View Full Version : Algae in Refugium

05-07-2007, 01:40 AM
I am working my way through Volume 3 of The Reef Aquarium (great book but heavy enough to press flowers) and came across a discussion of EcoSystem and Miracle Mud.

I now have a much better understanding of the process of using algae for filtering. What intrigued me was that the authors stated that the use of algae, and it's occasional trimming, eliminates the need for a protein skimmer.

So I would like to get some insight on what others are using in their sump refugia? Is this what chaeto is used for? Does it need to be rooted or does it simply float?

Anyone using a hang on filter box instead of a sump?

Also the EcoSystem product uses bioballs to break up detritus as it enters the sump. Is that necessary?

You can buy the EcoSystem sump package in Canada but it is pretty pricey especialy the Miracle Mud part and the fact that the mud needs to be replaced.

Thanks in advance

05-07-2007, 02:29 AM
I really dont think anything eliminates the need for a skimmer. Even with a "light" fish load and a TON of algae growing, your skimmer would still pull some foul smelling liquid out of the tank. I personally let green hair algae grow in certain spots of my aquarium because i think it looks cool and it works much like macro algae, i do keep it in check though. I have Caulpera macro algae it differs from chaeto in that it grows roots i have heard the best way to setup your Chaeto is to have it "rolling" like a ball in water flow..good luck... i think its much like java moss in freshwater aquaria.

If you use bioballs to break up Detrius i think it may make it easier for the skimmer to take out, BUT if you have a overflow internal or external wouldnt the poop sink and not float out and therefore break down in the bottom of your tank? If you had a stockman pipe or something that allowed the poop to shoot down into the bioballs i would think your bioballs might trap it rather than breaking all of it up.


05-07-2007, 02:30 AM
A refugium/sump has been my greatest upgrade along the way. My tank is a drilled 77 with a 30gal sump/fuge. My sump was a DIY project that turned out great. first compartment has the drain outlet heaters ...three baffles (down up down).Next is a 12 by 12 by 18" fuge full of a couple different kinds of macro algae (including chaeto), live rock, only about half an inch of sand and a 10K t5 grow light(96watt I think). Chaeto seems as though it doesn't 'root in' but it looks like it does when it is close enough to the sand bed . That fuge is full of copas and tons of different kinds of micro-organisms.Next is my skimmer compartment. I find even with a fuge it is a good idea to have a skimmer I still end up with a full collection cup every few days . The big benefits I've seen are that I am no longer needing weekly or at max bi-weekly water changes. Now I test my water every 2 weeks and just doing bi-weekly changes just to keep my water pristine. After the skimmer compartment is three more baffles (down up down). The only mech filteration I have is one coarse sponge, a sheet of filter floss and a bag of carbon in my pump compartment which is the final compartment after my skimmer(then back up to the main tank).And on the topic of miracle mud ... I considered it, but now with my refugium working as well as it does I'm glad I didn't spend the money. I just went with a very shallow sand bed and I think that keep the sand 'turned up' better... No detritius build up at all.