View Full Version : Right sized fuge? Critters? Sand?

03/31/2011, 11:58 AM
I have been running a Wet-Dry with an Algae Turf Scrubber (ATS) for 4months out of the 7 since I've been in the saltwater aqauria arena. I took the bio-balls out and in that compartment, I have a filter sock and 2 Chemi-Pure Elite mesh bags, and 3 mesh bags with GFO. I've been able to grow some nice soft corals and some LPS'es, but since the phosphates are running around 0.05 to 0.3 depending on when the last water change was, I can't keep SPS'es and anemones. The ATS has been working well, but due to space limitiations, I had to build the ATS outside the main tank stand. I have to clean the screen in the ATS every 7 days and after 5-6 days of algae growth on the screen, the water doesn't "drip" down the screen but pours over the edge and makes a large waterfall noise. I have fixed that by talking to my ATS buddies, but my wife has a sensitive nose, so because of the noise, the smell and the large space required for the ATS outside the tank stand, I'm switching to a refugium under the tank.

Because of space limitiations, I don't want to remove the Wet-Dry, unless I have to, so I was thinking of removing the ATS between the overflow box and the Wet-Dry and taking the GFO mesh bags out of the first compartment when the Solid Media Reactor arrives next week.

I want to run bio-pellets (actually Warner Marine Eco-BAK pellets) in the Media Reactor externally and convert the first compartment of the Wet-Dry into an area where I can grow chaeto or caulerpa. There are thousands of recipes for fuge design, but here are my questions:

1 - I don't want a deep sand bed, so I was going to add an inch or so of sand. Is that even necessary if I'm not having a DSB?

2 - I've heard caulerpa gets out of control. One guy here said that it grows faster than the chaeto. Is harvesting it time consuming? I travel for a week about once every 2-3 months and my wife hates taking care of pets, so I want something that she won't have to take car eof when I'm gone and can last 2 weeks until I reurn from a trip. Any pros/cons to chaeto vs caulerpa?

3 - I've been running the ATS lights from 2 pm to 8 am so they are on during the time when the display tanks lights are out, so as to keep the pH levels relatively stable. Is this a good time frame for the light over the fuge?

4 - Haven't thought about whether I need snails or clams in the fuge. Is that recommended? Someone in another thread said to include worms. What kind of worms? I won't be able to see the fuge on the left side of the stand except through the top, because the only door in the stand is in the center (won't ever buy one like that again..newbie error). Will the light being on to grow algae hurt the normal cycles of the snails/crabs?

5 - Should I get a mangrove plant or two?

6 - Lastly, as the title of this thread asks....what size fuge (just the part with the algae and sand) would I need if I'm going to run Eco-BAK pellets in a solid media reactor? I have a 120 gallon display tank with 12 fish and about 12-15 soft and LPS corals.

04/01/2011, 01:58 PM
Bump. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

04/01/2011, 03:12 PM
Hi mate,

If your ATS is propper, then you do not need anything else. If you get nice green turf growth thats all you need. No water changes, no nothing.

Remove all except the ATS. Give it a try for couple of months and see.

Do you have any pics?