Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

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Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 12th 2011, 11:51 pm

I will post up some interesting info soon , But first what do you think of Algae scrubbers as part of your filtration needs and what are your thoughts on the pro's and Con's of using one in a temperate Marine,, and using less or even removing your skimmers ..
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by AquaticEngineer on November 13th 2011, 8:11 pm

I'm thinking about it, I have the room, and just about everthing to make one sitting in my garage.

I imagine it would work well in a temperate tank since most of the temperate tanks I've seen are all non-photosynthetic.

Just gotta decide where I want it and hook it up.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 14th 2011, 1:13 am

AquaticEngineer wrote:I'm thinking about it, I have the room, and just about everthing to make one sitting in my garage.

I imagine it would work well in a temperate tank since most of the temperate tanks I've seen are all non-photosynthetic.

Just gotta decide where I want it and hook it up.

Im trying to incorporate one into my latest Sump design with LED's at the right spectrum for max growth .
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 14th 2011, 1:25 am

Info about :

90 percent of all living matter (except bacteria) in the ocean is algae of all forms and colors. The remaining 10% (except bacteria) of all living matter in the ocean is: Corals, Plants, Sponges, Worms, Snails, Clams, Octopi, Shrimp, Crabs, Pods, Urchins, Starfish, Small Fish, Medium Fish, Big Fish, Sharks, Whales, Giant Squids, and Everything Else. The algae is what does all the filtering of the waste from the animals, and the algae is also what feeds all the animals through the various food webs.

Aquariums, however (especially ones without refugiums), have no algae to do the filtering or feeding. So all the filtering has to be done manually with equipment, and all the feeding has to be done manually too. At least with a refugium, there is some filtering and feeding, although most refugiums are far too small to do all of it. Scrubbers are powerful enough to do all the filtering by themselves, and can do a lot of the feeding too, if copepods are the food that is desired.

There is alot of info on this site if you want to read it http://www.algaescrubber.net/forums/index.php

I will try and put a bit of info here for those that dont want to sift through miles of posts.

Hope you enjoy the info and see the benifits of this idea..
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by norskfisk on November 14th 2011, 7:17 pm

Maybe you can replace the skimmer with it. Algae do at better job than skimmers anyway. But high algal growth tends to color the water and you need a skimmer with a little ozone to fix that.

Personally I think that a refugium with algae is just as good as a scrubber. It is just a matter of doing it right. You need to get the algae to grow. It means having fast growing algae and giving them enough flow and perhaps some nutrient additives.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 14th 2011, 10:49 pm

I agree I think it will do a better job than a skimmer once its tuned and growing .Im still going to use a skimmer part time ,but it will be after the scrubber and refuge and bio section ,other words in the return section ..Until I have the scrubber tuned and to cover the period between cleans while the algae grows again .

I think the size for temperate will be the issue at first ,until I figure or someone figures out the requirements .Im going 2x the size recommended for tropical for now with removable sections so I can rotate .

To add Im going to try and make the scrubber sheets usable in the DT as food for my Herbivores ( Luderick – Girella tricuspidata – Blackfish,Australian common name N****r),something along the lines of a weed feeding clips to hold it in place so they can get to both sides they eat like a cow and I have to make weekly trips to the lake for more algae..

As for the color I think from what Ive read so far if you clean the scrubber before the algae turns dark you can avoid this ,but thats tropical again so Im guessing temperate might act a little differant.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by J-P on November 17th 2011, 8:11 am

algae scrubbers are cool but fairly high maintenance compared to mechanical filtration.

Kudos if you try this route but understandable if you don't.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 20th 2011, 7:54 pm

I think Skimmers take the prize for the highest maintenance.... and bad smells..

I dont think its that hard and takes about the same time as a skimmer to clean every 8-14 days maybe more and you dont have the worry of a pod etc blocking the drain tube on the skimmer cup and overflowing muck .ATM I clean my Skimmer cup weekly

I think its something you have to consider when making it. Placement ,ease of access,safety etc etc with it all sorted it should take less than 15 minutes to clean once a fortnight .

The benifits clearly out way the time spent cleaning it .
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by AquaticEngineer on November 21st 2011, 3:08 pm

The thing that is the most beneficial for me is that once my ATS is running strong I can run my auto feeder full time and not worry about everything getting stripped out of the water by the skimmer when I feed the tank.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 21st 2011, 7:48 pm

What lights have you decided to use Aquatic..Im looking at the LED grow lights that they have started using in Hydroponics with either a tri band spectrum or maybe just the best growth spectrum around the 50-90watts (45 watts a side) with some kind of cartridge set up for ease of change ,still working on the design ,but I know The electrical will be well protected from the water unlike some of the rough set ups Ive seen..
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by AquaticEngineer on November 22nd 2011, 4:03 pm

I'm going to start mine with just natural sunlight.

The area that my ATS is in backs up to a north facing window in my garage and the ATS is housed inside of the tanks filtration area/overflow. The back of the tank is dual paned glass so I won't have to worry about protecting the lights from the water, or the lights giving off additional heat.

I'll see how it grows with just natural sunlight on a normal daylight schedule and add additional light if needed. I have been meaning to build myself another high output single chip LED light. So I will probably use that to light the tank with. I currently have a single 50w LED setup lighting my main tank, it puts out the PAR equivelant of a 250w metal halide, but without the heat and using 200 watts less. I have everything in my garage to build a 30w version except the chip, so in time I will put that together and use it to light the ATS.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 22nd 2011, 9:10 pm

Natural lights worth a try with an led back up for dull days the one side only is a draw back but considering our Temperate HA grows fast in cool conditions this might not be a problem..Maybe try corrugating the plastic canvas so it has more surface area and you can add more sheets ,it holds its shape on the sheets I got ,the only draw back is you need to make a special tool to scrape it clean( and make sure you rough it up first Rolling Eyes unlike me ) .This is what Im trying on my design so it looks a bit like a car air filter cartridge with a frame ,I will post pic's when Im happy with the design atm it looks like a train wreck surrounded by my new sump bits that im changing too often .

I still want to run a slow feed skimmer, Im thinking of running it off the second overflow out of the CTC so it only get the surface water (1" drain pointing up ) the AS will be feed from the main feed..This way the skimmer shouldnt get to much food etc and only gets the skim.

I gather your starting to put yours toghether soon ,cant wait to see what you have come up with this time..Very Happy
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by AquaticEngineer on November 22nd 2011, 9:16 pm

Yeah I got my algae scrubber all put together and running the tank yesterday. I'll got snap some pics of it now while I'm thinking about it.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by AquaticEngineer on November 22nd 2011, 9:41 pm

Here is the lobster tank I am using as my "sump" for the 200 gallon main display tank. You can see the window behind the tank.



Here's a closer pic of the opening to the filtration area where the ATS is housed. You can see just the top of it in the pic.



Here's a top down pic looking at the back filtration area where the ATS is.





Pic of the ball valve to adjust the flow rate, and the union so I can pull the hole thing out.



Used a spare piece of PVC to brace the capped off end so that when it gets coverd in algae it doesn't put stress on the joints.

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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by AquaticEngineer on November 22nd 2011, 9:50 pm

Oh yeah, and I used a spare hole saw to rough up the 2 sheets of plastic canvas. I got almost a hand full of plastic off of them, and I only had to overlap the sheets by a 1/4 inch to get them to both fit. I guess I could have cut them, but I figured the overlap will be nice to seeding the sheet I clean off.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on November 23rd 2011, 6:29 pm

Nice. It will be interesting to see what color algae is produced and how quickly under natural light...
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by fullmonti on September 24th 2012, 8:41 am

So did anyone else build a scrubber? if so how did they work?
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by Hero on September 28th 2012, 3:38 am

I'm not certain! This is an old thread though so maybe someone did.

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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by AquaticEngineer on October 22nd 2012, 11:31 pm

My ATS is still running strong on my Lobster tank. I just toss a couple snails into the back to munch on the alagae occasionally or let one of the abalones loose on it to clean it out.
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Re: Algae scrubbers V's Skimmers

Post by snapperhead on August 20th 2013, 9:28 pm

How have you found yours AE ?
I have to say I have never had so much stability with any filter as I have using a scrubber. My tests come back near perfect everytime ,no spikes at all ,Im tempted to do less water changes just to see how stable it is..
IMO.. Every tank needs a scrubber and as I have to shut down my system to move I will be making a whole new sump and Coast to coast wier with a larger Scrub in mind.
Only draw back is the heat created by the lights being so close to a thin water film .
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