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Old 10-20-2009, 12:35 AM   #1
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Refugiums: Benefites vs Drawbacks

Hello all,
I have been considering adding a refugium to my 20g reef tank since I am now bored and looking to do something.

After finding out that people have successfully converted over their AquaClear 70 HOB filters to refugiums, I thought I would give it a go.

Before I cut up the thing, what are some benefits and drawbacks? My water is pristine due to weekly 15% PWC and reduced feedings along with the new addition of a Fluval 305 filter. Might I get by with less frequent water changes with the addition of a refugium? I am assuming that my nitrates will stay low (zero right now) and my phosphates will also stay low (zero as well).

Any issues to work out about refugiums?
Matt
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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I dont know of any drawbacks for a refugium. Nutrient export is always a plus with fuges but it looks like you have that covered with 0 nitrates and phosphates. About the only added thing you would recieve would be added water volume. The more water volume the more forgiving your tank will be to mistakes and other changes. I really wonder sometimes if on a 20 gallon tank if you might be better off with just doing frequent PWC`s.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:42 PM   #3
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Hello,
My phosphates are zero only because I run ClearMax in my canister filter. (Or at least this is my theory). They were 0.5ppm (pretty high) before the ClearMax and then zero later that day.

No idea how the Nitrates made their way down to zero, unless Crocea Clams eat them up in considerable amounts.

It may seem like overkill, but I was also hoping to raise copepods so that one day I could get a Mandarin?

Also, if it would let me stretch out the time I do PWC...Anything to lessen the need for those! (such a hassle)

Diatoms are no longer spreading, and Cyano looks to be stuggling. Coralline algea is FINALLY showing up on my base rocks I put in two months ago. Seems a mini refugium would be a fun project?

How does the lighting go with these things? I know it shouldnt cost much, but how long to I run the bulbs? What time of day, ect?

Finally, I see people putting baffles and whatnot into these AquaClear mods. Are they needed? Any reason to have a pre filter on them? My water is pretty clear due to an over powering Fluval 305. Could I get by with simply putting a screen over the spillway on the AquaClear and then sticking some macro algea in there?
Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:54 PM   #4
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Between the 20 gallon tank and the refuge your tank IMO would not be able to keep up with a mandarin. They need a bigger tank with plenty of LR and good size fuge. How often are you doing PWC`s now?
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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Hello,
I am doing PWC once a week right now. Salt goes quickly!

I do plan to add more live rock soon (double what I have). Might that help out the odds in keeping a Mandarin Goby in a 20gallon? I guess the problem is that my other fish would LOVE to trade their flake food for copepods. :-(
What is a good macro algea to use?
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrg02d View Post
Hello,
What is a good macro algea to use?
Matt
The safer one to use is cheato. It does export nutrients. I use grape calerpa which can go sexual and make your tank water milky white and cause problems in the tank. I have found out that 24 hr lighting and constant prunning keeps it in check. If you are new to the refuge scene I would start with cheato.
In a small tank I would continue with the weekly PWC`s. I do weekly PWC`s in my 125.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:03 PM   #7
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Hello,
Going sexual, milky water, toxins, sound scary! Chaeto it is! I think I will pick some up on ebay.

Now as far as I understand, the baffles I see in the DIY AquaClear mod are just to slow down water, right? The AquaClear HOBs have adjustable flow, and if that isnt enough, I could use a smaller impeller that I have. This would let me skip all the trouble with baffles and pre filters, right? I just need to get a clip on light and fix a screen over the output then.

Id love to get away from using chemcals to clean my water! The Clearmax is $$$ too.

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