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Ok. So I just came back from a new LFS I was checking out and the guy there suggested something I had never even fathomed before. He said, instead of sticking a whole bunch of bioballs and filter pads in there (sump), just make a "seperate world." He said I should line it w/ some sand, maybe some LR, stick some lights over it and grow algae in there; maybe even some tankmates that otherwise wouldn't survive in the main tank... I had heard of the algae, but not this "seperate world" concept. I like it. It seems more natural. He showed me how he used it on all the tanks there (10+), and the corals looked fine... not that I would know... but I was just wondering what people thought about this, along w/ a protein skimmer and a few bio wheel filters for a tank (75g).
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The "strategy" you speak of is common in the reef keeping hobby. It is called a refugium. If you check the link in my sig, on page 8 you can see photos of mine before, and in use (though the support beam on my stand blocks a bit of the view. In my refugium I currently have sand, macro-algaes, LR rubble, a few brown hairy mushrooms, and a few Kenya trees. It is lit by a 12" coralife 18w PC with 50/50 bulbs.
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