Bio pellets vs refugium in 50 Gal. What do you guys think?

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Chase361

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Hey guys been in the hobby for about 2 years. I have a Innovative marine 50 Gallon AIO and I'm having high nitrates I feed about half a cube twice a day. Tank has about 6 fish. I don't really over feed in my opinion.
I just cleaned out the rear chamber last weekend and realize I need to do that about every 3 months haha. I change out the filter media in the two baskets on ether side of the tank twice a week and chemi clean blue about every other month.

So my question with all of my reefing Fam!

What's popular now and would you recommend?

Small Bio pellet reactor from BRS and a Skimmer

or

a chato refugium and a skimmer.

I am trying to find a good skimmer that fits and have finally found one that does and skimms good.
I like the idea of both but the bio pellet reactor just seems cool AF but all the info and you tube video's seem 3-6 years old. Is this the old ways or whatever? Any ideas or help would be loved thanks you for whoever took the time to read all this haha.
 
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Either should work. I’d choose based on whichever better fit my system. For a refugium, you’ll either need to plumb to it like a sump or get a hob refugium. You’ll also need lighting for a Fuge.

For an AIO a biopellet reactor would be simpler to add, depending on how much space is in your chambers you may need a hob reactor or again you could plumb to an external reactor (think similar to a canister filter for plumbing). I have both on my 150, but I feed super heavy.
 
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Chase361

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Either should work. I’d choose based on whichever better fit my system. For a refugium, you’ll either need to plumb to it like a sump or get a hob refugium. You’ll also need lighting for a Fuge.

For an AIO a biopellet reactor would be simpler to add, depending on how much space is in your chambers you may need a hob reactor or again you could plumb to an external reactor (think similar to a canister filter for plumbing). I have both on my 150, but I feed super heavy.
So for the fudge IM actually makes a light that clips on the back of the tank. I just cut off some of the black vinyl and it sticks to the back in a chamber.
For the reactor Id get a HOB like this one from BRS and just plum it like a canister lol



There both kinda the same pricing. about $100 to implement so I'm like stuck on which one to go with haha
 
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ARGH lol There both kinda cool honestly. I guess with a refugium I can get pods going and get a mandarin fish lol
My only concern with a Fuge like you are describing would be if there’s enough room for a big enough Fuge to be effective. Most AIO chambers are pretty small. But if the light allows you to use the full height it might be big enough…..maybe.
 
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Chase361

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My only concern with a Fuge like you are describing would be if there’s enough room for a big enough Fuge to be effective. Most AIO chambers are pretty small. But if the light allows you to use the full height it might be big enough…..maybe.
So it’s a 3” square but it’s 16” tall I believe and the light goes 75” of the length. The water flows up so water flow is good.
 
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Chase361

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I'd go with refugium. Add as large a one as possible as your space allows. I've run refugiums at 75 gallon and my next will be 40 gallons. Both of these are on an 80 gallon display. With a 50 gallon, I'd say at least 20 gallons for your refugium, but if you can go bigger, do it.
Honestly I’m kicking my self in the butt on not getting the sump version of this tank instead of the AIO. Stupid mistake on my part
 
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Hey guys been in the hobby for about 2 years. I have a Innovative marine 50 Gallon AIO and I'm having high nitrates I feed about half a cube twice a day. Tank has about 6 fish. I don't really over feed in my opinion.
I just cleaned out the rear chamber last weekend and realize I need to do that about every 3 months haha. I change out the filter media in the two baskets on ether side of the tank twice a week and chemi clean blue about every other month.

So my question with all of my reefing Fam!

What's popular now and would you recommend?

Small Bio pellet reactor from BRS and a Skimmer

or

a chato refugium and a skimmer.

I am trying to find a good skimmer that fits and have finally found one that does and skimms good.
I like the idea of both but the bio pellet reactor just seems cool AF but all the info and you tube video's seem 3-6 years old. Is this the old ways or whatever? Any ideas or help would be loved thanks you for whoever took the time to read all this haha.
Have you considered dosing vinegar?
 

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Honestly I’m kicking my self in the butt on not getting the sump version of this tank instead of the AIO. Stupid mistake on my part
Yeah, that is a tough one. You would have to use a HOB overflow to feed the fuge. It's possible, but a little challenging.
 
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Chase361

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Yeah, that is a tough one. You would have to use a HOB overflow to feed the fuge. It's possible, but a little challenging.
Honestly no there are 5 chambers. center and 2 on the left and right. first is for the mechanical filtration then the two on the inside can be made into a refugium and a skimmer chamber but a skimmer is hard AF to find that fits AND works. sumps are so much easier to fit and maintain. plus your get more room in your display and more water volume. There good for beginners but then also with how you cant do whatever it also kinda makes it harder too.
 

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Vinegar dosing is an increasing daily dose of vinegar to reduce nitrate followed by a decreasing daily dose to find the maintenance dose to keep nitrate at the desired level. You should have a skimmer to make this work.
 
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Miami Reef

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50 gallon tank? Water changes for nitrate removal. Works fastest with minimal side effects, and may supply additional benefits of increased water quality and trace elements.

Carbon dosing and refugiums take time before they really start working for nitrates. Carbon dosing needs skimmer for optimal results.
 

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FWIW, I'm not a fan of biopellets. Too slow to respond to 'dosing' changes and impossible to control timing of oxygen reduction. Dosing a liquid like vinegar eliminates these concerns and adds greatly to the number of organisms that can directly use it (adding corals and sponges, for example).

Growing macroalgae has the plus that it raises pH and O2 when lit. It's certainly a good choice, but may be most costly than dosing vinegar.
 
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BioPellets = Carbon Dosing.

The one benefit Carbon Dosing has over running a refugium is that it feeds your corals, whereas a refugium just uses the nutrients to feed macroalgae. Refugiums can help feed your tangs and other herbivorous fish though...
 
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