Refugium Needs

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okay, so we got a 75 gallon tank today and I have a DIY 20 Long sump for a fish only tank. I built a bubble trap on both the in and return sides around a middle section for a refugium. The tank is a standard 20 gallon long from *****.

What should I put in my middle section for the refugium area? And what lighting should I put in it to stimulate growth of algae and Chaeto in the ref. rather than the main display? I have a Current USA light with timer I purchased a year ago I can use, but will it be enough to stimulate good growth? How long should I have the light running?

I have plenty of well stable “live sand” and live rock to put in it, but I’m thinking about trying to find some cheto as well.

On the sump I put a Fluval 70 HOB filter to put any carbon or other nitrate reducers as needed. It pulls from the in portion and dumps back into the in portion. I figure why waist the past equipment if I can use it to add additional filtration.

What do you all think? Where is a good place to order chaeto? I do not have a local location to purchase any.

I will take a picture when I compete the setup tomorrow or Monday.

It will have black sand and black background on the main display. The wife didn’t want living coral, so it dose have artificial coral ;( ... not my idea but the wife gets what she wants. It’s more for her than me. I have a 45 gallon I’m gonna try and build for living coral in my room :).
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Staff member
I have a bare bottom in my fuge, A large piece of Marine pure, some pieces of rock rubble. I have a power head to keep things moving in there. I have chaeto and capulara. Neither one grows particularly well for me. I use a Zetlight E100 Macroalgae LED Light. I works better than others I've had. I have tried many different lights and none give me good growth of macro all the time. I've had times where it goes crazy and other times where it does nothing or dies all with the same lights.

I have it in 7 inches of water, but I do not have an extra powerhead. Should I move the hob filter to the middle for the water movement it will offer? Knowing I put a bubble trap on both sides it should keep the bubbles out of the display and creat good oxygen flow in the refugium. Just an idea..


Staff member
The power head in the fuge isn't necessary. You shouldn't need a HOB filter at all with a sump. The sump is your filter. I purchased several super cheap power heads on amazon several years ago. I think the brand is SunSun, a cheap Chinese company. They cost on the order of $10 each. That is what I use in the fuge. I like to have the others on hand just in case. I use them in my QT when I have it up and running with new fish.