You might be setting up a brand-new reef tank. Maybe you’re doing some upgrades to an existing aquarium. Either way, you’ll have a lot of individual concerns to address. First and foremost, “Is this system capable of managing a large(r) bioload?” And then, “How will I deal with all of the nitrate that my biofilter will generate?” And, if you really care about providing the most nutritious diet possible, “Will I produce sufficient amounts of live food such as copepods and edible seaweeds?” A planted refugium can address many of these concerns.
There isn’t a huge number of things you need to get your ‘fuge going strong. Still, it is rather convenient to be able to get all of these items in one click. And, by upgrading to purchase these items as a complete package, you can ultimately save some money as well. To these ends, you can easily get all the stuff you’ll need to seed a healthy, balanced refugium for a great price with AlgaeBarn’s Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack.
The ”URP” helps you to seed the right beneficial organisms in the right amount at the right time. This significantly shortens the conditioning period. And yes, it makes seeding and conditioning your refugium incredibly easy. This package is available in several sizes and even allows you to select a macroalgae from a list of AlgaeBarn’s most popular species. The Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack addresses the major concerns of starting and maintaining a healthy aquarium system. These include (1) stabilizing the nitrogen cycle, (2) introducing a select mix of copepod species and (3) growing a thick bed of macroalgae.
To maximize the nitrification capacity of your ‘fuge, this pack includes one of the finest biomedia available. MarinePure is a highly porous ceramic medium that has a huge amount of surface area. Its innumerable pores provide an ideal environment for diverse lifeforms. For example, its outer surface is suited to provide excellent microhabitat for both nitrifying bacteria and copepods; deeper inside the media, beneficial anaerobic bacteria (such as denitrifiers) can flourish.
Fritz Aquatics Turbo Start 900 Live Nitrifying Bacteria for Saltwater is a concentrated blend of nitrifying bacteria strains. As these microbes coat the MarinePure™ Biofiltration, other biomedia, they make the system safe for fish, coral and other marine aquarium livestock. When starting a new tank, add the pods, phyto and macro at least 5 days after the nitrifying bacteria for the best results. When adding a refugium to a brand-new system, it is best to fully cycle the system before introducing a seed population of copepods!
Nitrosomonas sp. and Nitrobacter sp. in TurboStart 900 are aerobic, chemoautotrophic bacteria that work together to detoxify nitrogenous wastes. Nitrosomonas oxidizes ammonia (produced mainly by your aquarium animals) into less poisonous nitrite, whereas Nitrobacter further oxidizes the nitrite to relatively harmless nitrate. While not especially toxic, nitrate is a nutrient that contributes to the growth of undesirable film and turf algae. That’s where the macros come into play!
Tending the garden
Macroalgae take up nitrate as they grow and so help control nuisance algae growth through competition. The Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack helps you to prevent this with CleanMacro Algae (available as Chaeto, Pom-Pom, Red Ogo or Spike Sphere!). Any of these seaweeds is a great choice for nutrient export.
When kept under very intense light, Chaetomorpha is fast-growing and excellent at nutrient export (and therefore recommended for very densely stocked systems). On the other hand, if using moderately intense lighting, Gracilaria is recommended. Of these, Red Ogo is the fastest grower. All of these macroalgae greatly enrich the refugium habitat by providing a perfect living space for your copepods.
You got pods
The copepods in 5280Pods (Tigriopus, Tisbe and Apocyclops) consume ugly microalgae but do no harm to macroalgae; indeed, they benefit macroalgae by consuming any type of microalgae that might grow on them. Still, maintaining a diversity and abundance of copepods requires feeding. This is because the planktonic larvae of pods require phyto in their diets. 5280Pods contains live copepods of all life stages, including larvae. That’s why every Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack starts your young pods off on a good foot with OceanMagik live phytoplankton.
Your new pods will get all the nourishment they need, even in a very new system, from the OceanMagik live phytoplankton. If you have a mature reef tank, your corals and other filter-feeders will love this stuff, too! OceanMagik is specially formulated to deliver perfectly balanced nutrition and present a wide selection of cell sizes for your most picky phytoplanktivores. This live phytoplankton blend contains Nannochloropsis gaditana, Isochrysis galbana, Tetraselmis sp. and Thalassiosira weissflogii. Just like AlgaeBarn pods, you can have your live phyto supplies replaced regularly and effortlessly (while saving 10% each time!) with a convenient subscription.
The ultimate upgrade
Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack gives you two different options. In Option One, you receive two shipments. The first shipment, which sets the stage for the cycling process, contains the MarinePure Biofiltration and TurboStart 900 Live Nitrifying Bacteria. The second shipment (sent one week later) contains the 5280Pods, OceanMagik and CleanMacro Algae. Option Two combines all of the above items into a single shipment; this option is recommended only for mature aquarium systems. Either way, all Ultimate Refugium Packs qualify for free shipping. And, as always, everything is covered under AlgaeBarn’s Alive On Arrival Guarantee!
When you consider–in adding or expanding a ‘fuge–that you’ll end up needing all of these items anyway, it only makes sense to upgrade to the URP. No other package makes it easier to build a sustainable ecosystem right in your refugium, with all the best stuff, for a great price!