ATS & Cheato - or just the one

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by PeterL, 2 May 2010.

  1. PeterL

    PeterL

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    I have hit a road of confusion and need input for those in the know...
    I have just put my new DSB in place and it is on the road to becoming what it needs to over time, I have transferred my Chaeto over and got the reverse light doing it's thing.

    Now here is the thing, would one put an ATS on the system too or would you just have Chaeto? Or just have the ATS without Chaeto?? The suggestion of information I have thus far is that they do very similar things for a DSB so my understanding is that having both is almost a futile excersize...

    Both generate algae growth (Chaeto is algae after all) and both need to be harvested every so infrequently - are they the same thing or are the totally different things and having both is a good thing - or bad thing...I need someone to un-confuse me. I have the stuff to make the ATS but haven't because of the confusion right now.
     
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  3. sihaya

    sihaya

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    I would strongly prefer an ATS over Chaeto (assuming you can't have both)... IF you really know how to set one up and maintain it.
     
  4. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    @sihaya, IMO Chaeto is a very slow export method of nutrients. Often over estimated due to the low growth/harvest rate. However an ATS needs to produce the turf algae necessary for DOC extraction. Most attempts results, IMO are disappointing due to any green stuff produced. I personally use "toxic Caulerpa" :) in my personal tanks. No issues for many years.

    As you might have noticed i am not a DSB ATS pro reefer, possibly because i have never had long term success with these approaches due to crashes and nutrient sinks.

    Thoughts on the trend to move (by Europe and others) to nitrate reductors. Carbon dosing?
     
  5. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Agreed. Well, agreed for the most part... I do agree that an ATS needs the "right" algae to work optimally. However, I would expect that even growing cyano on a large enough sheet of mesh (and removing this regularly, maybe even every other day since that stuff grows so fast) would likely export more nutrients than Chaeto. I suppose what I'm saying is that, I imagine that an ATS operating even suboptimally would probably do more nutrient export (for the same space provided to Chaeto growth). An ATS is essentially just a large surface area on which algae can grow. No matter what algae you grow on it, if that algae is growing fast and you're removing it as fast as it's growing, then you're going to get a significant amount of nutrient export. Some algae will export more than others, but again, there's the growth rate factor too. Cyano is a great exporter of nutrients if you're constantly removing it.

    I think I can honestly say I'm one of the rare neutral reefers when it comes to these things. Every method has different requirements and some people are better suited to have one over the other. If BB works for you, then that's what you should do. I like DSBs because of the extra life and niches they provide and I like ATS because I know they work well (when used right). On the other hand, BBs certainly seems a lot easier in a lot of ways. You can get more waterflow for one thing... they're easier to clean, etc. So it just depends on the person. I say "to each his own."

    I'm sure a nitrate reducer could help so long as you don't over do it (I mean, you do want at least some nitrates, right? if you're a reefer you do!). What do you mean by carbon dosing? Are you referring to using activated carbon or is this something else? Please don't tell me people are dropping powdered charchoal in their tanks now... lol
     
  6. sihaya

    sihaya

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    I'm sorry... I thought you were referring to an actual chemical nitrate filter (that chemically removes nitrate). I see you're referring to nitrate reductors, as in the media reactors that contain those carbon balls? I don't see why those wouldn't work. I mean, they would at the very least do the same thing any canister filter with a carbon media.
     
  7. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    @sihaya i am referring to the vodka dosing in nitrate filters, Probiotics, Brightwells method etc.

    As well as the general carbon dosing to promote the redfield ratio for skimmer DOC extraction.
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Back to original question.

    Cheato or Scrubber or Both

    Well I run both. My overflow split into 2 pipes. One to the skimmer, other to the scrubber. Scrubber hangs above DSB. And I got cheato on top of DSB. Use same light for the scrubber and Cheato. Also Cheato prevents the water from scrubber to move the sand.

    Well if scrubber was 100% effective, then my Cheato should die. But it is not, it is still growing. And I got good algae growth on the screen. If it is the correct type, do not know, but even if not, it still extracts some nutrients.
     
  9. Sentari

    Sentari

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    I have the exact same case Riaan. I have ATS and Cheato growing in the bottom. It also grows very well.
     
  10. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Oh... duh! Well, I would start a separate thread on these for sure.
     
  11. sihaya

    sihaya

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    And you think enough light gets through the ATS to the Cheato? Huh... got pics? sounds cool
     
  12. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Think about is. I have a 100L Drum with 2 screens on either side. Then i have 2 balls of cheato on each side which get lights from the top.

    I'll try dig up some pics or i'll take some pics tonight.

    I think Riaan has the same setup as mine
     
  13. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hi Zombie

    I will make a new thread with a link regarding algae scrubber faq's, where it even compares ATS vs. macro algae, skimmers and the like... It gives you all the info you will need... Gimme 5 mins max... ;)
     
  14. sihaya

    sihaya

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    Ok, I see. I was picturing this differently. When I think ATS, I think of the ones at Inland Aquatics. Sometimes I forget there's a dozen different ways to shape/orient them.
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    Yes, I know the screen should be cleaned. But it is raining...
    The blue plastic board is to prevent algae growing inside the skimmer.
    Two elongated cheato balls. Well technically speaking. More like blocks.

    I want to change this, have two screens with globes in the middle. but then the cheato must be between the screens. But it will give better coverage on the screens and because I do not have any cabinet around my sump (it is my second display :)) I only need to put a block screen in front to keep the light enclosed and bugs away.
     
  16. PeterL

    PeterL Thread Starter

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    I originally posted this because I have just rebuilt my fiter which has 2 DSB's, I have Chaeto in the one compartmant and the other just sand bed with hermits and seeded both with a cup of "goodies" from my last setup so they are on their way to making loads bacterial type of who knows what all 1000's of things...

    I have the makings for an ATS and didn't know if I should go ahead and make the thing and have a combination of both or just have the DSB with chaeto or remove the Chaeto and have the ATS on it's own.

    I see the system works for some, having both I mean, I am not convinced with the information provided that I will be in a better position regardless which direction I go in...I need more info to substantiate why I would go with one or the other or both before an educated decision can be made - for now I am still flying in the dark
     
  17. Dane

    Dane

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    Hey zombie, cant offer experience on this one, but from what I've read an ATS completely outstrips cheato for nutrient export...

    > Riaan, you should try and turn those CFLs around. They are self ballasted (the white base) and the holes for ventilation are usually on the side where the tubes come out. If this is the case with yours then they wont last very long as downlights. Sideways or upwards will greatly increase lifespan. Awesome growth on your ATS!
     
  18. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    good comments!
     
  19. PeterL

    PeterL Thread Starter

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    I think I am going to go with the ATS together with Chaeto route, but I have a height constraint...so I have to make another plan with piping into another tank into the room behind where my tank is (dining room - wife is going to love me for it but what can you do???)

    I have a 2ft tank (600x300x300) which I could use, the thought right away was to drill an outlet near the bottom of it and mount the tank on a shelf and just pump to it from the DSB outlet chamber and allow it to overflow from the ATS direct to the DT.

    Any one got the tools to make a hole for me in 4mm glass??

    Or rather any better ideas from anyone, the space under the DT where my DSB is has limitations of 600mm wide x 300mm height - would a wide but short ATS work as well as a thin tall one?
     
  20. chikaboo

    chikaboo

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    Tall is not important bud as wide... You see as the water falls lower on the screen the effectivness gets less and less so no problem .... wider is better than taller!
     
  21. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I agree with Nemosjanitor, toxic caulerpa works much better than cheatn, i have both on top of my dsb and you can barely see growth in the cheato whereas the toxic one puts out new leaves almost daily. Ive also never had any bad experiences from using it.
     
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