Why refugium?

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Why refugium?

Post by Michael Milligan on July 12th 2010, 5:04 pm

Hi all!

Reading over a lot of the thread here I see people tanking about temperate setups with refugiums. In a planted temperate tank would it really provide any befit? I mean, normally reefers grow algaes in order to export nutrients, but if I were to copy my native coast line... well... it is ALL algae! lol! During the summer, you can't see a rock at low tide because it they are completely encrusted. That is the tank I want to grow, and I figure that if I dump enough light on the tank I should be able to export nutrients at a staggering rate.

So, wouldn't algae growth in the main tank make a refugium redundant?
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Re: Why refugium?

Post by JonAlresfordUK on July 12th 2010, 5:40 pm

Yeah I have been looking at my existing system which is a 200litre tank with a 3ft sump where I can place a skimmer and a chiller (hopefully)

I thought about just using the chambers to add mechanical and chemical filtration - I can also add a phosphate reactor if this is needed.

I would suggest that the refugium would be a cryptic type filter - making sure that there is no light with plenty of organisms down there which will deal with the nutrients - see a cryptic zone write up here
http://www.reef-eden.net/cryptic_zones.htm

refugium also gives more volume which is a benefit I would assume

J
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Re: Why refugium?

Post by Michael Milligan on July 12th 2010, 5:50 pm

My understanding was that a "refugium" is defined specifically by presence of plants and light. These two factors distinguishing a refugium from any other part of a sump system.

And off course more water is better, but that is the job of sumps in general.
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Re: Why refugium?

Post by JonAlresfordUK on July 12th 2010, 5:56 pm

My understanding of the term 'refugium' is a chamber refuge for organisms that would otherwise be eaten and you can then grow organisms to reduce nutrients etc

I have read that this sort of filtration - algae and nutrient export would not work with a temperate system - another factor would be the lighting used in the cabinet - this would work against a chiller wouldn't it?

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Re: Why refugium?

Post by Michael Milligan on July 12th 2010, 6:44 pm

JonAlresfordUK wrote:My understanding of the term 'refugium' is a chamber refuge for organisms that would otherwise be eaten and you can then grow organisms to reduce nutrients etc

I have read that this sort of filtration - algae and nutrient export would not work with a temperate system - another factor would be the lighting used in the cabinet - this would work against a chiller wouldn't it?


Lights AWAYS work against the chiller. Tropical tanks sometimes need them because the heat from the lights over the tank generate so much heat.

And I think it would work to export nutrients, but the point of my post was that I if I'm growing plants in the main tank then there is no need to have a planted refugium.
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Re: Why refugium?

Post by Hero on July 12th 2010, 7:52 pm

I think that Jon pointed it out.. "My understanding of the term 'refugium' is a chamber refuge for organisms that would otherwise be eaten and you can then grow organisms to reduce nutrients etc".

This is also my understanding of a refugium. Or at least the point.

But yes if you are growing plants in the main tank there might not be a point to a refugium. However if you go to add fish, predatory livestock, etc. You would need a refugium to provide food for these animals, i.e. pods. These "pods" would need a food source, which is where the algae in the fuge come in.

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Re: Why refugium?

Post by AquaticEngineer on July 12th 2010, 9:02 pm

My refugium is going to be lit with LEDS and possible get natural sun light. I'll be able to get away with really what ever light I want on it since there will be two chillers on the system, one of which can take 110 gallons of water below freezing.

The sole reason for a refugium on my system is that it will add over 50 gallons of extra water, and maintain bi-valves since the main tank will have large starfish. I'll also be keeping the small lumpsuckers in the fuge instead of the big tank. The big tank will receive light only when viewing to discourage algae growth.

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Re: Why refugium?

Post by Rambo on July 13th 2010, 11:07 am

A refugium is basicly a place where you can grow macro and other organisma without any harm from other organisms that eat them. If you ahve a lot of macro in the main tank that is good. But if you get a fish or a snail it will probably eat small parts of it and semi-limit growth to a point where not enough nutrrients are exported. In a refugium it is a place where the macro can grow freely and export nutrients without being nibbled and tattered. Of course if you have enough macro in the main tank you wont need one.
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Re: Why refugium?

Post by Michael Milligan on July 13th 2010, 5:56 pm

Thankyou everyone!

I was hoping to use collected algaes. I can gather them anytime; however, it occurs to me now that this practice would be an efficient way of IMPORTING nutrients! lol.



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Re: Why refugium?

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