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Freshwater Fuge?


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So I think I'm a week or so out until I switch my freshwater tank from the 55 in to my 75 gallon (dancing)


This is the tank I bought for my saltwater tank but I seem to have upgraded. My question is the tank has a internal overflow with Aquion sump. It has a built in refugium section. Has anyone here ever set up a freshwater refugium before? If so what did you put in it? All I have really come up with is sand and bamboo so far but I'm sure there is a whole world I'm missing here. It could be an interesting experiment.


I really have no intrest in putting a bio ball nitrate factory in there. I say this because it is what Aquion recomended for freshwater.


My poor freshwater critters have been a bit negalected here lately, everyone comes in and looks at the growing reef and most don't even notice the fresh tank across the room unless I point it out. After a few months of dirty looks its time to pay them a bit of attention. (laugh)

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What fish you keeping? When I was doing Tanganyika Cichlids I kept crushed corals and lime rock down their as a water buffer.


I also kept about 4" ceramic rings in a chamber. Just be sure to vacuum them once in a while.


Have never really seen much of a Fuge for FW? PM sent for a cool FW site.

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I have some lacy java fern which grows well in low light. I also have a couple of those cool moss balls. I think I have some other sort of moss, it's like some derivative of java moss. They're all just floating around in my empty tank. You're welcome to them. I'm going to break the tank down soon before I move. PM me of you're interested in some free plants.

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For a freshwater 'fuge you'll need to select plants based on the type of water you have in the tank. Java moss is a good option, and works much like cheato as pnkrcklives mentioned. But if you're running an African Cichlid tank, for instance, java moss usually won't thrive in the alkaline conditions. The options are pretty numerous, but things like horwart and water lettuce are also quite popular.


I'm building a freshwater 'fuge into my new tank which is being built right now.

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Yeah your options are endless. Depends what you want to do, and how setup you are for plants. What kind of fish you keeping? What light will be down there? Any substrate or bare? Just for looks or nutrient export?


Nutrient export: vallsineria, java moss, anubius, ferns, mangroves do a little


Even most tropical house plants can be grown hydroponically. Just use a gutter system to keep them above water and let roots drop into the water, they will take in excess nutrients and are really easy to clean. In a 75 gallon it even loooks cool on top. Like a 4 foot gutter system in the vack. It water falls water, filters, and creates a nice plantscaping coming up the top

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Hornwort is a great option. I used the stuff when I was making biospheres. Water lettuce is one of the best because it floats on top of the water. Any floating plants or plants that have leaves exposed to air are the most efficient ammonia/nitrate reducers. I can't remember if I have any water lettuce left, but I bet I do. It's cheap at the LFS if I don't.

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Thanks for the all the imput :)


Sorry I should have given you what critters I have. Its not any special ecosystem but several small tanks I combined years ago to simplify my life. Then I discoved saltwater.


1- Gold Serverum

3- Angel fish

2- Picus Catfish

1- Redtail Shark

2- Silver dollars


So it is kinda a South American Cichlid tank with friends.


I already have bio wheels on the HOB filter which I plan on putting in the sump just to clean up the look a bit so I do have a biological filtration going. Thats why I think the bio balls are a bit redundant and would just creat problems down the road. Again should have mentioned this. DOH!


Great ideas so far! I hadn't thought of crushed coral in a fresh water. Its worth looking in to.


Where did you find freshwater clams! That is so cool, I have never seen them before.


I can't believe I didn't think of moss. Very good option.


Trent, thank you that site looks like it might be helpful.


Thank you everyone for all the great info so far. This is going to be a fun project. (naughty)

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