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Old 03-25-2004, 04:35 AM   #1
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Is a refugium worth it?

I've got a 25 gallon FOWLR (is it considered a FOWLR if you have shrimp, crabs and snails?). I'm looking for ways to expand my tank and keep it healthier. I was thinking about a refugium.

The only place I would have room would be below the tank in the stand. It's not very big- not much more than 30" x 18". I can't have anything outside the stand- I've got two small boys

Is there a difference between a refugium and a sump?

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:30 AM   #2
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A refugium is lighted and generally has much less flow than a sump. If you build a lighted sump using a small return pump for reduced flow it should work as a 'fuge and a convenient place to put your auto top off system. Make sure you leave enough room in there to handle a power outage - when the main tank drains into the lower tank.
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Old 03-25-2004, 02:15 PM   #3
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In my opinion and experience..refugiums are really only benificial on smaller tanks and as a place to grow macro for feeding herbivors. On smaller tanks, the water volume in the refugium will help stabilize it as well as offering the possibility of reverse lighting the fuge. By doing this the tank water is always lit and will stabalize the ph. Pod propigation is another benifit, but only if you have a water pump and not a power head as the "return" on the fuge. Powerheads are very rough of pod populations and should never be used in a fuge that is meant as a pod haven.

I use mine as a way to grow macro's for my herbivors...even this has down sides. Some caulerpa will release a mild toxin into the water when its cut. Although, it seems to be pretty much harmless, especially in a tank that has carbon as part of its normal filtration process.


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Old 03-25-2004, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
In my opinion and experience..refugiums are really only benificial on smaller tanks
Heh that all depends on the size of the fuge. I am working on a 150G fuge/sump for my 105G tank and remove my dsb. Fuges are just too cool, but agreed, a small fuge won't do anything for a large tank other than provide a place to reproduce pods and maybe suck out a little phosphate. I would say that 20% of the tank volume is the minimum to act as a bio filter, im interested in seeing what happends when 110% is used.
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:18 PM   #5
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Wow Brisco, that sounds cool...Go for it!! Im starting a 20g fuge for my 20g reef, mostly to grow macros to try and outcompete all my stupid micro algae that has taken over in plague proportions!

At 100% of the tank volume, im expecting some superior water quality, plus i will have LR and a DSB in the fuge too.
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:24 PM   #6
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I think from my experience with others who build fuges that a 1:1 match is the best way to go. I have one friend and know another person who have done this and though im fairly new to all this, haven't seen anyone else who can have near perfect chemistry with IMO very heavy bioloads. Best of luck to you!
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:10 PM   #7
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30" x 18"

I just recently installed a 20 gal sump into a 24" x 24" area. In hindsight, I could have gone larger with a custom designed tank and some better planning. A lot of your equipment can go INSIDE the dimensions of the sump/fuge tank (return pump, skimmers)...this would enable you to use almost the entire area for the tank itself.

Another benefit that hasn't been mentioned is the neatness factor. All those heaters, skimmers, filters etc. etc. get nicely hidden away.

Just make sure you plan to be able to take things OUT of the tank for maintenance.
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Old 03-26-2004, 07:26 PM   #8
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I'm still new to the refugium concept myself, so bare with me. But from everything I've read and from the advice of the fellows on here, they are well worth it. They increase the water volume and if you run your display tank and fuge on different light cycles your tanks chemistry should stay pretty neutral... no harmful spikes. Again, I'm still new to this, so don't take my words as gospel. Get some guys like reefrunner69 or captivereefs to give you advice. They helped clarify a lot of things for me.
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Old 03-27-2004, 08:29 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice. I really want to start something, I've checked out a lot of information, my head is kind of swimming.

Quote:
In hindsight, I could have gone larger with a custom designed tank and some better planning.
What is better planning? Where should I start? What should I look into?
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Old 03-29-2004, 12:13 AM   #10
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what do you think of this i have a 55 gal instant ocean set up with a emp 400 filt,
i want to do a sump /refug. i was thinking of taping into the emp 400 i the back and using its pump as a supply instead of an siphon, i would of corse run the return back up and out the bio area, has this ever been tried? this way i figure if there is power out the emp 400 would lose prime and wala no spill.
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