Originally Posted by Stish85
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this thread since it pertains more to the aquarium or if I should have put it in the brackish fish section. But here goes....
I am in the process of starting my first brackish water tank and I recently came upon a free 10 gallon aquarium that i would like to turn into a refugium/sump tank. I know the layout so building one is not an issue.
My question is what should I put in it? Other than the standard equipment of course.
Should I use live rock? Deep sand bed? Something totally different? I have been having trouble finding information on what exactly is the best set up for this. Any one with experience I would really appreciate you advice.
FWIW you don't need to use an actual aquarium. And plastic container can do just fine.
You can also use pvc pipe to build an overflow.
And I would highly recommend to do a chaepie test setup with a couple of containers in the garage and adjust so that 1)the overflow dose not flood the sump in power out, 2) normal operation returns when the power returns, 3) the upper container does no flood should the overflow fail or get blocked.
That said a refugium/sump is a very good idea for any tank FW, brackage, or salt.
I recommend a refugium with plant life as a seperate container the drains into a smaller sump.
Depending on how brackage the tank is you can use live plants, macro algae, or even turf algae like in an algae turf scrubber.
I think you will find operation is balanced and stable with plants more so than anything else.
A seperate sump/refugium setup will also protect the plant life from the fish.
In my marine 55g I just cramed in a 1/4 square plastic grid (egg crate) 3" in front of the back glass. Macros thirived, the fish enjoyed picking on the macros the poked through, pods also thrived, nitrates dropped to 0 in three weeks and phosphates followed later. In 9 years of operation with a heavy bioload I did no water changes with untreated tap water. Fish and easy type corals thrived.