Saltwater Aquarium/refugium


I have a 3 chamber refugium on my 54 corner reef tank. The left section is full of bio balls where the water from the overflow trickles down a pipe full of holes, however this chamber is only half full of water as it exits 6 holes drilled between that chamber and the middle chamber where the mudd & plants are.  It is very noisy and I wondered what purpose the bio balls serve and if there is any other options to try to quiet down the gurgling noise.?

My second question is: on my 54 corner I have fish and soft corals. I just installed 5 12" LED strips, 2 blue, 2 blue & white and 1 white, 2 moon lights and one small strip that has 3 blue LEDs and 2 white that I have coming on first and last..I have them on timers. Can you suggest how long each should be on and what should overlap? etc..  Thanks. Pam


In the trickle filter bio balls are used to keep beneficial bacteria present in the tank. However a much better media for doing so are ceramic rings:

If you notice, the more surface area you have the more beneficial bacteria can be present in the tank, bio balls are plastic and have a slick surface, not very suitable for this purpose. ceramic rings are much better. also if appears your first chamber enters into the second rather unusually, usually it simply will overflow over a piece of acrylic or glass, but you say you have several holes the water filters through? that could be the problem creating the noise you may want to find a way to plug those up so the water simply overflows into the next chamber.

as for the LED lights you recently purchased, The photo period is based on the types of corals you have, and the types of lights. Im thinking you are talking about the 12" panorama modules?

These consist of 12 led's with a total of 19 watts, a little over one watt per led. for growing corals you are going to need between a 1 and 3 watt led. How i do my light timers is i have all the lights on for a total of 10 hours, the white lights are only on for 10 as the actinic led's are on an hour before the whites go on and an hour after they go off. the moonlight can be on all the time or only during the night as it has zero affect on the aquarium livestock. it is purely for viewing purposes.

hope that helps and gives you some ideas Pam.


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i have about 15 years of experience in the reefing hobby but have been keeping aquariums for about 20, i am up to date on all the latest equipment such as led lighting, dosers, the new tanks available such as the red sea max and i can help you with many creatures that most other people have never even kept before such as sehorses, cephs, and sharks and rays.


15 years in the reefing hobby and it has come to my attention this site needs some more informed experts.


masters degree in marine biology

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