Refugium and canister filter questions~

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Mar 28, 2020
Minnesota, USA
Hello again! I'm back!

Since I couldn't find a clear answer on my own, I figured I'd ask my questions here. I want to get a refugium to grow some macroalgae (probably chaeto) and create a colony of copepods.

  • Are there any problems with having a canister filter and refugium at the same time, completely unconnected?
  • In other words, will the chaeto in the refugium still get what it needs to stay healthy and grow (ammonia, nitrates, etc) if the canister filter is already cleaning those things out of the water?
  • If I do end up with a fuge, will I have to break out my (nonexistent) totally epic plumbing skills to reroute the water so that it goes through the refugium before the canister filter?
  • Is there anything I can do to avoid having to break out my totally epic plumbing skills?

I do NOT want to invest in a sump at this time, as I'm a bit low on cash and I already have an empty 15/20 gallon tank (not sure of exactly how many gallons it holds, but it's around there) that I think will suit my needs. I don't really want to get a HOB fuge either, mainly because they're expensive and I don't have a ton of room on the sides of my tank.
I wouldn't run the canister at all personally, but there isn't any issues with running both. But there won't be any issue with running the refugium after the canister. The canister would cut any of the 'chunks' out. The refugium would then pull the nutrients out of the water column.
And, when it comes to not being afford a sump but having an empty tank...that is a sump! Congratulations on your upgrade. My first sump was a 20 long that I glued some glass I had cut from a home improvement store.
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