Algae Scrubber

Warr7207

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Hi Sihaya

Please can you give me your thoughts on algae scrubbers.

There some really controversial ideas, of running a reef tank with no other filtration other than a scrubber.

Also I would love to know how corals would react to huge amounts of algae "spores" in the water column ?
 

sihaya

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Well, actually... it's not a new idea, nor controversial. It was actually developed (and patented) here in the US almost a decade ago. One of the people who helped develope it is Morgan Lidster of Inland Aquatics in Indiana. It truly is a remarkable (and IMO- just about ideal) for of filtration. Morgan has some huge systems filtered almost entirely with algal turf scrubbers (as we call them). However, it's not as simple and just using any old algae in any old refugium. Part of the "genius" of the original ATS is the way the water runs in waves over a select type of algaes (for maximum nutrient export).

I'm sorry to link to another forum (hope y'all will forgive me), but it's the best discussion (with pics) I could find right now...
ATS - Algae Turf Scrubber - 3reef Forums

There's about about them here too:
ATS Algae Filters
 

sihaya

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Oh, as for algae spores... they don't make any difference. In a system with a properly set up ATF, you'll see little to no algae in the display. It all grows in the ATS. That's the way it's meant to work when it's set up properly. And I've seen them in action... they're fabulous.
 

Warr7207

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Why would someone patent an idea, and then never have any product available on the market ?
 

Warr7207

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Will any system create Turf algae ?

Are the spores they waiting to grow ?
 

sihaya

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Why would someone patent an idea, and then never have any product available on the market ?
Oh my god... you don't even know what a sad, pathetic story this is. Long story short... dude got too greedy... and was an idiot. But we're all hoping that maybe he's gotten a bit of a clue lately and might stop sitting on this thing. I swear, the man was brilliant enough to design this thing... but then when it came to the business end of things... well... it was just a mess. But hopefully this will change soon... we're all crossing our fingers.
 

sihaya

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Will any system create Turf algae ?
Yes... it will. However, turf algae growing randomly in a tank or sump won't do the trick. You need a mechanism/place for it to grow rapidly and ideally... and where it can be easily removed.

Are the spores they waiting to grow ?
These are everywhere... the turf algae is everywhere. Again, it's just a matter of providing an environment for it to grow strong and fast and where it can be removed easily and regularly.
 

Warr7207

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How would identify turf algae over the weird green and brown stuff I have growing on my scrubber ?
 

sihaya

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Another good question... and you're right. There's no such guarantee that you'll grow the "right" or ideal types of turf algae rather than some other types. And this is yet another reason you really need to buy one from someone who knows what they're doing (i.e. who has cultured the right mix already). I know Morgan sells "starter" cultures of the right mix of turf algaes... this is one way to go about starting your own.
 

sihaya

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Honestly... I do feel confident saying that ATS are the absolute best filtration for any reef aquarium. I've just seen what they can do... I only wish I had one myself.
 

Poseidon

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What about the greenish/yellowish tint that is sometimes present in the water column of tanks with ATS? Is that a symptom of a poorly maintained filter only?
 

sihaya

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Yeah, I think it's either a symptom of a poorly maintained filter or maybe a sign that the ATS filter isn't big enough (or isn't enough by itself-- i.e. that you might need a protein skimmer too or some activated carbon, etc.)
 

Broder

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Hi Sara.
I've had great success using an algal scrubber along with a DSB and a skimmer. Two weeks ago I switched off the skimmer. The PO4 and NO3 have both stayed at 0 thus far. The critics of the system have warned me of an eventual crash as the skimmer removes bacterea which are now obviously not being removed. What are your thoughts on this.
Thanks
Broder
 

sihaya

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Hi Sara.
I've had great success using an algal scrubber along with a DSB and a skimmer. Two weeks ago I switched off the skimmer. The PO4 and NO3 have both stayed at 0 thus far.
Congrats!

The critics of the system have warned me of an eventual crash as the skimmer removes bacterea which are now obviously not being removed. What are your thoughts on this.
Thanks
Broder
I don't think skimmers remove a significant amount of bacteria. However, they do remove a lot of "gunk" (for lack of a better word), that you don't want. Instead of leaving your skimmer off entirely, I'd suggest running it once a week or so (just to be on the safe side).
 

dallasg

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and run it when a new edition has been added
 
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Jamer,maar ek lees orals dat jy n skimmer moet kry maar dan se baie mense al wat jy kort is n alge skrober,nou is ek verlore
 

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