Could a Refugium only filter work?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by the new reef kid, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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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
     

  2. GoVols

    GoVols Cobb / Webb - 1989 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader MTRCMember Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I saw and mangrove sump this month
    It got the job done and it looked real nice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
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  3. IgnatiusRath

    IgnatiusRath Member

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    Depends on what you want to keep in the display and what you want to achieve.
     
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  4. GoVols

    GoVols Cobb / Webb - 1989 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader MTRCMember Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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  5. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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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.
     
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  6. cracker

    cracker Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Please let us know how it goes .
    Sounds like an interesting experiment/project !
     
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  7. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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    Good point so if I can keep the ph high enough the tank should be in check
     
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  8. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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    Lots and lots of coral with a few fish not too many it’s mostly there to show of coral and host some breeding fish
     
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  9. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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    It defiantly is possible.
     
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  10. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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    Could I see your set up
     
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  11. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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    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
     
  12. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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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
     
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  13. BoomCorals

    BoomCorals www.boomcorals.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor

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  14. Matt Carden

    Matt Carden Well-Known Member Partner Member 2019

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    I've set mine up this way. Only time will tell if it succeeds like this. 15428293339082779251003017860876.jpg
     
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  15. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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    Beautiful that was what I had in mind but just flourishing with flora. I really think this could work very well if you spend special work on the setup
     
  16. Scrubber_steve

    Scrubber_steve Valuable Member

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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




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

    the new reef kid Member

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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
     
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  18. Scrubber_steve

    Scrubber_steve Valuable Member

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    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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  19. the new reef kid

    the new reef kid Member

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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
     
  20. NS Mike D

    NS Mike D Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    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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