As everyone knows it takes a lot of equipment to support our underwater worlds and to keep a happy reef. Choosing the right equipment for your system can make or break your aquarium. One I highly recommend is a refugium but the major drawback of this is the space it takes up in your sump. A serious problem for us nano reefers.
But it looks like there is a solution
# My Problem with my Refugium
I love my refugium and at the rate my chaeto grows its a must have in my system and an essential part of my filtration. Simply put I CANT GO WITHOUT ONE.
But, its not perfect…
I run a nano tank and as a result space is a valuable commodity, especially in my sump. Between my skimmer, filter socks, return pump, heater and reactor there isn’t much space. Especially seen as my refugium takes up half of my sump!! But like I said, my system wouldn’t function properly without it so for me its a “needs must” type of thing.
So as my tank grew and I added better and more filtration items, space was tight. So in my spare time (on the loo or a break at work) I used search engines to see what the experts had in their sumps and how they managed space. Nothing much stood out Until…
I came across this idea… The Algae (Chaeto) Reactor!
But before I get into the details of an Algae Reactor, here are some basics you will need to know;
#What is Chaeto (the most commonly used type of algae) – Chaeto is a basic form of saltwater algae that many reefers use in their tanks in a refugium as a form of filtration. They help keep parameters down and your tank stable.
#What is a Reactor – A reactor is basically a small canister filter where you choose what media you want to use. I personally run carbon in my reactor but many others use a range of media to control their parameters.
So as I was Saying… The Algae Reactor!
It was a normal reactor, wrapped in lights, with chaeto as the media. GENIOUS! And based on the reviews it worked just as well as my normal refugium but took up so much less space. You see, the flow and intense light was an ideal environment for the chaeto to grow at a rapid rate in a contained area.
My only issue with most of these “DIY chaeto reactors” is how they looked and the fact it was DIY. However I will state that this is just me as they worked perfectly well. I personally just like my equipment to look tidy. So my Research continued…
THEN I DISCOVERED THE HOLY GRAIL OF REACTORS!
A reactor designed for the maximum growth of chaeto with its own built in lighting. To an equipment freak like me its great. SMART, SIMPLE and EFFECTIVE. And now on the market in a range of sizes. Simply put, this makes life a lot easier and will give me back my sump.
So there it is, A way to free up my sump with a great new reactor. This is something I WILL be getting once I figure out what I will use the spare space in my sump for and of course, save some pennies. It will boost the effectiveness of my filtration and keep my tank nice and happy as the bio load increases.
# How to Get or Make Your own Algae Reactor
Now If you, like me, are tight on space and love new equipment, then I highly recommend getting the chaeto reactor. Read this post, do your own research and if you decided to get an algae reactor – then click on the links below for the size you want.
If you love a good bit of DIY and enjoy creating your sump in your own way, then why not get a normal reactor and modify it with some LED stripping.
OR (yes there is more)
If you want to stick with a simple refugium, go for it! As what ever way you use chaeto in your system, its a great form of filtration that I highly recommend.
For more information on a refugium check out this post!