Yet another refugium question

Discussion in 'Triton Applied Reef Bioscience' started by M.A.Verlinden, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. M.A.Verlinden

    M.A.Verlinden New Member

    Oct 5, 2017
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    Hi all,

    New to the hobby and this forum. I'm reading and learning everything needed to get started with the hobby (pardon the grammar, i'm not from the US but from the Netherlands).

    Currently i'm designing a custom made sump to run the the Triton method.
    I've searched and searched, while there are some answers, they are not very clear. Unless i have not come accross the right article.

    Algae before skimmer, or skimmer before algae?

    Algae before skimmer;
    According to the Triton method, the algae should be before the skimmer. As i understand to maximize the nitrate and phospate intake, the algae get first shot.
    What i however do not understand, what does that really matter? The skimmer does not take any nitrate (Does it take phosphate?). So they are not competing.
    Unless the algae take up the not broken down waste, and convert it into nitrate and phospate in the algae themselves. This could be a valid point.
    The latest result from BRStv i think shows zero to none nitrate and phosphate even with a relatively small chamber for algae but with good lighting. So how important is it that the algae get the first shot?

    Skimmer before algae;
    Some people like to revert the algae and skimmer chambers. Saying that there will be alot of life in the Algae, and would be a waste for the skimmer to kill some of that life. If the skimmer is not after the algae, more life will be transfered back to the display tank (alive), which should be good for the inhabitant of the display tank.

    Currently i'm leaning towards putting the skimmer before the algae chamber to give life the best shot at returning to the display. (This could be totally flawed tho).
    I'm eager to learn more, i'm very new to the hobby and only have theoretical knowledge. So please enlighten me.

    Why should i follow or not follow the recommended way? (Just want some explanation as to understand so i can make an informed decision).

    Kind regards,

  2. DLuce510

    DLuce510 A.D.I.D.A.A. Build Thread Contributor

    Jan 17, 2015
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    Antioch, Ca.
    Yes, The logic is to give the macro algae the first chance of waste to help it thrive. A skimmer removes dissolved organics in the water therefore lowering nutrients in the water coloum.
    I wouldn't be too concerned about amphipods getting sucked up into the skimmer, sooner ot later they'll end up in your return pump, they will populate over time reguardless.
    I also wouldn't be overly concerned about heavy nutrient reduction. Reasonable levels of NO3 and po4 are necessary in our reef tanks to feed our corals. Good luck!
  3. M.A.Verlinden

    M.A.Verlinden New Member

    Oct 5, 2017
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    Thank you for the answer. I'm not concerned about heavy (to much) nutrient reduction. It's more, if there are enough nutrients, what does it really matter in which order the chambers are placed. The skimmer pump is not powerfull enough to clean everything in one turnover. So my theory is that enough nutrients will still be available for the algae to flourish. Even when placed behind the skimmer. An added bonus, regardless if the amphipods make it in the display anyways, they possibly have one less pump to pass through which could "destroy" them :) So basicly giving them an better chance....well until they get eaten in the main display haha :)
    I like to believe both systems work fine. But since i'm building a new display + sump, i like to give it some extra thought since now is the time to choose the best possible way to implement it.
    Anyways, thanks for your time to answer. It's much appriciated.

  4. ReefingwithO

    ReefingwithO Active Member Build Thread Contributor

    Apr 28, 2015
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    Triton recommends refugium before skimmer but it's not necessary.

    I'm running an odd ball setup for my Red Sea Reefer 350 about 75 gallons
    • Display tank drains into an empty chamber
    • That chamber then goes to the skimmer then return pump manifold
    • Pax bellum algae reactor and small refugium are fed from the return pump manifold.
    • Both of these drain back into the skimmer chamber.
    • I have an oversized return pump 2700gph.
    In my Triton test last week P was 9 and P04 was .02.

    This is an overstocked reef with about 15 fish. Iw as actually going to build a new sump but with these numbers I'm happy and will hold off since it's working.
  5. LDH

    LDH Active Member

    Jan 13, 2016
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Hi Michiel,

    I am in this same boat now and am wondering what you ended up going with? Whatever you chose do you like your decision now?

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