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refugium build help


Fragsnmore

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I have a 40gal breeder tank and a 20gal long tank. I want to build a refugium with the 20gal long tank but not sure on how to start the build. I have a ati bubble master 160 skimmer that will be in there a kent marine float valve for my kalkwasser reactor also i have quiet one 2200 for my return. I have a over flow box for the 40gal tank. I'm not great on designing it. also will have cheato to. If some one could post some plans that would be great.

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can you drill your fuge and elevate it above your sump. Most people split their drain from the tank and add ball valves to allow a small amount of water to enter their fuge.. Surface area is the most important thing when designing a fuge... the more the better. Then have the fuge drain back to your main sump. I have some chaeto when you come to that point and would be happy to help you on your build.

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how big is the footprint on the skimmer and return pump?

Skimmers need a constant water level to work correctly and you will need a bubble trap to keep micro bubbles from pumping into your display.

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20gSumpDimensions.jpg

This is the design I am using for my 45g. The left side is for the skimmer and the line from the overflow. The middle is for the refugium. the right is the return. I use the slanted baffle to reduce micro-bubbles and this also makes a good place for mechanical filtration, IE. polyfiber and carbon. This drawing is of a 30g sump but could easily be adapted to your needs.

post-953-12498440006385_thumb.jpg

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I've researched refugiums a ridiculous amount lately. My current 90g build is going to be using natural filtration only in the form of a large refugium and algae scrubbers.

One of the reasons refugium building is so confusing is that if you get 100 reefers together you will get 200 opinions on how to build a refugium. There are lots of ways that work for a refugium and lots that don't. First thing you need to ask is what is your primary goal wil putting this refugium together. As I see it there are four reasons to use a refugium.

1. Nitrate reduction

2. Nitrite Reduction

3. Growing food for corals/filter feeders

4. To grow out specific types of macro algae

The basic idea is that you put in live rock, deeps sand beds and macro algae in various ways to achieve your goals. You almost always want "raw water" going into the refugium that has not been skimmed so as many nutrients are given to the macro algae as possible. Also, if you are trying to grow food you don't really want a skimmer between your refugium and your return pump though this is not absolutely needed. Just remember that your skimmer will take out a chunk of that nice plankton you just tried so hard to grow if that is your goal.

As far as flow goes this is very dependant on your goals. For instance, Chaeto, Gracillera (SP?) and Hair brush algae remove DOCs and Nitrates from the water at a better rate with a faster flow. They are all plants that evolved in fast flowing currents and the more of your water that goes by the better they do. This is inconsistant with goal 3 however as the faster flow does not let a really good population of pods and other zooplankton develop in that area. Also other types of macro (ulva for instance) likes a slower current and will just rip apart and mess up your tank in a higher current situation.

So, I'm going to assume that you are really looking for Nitrate and Nitrite filtration. On my 24G tank I have a sump refugium setup mostly for this as I like to heavily feed my critters. This is a sump that is above my tank and gravity fed back. Pretty standard sized 20G sump. Water (pre filtered from some floss to keep the pump healthy) is fed from the main tank (maxi-jet 1200) to the large "skimmer" area of the sump through a 100micron sock. In this area I have my skimmer (remora c HOB) and live rock rubble on the bottom. It feeds through a baffle with more live rock rubble and my chemical filtration. I usually run a couple cups of carbon and 2 bags of purigen. So far this is about 3/8s of the sump area. Then it feeds into my chaeto area where I have a small powerhead. The extra current here is more to keep nuisance algae away than anything else. I was developing a diatom problem before putting that powerhead in. After that it flows into a a 5" DSB planted with ulva (my clowns and blenny like it.) and is gravity fed back to the display tank.

With this setup I'm feeding 4 times per week for phyto/reefroids and 6 times a weeks with larger foods for the fish and corals that like meaty foods. I always have some ulva on my veggie clip for everyone to snack on and since its living it doesn't disintegrate like nori. I want to add some shaving brush algae to the sand portion as I have heard that these are very good for filtration.

Hope that helps you out.

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