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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I just bought a sump for my aquarium and I'm trying to figure out how I can add a refugium to it. it's a RS-75 eshopps sump (This is the only thing that would fit under the stand of my 72 gallon bow front...the way this tank was made makes it almost impossible to put anything under it because of how narrow it is and the support beams cut any space you had in half...) Anyway, Since this sump is so small and I am really wanting to start a refugium I was thinking that is could go into the first of the two chambers...even if the skimmer is there. I have a seaclone protein skimmer, so the pump can be suction cupped to the side and there is a sponge on the intake so what I put in the sump shouldn't be sucked in. The pumps in my aquarium now...so it seems like it would be the same but in the smaller scale of the sump. Is there a possibility that this could work?
 

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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess the reason for wanting one is because many people that I have talked to say good things about them...Don't they help with nitrates? I've read that...but correct me if I'm wrong... I guess I have just heard different things about refugiums and most of them are good, so that's why I decided I wanted to try one and see how it works out... But If they aren't a good idea then maybe not...
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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But if I do decide to put one in the sump would that work? I'm still not 100% sure one what I'm doing, but I'm still curious if that would work as a place to put it...and after reading the stuff from the link...someone did mention something about nitrates... :doh: oops..
 

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Well I'm not trying to tell you what to do or what not to do. What I'm getting at is that they are one of the things that should not have been incorporated to reef tanks. A refugium is a place for detritus to hide and nutrients to become bound.

What I would recommend you do is use the chamber for a settling area to allow detritus to collect and to be easily cleaned.

The absolute best filter you have is your skimmer. It is the only piece of equip that will take nutrient Directly out of the water other than when you do water changes. And your Live Rock will have plenty of Bacteria to keep your water clean and eat up the Phosphates. So a combo between Live Rock, Skimmer, and water changes is the absolute best thing for a Reef tank available.
 

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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Don't worry I didn't take it as if you were telling me what to do... :) alright...I guess I'll see what happens when I set my sump up... and maybe later on if it seems necessary to what I'm trying to accomplish.
 

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If you get a chance to check out that link on post #2 Geoff realy gets to the specifics where I can not.. Great read though...

BTW forgot the most important part, Congrats on the new sump...
 

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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you get a chance to check out that link on post #2 Geoff realy gets to the specifics where I can not.. Great read though...

BTW forgot the most important part, Congrats on the new sump...
thanks :) It's great to finally put it together... I'll see If I can find that.
 

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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This isn't just about nitrates..that was the first thing that came to mind..that's why I had mentioned it...
 

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How serious are you....because a fuge goes a lot further than just pullin nitrates I'm curious to see your view on that??
Who said they were for just pulling Nitrates???

lets not go in to a pissing match, I can only assume this is where you are taking it by (How serious are you) Maybe not???

I belive I was clear on my opinion of running a refugium above..
 

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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So technically the things that can be achieved in a refugium can also occur in your aquarium? Because most refugiums contain live rock and sometimes even small animals? So pretty much you're just recreating a smaller aquarium under your tank that's full of algae and looks kinda ugly...? I might have got this totally wrong...but is this the reason that it's not a very necessary thing unless you have delicate animals that need to live below your tank? Although it does seem like you would want to just start a small aquarium so that you could enjoy the animals you are shoving under your aquarium...
so is it possible to get pods and things along those lines in you aquarium without the refugium?
Sorry if this is totally off ...I'm trying to make sense of it all now that I've been reading more about them... :arg:
 

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Who said they were for just pulling Nitrates???

lets not go in to a pissing match, I can only assume this is where you are taking it by (How serious are you) Maybe not???

I belive I was clear on my opinion of running a refugium above..
NO pissing match brotha, i just want to hear your thoughts on why refugiums are a waste of time?

Some of the most elegant systems in the world have 2 or 3 refugiums incorporated into them. . .
Now i will say a refugium/sump mix (all in one tank) is not the best idea but is manageable.

I just want to know what information pushed you into your beliefe of them being a waste of time.
 

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So technically the things that can be achieved in a refugium can also occur in your aquarium? Because most refugiums contain live rock and sometimes even small animals? So pretty much you're just recreating a smaller aquarium under your tank that's full of algae and looks kinda ugly...? I might have got this totally wrong...but is this the reason that it's not a very necessary thing unless you have delicate animals that need to live below your tank? Although it does seem like you would want to just start a small aquarium so that you could enjoy the animals you are shoving under your aquarium...
so is it possible to get pods and things along those lines in you aquarium without the refugium?
Sorry if this is totally off ...I'm trying to make sense of it all now that I've been reading more about them... :arg:
Ok to address your questions concerning refugiums:

So technically the things that can be achieved in a refugium can also occur in your aquarium?
A refugium is typically incorporated to help control and manage phosphates, as well as produce a safe environment for pods and live food to grow and reproduce without being "over eaten" by your live stock that feed on them.
The macro aglae (chaetomorpha/calerpa/ ect) are fast and slow growing macro algaes that feed on phosphates, also act as a natural filter floww to trap large particles of detrius and feed of them. Also the refugium being run on an opposite time schedule of your DT lights typically run your DT 10hrs a day you would run your fuge lights to come on an hour before your DT turns off and run until and hour after your DT lights come on. THis also helps level and balance PH to stop from swings at night.

Because most refugiums contain live rock and sometimes even small animals? So pretty much you're just recreating a smaller aquarium under your tank that's full of algae and looks kinda ugly...?
This is a general way to look at it. You are not replicating a display tank with a refugium. WHen you setup your refugium, the livestock you would stock it with are more likely clean up crew animals, I persoanlly have a lawnmower blenny in mine to pick at HA. You can have LR in your fuge, but its best put in the sump before the return to fine filter the water running back to your DT.
THe filter side of a tank wont look "ugly" its just a different environment. The fuge and sump are to keep the filter side of your tank to do its job, to stop from HA and unwanted algaes from showing up in your Display tank while managing the water params concernign nitrate/phosphate by establishing an environment where the macro algaes can grow at a rate to keep up and deplete your readings of Phos and Nitrate. (if setup properly and your techniques are not adding mroe po4 and no2 into your system as a whole)

I might have got this totally wrong...but is this the reason that it's not a very necessary thing unless you have delicate animals that need to live below your tank? Although it does seem like you would want to just start a small aquarium so that you could enjoy the animals you are shoving under your aquarium...
so is it possible to get pods and things along those lines in you aquarium without the refugium?
A refugium is NOT a necessity, you would not want to keep delicate fish in your fuge, you would want your fuge to FEED your fish dependant on live foods ie: Mandarin gobys, 6 line wrasse ect... anything that feeds byt grazing on live rock. It is possible to keep pods in your DT, typically you will start a tank and get a beautiful mandarin (not your situation maybe) well a week before you got that fish it will look liek your tank is swarming with bugs and pods and myssi shripm, and you will still see them for some time, but that mandarin will deplete a pod colony in a 90 gal in 8 months. YOu will end up having to buy live pods and feed tha tank and they will never take the tank over due to the demand of the mandarin. The refugium allows you to house those organisim in a save environment to be a constant feed to the tank so that is does not deplete.

Now to address the live stock in the fuge, you will typically want a a clean up creww taht feeds on algae, the pods and mysis and otehr organism in the fuge will help by feeding off the macro. which will help keep it in check to a certain extent, you will still have to trim the cheato or macro from time to time as it grows out. THe lighting for a fuge should be between 6000k and 6500k , nothign special, actually you can use a vho light to grow macro, they have very limited requirements when talking lighting, they do however need a source of po4 to feed, also when you trim your macro you are exporting nutrients that have been stored in the macro and that algae has fed off of.
A protien skimmer is only as good as the skimmer is built. YOur skimmer is (as noted below by another memebr) your number one filtration device, it is responsible to pull as much disolved organics as it can given its structure and functionality. But you can have the #1 skimmer in the world, and if it is not tuned right ... a sea clone fine tuned can pull more skimmate and produce better resutls. So keep that in mind. You cant drop a skimmer in a sump plug it in and walk away...
I am just trying to point out the +'s of the fuge and the benefits it can provide.
Not only does it provide the above mentioned, it also add's to your totla water volume as well as more sand volume to your system allowiing more aneroic bacteria to conlonize and work for your system allowing more environment and area to produce bacteria to help stabilize your environment and protect against swings and changes in the system.
 

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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A refugium is typically incorporated to help control and manage phosphates, as well as produce a safe environment for pods and live food to grow and reproduce without being "over eaten" by your live stock that feed on them.
The macro aglae (chaetomorpha/calerpa/ ect) are fast and slow growing macro algaes that feed on phosphates, also act as a natural filter floww to trap large particles of detrius and feed of them. Also the refugium being run on an opposite time schedule of your DT lights typically run your DT 10hrs a day you would run your fuge lights to come on an hour before your DT turns off and run until and hour after your DT lights come on. THis also helps level and balance PH to stop from swings at night.
Since you would leave the lights on at night...couldn't you just do that over your sump anyway? Or does there need to be something living in it to have the same affect?

This is a general way to look at it. You are not replicating a display tank with a refugium. WHen you setup your refugium, the livestock you would stock it with are more likely clean up crew animals, I persoanlly have a lawnmower blenny in mine to pick at HA. You can have LR in your fuge, but its best put in the sump before the return to fine filter the water running back to your DT.
THe filter side of a tank wont look "ugly" its just a different environment. The fuge and sump are to keep the filter side of your tank to do its job, to stop from HA and unwanted algaes from showing up in your Display tank while managing the water params concernign nitrate/phosphate by establishing an environment where the macro algaes can grow at a rate to keep up and deplete your readings of Phos and Nitrate. (if setup properly and your techniques are not adding mroe po4 and no2 into your system as a whole)
You mentioned putting it before the return filter...and mine isn't split into three sections...so it would have to go into the space with the skimmer and filter sock... I think this is the main problem I have with starting one...



Thanks for giving the pros of having a refugium... :)
 

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Since you would leave the lights on at night...couldn't you just do that over your sump anyway? Or does there need to be something living in it to have the same affect?
Your sump is your filtration device (looking at the whole picture) you are using that tank to house all of your filtering devices. Your skimmer and reactors (gfo/carbon)[if you choose] also your return are all residing in the same tank (theoretically). You are trying to "Train" your sump to house all of the dissolved organics until they can be successfully exported. Granted you are not going to trap every particle of dissolved organic nor will you be able to keep them from flowing with your system current/cycle (as a loop) back on track to get to your question, you do not want to leave a light onb above your sump for 14 hrs. Excessive light in the presence of excessive nutrients will cause algae growth, excessive algae growth at that. That is the point of the fuge, to house all the unwanted algae that can show up from excessive organics in the water column followed with excessive lighting cycles. If you put that combined in your sump, you are essentially growing all that algae (allong with the macro added) in your sump, the lighting provided will grow algae inside your acrylic skimmer, on your reactor pumps and on your return pump clogging the inlets restricting the power and flow of them and over all hendering the performance of your filtering equipment (i trust you gather where i am going with this). Also if you just throw a light over your sump with no substrate and no macro (to feed off of the nurtients in the water) you are just going to allow the excess organics to grow on whatever they bind too. In a month (longer/shorter) your sump will be packed with HA and your dvices will constantly need to be maintained to keep the algae out of them which will get old in about .002 seconds. I like to spend my time gazing/drueling into my display tank not sweating adn working on my sump to get things to work right.
That is why i suggest (completely IMO) to run an external fuge, whether it be a 10 gal or larger, just a tank to house that macro to grow into its own evironment while not hindering the function of your filtering devices.


You mentioned putting it before the return filter...and mine isn't split into three sections...so it would have to go into the space with the skimmer and filter sock... I think this is the main problem I have with starting one...
The live rock in a display tank or in a sump will theoretically work the same way (typically more efficient in the sump) LR is beautiful and allows places to mount and grow corals. The specifics of LR is the porasity of the live rock to act as a natural filter, as water flows past/throug/around your live rock detrius is getting caught int he pores of the rock and the bacteria on the rock are feeding off that and breaking it down before it dissolves and leaches phos and nitrite and ammonia into your system. in the sump if you place the LR in between the overflow esction and the return section, all water passing through your sump has to flow through that rock, the porasitf of the rock wil NATURALLY filter the water catching those particles and allowing the beneficial bacteria to feed on those and clean your water in a natural cycle. even if you have you skimmer and return close you can stack rubble arround these devices and the water will flow through them. Filter socks do the same thing, the difference is that they can house nitrates and create a factory of leaching since the bacteria present is not consuming the ammount of detrius and organics that is being filtered and housed. Typically with filter socks you want to change and clean them at least once a week. Now the issues presented by that are your constantly taking that bacteria out of your system and starting with a fresh sock, which is going to take time to rebuild that structure of bacteria to keep up with the organics being filtered. Live rock can only hold so much due to the ammount the rock can hold, when those pores fill, the water passes past them until it is avialble to filter again after the bacteria has broken those organics down. This is where you are banking on your skimmer to pick up the slack from waht your rock cannot filter and break down.
I would suggest that you get your hands on a decent ammount of live rock rubble from a LFS and strategically place amounts of that rubble in high flow areas of the sump you dont have to pack it in there, just get some rock in there to help filter while your skimmer is working. I dont want to turn this into a book more than it is but it can get prety deep pretty quick.



Thanks for giving the pros of having a refugium...
by all means! that is why the forum is present to share knowledge and experience. To help with questions and concerns people have. Maybe give some positive or negative insight on things peopel are on the fence about! :) hope it all helps!
 

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Mermaid in disguise
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay I think I might try putting rock in with the skimmer...so should I keep a light over that?
 

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Okay I think I might try putting rock in with the skimmer...so should I keep a light over that?
i wouldnt put any light over your sump at all unless you like cleaning algae out of everything. Just IMO though feel free if you would prefer. just a FYI, bacteria dose not need light to break down dissolved organics.

Thats why when cycling live rock you use little to NO light, because the bacteria do not need it, they live in a certain environment concerning water temp and movement.
Lighting will just feed the fuel to the dissolved organics and promote them actually encourage the grown of algae especially hair algae.
The light is strctly for the refugium. Coraline alge will also grow without light, not a purple and pretty but calcerous algea will grow in low light environments. Just need to keep calcium and mag in check so that the calcium and carbonate can be utilized and not blocked by phosphate and precipitate out of the water column.
 

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Just wondering what is the benefit of having the sump and refugium seperate? I was looking to just build a DIY sump/refugium and to me it makes sense to have them combined to save space and remove more possible leak points.
 
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