Refugiums really do work, but can they work too well?

Discussion in 'Bulk Reef Supply' started by randyBRS, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. Paulbragin

    Paulbragin Active Member

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    I run a eBay full spectrum reef light. My lps grow great under this light but the sps frags are brown. My salefert nitrate and phosphate reads undetectable levels. I will purchase a Hannah checker for phosphates, that might give me a better reading.
     

  2. Paulbragin

    Paulbragin Active Member

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    I heard people having succes with algae scubbers like waterfall type, with complete nutrient export but not cheato in a refugium. I have cheato growing like crazy, but I still need to run gfo.
     
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  3. arman

    arman Active Member

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    Maybe you dont have enough herbivores eating the algae.
     
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  4. arman

    arman Active Member

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    Try raising your nutrients and see what happens. I think this will work for you.At least it worked for me.
     
  5. swirlygig

    swirlygig Member

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    Coming from someone without a pellet reactor or refugium. I would love a refugium even if it did not strip my water it would keep my parameters stable and lower. I have a high bioload and i am constantly adding gfo and water changes. When my nitrates hit 40 and phsphates hit .06 last week i lost some very nice old coral colonies. Too high of something is a bad thing.
     
  6. Frop

    Frop Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I need those :)) I need a bigger tank too. Hehe
     
  7. Macdaddynick1

    Macdaddynick1 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    If it's the thin version kind of furry algae, get a lot of trochus snails.
    ot
     
  8. Ryanbrs

    Ryanbrs Active Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor

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    Fair feedback, I can get long winded at times : )

    I kind of felt like we needed to explore what "too low nutrients" really is before we could properly answer the question. How low is "too low" is a pretty debatable topic and any answer is best paired with some perspective or reasoning : )
     
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  9. Paulbragin

    Paulbragin Active Member

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    I don't know if I want to go that route, so many people try to keep there nutrients down in order to not promote other unwanted stuff like cyano or hair algae. I'm wondering if it could be because I don't feed my corals with anything with amino acids and vitamins ?!?!
     
  10. Rick Mathew

    Rick Mathew Active Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    Another excellent video...I especially like your comments about the nitrate and phosphate are only a small part of the story. What is happening in a reef tank is a very complex chemical, biological as well as physics interaction. The fact that there are very successful systems with both high as well as ultra low nitrate and phosphate levels leads me to conclude we don't know the entire story and these very complex systems have variables we have not yet identified...Kind of like trying to diagnose a problem with your car by looking at the tail pipe ;)

    ...My DT has an normal nitrate level of .6 ppm and phosphate of .01 ppm...My coral health and growth is quite good and I do not have an algae problem at this point. I am dosing NOPOX and have no GFO reactor. It has been this way for several months and appears to be very stable. I started dosing iron and potassium several weeks ago and my corals have colored up much better...Monti went from brown to a nice green...

    Thanks again for all your contributions to our hobby...much appreciated by many

    Rick
     
  11. Paulbragin

    Paulbragin Active Member

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    What did you dose for amino acids?
     
  12. Frop

    Frop Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I definitely enjoyed / learned from the video. I just watched another video about refugiums two days ago from vivid aquariums so I was trying to compare points. :) But after watching this I think I'm going to put the GFO back in since if it removes the phosphates I can always supplement in another form.
     
  13. arman

    arman Active Member

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    I think you need to feed.Because when we take a look on what happens in the ocean we see that a massive amount of pods and phyto and zoo plankton do exist around corals and they feed on them and any amino acid and vitamins an other nutrients like po4 and no3 will be gained.
     
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  14. MeshmeZ

    MeshmeZ Member

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    acropower, recommended dose, once a week
     
  15. Paulbragin

    Paulbragin Active Member

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    Ever tried Red Sea energy A&B?
     
  16. MeshmeZ

    MeshmeZ Member

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    No, I have not tried that. I might look into it when my acropower gets low. looks like it adds a few more nutrients the corals could benefit from.
     
  17. Paulbragin

    Paulbragin Active Member

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    The down side is that it has to be refrigerated after opening so it can't be connected to a auto doser.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  18. Scott.h

    Scott.h Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I completely agree and ironically ordered some food grade potassium nitrate yesterday with the plan daily dosing to until I can see something color wise with the test kit. I was also considering removing the algae from the sump for a bit.. same question, but maybe I'll leave that alone for now. My fear wasn't necessarily striping the nutrients, but having to dose more nitrate because of it. My bigger fear was having algae in the display with nothing to compete against it.
     
  19. Ted_C

    Ted_C Active Member Tampa Bay Reef Keepers Build Thread Contributor

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    I know I've been critical of some of BRS' previous videos and methods - but this statement here - wow!

    I was critical in the past because it seemed like some of the other BRS videos were pure marketing hype with no science behind it (or at least - the methods employed in some tests were questionable to provide a bias or "what we wanted to see" so as to sell us something that we didn't need or was more expensive than other products).

    Now I see you say you do away with "media, carbon dosing, and reactors" and I couldn't agree more. I'm happy to see this from your company and restores some faith that you are actually working with us and not just to sell us something. The mantra on these internet discussion forums all point to lowering nutrients and the inexperienced follow this mantra just like it appears you used to do. I used to do it too.

    Driving nutrients down is the worst thing anyone can do in their tanks. We are supposed to have a tiny slice of a balanced healthy system. Drive those nutrients down and you start collapsing the lower half of that system (Worms, starfish, pods, snails, algaes, bacteria). When the lower half starts to crash - the rest of the system isn't far behind. Nearly every healthy SPS tank I have seen has always had a bit of hair algae. I honestly believe there is a trend of more people getting dinoflagellates recently and being indirectly related to ULNS (ULNS = no algae which means Dinos thrive instead).

    My methods are simply filter socks and skimming and occasional water changes. I do not purchase any test kits and instead use observation to determine when I have issues that need to be addressed.

    Simply put - the purpose of a refugium should never be to scrub and extract nutrients. It's a predator free refuge for propagating other bits of our system that would normally be killed in the overall system.
     
  20. Nano sapiens

    Nano sapiens Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Also glad to see BRS producing videos that attempt to measure the effectiveness of methods vs. just selling 'XYZ' product for profit. Building trust with the reef aquarist community will pay dividends in the long run.

    While I don't use a refugium or algae as a means of nutrient export, the topic is certainly of interest and ties in indirectly with some interesting reading regarding coral reefs and their associated microbial communities.

    In reference to the 'nutrient products' produced by Chaeto (or any algae), most are the sugar/carbohydrate products of photosythesis that make up a good portion of the DOC (dissolved organic carbon). If one has a large amount of algae that is actively growing, the products of photosynthesis are mainly utilized for growth along with other nutrients (ammonia, nitrate, iron, phosphate, etc.) and 'leakage' is relatively low. If the growth is halted (for whatever reason), however, the algae's photosynthetic apparatus doesn't just stop, but keeps on going as long as there is light and CO2. Since the products of photosynthesis are not needed for growth, they are released into the surrounding water.

    Where this gets interesting is that too much DOC in the water has been shown to stimulate the coral's own holobiont bacteria to such an extent that the coral can suffocate from oxygen depletion and perish. This is the current accepted mechanism at work in the wild that can turn a coral reef into an algal/bacterial slime oasis (excess nutrients -> increased algae production producing excess DOC -> overproduction of microbes/conditions favorable for pathogenic microorganisms = coral death). In the reef aqurium, consistent water changes and especially GAC have been shown to be very effective at controlling DOC (much more so than a skimmer).
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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