Advice with algae scrubber...

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by CameL, 11 Jan 2009.

  1. CameL

    CameL

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    I have done quite a bit of reading about this "algae scrubber" or "mega phosphate and nitrate remover" but i am still very confused.
    I am currently running an algae scrubber on my tropical tank, but what i want to know is if the algae scrubber will work solely as your filtration system ?
    When i started reading about marine tanks, I came to the understanding that you need a sump with a dsb, skimmer and other "filtration" methods, but with the scrubber is all of that still neccessary ?

    I am still quite confused, so if someone could clear this up for me please.

    Thanks
    CameL
     
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  3. pkc

    pkc

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    algae scrubber

    you should have a dry section and a anaerobic environment to compliment an algae scrubber.
    it is very easy to make your own camel.
    after all these years i would never be without at least one on my system.

    there are some things to abide by to make them work so very well as to enably you to forget about doing water cahnges.
    a form of algae controls near on all of the oceans mechanizms (phytoplankton).

    Work it the way these creatures do it in a fashion and you will have a success most modern marine keepers can only dream of.

    If you off set two in the time that the lights are on then you can do without the dry section that will off set the Ph ruining co2 that an algae scrubber produces at night.

    good luck they work amazingly well.
    :thumbup:
     
  4. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Theoretically you could run just a scrubber, but i wouldn't suggest it, rather run a scrubber , skimmer and DSB.


    I have been running a scrubber for a couple of months and I don't think it is effective enough yet, to run this solely.
     
  5. CameL

    CameL Thread Starter

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    I saw SantaMonica's setup, all he runs is his DT, Sump with dsb (I think) and an algae scrubber and it seems to work, the algae scrubber on the tropical tank i have is working beautifully, but i am still so sceptical to take out the basic "filtration" (bioballs etc..) that the tank comes with...

    If you can understand what I am trying to say
     
  6. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    as mentioned in theory it could probably be done.. this is simular to what is done in the abalone industry where the algae in the scrubbers are harvested for food so are regulary pruned.. the water quality to grow abalone is nowhere near acceptable for our application... it would be interesting to see but i just love skimmers too much so would never remove mine after seeing how much dirt it removes.. elaborate more on your thoughts, seeing the complete design will definatley assist us i advising further..
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    the secret is to wash it in FW if its for marines
     
  8. CameL

    CameL Thread Starter

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    Well basically the idea is to run your display tank, and then have another small tank or bucket, with your algae scrubber running in, a pump in your DT feeding the scrubber and then the water draining from the scrubber tank into the DT.

    Could it work ?

    If it does work, could be quite a cheap alternative to marine reefkeeping :>
     
  9. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    please elaborate dallasg
     
  10. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    if your scrubber is on your marine tank, when you clean of the algae, end of rinsing in fresh water
     
  11. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    wouldent that completley wipe out the algal spores resident on the scrubber making it take longer for them to populate the mesh screen again quickly? curious?
     
  12. CameL

    CameL Thread Starter

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    So you rekon it could work or not ?
     
  13. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    les, santa monica swears by it, says it stops the bad algae...
     
  14. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    That would ENTIRELY depend on you, and on the bio-load of the tank.

    I recently had a large Euphyllia coral break up because of it's size, and had to find alternative accommodation for the 60-80 odd frags that I took from it, whilst arranging transport for some 20+ frags to MASA members in Gauteng and about the same number to Natal.

    I had an empty 200 liter Q-tank, so I just threw in the last bit of sea sand I had (covered the bottom by less than 20mm thick) and two pieces of LR from my sump, and filled it up with old tank water and moved the frags to this tank. I was pretty confident that there would be no cycle, as the rock was from an old, established setup, but I did not plan on keeping them in this tank for a long time.

    Unfortunately the mass frag-shipment to Natal fell through, and to complicate matters even more a fellow aquarist here in Bloemfontein experienced a tank crash and a lot of his corals (and fish) started to die, so we moved all the viable corals to this frag tank of mine as well...

    To make a long story short, the tank has now been up for approximately 2 months, and during this time it was totally overloaded with corals, (mostly SPS, but also some softies and two SPS frags) yet they have not only survived, the sick corals have recovered completely and they are actually growing... why? how?

    Well, I believe that this operation was/is successful because I DID NOT HAVE ANY FISH in the tank. The initial die-off of some pieces of coral from GG's tank caused quite a nutrient spike, which fuelled firstly brown diatoms, then cyano, and finally green hair algae. Instead of worrying about the algae, I was very thankful that they were growing, as they were removing excess nutrients from the water. In time the algae growth became less, and I eventually cleaned the front glass (and the few remaining tufts of GHA) when I did a partial water change this weekend.

    To summarise; No skimming, no deep sand bed, a very small amount of LR, plenty of algae initially = HEALTHY and growing corals...

    So, to get back to my initial point: IF you only keep one or two SMALL fish in a reasonably large tank, you will be able to get away with only using an algae scrubber. You will also achieve the same results if you only have a decent amount of live rock, or a deep live sand bed. If, like most of us, you OVERLOAD your tank, you will have to make use of ALL available "technologies" (i.e. heavy skimming, live rock, deep live sand bed, refugium, algae scrubber, ozone...) to keep your tank thriving.

    Hennie
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Awesome Post - once again - Hennie! Many thanks!
     
  16. CameL

    CameL Thread Starter

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    Yeah that was an amazing post, thanks for the advice, completely and utterly constructive.

    The thing is, it will be a 50 litre tank, so some liverock and an oversized algae scrubber for the volume of water...

    The scrubber i am using at the moment has been running for 2 weeks and is growing beautifully, on the tropical tank.
    That's why i am wondering if it will work for marine..

    Worth a shot i suppose, would be a nice experiment :)
     
  17. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    That's fine - just remember, less water volume = less forgiving environment = less bio-load to be safe...

    Hennie
     
  18. pkc

    pkc

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    algae scrubber

    I had a niebour in the early to mid eighties that paid some knowledgeable guys to build a similar to a solar heart hot water system that goes on the roof and uses the sun as an algae scrubber.

    he had a small pool pump running it!

    This was his only filtering,no skimmer,just a skinny dry section,but long,nothing else and the result in his wall sized tank(he was rich and a pig)was nothing short of amazing.

    the tank was around six foot high and the length of the room,how big it actualy was,i don't know,but it looked like the whole ocean was in there after a while,not delicate corals,just every thing else.

    what a display,i learnt a lot from the guys that were making it.

    i had only just had very good success at that time with my first home made trikle filter after useing only undergravel fitration for nearly 3 years.

    There are different ways and means of making these things,but my last one,combined,let me go without a water change for a year and a half.

    you put a well designed(I haven't seen a good one in a long long time,most miss the mark)algae environment and the sky is the limit with other functions.

    :thumbup:
     
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