Originally Posted by cgthebeast
^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
. 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?