fuge newbie questions...

Discussion in 'Refugium' started by Twan013, Apr 25, 2007.

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  1. Twan013

    Twan013 Skunk Shrimp

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    hey guys, i'm thinking about setting up a fuge for my aquarium, but have some questions first... ok, here goes..

    i'm thinking about using a smaller aquarium (5 1/2 or 10 gallon) and placing it under my 55 gallon aquarium. since i can't drill my aquarium, and i don't want to get a new one, what should i do? i've read about a hangon overflow... are they any good? or why not use 2 powerheads? one feeding from the 55 into the fuge, and the other from the fuge to the 55? basically, i want to know what is involved in adding a fuge to an established aquarium? i've heard about hangon refugiums, but they wouldn't really have enough capacity to do what i want... which leads me to my next set of questions...

    what is the best way to go with what i want to do? basically, my main concern is nitrate reduction...NNR, i guess i should call it... would a DSB go in the fuge? or just in the main aquarium? and if i don't have it in one, do i need it in the other? i've also heard about growing caulerpa, halimeda, mangroves, and other plants that suck up nitrates.. would this route be feasible in a fuge of my proposed size? i've read on these forums about people completely eliminating nitrates, and if i can get that with a fuge this size, then that's my goal...

    and finally, is there anything i should add besides whatever plant i choose to use? sand, mud, liverock, snails and hermits, etc.. do i basically set up the fuge as i would a regular aquarium? livesand, liverock, a few snails/crabs, and then the plants?

    oh wait, THIS is my final question... besides pruning of said plants, would i need to do any other maintenence to the fuge? will the water from it evaporate just as it does in the main aquarium? and when i top off the 55, would the fuge automatically level back up? or will i have to top it off as well?

    i hate to ask so many questions, but i just want to make sure a fuge is gonna be as beneficial as i'd like it to be..if not, then i'll just try for a denitrator or something... or just stick to waterchanges
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  3. MDeth

    MDeth Feather Star

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    Let me answer some of that. You could run a DSB or a deep-ish and definitely grow some macroalgae. I prefer cheato, but many like caulerpa and mangroves. You could add a couple of crabs as it gets out of control. I'll be making a 12g fuge sometime soon so I feel you :(

    As far as substrate, I think tangster uses kitty litter, but sand will do just fine. That miracle mud is ALL hype. A fuge is always a good idea no matter how simple it is.

    As far as plumbing, I really dont have a clue. I know people use all kinds of things....but the tank I am going to use will have bulkheads drilled already :)
  4. Twan013

    Twan013 Skunk Shrimp

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    cheato is the stuff that i've heard resembles a green brillo pad, right?

    i'll try the sand, because kitty litter just seems... i don't know, something don't feel right about putting it in a tank... i'm REALLY hoping someone will help me out on the plumbing and other stuff..
  5. MDeth

    MDeth Feather Star

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    Well, you have to figure out how much flow you want, and what pumps will power it all. Most people shoot for 10x-20x cycle per hour (divide your GPH pump by your tank size).
  6. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, I'll answer what I can. I'm assuming that since your tank is neither drilled nor has a hang on overflow, that you don't have a sump? If that's the case, you're going to have to add one if you want to add a refugium. If you don't want to drill the tank, the only other option is to have a hang on overflow. If you don't want to add a sump, the only other option is to have a hang-on refugium. I personally don't like hang on overflows because of the fact that they lose siphon and gunk up pretty quickly.

    Unscented kitty litter is made of 100% organic clay, which is exactly what Miracle Mud is made of so if you want to use mud, you can save tons of money but using kitty litter. It's 100% safe.

    Sorry for the rambling.....hope that made some sense.
  7. Kentanner11

    Kentanner11 Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Plumbing

    I know exactly what your talking about! What you could do, what I was going to do if my tank wasnt drilled, was to buy 2 fluval 2's (GREAT FILTER) and use tubing. I would have one in the sump/fuge and one in the tank. The only downside to this is that you will have to hide some pretty big tubing and if they kink its not good! But a bonus is that if the power goes out you wont have overflow!
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  9. Black_Raven

    Black_Raven Scooter Blennie

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    The 2 pump idea will not work. The pumps will never pump exactly the same volume and you will have a messy overflow on your hands.

    I use a CPR overflow and it works great. In fact, I prefer it over my drilled tank. Takes up less space in the tank. I've never lost suction with the CPR because it uses an inexpensive Aqualifter pump to help maintain suction.

    As far as a sump or a fuge, bigger is better. I would recommend you use a 20g long or standard 20g if you can. You need lots of macro algae to make a noticable difference in water quality.

    You will have to top off your tank regularly so the sump does not run dry and to prevent the return pump from runnig dry and burning up.

    I keep a 2.5" live sand bed in my sump with nasarius snails, turbo snails and a few hermits to eat any ditrius and food that collects in the sump. Bristle worms are great in the sump as well.
  10. Pisces23

    Pisces23 Sea Dragon

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    On Tangster's advice I set up my new sump/fuge with the cheap Wally-World kitty litter and though it was super cloudy at first it's been running for almost 3 months now with no problems...
  11. Twan013

    Twan013 Skunk Shrimp

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    ugh... looks like i won't be doing a fuge then... the way my stand is setup, there's a wall between the 2 sections (i guess for structural rigidity).. i think i measured each side to be about 22-23".... i don't want to take that wall out, and i don't want to have to set up anything else off to the side... limited on space, looks ugly, and i don't want to move the aquarium, or tear down the wall behind it just so i can add some stuff... and i don't see much sense in using a hang on fuge because it wouldn't have enough space to grow anything beneficial for my aquarium... and amcarrig, it made perfect sense! just not what i wanted to hear..lol what you SHOULD have said is somethig along the lines of this: "yeah, that's a great idea, why didn't i think of it? you're gonna have the best 55gallon aquarium in the world!" but oh well... why would you have to have a sump if you want a fuge? i thought a sump was the same thing as a fuge, but just a place to hide the heaters, skimmer and other stuff.....
  12. Black_Raven

    Black_Raven Scooter Blennie

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    You are right about a sump vs a fuge. A refugium is a place to grow macro algae and the like. A refugium can be part of a sump.