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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't plan to have a great deal of rock in my system so will be using a
diy trickle filter ( bio balls ) for Ammonia > Nitrite, and plan to use a regium to help deal with the Nitrate. I will be using the best skimmer I can afford or build and really am only stuck on type of algae to use.

Chaetomorpha or Caulerpa, which of these would be the best choice for use in a refugium. I read that Caulerpa often suffers die back causing release of nutrients into the water system.
Any comments?
 

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welcome to TRT! I would skip the bio balls if I were you. I joined trt about a month and a half ago and have found out that bio balls are a nitrate factory along with any other sponges or filters that come in contact with wast and air. I removed all of my bio balls(over a 3week period). I think after being here for awhile you will see most people dint use them. As far as algae to use Ive had both. Caulerpa is VERY invasive and I have heard like you it can release nutrients in to your water. From what I hear Chaetomopha is the better. My Chaetompha suffered a large die back a few weeks ago during or heatwave. I'm not sure if the heatwave killed it or what caused the die back. Right now I have only lr(live rock) in my sump/refg. once again welcome to trt:dance:
 

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If you must, go chaeto, caulerpa can go holocarpy on you and really mess things up. Do a google search on holocarpy and caulerpa in the reef tank. I could try try to explain it, but it will just be regurgitating what i needed to look up. Ive never had it happen to me, but ive heard nightmare stories. To be honest, i wouldnt worry about a refugium if i were you until you get your tank up and running and get a better understanding of how everything works. I will tell you that my opinion is biased, as I hate refugiums and think they are a unnecessary ugly mess, but regardless of my opinion, i think you have bigger fish to fry at the moment than worrying about a refugium.

I agree with skipping the bioballs and would suggest getting more rock. Not having an adequate amount of rock in your reef tank is like not having enough oil in your car, you just dont do it.
AT this stage of the game if you can only afford one or the other i would buy the rock before your skimmer. You can buy a $30 berlin with an airstone and a cheap air pump and it will suffice just fine until you can afford a better one. You really need 1 lb of rock or more per gallon, and decent flow through it. Healthy live rock with adequate flow through it is the most important thing we do IMO.

Good luck and welcome to TRT :)
 

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is this going to be a FOWLR?

i also do not recommend using Bio-balls. why convert to nitrite only, when LR will do it all for you? once nitrates are in the water column they are very difficult to remove. algae is only marginal at uptaking them and actually keeping them. they are very leaky.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The issue of rock is kinda like hitting a wall for me. I understand many like to use rock now, it is a good filtration method. However, I don't personally find large amounts of rock in a tank actractive. I have no intentions of keeping coral, so I needn't worry about hooking ground for corals. The idea of bioballs was to give me at least filtration for Ammonia > Nitrite > Nitrate. I'm aware the output from bioballs will be Nitrate, my aim is to find the best system to use after my bioball section to deal with Nitrate.
With little rock, no more than 20kg to my total 55 gallons or so volume (including sump volume) I need to think of a sytem that will give me bio filtration without rock. All I have come up with is bioballs in trickle tower, what comes after that for realistic Nitrate solution is my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did actually give some thought to live rock in my sump... If i can't come up with a satisfactory system I may well do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for that Geoff, I just followed your link to your site. Very nice style site with some superb content. I'm always interested in the diy side of things. Shall be looking at the diy skimmer on your site in more detail.
 

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whoa.. I got a little bit of caulerpa on a new bit of LR and I thought I would leave it on.. It's only been in my tank for about 10 days.. so not sure how it's doing, but it's in the shade sort of.. should I pull it?
 

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I agree that if you want macro, chaeto is the preferred due to less troubles. Keep in mind you will want to prune it and toss it so it doesn't release the nutrients its bound back into the system.

On another note, what do the others think about xenia in the fuge?? I think it was reefkeeping magazine that had an article that studied the amount of nutrients bound in xenia (NO3 + PO4) to be a viable export possibly. It seems it was similar to chaeto in its amounts.....I'd have to go read it again though. That is the only place you are going to find Xenia in my sytstem though ;)
 
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