25 Gallon fuge vs multiple Chaeto reactors?

25 Gallon fuge or 2-3 Chaeto reactors

  • 25 Gallon fuge dedicated to Chaeto

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • 2-3 Chaeto reactors

    Votes: 2 40.0%

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garbled

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I need at least one more block of algae for my system to process nitrates. I currently have two ideas, and am wondering if people have experience or opinions or whatever as to which to do here:

Option 1: A big 25 gallon fuge.
Idea is simple. A 25 gallon tall AGA tank with a massive overhead growlight LED (probably a chinese blackbox "300 Watt" (115 actual watts) light) Area dedicated to growth would be pretty much 20G of actual space once I add a baffle or whatever to stop the chaeto from spilling into the main aquarium.

Option 2: 2-3 Chaeto reactors.
Idea would be to get a few big media reactors (probably in the 30" range, so about 2.5L each), wrap them in LEDs, and feed water through them. Easy enough, right?

So my question being, which would provide more nitrate reduction? I feel like the 25G sump would have more space overall for growth, but with top-down lighting, not sure how much the lower algae will really grow. I would also probably get less water movement through the sump than the reactors, because I could hard plumb the reactors into the aquarium easier and just blast them with movement.

I'm kinda 50/50 on this.. so any comments or thoughts appreciated, especially from those that have done either of these solutions. Thanks!
 

lion king

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You could do side lighting on the refuge, and as far as flow goes, ive found reactors work best for ms with flow between 250-300gph.

As long as you are doing a seperate refug and can control flow I would do a refuge. The reactors would be much more maintenance.
 
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garbled

garbled

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Hrmm.. that's a fun thought.. What if I got those same strip lights for a reactor tube, and then wrapped the bottom of the fuge in them? Muhahahahaha.
 

lbacha

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You can get grow light panels off eBay and put them on the side of the fuge. I’m using that on mine and the cheato grows like crazy
 

ca1ore

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If you have the space, elevate the chaeto fuge a few inches off the ground and slide a growstar 150 full spectrum underneath (it’s only about 2”thick). That’s what I do with mine. At the end of the day chaeto growth is chaeto growth; doesn’t matter how or where.
 
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garbled

garbled

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Hrmm.. I'm not sure I could pull off the under-light, would be hard to build a "stand" that short that would adequately brace a glass tank. Would be nice though! :)
 

lbacha

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Hrmm.. I'm not sure I could pull off the under-light, would be hard to build a "stand" that short that would adequately brace a glass tank. Would be nice though! :)
Yeah I wouldn’t do that with a aga tank as they are designed to be fully supported on the bottom but if you used a framed tank you could get away with it. I’m planning on using a aqueon 15g column tank as a fuge and putting my light panel under it
 

Dan_P

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The amount of nitrate removed per day depends on the amount of alga mass is formed per day. I am not aware that anyone has actually done such calculation for a refugium vs a reactor. Maybe the guys from Algae Barn can help you size your alga system.
 

KrisReef

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I see a lot of used reactors for sale, I think they have a place but they are not as versatile as a refuge.
I've never heard of anyone putting a rogue fish in their reactor.
If I ever get motivated I've decided to add a refuge to grow chaeto, and whatever else I decide to toss in it.
 

lbacha

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If you go with a reactor get one that is easy to open as you will need to pull cheato every couple weeks at a min.

With a tank style fuge you just reach in and pull as much out as you want to get rid of
 

lion king

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Reactors are great, Im running them on 2 of my tanks at the moment, and really like them. I had to use one on one tank because I made a flow through design sump wifh a refuge. The refuge had too much flow to be useful. For me a refuge works best with flow at least below 400gpb, any more and minimally effective. So a refuge with controllable flow is the best. Running through a sump with 1000gph plus has never worked for me.
 

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