Could a Refugium only filter work?

GoVols

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hello I am building a 190 gallon reef tank tank with a fifty five gallon sump. I was wondering if it would be possible to make the whole sump a refugium and fill it with chaeto algae and around 75 mangrove trees. Would this provide adequate filtration
I saw and mangrove sump this month
It got the job done and it looked real nice.
 
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GoVols

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I ran my entire system with a refugium, macro algae and mangroves for a year. It worked. Only thing is the pH was difficult to keep up high where I wanted it especially since I wasn't running the refugium on a reverse cycle. I've turned my skimmer back on, but mostly for air exchange and I've seen improvement. I'm in the camp that it is possible to make your water too clean with over filtration, so you need to find the balance.
 

cracker

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Please let us know how it goes .
Sounds like an interesting experiment/project !
 
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I ran my entire system with a refugium, macro algae and mangroves for a year. It worked. Only thing is the pH was difficult to keep up high where I wanted it especially since I wasn't running the refugium on a reverse cycle. I've turned my skimmer back on, but mostly for air exchange and I've seen improvement. I'm in the camp that it is possible to make your water too clean with over filtration, so you need to find the balance.
Good point so if I can keep the ph high enough the tank should be in check
 
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the new reef kid

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Please let us know how it goes .
Sounds like an interesting experiment/project !
That was my thought exactly. And the plus side would be I could keep quite a few mandarin fish with that big of a refugium
 
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If I build a baking soda dosing pump to drip in baking soda would that solve the ph problem or is that not enough
 

Matt Carden

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I've set mine up this way. Only time will tell if it succeeds like this.
15428293339082779251003017860876.jpg
 

Scrubber_steve

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hello I am building a 190 gallon reef tank tank with a fifty five gallon sump. I was wondering if it would be possible to make the whole sump a refugium and fill it with chaeto algae and around 75 mangrove trees. Would this provide adequate filtration
So what you're essentially asking is – can photosynthesis effectively filter an aquarium?

Yes.
But could you fit 75 mangrove trees in that sump?
Mangroves do not metabolise as fast as chaeto & wouldn’t remove as much inorganic nutrients in a given time. This could be critical, depending on the fish load. Chaeto will certainly remove NH3/4 & NO3 & PO4. When illuminated on the opposite cycle to the display chaeto will maintain a good pH by removing the carbon atom from CO2, leaving O2 & oxygenate the water.

I only run an algae scrubber & some activated carbon. pH is always = or > than 8.1 PO4 0.03 NO3,,, zero if I wanted, in a heavily stocked tank (according to some :cool:)

This is a green acropora in my tank over about six months




upload_2018-11-24_17-3-45.png
 
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the new reef kid

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So what you're essentially asking is – can photosynthesis effectively filter an aquarium?

Yes.
But could you fit 75 mangrove trees in that sump?
Mangroves do not metabolise as fast as chaeto & wouldn’t remove as much inorganic nutrients in a given time. This could be critical, depending on the fish load. Chaeto will certainly remove NH3/4 & NO3 & PO4. When illuminated on the opposite cycle to the display chaeto will maintain a good pH by removing the carbon atom from CO2, leaving O2 & oxygenate the water.

I only run an algae scrubber & some activated carbon. pH is always = or > than 8.1 PO4 0.03 NO3,,, zero if I wanted, in a heavily stocked tank (according to some :cool:)

This is a green acropora in my tank over about six months




View attachment 898223
Hmmmm very good point why not a chaeto dominant filter probably a 32 by 16 clump with maybe five to 9 mangroves in order to test them out. I have heard they can do miracles if given time
 

Scrubber_steve

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Hmmmm very good point why not a chaeto dominant filter probably a 32 by 16 clump with maybe five to 9 mangroves in order to test them out. I have heard they can do miracles if given time
Mangroves look interesting & so are more for aesthetic IMO, but yes try a few. But the chaeto may outcompete them.

Also, look into the Triton method. its filtration method is essentially what you're looking to do.
 
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What I have in mind is a sump without a protein skimmer and just a filter sock and a refugium in a 50 gallon sump is this a feasible idea or a bit too out there
 

NS Mike D

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What I have in mind is a sump without a protein skimmer and just a filter sock and a refugium in a 50 gallon sump is this a feasible idea or a bit too out there

The ratio is close to what I run. no skimmer on a 29gal DT. I change the filter socks twice a week, 20% water changes every two weeks, 4 powerheads cycling 4 times a day with two 2 hour tidal flows (left then right) and a 2 hour all on turbulent to keep the detritus from settling.

My NO3 tends to be around 1 ppm (I would like it higher) and my PO4 is 0.06 - 0.08 ppm consistently. I over feed since I have a mandarin in a small tank. My fuges only have cheato and need to be trimmed weekly/bi-weekly.

I do need to vacuum the sand bed with the water changes as I am still battling some nuisance thing (may be dinos, defiantly some cyano in there).

I have a mixed reef. at least 8 sps doing well (encrusting and coloring) even with all my tinkering physically removing the nuisance stuff.

I would not consider myself an expert (only 3 years experience) so I am only sharing as an anecdote. part of my decision to remove the skimmer is that IMO, nano skimmers aren't nearly as efficient as their bigger cousins, while water changes tend to be sufficient in nanos.
 

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