Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: New York
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Re: stupid question regarding some / refugium
The people at your LFS are on something. Your thoughts are correct once the tank fully cycles you won't be fighting ammonia and nitrites. You be fighting nitrates and phosphates.
Great idea on reusing rock and keeping it cultured. Better then spending a pretty penny buying new rock and having to cure it. Plus moving it will create more biodiversity and prevent old tank syndrome. And seed the new tank drastically shortening cycling time a small culture of the old tanks sand would also help seed the new sand bed.
Word of advice, put the rock in the fuge in a extremely high flow area, use a power head if needed or you'll get ditirious build up. which will be nothing but a headache to clean having to move that much rock.
Bio balls are nitrate factory's don't use those, wet dry with your heavy bio load would in my opinion be a ditirious trap and be more cleaning. If you have porous live rock and that combined with sand have exponentially more surface area then both bio balls and wet/dry combined. But that's aerobic bacteria. Only anaerobic bacteria consume nitrates.
What are you trying to accomplish with the sump? A refugium is a refute for pods and micro organism to reproduce in a safe place and not be eatin like the main tank. But I'm assuming that you wont have fish that eat what I just mentioned.
The only other option I can think of is a place to get the ditirious to settle for easy cleaning and remove nitrates and phosphates by both mechanical and biological means. So a way over sized protein skimmer and phosban reactor are necessary. Those will solve the dissolved organics. But you would still need to get as much ditirious out of the system as possible. If you could make a place for as much of that to settle that's easy to clean and get to. For biological I would say cheato for macro algae and nutrient export and possibly a DSB. For anaerobic bacteria to grow. Preferably this would be after the return pump where I would think the lowest flow would be. That would create the best anaerobic conditions and give maximum exposure time. But I personally don't like that the anaerobic bacteria can be exposed to something and die off causing the tank to crash. Also takes quite a bit of time to culture anaerobic bacteria. I think effective skimming and reactors would do a better job then a DSB along with not having to worry about bacteria die off causing a crash and killing everything. Cheato is never a bad idea if you prune and rotate for light exposure.
You can't get around water changes or siphoning. So keep it simple (eg all siphoning done in one concentrated area) and easy.
I'm sure you already know all this but thought I would throw my .02 cents in. Good luck with the set up!
125g SPS only reef tank
40 gallon anemone tank
w/20g long sump
Last edited by woody019; 05-05-2014 at 08:32 AM.