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ninjamyst

Why I will always run a refugium in all my tanks

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Wonderboy
1 hour ago, HarryPotter said:

coralline growth on the glass?

Yes I do - that's usually some of the 20% that I don't bother with unless it starts to get in the way of certain perspectives  :]

 

6 hours ago, MrObscura said:

not sure what you meant by the skimming a nano comment

I meant that they have the tendancy to operate over efficiently in small systems and end up keeping the water too clean - beginner issues.  I want to add that I think running a small skimmer on larger nanos makes much sense - still not a must (easy to WC). Skimming a 1000 makes a lot of sense just to increase duration between WCs cause that's a lot of water.

 

1 hour ago, ninjamyst said:

I read so many threads from new hobbyists preparing their first build and first thing they do is buy purigen, chemipure blue, nano skimmer, nano reactor, and more. 

Yeah, I see a lot of people get unmotivated when their money ends up going to diatoms, too 😞  These products have very purposeful applications, but there are definitely more affordable (less stressful) routes. Unfortunately, it seems obvious that experience is getting further and further pushed to the bench by the recent flood of new products in the hobby.

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mcarroll

One of the biggest benefits of skimming is the aeration provided.  Supposedly the skimmer was only invented as a housing for an airstone to keep the bubbles from ruining everything within splashing distance.  😉

 

Granted I'm running my 125 Gallon with no skimmer, sump or filter.  But it has only a Yellow Tang and two Mollies for fish (and one of them is only half-grown) along with a small load of large coral colonies.  I'm concerned because there has quite a bit of algae growth (apparently Derbesia) which takes quite a bit of work to keep up with.  I'm still slowly adjusting things, including the cleanup crew, but I may end up putting a Tunze 9012 on there...possibly even going with a whole Reefpack 500...but that's still a few experiments away if I do that.  For now it's filter-less and sump-less.  However I did just add a pair of Marineland Polishing Filters (on sale locally) to see if they will help cut the spread of algae by eliminating a (hopefully) high percentage of spores and algae fragments and thus give my current CUC (including me!!) some reprieve in between cleanings. 

 

I haven't gotten any diatom powder for the Polishing Filters, but I'll consider it to boost filtering efficiency if the Polishing Filters don't seem to help as-is with just the micron cartridge alone.  They've been in for only a couple of weeks, so can't judge anything yet.  And I do need to find a store around here with some snails for sale soon, so my expectations aren't that high yet for that reason too.

 

Anyway, back to aeration.  😄  Good aeration helps moderate or even prevent pH swings caused by corals and algae (or other photosynthetics) consuming all the co2 and saturating the water with O2 during the day driving the pH up and then by adding to the tank's co2 load and consuming o2 at night driving the pH down. 

 

With just a tank of healthy corals you can already see a day/night effect on pH if you watch with a pH logger or meter but it shouldn't be too big a concern unless the tank is PACKED floor to ceiling and wall to wall with large corals.  But allowing an algae population to grow, rather than growing it but perpetually keeping it "mowed" by your CUC, makes those day/night effects MORE and MORE exaggerated the more algae you have growing.

 

These are good reasons (IMO at least) not to have more algae growing than you "need" in the tank by adding macro (or for keeping what you grow small).....and for keeping "pest algae" down to a minimum even if you have to do it by hand for whatever reason. 

 

These "natural" pH swings which are also oxygen deprivation events at the low end can be a b**** for your corals or even larger fish if algae get to be a large portion of the overall population of organisms in the tank.

 

These pH swings are one good reason that some folks who run refugiums do it at night while the display tank lights are off.  Your chaeto in the dark can use the O2 from your photosynthesizing corals, and "feed" the corals their respired CO2.  Vis versa for your corals in the dark.

 

The downside, such as it is, is that this can create a serious nutrient balancing act for you to maintain.

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Joevember

I've ran fuges on all of my tanks. My IM 20 fuge isn't that efficient because the light I have is weak and it has low flow so cyano builds up pretty quick.

My pico's fuge is a bit strong. I have one of those Acke lights strapped to my HOB, and it really cranks out some light. It's so powerful that the chaeto grows so dense that it's acting like mechanical filtration 😂 

20190702_113023.thumb.jpg.0e524da9ca6496c8ff28806b9922ded7.jpg

I am having some issues battling dinos/cyano though. Not trying to hijack this thread, but help a brother out.

Also, with biological filtration, I also think  bio-media, like marine pure spheres, are just as important as a fuge. Never underestimate bacteria.

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ninjamyst
1 minute ago, Joevember said:

I've ran fuges on all of my tanks. My IM 20 fuge isn't that efficient because the light I have is weak and it has low flow so cyano builds up pretty quick.

My pico's fuge is a bit strong. I have one of those Acke lights strapped to my HOB, and it really cranks out some light. It's so powerful that the chaeto grows so dense that it's acting like mechanical filtration 😂 

Also, with biological filtration, I also think  bio-media, like marine pure spheres, are just as important as a fuge. Never underestimate bacteria.

I just bought one of those Acke lights =).  I plan to use only one of the panels.

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Matteo

It's spendy for what it is but I wanted my tank and equipment all same name brand IM so I got the chaetomax led. 

 

Stick one of these on the back of your sump and you'll double your cheat growth in a matter of weeks. I just throw my extra chaeto in my predator tank for my puffer to munch on. 

 

Good ole fiber! 

 

My reef is still newer so I'm running 24/7 until the diatoms disappear completely. 

DSC_0015.JPG

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ninjamyst
2 minutes ago, Matteo said:

It's spendy for what it is but I wanted my tank and equipment all same name brand IM so I got the chaetomax led. 

 

Stick one of these on the back of your sump and you'll double your cheat growth in a matter of weeks. I just throw my extra chaeto in my predator tank for my puffer to munch on. 

 

Good ole fiber! 

 

My reef is still newer so I'm running 24/7 until the diatoms disappear completely. 

DSC_0015.JPG

I have that for my big tank.  It keeps falling off because the sump gets hot in the summer and the glue for the velcro is melting =(

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Joevember
14 minutes ago, ninjamyst said:

I just bought one of those Acke lights =).  I plan to use only one of the panels.

This one?

6 minutes ago, ninjamyst said:

I have that for my big tank.  It keeps falling off because the sump gets hot in the summer and the glue for the velcro is melting =(

If you ever want to sell it lmk 😁

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Tamberav

If I didn't scrape my SPS tank I would not be able to see into it from coralline in a pretty short manner. I don't think an urchin or such would keep up either. 

 

5 hours ago, ninjamyst said:

So much knowledge being dropped in this thread!!  Thanks everyone!

 

I think a big problem in reefing today is the popularity of using dry rocks and bacteria in a bottle.  That's what I did with all 3 of my tanks, and will probably continue to do so for future tanks even knowing live rock is better.  That's why I believe refugium is important for biodiversity because we are starting from ground up.  

 

Another problem is all the marketing push for gadgets and filter media.  I read so many threads from new hobbyists preparing their first build and first thing they do is buy purigen, chemipure blue, nano skimmer, nano reactor, and more.  

 

 

The BTAs are added to a tank that's been running for almost 2 years now.  The rock and sand came from a tank that also ran for almost 2 years.  I do test for nitrate and phosphate and nitrate in the BTA tank is 5ppm but phosphate is undetectable which confirms your article.  I have increased feeding for this tank to drive up phosphate.  

 

I used reef cleaners dry rock as I love the shapes and it is so clean! The gulf live rock was way to dense for me. That being said I seeded my dry with as much life as I could find, worms, pods, starfish, bacteria, other pieces of live rock, gulf live rock, I even ordered a bag of pods because the description said the pods were taken from the ocean just hours before. That is a bag of ocean bacteria! I dumped it all in. 

 

It took awhile but eventually the dry rock had dusters and sponges and life all over it. 

 

Pests don't bother me too much, I have had a few and they are not difficult to remove in a nano. They came in on the frag plugs and not all the fresh ocean life I added... ha! Other peoples tanks can be the biggest source for pests! 

 

In the future I will go half reef-cleaners and half KPA rock (have not tried them yet but I like what I see, I believe teeny used them). 

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Matteo
1 hour ago, ninjamyst said:

I have that for my big tank.  It keeps falling off because the sump gets hot in the summer and the glue for the velcro is melting =(

Damn must get toasty! 

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mcarroll
4 hours ago, Joevember said:

I am having some issues battling dinos/cyano though. Not trying to hijack this thread, but help a brother out.

Make a thread (if you don't already have one) and link it here.  Make sure to post a photo and all your recent test results...especially nitrate and phosphate.  History on the tank leading up to the appearance of the dino's would also help.

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Tamberav

I picked up the chaetogro. Oddly enough the bottle also recommends dosing biofuel and microbacter with it. I suppose carbon is important to macro's too but... I would think dosing those two would increase bacterial popularions and suck down nitrate/po4. Perhaps they assume most people trying to grow chaeto are having a problem with high nutrients. 

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Wonderboy

You're probably right, most people are adding chaeto for nutrient control, so they market their other products to the larger audience. Though, they did do a good job at making sure it's not their fault if/when nutrient levels rocket or linger and end up growing other not so chaetoey things.

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Wonderboy

 

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mcarroll

Can't hear it...what's the video say?

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Wonderboy

It compares the results of these two studies:

 

https://www.academia.edu/1647139/Coral_farming_effects_of_light_water_motion_and_artificial_foods

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329257361_Comparing_the_capacity_of_five_different_dietary_treatments_to_optimise_growth_and_nutritional_composition_in_two_scleractinian_corals

 

The video's author explains how directly feeding corals any commercial foods doesn't really have too much of a positive result in growth - he claims that the two studies' collective results suggest that maintaining sufficient biodiversity and/or consistently available nutrients promotes more coral growth than any other feeding method.

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Tamberav

I don't think its shocking that raw sea water is better than artificial foods. I think in this age of reefing, many people in the reefing hobby agree nutrients are not as bad as we thought and biodiversity is king. 

 

I see people scared to add live rock because of hitchikers which is just a shame or they want to start over with sterile rock because of something like GHA. 

 

I guess I do still see people trying to add all these powdered food and maybe they are no benefit at all to the corals directly although they probably feed pods and other organisms which in turn may be a benefit. 

 

I do get great polyp extension when using reef-roids, that doesn't mean that the coral is eating it but.... it's smelly... I actually use it to 'bait' out my sun corals and my nems in my cold water tank, my gorgs, etc....so I can get them to open up quickly so I can feed them mysis/cylcopeze/eggs... that's pretty much may main use for those commercial foods. My small fish do seem to really enjoy reef-chili too.

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mcarroll
1 hour ago, Wonderboy said:

he claims that the two studies' collective results suggest that maintaining sufficient biodiversity and/or consistently available nutrients promotes more coral growth than any other feeding method.

My experience jives well with that conclusion.  I grew some massive SPS colonies in my first five years without even having fish around for their poopy contribution (correct: no fish).  I fed every once in a while....I think I went through two whole (small) containers of ESV's spray-dried phytoplankton and one bag of Reef Bugs over that time...once or twice I hatched a tiny amount of baby brine shrimp.  Hardly anything compared to what I see some folks doing to brand new tanks.

 

Worth noting that skimming was the harshest thing I ever did to the tank in terms of filtration, so plenty of whatever was fed was left for "recycling" within the tank.

 

Recycling nutrients (especially N) is the real superpower of corals/reefs.

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mcarroll
52 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I actually use it to 'bait' out my sun corals and my nems in my cold water tank, my gorgs, etc

A couple of drips of garlic juice or just a fish feeding will prolly have a similar effect - but you definitely have to do something for your sun corals until they get acustomed to feeding time. 

 

Some prolly never do get accustomed....I've never seen anyone have REALLY great success with that coral to be honest.  Neither black nor red types.

 

That was the only way I got any of them to eat anything, but it still didn't seem sufficient for them to thrive.  I had some gorgonians in the same system sometimes and I'd "blast feed" the whole tank almost daily for them....didn't seem to help any of the sun corals tho.

 

Once they have their polyps out do you hand feed them?

 

Might be a little off-topic, but if you've had better luck then I'm curious!  🙂

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Tamberav
2 hours ago, mcarroll said:

A couple of drips of garlic juice or just a fish feeding will prolly have a similar effect - but you definitely have to do something for your sun corals until they get acustomed to feeding time. 

 

Some prolly never do get accustomed....I've never seen anyone have REALLY great success with that coral to be honest.  Neither black nor red types.

 

That was the only way I got any of them to eat anything, but it still didn't seem sufficient for them to thrive.  I had some gorgonians in the same system sometimes and I'd "blast feed" the whole tank almost daily for them....didn't seem to help any of the sun corals tho.

 

Once they have their polyps out do you hand feed them?

 

Might be a little off-topic, but if you've had better luck then I'm curious!  🙂

 

Well I bought mostly dead neglected ones and they seem to be recovering nicely. 

 

Reef roids gets a faster and better response to get them open then feeding the fish..garlic might work. Then I hand feed...twice a day.

 

Too early to tell on the black ones...I had some black and green ones in the past that grew new heads. They were kept in a dimly lit tank which kept them open a lot.

 

I suppose I should try some live black worms with them.

 

It's too bad nutramar ova isn't readily availabile...that was the best food for fish...pods...and coral alike. I never have seen something more healthy or readily ate by all.

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mcarroll

If you can get Reef Nutrition products, maybe try Oyster Feast or R.O.E.?  They have a few other goodies that are also "similar".

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Tamberav
6 hours ago, mcarroll said:

If you can get Reef Nutrition products, maybe try Oyster Feast or R.O.E.?  They have a few other goodies that are also "similar".

I tried them and they do not compare at all. Ova was crack cocaine for fish. I still have a few packs and I can basically get any finicky fish to eat it AND get fat on it.

 

The LRS stuff looks good but kind if big for some if my tiny fish. That shit better be good for 36bucks for 6 oz. I may try it just to see...if it is as good as ova then it is worth 36 bux.

 

Edit: after a little digging it looks like nutramar ova is gone for good. Will have to try LRS and coral feast ova.

 

The common ova just doesn't cut it.

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jbb_00

Not a nano since I'm at ~75g total volume but I will never go without one. It seems all of my tank issues have been on tanks that didn't run a refugium. No dosing of refugium products and I do 25g change every 2 weeks 

 

 

20190704_152626.jpg

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Tamberav
25 minutes ago, jbb_00 said:

Not a nano since I'm at ~75g total volume but I will never go without one. It seems all of my tank issues have been on tanks that didn't run a refugium. No dosing of refugium products and I do 25g change every 2 weeks 

 

 

20190704_152626.jpg

I love the sea of caulerpa!

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jbb_00
4 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I love the sea of caulerpa!

Yeah it's a tangled mess of that and chaeto that needs some serious pruning . 

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pdiehm

I am setting up a BioCube 29.  Going to be running the InTank Fuge Basket.  The issue I am running into is...I am not sure what light to get to attach to the back of the Biocube...any recommendation?

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