Refugium vs No Refugium!

Refugium vs No Refugium!

  • Refugium

    Votes: 67 67.0%
  • No Refugium

    Votes: 33 33.0%

  • Total voters
    100

huskysglare1

New member
I had recently changed my sump to remove a refugium section. I replaced the old sump with the new sump that has no refugium. My tank has gone to hell after removing the sump. A lot of my corals went down hill and perished. Could this be caused by removal of the refugium with DSB?

Do you think we need a refugium? Vote!
 

Reefnut2010

New member
Refugiums are not a must nowadays. Its primary function is for pod populations to develop without disturbance. With macroalgae added, denitrification also takes place. Did you check parameters before and after?Maybe nitrates shot up? I like refugiums, because I love my Mandarins, so it's a must in my tank.
 

billdogg

Active member
My 150 is home to a 4' moray. Needless to say, it is a nitrate factory like few can imagine. Before I added a refugium, it was impossible to keep my nitrates below 80, and that would be after a couple back to back days of 50g water changes. With the addition of the refugium (a 120g tank with 6" DSB, a mound of LR, and cheatomorpha) my nitrates are barely detectable, even if it goes 4 - 6 weeks between water changes, as it often does.
 

milspec

New member
The only filter I have used for the last nine years in my tanks and other tanks are refugiums. No other filtration other then around one to one and a half pounds of rock per gallon and a lot of water circulation in the display tank.
Works every time with no complaints.
 

5pacey

New member
The only filter I have used for the last nine years in my tanks and other tanks are refugiums. No other filtration other then around one to one and a half pounds of rock per gallon and a lot of water circulation in the display tank.
Works every time with no complaints.
Wow, that sounds pretty cool. So how exactly do you have it set up? Would you mind sharing? Do you have a separate refugium or just DT w/rock and water circulation and no sump/refugium/skimmer?

Thx,

Spacey :D
 

milspec

New member
This is if you don't run a skimmer but you can if you want... I don't because it takes out more then just stuff you don't want in the system.
Basically you set it up with a shallow sand bed in the display or none at all.
Then you use the live rock in the display as your biological filtration. You build a sump with an inexpensive or most of the time you can trash pick a small aquarium that will fit under your tank. Install baffles with plexi glass and aquarium safe silicone. Then use reef mud or other refugium type substrate in the sump. Use a return pump for the display that is the correct size. Use two home depot lights over the refugium and keep them on 24 hours a day.
Install a few power heads or closed loops in the display, you want a lot of flow through the rock, and that is it.
Just do a small water change once a month or a few months. Sit back and enjoy

After two years... change half the substrate in the sump by turning off your return pump and digging out the right side of the substrate.
Then do this on the left side at the three year mark. Then the right the next year and so on each year after that. The longest I went was four years without doing this but It is a good idea so you don't wind up with a nutrient dump in the bottom of your sump. I use Eco System mud in my sump.



:beer:
 
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5pacey

New member
This is if you don't run a skimmer... I don't because it takes out more then just stuff you don't want in the system.
Basically you set it up with a shallow sand bed in the display or none at all.
Then you use the live rock in the display as your biological filtration. You build a sump with an inexpensive or most of the time you can trash pick a small aquarium that will fit under your tank. Install baffles with plexi glass and aquarium safe silicone. Then use reef mud or other refugium type substrate in the sump. Use a return pump for the display that is the correct size. Use two home depot lights over the refugium and keep them on 24 hours a day.
Install a few power heads or closed loops in the display, you want a lot of flow through the rock, and that is it.
Just do a small water change once a month or a few months. Sit back and enjoy

:beer:
Hmmm.. ok... this sounds very interesting. How heavy is your stocking? And how large is the sump/refugium? For example I am setting up a 90 (48x18x24) and have a 29G tank I will use for the sump (30x12x18), would you go larger or this would work? Also, what flow do you have through the sump (not the flow inside DT, which is a separate issue)? W/skimmer setup the rule of thumb would be 3-5 times system volume (or DT volume, I forget)... do you have your return pump pushing somewhere within that range? For example I plan to use either a Tunze 1073.40 (about 600 Gph @ nozzle) or Eheim 1262 (800 Gph @ the nozzle) but I would de-tune the Eheim back to the sump or run it through a chiller, which would produce about 600 Gph at the nozzle.

Thx for the info,

Spacey :)
 

milspec

New member
Some say you need a slow rate of flow through your refugium. I just go with the maximum your display calls for. (what will work without overflowing your DT...) You can have as many fish and corals you want as long as you do a few small water changes a year. (The more load you place on the system the more changes you may need.) You will also have to pull out a few hand fulls of caulerpa from your refugium when it gets full once and a while and throw it away. I don't use filter socks unless I blow out the rock work to get rid of detritus. I don't do this that much around once a year or so. I have a 120 gallon and have a thirty gallon tank as a sump. So you should be fine.
I'm running a 1200 gph pump split to the DT and half through a chiller.
You may need less depending on your overflow.

I'm installing a 55 gallon reef tank today with the same set up but it doesn't need a chiller, they are going with T5s.
I wanted to use LEDs but they were out of their price range.
 
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5pacey

New member
Some say you need a slow rate of flow through your refugium. I just go with the maximum your display calls for. (what will work without overflowing your DT...) You can have as many fish and corals you want as long as you do a few small water changes a year. (The more load you place on the system the more changes you may need.) You will also have to pull out a few hand fulls of caulerpa from your refugium when it gets full once and a while and throw it away. I don't use filter socks unless I blow out the rock work to get rid of detritus. I don't do this that much around once a year or so. I have a 120 gallon and have a thirty gallon tank as a sump. So you should be fine.
I'm running a 1200 gph pump split to the DT and half through a chiller.
You may need less depending on your overflow.

I'm installing a 55 gallon reef tank today with the same set up but it doesn't need a chiller, they are going with T5s.
I wanted to use LEDs but they were out of their price range.
So... you are saying that in your experience you could have a 90G DT, 30G Sump/fuge w/out skimmer, or any (or minimal) reactors, just put rock and DSB in there, drain on one end, return pump on the other and this would suffice, yes? Sounds very interesting, attractive / minimalistic. ... I have never tried this, and w/everyone cramming as much gear as possible under their tanks I am having a hard time accepting this. LOL ... I am very tempted to try this though... just need to figure out a setup that I can re-vert back to hi-tech setup if the lo-tech isn't working...

Spacey :D
 

rtparty

Raise The Reef!
I haven't ran a refugium in over 5 years and love not having one. Most refugiums are too small to be a real benefit on our tanks.

Going without a refugium didn't kill your tank OP. Too many changes at once did. Your logic is flawed. It is like saying I drink diet coke and am fat, therefore diet coke makes you fat.
 

milspec

New member
So... you are saying that in your experience you could have a 90G DT, 30G Sump/fuge w/out skimmer, or any (or minimal) reactors, just put rock and DSB in there, drain on one end, return pump on the other and this would suffice, yes? Sounds very interesting, attractive / minimalistic. ... I have never tried this, and w/everyone cramming as much gear as possible under their tanks I am having a hard time accepting this. LOL ... I am very tempted to try this though... just need to figure out a setup that I can re-vert back to hi-tech setup if the lo-tech isn't working...

Spacey :D

You can just make the sump in three chambers. so you can get a hang on skimmer if you have room in your sump area later on. (you probably won't) and make the first chamber able to use a filter bag from time to time. If you want later you can run one all the time but I still think you won't want to.
This will meen buying alot of bags and washing them. That is like work. LOL

Make the grow chamber as large as you can. and still have three baffles.

The DSB in the sump is not a "deep" DSB just three inches....


I had to make the last chamber wide enough to use the float valve this would give you enough room to add on if you wanted.

The first baffle is one on top of another so there is just a one inch slot in the middle for water to pass through.

As you can see I just blew out my rock work and I am using two bags for the day in my sump. They are out now and I wash them with a cap full of bleach in the washing machine. I use them around once a year so I only have two.

picture.php
 

solitude127

Proud user of IO Salt!
Yah, nitrate shot up to 30-40 after i took out the refugium. So i added bio pellets and gfo.

The biopellets might have been your problem. Are the biopellets new to the system? If so, how much did you add and what's your total water volume.

If the biopellets are not new to your system, then I don't think that's the problem.
 

Fryman

Member
The OP said the nitrates shot up when he removed his sump...so it's a pretty good bet that was what caused the losses (sorry about that btw). Sounds like the sump had a DSB and a refugium? So yeah, it's not a big surprise this big a change is going to affect the system.

There are lots of ways to deal w/ nitrates. A refugium w/ macro, vodka dosing, bio-pellets, algae turf scrubbers, deep sand beds (in the display or remote), lots of live rock, etc. Or a combination of things. A variety of methods can work, but it's difficult to switch from one method to another just because most of them take time to start working. So you have to be careful when making major changes like removing a sump from the system.

I personally think a sump is a good idea because it's a convenient place to hide equipment so it's not in the main display. If you're gonna have a sump anyway, why not a refugium? If nothing else, it does seem to be a good place to grow pods.

But no, you definitely don't NEED a refugium. There are very few absolutes in this hobby.
 

yman32

New member
wat is the min size of a 'fuge for a 55 gal

wat is the min size of a 'fuge for a 55 gal

in order to effectively reduce nitrates....not just be a pod factory......
 

allsps40

New member
I removed my fuge a while back to make room for a larger better skimmer. My no3 when up from 0 to 10ppm, not a big deal. With a little extra attention I have keep it around 5 or less, my sps dont seem to mind the slight increase at all.
 

huskysglare1

New member
The bio pellet was added when i replaced the sump. I ran it For about a week then i noticed the corals are dying. I then removed the bio pellets, but the corals continue to die. 2 months later the corals are still dying. I then measure the nitrate and found it to be 40 ish.
 
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