Best items to start refugium and when?

Damdeno

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Fairly new to hobby, have only had the 75g tank for about six months and have had two clownfish and a couple astrea snails and hermit crabs in the tank for about a month now. I have diatoms and little tiny white algae’s,(sponges?) on in the tank that’s a bit out of control in spots I’ve resorted to scrubbing the excess diatoms myself and wanted to know if now is a good time to start a refugium and what would be the best items to get.
I’m running a 3pt 30 g sump with a skimmer in it.
Sorry if theirs anything I didn‘t include
Questions are more than welcomed as well.
- Hector
 
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xxkenny90xx

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Let's see some some pics! How is your water testing? If nutrients are high chaeto is a good start. If they're low I wouldn't add any extra filtration.

Are the white spots pineapple sponges? Their good water cleaners btw.

Hey welcome to the club!
 
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Damdeno

Damdeno

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Let's see some some pics! How is your water testing? If nutrients are high chaeto is a good start. If they're low I wouldn't add any extra filtration.

Are the white spots pineapple sponges? Their good water cleaners btw.

Hey welcome to the club!
GH 180
KH 125
pH 7.9
nitrite 0
nitrate 10
all measured in ppm
I never had nitrate in the system till recently, I believe it’s because of the snails that I’ve added that I feel out of 5 only two are actually going to make it.

image.jpg image.jpg
 

SMSREEF

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Nice tank!

I would wait till you have more fish and higher NO3 and PO4. Also your issue with diatoms and sponges (which I personally do not think is a problem) is probably due to silica in the water. Are you using RODI water? Have you tested the TDS?
snails LOVE diatoms. And those sponges are easily suctioned out.

I started my refugium too soon. It caused my nutrient levels to bottom out and had Dino/chrysophyte problem When they did.
Now I took protein skimmer offline, dose nitrate and phosphate to keep my levels NO3 5-10 Po4 0.05-0.1
I also put an urchin in with the macros In fuge to keep it thinned out.
 
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Damdeno

Damdeno

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Nice tank!

I would wait till you have more fish and higher NO3 and PO4. Also your issue with diatoms and sponges (which I personally do not think is a problem) is probably due to silica in the water. Are you using RODI water? Have you tested the TDS?
snails LOVE diatoms. And those sponges are easily suctioned out.

I started my refugium too soon. It caused my nutrient levels to bottom out and had Dino/chrysophyte problem When they did.
Now I took protein skimmer offline, dose nitrate and phosphate to keep my levels NO3 5-10 Po4 0.05-0.1
I also put an urchin in with the macros In fuge to keep it thinned out.
I do not use RO/DI water but I am sure the diatoms arised from the lighting we purchased because they bloomed three days after the new lighting. I refuse to order snails online and my LfS actually doesn’t have such a large supply so I add 5 at a time.
I didn’t want to just turn it off I am trying to find a good medium of lighting but my patience is running thin lol, which is why the refugium question arises. so I am considering buying what they call Utilitarian fish like a tang or something that can help maintain the algae.
I have not tested for TDS but I’m huessing it’s normal fine since I go To my LFS and they test for everything when I go.
 

SMSREEF

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I do not use RO/DI water but I am sure the diatoms arised from the lighting we purchased because they bloomed three days after the new lighting. I refuse to order snails online and my LfS actually doesn’t have such a large supply so I add 5 at a time.
I didn’t want to just turn it off I am trying to find a good medium of lighting but my patience is running thin lol, which is why the refugium question arises. so I am considering buying what they call Utilitarian fish like a tang or something that can help maintain the algae.
I have not tested for TDS but I’m huessing it’s normal fine since I go To my LFS and they test for everything when I go.
Never guess the water you are using to mix saltwater and top off evaporation is fine if it comes out of the tap. It likely has metals and silica in it. I’m pretty sure your LFS did not test for silica. Lack of silica is what usually limits the growth of diatoms. But yes, if you turn the lights off, they won’t be able to grow either.

If you are not using RODI water that’s likely your issue, and this will cause more issues if you plan on having corals.

However, if you want a fish only tank, then maybe the water you are using is ok. And in that case, a refugium would be a good thing when you get more fish because it will use extra metals in the water to grow.
 
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Damdeno

Damdeno

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Never guess the water you are using to mix saltwater and top off evaporation is fine if it comes out of the tap. It likely has metals and silica in it. I’m pretty sure your LFS did not test for silica. Lack of silica is what usually limits the growth of diatoms. But yes, if you turn the lights off, they won’t be able to grow either.

If you are not using RODI water that’s likely your issue, and this will cause more issues if you plan on having corals.

However, if you want a fish only tank, then maybe the water you are using is ok. And in that case, a refugium would be a good thing when you get more fish because it will use extra metals in the water to grow.
I use distilled water for now. I also bought a copper test kit and water conditioners to prevent metals in the water. I should know by next week if I have any metals present as well.
 

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I use distilled water for now. I also bought a copper test kit and water conditioners to prevent metals in the water. I should know by next week if I have any metals present as well.
That’s a different story. Distilled is much much more pure than tap for sure!

I used distilled for a very long time before I had RODI and never had an issue.
People say there is a possibility of copper, but I never tested because I never had a problem with my inverts or corals.
 
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Damdeno

Damdeno

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That’s a different story. Distilled is much much more pure than tap for sure!

I used distilled for a very long time before I had RODI and never had an issue.
People say there is a possibility of copper, but I never tested because I never had a problem with my inverts or corals.
What did you have as a bottom when you started with the inverts.. if you don’t mind me asking .. sandbed, BB?
 

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What did you have as a bottom when you started with the inverts.. if you don’t mind me asking .. sandbed, BB?
Sorry, I missed this question till now.
I have a 10 gallon bare bottom. That I had Astrea snails in for 3 years. When I got bubble algae, had an emerald crab (returned to LFS when bubble algae was gone).

The new tank is a 60 cube. That has sand (special grade so it doesn’t blow all over). I have a fighting conch(my favorite), sand sifting star, astrea snails, trochus snails, cerith snails and Blue leg hermit crabs. This has a fuge section also with sand, with tuxedo urchin, snails, hermits.
 
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Damdeno

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Sorry, I missed this question till now.
I have a 10 gallon bare bottom. That I had Astrea snails in for 3 years. When I got bubble algae, had an emerald crab (returned to LFS when bubble algae was gone).

The new tank is a 60 cube. That has sand (special grade so it doesn’t blow all over). I have a fighting conch(my favorite), sand sifting star, astrea snails, trochus snails, cerith snails and Blue leg hermit crabs. This has a fuge section also with sand, with tuxedo urchin, snails, hermits.
Lol I just saw a video of a fighting conch eating a snail lol and a hermit crab jumping in its mouth to get in the shell straight out of its mouth lmaoo .. it was hilarious watching the crabs fight for who was going to get the shell lol
 

SMSREEF

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Lol I just saw a video of a fighting conch eating a snail lol and a hermit crab jumping in its mouth to get in the shell straight out of its mouth lmaoo .. it was hilarious watching the crabs fight for who was going to get the shell lol
Hermit crabs are a riot! Some people really don’t like crabs because they get into too much trouble and can’t be trusted 100%.
But what’s a reef tank without drama;)
 

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