06-08-2005, 3:04 PM
I have a 35 gallon Hexagonal display tank. I have been struggling with nitrates ever since the thing has been setup and running (about 6 months). I have a seaclone 100 protein skimmer, that I have made the necessary modifications to to make it a decent skimmer, and an Emporer 280 filter. I also have a 300 gph PH in my tank. I have to do water changes to my tank every other day to keep my nitrates down below 30 ppm and I am getting tired of doing that week after week. So, I am thinking that a refugium might be the answer to my problem. If I can setup a refugium and fill it with different types of macroalgae, then I might be able to enjoy my tank instead of working on it constantly. My problem, of course, is the shape of my tank and room to set anything up next to it. So, I would like to probe the minds of all of you DIYers out there to see if you guys can help me come up with a design for a refugium that I can setup under my 35 hex. I am pretty sure that I will not be able to take a standard size tank and get it to fit under my tank, so I will probably have to custom build the tank itself. A hang-on back refugium would not really be ideal for 2 reasons:
1. No more room after the skimmer and hang on filter
2. a hang-on refugium just doesn't have enough room inside to hold the water long enough to be really effective.
Please help me come up with something. I haven't been in this hobby long enough to design a standard refugium, so this one, with an odd shape is next to impossible.
06-09-2005, 9:58 AM
Could you just fit a round 5 gallon bucket, maybe with the height cut down? Usually a simple garden grow-light in a round reflector is sufficent light. I assume you have no sump so balancing the flow in and out will a challenge. By that I mean if you start a siphon to drain water into the refugium, it would continue even if the return powerhead failed. Now if you could place it above the tank and pump water up... then allow the overflow to just dump into your hex, problem solved. So maybe you get a beautiful glass punch bowl, hang it in a macrame sling from the ceiling, & install a tiny powerhead inside the hex tank. Just make sure the overflow hits the display tank.
07-14-2005, 12:23 AM
No prob, a properly designed overflow siphon box holds a fixed water level in the outside box by means of a standpipe in the outside box and the siphon maintains its prime when the power goes out. A daily inspection of the siphon tube is the only regular requirement (you want a clear tube that you can clean periodically with a foxtail brush.....I also drill a small airline tube input at the top of the siphon for easy purging of bubbles that could accumulate). Prime the siphon with lungpower and extend the airline tubing a few feet down with a plug.
Don't forget that your return hose from your refugium needs a pinhole at the top of the water of your hex tank if it is to be extended down any distance into the aquarium. That is a siphon break and keeps the return from siphoning out your tank water to that depth.
The bucket idea certainly is a practical approach too.....
07-14-2005, 10:43 AM
By the way, if you want macroalgae, I can provide some anytime as can others.
07-24-2005, 11:34 PM
You can cut some plywood to cover the open sides of the stand about half way up. Attach some pond liner and your whole stand becomes a very roomy sump/refugium.
I have seen this done successfully but I'm not sure what they used to secure the pond liner. I have a 72gal Bow front and all I could fit in was a 10gal tank so I considered this option but when I moved I was able to fit a 20L in throught the top of the stand.
09-09-2005, 5:14 PM
Regarding the bucket idea, is there a size refugium size that would be considered a minimum for a 75 gallon tank? I have limited space under my tank due to my existing Oceanic sump. Would a 2-3 gallon be useful? How about those hang on the back refuguiums?
Thanks in advance,