What the Heck is a Refugium? Setting up a Refugium

The term refugium is commonly used by many aquarists, but no one really knows what it is or how it is used. Basically a refugium is a separate chamber that can be connected to your main aquarium for the purpose of eight growing various organisms that cannot survive in the main tank or to provide some level of biological filtration and nutrient exportation for you aquarium system.

When it comes to setting up a refugium you first want to consider size. When you purchased your aquarium tank you likely got the largest display you could fit comfortably into your home, you want to take a similar approach when choosing a refugium. The more system volume you have with a refugium the more overall stability your will have when it comes to water quality.

While a thirty gallon tub is an excellent refugium in an off-display room most people simply don’t have the room for this. Therefore, a ten gallon refugium conveniently hidden in your tank cabinet or under the display tank is the next more effective and efficient option. Another option is using your refugium as a second display tank rather than just having it serve as a device.

You want to make sure the refugium is isolated from the system by splitting the overflow from the display fish tank between the refugium and the sump. On the refugium side of the overflow you can have a ball valve which not only helps you to isolate the refugium, but also allows you to control the current velocity of the refugium.
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