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Old 02-20-2005, 01:14 AM   #1
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What is the concept of a refugium?

Wondering....if a fuge is hanging off the back, circulating the same tank water, why does it grow different stuff (copepods, etc.) and how does it work? What are the other advantages? Does it require the same light? TIA!
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Old 02-20-2005, 02:46 AM   #2
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Refugiums break down proteins naturally with the microbes that form in the refugium mud with the aid of algae. The return water is different that that from a protein skimmer, which just mechanically removes proteins. The return water from the protein skimmer doesn't harbor the by products that come from the natural break down of proteins...which in turn affects the flora and fauna of the system.

Refugiums seem to require constant light for constant activity that break down the proteins, so a small light is usually included in refugium kits such as the Ecosystems which is wht I have on my 18 gallon mini reef. It's been going strong for 3+ years.
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:17 AM   #3
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The refugium also provides a place for pods, ect... to grow without any predators. It keeps the tank supplied with pods, plankton, and other natural foods.
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Old 02-20-2005, 01:00 PM   #4
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A refugium with the use of caluerpa or micro algae will remove excess nutrients from the water, helps reduce/remove nitrate. IMO is a great thing to have on a tank. Pod growth in an area where there are no predators is an added benefit.
Lighting depends on what algae you have in your fuge. Some should have 24/7 lighting others can be run the same as your tank. Some run lighting in reverse order to help keep ph levels up.
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Old 02-20-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
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From this input, I surmize that the fuge needs "food" or some drive mechanism to generate these benefits, right? What is the fuel that feeds this? How do you begin this ecosystem?
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Old 02-20-2005, 02:35 PM   #6
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organic matter (detritus) from the display tank(s) will feed the refugium. it is also a good place to put specimens that will not flourish in the display. ie: mushrooms or star polyps because they need less light.
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Old 02-20-2005, 02:42 PM   #7
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also, some people put LR in their fuge, some put a DSB, and some put both. some keep several species macroalgae, some swear by one species per proper. and some keep none at all.
refugia are a very controversial subject...
as was said: some light 24/7, some light 12/12, some light reverse the display, and some light with the display.
my refugia are on ~14 hours per day...they go off 2 hours after display comes on and they go on 2 hours before display goes off.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:56 PM   #8
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In small tank a DSB is not a great idea, not a large enough area for denitrification to really work. Add a shallow SB and LR rubble for filtration and a place for pods to grow.
As stated your fuge feeds off of your main tank. I do sometimes throw in some pellets for the pods to munch on.
Corals are not the best thing to put in a fuge... Over time unless your prune on a regular basis the calurpa will choke out the corals. My fuge is so packed with caluerpa the light has a hard time getting through.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:25 PM   #9
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thats a point for some setups, but not everyone has caulerpa (or any macro for that matter) in their fuge so to say that "Corals are not the best ithing to put in a fuge..." is in your situation, not everyones.
everyone has a different use for their fuge(s). fore example, you may keep caulerpa while others keep chaetomorpha and others keep halimeda and still others are more into gracileria. its all a matter of opinion. i have no coral in my fuge, but if i had a coral that seemed to be suffering due to the light being too intense (if i had intense light ) i could see moving it to the fuge where the light is PC.
i disagree with your opinion that a DSB is only good in a "large tank".
call me a weirdo but my display tanks are currnetly 29g and 10g. the size of the refugium is relative to the size of the display itself. for example, a 20g refugium on a 29g display is huge for the tank its on (which is GREAT!) but the same 20g refugium on a 1000g reef is not NEARLY as functional!
so, if you run a DSB in a 10g thats NOT too small. even a 5.5g with a DSB isnt bad. it depends the size of the tank it is going to filter.....
also, many people have multiple refugia or at least a sectioned refugium where macros can go in one compartment, rubble in another, etc.
i am not going to say what one should do with their refugium because it should be open to their intentions for the device.
what can i say - the refugium method is a controversial one... even those who swear by it have entirely different opinions of exactly what "it" is...
trying to help...
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