Algae scrubber vs. Refugium

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae (including bacteria)' started by mdbannister, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Which is better? Algae scrubber or refugium? What are the pros and cons to each?
     

  2. Joni

    Joni Member

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    Refugium is better in my opinion, plus I learned from my reefer friends here in Ocala that keeping your magnesium up will help control the algae grow. I had a really bad hair algae problem about 6 months ago to the point I was ready to give up on it but now my tank is 99.9% algae free. Also keep your phosphates as low as possible.
     
  3. swayd

    swayd Well-Known Member

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    You would be better off with both! Cleaning your glass is an essential part of daily maintenance. A refugium will help you by adding extra water volume, adding macro algaes, and providing a safe haven for pods and small critters lik that.
    Also a good test kit will benefit you tremendously as well as a good source of ro/di water.
     
  4. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! I think you may be confused by what I'm talking about when I say, "algae scrubber" (not referring to scrubbing the glass), but I appreciate the information on the refugium.

    Here's the Wikipedia article on algae scrubbers - http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_scrubber

    ;)
     
  5. swayd

    swayd Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for my lack of research lol. I wouldn't go that way I would stick with a refugium and grow macros. Once they get big you frag and sell/trade. The algae scrubber looks interesting though never really seen one in person b
     
  6. kacrocorals581

    kacrocorals581 Gotta have that acro

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    I use algea scrubber its by far better because nuisance algea takes up nutrients faster and keeps it out of your DT my cheto hardey ever grows in my fuge since all the nuisance algea in the scrubber take everything up faster
     
  7. tangboy

    tangboy Well-Known Member

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    A refugium utilizes several species of macro algae to take up all the different types of excess nutrients.
     
  8. Joni

    Joni Member

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    A refugium is more of a natural way to get rid of bad algae and its more beneficial since your pods will have a home to grow. I have live rocks and macro algae in my sump and once is established the utilize all the nutrients so fast that it doesnt give hair algae room to grow, also lighting is very important since light also feeds hair algae so if your lights are out dated then you might consider changing them.
     
  9. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for the info. I'm just trying to spark discussion for the benefit of everyone. I have a refugium currently, but am considering changing to an algae scrubber. I have lots of live rock, and my pod population is huge. Haven't had much luck at growing a fuge, so I'm considering the algae scrubber as an alternative. It would also free space in my sump.
     
  10. Joni

    Joni Member

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    Here a pic of my sump refugium. I dont clean it, thats the way it always looks, it host a mandarin too. Do you have a light on it?
     
  11. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Yep. I do have a light on it. I've actually tried a couple of different lights...
     
  12. Joni

    Joni Member

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    I never seen an algae scrubber in the works but im going to research it. :) Best of luck!
     
  13. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! :)
     
  14. dougers31

    dougers31 Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    I have seen some very good results from ats setups and am probably going to set one up on my tank in the near future. Only thing is you may want to run carbon and you might even be able to take the skimmer offline in the future as an efficient scrubber seems to outperform skimmers... We'll see when I try it out on my tank;)
     
  15. TarHeelReefer22

    TarHeelReefer22 Active Member

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    I currently grow macros in my sump with over success and once a month have to teim down the mass of plant life by giving it to fellow hobbists. I use a deep blue led 70 w fixture that mounts to the sump and only set me back 70 bucks and stuff grow like crazy nitrates stay at zero and hardly any algae even grows on my glass.
     
  16. Floyd R Turbo

    Floyd R Turbo Super Duper Member R2R Supporter Toys For Kids Sponsor 2018 Article Contributor

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    An algae scrubber can arguably be called a concentrated refugium. There are differences but at it's essence that's really what it is. The algae scrubber, at least the vertical "waterfall" type, uses laminar flow (thin sheet of water passing over a substrate) to break down the boundary layer where nutrient exchange happens, and allows you to place the light very close and on both sides eliminating losses. With growth-spectrum LEDs (660nm Deep Red and 440nm Royal Blue) there is very little shading effect as LEDs penetrate well (called "punch" in the lighting industry).

    IMO it is a good tool to have in the toolbox, but nothing by itself is a magic bullet. Combined with a skimmer and carbon you can get a very long way.

    Refugiums can be very effective as well but if you have one that is of enough scale to really be effective you really have to stay on top of pruning, daily to every other day in order to negate the shading effects.
     
  17. reefndude

    reefndude Valuable Member

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    I use both. Keep macro in the fuge and scrubber grows hair algae.
    I do not use a skimmer and trates read 0 or .25ppm.
    Very happy with the set up
     
  18. Joni

    Joni Member

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    Now that I know what the algae scrubber is, im going to make one to add to my sump. Thanks for bringing up this subject and thanks to all of you for your feedback!
     
  19. Samandar

    Samandar Member Reef Tank 365

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    Hi, I have refugium in my 600 litr system. Actually I am not sure that my set up is right and OK. The phosphat is near zero but the No3 is about 25. I have some questions. How much should be the water flow in RF? Is it better that RF be in Line ? I mean the circulating water flow totally through the Rf? Or is it better that the RF be after the sump to be enable to regulate the water flow? Somewhere I read that if the RF be illuminated 24 hour is better, how do you think about it?

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  20. Catchemall

    Catchemall Well-Known Member

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    I’ve always had a algae scrubber on my system until the last month just wanted to try something new”refugiam”. I’ve never had any algae problems at all in my tank. Mine is a diy acrylic box. My only problem was I never felt like I had it lit good. It always kept my nitrate non existent but really didn’t drop my phosphate. I never have understood that. But everything is happy and healthy so I’m not worried. One thing I do understand is even a small refugiam is efficient at nutrient uptake you just have to light it with strong lights in the spectrum mentioned earlier.
     
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