Is it okay to run just chaeto?

Does a chaeto refugium pull out enough excess nutrients/waste to make a skimmer obsolete?


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TheGreenReefer

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Hello everybody,
I've been battling some nutrient issues in my tank that has been running for about 8 months and I have plenty of fish and coral, but my nutrients are struggling to stay up and be consistent. Could I take my skimmer out forever and just use my chaeto refugium as the only nutrient export? (besides the filter sock, marine pure, and live rock, that are also in my sump)
 

Dsnakes

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You quite possibly could. Many reefers run with no skimmer. How well it will run depends on a lot of other factors. Tank size, refugium size, inhabitants, flow, lighting, etc.
 
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TheGreenReefer

TheGreenReefer

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You quite possibly could. Many reefers run with no skimmer. How well it will run depends on a lot of other factors. Tank size, refugium size, inhabitants, flow, lighting, etc.
I've taken the skimmer out and I'm thinking about removing the glass divider in my sump and creating a larger refugium with more lights, sand and marine pure. I'll post my results here. Wish me luck!.
 

dhof

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Hello everybody,
I've been battling some nutrient issues in my tank that has been running for about 8 months and I have plenty of fish and coral, but my nutrients are struggling to stay up and be consistent. Could I take my skimmer out forever and just use my chaeto refugium as the only nutrient export? (besides the filter sock, marine pure, and live rock, that are also in my sump)
While you could do that, I personally think it would be easier to leave the skimmer in there as a 'constant' and just run smaller amounts of Chaeto, or adjust the lighting period on the Chaeto down a bit to be the adjustable portion. You could also consider running your skimmer on a cycle to reduce things.
 
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TheGreenReefer

TheGreenReefer

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While you could do that, I personally think it would be easier to leave the skimmer in there as a 'constant' and just run smaller amounts of Chaeto, or adjust the lighting period on the Chaeto down a bit to be the adjustable portion. You could also consider running your skimmer on a cycle to reduce things.
Very true, it would be intersting to see if running the skimmer during the day and chaeto light at night or some other combination has different results on nutrient export. Unfortunately for me, my skimmer broke and I have been trying to fix it and I'm to lazy to buy a new one.
 

Rjramos

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I’ve run a tank no skimmer with ecosystem aquarium method. Paying particular attention to their refugium size/display volume, amount of mud, and flow through rate min and max. Lighting the refugium 24 hrs. Mike Paletta had a nice write up years ago with similar success .
 
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TheGreenReefer

TheGreenReefer

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I’ve run a tank no skimmer with ecosystem aquarium method. Paying particular attention to their refugium size/display volume, amount of mud, and flow through rate min and max. Lighting the refugium 24 hrs. Mike Paletta had a nice write up years ago with similar success .
what is the ratio you use for your refugium to display tank? I'm very interested in your setup. I'm sure you have all kinds of benthic organsims living in the mud. What types of macroalgae do you run? Is this the article https://reefbuilders.com/2015/05/16/ecosystem-aquarium-method-miracle-mud/ ?
 

serwobow

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I think the much better solution is to get rid of the chaeto and keep the skimmer. The skimmer removes organics, which the chaeto doesn't, and chaeto, if it is growing well, is a much stronger nitrate and phosphate sink than than the skimmer.
 

Jimmy Lee

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In my experience I think everyone should use multiple sources of nutrient export if you can. The bare minimum WC, skimmer and macro algaes.
 

Rjramos

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what is the ratio you use for your refugium to display tank? I'm very interested in your setup. I'm sure you have all kinds of benthic organsims living in the mud. What types of macroalgae do you run? Is this the article https://reefbuilders.com/2015/05/16/ecosystem-aquarium-method-miracle-mud/ ?
Yes that is the article from Mike Paletta.
From their website, I have always followed their recommended guidelines and had great results. I think many times sumps are designed with multiple chambers to accommodate skimmer, pump, etc, with not enough space allotted to the actual refugium area. Also, how water enters and exits this area and rate of flow thru is important. Here are guideline charts from their website for the deluxe models.

14D11B03-0781-492B-AF0E-591FDF18A6AE.png 00D3CAEC-65E3-470B-A97F-31E34EB30AD0.png 288BB807-F890-42D9-AECF-06D3553996DA.png
 

sarcophytonIndy

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I have a friend with an amazing, mature reef that only uses macro algae (chaeto and ulva) for nutrient export. He has a running skimmer, but lets the skimmate run right back in to the sump. He keeps it running only for the gas exchange. Rarely does water changes. Doses b-ionic, nitrate, iron, trace elements.
 

arturoo1977

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Ive always seen a skimmer as a temporary solution. Not all my tanks have had one, and the ones that had it, I only use it eventually.
If your tanks bio load is well balanced you will only need to rinse once in a while your socks or mechanical media.
 

Scrubber_steve

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Healthy growing algae removes all the in-organics necessary, so marine pure is not needed. Algae also removes heavy metals & oxygenates the water, possible to saturation level. Unless your skimmer has a clean source of air, that is also not high in CO2, as is often the case indoors, what it pumps into the aquarium water can be detrimental.
If your worried about organic nutrient levels a good quality activated carbon if far more efficient than a skimmer.
 

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