS and talked to the owner some more; in the previous conversation, he mentioned the Jaubert system, but it's actually the Berlin system he uses. Either way, I'd still like to hear about everyone's experience with it.

Twinfallz
01/16/2017, 11:46 PM
Hi Kowen; go to this sits
https://www.burgerszoo.com/about-burgers-zoo/coralhusbandryorg/

go to Section 1. Animal Husbandry and system management

click on Chapter 12. Scientific considerations on a technique of ecological purification that made possible the cultivation of reef-building corals in Monaco Jean Jaubert

Twinfallz
01/16/2017, 11:52 PM
also
http://www.saltcorner.com/Articles/Showarticle.php?articleID=117
The Plenum Method
Authored by: Bob Goemans

http://www.saltcorner.com/Articles/Showarticle.php?articleID=22
Sandbeds - Part I
Authored by: Bob Goemans and Sam Gamble

http://www.saltcorner.com/Articles/Showarticle.php?articleID=23
Sandbeds - Part II
Authored by: Bob Goemans and Sam Gamble

http://www.saltcorner.com/LMAM/TOC.php
Saltcorner
By Bob Goemans

Timfish
01/17/2017, 12:04 PM
I've messed with them a little. Delbeck and Sprung discus Jaubert's and Lee Chin Eng's skimmerless and pumpless approachs in both Vol 1 & 3 of thier "Reef Aquarium" series. I personally think either are very viable appraochws to reef keeping and what seems to be ignored by the vast majority of "gurus" is they both were growing corals decades ago, long before it was decided a lot of technology is needed.

What I do differently is use small powerheads instead of air bubbles and sumps to increase surface area. I use live rock like they do to fet the sponges that are so critical for a successful reef.

kalare
01/17/2017, 01:17 PM
Most systems nowadays have far less live rock and sand than either Berlin or Jaubert (plenum). I've run the gambit of "systems" and they all work more or less. I've had UG filters, reverse UG, Berlin, Plenum, skimmerless, DSB (deep sand bed), remote DSB, bare bottom, and now shallow sand bed (my favorite). I'm actually now starting to play with ATS...

Each has their own maintenance requirements. I have cleaned under my plenum when dismantling the tank and all I can say is "GROSS". I'll never have empty space under sand ever again...

You can accomplish zero nitrates easily with LR in the display tank and a nice large skimmer.

Twinfallz
01/17/2017, 01:42 PM
You can accomplish zero nitrates easily with LR in the display tank and a nice large skimmer.

Far from it in my experience. 60 + ppm & 3ppm PO4 using that method.

I started using an algae scrubber & threw away my skimmer & now NO3 & PO4 don't register on test kits.

I like the DSB as it provides an enormous surface area for bacteria to colonise, & bacteria are vital in an aquarium.

I did start a remote plenum DSB, in my sump, below the ATS, mainly to provide somewhere for the zooplankton created by the ATS to colonise along with bacteria. I ended up removing it though, for the reasons you mentioned. I was worried about a build up of detritus in the plenum. It would probably been low in nutrients, more like a clay, but its build up would have defeated the perpose of the plenum.

kalare
01/17/2017, 02:08 PM
Just because it did not work for you does not mean that it's not possible.

I believe if you search the threads here on RC, plenty of people have low nutrient tanks with only rock and skimmer (minus dosing of carbon).

My last 3 tanks had zero nitrates and little to no algae problem (unless you call wiping down the glass every 2-3 days a problem). I have never run an ATS or a refugium. One of the tanks was a bare bottom, the other two were shallow sand bed, all three had large skimmers, no other filtration, no carbon, and only periodic use of GFO for experimenting with. If you think you need more surface area than the rock can provide, you can easily add ceramic bio media plates to the sump, though I don't believe they're necessary unless the tank is setup with very minimal rock.

Please also note, that zero nitrates and phosphates are not necessary for a successful reef, and in some cases, may be worse for the corals. Check out Rich Ross's tank...I believe there are several threads on here or the other forum where he discusses having nitrate and phosphate off the chart much like you...his tank is thriving. He works at the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences and runs a blog you can probably google for as well.

Forgive my derailing of the thread! Plenums, while they work in my limited experience (one tank...I think it ran maybe 10 years as a plenum tank), I just couldn't use another one due to all the detritus build up, even if I can't see it, I know it's there.

Far from it in my experience. 60 + ppm & 3ppm PO4 using that method.

I started using an algae scrubber & threw away my skimmer & now NO3 & PO4 don't register on test kits.

I like the DSB as it provides an enormous surface area for bacteria to colonise, & bacteria are vital in an aquarium.

I did start a remote plenum DSB, in my sump, below the ATS, mainly to provide somewhere for the zooplankton created by the ATS to colonise along with bacteria. I ended up removing it though, for the reasons you mentioned. I was worried about a build up of detritus in the plenum. It would probably been low in nutrients, more like a clay, but its build up would have defeated the perpose of the plenum.

Twinfallz
01/17/2017, 02:35 PM
Just because it did not work for you does not mean that it's not possible.

I believe if you search the threads here on RC, plenty of people have low nutrient tanks with only rock and skimmer (minus dosing of carbon).

My last 3 tanks had zero nitrates and little to no algae problem (unless you call wiping down the glass every 2-3 days a problem). I have never run an ATS or a refugium. One of the tanks was a bare bottom, the other two were shallow sand bed, all three had large skimmers, no other filtration, no carbon, and only periodic use of GFO for experimenting with. If you think you need more surface area than the rock can provide, you can easily add ceramic bio media plates to the sump, though I don't believe they're necessary unless the tank is setup with very minimal rock.

Please also note, that zero nitrates and phosphates are not necessary for a successful reef, and in some cases, may be worse for the corals. Check out Rich Ross's tank...I believe there are several threads on here or the other forum where he discusses having nitrate and phosphate off the chart much like you...his tank is thriving. He works at the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences and runs a blog you can probably google for as well.

Forgive my derailing of the thread! Plenums, while they work in my limited experience (one tank...I think it ran maybe 10 years as a plenum tank), I just couldn't use another one due to all the detritus build up, even if I can't see it, I know it's there.

a skimmer is supposed to remove TOC from a tank. TOC is food, for microbes - bacteria, corals, critters of all sizes. why remove it? because when TOC is metabolized or mineralised it becomes ammonia, & hence NO3.
This is like owning a house without toilets.You don't want to feed anyone cause they might need to poop.


A scrubber eats up nitrogen in the form of ammonia ammonium nitrite & nitrate, if it makes it that far in the aquarium system, and phosphate. Leaves the TOCs there so everyone get a fat belly.

Rich Ross's tank has nutrients off the chart?
Apparently he hasn't a protein skimmer. sarcasm/

Timfish
01/17/2017, 06:04 PM
Well, having seen a decades old skimmerless system (not one of mune) using just a basic sump with PO4 and nitrate levels in the ppb range you certainly do not need a lot of technology or equipment to maintain low nutrients. I have to disagree with some of the assumptions about TOC posted. Corals realease lots of DOC but it's not full of nitrogen or phosphorus, these are badly needed by the coral. Indeed, one of the primary roles of the coral holobiont is to scavange and recycle any form of ntrrogen available. For those interested in learning more on the roles of DOC Forest Rohwer's "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" is an excellent place to start and to learn more about how DOC is converted into DIC (HCO3- aka alkalinity) de Geoij's work on cryptc sponges is a real eye opener.

Nano sapiens
01/24/2017, 10:20 PM
The plenium craze subsided when seasoned hobbyists at the time showed that a simple, properly maintained sand bed could produce the same, or similar results. A properly implemented plenium system can be quite successful, but the question asked was, "Do I really need the added setup complexity?" and I think this contributed to it's decline. In addition, the original claim that a plenium based system didn't need calcium and alkalinity supplementation due to dissolution of the calcarious substrate proved to only apply in those systems with relatively small amounts of stony coral or calcareous algae in relation to the large surface area of sand bed used in the typical plenium system at the time.

The Berlin System, developed by the Berlin Aaquarium club, was in a sense a formalization of prior work by Lee Chin Eng, Peter Wilkins, etc. which culminated in a live rock, live rubble and skimmer along with Kalkwasser as calcium/alkalinity supplementation. Trace elements, including Strontium and Iodine, were thought to be essential and dosed appropriately. Strong MH lighting and vigorous (for the time) flow were features.

As far as Skimmers, ATSs, Refugiums, etc., it's easy to get into a fixed mode of belief that something is superfluous if it isn't used on our own successful system(s)...or on someone elses's system that we admire. I think what we can say is that experiences differ with each individual/system. For example, I don't use any mechanical/chemical filtration on my 8-1/2 year old 12g mixed reef and yet I have seen consistently for years barely detectable NO3 and undetectable PO4 (Salifert/Elos test kits). For someone who has had to use many methods to control the buildup of these substances in their system, such a thing seems improbable, to say the least.

herring_fish
02/11/2017, 06:48 PM
http://asaherring.com/Reef/SandSetUp.JPG

I used a plenum along with an ATS while turning off the scrubber for as much a three months at a time without adverse results. This was in the mid 90ís to the early 2,000ís. I did not have a lot of SPS corals but the filter feeder did quite wall despite very high feeding.

I did a lot of research on how to build a plenum system correctly. I had an article published on how to build one for personal reef tanks, according to the popular wisdom at the time. You can find it here.

http://asaherring.com/Reef/Sandsetup.pdf

As for detritus, this was my observation.


....I had a Jaubert sand bed. For those that are not familiar with the popularized version that I am talking about, I will describe it.

I had a plenum or open water space of about an inch on the bottom of the tank. A layer of screen with 3 inches of coral gravel was on top of that. Another screen was on top of the gravel, with 4 more inches of coral sand on top of that. I lowered the front so that it looked better against the front glass. Critters are supposed to inhabit the top, aerobic zone but nothing gets passed the two screens into the anaerobic zone and the stagnant zones.

I wanted to see into the plenum so before I installed anything, I encased a plasticized magnet in epoxy and placed it on the bottom piece of glass in the tank. The stand that I had, allowed me to look up through the bottom of the tank. In about a month a layer of detritus formed on the bottom glass. In a few months, I put another magnet up to the first one and was able to slowly and carefully drag it around through the sediment. I could see that it was very uniform at about 1/4 inch thick. I only did this one or two more times over 8 years or so. It wasn't too exciting.

When I tore the tank down, I was very careful, like an paleontologist. When I got through the sand beds I looked at the bottom sediment and there was that same depth of 1/4 inch of detritus that formed in the first few months.

It appeared to me that something processed this stuff. The screens are there to keep out critters and there weren't any dead skeletons, shells or any other forms of remains. This led me to think that the last vestiges of detritus must have been falling to the bottom slowly and bacteria was (...well not eating it but) processing it away. The ATS must have been the eventual vehicle for export of detritus byproducts that come from different stages of decomposition.

In nature, on dry land, fecal excrement is not the last stage of nutrient breakdown. Otherwise, we would be buried in it. It is broken down whether it is in the soil or sitting on the sidewalk. There is always something that lives off of what that last organism left behind. To some degree, this can be done inside of a closed reef system, although removal is far better where possible!!! Never the less, there is a complex food chain going up the latter before food enters a fish's gut. Likewise, there is a complex and little understood chain of organisms that process that food after it leaves the gut. "Dust to dust" and all that?