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Old 01-22-2020, 12:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Refugiums

Is there any information available about the use of refugiums in freshwater aquariums, especially planted tanks? I feel like the presence of shrimp, snails and possibly clams would be helpful in maintaining clean water but my fish would consider the shrimp and snails snacks and, I am guessing, seriously harass the clams. Always looking for labor savers and better water.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refugiums

I don't have any experience with refugiums, but:
- shrimp/snails don't clean water directly, they help in removing uneaten food in the main tank, so having them in refugium most probably won't do anything and you even might need to feed them separately
- clams should be good filter feeders and might help keeping water clean, but as far as I know, many have parasitic larval stadium which attach to fish gills. In closed ecosystem it might present serious health hazard.
- the only use case for refugium which I see is to have healthy plants which would otherwise get eaten/damaged by fish (African cichlids come to mind - they destroy almost anything green in the tank). This would definitely have its benefits with next to no disatvantages.
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refugiums

When I was a kid without a lot of money or knowwledge, when I'd get cloudy water, I'd go to a local pond and get a black mussel. It would eliminate the cloudiness in short order.

It would also uproot the plants as it plowed through the substrate. I fixed that by confine it to a small gravel-filled plastic container. It didn't seem to mind.

When it had done its job I returned it to the pond.

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Old 02-11-2020, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Refugiums

My plan for my tank involves a shrimp refugium.

To me, the main benefit of a "Shrimp Farm" is it provides the shrimp with a safe place to breed; sending baby shrimp into the water column, providing the display tank with a natural source of live food.

I'm considering having two chambers, one shrimp free with floating plants, on the off chance that some daphnia or other freshwater "pods" catch hold for the same purpose.
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