AIO Compartment Refugium vs HOB

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
17,008
Reaction score
108,347
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New York
AIO users, please comment on unexpected issues you have encountered using a rear compartment for macroalgae. I am especially concerned with issues of nuisance algae growing in the compartment. I am weighing the pros/cons of using a chamber as a simple refugium compared to using a CPR HOB Aquafuge 2. I note I have run several marine tanks in the past, but this is my first AIO. It is a JBJ 45 Gallon Rimless.

Here are my thoughts. The pros of the Aquafuge (I do have the small version on hand) is it can easily be removed from the system if needed. It also adds a little water volume. The con is I worry about hanging it on a rimless tank even if I have it perfectly vertical (I know, I could build a support also, but not great looking where I will have the tank).

The pro of using one of the AIO compartments is it is contained in the system. I do not have to hang anything off of it (possibly ugly), or require extra space behind the system. The concern I have is if I get hair algae or some other nuisance algae in the refugium compartment, it is closer to getting in my display and would be much more difficult to clean or scrape out completely.

Anyone with experience in these types of setups have any thoughts, opinions or advice? Thanks!
 
Maxout

Twolabs443

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
70
Reaction score
63
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I have the left rear chambers in both my IM AIO tanks setup as refugiums. I say as long as you don’t need the space to run other equipment, filtration, or media it is a good use of the space. They can be a bit tough to clean and a bit smaller than ideal. I use a In Tank media caddy to help make maintenance and trimming the cheato a bit easier.
 

woodguy

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Messages
102
Reaction score
138
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
cheato in a basket is a great idea, should not have to worry about hair algea spreading from a fuge area, the small fuge lights for aio wouldnt compete with your main light on the tank, may want to really think about light cycle time if you do. love the idea, natural fuge is better than any "gadget" that alot of people add to aio's
 

mahindra.dev

Euphyllia Lover
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Messages
932
Reaction score
2,213
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
HYDERABAD
+1 on chaeto or any macro in the basket. I was strongly considering using a CPR HoB, but the risk of water spillage and one more thing sitting on the glass edge, naa not worth the risk.

I am able to fit all these in my JBJ back chambers: 2 reactors (IM desktop and Aquamaxx FR-S), 2 heaters, Apex probes, Dosing tubes, inTank refugium basket, inTank floss holder and large inTank media basket with 1 upgraded return pump from NYOS.
I also use the area below the return: I added marine pure balls, since its a super low flow area, it should help with anaerobic bacteria colonization. There area ways to maximize filtration in our AIO's and add a fuge. See if you can stay away from HoB.
 
REEFTIDE

mahindra.dev

Euphyllia Lover
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Messages
932
Reaction score
2,213
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
HYDERABAD
Bear my rant -

One more thing I ran into is running fuge in the primary return chamber. Sometimes the detritus escapes the floss area and gets trapped in the algae and that can cause die off. If you use the up-flow area for refugium, any detritus will sit on the bottom of the primary return and its easy to siphon. Also a basket is must. WHY? During feed mode or any maintenance when returns are OFF, say there is stuff sitting on the bottom, it does not mess with the macro algae. I experienced this when my FR-S reactor sponge was pushed up and GFO particles slowly escaped the reactor and settled to the bottom of my primary overflow. So during siphoning, I was able to remove everything without having to worry about macro algae and GFO getting mixed up.
 
OP
NY_Caveman

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
17,008
Reaction score
108,347
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New York
Bear my rant -

One more thing I ran into is running fuge in the primary return chamber. Sometimes the detritus escapes the floss area and gets trapped in the algae and that can cause die off. If you use the up-flow area for refugium, any detritus will sit on the bottom of the primary return and its easy to siphon. Also a basket is must. WHY? During feed mode or any maintenance when returns are OFF, say there is stuff sitting on the bottom, it does not mess with the macro algae. I experienced this when my FR-S reactor sponge was pushed up and GFO particles slowly escaped the reactor and settled to the bottom of my primary overflow. So during siphoning, I was able to remove everything without having to worry about macro algae and GFO getting mixed up.

Thanks for the detail. I am leaning toward the chamber with the acrylic basket. Originally I considered the HOB for the extra volume and the ability to use it as a display refugium. I also like that I could easily remove it from the system. However, I am most concerned about using it HOB on a rimless aquarium. I figure it could be about 30 pounds.

I have the space to use the refugium basket in an upflow chamber. If I did, everything including the skimmer, probes and dual heaters would all be contained nice and neat within the system with nothing HOB. I am not planning on using a reactor at this time (new setup). My biggest concern for this setup would be nuisance algae growing in the chamber.
 

mahindra.dev

Euphyllia Lover
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Messages
932
Reaction score
2,213
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
HYDERABAD
Thanks for the detail. I am leaning toward the chamber with the acrylic basket. Originally I considered the HOB for the extra volume and the ability to use it as a display refugium. I also like that I could easily remove it from the system. However, I am most concerned about using it HOB on a rimless aquarium. I figure it could be about 30 pounds.

I have the space to use the refugium basket in an upflow chamber. If I did, everything including the skimmer, probes and dual heaters would all be contained nice and neat within the system with nothing HOB. I am not planning on using a reactor at this time (new setup). My biggest concern for this setup would be nuisance algae growing in the chamber.

Understood. The reason I’m running reactors is, because it’s new and I want to give it everything to avoid algae. Once coral growth kicks in, system will stabilize. Plus I feed heavy.
 
OP
NY_Caveman

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
17,008
Reaction score
108,347
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New York
@ashiWaza asked me about my experience so I figured I should add that reply here as an update.

I tried a refugium in a back chamber for a short while. In the end I grew more algae in the chamber than Chaetomorpha. Keeping the panel clean so the light would reach the Chaeto became a pain. I also found my nutrients (NO3 and PO4) never really rose to levels that concerned me. That was just the nature of my system. I always attributed that to using real Pacific Ocean live rock. Perhaps the low nutrient levels is why I grew more algae from the chamber light than Chaeto. I used a very cheap clip on grow light meant for terrestrial plants, but it should have been sufficient.
 

lotekfish

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
69
Reaction score
118
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Columbus Ohio
I have an AIO and use one chamber as a fuge with a basket holding chaeto. The chaeto has never really taken off, maybe because of the spectrum of my DIY light? Nuisance algae does grow rather well back there however. I just let it grow. I do not have a problem with nuisance algae in the main tank, maybe because of the cleanup crew, maybe because it just grows better in the back, or both. It's not that hard to clean out of the back chamber with a scraper and a syphon, it's way easier than trying to clean it off live rock. I don't go nuts trying to get every last bit out. Just get the big chunks out to let more grow. It's all nutrient export.
 
Fritz

ashiWaza

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
125
Reaction score
193
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Reno
I'm not home atm and dont have the link, but I have an actual fuge light I ordered through 'InTank' when I ordered my media basket. They have a 'blacked out' version of media basket, where a black panel faces the DT, and a clear/open side faces the back of the tank where the light will shine through. I'm planning an entire tank around a mandarin, and mainly just want the fuge for copepod purposes. Still just not sure if I want to try the HoB method :(. I'm not sure cleaning a HoB will be any easier though. I'm also concerned about the weight torquing the glass. I've been debating building a tiny support shelf on the wall to rest the HoB on, so it would be supported while still being aesthetically pleasing. But thanks for the reply @NY_Caveman
 

KJoFan

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
1,811
Reaction score
1,177
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
MN
@NY_Caveman what is your goal with the refugium? Nutrient export or other fuge benefits like pods and such?

I only ask because i have the IM 50 Lagoon AIO and have implemented a Santa Monica drop in scrubber in one of the inner chambers for nutrient control/export. I believe the width of that particular chamber is 3.5" and the scrubber fits easily.

I'm not familiar with the dims of the chambers of the JBJ tanks so unsure if the same solution would work for you. But just another idea I thought I'd toss out there. Not necessarily the most budget friendly option depending on the size of scrubber you want either.
 
OP
NY_Caveman

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
17,008
Reaction score
108,347
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New York
Thanks! A solid option for nutrient export alone. It would fit. At this time though, I am not looking to add a refugium back to the system. Any tank upgrade in the future and I hope to go with a display refugium.
;)
 
AS

Fishyj

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Messages
645
Reaction score
484
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Niagara Falls NY
Hi everyone, I have an Im 20 and did use the hob on the back of the tank but found it a pain to get my ato to work properly. I did try different pumps but it would fool my ato and add too much water. I have been using the second chamber and really have no problems with it. I do once a month clean the back chambers out. I also run my fuge light 24/7. If I could get the hob fuge to work I personally would use it. I my try it again this winter since I did replace my ato with a trunze 3155 .
 
OP
NY_Caveman

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
17,008
Reaction score
108,347
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New York
I have an Im 20 and did use the hob on the back of the tank but found it a pain to get my ato to work properly.
Good info. I never considered how the HOB might affect the ATO on such a small tank.
 

sfin52

So many pedestrians so little time
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
19,365
Reaction score
88,081
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Usa
You are welcome. I also thought if I use the HOB I would have built some kind of extra support.
If you mod a aquaclear that really won't be needed. Have one for my 55 thinking about adding to the 90.
 

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 197 24.8%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 406 51.1%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 59 7.4%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 64 8.1%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 53 6.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 15 1.9%
A Reef Creation
Top