Does a sump/algae refugium work for planted tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Does a sump/algae refugium work for planted tanks?

Just wondering if a refugium to grow algae works on planted tanks, or does it just use up ferts?


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-17-2019, 11:58 PM
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Very curious to see the responses on this one, so following along.



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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 05:22 AM
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Oh. It'll work for sure. You'll probably grow some very healthy algae.

To what end are you trying to achieve?

Algae reduction in tank? I think it'll just be a waste of energy and a fertilizer sponge. If I recall correctly, the algae refugium/scrubbers purpose is nitrate reduction. This is great if you dont have plants. But we have plants for that very purpose! And we actually try to add more ferts in! It'll probably steal our valuable resources and do nothing to prevent algae.

If you're trying to do a plant less hardscape, then maybe I see a point in it.

It's also why reef guys or fish only guys value it so much. They're all about nitrate elimination.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 09:53 AM
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If your goal is to keep algae out of the display tank, a refugium is probably not going to help. It will compete with your plants for nutrients and you'll end up adding more to make up for it.

There can be other benefits though. Whether it's worth it or not really depends on your goal.

What do you want it to do?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 11:58 AM
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I would think it would work as it would just be an expansion on an Algae Scrubber?

Of course the optimal idea would just be finding the right balance of light and nutrients for your tank so there isn't any algae but if you can't then trying to isolate it from the display tank would be the best case of a bad situation.

I would look at just putting an Algae Scrubber into a chamber of your sump or it's a bit more expensive but maybe look into the Twinstar sterilizer rather then the Algae Scrubber. Try and kill the spores and prevent the growth rather then encourage it?

I'm with @Grobbins48 I'd like to see what the experienced members have to say about your idea though

...if I take the dishwasher out and use paper plates I can put a tank in the kitchen without losing counter space
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WetLeaf View Post
or it's a bit more expensive but maybe look into the Twinstar sterilizer rather then the Algae Scrubber. Try and kill the spores and prevent the growth rather then encourage it?
"Twinstar sterilizer":

I need help understanding this myth or monster.
Low DC voltage between two plates = electrolysis ?
Producing H + O2 by "under water evaporation ?
The anode will release O2 and the cathode H.

The electrolyte (your tank water) I'd bet would have to also be within
a certain range of conductivity for optimal performance.

O3 (ozone) would be required to call this a sterilizer.
No high voltage = no corona = "0" ozone = no sterilization.

I may need to build one of these.
Test if the bubbles burn @ the surface.
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 12:35 PM
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"Twinstar sterilizer":

I may need to build one of these.
Test if the bubbles burn @ the surface.
YES! I'll follow along- Heck, maybe one day I'll get adventurous and do a DIY one too just to see. Can't cost more than $10 to make?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 12:52 PM
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Oops... replied to wrong thread.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2019, 01:17 PM
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For planted tanks - no, unless it's only lightly planted and heavily stocked. Then I could see the benefit.

For non-planted -sure. Tanks with African or big SA Cichlids that tear up plants or Silver dollars that'll eat most any plant they come across (Closest thing to an aquatic goat there is) they would definitely be candidates.

There's still all the basic good reasons to go with a sump. More water volume, more room for filter media, place for equipment so the tank is less cluttered, easier maintenance, great oxygenation, and hands down the best vacuuming experience available.

IMO - done properly - you can't go wrong with a sump. Even a 10G sump on a 29G display.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2019, 02:48 AM
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What about instead of growing algae you use it as a place for organic stuff like leaves to decay to reduce pH, provide some CO2, and food for Daphnias? Just a thought, I came across the idea while reading Ecology of the Planted Aquarium.

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