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  1. #1
    Senior Member gator's Avatar
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    "Ecosystem(tm)" style refugium

    I plan to use the following as a refugium for my 65 gallon reef. It will be made out of a standard 20 H gal tank. It's based on the EcoSystem style filtration box, with bioball chambers at the inflow and outflow areas. I have a couple of questions, though. 1: I want to build the bioball boxes out of white eggcrate, does anyone know how best to attach this stuff to glass? 2: What is, in your experience, the best macro algae for a fuge (grows fast, easy to trim, encourages coral growth, won't spread to display tank, etc), and 3: what kind of lighting would be _more_ than adequate for growing macro? Also, any additional comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Former Moderator swiseman's Avatar
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    A bead of silicone (reef safe) will hold the eggcrate in place. I was not aware that you could or should put down a layer of argonite under the miracle mud. Seems un-necessary. I believe the best choice for macro would be Chaeto. It is the thin variet with tiny grape like shoots. It wouldn't spread to you main tank and can be easily harvested once a month. I gave some to a LFS to use in their Ecosystems on their display and stock tanks and it is working will for them. The lighting requirements for Chaeto are pretty easy. I use a black reptile light that clips on the side with a PC type bulb from the hardware store. The bulb is by Phillips and is 5000K. I applaud your decesion to use your own sump instead of paying the rediculious amount they want for the complete system.
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

    Hardware:
    220 Gal Mostly SPS Reef, 66 gal sump with refuge, 33 gal refugium, Gen-X Mak-5 Return, 3 x IceCap 250 MH, 2 x 110 VHO, Deltec APF600 Skimmer and a Deltec AP-600, Geo 6-18 Calcium Reactor, 2 x Tunze Stream 6100, Profilux Plus II EX Controller.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    To attach the egg-crate, you can use silicon. As the eggcrate isn't under pressure, it should hold.
    Question: why the bio-balls ?

    For lighting the refuge, any flourescent light will do. My refuge is a 10g with an eclipse lid with the just the lights that came with the lid. The macro algae grows fine.

    Why the ball valve on the overflow (drain) ?
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  4. #4
    Senior Member gator's Avatar
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    The aragonite is to create a deep sand bed effect for worms, etc. I plan to use aragonite simply because it is much cheaper than miracle or mineral mud type substratums.

    The reasons given for the bioball inclusions are that they break up any chunks of detritus that pass through them, and on the outflow will tend to prevent loose macro, etc from clogging the drain. The reason for the valve on the out flow is so I can divert the outflow to a drain for water changes, as well as dogmatic belief that more valves on a system the better. :wink5:

  5. #5
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    Alternately, you could build your egg crate boxes by using tie wraps and hang them from the tank's trim by drilling some holes and tie wrap the boxes to the holes. This will allow you to remove the boxes and replace them easier (and while still wet) unlike silicone.

    You will want to periodically clean the bio balls to keep them clear and avoid building up Aerobic and Anaerobic bacterias which will create too much Nitrate for you.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  6. #6
    Former Moderator swiseman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cres
    Alternately, you could build your egg crate boxes by using tie wraps and hang them from the tank's trim by drilling some holes and tie wrap the boxes to the holes. This will allow you to remove the boxes and replace them easier (and while still wet) unlike silicone.

    You will want to periodically clean the bio balls to keep them clear and avoid building up Aerobic and Anaerobic bacterias which will create too much Nitrate for you.

    This is a way better idea.
    If my wife asks, it was only $20.

    Hardware:
    220 Gal Mostly SPS Reef, 66 gal sump with refuge, 33 gal refugium, Gen-X Mak-5 Return, 3 x IceCap 250 MH, 2 x 110 VHO, Deltec APF600 Skimmer and a Deltec AP-600, Geo 6-18 Calcium Reactor, 2 x Tunze Stream 6100, Profilux Plus II EX Controller.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiseman
    This is a way better idea.
    I had never even considered this, but have to agree...it is a stunning idea! Not only for cleaning purposes, but it alows much more flexibility for "tweaking" things if need be. I have a few of those maxi-jet brackets that are for hanging powerheads directly from the trim. Instead of drilling holes and using tie-wraps, I'll tie-wrap the brackets to the egg-crate boxes.

    Thanks for the help, everyone.

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