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A refugium is a separate tank used as a refuge for critters that would normally be eaten up by the inhabitants of the tank. Giving these smaller critters a chance to live and breed creates a great constant food source for the main tank. Since I made the refugium taller than the main tank, food critters leaving the refugium would not get chopped up by any pumps. Again, the refugium is a great source for live food. It can also be used to house macro-algae for nutrient export. Harvesting the algae when the refugium gets full removes a lot of the excess nutrients that were caught up by the algae. My refugium is on the same light cycle as the tank for the time being; I will be experimenting with light cycles when I get more fish in the tank to see what works best for me.

The refugium was a DIY wet/dry filter I made several years ago, that never went into service because of all the moving I have done. When I started this tank I intended to use it as a wet/dry filter, but was encouraged to use it as a sump or a refugium by the knowledgeable www.thereeftank.com people. I just needed to modify the contraption a little for its new purpose in life. I made the box taller so it would dump into the aquarium. I also added supports for the light, and holes for all of the various plumbing connections. I think the refugium is about 45G in size. I have an ebo-jager 250w heater in here. The refugium is the next piece of equipment in line after the protein skimmer.

The Inhabitants:

 2 bumblebee snails
 1 turbo snail
 Some razor calearpa And who knows what else - that is the point!

Jan. 2004 Update: Lots to talk about here! I feel that a refugium is not necessary in order to keep a healthy reef system. I feel that it is just another extremely large bio-load added to the system. If you want to learn more about why I think this check out The Think Tank forum at www.thereeftank.com.

I have removed the DSB from the refugium. i have pretty much just made this a very large sump. I have very little LR in there, just some rubble left over from aquascaping the tank. I decided to remove the DSB after looking back at the side of the refugium and seeing it completely black! This had happened within 6 months of it being set up. High flow is needed to keep a DSB from filling up and clogging. This is something that I have learned since I set up the tank. I will probably be removing everything completely from the refugium shortly so that it will act as a settling tank for detritus. I will only need to vacuum it out once or twice a year.

I do still have a light over the refugium. It is on a reverse light cycle. I will once again be experimenting with this now that I do not have anything in the refugium. I am thinking there will not be an advantage in using the light.