FILTRATION FOR THE FUTURE OF MARINE AQUARIUMS
An aquarium refugium=
isolated compartment kept either inside or outside your tank, with shared
water flow so that it shares the water conditions as your main tank. Refugiums are a new means of filterin=
aquarium with noticeable benefits to the life of your marine aquarium. Below, we will examine the primary be=
of adding a refugium to your system.
One of the thing=
plagues most aquariums is the dreaded nitrates. There is no easy way to
reduce these chemicals without a large amount of plants or water changes,=
most people don't like having plants in the display tank. Or, in some cas=
the livestock in the display tank will savagely attack the plants until n=
What can be done? One of the answers is to add a refugium or sump. In the refugium you will place a deep=
bed of 6 inches or more. This depth will allow a large amount of bacteria=
accumulate that will remove nitrates from the water. You can also add live
rock rubble to the refugium to help filter ammonia and nitrites. A more
beneficial use of the refugium, however, would be to add aquatic plants, =
as macroalgae. The plants will effectively filter nitrates and keep you w=
quality very high. An added benefit of the plants is that you can feed th=
to your fish if they become too numerous.
The refugium can=
as a breeding ground for tiny food such as copepods. These tiny creatures=
food for mandarin dragonets and blennies, but can easily become extinct in
the display tank. In the refugium, they can reproduce without the threat =
fish and spread to the display tank via the return pipe.
The refugium can also serve as a holding tank for aggressive fish or
invertebrates that you don't want in the main tank. For example, if you h=
a yellow tang that is attacking a new addition to the display tank, you c=
move the tang to the refugium until the new addition gets used to the tan=
Or, if you have a crab that starts attacking your fish, you could put it =
the refugium where there is nothing to attack.
Another benefit of refugiums is the ability to hide your bulky and unsigh=
equipment. You can put everything from heaters to protein skimmers in the
refugium, reducing the amount of space occupied by equipment in your disp=
tank. You can also use larger equipment, such as giant protein skimmers, =
placing them in line with the refugium.
In conclusion, it is clear that refugiums offer a wide range of benefits.=
a small amount of money, you can create a permanent filter that needs lit=
or no maintenance and will greatly reduce the amount =
of nitrates in your aquarium=