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Running protien skimmer off fuge


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I'm adding a refugium to my 70g tank because i need to "grow" some macro A) to eliminate nitrates and B) feed the surgeonfish..


I originally had an AC500 fuge but it was WAY too small, so I'm putting a 10g tank underneath with an overflow/return system.


My question is, is there any difference where I keep the protein skimmer? I have a prism now on the main tank, but am thinking of moving it to the fuge. Does it matter?


Also, other than plants, should the fuge have sand?

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You can put the skimmer anywhere as long as there is water movement. As far as the sand goes, it's a little complicated. Some people say the you should use sand to anchor mangroves, turtle grass, etc. and to get some different types of pods growing in there. No how much is the real question. Some people go with 2 inches others more. just depends on whether you are trying to get some denitrification going on in your 'fuge or not.


Hope I've helped some, or confused others! :)

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The main goal of the fuge is to denitrify. Secondary goal is to grow food for the Surgeonfish.


What would my best bet be for populating the fuge?

Also how much light and what kind? It's a 10g fuge.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi jneuringer,


My humble suggestion is to make a 2 inch aragonite sand bed. Ocotpets has very excellent lush red graceleria sp.. If your surgeonfish eats that, its a good choice. I don't recommend mixing different kinds of macro in your fuge as some of them fight each other chemically. My next choices would be Ulva or Chaeto.


If you do order from Octopets, you might as well buy some pods from him. They are very good, and a good amount of mixed species. I would also buy a hundred of his small clams - matchhead size full grown - that do a wonderful job detrifying in your fuge and display tank. (As soon as you sprinkle them on the sand they wiggle into it and you never see them again unless you dig up your sandbed. They are cheap too.)


I would include some live rock in there as well.


My theory on skimmer placement is based on the fact that you want to minimize micro bubbles that make it back to the display tank. For that reason, I recommend that you put the skimmer right with the inlet of your fuge, hopefully before the baffles, to give the bubbles time to sublimate before being pumped back.


I would also keep the flow somewhat sluggish through the fuge, so as to encourage pod reproduction. You can suck them out with a pipette when you want to feed.


I enjoy my 10 gal refuge just as much as I do my 15 gal display tank. :)

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Thanks for all that advice. Now on my other tank, I'm thinking of using an emperor filter, but wondering if I can put my piccolo skimmer in it. I don't see any reason not to yet. ideas?

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I agree w/ gunthr as to the placement of the skimmer, you don't want it giving your display bubbles AND you don't want the skimmer to eliminate any pods that wight be able to survive being pumped back up to the display - that's valuable fish food, espically if you have or ever want a mandarin.


For pod production I've also heard that crushed coral is a havenfor the little buggers, if you can use that for the fuge and seed it with LS and/or LR that would be perfect.

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