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Old 12-17-2003, 05:37 AM   #1
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What is a refugium?

Might be a dumb question, but what is a refugium? Where does it go, what does it house, how much does it cost, do I need one, what benifets will i get, any drawbacks? Sorry if I sound demanding, but I always see people talking about refugiums but I have no clue what they are.
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Old 12-17-2003, 06:59 AM   #2
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No sweat. I didn't know what a refugium was at one point either. IMO there are no drawbacks to having a refugium only benefits. The need for one is debatable, but a great addition at any rate. In short: a refugium is a sump like container that holds additional substrate (mud, sand, LR rubble, anything else) that adds additional filtration and usually macro algeas (saltwater plants). The macros remove exessive nutrients from the water column (like a natural skimmer kinda) and they also provide a safe haven for pods to grow without predation. They can serve as a small hospital for corals or segragation units for fish.

Refugiums come in different styles. There are small Hang-On-Back refugiums that water is pumped into with a PH and gravity flow back into the display. (basically small acrylic boxes that sit just above the waterline on the back of hte tank. There are sump/refugiums that sit under that tank and is fed just like a sump and pumped back up into the display. There are even IN-tank refugiums. They are small boxes that sit inside your tank, but IMO are not large anough to provide the real benefit of a refugium and cram up the tank.

So, no you don't NEED one, but they are nice to have and add not only filtration, but nutrient export, more water volume for stability, and other benefits.

HTH
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Old 12-17-2003, 07:04 AM   #3
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Oh I forgot cost. Factory manufactured systems like CPR and eco-systems units can be very expensive. Upwards of $400 depending on size of tank it supports. However, one can be made from acrylic without to much hassle, and filling it isn't bad as at all. I would look around on eBay, or even at some of the more expensive models to get an idea of how they work and go from there. You could probably get one setup and running for $50-$150 very well without breaking the bank.
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Old 12-17-2003, 07:22 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input, reefnewb, but i just thought of more questions, LOL

I have a wet/dry-sump with a gravity in and a little giant pump out. can I buy, lets say a 10 gallon glass tank and put it next to the sump and have a PH pull water from sump to 10 gallon refuge and a PH to push it back out? also does a refuge need lighting? and where can I get or buy these macro algees from? and also WHAT THE HELL are pods? I keep hearing about them but I cant figure it out. Please help, BTW I love this website, so much INFO!!!

PS. I have a 100 gallon tank with 150 lbs of sand and close to 200 lbs of LR.
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:17 AM   #5
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OK. I think what you first need to decide is what type of aquatic life you want. If you intend to do a reef or fish only. I would have to recommend losing the biomaterial in your wetdry (looks like bio-balls from here) as eventually you may have a problem with nitrates. It looks like you have enough LR for natural filtration assuming it is cycled correctly the bio balls aren't required. (insert another opinion here as I have never used bioballs). Thus it may be possible to convert part of your wet dry into a fuge, but normally fuges have a slower flow allowing lag time in the water to pick up additional trace elements and the macro algeas time to export nutrients.

I would say for effectiveness 20% of you main tank volume is recommended for refugium sizing, however IMHO any fuge is a good fuge. A powerhead in and a powerhead out of a 10G just wont work. Eventually one pump will out work the other and you'll have a mess on your hands or at least a dry pump. You could slit your gravity fed flow from your main tank with a ball valve into a fuge and them pump it back out into your wet/dry, but even then you will have a difficult balance to maintain.

pods: copepods, amphipods - basically they are like small water "bugs" that serve dual roles as part of your clean up crew and food source for your livestock. If you see little opaque/white "bugs" on your rock. Just like Martha says. "It's a good thing!"

Is it possible for you to have a hang on? or is your tank too close to the wall aready? Or even another small overflow?

Anyone else have a suggestion?
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:21 AM   #6
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And yeah a light is required for a sucessful fuge. Which adds another bonus. If you run opposite photo periods for your tank lights and fuge lights, it helps to maintain a constant Ph.
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:51 AM   #7
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refugium's

Well everyone just for a little input. I did allot of looking around for prebuilt refugiums and they cost lots of money. I went on e-bay and met this guy by the name of Bill Heil (USA aquariums) he builds kits for refugiums out of Acrylic. So i bought one, its a copy of the eco style. It was easy to assemble. Mine was 24 inches wide by 14 deep 12 high. It cost $100.00 with light. I just wanted too build one I know you could do it alot cheaper yet by just buying a glass tank and adding baffles. If any is interested in Bills e-mail you can pm me ill send it two you.

Good luck Dewey
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Old 12-19-2003, 12:13 PM   #8
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i have a 180 gallon tank with a sump approx 40 gallons would a 25 gallon fuge be good enough
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:57 PM   #9
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Hey Dewey can you post a pic of what it looks like? Also reefnewb, I was planning on building a fige for my coral only tank (maybe will have some fish). I was interested in what you said about not having bio balls. What would you suggest me building? My tank is a 45G tall tank with LR and base rock (about 18 pounds of base and 5 pounds of LR (seeding)) and a mix (seeding) aquarium sand and LS (about 3 inches... 50 pounds of aquarium sand and 22 pounds of LS). Thus far I have a corals only tank with a few frags. Right now the filtration is a Filstar XP3. What do you think.. should I go completely refugium or sump/refugium in one? I wish I could do both but I have one extra 29 gallon tank and not enough room in the stand. Thanks
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Old 12-19-2003, 03:01 PM   #10
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Here is a hang on style.


http://www.cpraquatic.com/products/citr.html
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