Originally Posted by Wy Renegade
Absolutely agree with almost everything you said
. Just a point of clarification on the sentence above in red. Wet/Drys only create nitrates based on the amount of raw materials (ammonia, food, nitrites, dead algae, etc) in the system - they cannot create them. If you're getting a lot of nitrates out of the wet/dry then you have another issue that you need to go looking for. In a normal reef tank, further conversion of nitrates into harmless nitrogen gas will occur in the LR
in your DT. Keep in mind that a fuge only eliminates nitrates and phosphates out of the system if you are physically removing algae from the system. If you are simply allowing the algae to grow, these components maybe bound up in the algae, but they are not gone. If/when that algae begins to die off, they are released back into the system.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a fuge system - much easier and cleaner when properly set-up IMO
, I just like the whole story being out there. Fuges aren't magical, just like the wet/dry, they need maintanence.
You know, I'd wondered about that claim myself. Seems everywhere I go, I hear or read about wet/dry becoming a "nitrate factory" and it never made a lot of sense to me. But without any personal experience, I wasn't about to contradict the hundreds of reefers before me. LOL
I was simply regurgitating what I've been told. But yes, I love my fuge. I'm getting such a variety of macro in it that I don't feel the need to hide it. It's just as fun to look at. The chaeto is the one I'm using primarily for nutrient export, since it's fast growing and easy to thin.
One small point, it is my understanding that in live rock and shallow sand beds, only nitrification occurs (ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate) because the bacteria that do this are obligate aerobic. The anaerobic bacteria occur in a deep sand bed. Am I mistaken?