yes another refugium question

sail33

New member
Hi. I've already benefited from the great advice I've received here. I'd like to ask for a bit more.

I'm making a sump from a 20 gallon long tank. It's the largest that will fit under a 72 bow front without removing the center braces. A 20 long measures 12 x 12 x 30

Right now I have FOWLR set up but once I have a well balanced tank, I hope to add some coral and cool , cool clams.

I plan to put the sock filter and skimmer in one section then split the drain from the display tank and have a small refugium on the other side with the return pump in the center. All of that is straight forward and clear to me.

It's clear that a fuge in a 20 gallon tank won't be large enough to do much good and may even become a nitrate factory. With that in mind, I thought ok, why not just put a couple small live rocks and some cheato in the fuge area...that might work. I've got plenty of live rock in the DT so I really wouldn't be decreasing the load by much with a few small rocks but what about the cheato?

How much cheato is required to be "worth the effort " when servicing a 72 gallon DT ? When I consider the light and added power for the cheato, the extra glass for baffles, ( glass was the most expensive part of the sump so far) and solving the question of how to keep stray cheato out of the return pump, I wonder if it's worth it?

I know I'm going to use 5 inches for the sock, about 9 inches for the skimmer, 3 inches for one set of baffles so that totals 17 inches. I should have 8 or so inches for the return pump because I'll need room for DT water if the power fails. Then another 3 inches if I add a 2nd set of baffles. That only leaves 2 inches for cheato but it could be 8 inches deep.

Despite advice that I've read cheato be allowed to tumble, I've seen it pretty well packed into small areas in some photos and it looked healthy. (pretty sure it was cheato anyway)

So.. even if I squeeze a little from here or there, I'm still not going to get much more than 6 or 7 inches for micro algae. Last thing is the water level will have to be lower in the fuge section again to accommodate DT water should power fail. Oh, wait, I'm in Florida so the power goes off pretty often.

if the fuge is eliminated, I also am considering a small shelf area where temporary bags of carbon, etc might be placed.

Recap:
How much room does cheato really need to thrive and help the tank clear of nitrates?

How much cheato is needed to offer a good cost, effort/return ratio on a 72?

If our studio audience votes to keep the cheato, is it likely to break out and clog the return pump and if that is the tendency, how to prevent that effectively?

What will bring the best return for life and stability of the future inhabitants?


Any suggestions thoughts, criticisms encouragements or curses? All are welcome.
THANKS.
 

Reefmedic79

Life and Reef Saver
How much room does cheato really need to thrive and help the tank clear of nitrates?

How much cheato is needed to offer a good cost, effort/return ratio on a 72?

If our studio audience votes to keep the cheato, is it likely to break out and clog the return pump and if that is the tendency, how to prevent that effectively?

What will bring the best return for life and stability of the future inhabitants?


Any suggestions thoughts, criticisms encouragements or curses? All are welcome.
THANKS.

I start with a small amount the size of a fist. If there are excess nutrients the cheato will grow fast. I use a 10G tank for my fuge, and have had it fill the entire fuge and be so dense that it held the shape of the tank. When that happens I pull about 3/4 out and sell or give it away.

Personally I wouldn't pay for it, or at least not pay much for it. The prices I see people selling it is ridiculous, IMO. Try to find a local reefer that is pruning there fuge.

As for efficiency it's not the best Macro in means of nutrient export, but it's the safest, IMO, compared to culerpa which can spread into the DT. As for it breaking up I only had problems with it doing so when I pulled it apart, it's never happend for me on it's own.
 

sail33

New member
Thanks for that. I thought it interesting that the cheato took on the shape of the tank. That kind of boxes up the "it has to to tumble" to grow theory.

You have a 10 Gallon fuge. I'd prolly end up with 2 G's max.
 

Reefmedic79

Life and Reef Saver
The reason most people like it to tumble is it will began to act like a mechanical filteras it get real dense, the constant movement suggestion is to prevent from building dutritus.
 

sail33

New member
You guyz are great. Thanks for the help. I guess the next best thing for me is to increase the space for the sock and skimmer and toss a few more live rocks into the return section.

Maybe I'll add a shelf for the occasional carbon or other dose meds.
THANKS AGAIN
 

Reefmedic79

Life and Reef Saver
Personally I think anything you can fit would be worth the extra nutrient export for your tank. Yes, ideally you would want something bigger for a fuge, but some benefit will be attained by having something smaller, you'll just have to keep up on the pruning.
 

sail33

New member
To tell the truth, I broke my skimmer trying to get it to fit into the old sump. I will have a new skimmer, sump and as much room for cheato as I can manage.
One reason I mention this is that there is currently puulenty of waste floating around in the tank even with water changes. So I agree,

I may need hedge clippers but this tank will have clear, clean water very soon. That is in no small part due to the help I received here.

THANKS !!
 

sail33

New member
" I'm making a sump from a 20 gallon long tank. It's the largest that will fit under a 72 bow front without removing the center braces. A 20 long measures 12 x 12 x 30"

I was told a 20 gallon long would fit under a 72 bow front. It will BUT I found that you WILL have to remove the center brace.
A simple job became a VERY tuff job. All because I didn't do what Uncle Ronnie said "Trust but verify"

Had to empty most of the water out, 10 gallons on the hard wood floor, soaked oriental carpet.

If you want to install a 20 gallon long under a 72 gl bow front, I'll be happy to tell you how I did it and maybe save you some grief. But you WILL have to cut the center brace.

So sorry if anyone followed my suggestion.
 

sail33

New member
Thanks for that. When I read about reefers who have a small box on the back of the tank or even a converted cheap filter replacing filter pads with cheato, I realize that most people believe that "any is better than none" . I did not build in a fuge. I'm not going to go through trying to get the new sump back out. But I do have the glass cut for it and I could drain the sump and install it, split the tank drain to feed it.

I'm just a bit nervous that I'll loose space for overflow should the power go off. In Florida, that happens all too often.

But not today. After Fridays sump adventure, I'm just going to enjoy what I have for a few days.
 

bach2pilot

Member
IMHO, any chaeto is better than none. I turn mine over every week or so to keep the stuff on top from drying out...(Yeah, yeah, I probably need to thin it out.)

Try and plumb it so the skimmer outflow runs through the chaeto (if you can), it is THE best way to avoid microbubbles.
 

sail33

New member
I think Aqua medic will permit remote input and output by design. A standard cylinder type like the Euro Reef I have will suffer a pressure change and will become very difficult to tune.

I think I would have liked to try a 'Duplex' Benthic Zone sump but I wasn't getting a lot of reviews from the forum as to personal success rates. Here's a link to an older thread http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1184462
 
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