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View Full Version : Refugium, Zeovit, Biopellets... What to do what to do?


zchauvin
12/29/2012, 10:50 AM
Hello everyone. I am currently getting equipment together while my tank is being built and don't really know which way to go. The tank will be only sps and mildly stocked. Total volume will be around 100 gallons. Before I go buying reactors and different things I want some opinions on what can be achieved which what method and to what degree. I know zeovit is based off of ULNS and gives SPS a pastel color but at the same times allows the owner to feed more and fine tune his or her system plus the added bonus of a clean sump - which I love. Then theres the traditional sump with skimmer and refugium and some carbon, IMO this can leave the coral with darker colors but you may get phosphates and nitrates which are bad for sps and cant go crazy when you feed your fish. In a nutshell, I am trying to see all the pros and cons and here some peoples experiences. Also looking at it from the cost view as I know that zeovit or any system of the sort where dosing is required will cost more to keep up. TIA

ReachTheSky
12/29/2012, 12:33 PM
I think Zeovit is the most complete ultra-low nutrient system but it's pretty expensive and requires lots of careful dosing. If you can afford it and are willing and able to keep up with it, by all means go for it. Zeovit powered tanks are truly some of the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. Amazing stuff.

Biopellets - which I will be using - are not as expensive or require as much attention and have proven to be fantastic at keeping nutrients low. It's not as complete as Zeovit so sometimes phosphates or nitrates can become problematic if the system is limited by one or the other but that's nothing a little bit of GFO or overfeeding can't fix.

With a standard refugium with macro algae, nutrients can get out of control if you don't monitor feedings and bio-load as you stated, but this is the tried and true method of the hobby. Plus they have the added benefit of providing a breeding ground for beneficial pods and other fauna.

Epicreefer
12/29/2012, 02:22 PM
I wouldn't look at it from a cost perspective. Yes zeovit can get a bit out of control with long term supplements if you let it but the set up isn't very different. You'll need the same skimmer, pumps, lighting, and so on for all three. A specialized zeo reactor might cost $1-200 more than a biopelet reactor or larger sump with fuge and then another $2-300 a year in the basic consumables. Gfo, carbon, and some form of supplements could be beneficial with all three so I would think that cost would even out. If not a few hundred a year isn't much in this hobby.

The big difference is in the maintenance. A fuge based system you don't need to tend on a daily basis and can go on a month long trip without much worry and leaving basic instructions. Biopellet is about the same but is more actively removing nutrients and less likely to be a nutrient sink over that long trip or over several years. Zeo takes time every day. Not much but ycan need to tend to it daily. It can be just as easy as the others and potentially automated for around $200 more but is more risky if you go on that long trip. It also seems to have a learning curve. I'm debating my new system on algae turf scrubber and biopellets vs zeo and my main worry is traveling for work to steer me away from zeo.

Yedgy
12/29/2012, 07:20 PM
You might want to take a look at Red Sea's Reef Care Program. It's not quite an ULNS like ZEOvit, but it follows many of the same principles and provides many of the same benefits without constantly sitting on the edge of instability. Even if you ultimately decide to go another route, their brochures and videos are very informative and provide insight into low nutrient reefkeeping that the other systems don't provide.