Mini Refugium

Well, more of the tank saga.  Yesterday I completed my mini refugium.  First, for those that don’t know, let me explain what a refugium is supposed to do.  Basically, it’s a separate tank tied to the main display tank that houses macro algae(if you want) and micro-organisms that help break down nitrates and phosphates.

Not having alot of space, and wanting to ease into the whole refugium thing, I’ve taken a fairly simple approach.  BTW, this approach has also been very cheap.  I’m in for 11 dollars total!

Parts list include;

1 Gallon trash can from Dollar Store 1$

1 Breeder box from LFS 6$

1 Carbon Activated Filter pad pack from LFS 5$

7lbs of crushed coral from a friend who bought a 25lb back and didn’t use all of it Free$

First, I took the can and cut it to be 1″ shorter than the walls of my sump bin.  Next, I cut for slots in the corners of the 1 Gallon garbage can which fit to the “floater” ends of the breeder box.  Test fit these slots a couple of times during the cutting to make sure it will sit all the way down in the can.  Next, I took the filter plate that’s supposed to sit vertically in the breeder box and used it as a template for cutting a piece of the carbon activated foam.  Place this piece in the bottom of the breeder box, and place the filter plate on top of the foam.  This provides a porous bottom to the box which the water will flow thru, to enter the 1 Gallon can.  This part is complete now.

Next, I marked the can at 4″.  This will be the top of my sand bed in the can.  Next, I marked the can at my water line, when the can is sitting in the sump bin.  Then I drilled 4 3/8″ holes around the can at 1″ below the sump water line.  These wholes let water out into the sump, from the overflow box drain.

Next, clean the sand well, and place in the can.  Simple enough huh.

Next, install the breeder box on top of the can, and install the can in the sump.  Place the drain pipe into the breeder box and ensure the drain pipe lays in the breeder box w/ at least 1/2″ clearance from the bottom.  Start up return pump and confirm flow and drain.

That’s it!  An 11$ refugium.  Pretty cheap gigawidget!

I don’t have lights on the refugium, so I won’t be growing any macro algae at this time.  I may add them at a later date if I decide I want to spend the money powering them.  We’ll see.

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