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Refugium to Tank Size Ratio


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From what I have read and seen, most Refugiums are from about 20% to 60% the size of the main tank. Is there a minimum recommended size? Max Size? I am certain it depends on Bioload. Can someone offer some insight as to guidelines for sizing a refugium? Are there benefits to bigger or smaller setups using this filtration method? My perception has been that this type setup, when combined with live rock and sand, is the only long term filtration needed. True?


Sorry for the long post, I am still trying to get the details right.



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naw, that's a short post!


it's really up to you on refugium or sump size. some people interchangeably use the two. i'm doing so here to keep it short. ;)


i've seen 5:1, 1:1, 1:5 ratios. the refugium is really an area to generate plankton (zoo, phyto, nano, etc.) for the main tank. a 'refuge' from predators. many also use it for filtration (macroalgae and LR/LS). depends what you're raising in the main tank and if you want the refugium to be seen (many people do).

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there is no set rules. the size of the refugum entierly depends on what you'd like. if you wanted and had the space for, you can have a 1g tank with a 200g refugum and visa versa. it all depends on you and your space accomedations.

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Definately no size rules! Honestly there was a nano (I believe 5 gallons, but don't quote me on that) that was attached to a 55 gallon refugium!!! I have a 12 gallon tank with a 2.5 gallon refugium, and it is working well so far. Here is the deal, your tank can be perfectly ballanced without the refugium! With an ample supply live rock (LR) and live sand (LS) your system will be stable. A refugium is a place for algae and "pods" (copepods, isopods, and ampipods) to grow without the risk of being eaten by preditors. By allowing algae to grow (lights are normally left on 24 hours to encourage growth) in a confined area you limit the amount of algae that will grow in your "show tank." Also the "pods" will flow back into your tank and provide a snack for your fish. Another note: algae spores and baby pods will also provide a small amount of plankton for your corals. -And it is these three things (limited algae growth, pods, and plankton) that people create refugiums for. -by they way feel free to write as long of posts as you want! Mine often look as if I'm paid to write by the word ;).

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