HOB Fuge

I have an old filter that I've read about turning into a HOB refugium for growing pods and nitrate reduction.

Guy at the LFS says an old HOB filter (about the size for a 60 gal tank) in my 55g won't really do much for the nitrates but will still be excellent for growing pods.


If it won't help with the nitrates, other than keeping up with PWCs, how else can I keep nitrates down?
are you planning on adding macro algae to it? (plug in Biff's cheato here)

if you do, you'll need a light for it, i just use an old desk lamp for my light (my fuge is in my sump though, but thats irrelevant) and my macro grown like crazy and definitely helps with with phosphates and nitrates... any fuge is a good fuge

i cant really picture a 55gal hob filter in my head, size wise... but i think its definitely doable
I have a 46 gallon aquarium and modified an AquaClear 110 HOB filter for a fuge. I put 2" of live sand in there, some LR rubble, a fistfull of chaeto, and some tiger pods that I bought from my LFS just to get things going. I put a clamp-on desk lamp over it and...BAM! Instant Fuge!

It worked really well, and helped to cut my nitrates in half. However, I would really recommend doing a more proper fuge/sump configuration under the tank. Although my HOB fuge worked well, I switched to a sump/fuge under my aquarium and it's been much more efficient. The HOB fuge made my tank look cluttered and like some sort of science experiment with my skimmer and fan on the back of the aquarium too. Under the cabinet is more visually appealing, it's less noise, and it was also less money than the AquaClear filter. It took work to plumb it, but in the end it's a better deal...

However, a HOB fuge allows you to grow pods and control the waterflow from the filter to the tank, releasing pods slowly, whereas with a fuge under the aquarium, you have to manually net the pods...
Haha, yes I would buy Biff's Cheato for it. And we keep talking and are planning to get a sump at some point. Right now our nitrates are actually relatively low, hovering around 10 or so, so it's not a huge priority I suppose, but definitely something that we're "looking into."

As for a sump looking more attractive in the cabinet, well we have one of those crappy metal frame stands at the moment. We bought some fabric and velcroed it around the frame to hide some of the supplies and random fish junk we keep under there. So sump noise wouldn't be muffled hardly at all.
I have a old tetra tech on my 10 gallon nano tank that I have chetto and a light on seems to be doing very well. This is a huge filter takes up the entire back of the tank. It also has a wave feature.