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Old 08-17-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
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What is this gunk in my refugium?

Hi all

I've had my aquarium setup for about 1/2 a year now. The refugium is about the same age. I started noticing this brown gunk a few about 3 months into it and I'm not sure what it is. It's getting worse as time goes on. Anyone know what it is and how to deal with it?

I currently have the inlet and skimmer in the first chamber. I have a pump (to a reactor) and chaeto in the second chamber and the return pump in the third chamber.

The chaeto isn't growing much at all, not sure why. My nitrates are about 20ppm... fish only. I have a 5100k light on about 10hrs a day.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
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Can't really see what you are talking about but it sounds like algae.. Do you have any snails in the refugium section?
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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Sorry about the crappy picture... here's a better one
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:18 PM   #4
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Just detritus. You can just siphon it out when you do your water changes.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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That's a lot of poop... i thought the skimmer was supposed to take that out.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:16 AM   #6
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That's a lot of poop... i thought the skimmer was supposed to take that out.
I'm sure it take a fair amount out but it wont take care of it all. It will help if you add some more flow inside your sump to keep the detrius in the water column before it settles down on the floor of the tank so that the skimmer will work its magic. Or you could just siphon it out.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:41 AM   #7
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Sorry about the crappy picture... here's a better one
It's probably building up bc nothing is there to eat it and keep that area clean. I would recommend adding around 3-5 inches of sand, some rubble for the algae to grab onto and a dozen or so snails and maybe a half dozen hermits. If you can, Fuge mud is also great stuff if you can get your hands on it.
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Old 08-18-2013, 05:43 AM   #8
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Just looking again at the pic and was
Wondering if you though of maybe adding a piece of glass instead of the egg crate? You could benefit a great deal and could also add an auto top off system on the pump side of it. Just another thought...
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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Jmkb02

Would sand or mud get sucked up into the return pump? Can would the detrius really be cleaned up be the snails or would they just be hidden in the sand?

As for the sump, I originally had a piece of glass where the eggcrate was, but my original pump (Mag5) and my second pump (Sicce Silence) resonated with the glass there. I decided to pull it out and it got a lot better. Then I switched to Eheim and it was even better. I may put the glass back, but then I wouldn't have a refugium for a couple of days.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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Jmkb02

Would sand or mud get sucked up into the return pump? Can would the detrius really be cleaned up be the snails or would they just be hidden in the sand?

As for the sump, I originally had a piece of glass where the eggcrate was, but my original pump (Mag5) and my second pump (Sicce Silence) resonated with the glass there. I decided to pull it out and it got a lot better. Then I switched to Eheim and it was even better. I may put the glass back, but then I wouldn't have a refugium for a couple of days.
I am generally against putting any sort of sand or miracle mud in a refugium. Unless you have the room to do a deep sand bed then there is absolutely no reason to put any sort of substrate in a refugium as it will just act as a haven for excess waste which could be easily cleaned up otherwise. Using a clean up crew is however a great idea even though they won't completely eradicate the issue. Nothing will work as well as a good siphoning out of the debris.

I did see a neat gadget that worked like a HOB filter but had a gravel vac attachment so you could remove debris from the tank without having to deal with removing water.
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