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  1. #1

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    Default Planning a Refugium: Substrate Choices


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey all,

    I'm planning for the future and would like to narrow down my choices on filtration devices, including what goes into them. My first choice for filtration on my next tank will certainly be a sump with a refugium. I've read up on some different substrates/soils, but I'm stuck on choices. First, I plan on going moderately cheap on the main tank substrate. I'll probably go with a mixture of soil/sand (maybe flourite black sand mixed with Diamond Black Sand). As for the refugium, I was going to go strictly soil, but I don't want to go crazy and have to spend an exorbitant amount of money to upkeep it.

    So, my choices on refugium substrates are:

    1. All flourite black sand
    2. Miracle Mud 2
    3. Thought about Eco-Complete... it grows well, but I can't stand working with gravel-type soil substrates
    4. U.P. Aqua Shrimp Sand
    5. Mr. Aqua Aquarium Soil Plant Substrate
    6. Seachem Onyx Sand
    7. Organic garden/top soil
    8. Raw clay from the ground
    9. Clay mixed with any of the above soils

    If I were to go with Miracle Mud and a couple of the others, they recommend replacing a portion of the substrate every year or so. I'd love to be able to forego that if possible. I'd like to keep this as cost-effective and maintenance-free as possible.

    Any ideas?
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  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Ok dumb question this is sw wright if so I have no exp but I have heard good stuff with just regular sand from the tank or same place same sand.
    do as I say, not as I do- William
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  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Myrical mud 2! Only needed to replace it every few years and thats only if you see die off... I have seen tanks that have been set up for a loooong time with no adds.

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I would personally do miracle gro organic with a dash of flourite and top it with pool filter sand. You don't need to replace the substrate. Of course they are going to tell you to replace some of the substrate every year or so. That's how they make more money off of you. lol
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by aquariumlover10 View Post
    Ok dumb question this is sw wright if so I have no exp but I have heard good stuff with just regular sand from the tank or same place same sand.
    This will be for a FW tank.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandz View Post
    Myrical mud 2! Only needed to replace it every few years and thats only if you see die off... I have seen tanks that have been set up for a loooong time with no adds.
    Thanks Per! I love hearing that. =]

    Quote Originally Posted by Compass View Post
    I would personally do miracle gro organic with a dash of flourite and top it with pool filter sand. You don't need to replace the substrate. Of course they are going to tell you to replace some of the substrate every year or so. That's how they make more money off of you. lol
    Thanks Rob, I appreciate it sir. =]

    I suppose the argument is that the nutrients in the soil will be consumed to a degree that they need replenishment. So, either dose ferts or replace substrate. Is that not the case?
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  6. #6

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinVA View Post

    I suppose the argument is that the nutrients in the soil will be consumed to a degree that they need replenishment. So, either dose ferts or replace substrate. Is that not the case?
    Well sure the plants will absorb the nutrients but there will be stuff added back with the fish mulm. It won't be the same as it would in your tank since the fish won't be pooping directly on the substrate. Unless you put a few little fish in your refugium. I really don't think you'll need to replace the soil though. You might start to see less growth out of your plants but I doubt you'll have a total die off. Diversify what plants you do put in the refugium will make it last longer though. If you did, all crypts for example you'd run out of iron really fast. So heavy rooters, stems, floating. Doesn't have to look pretty but it would be better than just one type of plant.
    Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.

    You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.

  7. #7

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Good point. I'd plan on all of the above. Best nitrate absorbers I know are stems & floating plants, anyway.
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  8. #8

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    I would personally have a shrimp colony in the refugium... just personal prefrence because they take almost no bioload, help with algae issues and will have occasional die off, molts, poop that will supplant absorbtion.

  9. #9

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    I would also put a marimo in there for shrimp and helps with algae.
    do as I say, not as I do- William
    "What will they write upon my grave
    A free man born as a king, who died as a slave" -Logic

  10. #10

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Is this going to be a refugium compartment within a sump, or separate altogether ?
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
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