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Freind
09/16/2017, 08:57 PM
Hello All,

I am thinking to add refugium to my system.

I want to keep it simple as I do not have space. So I thought just use a 5 or 10 gl tank and simply add everything in it.

So please help me to make a simple and efficient refugium, like what kind of substrate, algae, rocks, pods to use.

One question about the refugium mud, like miracle mud or Fuji mud. Are these two are really different from the regular sea sand we use in the tank and do it really make a big difference.

Thank you

SAT
09/16/2017, 09:47 PM
There are a number of possible reasons to add a refugium, which can affect how it is constructed. What benefits are you looking for?

Yes, sand and mud are different. Mud is typically used as part of a formula setup, such as the miracle mud system.

My refugium has a deep sand bed, LED pendants, a mass of Chaetomorpha, and a variety of pods. The benefits for me are nutrient export from the Chaeto, a safe place for the pods to multiply, and a place to stick animals temporarily if I don't want them in the main tank.

Freind
09/16/2017, 11:10 PM
There are a number of possible reasons to add a refugium, which can affect how it is constructed. What benefits are you looking for.

My water levels are just fine but I like add a little more natural filtration.
If possible can you please load some pictures of your refugium

And just curious, do refugium can also help to maintain ammonia level.

SAT
09/18/2017, 10:09 AM
Sorry, my refugium isn't very photogenic.

A sand bed will help control ammonia, as will growing macro-algae when the light is on. However, it's unusual for ammonia to be a problem in an established tank. It's more typical to use these methods to control nitrates and (in the case of algae) phosphates.

If your only purpose is to add filtration, you might look at a Chaeto reactor instead. That would probably be easier to set up.

flsalty
09/18/2017, 10:47 AM
My water levels are just fine but I like add a little more natural filtration.
If possible can you please load some pictures of your refugium

And just curious, do refugium can also help to maintain ammonia level.

Algae does not break down ammonia. If your refugium has a sand bed and/or live rock, that will help with ammonia because it will add more surface area for bacteria. Ammonia is broken down by bacteria into nitrites. Nitrites are broken down by bacteria into nitrates. Nitrates are food for algae.

If your params are fine, then you really only need to get rid of nitrates and phos, so a chaeto reactor (as mentioned) would work fine for you. Basically you just grow the algae and harvest it to get rid of the excess nutrients.

The main idea of a refugium is to have a refuge for copapods to grow and live. Besides providing food for various organisms, they also aid in breaking down organics.

SAT
09/18/2017, 12:41 PM
Algae does not break down ammonia. If your refugium has a sand bed and/or live rock, that will help with ammonia because it will add more surface area for bacteria. Ammonia is broken down by bacteria into nitrites. Nitrites are broken down by bacteria into nitrates. Nitrates are food for algae.

That is the classic interpretation of the nitrogen cycle. However, more modern interpretations are more complex. Algae and corals (which employ algae) will use ammonia in place of nitrates for growth, particularly if the nitrate level is low.

flsalty
09/19/2017, 03:10 AM
That is the classic interpretation of the nitrogen cycle. However, more modern interpretations are more complex. Algae and corals (which employ algae) will use ammonia in place of nitrates for growth, particularly if the nitrate level is low.

I know algae utilize ammonium (NH4), but I haven't seen anything that indicates they can use ammonia (NH3) in any great amounts. In fact, algae can utilize ammonium more readily than nitrates.

Corals employ nitrogen cycling bacteria, as well as algae. They are also able to regulate the use of ammonium by their algae.

At any rate, it is doubtful that macroalgae in a refugium will have a significant impact on ammonia levels, unless it dies.

SAT
09/19/2017, 07:05 AM
In practice the difference between ammonia and ammonium is mostly irrelevant to us. The two forms readily convert from one to the other, with the ratio determined by pH. Unless your pH is abnormally high, the percentage of ammonia is low. If something consumes the ammonium, ammonia will convert to ammonium to maintain the ratio.