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Old 01-04-2012, 10:32 AM   #1
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Ditching my refugium-good idea?

I'm thinking of getting rid of the refugium in my sump on my 125g reef tank.

It's been running for about 8 months and I gotta be honest, I don't see the benefits......

I have about 3 inches of sand, some live rock, chaeto and some caulpera. I have more pods in my TANK than I do in the fuge....lol Running a 25w macro light over it and nothing really seems to be growing. I have it on a opposite light schedule from my main lights too.

Anyone think this is a good idea or a bad idea?

I was thinking I could just shut down the system, remove all the fuge contents and use that space for a bigger skimmer. I also am planning on adding a bio pellet reactor next month or so.

I just don't get the refugium idea, I understand what it's supposed to do but I just dont' notice any appreciable benefits. My ph is almost always low and the nitrates are building at a normal level. I have absolutely NO algae in my main tank but I never really did even before the fuge.

Please help. I really am unsure of what to do.

Thanks everyone for reading and giving input, I really need it this time! LOL
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I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #2
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Not sure carey. If the macroalage is growing, then it's doing something.
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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It's been growing very very slowly. I've only trimmed the caulpera once so far and the chaeto is almost the same size as when i got it. It is still green though.

You know I respect your opinion X, what do you think? Bigger skimmer or refugium?

Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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What's your lighting schedule?
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Old 01-04-2012, 01:18 PM   #5
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Fuge light is on at 5pm and off at 10am. I lengthened the time recently to see if i could encourage growth and work on my Ph.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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3" of sand is too shallow for any DSB benefits and there's not a lot of area in a sump/fuge for that anyway. Generally a fuge should have much slower water flow, so it should be separate compartment from the sump fed by a small pump. That's the theory anyway.

I use the last compartment of my sump to hold some lr rubble, sand and chaeto. When I was running bio-pellets, GFO/GAC my chaeto started to disappear as the nutrient level went down. Before that the caulpera out competed the chaeto for nutrients and grew like crazy.

When between having major back issues and being too busy at work to give my tank proper maintenance (changing GFO/GAC/ pellets) I started getting algae problems in the tank and added some chaeto back to the sump. I'm now pruning it regularly. But I also did my semi-annual maintenance over New Years and now have new bio-pellets, GFO/GAC running. I expect my chaeto may do another disappearing act.

So, if you're going to add bio-pellets and your already running (and changing) GFO/GAC regularly, dump the fuge. Otherwise, give it some more time and you may start to see some regular growth.

BTW, caulpera as I recall should be on a 24/7 lighting schedule. Having it on an opposite schedule is what triggers it to go sexual.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for the input! makes alot of sense.

I'm only running a TLF GFO reactor and plan on adding a reef octopus biopellet reactor, but no carbon.

I DO have a pretty deep sand bed in my DT, about 6 inches or so, I had read that the more surface area the better so I skipped it in the fuge since its such a small footprint. I was running the lights 24/7 but then the chaeto started to get yellow so i backed it down to 12 hour cycles. Now its on like a 15hr cycle. I have not had any of the leaves on the caulpera turn clearish which I had heard is the sign of it going sexual so I think I;ve done ok as far as that. I also only have a small handful of that in the sump anyways. The caulpera also has not done well.

Just trying to find a happy place since the tank is actually maturing and I'd like to find a way to keep it as stable as possible.

Thanks again for the input guys, I appreciate it. I don't wanna do something drastic without getting a good amount of information either FOR or AGAINST switching it out.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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You surely should be able to grow chaeto?

On my 40g bowfront I use a deltec MCE 600 HOB skimmer, I don't know if you are familiar with the model but if not have a look up.

It has a media chamber that is housed inside the return compartment. I however don't use this for chemical media, I use it for growing chaeto as it has a clear plastic cover that I attach a D-D led magnetic glow light to. It's basically 4 high powered led's with reflectors.

This grows chaeto like mad, I have to halve it every water change.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Crap photo but I can't pull this tank out, you can see the magnetic light on the chamber next to the reaction chamber.


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Old 01-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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Not everyone has a Deltec! That's a great idea for that design though.

Take a look at the Aquamaxx reactor at Marine Depot. I think it's their brand. The water inlets at the bottom of the reactor force a circular water pattern up the reactor. It's a much better design than the TLF 150 I was using before.
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