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 The Refugium Box
Pictures and text by Ken Uy
refugium box
The refugium box
     The refugium box is made out of a salvaged Bio-Logic trickle filter box. Acrylic hooks were cemented on with Weldon, so that the box can be hung over the edge of the reef tank. 
     The box has two chambers due to the original design of the filter. The water is pumped to the left chamber through a pipe that is clipped to the top of the dividing wall. The water flows to the bottom of the left chamber, and up the floor of the right chamber. The right chamber will hold some live sand. A short length of PVC pipe is inserted through the opening of the right chamber's floor to keep sand from falling through the bottom. PVC pipe pedestals were used under the box to minimize the amount of weight hanging from the tank wall. 
refugium overflow
The overflow
     The overflow was made by cutting a notch on the upper edge of the box, facing the reef tank. A rectangular piece of acrylic was bent using a butane torch, and the U-shaped channel was cemented to the box to direct the water overflowing through the notch into the tank.  The hooks were placed much too high, so I used some plastic tubing in them to act as cushions between the hooks and the tank's edge. 
side view
Side view from the top
     The pump that feeds the refugium is a MicroJet that is in the reef tank itself. The hose that leads from the pump to the refugium box is clipped to the top of the refugium's dividing wall, to prevent any mishaps. The dividing wall also has a hole in it to prevent the left chamber from overflowing in case the pipe that leads to the sand chamber gets blocked. The water from the left chamber thus has two outlets to the right chamber. 

Drip guide
     To channel all drips directly into the tank, a lip was glued to the spout. Without the lip, water tends to splash as it falls into the tank, and sometimes drops will travel along the bottom of the spout to reach the edge of the tank. The lip is a strip of acrylic that was attached to the spout using cyanoacrylate gel. 

Tee connector to propagation tray
     A barbed Tee connector was added to the refugium's inlet hose, and part of the water was redirected to a propagation tray that sits beside the tank. The propagation tray will act as secondary refugium as well as hold coral cuttings. 

Live sand added
     Live sand was added to the right hand chamber. In this case, the sand is about 2 inches deep, as compared to less than an inch in most of the main tank's bottom. 


The PROPAGATION TRAY now acts as the main refugium!

More refugium information at Darren Baucum's Refugium Page


 Copyright © 1999 by Kenneth K. Uy. All rights reserved.