Freshwater refugium - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-26-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Freshwater refugium

Ok so I have been trying my hand at the freshwater refugium as my sump has the room for it. My geos and other fish destroy any plant that goes in the show tank so I figured why not. I've got that grow substrate made for planting and
I'm using the root tabs and such but I am still losing plants. I have a low light setup and have been placing plants that require low light in it but they soon die. The moss balls of course are fine and so is my bamboo but the rest soon die. I have ghost shrimp in there and am planning to get another type of shrimp or 2 for it, but that doesnt solve the plant issue.

My sump runs down than through k1 media, through a small chamber and over my wet dry. Then draining down into the refugium. The water than goes through the substrate into my final chamber and back up to my tank.

I need a plant that grows very well in low light conditions. I have 0 algae issues and my levels are never high but as my last tank had lots of plants I know that the plants add a good stability.

Is there a plant that will take over my whole refugium for me in these conditions? If I need to increase the amount of light thats fine since im using pods.

If anyone has suggestions on how to really get some growth without C02 dosing or anything I would like to know. I'm just looking for a few large plants to do some of the filtering for me to make the tank more stable. And decrease my workload even if by a fraction.








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post #2 of 12 Old 11-30-2016, 03:34 PM
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I would thing anacharis would be an excellent choice in the fw refugium.


or perhaps some kind of brillo pad moss as well.

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-01-2016, 03:00 AM
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That pump chamber is massive. Have you thought of taking out the divider and gaining more floor space for the ref and do a screened grate for the - smaller pump chamber? At least if screened, there can be a larger degree of water drop without problems.

I would invest in a brighter light TBH, as it opens up to a variety of plants. Good nitrate/nitrate absorbers would be floating plants - which can handle low lights, so your may be fine - so maybe look into duckweed, frogbit, water sprite ect? Even a nice bed of cypts could work - for the low light - and when culling, can also generate a bit of cash on the side! ;) If you want shrimp, pack it full of mosses - java, flame, peacock, weeping, thailand, Fissidens ect... Maybe subwassertang?

540L/140G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 254L/67g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
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post #4 of 12 Old 12-04-2016, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Yes i plan on adding a larger pump as mine is only at 750gph with the head loss. Also i wasnt sure if i would out my uv sterilizer in the sump or inline but i just picked one up and its inline so that frees up some room as well. The uv sterilizer is way oversized so im keeping an eye on my levels for the next few days before grabbing the plants. Ive never done floating plants actually. I will look those you guys mentioned up and see whats the best options. The outgoing pump chamber actually is fed from under the gravel with screening below. So the water filters through the gravel before hitting the chamber.
Also when i close in the bottom would that mess with the plants at all? I plan on venting it of course and putting a small fan on the opposite side to keep the humidity from building up under my tank.

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post #5 of 12 Old 12-04-2016, 09:04 PM
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Aren't most/all UV sterilisers inline anyway? I certainly thought they were!

I was more talking about moving the divider over a bit and allow a bit more ref room to play with - or media room for more filtration! :)
I don't think it would stuff up the plants at all lacing a small fan TBH.

540L/140G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 254L/67g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-07-2016, 12:40 AM
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Most but not all. Green killing machine, for example, is a complete unit with an integrated powerhead.

I was never into aquatic plants, but I think a Refugium would be a fantastic opportunity to grow some terrestrial plants. I've converted my 90 gallon into an aquaponics system for string beans and snow peas. I've been wanting to grow some house plants out of my 125 and think a hang on refugium might be the way to do it. Just throwing out an alternative idea.


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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #7 of 12 Old 12-07-2016, 04:49 AM
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Atuff that full of lava stone or some gravel... And you have a good food supply for yourself! I like it!

540L/140G - 'Tidal Jungle' (Crabs) | 254L/67g - 'Backwater Pool' (Fish/Snails) | 96L/25G - ''Twisted Minds" (Fish/Snails)

I've never had any problems with 'Impulse Buying'. They're just animals that I forgot I had planned to get.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-07-2016, 05:04 PM
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Yup that's the idea

I've had to remove all the decor and switch to a different water conditioner because I'll be consuming it. For ornamental plants, that would not be necessary.



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125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-16-2016, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Nice i also planned to grow some small plants with mone but that requires some adjusting. The green killing machines i had to get rid of as they are not big enough to take care of my 265 gallon tank. The uv sterilizer i picked up is actually for ponds. I would love to get some basil and stuff growing so the wife will like my tank as much as i do lmao.

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post #10 of 12 Old 12-16-2016, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thats the tank

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