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Hey! So the tank I have is a 29 bow-front with 30pds live rock and lots of types of corals. I dont have a refugium, but I have a skimmer.

My water quality is good but the surface of the water always seems to get slimmy looking. So I do water changes once a week try to prevent it.

Truth is, im considering a hang on back refugium for my tank, but I dont really know what good does it do exacly and ive seen some people say that they're tank is now without a skimmer!? Is that possible? cause I dont have alot of space.

Anyhow, Im just interested in your personnal exp with one or something similar. Thanks!
 

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a skimmer is the only filtration method we have that immediately removes wastes from the system. any other filtering method, including refugiums, all leave the wastes in the system till YOU remove them, usually by siphoning.

in most peoples refugiums they keep sand. sand is a very good phosphate sponge. food and fish waste is high in phosphates. a skimmer will remove this if it is running properly. since you are getting film on the surface you may need to tune your skimmer a bit more. you may need to point a power head at the surface to break up the film so that it reenters the water column and will be removed when it goes into the skimmer. back to the refugium part. aragonite based sands absorb phosphates. those that no longer have skimmers are relying on the sand to absorb all of these phosphates instead of the skimmer removing it for them. at some point the sand will absorb all it can and need to be replaced. you can not just siphon it clean and call it good, since the phosphates bind with the calcium carbonate itself. deep siphoning sand beds will extend the life of the sand bed significantly if done very regularly.

G~
 
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