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Old 03-10-2012, 08:46 PM   #1
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Refugium question

Finally made good use of a crappy SeaClone protein skimmer! I turned it into a refugium - see picture below. I shortened the center tube to about 3 inches, added live sand, some tonga live rock rubble, and about 1/2 pound of Grape Caulerpa algea. I have a full spectrum T8 for lighting running lengthwise behind it. I have 3 questions as follows.

1 - Lighting: Do you keep the light for the refugium on 24 hours a day or should it be on a similar time as regular lighting for the tank (I keep my lighting on about 8 hours a day) controlled by a timer.

2 - Copepods: I've read several articles on adding copapods by seeding the refugium that can be purchased at a LFS. Has anyone had experience with this and do you think it can be done successfully with this type of setup? What have your experiences been?

3 - Pruning: Is there any particular way pruning the Caulerpa should be performed?


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Old 03-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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Questions one: You need to keep the lights on the refugium opposite to the lights on the tank.

Question two: Cope pods would work and are good for your sump, would they be chewed up by an impeller on the way to your MD?

Question three: For Caulerpa, you do not need to worry about pruning specifically. Just take it out and leave a handful left.

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice!

Couple of other things I should have mentioned in my original post. I don't have a sump set up for this tank. Everything is hang on back but I overkilled all the filtration for a 60 gallon.

Why do you suggest opposite lighting? When the tank lights are on, the refugium does not get much if any lighting since its hanging on the back. Does your suggestion assume regugium lights should be on 24/7?

Concerning the copapods, why would this setup be different with an impeller? Doesn't a "typical" refugium need to use one as well?

Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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Using opposite lighting makes for a more stable tank temp. Having them on the back is better for the copepods. Yes refugiums do use a sump pump, but the live sand bed in the refuge keeps copepods so thats where they mostly live.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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Since I don't have a sump, then I should be OK. However, I'll monitor the tank temp to see if there is an increase. The lighting I set up for the refugium is behind the tank against a wall about 6 inches away. The back of the tank has a heavy duty backing to hide the equipment from the front view of the tank.

For the copapods, I should be good - the live sand at the bottom goes up to about 1/4 inch to the top of the tube where the water is injected into the base of the refugium. It does not get disturbed below that level. The water flow movement starts at the top of the tube and moves through the live rock rubble and the caulerpa. If you look at the picture in my original post, you can see just above the top of the sand where the water is injected into the refugium from the pump in the tank.

Do you think this still sounds feasible to having a working refugium? This is the first experience I've had.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:55 PM   #6
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I think that would work perfectly!
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:45 AM   #7
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Just to build on what xtra51 said, having refugium lights on an opposite schedule help avoid pH swings. When the lights are off, photosynthesis shuts down, which alters the balance of O2 and CO2, changing the pH. By having the fuge on an opposite schedule, this doesn't occur, or to a much lesser extent. The temperature swings would probably not be a huge issue in such a small fuge, but certainly could factor into a large sump with high powered lights.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDracor View Post
Just to build on what xtra51 said, having refugium lights on an opposite schedule help avoid pH swings. When the lights are off, photosynthesis shuts down, which alters the balance of O2 and CO2, changing the pH. By having the fuge on an opposite schedule, this doesn't occur, or to a much lesser extent. The temperature swings would probably not be a huge issue in such a small fuge, but certainly could factor into a large sump with high powered lights.
Thanks for adding the PH swing, I forgot about that when I was writing this. +1 on this post!
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:47 AM   #9
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I really doubt this refugium will help much. It's way too small to make an impact. You might look into HOB refugiums. You could try a mesh wheel mod on the seaclone maybe to make it more efficient.
Also, the light over such a small area will probably not effect the PH either.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
I really doubt this refugium will help much. It's way too small to make an impact. You might look into HOB refugiums. You could try a mesh wheel mod on the seaclone maybe to make it more efficient.
Also, the light over such a small area will probably not effect the PH either.
I would have to respectfully disagree with you I think any size of refuge would work for any setup. The lights would make a slight PH swing. HOB refugiums would work, but he made his own DIY and didn't want to buy another.
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