Diy Aquaclear Refugium

Jayd976

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Here's how i turned my AC50 into a refugium years ago. Just found the photos and thought I'd share. Its a very simple project to do.

Take out all the media so you're just left with the basket. Disassemble the basket into the three pieces (2 sides and the bottom).
basket.jpg


The bottom piece I siliconed to the HOB return portion.
refugium002.jpg


Take one of the sides and cut out just above and below the grate in the middle. So you're left with that grate piece. I cut a piece of acrylic to fit that space between the impeller assembly and the main media chamber and then siliconed the acrylic baffle there and the grate on top of that. This is to ensure nothing back flows into the impeller chamber. You can also raise the baffle up an inch or so. This way the water flows down into the chamber from the bottom rather than from the top. This will ensure the media inside is constantly stirred and more contact time.
refugium003.jpg

refugium001.jpg


After silicone dries all you have to do is add a little rock rubble and some chaeto or your preferred macro algae and you're good to. Light source for the algae you'd have to get as well.
 

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stella1979

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Great thread Jayd976 . I'll bookmark it for easy reference when folks ask about this.

I wish I had taken step by step pictures of my own AC70 modification. The difference between mine and yours is that I had some spare acrylic sheeting from another project. We cut it to size to make a baffle in the media chamber, at about a half inch away from the grate protecting the pump assembly. Holes were drilled at the bottom, so water must flow down before getting into the media/chaeto section. The small section created by this baffle is for holding floss padding for mechanical filtration. Note that the floss is changed/cleaned every 3-4 days to prevent it from becoming a nitrate factory.

This is an AC70, but the pump's impeller was replaced with one for an AC30. This slowed flow through the fuge, allowing for the water to have more contact time with the chaeto.
aq.jpg


@Culprit - I know yours was done a bit differently as well. Did you incorporate a removable algae scrubber? It'd be great if you could post your stuff here too. I think it'll be easier to direct people here in the future.
 
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Jayd976

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Thanks for reminding me now that i look at it. The side piece that separates the impeller area and the media chamber is actually an acrylic baffle i made and the plastic grate is on top! I did this build like 8-10yrs ago. I edited the original post now to reflect that piece. I totally forgot about it. I used clear acrylic so its hard to see it. Only remembered once you said it!
 

Culprit

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Nice thread! The more AC mods we can get on here the better, more options for what different people want.

Tools I used:
Scissors
Hot Glue Gun
X-Acto Knife

First I cut the media basket into three parts.
P1050666.JPG


Then I took the bottom part of the media basket, and on the left side, if its on its back facing up, cut two gaps, about 1 inch from the left side in the rail going across, one on the top rail and one right below it on the bottom. This is so I can fit in the second piece of media basket. Then, I glued the bottom part of the media basket over the output. It was a little too small, but I just filled up the tiny gap on the sides with hot glue.
P1050667.JPG


Then, I took the two sides of the media basket, and cut off the little triangles on what was the inside with the X-Acto. This is so when I put filter floss in it won't get snagged on it when I try to pull it out. Then I cut off the the two grabbing triangles at the top. You can see how prepared the right side, still need to do the right side. I would recommend using a bit of sandpaper on the sharp edges of the plastic.
P1050668.JPG


Then I took one side of the media basket, and hot glued it up between the impeller assmebly and the main media portion, triangles pointing towards the impeller. Its just fine if there's a gap underneath, that's normal. Next, take the second piece, and glue or silicone the holes in the grating in the top closed, so water has to flow underneath it. Now you should be able to slide it into the slots you cut in the outflow cover. This creates a small area you can put filter floss or carbon in.
P1050672.JPG
P1050673.JPG

I usually keep floss in. The great thing is if you decide you don't need floss or carbon you just take it out and you have more chaeto/rubble room. The main portion I filled half full of Seachem Matrix, and then the rest of the way with chaeto. I use this grow light https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071XHY63T/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .
P1050834.JPG
 
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