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Old 03-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
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Mr X - For a 60 gallon tank, how do you measure what size would be adequate?

I figured I can monitor the results for a few months and see what happens.

I hope xtra51 is right - but I have read online that some people have had success using this method. If I had a larger tank (100+), I would be more inclined to agree. Additionally, I do not have a lot of extra room on this tank for anything much larger. I would love to set up a sump but due to the constraints of the location and the furniture the tank is displayed on (it is made for a 60 gallon tank), it's not possible.
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Old 03-11-2012, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekean45 View Post
Mr X - For a 60 gallon tank, how do you measure what size would be adequate?

I figured I can monitor the results for a few months and see what happens.

I hope xtra51 is right - but I have read online that some people have had success using this method. If I had a larger tank (100+), I would be more inclined to agree. Additionally, I do not have a lot of extra room on this tank for anything much larger. I would love to set up a sump but due to the constraints of the location and the furniture the tank is displayed on (it is made for a 60 gallon tank), it's not possible.
You just need to make sure to take the plant out when it gets full. I would prune every week if it needs it. Remember, when you take the plant out, that is your nutrients and that is how you get it out of your tank.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:41 PM   #13
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I think Doug was stating that a fuge this small won't make a big impact. But I do think a tiny fuge is better than no fuge at all. If at any point you're able to plumb in another tank, it will be a lot more effective, for sure.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #14
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I am stating that you won't even see a change in the tank or on the test kits with that tiny amount of algae, and a cup of sand. I do not think a tiny refugium is better than a working protein skimmer. If you were getting any skimmate out of that thing it's going to do more for exporting nutrients than a hand full of algae. Again, I would focus more on trying to get that skimmer to work better, or replace it all together.
As for the size of a refugium, the largest you can afford in your allotted space would be my recommendation.

I think some folks give more credit to refugiums than they deserve, in terms of nutrient export. It only takes a very tiny carbon source for algae to carry out photosynthesis, and algae growth is not a gauge on how much nutrients are in the water. Take a house plant for instance. You take a clipping from it and put it in a cup of tap water and that is enough for it to grow 2 inches and form roots.
So, if xtra51's theory is correct, then putting algae in the tank would increase the nutrient levels, if by removing the algae, you are taking it out.
Why wouldn't the larger algae plant remove even more nutrients from the water column?
The reason why it's pruned is so it doesn't go sexual, not because if you don't do this, your water will remain dirty.
As the algae colony grows larger, so is it's need for a carbon source.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:41 AM   #15
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Sorry X, I missed that he didn't have a skimmer at all. I somehow thought he'd replaced the old one.
If you do have a skimmer, then I think any fuge is better than no fuge, though the bigger the better.
If you don't have one, get one. Because a skimmer will (As X said) do more than a fuge.
Also, to build on the nutrient export idea.
As algae grows, it takes in nutrients. Some of which are not completely used up, but just stored. If it goes sexual and dies (Caleurpa is notorious for this) then all those nutrients are released back into the water at once. So, the trimming serves a dual purpose. First, it helps keep them from going sexual. Second, the nutrients stored in the plant are then moved to the trash can. As the algae recovers and grows more, it takes in more nutrients, and so on.
But remember, even the ocean has a protein skimmer. It's called a beach.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:26 AM   #16
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I do have a skimmer - a Reef Octopus BH1000. The Seaclone was an old one that did not work and I had read that some people were turning them into refugiums. That's were I got the idea. I was under the impression that refugiums were good to help control nitrates, breed copapods, and that corals (which I do not yet have) love them.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:13 AM   #17
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They are, but again, it's very small. For a 60 gallon tank I would want something much larger. You can breed copepods right in your display. As a matter of fact, you probably are.
I was also under the impression that you took your only skimmer and turned it into a refugium.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:19 AM   #18
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Mr. X - sorry I was not clear! Love the Octopus skimmer and it does a great job. Just trying to get the best filtration for the tank on a tight budget and tight space.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:28 PM   #19
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Ok, with the new info. That helps a lot. Your little DIY fuge will probably breed pods fairly well, though the limited space will be a limiting factor on that. You'll get some nutrient export, but not much. Back to "Better than nothing" but bigger is better. This could be a good holding area for the chaeto until you have the time, space, and money to make a dedicated sump/fuge.
So, short answer, I guess, is that this refugium will not hurt anything, may help, but not a huge amount. Still, clever use of an old skimmer.
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