FAQ #17: Is it worth running a refugium on a Zeovit tank? | 52 FAQ

August 31st, 2016
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Today on BRStv, we have another episode of BRS 52 FAQ where we answer all of your frequently asked reefing questions from our popular 52 Weeks of Reefing series.

This week we are answering John Owen's question from Week 48: “I would love to hear more of your thoughts of using a refugium with the Zeovit system. Most everywhere I've read says that the algae will end up dying. I was wondering how the BRS160's refugium fairs on the system."

The quickest answer is the fuge plays a pretty limited nutrient reduction roll on a zeovit tank where there is almost always going to be very limited nutrients. Because of that, nutrient related algae or other related issues are a pretty big rarity.

This has been true in our case as well. Even though we are pretty heavy feeders, the tank tests zero phosphate and less than one nitrate every week and I am pretty certain it would even without the fuge going. The ball of chaeto does grow but we have yet to harvest any, so technically I would say the fuge hasn’t completely removed any nutrients from the tank. So why do we run the fuge on the BRS 160?

Well I’d say the fuge has a few benefits , nutrient reduction is one of them both in nitrate reduction and potentially direct utilization of ammonia. In this case I’d say it’s more of a redundancy to back up Zeo on that element than it is serving that purpose.

The fuge also provides a safe heaven for microfauna like copepods and amphipods to populate and reproduce. A healthy microfauna population has a whole slew of benefits as a food source, clean up crew, and even as algae grazers.

Lastly, on an opposing light schedule from the main tank they serve to remove carbon dioxide and keep the tanks PH stable. In this case It seems to be cutting about about a tenth of a point off the swing, but I am hopeful that once the algae ball gets larger we might see it further reduced or even completely stabilized.

So follow along as we answer today's question, provide some helpful insight, and help make reefing just bit more fun and easy for you and your tank.

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