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Thread: Scrubbers compared to refugiums

  1. #11
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    He didn't say it was the cause, he said it couldn't keep the phosphates down like the previous setup.

  2. #12
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    My point was on my old system, between the filtration methods I used, 50% weekly water changes, and MH+T5 combo, I had found a perfect balance in the tank to where everything was happy... at a huge monetary expense to me. It was one of many different combinations of filtration/lighting methods that have been proven successful at one point by someone. I am not saying algae was the cause of my past success or blaming it for my recent failures, I am just saying in the past I used the refugium/macro algae method along with other costly methods and I never had the negatives you speak of with using caulerpa or chaeto and had what I felt was a well balanced healthy tank.

    Today I no longer have an extra $300+ a month just to spend on salt and other supplies for my tanks. This was the driving factor for me to move to an ATS and switch lighting to LEDs... but it has created a lot of changes to the tank and created lots of different issues for me to work out. The ATS has never functioned as claimed for me, but again, I still believe it is a very good filtration method that provides plenty of benefits so it will always be a part of all my tanks from now on. It has functioned as well as can logically be expected of it. I will not rely on an ATS to solve all my tanks problems anymore than I would rely on any other macro algae to solve all of them. I have stopped doing water changes, tried... and tried.. and tried many times over the past 4 years to not have to use any type of phosphate remover like I previously used (but to no avail, again, not the algaes fault) so going from 50% weekly to nothing for over a year and still have living SPS corals tells me something is working right, but I certainly wouldn't call any of my SPS corals 'healthy' at this time. I just need to find that type of balance and stability in my tank like I used to have, and do so at the smallest expense possible. I think an ATS is an integral part of that, but not the only part.

    Back on topic.. scrubber vs refugium .. they do some of the same things, and they do other things different. I think it is possible to have a nice refugium along with a scrubber without issue if that is what someone wants, you just have to pick the right macro algae if you wish to use macro algae in the refugium. Mangroves and halemeda would still grow nicely in a refugium as both require very low N/P. A few mangroves and a little halimeda in a refugium will do very little in terms of helping filter the water clean, but they won't require much either. So an ATS should not negatively affect those types of plants... chaeto on the other hand, an ATS will wipe it out, and caulerpa, I would be afraid of stress of sudden lack of nutrients would lead to die off or turning sexual, both would cause major issues, so I would not use either of those macro algae in combination with a scrubber. A refugium does provide benefits that an ATS can't provide and vise versa. On at ATS, pods are bad, they eat the algae and release it into the water, but in a refugium with some rock rubble piles, they can grow and multiply and feed the tank which is a good thing. As long as you clean the screen weekly it shouldn't be a problem. On an ATS, algae grows much faster and is much easier and safer to harvest vs a refugium. There are many other pro's and cons of each method so it comes down the each person to decide how they want to run their system. If you want an ATS and refugium because of the different things they provide or the visual appeal of a nice looking refugium with maybe even a mantis shrimp in it, just pick your macro algae wisely if you want to use some. A refugium doesn't need to contain anything photosynthetic in order to be called a refugium.. by name, it is a place of refuge for things that would eat or get eaten in the display tank, things you find beneficial to the tank and want to keep somewhere safe from everyone else or have multiply. One could even have a refugium of sun corals and dendros and not have to use light if you wanted and it would provide some filtration and look stunning.

  3. #13

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    so now you use 2 filtering, Mr. Ace? ATS & refugium? does it solves the phosphate problem?

  4. #14
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    Well.. yes and no.. I used to use what would be considered a full blown refugium with both caulerpa and chaeto macro algae, today I just have a bunch of live rock on the bottom of my sump and use the ATS as my algae filter. I could not use either caulerpa or chaeto macro algae with an ATS though, they wouldn't survive. The live rock in the sump area is there just for bacteria and microfauna to grow (pods, microbrittle starfish, tube worms, etc). So far my setup is still not designed well enough to lower phosphates naturally, but I am still trying to find out why and how to fix it.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    Well.. yes and no.. I used to use what would be considered a full blown refugium with both caulerpa and chaeto macro algae, today I just have a bunch of live rock on the bottom of my sump and use the ATS as my algae filter. I could not use either caulerpa or chaeto macro algae with an ATS though, they wouldn't survive. The live rock in the sump area is there just for bacteria and microfauna to grow (pods, microbrittle starfish, tube worms, etc). So far my setup is still not designed well enough to lower phosphates naturally, but I am still trying to find out why and how to fix it.
    i think you can try removing your LR from your system ace, if phosphate is your concern & not growing bacteria also microfauna

  6. #16
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    Read these links.. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/9/chemistry and http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/lofi...p/t265251.html

    I don't think removing live rock on my systems is the answer to my problems. I boiled, let dry outside for 30 days, and cooked for 1 year (seeding with Dr. Tim's bacteria) to ensure it was as clean as could be so I think it is helping on my tanks more than harming them. With the rock in my display and sump combined, I am still less than 1 pound per gallon.

    Anyway, that is getting off topic again, this thread is about scrubbers vs refugiums.

  7. #17

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    maybe you should read again those links, it'll tell you where phosphate source & usually run into.

    scrubbers remove it but refugiums keep it. but it said in that links too that fish & corals can also deposit phosphate too, so maybe you can keep your refugiums & remove your fish & corals?

    you maybe ensure your LR clean when you put it in (i'm not sure tho) but you put phosphate in by feeding & scrubbers is not like a vacuum cleaner that will suck all phosphate in the aquarium, it needs time, some phosphate will deposit to fish-corals-sands-rock & even to the aquarium & later will eventually release it again to the water.

    well, its your aquarium, its your call which one you want to keep it. you can keep it all, but you need to put out your MONEY out to buy some product to vanish it.

    i'm maybe not a master on aquarium & don't know your motif but i know when you don't stop the 'cause, don't mind the 'effect.

  8. #18
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    Wow, sounds like you know my system better than myself. LOL. Did you take into account we are talking golf ball size pieces of rubble, in one chamber that is 18"x10", just enough rubble to cover the floor under the ATS screen.. and also the fact there are 2 Koralia 3 powerheads in that one chamber to keep everything suspended and not settle. No? Didn't realize that part? Don't be so quick to judge other peoples setups without getting a full picture.

    My rock was killed, left out to dry, soaked in RO/DI water and rinsed for a week, then put in clean saltwater with Dr. Tim's bacteria and cooked for a year in a 29G tank with 3 powerheads and a skimmer without any light. I put a few small pieces of rubble from my tank to also seed the life, which it did very well as there were tons of pods and starfish on the rocks. The water tested 0/0 for several months before I used it in my tanks, so I am pretty sure it was clean.

    Also, this is how my tank is setup, rock sits on drilled PVC frame which has a 1400GPH pump pushing flow upwards through the rocks to keep them clean. 20 years experience, I have learned a few things.

  9. #19

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    yeah, i don't know your setups, even when you put a picture or video, i'm still not 100% sure it's yours too though. but it just like this site & all other site around the world, if we belief, use it, if not don't use it. cause we never know what other people motif.

    well, back to the topic, you like to research things right? you can test your koralia absorbing capability since it can grow bacteria in there like you said, 'suspended is enough for chemicals to deposit especially when the media have the capability to absorb.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace25 View Post
    To me that is like saying trees can't grow branches and leaves below the top of the tree because the top canopy blocks the light for the leaves below.. but we know that isn't true either.
    Actually, it is true. Take a closer look at trees and really any branching plant. The newer and also more active leaves are at the tips of branches. When growth is fast, the older leaves become senescent at a quicker rate. Inhibitory hormones at the meristems prevent side shoot development to enhance photosynthetic surface area.

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