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Freshwater Refugium

This is a discussion on Freshwater Refugium within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> If you want to raise the pH of your tank then aragonite sand or crushed coral works wonders. I use it to raise the ...

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Old 05-01-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
 
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If you want to raise the pH of your tank then aragonite sand or crushed coral works wonders. I use it to raise the pH in my goldfish tank.

That said, back to your original question. Freshwater refugiums are few and far between, but I've done some research into them because I own goldfish which aren't compatible with most aquarium plants. Most of the refugiums I saw were either on goldfish or cichlid tanks. There are two routes you could go: under the tank and submerged; above the tank and immersed. If you have a spare 10 or 20 gal and feel like doing some plumbing then under the tank might be the way to go; if not then a hang on the back with immersed plants sounds like the way to go. The idea behind those is the plant leaves are out of the water and the roots are in the water. The roots will pull nutrients from the water and the leaves will get CO2 from the air just like floating plants in the tank.

I want to try something like this on my goldfish tank. I'll have some immersed houseplants in the HOB on the back of my tank. I'll put a desklamp with a daylight spectrum CFL so I am not limited by ambient light. I want fast growth as the goldfish tank can get high nitrates from time to time.

I was going to link you the website I found detailing a goldfish immersed refugium, but it appears the website has been taken down.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by killavixen View Post
Hello! I have just started a Nano reef and im making a refugium for it. And i was thinking, why not have a refugium for my 30 gal freshwater tank? I could put some java moss in it. But what else could go into it to increase bio filtration? Maybe some shrimps, but which are best? and what about algae? Are there any good types of algae for freshwater? This is an idea i think could do very well. And i also havent set the tank up yet. Its going to be a planted freshwater tank. What fish should i stock it with?
Top swimmers?
Middle swimmers?
Bottoms?
And what would be good for a clean up crew? I tended to gave an algae problem before as well as food that would fall in tiny nooks and crannies.

The only reason we do refugiums in marine systems is simply that most saltwater fish eat the macro algaes that serve as the marine equilivant of freshwater plants.

Yes you can do a refigium/sump in freshwater and for exactly the same reasons they are used in saltwater aquariums. As well as algae turf scrubbers as well.

The only reason we don't seem more in FW is simply because the livestock doesn't eat the plants like they do in saltwater.


my .02
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:32 AM   #13
JDM
 
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I was considering it as a side by side tank setup in order to have tall plants growing as I need to cover the fish tank... not fond of sweeping up dry fish. Sort of a larger scale HOB filter idea as I am pretty sure that I wouldn't need to actually run a dedicated filter with how I was going to set this up. One pump with an overflow return.

Didn't get the OK from the site supervisor (wife).

Jeff.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
 
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can you test your tap water?
if its too low, can you shake it first and then test it?

do you use a water softener?


look into algae scrubbers.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #15
 
One thing to consider is that refugiums do not have to be seperate sump type systems.

One of the simplist things to do is simply partition the tank with something like 1/4" square plastic grids sold as lighting diffusers. So you have a small area with dense plants and most of the tank with fish on the other side.

On my old 55g saltwater I just put in a partition 3" in front of the back glass then added lights behind the tank pointing forward. It work like a charm with nitrates and phosphates unmeasureable and even provided macro algae and pods to the fish in front of the partition.

still just my .02
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
can you test your tap water?
if its too low, can you shake it first and then test it?

do you use a water softener?


look into algae scrubbers.
straight from the tap, shaken up a bit,
Hardness 25
chlorine 0.5
Alkalinity 0
Ph 6.2
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:38 AM   #17
 
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Some Fish i want

Boes Rainbow x2
Albino butterfly Bunshynose pleco x1
Lambchop Rasbora x6
Pygmy cory Cats x6-10
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:47 AM   #18
 
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With those fish you could easily have a lot of plants in the tank instead of going for a refugium. Those are really only used when the fish don't cooperate well with plants (like goldfish and most cichlids) or you want immersed growth.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:02 AM   #19
JDM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killavixen View Post
straight from the tap, shaken up a bit,
Hardness 25
chlorine 0.5
Alkalinity 0
Ph 6.2
Finally, someone with harder water than me.

That seems an odd combo... a hardness that high HAS to have SOME alkalinity... normally.

Given the symptoms, this is not surprising though. Zero alkalinity would result in zero pH buffering and a drop in the pH is to be expected. Raising the KH without raising the GH might be tricky. I know that using CaCO3 will do that but I don't know of any products that will supply only this... you don't want your GH to go any higher as that is outside of most fish ranges.

Using RO AND Equilibrium sounds like the best bet as you can start with zero KH and GH and bring it up to where you want it by just adding what you need. Byron does this for his extremely soft tap water and it works well for him.

Jeff.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDM View Post
Finally, someone with harder water than me.

That seems an odd combo... a hardness that high HAS to have SOME alkalinity... normally.

Given the symptoms, this is not surprising though. Zero alkalinity would result in zero pH buffering and a drop in the pH is to be expected. Raising the KH without raising the GH might be tricky. I know that using CaCO3 will do that but I don't know of any products that will supply only this... you don't want your GH to go any higher as that is outside of most fish ranges.

Using RO AND Equilibrium sounds like the best bet as you can start with zero KH and GH and bring it up to where you want it by just adding what you need. Byron does this for his extremely soft tap water and it works well for him.

Jeff.
I will play around with some ph and alkalinity boosters with a gallon of water and see what works. PLus im gonna use about 6 pounds of driftwood (what is weighs dry)
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