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Old 12-27-2008, 09:18 PM   #1
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Few questions about adding a refugium. ditch the bioballs?

I currently have a 125g with 100lbs of live rock and 100lbs of live sand. I bought the tank used and the people were running bioballs in a wet/dry (and protein skimmer). I set up the tank with the fish it came with (2 damsels and a clown). now it's been a few weeks and i've done a few water changes and i can't seem to get the nitrates down (they stay around 40) oh, and i just had an outbreak of green algae.

i've talked to a few people and they suggest adding a refugium to get the nitrates down. I've done tons of research on them some i'm gonna try and avoid the usual "what is a refugium" questions.

I've decided that i should definatly add one, i'm just trying to decide which way to go.

1) should i just add a small pump and pump the water from my sump into a 10 or so gallon refugium (just basically Chaetomorpha Algae and a light) and then have that drain back into the sump and leave the bioballs and existing setup.

2) ditch my current setup (and the bioballs) and use just the Chaetomorpha Algae for a filter and get something like this: http://i23.ebayimg.com/04/i/001/19/4e/bd6e_1.JPG

I'm going to stay fowlr for a little while but i do plan on adding some beginner corals in the future.

also, a random question. what time period should you have the lights on in the tank? does too much light affect algae growth or is it mostly nitrates?

any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jonathan
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Old 12-27-2008, 09:29 PM   #2
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1) yes, you can plumb it this way - use a pump into the fuge, and gravity drain out. You can also probably pull the bioballs, but I would do it a few at a time, rather than yank them all out. Pulling them all out at once could cause an ammonia spike.

2) more water volume is always better, so if you can afford it (spacewise) I'd say leave it.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:44 AM   #3
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IMO with 100lbs of LR in the display and 3 fish (unless you're planning on stocking heavy) I would start with replacing the bioballs with Chaet and see how that goes. Agree to remove the bio's slowly but I can't believe that the amount of rock in the display won't hold enough bio to handle a load 3 times what you have now.

At least that gives you some time before making the decision to have a dedicated ref. If you finally decide to go that way, make the ref and drop some LR rubble in the sump.

I have Chaet in the same sump chamber where my LR rubble is. Middle chamber, though i wish it wasn't post skimmer
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:08 AM   #4
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How old is the tank? Assuming the bio-balls have been there since.

Wondering if that is the source of the nitrates by themselves. 3 fish. 100 lbs of rock. I too think removing the bio-balls all at once might be OK.

What are your fish feeding habits BTW? What kinds clean up crew?
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