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Old 03-08-2010, 01:38 AM   #1
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Refugium Setup

Hey guys,
I'm setting up my basement sump and plumbing a refugium in. Its gonna be fed directly by my protein skimmer . I've read about quite a few set ups but not sure which substrate i should use (DSB, cat litter, refugium mud) or how intense my lighting should be. which macro algeas work the best for nutrient exports and how effective Xenia is as a substitute for macro algae. and if having livestock such as mandarin fish, pipe fish or other copepod consuming organisms effect the goal as a copepod refuge and its a 20 long.
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:55 AM   #2
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I would suggest using dry aragonite sand, and would pass on the refugium mud since it really is not necessary and many that have tried it wish they had not and saved themselves the headaches.

The best macro algaes for PO4 export is chaetomorpha, grape caulerpa, and i've also heard turf algae is another good one. However, the grape caulerpa will need 24/7 lighting and frequent pruning otherwise it will go asexual and turn your water milky white. It also gets out of control pretty fast, but i guess that wouldn't really be a big deal since no one will be checking out your sump/fuge. I would say your best option is to go for the chaeto and the turf macro algae, but you can throw all kinds in there for maximum nitrate reduction, assuming your willing to keep up with the maintenance that comes along with it. I've never heard about Xenia being an exporter of nitrates but since it has photosynthetic algae within it's body, i guess i could believe it. But most coral are sensitive to high nitrates so i wouldn't just go throwing a stalk of Xenia into dirty nitrate water LOL. As for the lighting, i think it really all depends on how deep your refugium is, and where the refugium is placed(if it is integrated with the sump). If it's just in a corner of the sump, i'm sure you could get away with a PC clamp-on light, depending on how deep the fuge is as i said before.

The whole point of having a refugium is so things like pods can copulate without being eaten and then eradicated. So putting fish in the fuge that eat those bugs wouldn't exactly be a smart idea, assuming i understood the last part of your post correctly.

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Old 03-08-2010, 02:06 AM   #3
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Thanks very useful information. it is actually a 20 long it is plumbed in-line to my 30 gallon sump along with a 50 and a 90 gallon all in-line. the twenty is a dedicated refugium. If the cheato goes asexual will it turn my whole system milky white or just the refugium. I have read about seahorses and pipe fish and heard of people putting fish in the refugium which always confused me because it kinda make its not a refugium.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:21 AM   #4
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I've only heard of the caulerpa turning the water milky white when it goes asexual, not chaetomorpha. I believe chaeto is a little more forgiving.

If you plan on keeping only live rock, and macro algae in your refugium, then i would think a 30" fixture such as this one would grow macro algae just fine. I'm not a total expert on the lighting so wait until more light experienced folks chime in on the lighting for the 20L before you buy anything

Aquarium Lighting Fixture Coralife Aqualight T5 Dual Linear Strip Fixture, 2X18 Watt, 30 inch

For a tank like that, and considering you'll only be keeping macro algae,(if you are) i would say go T5 since the replacement bulbs are really cheap compared to Power Compact or Metal Halide solutions.

Also, if the caulerpa goes asexual, i would assume it will turn your whole system milky white since the refugium will be sharing the same water from the sump and the display tank.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:31 AM   #5
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In my experience, the fuge gets so crowded with rock rubble, cast-off coral skeletons (at least I did since the good bacteria still lived on them), and macro algae, you won't be able to see or enjoy a mandarin, pipefish, or anyting else. I'd only put stuff down there that I had to - like urchins, crabs or things I didn't want in the main.

And don't use xenia down there. It needs decent lighting. besides, if it did do well it'd have to be thinned out or it can cause you real problems and crach your tank among other things.
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