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Refugium Filter for a Non-Overflow Saltwater Tank

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Refugium Filter for a Non-Overflow Saltwater Tank

Postby jnelson1983 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:25 pm

Hello,

I'm looking at setting up a refugium filter for my saltwater tank. Here's the catch: I don't have a wet-dry filter, and no overflow holes are drilled.

My question: What do I have to do so that I can set up a refugium filter system for my tank. Everything I've read has been pure positive about the benefits of these filtration systems (Easy deep sand bed for nitrate removal is the main one, Macro Algae is the 2nd). Since I have a 300 gallon tank, I really would love to find a way to reduce (or eliminate) water changes.

I'm just wondering what it will take for me to set one of these up (other than any obvious hoses), or if it's even possible at all without having a wet-dry filtration system already in place.
 
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Postby jdak702 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:21 am

From what i know, you will have to build or buy a HOB overflow. You can either put the refugium above or below the tank. The problem with below is you can risk flooding by over syphoning. Say you build your refugium in a 10g tank. You will have to leave several inches empty so when you turn your pumps off or a power outage occurs, it will completely syphon out and fill the refugium. Another problem with below the tank is that the return pump slices and dices the pods and whatever else you are harvesting in the refugium.

All that being said, you could hang it above your tank as a display on the wall. This way all pods and other stuff just takes a ride down the syphoning tube instead of going through a pump. Either way without a predrilled hole at the bottom, you will have to manually start the syphon every time you turn the pumps off. Unless you buy an overflow kit with automatic syphon. You can maybe build one. It consist of adding a little pump to start the syphon every time you restart the pumps.

I just realized the size of your tank and how big your fish are. You will probably need a big refugium to make a dent on your bioload and even then, i don't think you will get away from water changes. Have you ever considered using chem pure carbon. Using ion beads mixed with carbon makes the water last long and also crystal clear. I use in both my tanks.

jdak702
 
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Postby jdak702 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:25 am

Another idea sense you have no live rock. My tank does not have any either. I have a trickle/wet dry filter that was filled with bioballs. I threw those out and filled it with live rock rubble. Rubble usually cost $1.99/lb. Might be an option that is similar to a refugium.

jdak702
 
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Postby jnelson1983 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:30 am

I have about 450lbs of live rock in my tank... plus a ton of sand.

Good to know about the syphon, and potential flooding problems. As far as the refugium, I was looking at one that's about 40 gallons to use for it (every one i had looked at said it was rated for up to 300 gallons)

The biggest thing I'd be looking at the benefit, is that with the refugium, I could use the Caetomorphia (spelling?) to help eat away at the Nitrates and phosphates. Everything else in the tank that'd be considered harmful is undetectable by every test I've done.
 
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Postby jdak702 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:39 am

Oh, thought the rocks might have just been boulders. Are you thinking about buying something that is made as a refugium or making your own out of a tank? I am not too familiar with Caetomorphia and google only pulled up one link. (maybe spelling) Nor do i run a refugium although i have thought about it a lot so i have read a bit. I have mostly heard of them with reefs and not so much with FO tanks. May i ask how high are your nitrates and phosphates? And do you know where they are coming from?

jdak702
 
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Postby jnelson1983 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:44 am

The caetomorphia (The macro algae that looks like bundled up fishing line) is the one I would be using.

I plan on buying a refugium that's actually built as a refugium.

As far as my nitrates... let's just say that I have had almost no time in the last 6 months to do water changes... and after 3 massive water changes, it's down to the point where it takes at least 45 seconds for the color of the testing water to max out on the scale. So basically, really damn high.

Chances are, i'm going to end up moving the fish into my 72 gallon tank or a friends tank for a couple days and just doing a 100% water change to start it over.
 
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Postby jnelson1983 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:46 am

The caetomorphia (The macro algae that looks like bundled up fishing line) is the one I would be using.

I plan on buying a refugium that's actually built as a refugium.

As far as my nitrates... let's just say that I have had almost no time in the last 6 months to do water changes... and after 3 massive water changes, it's down to the point where it takes at least 45 seconds for the color of the testing water to max out on the scale. So basically, really damn high.

Chances are, i'm going to end up moving the fish into my 72 gallon tank or a friends tank for a couple days and just doing a 100% water change to start it over.
 
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Postby jdak702 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:57 am

ahhh... I think it's also called spaghetti algae. Chaetomorpha... just looked it up. I was thinking of putting that in my sump. Ya, you've got some big water changes have a 300g and all. I'm just figuring that out with my 150g. Instant ocean has this new stuff called Natural Nitrate Reducer. Haven't used it but saw it on the shelf at one of my LFS. I'm more of the chemical free reefer but i guess if it's getting bad, it wouldn't hurt to try.


http://instantocean.com/sites/instantoc ... 4&cid=5411

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Postby gotareef » Fri May 28, 2010 7:49 pm

chemicals cant do what a basic water change can!!

why would you spend thousands of dollars on a sw tank, and skimp on the filtration and water changes. you can buy a hob refuge
 
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