Jump to content
Weetabix7

How To Build a Refugium Out of Food Storage Containers

Recommended Posts

Weetabix7

I recently embarked on a fun DIY Refugium project for my Methodology Contest Pico.

Here's how it looked when finished:

IMG_5409.jpg

 

I thought others might be interested in trying it, so here's my instructional on how to do it.

 

Unfortunately I was bad and didn't take a pic of the original container before I started cutting it up, but here's one pic that might give you an idea:

IMG_5390.jpg

It's a food storage container that I found in the Kitchen Section at Wal-Mart for $5.50.

It has a handle on one end so that you can pour stuff out of it, and the dimensions are 8.5"L x 4.5"W x 13"H.

When finished mine holds somewhere between 1 2/3 to 1 3/4g of water.

 

The first step is to remove the smaller pour spout from the lid, it pops off with a little force but not too much difficulty.

 

IMG_5379.jpg

 

Then you cut a hole on the side where you want your return for the spout, and use superglue to attach the spout to the container.

Cut a hole for the bulkhead on the side you want the water pumped into the Refugium. I used a 1/2" bulkhead, I think the size works better for the smaller size of this container.

Install the bulkhead using teflon tape for a nice, tight seal.

I used an elbow coming out of the bulkead and attached clear hose to that.

Then I used a Tunze 5024 Universal Mini Pump for pumping water into the Fuge-- http://premiumaquatics.com/store/merchant....ode=Tunze_pumps

It has adjustable flow from 39-79gph.

I may upgrade this to a MJ400, but I haven't decided yet.

 

Next step is to make a Filter Media Basket just behind where the water pours into the Refugium.

I used one of these for this purpose:

IMG_5382.jpg

 

Then I cut it so it looked like this, making sure to leave a little lip at the bottom to hold an eggcrate grate:

IMG_5377.jpg

 

I used superglue to attach it to the sides of the Refugium so that it formed an enclosure behind the bulkhead.

Then I cut a piece of Black Eggcrate to use as a grate for water to flow through at the bottom of the Media Basket. I found it necessary to also use 2 dabs of superglue to attach the eggcrate to the sides of the Refugium for extra support.

Here's how it looked when I was finished:

IMG_5383.jpg

 

Here's a topdown shot of how the inside looks with a Filter Pad in the Media Basket:

IMG_5386.jpg

 

Here's a pic of the whole finished Refugium:

IMG_5385.jpg

 

I am using one of StevieT's InTank underwater lights to light the Refugium:

http://shop.mediabaskets.com/Underwater-5W...ght-5WLight.htm

IMG_5388.jpg

 

Material Costs

Large Food Storage Pitcher from WalMart- $5.50

Pkg of 4 smaller Ziploc Food Storage Containers for Media Basket- approx. $3.00

Tunze 5024 Mini Pump- $14.66

1/2" Bulkhead- $5.00

Underwater Light from Mediabaskets.com- $13.25

Total Material Costs= $41.41

Fun & Experience of DIYing your own Food Storage Container Refugium= PRICELESS

 

A couple of tips--

-I started out using silicone to attach the various parts. Silicone doesn't bond to the material of the Food Storage container, possibly because it is such a slick surfaced plastic.

I ended up roughing up the plastic surfaces with sandpaper and using Superglue Gel. Worked WAY better.

Much quicker too.

-The Ziploc container I am using for the Media Basket will work fine for me, but if you want to use a couple of different types of Media you might want to get a deeper container.

-I originally planned on using the the top that the Plastic Pitcher came with as the top for the Refugium, and using the hole left by the spout that is removed to put the heater and light in through.

However, water tends to collect under the top of the lid and drip down the inside of the lid and down the outside of the Pitcher.

I am currently just using a piece of flat Plexi for the top of the Refugium.

 

I hope that someone finds this helpful.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)

Edited by Weetabix7
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Apoptosis

Very nice!

Share this post


Link to post
Meengineer0128

Love it. Very nice. Awesome cost savings!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7

Thanks guys!

I really enjoyed making it. :)

Share this post


Link to post
titos

Wow this is really nice and cool. Would u thing if I get a larger one like maybe for my 20L would it work?

Share this post


Link to post
fishguy84

Food containers work great!

 

HPIM1296.jpg

 

HPIM1297.jpg

 

HPIM1298.jpg

Edited by fishguy84

Share this post


Link to post
titos
Food containers work great!

 

HPIM1296.jpg

 

HPIM1297.jpg

 

HPIM1298.jpg

Wow that's awsome, I never really thought of anything like this haha. It looks cool

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7

This refugium has been working out pretty well for me.

The one thing I would change on it if I were doing it again would be place the intake on the refugium in the middle and have 2 different spouts or locline or whatever coming out on either side of the intake.

I would also use a stronger pump, like an MJ400, which I may be upgrading to soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7

Bump, just cause I wanted to. :)

Share this post


Link to post
johnmaloney

lol...you are a nut! good thinking though.

 

wait....is this the mud refugium?lol...

Edited by johnmaloney

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7
lol...you are a nut! good thinking though.

 

wait....is this the mud refugium?lol...

 

Well of course I'm a nut, talk about stating the obvious, cheez!!!

Yeah, this is the mud refugium.

I really have to get some new pics up of how it looks now, just been rly busy.

Share this post


Link to post
straydog
Well of course I'm a nut, talk about stating the obvious, cheez!!!

Yeah, this is the mud refugium.

I really have to get some new pics up of how it looks now, just been rly busy.

weetabix do you think the mud would work with low flow (thinking of ataching a container to the side of an ac50 with bulk head and using a small powerhead for circulation) your tank looks exelent

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7
weetabix do you think the mud would work with low flow (thinking of ataching a container to the side of an ac50 with bulk head and using a small powerhead for circulation) your tank looks exelent

 

Thank you!

As far as the Mud and low flow, it kinda depends what you are trying to do.

I am personally trying to use the Ecosystem Method developed by Leng Sy in my Refugium.

He kinda pioneered Mud Fuges and he's the one who developed Miracle Mud.

He actually recommends kinda high flow in the Mud Refugiums, so that's more of my personal goal.

Having said that, I have to be honest and say that the flow is kinda low in my Fuge right now, it's something I'm trying to improve on.

I have heard of ppl using the Ecosystem Method having cyano develop on their Mud beds if the flow isn't high enough.

I personally have not had that happen in the 2.5 months or so it's been up.

One thing that not a lot of ppl are aware of is that with the Fiji Mud I am using, you can actually add small amounts of this mud (1 teaspoon, 1/2 teas. ) to the tankwater once a week or so.

You just get the Booster Pack size of the Fiji Mud (only $8 or so online) and keep it in the refrigerator after opening it.

This might be a way to see some of the benefits I've seen from the Mud, like more intense coloration in my Blue Distromia Macro, it's the electric blue scrolling Macro I have in my tank.

You'd basically be using the Mud as a supplement rather than using a Mud Bed.

It'll make the water cloudy for maybe up to half an hour, but it clears up fairly quickly, esp. if you have filtration media.

 

This is awesome :D

I have used this thread an as example, I used it on my 3gal pico, works great!

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...0948&st=140

(See page 8 & 9)

 

Thank you!

 

I like what you did!

Thanks for sharing. :)

Share this post


Link to post
animalmaster6

Weetie, this is incredible! I kinda want to try it on a pico or small nano or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7

Share this post


Link to post
Oceanus

This works great. I did it, without bulkhead tho. Thank you!!! Inspiring!

Share this post


Link to post
Phyto4life

thanks for the idea

Share this post


Link to post
mbarton2010

how can i do this w/o a bulkhead

Share this post


Link to post
bearwithfish

you can get threated connectors as the local hardware store and drill the container to the exact size then screw it in..

i have also seen people use the threaded x barb connectors if they wanted flexible tubing on one side

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7
you can get threated connectors as the local hardware store and drill the container to the exact size then screw it in..

i have also seen people use the threaded x barb connectors if they wanted flexible tubing on one side

 

Yeah, these should work.

For those of you who have done this, I'd love to hear feedback on any ways you did it different, what worked for you, what didn't.

What you liked, what you didn't, etc.

Ideas for improvement are always welcomed, of course, esp if you've tried it.

Share this post


Link to post
bitts

you could maybe go with uniseals are something like instead of the bulkheads.

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7
you could maybe go with uniseals are something like instead of the bulkheads.

 

I've got a couple of those, but I have no clue how to use them.

They confused the heck outta me.

Share this post


Link to post
pj86

Just exactly what I was looking for, very cool. Where did you get the bulkhead?

Share this post


Link to post
Weetabix7

Might have been BulkReefSupply.com, something like that.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...