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Tangfan
03-09-2016, 11:31 AM
I am in the planning stages of building a Freshwater refugium for a nitrate scrubber on a tank of mine. I will post pictures as it is coming together. I will be converting a 20 long into my refugium based mostly on the fact I have one lying around and will help reduce the initial cost.

None of my tanks are not drilled, so I will be using a Hang on Overflow to get the water into the sump (already have one, so will be using something I already have).

I have seen several DIY plans for creating the filter holders and flow channels that are desired, but I decided to go with a kit that I saw on ebay. Cost appeared to be in line with me buying the raw materials to create the desired options.

For lights, I will re-task some T5 lights that I already have and plan on leaving them on continuously.

Currently looking for some plant suggestions or any other suggestions that someone who has worked with this stuff has seen before.

Will get a ammonia/nitrate test kit to track progress. Initial plan is to continue with current level of water changes during test period and possible see if water changes can be reduced long term.

Let me know if there is interest out there to follow this build.

Tropical
03-09-2016, 04:07 PM
This sounds interesting, I'll follow along for sure.

As to leaving lights on constantly, that would grow algae/greenwater and plant growth would be slow. Since algae does consume a lot of nitrates/etc, that would be an interesting approach, to just remove the algae ~weekly. However not sure of the algae would stay in one spot.

I would stick with the plants and get a timer for the lights, and do a siesta (so the plants grow faster with 2 cycles of Co2, as they eventually run out at that time.) at 5 on, 4 off, 5 on, 10 off. That's how I have all my planted tanks, except the ones with CO2/Excel(where the CO2 doesn't run out).

For plants, I'd go with floaters, such as Dwarf water lettuce, that will suck up nitrates fast. Duckweed, Frogbit and the like could also work, but I've found DWL grows the fastest.

Water Sprite, hornwort, and elodea could also work.

Lastly I've seen some builds where houseplants were used with the roots in the water. I can find the article if you're interested.

That being said, I'm curious why you don't just place some nitrate eating plants directly in the main tank? Would be a lot easier IMO....

Tangfan
03-09-2016, 07:27 PM
This video gave me the desire to try. With the use of a plant refugium, they are able to keep nitrates in this tank to a minimum. Interesting concept. As for algae, I'll keep red cherry shrimp in the sump to control that. Not sure if a CO2 system is needed, will evaluate that as I go. Low light plants may keep the need down.

http://youtu.be/yqdrtVYBQDY

Tropical
03-09-2016, 08:07 PM
Very interesting, watched the whole video , that's a neat petshop!

Are you using a substrate like the one they use?
For a low tech planted tank, I've always seen it recommended for 2 photosynthesis periods as more CO2 builds up, and co2 is the limiting factor of low light tanks. Doing 24/7 on a regular tank would grow tons of algae, so I'm surprised their set up is algae free...

Maybe it's the huge amount of water that keeps the algae down?

It would be a waste to use CO2 in a sump, lol might as well heavily plant the main tank then, right? JMO

How big of a tank are you planning on using it on?

Tangfan
03-09-2016, 08:14 PM
The main tank is most likely going to be a 120 gal tank, but might end up being a heavily stocked 75 gal. The main tank will have less than 8 hours of light, allowing the CO2 to build up in main tank. Sump will only be a 20, althoht that may have to change if it goes well.

Initially i will try and not use a substrate, but it might be needed for nutrients.

Tropical
03-09-2016, 08:16 PM
The main tank is most likely going to be a 120 gal tank, but might end up being a heavily stocked 75 gal. The main tank will have less than 8 hours of light, allowing the CO2 to build up in main tank. Sump will only be a 20, althoht that may have to change if it goes well.

Initially i will try and not use a substrate, but it might be needed for nutrients.

Ah, completely forgot that main tanks volume counts too. Then I could actually see it working with the light on 24/7.

Keep us updated!