A micro-brittle star in a refugium

Kickstarting Your New Refugium

Whether it’s just been installed as part of a bone-dry, newly set up aquarium system or as an add-on to a well-established, heavily stocked reef tank, you’ll probably want your new refugium to be operating at its peak performance from the onset. Seeding the right beneficial organisms in the right amount at the right time shortens the conditioning period significantly. You can get everything you’ll need to seed a healthy, balanced refugium with AlgaeBarn’s Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack. This select package makes seeding and conditioning your refugium incredibly easy. It is available in several sizes and even allows you to select a macroalgae from a list of most popular species.

The Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack addresses the major concerns of starting and maintaining a healthy aquarium system. These include:

  • Stabilizing the nitrogen cycle.
  • Introducing a select mix of copepod species.
  • Growing a bed of macroalgae.

But the Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack goes a bit beyond that!

Your New Refugium: It’s What’s Inside

Included in the pack is one of the finest biomedia available. MarinePure™ Biofiltration is a highly porous ceramic medium that allows water to thoroughly circulate through it. It has a huge amount of surface area. Its countless micropockets provide an ideal environment for diverse lifeforms. Its outer surface is suited to provide excellent microhabitat for both nitrifying bacteria and copepods. Deeper inside the media, beneficial anaerobic bacteria can flourish.

Fritz Aquatics Turbo Start 900™ Live Nitrifying Bacteria for Saltwater is a concentrated blend of several useful strains of nitrifying bacteria. As they coat the MarinePure™ Biofiltration, other biomedia, your live rock, etc., they make the system safe and hospitable for fish, coral and other marine animals. Such as copepods!

When starting a new tank, add the pods, phyto and macro at least 5 days after the nitrifying bacteria for the best results.

As soon as the system is fully cycled, there is no better time to build a population of copepods. Or, better yet, a mixed-species community of copepods. Maintaining a diversity and abundance of copepods requires feeding. Yes, the adults will indeed feed on unwanted algae and organic matter already present in the tank. However, their planktonic larvae (i.e. nauplii) feed primarily upon phytoplankton. 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.

As you feed your pods, fishes, corals, etc., food wastes are mineralized into nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate. Excesses of these nutrients can promote plagues of nuisance algae. The Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack helps you to prevent this with CleanMacro™ Algae. You get to choose between Chaeto, Pom-Pom, Red Ogo or Spike Sphere! Any of these attractive seaweeds is a great choice for nutrient export. What’s more, macroalgae greatly enrich the refugium habitat for your copepods.

Greet the Species

Nitrosomonas sp. and Nitrobacter sp. in TurboStart 900™ are autotrophic bacteria that work together to detoxify nitrogenous wastes. Nitrosomonas oxidizes ammonia (produced by your aquarium animals) into less toxic nitrite as a metabolic process. Nitrobacter further oxidizes the nitrite to relatively harmless nitrate.

While not especially poisonous, nitrate is a nutrient that contributes to the growth of ugly film and turf algae. Macroalgae take up these nutrients and so help control nuisance algae growth through competition. When kept under very intense light, Chaetomorpha is fast-growing and excellent at nutrient export (and therefore recommended for very densely stocked systems). However, if using moderately intense lighting, or if a more ornamental seaweed is preferred, Gracilaria is recommended. Of these, Red Ogo is the fastest grower.

The Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack provides a second punch to bad algae. The copepods in 5280Pods™ (Tigriopus, Tisbe and Apocyclops) munch away virtually all forms of microalgae but do no harm to macroalgae. In fact, they benefit macroalgae by consuming any type of microalgae that might grow on them. The pods love the macro right back, as the plant mass provides a perfectly sheltered, high-surface area environment for the pods to live in.

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. It also presents a wide selection of cell sizes for your most finicky filter-feeders. This smart blend of live phytoplankton 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 (and save 10% each time!) via subscription.

Getting Yours

Note that there are two options when ordering your Ultimate Refugium Starter Pack. In the first option, you receive two shipments. The first shipment, which sets the stage for the cycling process, contains your MarinePure™ Biofiltration and TurboStart 900™ Live Nitrifying Bacteria. The second shipment, sent one week later, contains your 5280Pods™, OceanMagik™ and CleanMacro™ Algae. The second option contains all of the above items in a single shipment (recommended only for well-established aquarium systems). Either way, all Ultimate Refugium Starter Packs qualify for free shipping. And worry not, everything is covered under AlgaeBarn’s Alive On Arrival Guarantee.



10 thoughts on “Kickstarting Your New Refugium”

  1. Trying to start a hang-on-the-back refugium for my nano using an aquaclear. I also want this to house pods so how do I get that established?

    1. Marc Vaughan

      In my experience and in general consensus from the reef forums. You can not sustain a Mandarin or any type of fish that require pods as it’s only food source. Tisbe pods are really the only ones they can catch and has the most nutrition for them. Regardless, they would have to eat millions in a day to survive. What most owners do, is train Mandarins to eventually eat pellet type foods and other common foods you would normally feed for your other fish.

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