RSS A.R.I.D. chaetomorpha macroalgae scrubbers from Pax-Bellum

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 25 Sep 2015.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    8 May 2007
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    The marine aquarium hobby is always on the lookout for ever simpler and more effective ways to reduce nutrients in our tanks. The A.R.I.D. devices from Pax-Bellum are a new way to apply intensive macroalgae scrubbing to nutrient reduction, making something old, new again.

    The concept of using algae scrubbers as a form of nutrient control, management and export is as old as the reef keeping hobby itself. Walter Addey patented the algae turf scrubber many decades ago, and broadly defined ‘refugium’ have been touted as an evolution of using algae as part of the aquarium filtration.

    But one thing is certain with reef aquarists, and that is that we prefer to use macroalgae for nutrient export over microalgae, and chaetomorpha is our algae of choice. The giant rotating ball of chaetomorpha is one way to create an intensive macroalgae scrubber, but for those of us with more limited space in and around the tank, the A.R.I.D. Chaeto filters might be a better choice.

    [See image gallery at] We spotted one of the first concept A.R.I.D. Chaetomorpha chambers in use at Pratt Institute several years ago, making note of this curiosity but never really thinking that it would become a commercial product. Fast forward a few years and dozens of reef tank installations including positive testimonials from a myriad of veteran reefers, and the A.R.I.D. is now a real device that you can buy from Pax Bellum.

    The A.R.I.D. acronym stands for Algae Remediation Illuminated Device, and the little chamber is specially engineered to grow the heck out of macroalgae for nutrient export from our aquariums. Functioning much like a typical media reactor, the ARID has barbs for incoming and outgoing water, with the only real difference being a central illumination column.

    [​IMG]Unlike typical top-down lighted macroalgae chambers, the central ‘light pole’ of the ARID saturates the Chaetomorpha from the inside, with a white walled chamber that reflects light back into and throughout the unit. The very bright and nutritious light levels within the A.R.I.D. is what contributes to its efficacy as a technical form of biological nutrient export.

    Many reefers have ditched the now-conventional carbon dosing techniques in favor of this intensive chaetomorpha contraption as the main tool for removing unwanted phosphates and nitrates from their reef aquaria. One particularly convincing example of ARID as a nutrient export device comes from the successful management of nutrients from a 2200 gallon reef aquarium system using a series of Pax-Bellum’s largest ARID filters.

    In addition to removing unwanted nutrients from the aquarium water, the the algae within the ARID filters will also suck down the carbon dioxide in the aquarium water. The pull-down of carbon dioxide has the effect of boosting pH levels and subsequent coral growth, and they are a perfect place to direct the CO2-ladden effluent from calcium rectors.

    Pax-Bellum’s website is currently down for maintenance, but we look forward to their return with full details of their various filters, sizing and pricing.

    [​IMG]Calcium Reactor effluent can be directed into the ARID filters for CO2 removal, boosting both pH and algae growth

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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    11 Aug 2008
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    this is interesting
    using a led strip as a central lightning pole. Wonder how the keep the sleeve clean? Or would the movement of cheato scrape it clean continuously. And If yes, how do they get the cheato to move up AND down.

    tekkengal likes this.
  4. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

    30 Mar 2010
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    Seems like you would need to clean it every two weeks:
    "Weekly or bi-weekly maintenance of the ARID reactor is as follows;

    Shut down the feed pump and light and disconnect the effluent connector located at the top of the unit. This allows the unit to drain down. Remove the lid and light assembly and empty the Chaetomorpha into a 5 gallon bucket, add to this enough tank water to submerge the algae. Rinse the algae in the bucket by plunging it up and down. This will dislodge the bacterial film growing on the algae surface. Discard the water from the bucket and remove up to a third of the algae and dispose of it. Stretch the remaining algae so that when it is placed back in the reactor it fills the tube as much as possible. tying and wrap the algae around the light tube works well. Tighten down the lid, reconnect the effluent line and turn the unit back on. We suggest a minimum of 8hours of darkness for the algae reactor. 24 hour lighting will stress the algae and not increase the growth rate."

    Would probably need to clean the inner tube when doing the maintenance.

    No idea on how it would tumble the algae though...
  5. Henkie


    16 Sep 2011
    Likes Received:
    Port Elizabeth
    The corraline algae that is going to grow inside the inner sleeve is a much bigger problem to be honest.

    Its is a cool idea, but its going to take me longer to open the thing up than what I take to clean my current scrubber.

    A bit impractical imho
  6. 459b

    459b Moderator

    12 Mar 2008
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    Cape Town
    Weekly cleaning!!! That sounds like way too much effort, having a ball of macro algae rolling around in the sump is a much better option
  7. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator

    7 Sep 2009
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    Kempton Park
    Can't I place my CAX before the cheato and get the same effect

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