Mega Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover - DIY!

Mega Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover - DIY!

Postby SantaMonica » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:46 pm

Mega Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover - DIY!

Are you tired of green on your rocks? Do you have to clean your glass more than once a week? Well then I'm sure you've been told (or you've figured out) that your Nitrate and/or Phosphate are too high. Sure enough, if these are too high, the green starts growing. Phosphate is the important one: If you can detect any phosphate at all with a hobby test kit (like Salifert), then it's high enough to cause algae to grow. So, what can you do?

Build an algae scrubber! An algae scrubber, also known as a turf algae filter, a turf scrubber, or an algae filter, basically filters your water clean of nitrate and phosphate so that the green on your rocks and glass goes away. It does this by "moving" the growth of the algae from the tank to a "screen" outside of the tank. The idea is that you create a better growing environment on the screen than occurs in the tank, so that the algae grows on the screen instead. It works great! Here is my display, December 2008:

Image
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/WholeTa ... 9-2008.jpg
Details: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Tank.htm

Here's what you can expect: If you build your algae scrubber properly, your nitrate and phosphate will be incredibly low, sometimes unmeasureable by hobby test kits, within eight weeks. I use Salifert test kits, and the readings I get are "clear" (zero) for both the Nitrate and the Phosphate tests. This is what you want. If you have been trying to get this yourself, then an algae scrubber is for you.

Here is the original DIY Algae Scrubber in a 5-gallon bucket that I started off with; it was the only filter I had (other than the live rock) on my 100 gallon reef:

Image




Here is the filter in operation with the lights on:

Image




I have since had an acrylic version made, using T5HO bulbs; it is the long black box setting here on the sump:

Image




Here are the only things you need to build a bucket version of this filter:

Image




My nitrate and phosphate are zero (clear, on Salifert test kits), and the only thing in my sump is water and the scrubber pump. I removed the skimmer, carbon, phosban, polyfilter(s), and filtersock; I don't use ozone, vodka, zeo, or anything else. I'm feeding massive amounts too; enough that if I had my previous filtering setup, I'd have to clean the glass twice a day, and everything in the tank would be covered in green or brown algae. Amazing. And it's not just my tank; over the last six months, hundreds of people have built their own versions of an algae scrubber. Every one has gotten reduced nitrate and phosphate readings, and many of them have completely wiped out all nuisance algae, right down to the bare rock, sand and glass.

The only thing you need to decide on is how big your scrubber screen needs to be, and if you want it to be in your tank's hood, or in a bucket, or in your sump. The basic rule is one square inch of screen for each gallon of tank water (if the screen it lit on both sides); the screen size should be twice this if the screen is lit up on just one side. A 12 X 12 inch screen, lit on both sides, = 144 square inches = 144 gal tank; a 7 X 7 inch screen lit both sides = 49 gal tank; a 6 X 6 lit both sides = 36 gal tank. Algae scrubbers get really small as you can see. A 12 gal nano tank needs just 3 X 4 inches! This small thing can replace the skimmer, refugium, phosphate removers, nitrate removers, carbon, filtersocks, and waterchanges, IF THE PURPOSE of these devices is to reduce nitrate, phosphate and nuisance algae. If these devices have any other purpose, then they can't be replaced. If your tank is bigger than a 75, then just start with a 5 gallon bucket size and see how it goes. You can always add a second one, or build a bigger one later.

My example bucket version takes about 4 hours to build. Water goes in the pvc pipe at the top, flows down over the screen, then drains out the bottom. That's it! Oh, and it has clip-on lights. I can feed the tank a lot of food, and anything not eaten by the corals or fish eventually ends up as algae on the screen (instead of algae on your glass or rocks.)

Here are some examples of DIY algae filter screens already built, from a simple nano one:

Image

Image

Image


to larger ones:


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image



Here are some advantages of an algae scrubber:


o Allows you to feed very high amounts without causing nuisance algae growth in the tank.

o Can replace waterchanges, IF THE PURPOSE of the waterchange is to reduce nitrate or
phosphate or nuisance algae. Otherwise, it does NOT replace the water change.

o Grows swarms of copepods.

o Increases pH.

o Increases oxygen.

o Will NOT spread algae into the tank. It removes algae FROM the tank.

o There is no odor from the algae (only a slight ocean smell when cleaning it).

o Is very quiet when flowing, similar to a tabletop decorative waterfall. Your pumps are louder.

o Introduces no microbubbles when built properly.

o Removes ammonia too.

o Works in saltwater, freshwater, and ponds too.



How to build it:

First, get your screen. Any stiff material that has holes in it, like knitting backing, plastic canvas, rug canvas, gutter guard, or tank-divider will do. Try going to hardware stores, craft stores, garden stores, sewing stores, or just get one of these online (in order of preference):

http://www.craftsetc.com/store/item.aspx?ItemId=43844
http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories ... 0divider/0

Don't use window screen though. The main problem with this kind of "soft" screen will be getting it to hold its shape; it will bend and fold too much. Stiff screen is easier to make stay put, and easier to clean.

If you have a nano with a filter hatch on TOP of the hood, then it's super easy: Just cut a piece of screen to replace the sponge filter, and put it where the sponge filter went. Leave the hatch open, and set a strong light on it, facing down directly on the screen. This is a good bulb to get; it will be bright enough to power the screen, and to light up your nano too:

http://www.buylighting.com/23-Watt-R40- ... 23-51k.htm

If your nano does not have a filter hatch on top of the hood, or if you have a regular tank, then here are the options for larger versions:

Image

Image

Image




The first and main thing to consider is the flow to the screen. You need about 35 gph (gallons per hour) for every inch of width of the screen. Thus, a 2" wide screen would need 70 gph, and so on. Here is a chart:

Screen Width-----Gallons Per Hour (GPH)

1" 35
2" 70
3" 105
4" 140
5" 175
6" 210
7" 245
8" 280
9" 315
10" 350
11" 385
12" 420
13" 455
14" 490
15" 525
16" 560
17" 595
18" 630
19" 665
20" 700


Note that for flow, it does not matter how tall your screen is, just how wide it is. Let's start with an overflow feed: In this case the amount of flow is pre-determined by how much is already overflowing; the maximum flow you'll get to the screen will be what's going through your overflow now. This is easy to figure out by counting how many seconds it takes your overflow to fill a one-gallon jug:

60 seconds = 60 gph
30 seconds = 120 gph
15 seconds = 240 gph
10 seconds = 360 gph
8 seconds = 450 gph
5 seconds = 720 gph


Take this gph number that you end up with, and divide by 35, to get the number of inches wide the screen should be. For example, if your overflow was 240 gph, then divide this by 35 to get 6.8 (or just say 7) inches. So your screen should be 7 inches wide. How tall should it be? Tall enough for it to stick into the water below (this will keep it quiet). But for flow, how tall it is not as important as how wide it is.

Pump feeds: Since with a pump you have control over the flow, start with the size screen you can fit into your space. If the screen will go into your sump, then measure how wide that screen will be. If the screen will go into a bucket, then measure how wide that screen will be. Take the width you get, and multiply by 35 to get the gph you need. For example if you can fit a 10 inch wide screen into your sump or bucket, then multiply 10 by 35 to get 350 gph. Thus your pump needs to deliver 350 gph to the screen.

You can construct your setup using any method you like. The only difficult part is the "waterfall pipe", which must have a slot cut lengthwise into it where the screen goes into it. Don't cut the slot too wide; just start with 1/8" (3mm), and you can increase it later if you need to, based on the flow you get. I used a Dremel moto-tool with a "cut off wheel":

Image


Now install the pipe onto the screen/bucket by tilting the pipe and starting at one side, then lowering the pipe over the rest. You may have to wiggle the screen in some places to get it to fit in:

Image


Lighting: This is the most important aspect of the whole thing. You must, must, have strong lighting. I'll list again the bulb I listed above:

http://www.buylighting.com/23-Watt-R40- ... 23-51k.htm

... This the MINIMUM wattage you should have on BOTH sides of your screen. You can get even higher power CFL bulbs, or use multiple bulbs per side, for screens larger than 12 X 12 inches, or for tanks with higher waste loads. The higher the power of the lighting on the screen, the more nitrate and phosphate will be pulled out of the tank, and the faster it will happen. You cannot have too much light. When some folks report back that their algae scrubber is not growing algae or working well, the problem is ALWAYS that they used weak lights, or the lights were more than 4" away. Every single time.


Operation:

Regardless of which version you build, the startup process is the same. First, clean the screen with running tap water (no soap) while scrubbing it with something abrasive. Then dry it off and sand it with sandpaper on both sides. Then get some algae (any type) from your system and rub it HARD into the screen on both sides, as deep and as hard as you can. Then run tap water over the screen to remove the loose algae pieces; you won't see the remaining spores that stick to the screen... they are too small, but they are there.

Put a timer on the light, for 18 hours ON, and 6 hours OFF. You will see absolutely nothing grow on the screen for the first two days. But on day 3 you'll start seeing some light brown growth, and by day 5 most of the screen should have a light brown coating. If this level of growth does not happen on your screen, your lighting is not strong enough (you used a weaker bulb), or it's not close enough to the screen (needs to be no more than 4" from the middle of the screen). Increase the bulb power, or move it closer.

When the screen looks something like this:

Image


...then you want to give it it's first cleaning, on ONE SIDE only. Take the screen to the sink, run tap water on it, and just push the algae off with your fingers (not fingernails):

Image

Wait a week, and clean the other side, gently. Wait another week and clean the first side again, etc. After a while you'll have to press harder to get the tougher algae off, and after a few months you'll probably need to scrape it with something, and it may eventually get so strong that you'll need a razor blade to scrape it off. But for now, be gentle; you always want some algae to remain on the screen when you are done. NEVER clean it off completely. Algae has to remain on the screen to do the filtering.

Don't forget to test your Nitrate and Phosphate before you start your filter, and each day after. I use Salifert:

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_AquariumP ... ifert.html

Post your pics of how you build it, the growth day by day, and your nitrate and phosphate readings, so we can all see how you are doing! There is a lot of info that I did not include here (in order to keep this short), and I've been asked every possible question there is. So if you have an unusual situation, or you think you have thought of something "new", then post it :)
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

great idea

Postby lance » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:16 pm

I really like this and plan to build one of my own thanks for the great DIY project
:D

Lance
lance
 
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:11 pm

Postby Miles » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:34 am

How much does your evaporation increase? Not that its a big deal... just curious. Looks interesting enough to try though.
User avatar
Miles
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:37 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Postby KathyL » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:48 am

very interesting posting. Thanks for the details. Anyone should be able to make one of these with all this information!
User avatar
KathyL
 
Posts: 3442
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:13 am
Location: Missouri, USA

Postby FB » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:40 pm

FB
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 3:24 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Postby SantaMonica » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:45 pm

If you build a non-enclosed one (like the diagrams), then evap will indeed go up. People like me want that, so we can drip more kalk in the top-off. I'm evap about 1.5 gal/day, up from .5 gal. However, if you don't want evap, just enclose it in acrylic or plastic (and seal up the electrical, because there will be condensation and salt creep.)

Yes the guy who built the big one lives down the street from me. :)
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby Miles » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:29 pm

Most of us here are looking for nutrient export from mass overfeedings of a few hundred to a few thousand fish. I already evap 1 gal a day on both of my 100 gallon systems, so an auto top of may be in order :) But if it will save me from buying a $1000 skimmer, its worth some build time and a few spare parts. I see you are pushing it all over the web on many boards. I'm curious on any downsides though... And can it handle the huge bioload of the hundreds of fish I (we) have. There was talk before on a thread here I need to find, but they were removed from operation for some reason I can't remember.
User avatar
Miles
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:37 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Postby SantaMonica » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:17 pm

A scrubber can certainly handle your load. Just a matter of sizing it.

Ironically, the skimmer (all skimmers) you've been using (or considering buying) does not remove any Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate at all, not even a little bit. None. And it's Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate that shows up on your test kits, and it's Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate that causes nuisance algae to grow.

What skimmers do remove, however, is food. Some call it Organics, but it's all food. Especially for baby fish, the tiny particles of food that are removed by skimmers are the exact food you want to keep in the water for the fish. Skimmers are great for mature FO non-breeding tanks, where tiny food particles are of no use. But for breeding, and certainly for reef tanks, you want to keep the food in the water.

If you can give some specs/pics/loads of the system you are working with, I can help with the scrubber design.
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby FB » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:00 am

However if all that food is not taken out it will turn into inorganic nitrates and inorganic phosphates as the bacteria break it down. So the skimmer is still an important part of the process IMO.

BTW I like the idea and see how it could/does work. After seeing the monster one built as posted above it got me thinking about it.

FB
FB
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 3:24 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Postby SantaMonica » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:43 am

However if all that food is not taken out it will turn into inorganic nitrates and inorganic phosphates as the bacteria break it down.


Yes but that's what a scrubber removes, Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate, as it occurs. Meanwhile a scrubber does not interfere with the food that has not broken down yet.

Skimmers, however, remove the food before it has a chance to do anything, including feed your livestock. It's like putting cow manure (fertilizer) on your garden, but then removing it before your plants can use it.

As for monster sized scrubbers, they are easily packaged into tiny units, using parallel screens.
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby Miles » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:31 pm

Skimmers, however, remove the food before it has a chance to do anything, including feed your livestock


Any food that makes it into the overflow, is trapped in a filter sock. It isnt going to make it back into the tank as food. Again, these tend to be fish only tanks, not coral tanks with micro foods. But still worth a shot.

If you can give some specs/pics/loads of the system you are working with, I can help with the scrubber design.


I'm expanding to a 300 gallon system that could house up to 1500 fish from 1/4 inch to 1.5 inches. These 20 longs will be replaced with 55s, 6 total.

Image
Last edited by Miles on Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Miles
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:37 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Postby SantaMonica » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:23 pm

I'd start by considering a design like this:

Image


Normally, for 300g you'd want 300 total square inches (with lights on both sides). "Normally" means that the screens are full at the end of one week. For a high load like yours, however, which might fill up in a few days, I'd go 600 inches. If you build the version above, using 5 screens of 120 sq in each, then 10" X 12" would be a good individual screen size and would fit right into a spare 20g tank.

Get several small T5 bulb fixtures:

http://www.marineandreef.com/Nova_Extre ... u01127.htm

Each fixture holds 2 bulbs. Replace the bulbs with these plant-grow bulbs:

http://www.specialty-lights.com/901591.html

For best results, I'd put a total of 6 bulbs on each side of the scrubber tank, and I'd put 4 more on the top, for a total of 16 bulbs. This is the high-power high-performance route. You can reduce the number of bulbs, but although it may "seem" as bright to your eyes, the performance will go down according to the number of bulbs you remove. The very very least I would use would be 4 bulbs on each side.

With five screens, you clean one each day, Mon-Fri. Easy :)
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby Miles » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:39 pm

400 watts :shock: My whole room runs on about 1500...
User avatar
Miles
 
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:37 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Postby SantaMonica » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:15 pm

Well you can start with 200 watts, and leave room for adding more.
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby SantaMonica » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:46 pm

Update Of The Day:

Waste is Food: Tank owners sometime get into the frame of mind of "food is food, and waste is waste". Thus they put food into the tank, and they remove waste from the tank (skimming, siphoning, waterchanges.) But actually, both food and waste are Organic, and thus are both "food" (food for something, somewhere). Corals and inverts may not directly eat the big krill that you feed your fish, but they do eat the waste from those fish. Further info:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-07/eb/index.php
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Re:

Postby FB » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:52 pm

SantaMonica wrote:Update Of The Day:

Waste is Food: Tank owners sometime get into the frame of mind of "food is food, and waste is waste". Thus they put food into the tank, and they remove waste from the tank (skimming, siphoning, waterchanges.) But actually, both food and waste are Organic, and thus are both "food" (food for something, somewhere). Corals and inverts may not directly eat the big krill that you feed your fish, but they do eat the waste from those fish. Further info:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-07/eb/index.php


For a reef I couldn't agree more. But for fish growout systems I don't believe this to be the case.
FB
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 3:24 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Postby SantaMonica » Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:50 pm

Correct, unless your baby fish can eat it.
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby "Umm, fish?" » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:54 pm

But for fish growout systems I don't believe this to be the case.


A trickle filter is just a home for creatures that eat fish waste.
Andy

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” --Mark Twain
User avatar
"Umm, fish?"
Read-Only
 
Posts: 3119
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Postby mpedersen » Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:17 pm

SantaMonica, love the post - great informative addition! BTW, did anyone say "WELCOME TO MOFIB"?!
mpedersen
Read-Only
 
Posts: 9215
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:53 am

Postby SantaMonica » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:03 pm

They just did :) Glad I found MB!

And I agree on the trickle. It's also the home of tons of trapped waste, and thus nitrate and phosphate. With reefs, best results are obtained by removing the trickle filter entirely, and letting algae do the filtering (ammonia is the favorite food of algae). But for high fish loads like breeders, it's understandable to want to keep the trickle operating.
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby SantaMonica » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:55 am

Successes of the Day:

todj2002 on the SWF site: "since installing scrubber, N and P are still both at zero. i cleaned it again today. not any big deal, but huge progress for me. finally beat the algae after two years of trying. using scrubber with chaeto and RO water now. finally getting somewhere."

Marine_Nick on the RP site: "Thought I'd update on my screen. When setting it up I was concerned about light pollution from the sump into the room, and noise from the falling water. as my tank is on an outside wall, I wanted to put the screen outside if possible. I already had an old 18 x 12 x 12 tank, so had it drilled and put a small wier in it, the water is pumped from the sump up and out through the wall to the screen, runs down the screen, through the weir, back through the wall and back into the sump. All of this is in a small shed I made which contains all the lighting etc, my screen is 18 inches tall by 12 inches wide and has a light on either side. Screen has been running now for 4 weeks, and my nitrates have dropped from 30 to 7 and phosphate from 0.25 to 0. In the last 4 weeks, nothing else has changed in my tank other than more fish being introduced, and therefore more food being added, and still the parameters have dropped!! Overall I'm really happy with results so far and hope to see the nitrates drop to zero in the next week or two. Big thanks to Santa Monica for this thread and all the info!"

jtrembley on the MD site: "I got frustrated with the skimmer (EuroReef, rated for 80) on my 40 gallon a while back. It was pulling out *lots* of crud, but I was having trouble with detritus building up, and rising P values. Since yanking the skimmer and DIYing (poorly) a rev. 2 scrubber [acrylic box style], phosphates and nuisance algae are down, and the backlog of detritus is slowly being consumed. I'm seeing lots more worms (particularly the small ones that build white, spiraling tubes) and 'pods (amphi- and cope- that is, but not octo-). Here's the funny thing: at the 3 year stage of my 40, I started getting lots of nuisance algae, despite having one of the hands-down best skimmers for small tanks, an MCE600, on it. Thinking that I was doing something wrong, I put an MC-80 on it. After another year, I started getting more and more detritus building up in the display, despite having a *lot* (over 2k GPH) of flow. And then I noticed something else: I no longer had many fan and bristle worms, amphipods, or copepods left in the sytem, either. So...I started swapping out my old LR for new, to replenish the critters. And I tried Fauna Marin and vodka dosing. But the critters weren't really spreading, and the nuisance algae was getting worse, and my P was rising despite water changes. So, I thought about it, poked around, and looked at Eric Borneman's study of *fresh* skimmate (i.e., not stuff that was left in the cup to rot). And I realized something: having a high quality skimmer on the tank was probably stripping the tank of big chunks of its potential cleanup crew. So I took off the skimmer, and put in a turf screen to cover the water's surface in what used to be the skimmer's chamber in my sump. Low and behold: I'm feeding more; I'm once again seeing fresh worm tracks in my sand bed; the copepods are back; the nuisance algae is dying off; P is undetectable by hobby kits; and the detritus is slowly clearing up. And I'm not doing as many water changes. I checked pH this morning, it was 8.2, before the lights are on. I'm honestly not seeing the down side. So yeah, removing the skimmer and putting in a $5 turf scrubber fixed my tank of "old tank syndrome". Just for giggles, I just tested my N (0.2 or 0.5 Salifert) and P (0.05 Hanna photometer). No visible HA, turfs, or cyano in the display, and I can (easily) feed 2X cubes of Hikari mysis, some dulse, and 2 scoops' worth of Reef Chili daily (again, in a 40). And I haven't done a water change in a month. I'm honestly not seeing a downside to scrubbers at this point."
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby SantaMonica » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:16 pm

.
Update: The Trick of Dark Brown Algae

This has now happened to many people who have new scrubbers. They get early growth, but it's not the green stuff that they see in most pics. Instead it's a dark brown super-thick "coating", or a black "tar", that looks like it was poured on:


Image

Image

Image



What you have here is the type of algae that grows when nutrients are extremely high (!). After a few cleanings, when the nutirents come down, the color will lighten up to some balance point where it will stay. The big problem, however, is that people think the screen is not growing, so they leave it in to "grow more" (by not cleaning it). BIG MISTAKE! This type of algae does not grow thick, at all. It never gets more than 1/4" (6mm) or so. And worse, since it's SO DARK, it block all light from reaching the bottom layers, thus causing those layers to die and release nitrate and phosphate back into the water. So the solution is to clean ANY and ALL dark brown/black algae right away, and don't even wait until the end of the week. Basically, if you cannot see your screen, then light is not reaching it and it needs to be cleaned. You'll only have to do this a few times before the nutrients come down and the algae color lightens up. Don't fall for the Dark Brown Algae Trick.
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby SantaMonica » Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:26 pm

Success of the Day:

"Mxett" on the MD site: "I installed a simple [scrubber] over my refugium. It uses an old plastic fruit juice container and a syphon [which makes a surge device] to dump 2 litres onto a white plastic chopping board which lays horizontally over the top of the refugium. A reflective CFL [bulb] is situated just 10cm above this board. The surge occurs every 30 seconds, lasting for 15 seconds. Growth on the [scrubber] has been excellent. Harvesting the algae is performed every 1 to 2 weeks per SM's instructions. [should be weekly :)] N & P have never been detectable in my system, BUT I have always struggled with a very persistant nuisance red algae! It threatened to overtake my entire tank in the months before installing this [scrubber], which is only a modest size for my 800 litre cube. Anyway, after 3 months of using the [scrubber] I can confidently say I have little to none of this red algae left! My purple tange eats it and always has, but with less nutrients available to it, it has just withered away, and he just finishes it off. Overall a great success over a difficult pest. Thanks SM for providing the inspiration and idea to create, install and use such a cheap, easy and effective natural filter."
User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby SantaMonica » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:42 am

User avatar
SantaMonica
Supporter
 
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:04 am
Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA
State/Region: California
Country: USA

Postby FB » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:32 pm

What kind of screen is it. Where do you buy it and what is it called.

Thanks
FB
 
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 3:24 pm
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada

Next

Return to Equipment



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron