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Old 06-19-2015, 08:05 PM   #1
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All my sump questions

^i jut have a couple for right now an might have a couple more for the future when I actually start to build this thing.
1. Does an alage scrubber an a fuge do the same thing?
2. Just what is are reactors such as a phosphate an a calcium and what do they do.
3. What is the best way to setup a sump (equipment wise).



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Old 06-21-2015, 12:09 AM   #2
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Also how do you figure out how many gph is needed for a 55g reef.


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Old 06-21-2015, 04:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgthebeast View Post
^i jut have a couple for right now an might have a couple more for the future when I actually start to build this thing.
1. Does an alage scrubber an a fuge do the same thing?
2. Just what is are reactors such as a phosphate an a calcium and what do they do.
3. What is the best way to setup a sump (equipment wise).



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An algae scrubber is actually an extremely effective method of lowering nutrients in a tank and even removing ammonia before it can even be turned into nitrate... It does this even better because it is exposed to natural air where co2 levels are elevated. A refugium has many many benefits, especially if employed correctly. If your main goal is nutrient exporting you need to have around a 40g section full of macros, or an addition refugium plumbed in, which is what I recommend. A refugium will also provide a place of refuge for creatures such as copepods. This can allow you to house some of the more delicate species such as Mandarin Gobies... This species have specific dietary needs. This is not an instant refuge and grow out but it does occur over time. Cheato is a great macro btw. Calerpa is also good with proper lighting... You don't want it to go sexual.

A refugium has the ability to stabilize your pH more than an algae scrubber. You should light up the scrubber but the fuge will be much much quicker at growing algaes.. If you run this light reveres display light (at night) or 24hours you will see your pH become more stable. Obviously a considerable amount of macro is needed for this... If it's just a small section in your tank it's likely its just providing a place for pods, etc.. I would skip on the sand bed unless you have the separate tank and plan to do around 6-8 inches deep..... It would probably do more harm than good overtime and loose it's buffering capacity at some point and would require changing. With it being deeper you can also employ mangroves for the visual placement. You'd probably want to do reveres cycle and not 24 if you go for mangroves.

Reactors are an addition way to filter the aquarium through chemical means. It's usually helpful to have a phosphate reactor but it is not always necessary. You could run GFO. I personally keep a reactor and GFO on site but do not use it unless I notice a serious algae bloom to decrease some of it's food (phosphate). I'd probably go buy some more hermits and emeralds as well.

You can also do a carbon reactor! I run carbon 1 week every few months just to polish the tank... I do keep Purigen in my sump however.. You are also able to put GFO and Carbon in a media bag in your highest flow area of your sump. It would not be as effect as in a reactor, but it's be one less thing to clean and have to fail... Also less electricity and one less cord...

A calcium reactor is a method to supply a balanced dose of Calcium and Alkalinity. These are the two major things required for corals growth through calcification (specifically hard corals), and coralline algae. You need a Co2 cylinder and an electric solenoid connected to that. It would be very smart to have a big refugium with a reactor to consume any excess co2 to stabilize pH. Most aquarist will also use a pH controller when using a calcium reactor to shut it off should the pH drop too low. Calcium reactors provide a very very stable environment and are common in SPS tanks in conjunction with kalkwasser. The benefit of Kalw is it' extremely high pH. Limewater is around 12 pH and will raise you pH. So it is beneficial in this regard with a calcium reactor dropping pH... Targeting the rate of consumption will take 2-3 weeks but will provide you an expensive, automated and balanced method of calcium/akalinity supplementing for half a year before needs more media.

Other method would be heavy frequent water changes(Um expensive) (multiple weekly for hard corals) or a 2-part such as B-Ionic. Consider picking up a test kit for the elements. Red Sea makes a good 3 in 1 for Ca/Kh/Mg. You will need to dose Mg separated. If you want to automate it you can get an autodoser.. The benefit of the autodoser is it could have a dosing pump already for Mg as well. A 2-part will also have trace elements, Mg, Strontium, boron and other elements.

Water will drain into a mechanical filter section with a sponge, where it goes under a baffle through a sponge, over a baffle pass the skimmer section, over a baffle, refugium section, over a baffle that is next to a baffle slightly open on bottom to keep water in the fuge but provide a return pump chamber where ATO will go. A second ATO for redundancy make sure your tank cannot crash because of pump failure is nice. For something we plan to house hundreds of dollars of fish and coral the small $400 expense for two ATO seems cheap security. Most of us would justify the expense for a visual light... An ATO such as the Tunze will have a sensor and a float valve. One for too low and a fail safe for too high. (A timer is simply not enough like some models offer as security) Positioning the second ATO slightly lower you enable the protection. Several things would have to go wrong for a salinity crash to occur.

You should also consider the light you use for your refugium as the quicker ability it has to grow algae the better it can extract nutrients and stabilize pH through Co2.

EDIT: Also water moving slower past the skimmer will allow for the skimmer to function better. More flow in the display acts as better filtration. The sump is for slow skimming. Anyone ever consider running two skimmers? One wet and one dry?
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Old 06-22-2015, 11:18 PM   #4
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All my sump questions

So for someone with out a larger fuge area a algae scrubber would be a valid investment. Also te more research I'm doing, the more it seems that I'm going to be holding off in sps for a while but if I ever add a calcium reactor would that mess up a current tank?
Also in avoiding the sand bed in the fuge, what about the mineral mud or would it deplete itself also

Looks like I'm going to be running media bags for awhile though. My wallet is crying by this point


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Old 06-23-2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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I personally like fish such as a Mandarin Goby and run a refugium more for this reason than nutrient export. If your goal is not nutrients then you do not need a scrubber. If you want some help to lower nitrate it will... The phosphate not so much, but a little. Same with huge if it's not big though.

Yeah you can always change your Ca/Kh source, it's just a matter of adjusting corals to it gradually. Some SPS would probably show difference in a sudden change, as would many other corals in the groups we know as LPS and SPS.

I have heard great thing about Miracle Mud. A big name that supports it is Mike Paletta.. Guys been doing this since the 70s and ever since he saw Leng Sy tank in the 90s with no skimmer, only Eco system filter (miracle mud), and a 14K MH instead of the 20K where he saw most of his coloration. He was amazed at the coloration he was getting even with the 14K and he hasn't ran a system without the eco system method since. He chooses to skim however. This changed us from the Berlin system everyone was running since the 70s with 6.5K MH bulbs. That's some brown coral haha.

Anyway I'm getting off topic.... I personally choose to go no substrate in the refugium. I just toss in rock and chaeto. You can use Calerpa also. Despite hearing Mike talk about the mud I see no benefit from it besides in a 7in deep bed with mangroves extracting rested nutrients.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:43 PM   #6
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Okay, cool. Right now I'm just trying to figure out everything I can to prevent any unwanted algae from growing in my display. As for the fuge, I would like to culture pods in it so my sixline an any other fish that eat them will have something to eat.

Now for lighting, do I need a reef quality light in order for algae to grow it is it possible to build a fixture to suit the sump
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:50 PM   #7
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Your light should grow algae as quick as possible. So a 5K spectrum would be ideal. I use Finnex Clip on LED
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
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Any plant acceptable lamp should run a fuge well.
It is not like trying to please a nem or coral at all!
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