Good refugium light?

Krixic

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Hiya, Im looking for decent refugium light. I was wondering what was nessesarry and whats not? I have a buddy who is selling a Kessil A80 Tuna Sun LED for 70 bucks. Is that light fixure good enough for a refugium?
 
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2_much_junk_in_the_sump

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Hiya, Im looking for decent refugium light. I was wondering what was nessesarry and whats not? I have a buddy who is selling a Kessil A80 Tuna Sun LED for 70 bucks. Is that light fixure good enough for a refugium?
They're good lights, but fairly low wattage. If you run an aggressive light schedule for SPS then you may want to get something stronger as they will compete.

I really liked the AI Fuge light and I even have one sitting around I've been meaning to sell (PM me if you're interested). It's about $200 and is really powerful and easy to control through the AI app.

Are you new to refugiums or just upgrading the light? I ask because there's a lot to like with an ATS (algae turf scrubber). One reason I switched to one is because I hated having the chaeto leaking up to my main pump and going into the display and all over the sump. The ATS is nice because it confines it all to a small box. Also the wattage can be much lower because the light is so close to the algae, so you save some power and heat going into your tank. The other advantage is no need to buy chaeto and hair algae is much better at exporting nutrients (per density). The only downsides I found is it's a little tricky to mount as it has to be over your sump (you don't want to risk it leaking) and it can fill up with algae really quick and is slightly annoying to scrape out as it smells really strong IMO. Just some stuff to consider.
 

R.Weller

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Great question. I've never understood expensive refugium lights. I've used the red/blue LED grow light on our refugium & algae scrubber for the last few years. The other blub is a full spectrum LED grow blub that grows phyto and all sorts of other algae in the refugium. Combined they use around 20watts. Both are attached to a simple mechnical timer (16 hours on, 8 hours off) & were around $15 from the hardware store. Amazon also sells the blubs for around the same price.

1593780039585.png


I've even pulled Kenya Trees from the display & tossed them into the refugium. They are like a weed & have sufficient photosynthetic light to grow.
 
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Krixic

Krixic

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They're good lights, but fairly low wattage. If you run an aggressive light schedule for SPS then you may want to get something stronger as they will compete.

I really liked the AI Fuge light and I even have one sitting around I've been meaning to sell (PM me if you're interested). It's about $200 and is really powerful and easy to control through the AI app.

Are you new to refugiums or just upgrading the light? I ask because there's a lot to like with an ATS (algae turf scrubber). One reason I switched to one is because I hated having the chaeto leaking up to my main pump and going into the display and all over the sump. The ATS is nice because it confines it all to a small box. Also the wattage can be much lower because the light is so close to the algae, so you save some power and heat going into your tank. The other advantage is no need to buy chaeto and hair algae is much better at exporting nutrients (per density). The only downsides I found is it's a little tricky to mount as it has to be over your sump (you don't want to risk it leaking) and it can fill up with algae really quick and is slightly annoying to scrape out as it smells really strong IMO. Just some stuff to consider.

Yea, Im a bit new to refugiums. Frankly, Im new to reefing in general and just started my cycle on my 45gal. Im kind of just forward thinging and getting the deals I can get along the way. So how does an ATS work? Are they apart of a refugium or they just thier own unit? I really want to have self-sustaining pods in my system, will an ATS affect thier population?

The light you have sounds awesome, only thing is, its a little out of my budget range right now. I cant really do anymore than 90 for a fuge light right now.
 
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Krixic

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Great question. I've never understood expensive refugium lights. I've used the red/blue LED grow light on our refugium & algae scrubber for the last few years. The other blub is a full spectrum LED grow blub that grows phyto and all sorts of other algae in the refugium. Combined they use around 20watts. Both are attached to a simple mechnical timer (16 hours on, 8 hours off) & were around $15 from the hardware store. Amazon also sells the blubs for around the same price.

1593780039585.png


I've even pulled Kenya Trees from the display & tossed them into the refugium. They are like a weed & have sufficient photosynthetic light to grow.
So you used an Algae scrubber along side other algaes? How does that work exactly? Im new to refugiums and reefing (just started my tank cycle today). Do you have any reccomentdations for Scrubbers?
 
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Chibeatz

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Hiya, Im looking for decent refugium light. I was wondering what was nessesarry and whats not? I have a buddy who is selling a Kessil A80 Tuna Sun LED for 70 bucks. Is that light fixure good enough for a refugium?
Thats an okay light, It really just depends on what your expecting from your refugium. BRS created a nice video about refugium lights and how they play a roll in lowering phos and Nitrates and how the Triton method blah blah watch the vid its good.. It def got me pointed in the right direction for my 220gl after researching a bunch of different grow lights and watching review vids on people actually testing PAR and Spectrum I ended up buying a 90 dollar light that makes my cheato grow like crazy.. Before my Sump started failing on me my Cheato was growing nicely and keeping my Phos at .01-.05 and my Nitrates at about 5... I had stopped doing water changes and things were going smoothly
 
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Krixic

Krixic

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Thats an okay light, It really just depends on what your expecting from your refugium. BRS created a nice video about refugium lights and how they play a roll in lowering phos and Nitrates and how the Triton method blah blah watch the vid its good.. It def got me pointed in the right direction for my 220gl after researching a bunch of different grow lights and watching review vids on people actually testing PAR and Spectrum I ended up buying a 90 dollar light that makes my cheato grow like crazy.. Before my Sump started failing on me my Cheato was growing nicely and keeping my Phos at .01-.05 and my Nitrates at about 5... I had stopped doing water changes and things were going smoothly
Sweet thanks!
 

R.Weller

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So you used an Algae scrubber along side other algaes? How does that work exactly? Im new to refugiums and reefing (just started my tank cycle today). Do you have any reccomentdations for Scrubbers?
I'm a DIY person where it makes sense. Refugiums promote biological filtration. This is done with different types of algae (consuming the nitrates & phosphates from fish, corals, feeding, etc...) & by providing a habitat for zooplankton as they generally lack predators & these will flurish with time. Chateo is great because it grows quickly, consumes nutrients, & when you harvest (i.e. grab a handful of it & throw it into compost), you are 'exporting nutrients'.

In my opinion, an algae scrubber (ATS), is a great DIY project because it's just moving water (preferably 'dirty' water directly from the display), plastic screen & a light. I have a thread on our method along with other examples of DIY ATS builds here. Depending on your space you can build or own, or purchase a commercial brand. They all do the same thing...provide a place for algae to flurish such that it will not do this in your display.

Enjoy your build!
 

2_much_junk_in_the_sump

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Yea, Im a bit new to refugiums. Frankly, Im new to reefing in general and just started my cycle on my 45gal. Im kind of just forward thinging and getting the deals I can get along the way. So how does an ATS work? Are they apart of a refugium or they just thier own unit? I really want to have self-sustaining pods in my system, will an ATS affect thier population?

The light you have sounds awesome, only thing is, its a little out of my budget range right now. I cant really do anymore than 90 for a fuge light right now.
The whole point of the refugium is to pull nutrients from your water and into algae that you can easily remove and discard. This is like having a nutrient sponge that you can squeeze out and reuse. You will not have detectable nutrients for a while as your tank has a long time to go before it matures and you will want to have nutrients in your tank for your corals (when ready). In my case, it was about 6 months or so before my nitrates and phosphates moved up to levels where they had to be managed, but it just depends on how quick you move. Your nutrient levels will completely depend on how many fish you have + feeding + nutrient export methods (skimmer, water changes, etc.).

An ATS is essentially a plexi box that has a feed connected to a pump and an output on the side to return to your sump with LED lights on either side of the box to light it up. The feed runs to a pipe with a slit in it inside the box and your tank water cascades down a plastic mesh. The mesh traps small algae spores and eventually the mesh will become covered with hair algae. The algae is confined to this mesh and can be pulled out (quick connect fitting) and scraped into a bucket and then you repeat the process. This works well, but again the smell really bothers me when scraping it (there is no smell at all when it's running). I use a Clearwater Scrubber and would definitely recommend it.

A word of advise to you, if you have 0 phosphates do not even try SPS. Some people will say it's OK, but they will look good for a week or two and simply die as there are no nutrients for the coral to eat. If you have some nitrates and everything is stable (critical) start with some LPS, but make sure they have a mouth that you can feed once a week. The best food IMO is Reef Frenzy from LRS and PE mysis shrimp. Sorry to give you info overload, but I have been there and I've made a ton of mistakes that I want to pass on.

Coral Euphoria on YouTube has probably the best video on nutrients that I've found...
 
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Krixic

Krixic

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The whole point of the refugium is to pull nutrients from your water and into algae that you can easily remove and discard. This is like having a nutrient sponge that you can squeeze out and reuse. You will not have detectable nutrients for a while as your tank has a long time to go before it matures and you will want to have nutrients in your tank for your corals (when ready). In my case, it was about 6 months or so before my nitrates and phosphates moved up to levels where they had to be managed, but it just depends on how quick you move. Your nutrient levels will completely depend on how many fish you have + feeding + nutrient export methods (skimmer, water changes, etc.).

An ATS is essentially a plexi box that has a feed connected to a pump and an output on the side to return to your sump with LED lights on either side of the box to light it up. The feed runs to a pipe with a slit in it inside the box and your tank water cascades down a plastic mesh. The mesh traps small algae spores and eventually the mesh will become covered with hair algae. The algae is confined to this mesh and can be pulled out (quick connect fitting) and scraped into a bucket and then you repeat the process. This works well, but again the smell really bothers me when scraping it (there is no smell at all when it's running). I use a Clearwater Scrubber and would definitely recommend it.

A word of advise to you, if you have 0 phosphates do not even try SPS. Some people will say it's OK, but they will look good for a week or two and simply die as there are no nutrients for the coral to eat. If you have some nitrates and everything is stable (critical) start with some LPS, but make sure they have a mouth that you can feed once a week. The best food IMO is Reef Frenzy from LRS and PE mysis shrimp. Sorry to give you info overload, but I have been there and I've made a ton of mistakes that I want to pass on.

Coral Euphoria on YouTube has probably the best video on nutrients that I've found...
Gotcha! I appreciate all the info! I'll keep reading around!
 

Rubblereefer

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Hiya, Im looking for decent refugium light. I was wondering what was nessesarry and whats not? I have a buddy who is selling a Kessil A80 Tuna Sun LED for 70 bucks. Is that light fixure good enough for a refugium?
I have the h80, which is made for refugiums with red and blue spectrum, but same size as the a80. It works Really well for me in my system but my fuge chamber is about as big as it would work for, at 11 X9.5. If you’re going to go kessil for the brand quality and form factor you get less power for the bucks which is acceptable on a small enough system where more power would be unuseable. So it depends on your particular setup. If you go kessil, definitely look for an h80 instead, they can be found about the same price.

Oh, and if you’re a new reefer, or lazy like me in general, I wouldn’t recommend turf scrubbers or algae reactors at all. Way too much work, nothing extra gained, more stuff to mess with If it breaks... Pulling a lump of cheato out now and again Is easy, so you’ll do it. If you have to open a reactor or scrub yucky algae, you’ll procrastinate. Worse, in the case of the scrubber, it will remove nutrient way too aggressively for a new system. Turf scrubbers are great for dedicated reefers with mature systems, but not first timers with new reefs.
 
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Krixic

Krixic

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I have the h80, which is made for refugiums with red and blue spectrum, but same size as the a80. It works Really well for me in my system but my fuge chamber is about as big as it would work for, at 11 X9.5. If you’re going to go kessil for the brand quality and form factor you get less power for the bucks which is acceptable on a small enough system where more power would be unuseable. So it depends on your particular setup. If you go kessil, definitely look for an h80 instead, they can be found about the same price.

Oh, and if you’re a new reefer, or lazy like me in general, I wouldn’t recommend turf scrubbers or algae reactors at all. Way too much work, nothing extra gained, more stuff to mess with If it breaks... Pulling a lump of cheato out now and again Is easy, so you’ll do it. If you have to open a reactor or scrub yucky algae, you’ll procrastinate. Worse, in the case of the scrubber, it will remove nutrient way too aggressively for a new system. Turf scrubbers are great for dedicated reefers with mature systems, but not first timers with new reefs.
I happen to fall under both those catagories haha, I appreciate the advise and will look futher for a light!
 

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