Algae Scrubber vs. Refugium

Ecotech Marine

Which do you prefer (for a tank that will home pods for mandarin)

  • Algae Scrubber

    Votes: 8 23.5%
  • Refugium with chaeto

    Votes: 26 76.5%

  • Total voters
    34

ajtomase

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Hello everyone,

I'm planning my first tank (Red Sea Reefer 625) and I'm not sure whether to utilize the refugium it comes with and add chaeto to it, or should get an algae scrubber. I would like to eventually have a mandarin so I know I will need a healthy pod population, but I'm not sure if an algae scrubber have the same benefits as a refugium.
 

AlgaeBarn

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Like the two members mentioned above-if you know you want a mandarin then a refugium with macroalgae is going to be a better asset for you than a scrubber :D
 

Ratherbeflyen

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I use both on my system. I ran just a fuge for about a year before adding the scrubber.

IMG_20200325_195709.jpg
 

kerbfish

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I wanted to start a fudge many months ago but then no one had clean chaeto.....anyone?!??

A srubber is more costly but looking for reasonably priced recommendations from those with success.
If I have a only a small area for a fuge is it better to default to a scrubber ?
 

Orm Embar

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I went with a refugium/chaeto (have never tried a scrubber) for several reasons:
1) mechanically simpler (mine is a light suspended over part of the sump with macroalgae and live rock rubble at the bottom)
2) cost; I'm surprised by how much an algae scrubber costs
3) able to experiment with macroalgae (I have chaeto and now some codium)
4) I assume that a refugium is much better at culturing copepods etc
5) I think that, if you can get microalgae growing in the scrubber, you can get it elsewhere with enough light (like the display). This is probably inaccurate in real life, but that's my thinking
 

R33fDaddy

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Algea Scrubber all day, plus you really don't need either to have a healthy population of pods. I had a pod explosion in my tank without either of them. I just got an Algae Scrubber and I believe the benefits far out way having a refugium. The refugium means lighting up your entire sump and getting algae growth in places you don't want it, like on equipment. Also cheato grows in a ball or glumps together creating dark spots where it dies and just releases nutrients back into the water. Keep doing your research and you'll see a lot of people who have detected the refugium for Scrubbers. Also it's some really nice Scrubbers out their for around $250 that will grow with your tank.
 

Bpb

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I'll admit, a large refugium is probably better if culturing copepods is the primary purpose....however, if culturing pods is the primary goal, there are better ways to do it than with a refugium that will give you far denser pod colonies than just running a fuge.

At the end of the day refugia and scrubbers have their benefits and setbacks. Cost will be a wash. Appropriately sized spaced for either will be something to consider, and the up front cost of a quality refugium light vs a quality scrubber will be comparable.

Scrubbers will result in some yellowing of the water from the hair algae they grow, and likely require the use of activated carbon in tandem with them to reduce those compounds. Chaeto will require supplementing other elements in the water to keep it growing robust and healthy (lets face it, other types of macro algae pose too many problems to be used for nutrient reduction, some grow too slow, some are too prolific and invasive).

Ultimately everyone should tend to gravitate toward whichever they "like" better from a maintenance and aesthetic standpoint. I ran some pretty unsuccessful refugiums for years and wouldn't likely run one again unless I had a dedicated fish room and could use a large tote of 50% of the display volume or large to run a large amount of chaeto with circulation pumps, easy access to manually turn it, and high quality high powered lighting. I'm not in that situation. I've been happy with the ability of a large turf scrubber at drawing out tremendous amounts of nitrate and phosphate, so I'm rolling with that. I supplement pods manually
 

Do you have a battery backup plan in place?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 138 39.1%
  • NO

    Votes: 196 55.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 19 5.4%
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