refugium questions

drumbum540
Member
Hi, I am new to saltwater fish tanks and I have some questions on refugiums. I have a 20 gallon fish tank that has 25 lbs of live rock and a surface skimming filter. What are the benefits of having a refugium? and could I build one myself?
 
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drumbum540
Member
I'm sorry I don't have 25lbs of live rock it is live sand.
 
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Mike
Moderator
Member
Hey drumbum - welcome to Fish Lore.

Refugiums are separate yet connected bodies of water that allow you to grow macroalgae and pods for the main tank. The macroalgae can be used to export excess nutrients coming from the main tank such as nitrates and phosphates. Whenever I prune the chaeto and caulerpa from the fuge there are tons of little pods in there. These pods make their way into the main tank where they become food for the fish.

You can definitely make one yourself inexpensively. I made one out of an aquaclear powerfilter. Is it going to be as good as a larger fuge? Prolly not, but still worth it in my opinion.
Link: Hang On Tank Refugium

Also, plan on getting some live rock too.
 
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drumbum540
Member
wow, thanks a lot! that aquaclear refugium is really cool! I have an aquaclear to spare except the motor doesn't turn and I don't know why. I think I got sand in it. how much light do you think I would need for the refugium of that size? I have a 10 watt fluorescent light to spare that would fit nicely over that.
 
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Mike
Moderator
Member
I have a 13 watt power compact over mine and the chaeto grows like crazy.
 
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drumbum540
Member
Where do you get all these bacteria and stuff? does it come out of the live rock?
 
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Mike
Moderator
Member
Yep, check out the nitrogen cycle and live rock articles on the site for more info. Those articles explain it for ya.
 
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drumbum540
Member
Ok! thanks again.
 

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