Refugiums: Why they are beneficial to a reef tank

I was inspired to talk about refugiums today, and you get a brand new video. Win-win! If you have questions, ask below. Remember, Live Streams are Saturdays at 2pm CST and the next one is about *Water Quality*! Follow me here: http://www.facebook.com/melevsreef Visit my site: http://www.melevsreef.com Music by Kevin MacLeod - Music for Manatees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-1GtiLcItA

Refugiums: Why they are beneficial to a reef tank sentiment_very_dissatisfied 10

Reef tank 3 years ago 21,977 views

I was inspired to talk about refugiums today, and you get a brand new video. Win-win! If you have questions, ask below. Remember, Live Streams are Saturdays at 2pm CST and the next one is about *Water Quality*! Follow me here: http://www.facebook.com/melevsreef Visit my site: http://www.melevsreef.com Music by Kevin MacLeod - Music for Manatees http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-1GtiLcItA

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Most popular comments
for Refugiums: Why they are beneficial to a reef tank

Lito
Lito - 3 years ago
Love your journey and that you take all who watch with you...ive learned s lot
Cut It Up Freshh
Cut It Up Freshh - 3 years ago
Excellent video, so much details. thank you for making this.
#Rossy's Reeftank
#Rossy's Reeftank - 3 years ago
what if my nitrates and phosphates are 0 ....do i still need to grow Macroalgae???
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Probably not. It very likely won't stay alive.
Sahand Kolahian
Sahand Kolahian - 3 years ago
I feed the macro algae to my tangs.
Spokane Survival Training and education
Spokane Survival Training and education - 3 years ago
I don't even have a saltwater tank and I love your videos,intelligence of all things is addictive
#Rossy's Reeftank
#Rossy's Reeftank - 3 years ago
your tank looks really messy.....
#Rossy's Reeftank
#Rossy's Reeftank - 3 years ago
thank goodnes!!!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Did you see the latest video yet? It looks different now.
Cuda FX
Cuda FX - 3 years ago
if you have a garden, dried algae are supposedly a good fertiliser. particularly, given all the minerals, that go into a reef system
Cuda FX
Cuda FX - 3 years ago
i dont have a refugium nor a garden, but seaweed fertiliser is a thing. from a quick search, it provides nitrogen, potassium, phosphor and trace elements, and the alginate improves moisture retention. certainly better than disposing of exess algae otherwise.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I've typically given away some when a request happens. Never tried to use it as fertilizer. Have you tried it yourself yet?
thesarv88
thesarv88 - 3 years ago
Love your videos and experience sharing Mark. Thank you for all you do.
K.
K. - 3 years ago
I like your videos! The art of reef-keeping is something that interests me. It shows the complexities and value of these ecosystems. I might take a study on marine-biology to do something to help my country's precious waters. Especially what another country has been doing right now!! Making islands on large coral reefs which took MILLIONS of years to be created, now all gone. (Among many unjustices that face our waters, we must make it live until the future if we want to live in the future at all! For the benefit of the world.) Cheers, K.

10. comment for Refugiums: Why they are beneficial to a reef tank

BUBBA'S RC WORLD
BUBBA'S RC WORLD - 3 years ago
I know it's a little off topic from this video but I figured I would ask since refugiums deal with nutrients. I am having a dino issue ONLY in my sand bad. I don't really get bubbles with it and I would 100% think it's diatoms if I didn't look at it with a microscope. I can not get rid of it to save my life. po4 is .02 and no3 is below 2ppm. I have dosed peroxide also at 1ml to 10 gallons but doesn't help. Any tips?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Dinoflagellates? Have you considered turning the lights off for three days (simply unplug them from your timers), and continue dosing 3% peroxide the entire time. How big is the area affected?
psteeleb
psteeleb - 3 years ago
Marc - Assuming no other plans, I'd be happy to lend a hand when you work on your tank in September. Let me know
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
+psteeleb That would be awesome, Pete. Haven't seen you in forever.
Ruby Cadilac
Ruby Cadilac - 3 years ago
Great videos. I look forward to them. Are you going to try the triton method?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
+Ruby Cadilac I don't know. I'll be talking to them since they have a huge booth at MACNA next week.
Doc Cecil
Doc Cecil - 3 years ago
Does running bio pellets and having a Refugium complement each other or do they compete against each other?
Doc Cecil
Doc Cecil - 3 years ago
melevsreef Thanks! I'm setting up a 60 cube and I'm trying to figure out the best filtration.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
+Doc Cecil I expected them to compete but that has not been my experience.
Joshua Watson
Joshua Watson - 3 years ago
Live in central Florida and I buy from live-plants.com all the time. Great people to buy from.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Thanks for your experience. :)
Leroy Sinclair
Leroy Sinclair - 3 years ago
One day, when I have money, this will happen
TorontoBalconyGardener Michael
TorontoBalconyGardener Michael - 3 years ago
Most people start small and every once and awhile upgrade to a bigger tank, they start with a nano and years later have a 100,200,300 gallon tank just like he has a 400 gallon, good luck and one day everyone will be saying great things about your really big tank!
muffemod
muffemod - 3 years ago
Just go on a smaller scale and budget for it.
joeyballz7679
joeyballz7679 - 3 years ago
I am so relaxed after watching that video.
g22leon
g22leon - 3 years ago
Hey hi there, will you be live for the whole week
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I do a live stream every Saturday at 2pm Central Standard Time, unless I'm unavailable to do so.
Arbin Ghising
Arbin Ghising - 3 years ago
I needed to hear that. Thank you
Joe B.
Joe B. - 3 years ago
Hey there Marc, great video. I'm growing chaeto like crazy in my fuge. I'm adding a calcium reactor this week, and I'd like to remove my GFO (Rowaphos) reactor from the system (one less thing to clog), and just rely on my refugium to continue to control algae in the display. What do you think?
Joe B.
Joe B. - 3 years ago
melevsreef - Just ordered Phosphate RX, 10 micron socks, Hana checker, and studying - thanks man
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
It won't have a negative effect, it just won't be there to remove phosphate like you are used to. I simply dose Phosphate Rx as needed.
Joe B.
Joe B. - 3 years ago
melevsreef cool, so removing the GFO might not have a negative effect, just let the macro algae do its job?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
It definitely will outcompete the micro algae that tries to take hold in your tank. And that's what I've been doing with my reefs for years. :)

20. comment for Refugiums: Why they are beneficial to a reef tank

Angeloflight
Angeloflight - 3 years ago
melevsreef do I really need a C02 tank hooked up with my calcium reactor?
Angeloflight
Angeloflight - 3 years ago
Thanks for your response and info!!!!!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Yes. Here's my article: http://www.melevsreef.com/node/1276
Emmanuel D.
Emmanuel D. - 3 years ago
I currently have a very small refugium with Chaeto in my sump. My overall system is 29 gallon and i was thinking of adding a separate 29 gallon refugium side to my tank with chaeto. If I add dry sand in it, will it cause a cycle if i add it with my existing tank? Ive been hearing about Trion and its benefits...
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
No, dry sand does not cause a cycle, ever. Nor does adding live sand. Sand is sand.
CUBAN REEFER
CUBAN REEFER - 3 years ago
That's very thru , you one of the only ones that actually replied to our comments
Great work buddy
CUBAN REEFER
CUBAN REEFER - 3 years ago
How about putting miracle mud under the algae?
CUBAN REEFER
CUBAN REEFER - 3 years ago
Mark you convinced me of cleaning all the gunk on my back glass and just leave it plain black wish by the way looks way better ( just the way my wife want it to have it , when we set up the tank)
But my friend you need to clean your side of the tank is not going to be tank of the month!! Just kidding you have a great tank and is beautiful
Keep teaching us please don't stop making videos
Thank you!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
+CUBAN REEFER check my instagram. Hehe
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
+CUBAN REEFER I totally agree and have been putting it off. Time to set up the Walkboard again and get it scraped.
gflinski
gflinski - 3 years ago
He's going to do a new aquascape I bet!!! Haha I really like how it is now but it would be cool to see if he does. I know he mentioned in another video that he LOVED his old..200 and something..280 gallon aquarium? Maybe make it similar? Love the videos! Keep em coming!
Reef & Livebearer Aquatics
Reef & Livebearer Aquatics - 3 years ago
Wish you were coming to reefapalooza ca :( I wish I can have a fuge, but I got a AIO! argh. Time for a bigger tank? :)
Reef & Livebearer Aquatics
Reef & Livebearer Aquatics - 3 years ago
melevsreef October 7th and 8th in Anaheim.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
When is that one happening?
vikinglord13
vikinglord13 - 3 years ago
Thanks Mark! Do you have suggestions on any critters that can live in the refugium that wouldn't destroy the pod population, as in that can cohabitate with pods?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Snails, cucumbers, starfish all are possible candidates. A fighting conch, a small urchin perhaps. Just consider the size of the refugium before you add things so those items don't starve to death. Or feed the fuge to keep them fed.
Will C
Will C - 3 years ago
Do you run your Fuge light 24/7? I thought calerpa will spread all over if not run 24/7? thanks
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I think you may have skipped over that section where I discussed it. :) No, I run them 9 hours a day, and this type doesn't misbehave like other species of caulerpa.
Casey Cushing
Casey Cushing - 3 years ago
This video illustrates the exact 1 percent of hobbyists he is referring to. This guy has had a nano reef going for 23 years, without even a skimmer and NO WATER CHANGES. Really quite impressive if you ask me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55vgaYxv9tU

30. comment for Refugiums: Why they are beneficial to a reef tank

dangappa
dangappa - 3 years ago
Nice. Now feed your fish some cheato.
See you at MACNA.
dangappa
dangappa - 3 years ago
My blonde Naso tang slurps it up like spaghetti.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Thanks. As stated, in the past I couldn't keep chaetomorpha alive so I've never had any to use that way. Might see what Spock thinks. :)
dangappa
dangappa - 3 years ago
It comes out of my tangs white and dead. Never seen it come back, and cheato doesn't have any roots. Whatever though....
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I never feed macroalgae, as the fish poop into the display area and whatever passes through them could take root in the tank.
Robert P
Robert P - 3 years ago
Tough not to get discouraged when fighting hair algae and your phosphates are less than .02. fighting that crap now...
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I just visited someone who has a tank full of algae and his test results was 0ppm PO4. Clearly the tank has it though, and it was bound up in the plants. We used some Phosphate Rx while I was there and the water turned cloudy as expected, which converts phosphate into a solid. I should have brought my own test kit over to verify his results, but if you see algae, you have to realize the tank does have phosphate issues.

Lower the Phosphate with Phosphate Rx (6 drops per 10 gallons) and wait three days, the pick the algae out by hand until the majority has been removed. Then add a clean up crew - 1 critter per gallon - to mow down what you couldn't removed yourself. You can watch my GHA video where I discuss this in detail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xilqKzoOgBE
jay dee
jay dee - 3 years ago
I have a 75 gallon tank I am going to use for my refugium and I was wondering how many hours you run your light.  Would it benefit it at all to run a powerhead to move water around?  Or just use the discharge from my overflow?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
9 hours a day should suffice. That's how long mine is on. A powerhead could help with some nice circulation, provided the plant doesn't clog that pump's intake port.
HybridHerps
HybridHerps - 3 years ago
Great vid! Always interesting to learn more about the other critters that going into keeping a reef tank running. So much focus on the fish and coral it gets hard to grasp some of the more utilitarian things.

I'm still confused about the whole thing of algae going sexual, can someone explain that to me? I'm coming more from a background of planted freshwater aquariums so theres lots of little things in salt water that are still mysterious to me.
HybridHerps
HybridHerps - 3 years ago
Is there a good list of what species do and don't go sexual and what causes them to go sexual?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
It's when the plant bleeds out all of its green fluid within into the water column, and the mass turns clear. Within a few days, the clear plant collapses, falling apart as you try to remove it. There's more to it, but that's the gist of it. No-one wants that to happen, and this particular species I showcased does not do this.
erickson djheadrush
erickson djheadrush - 3 years ago
super awesome Mark. Great video. :)
brian jackson
brian jackson - 3 years ago
Mark, my wife and I love to watch your videos, you help me stay motivated, with our busy life to be a better reef husband.
jassimps
jassimps - 3 years ago
Is feather caulerpa considered a Marine Plant or micro-algae like Chaetomorpha Algae? and Do you think the larger the refugium the less light-intensity matters? Thank you!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Micro algae is Hair Algae (derbasia) or Bryopsis. Caulerpa and Cheato are macro algaes.

The taller the refugium, the more lighting is needed to penetrate the water. Some have reportedly thrown tons of wattage at their refugium and see massive growth, so there is validity to lighting choices. People have used T5s, VHOs, Metal Halides to grow these plants, but LEDs are the less energy-consuming choice of course.
Tyler's Reef
Tyler's Reef - 3 years ago
Thank you for sharing. When I build my new sump I will definitely include a bigger section than I had planned for a refugium!
Prieto Reef
Prieto Reef - 3 years ago
You are 1 of my favorite thanks for your help
modolla81
modolla81 - 3 years ago
Great vid Mark, you hit it on the nail in the beginning of the vid. I think MANY people can relate. Comes with the hobby I guess, always a work in progress.
Arrick L
Arrick L - 3 years ago
Mark have you used refugium mud like miracle mud in your refugium or just sand. I used it and had really good results but i think the tank thrived cuz the refugium was very healthy it had a ridiculous amount of life. Btw going to macna for the first time. See you there.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Be sure to find me and introduce yourself. :) I've only used sand.
T Surro
T Surro - 3 years ago
Tried cheatomorpha four times myself, never grows, instead I went back to caluerpa!! Same kind as u great stuff!!
Jay S
Jay S - 3 years ago
Always dig your videos man! Thanks
Steven Swiatek
Steven Swiatek - 3 years ago
love the video            and going to frist MACNA  hope meet you
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Find me! :)
Matthew Green
Matthew Green - 3 years ago
Hi Mark, I run bio pellets and wondered is there still a benefit of setting up a refugium in my sump? I do like the way you can grow your own pods though :)
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I run both since each offers benefits to my reef. If you have the space, incorporating a refugium is a good choice.
William Duong
William Duong - 3 years ago
what happened with turf scrubbers; were that one company held the patent to the design. and recently the patent expired on it, so now the big company are allowed to make it. GREAT VIDEO
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
That makes sense. Thanks!
D Sonye
D Sonye - 3 years ago
I'm about to start my first 65 gal saltwater/reef tank and can't make up my mind wether to use a refugium or algae scrubber.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Since it is a 65g aquarium, space will be light. The ATS would likely fit better.
FeedThatReefAddiction
FeedThatReefAddiction - 3 years ago
Always enjoy seeing your fuge Marc. Macros are cool
AJ POGI
AJ POGI - 3 years ago
You are a big help for us beginner reefers :) Thank You!
Andre Ellis
Andre Ellis - 3 years ago
Did you seed your DSB in the fuge? I'm asking because mine doesn't have all the life yours has
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
It's a young tank, you'll see more stuff as the system matures. You can always seed it with more.
Andre Ellis
Andre Ellis - 3 years ago
Alright cool and thanks. And Sadly my sand bed is four months old, although it doesn't look it
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
With a very new system -- and this has happened every time I've done it - within a few days of running it with some live sand, I'd see stuff on the glass as well as the substrate. Little snowflake looking things, and bugs galore. But once you add livestock, they vanish pretty quickly. You can replenish with more pods (sold by the bottle), dose phytoplankton to feed them too. And every time you add live rock, a living coral, macroalgae to your tank, there's a good chance you'll be adding tiny starfish, pods, and worms to your system.
Andre Ellis
Andre Ellis - 3 years ago
Got you, Thanks. When I added my Live Sand, it didn't have any critters so mine is pretty lifeless for its age
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I did. When I first set up this refugium I used 80lbs of dry sand, and then added 20lbs of live sand full of critters.

Then last year when I washed out all the sand, I saved two large cups of live sand that seemed clean enough, and added it back to the zone after the clean sand had been put in that compartment.

50. comment for Refugiums: Why they are beneficial to a reef tank

Captain long dong
Captain long dong - 3 years ago
Would you go to bed at a decent hour Marc?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
hehehe YUP!
Captain long dong
Captain long dong - 3 years ago
You and I have totally different definitions of decent hours!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
It was a decent hour. Took forever to upload this video for some strange reason. By 3am, I was dreaming of SPS corals.
TerraReef Aquariums
TerraReef Aquariums - 3 years ago
I would try to remove the red bubble algae while you can. If the one fish in the display that eats it gets sick you are going to have some problems in the display. Also if you trade coral with someone who has a nano and a tiny bit of algae is on the base... They might not be able to ethically put a tang in their tank that will eat it.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Thanks for the tip, I might as well since it isn't doing anything good for the system.
TerraReef Aquariums
TerraReef Aquariums - 3 years ago
Cool vid. I would bet if you lowered your drain pipe into the water so the 90* elbow is at least 80% below the surface you would get a lot more algae through out. The water dumping in degases some CO2 that the "plants" (algae) could use. I wish my refugium on my personal system looked that good.(dealing with some heavy metals)
TerraReef Aquariums
TerraReef Aquariums - 3 years ago
Algae does use CO2. If you use a calcium reactor it is wise to have the effluent lead into the beginning of the refugium section.
HybridHerps
HybridHerps - 3 years ago
Does algae actually benefit from increased co2 levels? I thought it was only true plants that did...but my background is more in high tech planted tanks where we run excess co2 to give the true plants more growth potential over the algae that we deal with so perhaps in a system without true plants algae can utilize the co2 better? (shrug)
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I will be changing how the water enters the refugium in the near future.
sheldon jessup
sheldon jessup - 3 years ago
one thing that i am always wondering what is best, Fuge before skimmer? or fuge after skimmer i have heard many opinions on both.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I always recommend away from the skimmer. My sumps have input from two sections (one to the skimmer, one to the refugium) and both zones then pour toward a combined return zone. That way the skimmer can't export the copepods; they can flow right up to the display.
sheldon jessup
sheldon jessup - 3 years ago
That was my feeling too, but Triton has it first, so i was curious
Captain long dong
Captain long dong - 3 years ago
sheldon jessup I've always been told that fuge comes after skimmer to reduce the death of pods.
Ricardo18
Ricardo18 - 3 years ago
What a great outlook!...So true and very comforting."NATURE IS MESSY!"
Cesca's Reef
Cesca's Reef - 3 years ago
Nice video with some good advice. I've just started a 96X24X24 Reef build with a 50 inch sump and will definitely run a Refugium. Have a look at my Reef build if you have time :)
Mike B
Mike B - 3 years ago
So do you in any way try to "rescue" pods when you take out a hunk of macro algae? Or are they just a casualty of cleaning?

And color me in the category of living in California and being pissed that some dummy dumped it in southern california and now everywhere in the state it's banned. Don't get me wrong I'm sure chaeto can do the job, but the "green steel wool" look doesn't look anywhere close to as nice as macro that has rooting capabilities.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I used to try to shake out the macroalgae to scavenge the pods, just like some people try to find all the ones that are trapped in their filter socks. But unless it's crawling with them like ants, odds are the few you lose won't after the population that much.
TotalNick41
TotalNick41 - 3 years ago
great video!
andrewr022488
andrewr022488 - 3 years ago
Mark, I really enjoyed this video! Sometimes I enjoy the refugium more than the main display! Of course the main display is more beautiful, but seeing the refugium can sometimes be more captivating as its something we don't usually see and is also beautiful in its own way.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I'll look for it, and get back to you.
andrewr022488
andrewr022488 - 3 years ago
melevsreef I sent you an email yesterday about the sump, I sent you one previously but I'm not sure if it made it to you or not. I used your website to contact you.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
The carbon lasts a few days, the GFO lasts weeks. So typically we don't place both in the same reactor. But that's up to you.
andrewr022488
andrewr022488 - 3 years ago
melevsreef With the BRS Mini reactor that I was considering they said using Gfo and carbon together is okay because it's not tumbling, it has sponge on top and bottom to keep them from tumbling and grinding up the carbon. I might use a separate reactor for each now that I'm going to include a sump into my system.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Be sure to watch my carbon video, so you use the proper amount. Don't combine both carbon and GFO in the same reactor, btw.

Happy to discuss your next sump build and make what you want. :)
andrewr022488
andrewr022488 - 3 years ago
melevsreef Thanks for your help! I wasn't sure if the Carbon and GFO would remove so much nutrients that the macro algae wouldn't be able to be effective. I'm going to check prices and might have you build my sump, it's a custom size that I haven't seen anyone produce yet. 24x20x12 with the front 24x8 area being the fuge and the back 24x12 area cut down the middle and one side be for protein skimmer and possibly an area for filter sock and other back area for return. I'll email you Friday when I am off to see what you could quote as far as pricing.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
No, it won't harm the reef. Both are solid options. I run GAC in a reactor monthly.
andrewr022488
andrewr022488 - 3 years ago
melevsreef I assume running a carbon/Gfo reactor wouldn't harm the growth would it?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
No, this type does do that. Never has, which is why I prefer it.
andrewr022488
andrewr022488 - 3 years ago
melevsreef Do you ever worry about your feather caulerpa going "sexual" under your reverse lighting schedule? I started doing some research online and the forums seem to think that a reverse lighting schedule would make it go "sexual" and some said 24 hour lighting would prevent it but as soon as you turn off your 24 hour lighting that would trigger it to go "sexual" as well. I'm drawing up my plans for a sump and I'll probably do something like you've got with the protein skimmer in the back left area, refugium running across the front portion and then the back right portion as the return pump area. I'd like to use some feather caulerpa as well, its an aesthetically pleasing macro algae, I'll probably also run chaeto as you are along side the caulerpa.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Yes, keeping it clean and appealing and still be practical as well as useful is my plan. I've seen a handful of beautiful display refugiums that were stunners, and you could tell the person knew exactly how to prune the plants for the most pleasing display.
andrewr022488
andrewr022488 - 3 years ago
melevsreef I've done the same thing many times, although the refugiums I've had have never looked as nice as yours, I do love critter watching, it really is a peaceful feeling. I've always liked planted freshwater tanks (I've never owned one) and having a refugium is kind of like having the best of both worlds, reef tank display and a nice macro growth in the fuge. I've got a JBJ 30 RL and I'm growing mangroves in the back at the moment but I'm making my list to upgrade to either a 60 cube or 65 gallon RR. I'll definitely include a nice refugium in the build. I've always wanted to have a dedicated refugium system that would gravity flow down into the sump. I saw one that my LFS was using and I loved the idea of having a sumo that had to stay behind closed stand doors. Having a display refugium is like having a clean engine bay on your car, compared to a refugium that works, but it's really dirty and not something you'd like seeing.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I used to spend a lot of time on my belly gazing into the refugium zone. :)
Dave's Nano Tanks
Dave's Nano Tanks - 3 years ago
Thanx for the video. I love my fuges and they always do well. Lately I have found myself on the fence with Miracle Mud. I haven't used it, I hear good things but for mud, It is a bit pricey. Any thoughts?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Sand will suffice. If the mud was as great as it implies, we would see lots of proof and everyone would be using it because they'd want the same results.
Vasco Jardim
Vasco Jardim - 3 years ago
Hi Mark, I am a big fan of your videos and a subscriber for a long time. This one is another great one! I have been trying to keep cheat in my refugium but unfortunately the whole thing just seems to get smothered in GHA and turn brown. My refugium at the end of 3 months just turns into a mess of GHA and starts polluting the water column with tons of GHA filaments (I believe it is derbesia). I have always had near zero Phosphate (0,018 according to latest Triton test) and zero Nitrates. I have heard that macro algae needs Nitrates to grow and a zero Nitrate tank tends to have GHA issues. Would love to hear your thoughts on this
Vasco Jardim
Vasco Jardim - 3 years ago
Seahorse Whisperer Thanks for the detailed reply
Seahorse Whisperer
Seahorse Whisperer - 3 years ago
I use brightwell neonitro and neophos mainly on macro/seahorse tanks, but want to clarify that I would first try the pellets in a reef refugium. A little nitrate and phosphate goes a long way, and dosing either can cause a lot of harm if you don't test like crazy and go VERY SLOWLY in a refugium. I have only one reef with refugium, and multiple macro tanks. It's easy to forget that people don't love algaes as I do, and use them only for nutrient control. Refugium algae like caulerpa and chaeto might just need better lighting or iron, as Marc pointed out. If you use red macros like Gracilaria, potassium can make a huge difference also. But, for a low nutrient reef tank refugium, I would personally try adding the pellets, feeding more, increasing or changing lighting, adding a little iron or potassium (based on testing) and only try dosing nitrogen if none of those work. Feeding a fuge actual food is much simpler than trying to find a sweet spot dosing products.
Sorry for the change of direction, but I wouldn't want you upset with me if your algae thrived, but coral died. Last comment: although a refugium can be beautiful and very helpful in reducing nutrients and algae in a display, if your tank likes to grow GHA, an algae scrubber might be perfect for you :). Same concept of using the algae in a separate location to keep the DT clear, but you already know you can grow GHA no problem, lol. Saves space too!
Vasco Jardim
Vasco Jardim - 3 years ago
Thanks! I have been toying with the idea of dosing Nitrates (Seachem Flourish Nitrogen)... that form of Nitrogen did you use?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
All excellent points, Kelly. :)
Seahorse Whisperer
Seahorse Whisperer - 3 years ago
You're definitely right that zero/low nitrate and phos tanks likely have more gha issues because there is usually an unnatural ratio of nitrate to phos. Gha is simple and doesn't require as much as other algaes to grow, so it can thrive with less of either, consuming whatever trace amounts of phos/trates aren't being used by coral, at levels so low we can't see them on tests. We see zeros, but those trace amounts are enough for the gha
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Macroalgae needs nitrate, phosphate and iron to thrive. The lower those numbers, the tougher it will be for plants to grow. Assuming you have a nice strong light for the macro, it could just be the tank lacks what the plants need currently and you've got to get those parameters in the target zones. I'll be talking about those this Saturday.

Suffice it to say, my tank has some nitrate and some phosphate. I run biopellets and use Phosphate Rx to keep the numbers reasonably low.
Libi Magaña
Libi Magaña - 3 years ago
I love your tank! Can't wait for those days I'm excited now
revenge69ful
revenge69ful - 3 years ago
Don't need a fuge I have a very successful reef tank with alll types of coral Refuges just turn into a mess
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I've seen that many times. Fortunately, that's never been a problem for me.
Ken SELLICK
Ken SELLICK - 3 years ago
We used scrubbers in the early 80's
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
That sounds about right. :)
Ken Hickey
Ken Hickey - 3 years ago
Thanks Marc, great information as always. Enjoy your day!
Blackbookproduct10ns
Blackbookproduct10ns - 3 years ago
Doesn't Calerpa have a tendency to go asexual and get in the main tank that way?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
If it does go asexual, you'll see the water turn green in the tank. But the skimmer and GAC will pull that right out. This species hasn't gone asexual once in all the years I've kept it. I'll say it's a 'good' caulerpa. :)
Chee Keong Ng
Chee Keong Ng - 3 years ago
Hi. Nice video. Would like seek some advice from you. If i am dosing trace element to the reef tank. Do i need to dose more if i have a refugium? The algae will absorb some of the trace element in the tank i suppose? Please correct me if i am wrong.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Just dose what the tank needs. Don't add extra 'to be safe', and consider that if you can't test for what you are dosing you could very well be using too much as it is.
Non Average- Reefer
Non Average- Reefer - 3 years ago
happned to me my tank was perfect for a few months but now...ALL MY FISH HAVE ICK AND MY ACRO'S HALF DEAD LOL
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Ouch.
Kason Farnella
Kason Farnella - 3 years ago
With running your biopellets to reduce your nitrates do you find that it's tough to grow the macro?
Kason Farnella
Kason Farnella - 3 years ago
Thank you for your response. I started using bio pellets on some of my clients tanks and was hesitant to add macro. I added cheato to one system on a reverse daylight cycle. It slowly deteriorated on me. After seeing how your macro is thriving in spite of the pellets, I am going to look into what else could have been the issue so that we can get it going on all of these tanks.

Thanks for these videos. I've been a long time fan of you before I found you on here, and honestly your videos far exceed the informative.

Thank you!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I haven't seen any issue despite running biopellets. I expected it to be a serious competition, but that hasn't been the case at all.
sion daneshrad
sion daneshrad - 3 years ago
Whats your opinion on sulfer reactor to help control nitrate? Or do you think adding a larger portion of the sump to more macro would be more effective?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Here's my video, and in the video description on links to some articles too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRHf8b1H5u4
sion daneshrad
sion daneshrad - 3 years ago
melevsreef thanks! Any article or video you suggest on biopelets? And seriously, you replying is amazing. Keep up the great channel!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
I've still never used one. I borrowed one to try out, but my tank was back to nearly 0 nitrate so that test would have been pointless. I like biopellets, they have made nitrates a non-issue for my reef. Macroalgae does all the nice things I mentioned, but you'll notice I didn't discuss it helping reduce nitrate since it never did in my own system.
Pete Mancuso
Pete Mancuso - 3 years ago
Very informative video you do a great job keep up the good work
Ady
Ady - 3 years ago
What an awe inspiring reef tank,can't wait to see what you've got in store for it, I'm glued to the edge of my seat. Cheers
reef guy 92
reef guy 92 - 3 years ago
Nope, the triton method required the same 10% or bigger as long as it's 10% then that's ok
reef guy 92
reef guy 92 - 3 years ago
melevsreef your in the right direction with it tho not far of but with triton you only need 10% but if you have the room then why not go bigger on the fuge it's not overkill I believe in refugiums as much as you do why add bottled chemical is you can install a natural fuge
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Thanks, I need to review their method and get my facts straight.
Hunter Wall
Hunter Wall - 3 years ago
I have been fighting a gha invasion for about a year. I've got my nutrients so low now that my chaeto in the refugium melted away but I'm still fighting off the gha! Thinking of shutting down the refugium, what do you think?
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
You may need to clean it out and reset that zone. I've done that in the past if it got beyond messy. GHA needs to be manually removed in bulk (have you watched that video yet?) and then add a lot of clean up crew to get the last of it. If you have a 100g tank, you need 100 critters. New hungry ones will do far better than the few you have in the tank now that are worthless slugs. ;)
Cliffepoos
Cliffepoos - 3 years ago
I used to run my tank with feather calurpa in it. My tangs and angel fish loved it, but as you said, it pretty much stops corals growing. Pretty though.
faisal shurafa
faisal shurafa - 3 years ago
Just a quick note, oxygen does not increase ph, it's the removal of carbon dioxide.

CO2 + H2O <-----> H2CO3 <---> H+ + HCO3

HCO3 <----> H+ + CO3

According to le chateliers principal, a buffer system will shift to reach equilibrium, therefor the removal of CO2 from plants shifts this buffer system to create more CO2, reducing free floating hydrogens and so it increase PH
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
Thank you for that clarification. I over-simplified it, rather than go into the actual chemistry. I'm sure others will appreciate your post too.
COOPER'S CICHILDS
COOPER'S CICHILDS - 3 years ago
Cool video
Lito
Lito - 3 years ago
Love your videos i learn something..
NITRO4KTHOMPSON
NITRO4KTHOMPSON - 3 years ago
Thanks for the info. I have been considering a refugium for my 120 gallon mixed reef tank. Seems like I have to make some room in the sump now.
Michael Monahan
Michael Monahan - 3 years ago
You don't need to change a thing. I watch just to see the beautiful part of the world you have created and care for. You have truly done a beautiful job of carrying for Gods sea. Thanks.
Denali Glender
Denali Glender - 3 years ago
Thank you for givin us this vídeo
TattooedDancer91
TattooedDancer91 - 3 years ago
Looks great. In my future tank I will make very large refugium. I'm thinking to add a couple inches sand, and live rock rubble covering over it a few inches, for the caulerpa to grow in and on. Instead of having them float. What's your take on that? Is it too difficult to trim then?
TattooedDancer91
TattooedDancer91 - 3 years ago
Thanks, well I was planning on making it permanent and maybe even a display refugium. I can imagine a few large rocks with lots of surface area, covered in different algae would look cool. As little islands of algae, and just trim the shoots that try to escape the rock.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
That's a good plan. Just remember that rock will never be used in your display ever again. The roots will weave their way through the rock and new vines will appear... so if you know that rock is sacrificed to this particular zone forever it's a good plan.
AcuaTV
AcuaTV - 3 years ago
Nice video! Quick question, does caulerpa go asexual or is there any risk of it invading the main display tank?
Seahorse Whisperer
Seahorse Whisperer - 3 years ago
Feather went sexual in my tank. Lol. But, I'm a certain kind of special!
AcuaTV
AcuaTV - 3 years ago
Thanks!
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
AcuaTV
AcuaTV - 3 years ago
I see I see. Do you happen to know the exact type of caulerpa that you have? I was thinking on adding the one from Indo Pacific Sea Farms, they sell a yellow and red one that they use to feed their tangs but I have seen many people with great reefs like yours or Duane's using caulerpa that make me wonder if I should just use caulerpa instead.
melevsreef
melevsreef - 3 years ago
This type doesn't. Caulerpa nummularia is much more prone to go sexual, but if you keep the light on 24 hours a day it won't. But you don't benefit from the pH boost since photosynthesis can't process naturally. http://www.melevsreef.com/node/447

I don't feed macro algae to my fish because there's a chance some of the plant can pass through the fish and land in the rockwork to take root.

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