Is it worth setting up a refugium?

D_cunningham123

New member
Hi guys, currently using triton other methods as I'm using NoPox and RowaPhos. I am planning on switching to a refugium and have space for about 10% of my display tank's volume.

I prefer the idea of saving money from not using nopox and using a natural way of nutrient reduction. I have had problems with dinos and cyano from using NoPox also. I was just wondering if a refugium would be effective and worth the effort?

Any input would be appreciated.
 

Oldreeferman

New member
Hello, i'm also running same DT setup but have had zero issues using NOPOX actually is has cleared up my substrate back to bright white verses bouts of red cyano or any bacteria slimes and has lowered my phosphates & nitrates to .025, i think you may be dosing too much NOPOX as its a fine line to walk from just right amount to too much.
Try dosing less for a week you should know fast actually its great stuff if dosed just right.
Have no idea what tank volume you have but 10% isn't hardly worth it on a refugium, you can't go too large on a refugium, but i suppose you could add a light and grow Cheato in it if not planning to add in a skimmer or anything that takes up space.
I also had considered this option but in the end due to space limitations & research it just was easier to just dose NOPOX & leave in my in tank skimmer & just change my filter socks more often pretty much every 2nd or 3rd day.
 

D_cunningham123

New member
Hi Oldreeferman, thx a lot for your reply. It's hard for me to know if I am dosing too much NoPox because I also have some GHA and cotton candy algae which is a sign of high nutrients. I was thinking that adding a refugium may help to outcompete this algae.
 

Anemone

Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
"Worth it" is a value-laden question. A decent refugium with a relatively slow water flow and decent lighting can do a number of things - grow macro algae for nutrient removal, provide a place of pod populations to spawn/grow and feed the main tank, and if put on a reverse light cycle, it can help stabilize your tank's pH swings.

I don't have a refugium now, but have had them on several different tanks over the years and I always liked them. The micro life in the refugium can be as interesting as the fish and corals in the main tank (especially during the dark cycle, with a flashlight), and you can see a lot more of the little stuff when there aren't fish around to immediately eat them.

Kevin
 

Oldreeferman

New member
In order to know how much NOPOX you need to dose you first have to test the lvl of phosphates & Nitrates, then knowing your total water volumn you can calculate pretty close. Red Sea comes with pretty good instructions to figure out how much depending on the amount of Nitrates you want left in the tank for the kind of corals you have SPS or a mixed reef or softys. You shouldn't need additional Phosphate removal chemicals as NOPOX lowers both down. Tests will confirm by now.
 

D_cunningham123

New member
In order to know how much NOPOX you need to dose you first have to test the lvl of phosphates & Nitrates, then knowing your total water volumn you can calculate pretty close. Red Sea comes with pretty good instructions to figure out how much depending on the amount of Nitrates you want left in the tank for the kind of corals you have SPS or a mixed reef or softys. You shouldn't need additional Phosphate removal chemicals as NOPOX lowers both down. Tests will confirm by now.




Yeh I think i've been dosing too much NoPox as my nitrates and phosphates are undetectable. I have used RedSea's calculator and I'm slowly reducing my dose, thx a lot for ur help.
 

herostar

Active member
I've run the same tank for 8 years with one and another 6 years without. The tank had essentially the same setup the whole time, though I did eventually get a bigger/better skimmer after running without a refugium for a while. I do not dose or use chemical filtration. Tank is still running today.

My tank looked better with the refugium, and there seemed to be quite a bit more pods and worms when I had one.
 

vlangel

Premium Member
I have a 30 gallon refugium now for my 56 gallon mixed (more softies and LPS) high nutrient reef. I call it a high nutrient reef because it has 15 fish in the display and it is very heavily fed. However when nitrates and phosphates are tested they are not excessively high because the refugium is so effectively utilizing them. I am not even running a skimmer and I have cut down from weekly water changes to bi-monthly. The fuge is home to grass shrimp, 3 peppermint shrimp, copepods and amphipods all of which are reproducing and feeding the display.

I am sold that this is the most simple, natural and economical way to run a reef. With cheap LEDs, the electrical usage is no doubt less than skimmers, reactors and other methods of filtration. It is not the most space efficient, but my refugium is plumbed in the basement directly below the livingroom display tank, so space is not a problem. Also it is near a drain and a cold water line so I have my water station right there as well for easy water changes. Not everyone has those luxuries and I get that.
Still, my reef has beautiful filter feeding feather dusters, sponges and scallops in addition to coral. I attribute that to the fuge.
 
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