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Old 03-22-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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Best Substrate for Refugium

Well construction on my sump is nearly complete. So now I'm planning on what media to use inside of it. The one thing I'm stumped on is what substrate to use in the fuge area... I'm aiming for something to help with nitrates because eventually I'm going to start adding coral to the tank. I've seen mixed reviews on if I should use Miracle/Mineral mud, or just stick with a DSB. And if I do go with some mud, should I mix it with some sand, or maybe layer it? I want something that can harvest a lot of them little critters we all love!

In the area with my skimmer and intake to the sump (before the baffles) I was going to add in a bunch of live rock rubble, then after the baffles in the fuge area I was thinking about adding a few more pieces of LR along with some macro algae. I have a separate box in the corner where the intake is going and I was goin to add some floss with carbon and possibly some Purigen in there as well. If anyone has any ideas on how to improve these ideas, I would LOVE to hear them !
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:09 AM   #2
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I dont see a reason to use mud in a fuge if you have enough sand and rock in your dt.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:14 AM   #3
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Well it's a 56 gallon tall tank with right around 60 lbs of LR and a slightly thin layer of crushed coral for substrate. Since I don't have much substrate in the DT, that's why I was going to do a decent amount in the fuge
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:25 AM   #4
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I'm no fan of crushed coral...but that would give you a reason for a bed in your fuge. I would try to go for a deep sand bed since this is the case.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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Sounds like maybe you have four compartments in your fuge? Personally, I wouldn't put any substrate in the macro algae chamber. The problem with substrate in the macro algae chamber is that as the algae dies off (which it does continually) that debris accumulates in the substrate. I would go rock rubble, chaeto chamber (bare-bottom), DSB chamber and return.
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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If you do use miracle mud make sure you have it covered with sand. That`s what I did but to be honest I would not use it again. I personally dont see where it accomplished anything.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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It will actually just be 3 chambers. The chamber with the intake in it will have the skimmer, and just a small box on the corner where the intake tube will be going into with a little floss and carbon...in that first chamber I was thinking rubble, then I've got 3 baffles and will one large area to put whatever I think is fitting, then the 3rd chamber just big enough for the return pump (which I'm considering running it externally and using the 3rd chamber for something else).

I haven't put the dividers up for the return pump chamber cuz I haven't received it in the mail yet, and was going to make it as small as possible to give me more room in the middle chamber. Putting macro algae in is not a big thing for me, I just want go the best route for keeping nitrates low.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:26 AM   #8
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I like the macroalgae more than a DSB for getting lower nitrAtes. If you make the last chamber very small, then you have to top of more frequently because that is where you will see the evaporation in the last chamber with the pump.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrance View Post
I like the macroalgae more than a DSB for getting lower nitrAtes. If you make the last chamber very small, then you have to top of more frequently because that is where you will see the evaporation in the last chamber with the pump.
Should I go with a smaller fuge to get a bigger pump chamber? Or should I leave it with just the 2 chambers and run the pump externally? I've got a Danner Mag-Drive 1200 which says it can be ran submersed or in-line, but I'm a little worried I might lose some power if ran externally, but I'm not sure on that
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:10 AM   #10
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I have always thought ext pumps are stronger. Not sure though, especially for a pump that can do both.

These are the decisions you will have to make. You could always get an auto top off unit if the last chamber will be small. I would go that route.
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