Tell me about FW refugiums
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:23 AM   #1
kiera
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Tell me about FW refugiums


I've been reading a bit about saltwater refugiums lately and I am curious as to whether anyone uses these in their FW tanks. I'm not sure I completely understand how they work in the saltwater universe, but I'm interested in the possible benefits of using a refugium in a FW tank.

For instance, since the refugium and the tank share a water column (right?), would it be possible to shove floating nitrate suckers/algae preventers like duckweed and watersprite into the refugium, keeping the main tank free of plants that you may find unattractive or incompatible with the aquascape you have in mind?
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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Exactly.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:05 AM   #3
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Does it also mean that you could move some of the bulky tank gadgets to the refugium? The heater? The HOB, maybe leaving a small airstone in the main tank for airflow?
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:54 AM   #4
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Does it also mean that you could move some of the bulky tank gadgets to the refugium? The heater? The HOB, maybe leaving a small airstone in the main tank for airflow?
Maybe in the sump's return area, I would be hesitant to put a heater in the refugium. My fuge has a bunch of moss, snails, and duckweed.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:00 AM   #5
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Very interesting, thanks.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:13 AM   #6
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Does it also mean that you could move some of the bulky tank gadgets to the refugium? The heater? The HOB, maybe leaving a small airstone in the main tank for airflow?
A refugium would be a section of the sump typically, your return pump would be the circulation in the main tank. Airstones would't be necessary.

I don't think you'll benefit much especially with the added cost of adding an overflow, another tank, return pump, lights for the sump, etc. It's not worth it if your DT tank isn't that big.

In a planted tank, I would think your DT would have enough plants for the nutrient control where that is not necessary.

In a s/w tank, most people don't want the macro algae growing in their DT so they dedicate a section for them and for frags or pods, other section woudl be for equipment.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:00 AM   #7
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Oh I'm definitely not running out to make a refugium for my nano next week or anything. I just find the idea very interesting--something to keep in the back of my brain in case I ever do a larger setup.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:01 AM   #8
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I have freshwater refugiums for large tanks. Mainly keep nitrate hogging plants like ricca and water lettuce in them.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:03 AM   #9
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Do you have any pictures, AVN?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:42 AM   #10
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Oh I'm definitely not running out to make a refugium for my nano next week or anything.
I've seen a 10 gallon sump on a 5 gallon nano. Kinda funny but had some practical use. The innards of the tank were literally just two small glass tubes. co2, filtration, etc were all under the stand. And the total system was 15 gallons, so it was probably a lot more stable.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:31 PM   #11
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i have a sump for my 75gal tank. i use it to filter my water and put my heater as well.
the best part is that it is also my tank that i keep shrimp in
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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For a 6.6 gallon tank, an easy FW refugium is the same as the SW refugium equivalent - more or less. Buy an AC70, file down the plastic tab that limits flow adjustment so you can completely turn down the flow if you want. Stick your media in there along with a Hydor mini 25w or 50w heater. Now you have all the filtration you need with a hidden heater. If you want some added nutrient removal you can put vivarium plants in the HOB. Quite a few guys on the forum with planted HOB's.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #13
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I would love to do a refugium sump with shrimp and plants for my 55 or 29 but what about the noise? I'm extremely concerned with that. As I have canisters and enjoy the silence but would love to have a living planted refugium
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:44 PM   #14
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Sumps are noisy. You can do some things to mitigate it, but a sump with an overflow is going to be noisy. Your sensitivity will also come into a factor. Having used canisters for a year now and enjoying the easy, and noise free, operation I don't know if I could go back to large HOB's - let alone sumps.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:08 PM   #15
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Too lazy to take a picture, upload it, and then attach it to this site.

Here's a picture from another member, DenverTankCollector, of the Ricca that took over his HOB, my FW refugium looks EXACTLY like this, minus the HOB.

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