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  L# Mega Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover - DIY!
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SubscribeMega Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover - DIY!
worley
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Lol, I can't believe you built the flat one!
Very neat, great job
Post InfoPosted 25-Sep-2008 20:28Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Yep, actually been built for a few weeks, but took some time to do the writeup.

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Post InfoPosted 26-Sep-2008 02:02Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Results of the day:

jski711 on the RF site says: "Well i ditched my euro reef skimmer and have not noticed any side effects from doing so. i'm still doing water changes on a regular basis but i have increased feedings tremendously and have no adverse side effects from doing so."

keithqueef on RC says: "Update. Well i received my screen from inland (12x12) last friday. and since putting it into my system my trates have gone from red to orange to now dark yellow not quite orange, i lost my color card so i dunno numbers. the screen is dense with it."

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Post InfoPosted 26-Sep-2008 02:02Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Ok here is a four-part video I made of the last scraping of the screen of my original bucket before I give it to the LFS to replace the tank-divider screen he's been testing. This video is low-light (with a 5 year old 2-meg camera), so you can't see the algae on the screen, but the purpose is to see the technique of screen cleaning/scraping:

Hi-res:

Part 1: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Scraping1.mpg
Part 2: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Scraping2.mpg
Part 2: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Scraping3.mpg
Part 3: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Scraping4.mpg

YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypgNfJV6gBo#
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9vlUorbooo#
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo4mBWWuuQ#
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2msQ4Nw0pYc#


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Post InfoPosted 26-Sep-2008 20:24Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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EditedEdited by santamonica
The Power Of Light, another example:

Reader "varga" on the RS site just did a cleaning and sent in these pics; here is before the cleaning... it looks like the screen has an even coverage all across it:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserVargaSeaMonsterOnRS&RF-3.jpg

But here is after:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserVargaSeaMonsterOnRS&RF-4.jpg

Notice that the center area has a tougher, stiffer algae that holds on stronger because it is made up of less water and more fibers (i.e., more N and P, less H20). Now why do you think that the stronger algae formed in the middle of the screen? Here's why:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserVargaSeaMonsterOnRS&RF-5.jpg

Yes, because of the lights. The screen may look evenly covered in light when you look at it, but your eyes can't tell the high power areas from the low power areas. Also, when you double the distance of the light, you would think the power of the light would be reduced to one-half; but it's actually reduced to ONE FOURTH of what it was. So when optimizing your design, you want the lights as close to the screen as possilbe, all the way across the screen.

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Post InfoPosted 27-Sep-2008 18:10Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Oh I see the above links did not work well with the "&" character. To see the pics just copy and paste the whole link but take out the semicolon ";" that the system added.

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Post InfoPosted 28-Sep-2008 18:16Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Many folks asked for pics of the jski711 no-skimmer tank whose test results I already posted, so here they are along with an update he posted:

"Well first i'll start by giving you a little background of my tank. its been up for 2 years now and am running t5 lighting. in the past i have had algae issues and phosphates tested above .1 from overfeeding. (i'm trying to fatten up my clowns and hopefully get them spawning). i've also got a 15g tank plumbed into my system that has a pair of mandarins in it which i am also trying to get spawning. i had a sick mandarin and dosed my tank with Maracyn to try and save him. after dosing this for a week i was unable to turn my skimmer on because it would just overflow from the medicine. after doing numerous water changes and about a month later i still was unable to turn it back on, thats when i saw [the scrubber] thread. I also had to turn off my calcium reactor because the co2 was dropping my ph too low; the bubbles from the skimmer were really helping me keep my ph up but with my skimmer not running, it had to be turned off. thats when i decided to give [the scrubber] a try. i purchased a pre grown screen from inland and off i went. since adding the "scrubber" i have noticed a major increase in ph which allowed me to turn my calcium reactor back on and get things stable again. the reactor has only been back on for about 2 weeks now and im "re dialing" it in. my ph fluctuates between 7.8 at night and 8.0 during the day. I have over 30 different types of sps in my tank, just did a quick count, and i have noticed no ill side effects at all. i have also been overfeeding a ton, especially to my mandarins! i have also noticed that the green film of algae i would get on the glass every few days has gone. I don't even remember the last time i scraped it, although in the pics you will see it needs to be done soon cause i have a ton of coraline algae on it. So IMO this "scrubber" has done wonders for me. I have been skimmerless for over 3 months now and still do my normal water changes, sometimes i do go 2 weeks but normally every weekend i do one. the turf that was on the screen from inland is still there but it doesnt seem to be spreading but not receding either. below are some pictures from today, they were just quick shots so sorry if they are blurry but you will see the colors i've got are great and like i said earlier i have had NO ill side effects at all."








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Post InfoPosted 28-Sep-2008 18:16Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Growth Sequence of New Acrylic Screen

The new acrylic scrubber is up and kicking. These pics were taken while the original bucket was still operating, so the growth is slower than it would have been otherwise. I'm running 3000K on one side, and 6500K on the other, as a test. It probably won't make much difference until the holes in the screen are sealed off, but here are the daily pics. The T5 light on the front has been removed so you can see the screen:


Day 1


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay01.jpg


Day 2


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay02.jpg


Day 3


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay03.jpg


Day 4


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay04.jpg


Day 5


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay05.jpg


Day 6


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay06.jpg


Day 7


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay07.jpg


Day 8


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay08.jpg


Day 9


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay09.jpg


Day 10


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay10.jpg


Day 11 (a huge growth increase):


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11.jpg


Notice that it takes several days before you can see any growth at all. And yes, I did seed the screen. Going back one day to Day 10, here are some closeups:


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup1Day10.jpg



Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup2Day10.jpg



Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup3Day10.jpg



Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup4Day10.jpg



Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup5Day10.jpg


And here is a closeup from Day 11:


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11closeup.jpg


And what it looks like out of the stand. Note the algae coming out of drain; it was almost 2 feet long before I pulled it out for this pic:


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11heldup.jpg


Here's the growth on the 3000K side:


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11out3000K.jpg


And the 6500K side:


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11out6500K.jpg


Instead of following the rule of cleaning only one side at a time, I had to do both in order to measure the algae of the 3000K side versus the 6500K side. Here is what was pulled off, like pulling a rope:




Here are the algae amounts removed, after a cleaning:




And here's the screen after cleaning; this is why you don't clean both sides, becuase it leaves left nothing on the screen for filtering:




A few notes:

o The screen is only 1.5 inches from the acrylic wall, and thus some water does get on the wall. But this unit is currently not setup for airflow with a fan, and it has a lid, so the water never gets a chance to evaporate. As a result very little saltcreep forms. I think I wiped it twice during the 11 days; however it did not do anything, just redistributed the droplets. On day 11 there was a small amount of creep; when I pulled the screen out I just reached in an splashed some water on it and it came off.

o There was a great increase in algae between day 10 and 11. I've seen this many times: once the hair algae gets to a certain point, the next day it covers everything.

o When the screen get covered, algae start flowing down the scrubber and out the drain. Not a little, but a lot. It easily reached the botton of the sump 18" below. I just grabbed it and pulled it off. This might be a way to feed tangs, if the unit were placed on the hood of the tank.

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Post InfoPosted 29-Sep-2008 04:01Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
worley
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That's looking good, I've got most of the parts I need for mine, got an "Aspen" peristaltic pump, usually used for pumping collected water from air-con units. I had to alter it slightly to pump 24x7 as it has temperature probes to sense when the air con is running.
I've tested it with about 30ft of 6mm RO hose, pulling it up about 10ft higher than the tank and it easily lifted the water with the pump being upstairs (so it sucked the water 10ft up and 20ft across through the pipe). Unfortunately the pump isn't as quite as I had been led to believe, so that's why it's not near the tank, and in the loft instead
Anyhow, back to drilling holes in the ceiling/walls for the pipes.
Post InfoPosted 29-Sep-2008 21:55Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
DarkRealm Overlord
 
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Nice DIY thread....looks very effective and beneficial indeed!

Might have to give this a try on my new little project

*I went ahead and put this as a sticky since so many people have problems with algae and this is a simple and effective way to combat it and improve water quality at the same time *
Post InfoPosted 30-Sep-2008 06:18Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
worley
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Hey Nate, not heard from you in ages! How's things? (Get on MSN again!)
Well I'm now one step closer to getting my Algae Scrubber up and running, I've got two 6mm RO unit pipes going through my living room wall, through the bathroom, through the wall into the stairs, up the stairs, through another wall into the loft, then connecting into the peristaltic pump.
It copes easily with lifting the water around 8ft up and 20ft across, and I've just literally got the water coming out of the tank, up into the loft, through the pump and back into the tank lol
Next step is to drill the holes in a spare tank I've got that will become the new "sump", and of course, put together all the parts I've got for the scrubber.
I'm having a bit of a hard time finding something suitable to be the actual screen. I've got some clear polystyrene plastic (no not the white expanded stuff, the condensed plastic one ), I was thinking of cutting that down to size and drilling loads of holes in it, but it may just take too long.
Post InfoPosted 30-Sep-2008 12:15Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Hey nice to be a sticky

Plastic Sheet: This is not the best stuff. Here's some options:

Just get any stiff material that has holes in it, like knitting backing, gutter guard, or tank-divider. Try going to hardware stores, craft stores, garden stores, sewing stores, or just get one of these online:

This "plastic canvas" one might be easier to get into the slot after cleaning, and the edges will not wear; it also will hold it's shape so that a solid frame is not needed:
http://www.everythingplasticcanvas.com/pc-20049-260-plastic-canvas-7-mesh-12-x-18.aspx

This "rug canvas" is made from fiber so that algae sticks to it the best; but it does not hold its shape when wet, so it will need a solid frame. Also, the edges will wear, so the frame will have to hold the edges down:
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2099&PRODID=prd12195

This "tank divider" is mentioned here because you can get them in any LFS, and because they come with clip-on edges that are great frames for any screen. However the screen material itself is very thin and smooth (needs sanding) with not many holes, thus during cleaning it's hard to get algae to stay on the screen:
http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategories/2/Tank-Dividers/tank%20divider/0

Overall the rug canvas is the best but takes the most work; the tank divider is the easiest but works least well. I think the plastic canvas is best for most people. Many people ask about using the fiberglass screen from their windows (never use metal!). The main problem of this kind of "soft" screen will be getting it into the slot in the waterfall pipe; it will bend and fold too much. One way around this is to loop it around the waterfall pipe and attach it to itself, instead of slipping it into a slot. In this case you don't need a slot; a series of holes will work. This screen door method is only a last resort though, and will not work that well.

888-CORAL-REEF
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Post InfoPosted 30-Sep-2008 19:56Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Reminder Of The Day: Flow...

The basic rule of thumb for flow for a standard pipe slot is 35 gph (US gallons per hour) (140 liters per hour) per inch (2.2 cm) of screen width. Thus a screen 2" wide would need 70 gph. This should cover the entire screen with a swift flow on both sides, and leave you with a little room for adjustment. The more flow, the better, but this amount has proven to work well. How tall the screen is does not change the gph, however; only the width does. Here is the chart:

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

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

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Post InfoPosted 30-Sep-2008 19:57Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
Alex
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is that flow rate if you intend on using both sides of the scrubber, so if you were only going to use one side you could half that amount?


''All the clown fish and yellow tangs in the world cant save you now!''
Post InfoPosted 01-Oct-2008 04:52Profile MSN PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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I don't think you can make the flow go on just one side of a screen. So yes it is for both sides.

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Post InfoPosted 01-Oct-2008 19:11Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
worley
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Hey Santamonica,
I've managed to get some plastic canvas mesh from a local material shop, roughly 2ft X 1ft, so perfect for the scrubber.
I also cut the pipe to size, and had some problems with cutting the hole with the dremel for the mesh to go in. It looks like I used a cutting wheel that was too thin and it kept melting the plastic back together after cutting through it and re-sealing it! I've used a slightly thicker cutting wheel and it's given me a pretty clean cut after I put some sandpaper through the slit and smoothed it off. It gives a nearly perfect even flow over the mesh with a 1200lph (315gph IIRC) pump. I just need to make a mount to hold it up and mount the lights either side, then cut the hole in the tank to make an overflow for the 6mm (1/4" pipe.
By the way, do you know if temperature makes a significant difference to the algae growth, as only 6 lph will be flowing through the tank being pumped with the peristaltic pump, and I wasn't planning on putting a heater in the tank, which will be in our loft room, which tends to be cooler than the rest of the house in winter (e.g. 15-18C), will that affect the growth? Obviously, the water that overflows back through the pipe down into the tank will be warmed up again with the two 300W ceramic heaters that are in the main tank.
Post InfoPosted 02-Oct-2008 15:34Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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I'm not experienced in what temps might do what. Probably a good question for a planted tank person. But I can't see it doing too much; surely the lighting is far more important. Glad you got that slot made... that must be 80% of the whole project.

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Post InfoPosted 02-Oct-2008 22:12Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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"Sly" on the SWF site is getting great growth in just 6 days from his trashcan-scrubber with built-in surge device:




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And what is this.... dinner?




...Nope, it a week of growth from just one side (the 6500K side) of my acrylic unit.
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Post InfoPosted 02-Oct-2008 22:12Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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.
Well this one takes the cake. Not only is it the biggest, but it's also the first one to use halides for lighting. "Reefski" on the MD site has a 700g tank and 800g sump, and had the entire garage to use for fish stuff, so he spared nothing in building his scrubber:













By the way, if this weren't enough, his entire back yard is a koi pond
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Post InfoPosted 04-Oct-2008 02:29Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Well I'm trying to get caught up with the posts; gonna have to combine a few here to get them out without postponing anymore. Seems to be a lot of interest in scrubbers that are unique, like the giant one, and the solar one. Well today is another unique one, but first here are some results feedback:


"Pong" on the RF site said "i had a lot of green hair algae growing on my screen. noticed that the red algae in my DT has lessened dramatically."

"Johnt" on the UR site said "I've always used phosphate remover. I've tried most makes but always ended back using Rowa. since running the scrubber I've stopped the phosphate reactor and despite the scrubber not yet being at the Turf Algae stage the phosphate readings are dropping."

And "thauro77" on the SWF site said "Here are my test results, the dates are the water changes dates as well:

08/28
Calcium 660mg/l (when I first used the filter)
Carbonate 196.9 ppm/kh
Phosphate 0.5
Nitrates 20ppm

09/04
Calcium 500
Carbonate 214.8
Phosphate 0.5
Nitrates 10ppm

09/09
Calcium 440
carbonate 143.2
phosphate 0.5
nitrates 10ppm

09/23
calcium 440
carbonate 214.8
phosphate 0.25
nitrate 5.0ppm



And now for the first screen on any thread to use LEDs! "Snailrider" on the AC site built it:















He knows that the part of the screen underwater will not contribute, so he made sure the part above the water had enough size to handle things. We'll see how LED's work!
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Post InfoPosted 05-Oct-2008 04:55Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
DeletedPosted 06-Oct-2008 02:53
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santamonica
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Reminder Of The Day:

Lighting Duration: Set up your scrubber lighting on a timer for 18 hours ON, and six hours OFF. The scrubber itself won't care when those hours are, but if you want, you can have them on when your display lights are off, so as to help balance pH in the system.

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Post InfoPosted 06-Oct-2008 02:54Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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.
Here is a note to skimmer manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of acrylics/plastics, lighting, and pumps. One way to benefit from scrubbers is to start building them, so as to make life easier for aquarists. There is no patent, and I have no interest in building them, although designing them is fun. Promoting them is fun too. But manufacturing is not my thing, so hopefully some folks will start making at least a simple version (like the Santa Monica 120) available. Look at it like this: Manufacturers of skimmers currently make an expensive product that has pumps and acrylic/plastic parts. Manufacturers of lighting currently make an expensive product that has bulbs, ballasts, and frames. Neither of these products has all these parts in one unit.

Scrubbers, however, do. Instead of viewing scrubbers as a make-at-home rig that stops people from buying skimmers, manufacturers should instead view scrubbers as a piece of aquarium equipment they can manufacture which includes acrylic, plastic, lights, pumps, timers, fans and complex parts, all woven together. Imagine the designs that could be achieved which would allow the most water flow, the most air, the most light, all in the least space possible, and for the best price. It's a designer's dream. Sure, many folks will continue making their own scrubbers, but at some point these folks will upgrade their tanks and will not want to hassle with building larger versions. So, here are some things I thought of that manufacturers could offer:


o A simple low-cost design; just an acrylic box, preferably with a mirror inside finish. The customer would add all other parts. This is what I built.

o Complex designs that would be needed to fit into the many different places that aquarists have: Above a crowded sump, behind the tank, vertically next to tank, next to a tank in a stand-alone furniture finish, or on the wall as a decorative item.

o Skimmers designed to work with scrubbers, by having one connect/feed the other.

o Scrubber lights with built-in timers, for nanos.

o Ultra small scrubber boxes for nanos, possibly with self-contained LED lights, the size of a cell phone.

o Nano hoods with scrubbers built into them.

o Sumps with built in scrubbers, instead of built-in wet/dry's.

o Display lighting-fixtures with scrubbers connected to the back of them, such that the scrubber uses the same light.

o Tank options, such as scrubber-on-backside.

o Auto-cleaners that clean/scrub/scrape the screen automatically.

o Hand/electric tools specialized to clean the screen.

o RODI sprayers that give the screen a FW spray periodically (to kill pods), possibly doubling as a top off.

o Non-destructive pumps to get pods from the sump to the display.

o Self-priming pumps built in to scrubber, for placement on top of displays with no sump.

o Quick-disconnect waterfall pipes.

o Double and triple thick screens, which allow algae to stick better during cleanings.

o Multiple screens, with large areas for large tanks.

o Ultra thin LED powered flexible screens, which could weave around obstacles.

o Fan on a temp controller, to keep water temp preset.

o Uniquely shaped T5 panels, such as 12 X 12, to perfectly fit a screen.

o Safety switches that cut off the lights and/or flow during certain conditions.



A great first model could be targeted to smaller tanks (SW and FW) that may not have sumps, and thus would include a self-priming pump inside the scrubber. It would sit on or near the display and would pull water up to it. It would drain right back to the display, and would give the customer the option of letting the algae grow out the drain (and into the tank to feed the fish), or removing the algae as it comes out of the drain, before it gets to the display.
.
.


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Post InfoPosted 07-Oct-2008 03:03Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Results of the Day:


"darkblue" on the RP site says, "Been running a 4"x10" OHF [over head filter scrubber] version on my 15g for almost 2 months already. My Nitrate reading started dropping after around 3 weeks. I've had 0 Nitrates for a month now. I'm using Seachem for my tests. The screen is just partially covered with what I think are patches of brown turf."

And "jfdelacruz", also on the RP site, says "I recently implemented this on my tank. I [originally] had an overhead filter to try and filter out a lot of detritus, and changed out filter foams every week. nitrates and phosphates were high and I had brown algae (kinda like cyano) on my sandbed already too thick to fight. I did the 2 days lights out and it took out the brown film algae. I bought a 10watt fluorescent light from carti and then cut a right fit cross-stitch cloth as my screen and layed it flat on my OHF and took out the foam. lights are on 24/7 [temporarily]. I'm on my 5th day and algae is basically non existent in the tank, while the whole cloth is covered in the same brown film algae that covered my sandbed and is starting to grow the green algae. 10,000K ung fluorescent and after day 2 it already had algae on it. on day 3 the whole cloth was lightly covered. im still waiting for day 10. also Im going on a 2nd week no water change just to try it out and so far everything's doing good. coral's are happy and clam is happy. inverts and clownfish is also happy and eating lots of cyclopeeze everyday!


Also, I'm putting together a little series on how nutrients work in our aquariums. It will hopefully help folks better understand what affects what, and how we can make things work their best. Here's the first one below. I use Salifert for my testing, so I'll just refer to them:
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Post InfoPosted 08-Oct-2008 20:26Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Builds Of The Day:

This one is from "Sandztorm" on the RP site; it is a version of the nano that I listed on page 1, where a simple screen replaces the foam filter in the hood, and a light is added on top:






This one from "Coopattack" on the FG site wraps the PVC around the bottom of the screen to hold it in place:









Here is a trough version by "framerguy" on the CR site (the lights have since been lowered closer to the trough):












This one from "Labman" on the MD site wanted a taller one in a more narrow size, so he attached two plastic canvas screens together:






"Johntanjm" from the MD site placed screens on both sides of the bulb, instead of a bulb on both sides of the screen:






"Mrobo77031" on the UR site just attached the pipe and lights to the stand, and put some reflective material around it:






And "Mudshark" on the MASA site just drilled the pvc with holes, and wrapped a screen around it:


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Post InfoPosted 09-Oct-2008 19:29Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Well here is my 7-day cleaning from yesterday. First, here's the screen before cleaning, looking at the the edge:










Here's the screen after cleaning:







And here's what was removed:







So it was a half-pound of wet green hair, about the same as last week. Once thing about cleaning green hair compared to real turf (my other screen that's now at the LFS) is that it slides off so easy, it's hard to leave any on the screen. I tried to only clean one side, but some of the other side detached too. You can almost just run tap water over it, and the loose stuff comes off. Maybe a better design is two half-screens, so you can just pull one out and clean it completely, while not touching the other one.


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Post InfoPosted 10-Oct-2008 22:14Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
mattyboombatty
 
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Some interesting ideas there. I'll admit to thinking about adding one of these to my upcoming frag system. Should be rather easy to implement with my setup.



Critical Fertilator: The Micromanager of Macronutrients
Post InfoPosted 11-Oct-2008 05:36Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Reminder Of The Day:

Why Larger Is Not Better: A larger screen, by itself (without larger lights), is not better than a smaller screen. This means that if you want more nitrate and phosphate removal from your water, the best way to do it is by getting stronger lights, or by moving the lights closer to the screen. If all you do is get a larger screen, the new larger edges of the screen will be too far from the light to have any effect. Of course, the most effective way to increase nitrate and phosphate removal is to do all three: Increase screen size; add more lights to cover the new screen parts; and position all the lights closer to the screen.

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Post InfoPosted 12-Oct-2008 06:03Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Text Version:

Food --> fish,corals --> Organic Nitrate, Organic Phosphate.

Organic Nitrate, Organic Phosphate --> Bacteria --> Inorganic Nitrate, Inorganic Phosphate.

Inorganic Nitrate, Inorganic Phosphate --> Algae --> Oxygen

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Post InfoPosted 13-Oct-2008 07:41Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Reminder Of The Day:

Feeding: Here are the two building block articles by Eric Borneman that cover what happens when you feed your tank. This information is what you need to know to understand what scrubbers do:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-01/eb/index.php
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-03/eb/index.php

Here is an excerpt from the second one:

"Detritus [waste] ... is the principal food source for the many bacterial species that work in various nitrification and denitrification activities. Before reaching the microbial community, however, [waste] acts as a food source for the smaller consumers such as amphipods, copepods, errant polychaetes, protozoans, flagellates, ciliates and other animals whose activities contribute to the stability and productivity of a coral reef and a coral reef aquarium."

and

"Of the many food sources available to corals and already discussed in this series of articles, particulate organic material [waste], dissolved organic material [DOC/DOM], and bacteria are the most universally accepted food sources"

and

"The use of detrital material, or particulate organic material, as food source is a cornerstone of coral reef ecology and forms what is well accepted to be the base of the entire food chain"
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Post InfoPosted 14-Oct-2008 05:32Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Here's one reason I really like using scrubber without a skimmer. My purple gorg and red feather star stay open and extended all day and night, even though they naturally do so only during the night. But since there is no skimmer removing organics (food), and since the scrubber adds pods to the water all day, not only do they eat well, but they do so 24/7. Note: You cannot keep filter feeders likes these if you have a skimmer...



Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/My90starAndGorg.jpg
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Post InfoPosted 15-Oct-2008 04:24Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Stages of an aquarist's happiness with a scrubber:

1. The day you see the first very light-brown color on the screen.
2. The day you see the screen covered left to right, top to bottom.
3. The day AFTER you think you saw your N or P test go down. Because that day after, you tested again to be sure.
4. The day you realized, for sure, that the the piece of filtration equipment you removed last week was really and truely not needed.
5. The day you finally realize that the N and P problems you've been fighting for (weeks, months, years) are finally gone.
5. The day another aquarist asks you, "How did you do it?"

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DeletedPosted 16-Oct-2008 09:09
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DeletedPosted 17-Oct-2008 02:22
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EditedEdited by santamonica
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Text Version:

Nutrients, part 3

The amount of Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate that a scrubber removes is directly controlled by how much light-power hits the scrubber:

1" - The light-power is full strength.
4" - At 4" distance, the same bulb power has to cover four times the area, so the power per square inch is only 25 percent of what is was (reduced 75%).
6" - At 6" distance, the same bulb power has to cover nine times the area, so the power per square inch is only 11 percent of what is was (reduced 89%).

This is why placing the bulb very close to the scrubber is extremely important.
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Post InfoPosted 17-Oct-2008 07:03Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Reminder of the Day: Proper Flow


While not as important as how strong and near the bulb is, proper flow has shown to help a lot. Before Mrobo770131 on the UR site got things tuned properly, his flow looked like this:




Zennzzo on the MFK site, however, got it perfect from the start:





The trick is to have 35 gph (adjustable) for every inch width of the screen. And this is assuming your waterfall pipe has a slot. If your pipe uses drilled holes (not recommended) then you will use less.
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Post InfoPosted 18-Oct-2008 19:56Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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"Sly" on the SWF site, who built a scrubber into a kitchen trash can (including a mechanical surge), gets the award for the biggest scrubber harvest so far on any site:

















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Post InfoPosted 21-Oct-2008 02:57Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Today's success story comes from "BearUSA" on the TR site. He did what many folks call the "combined" approach... using lots of things in addition to his scrubber to help eliminate his nuisance algae. Wish he had more pics, but here is the before:





And after:


Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserBearUSAonTalkingReef-10.jpg


Here is his setup:




And here is what he said along the way:

8/21: this guide is awesome, i,m gonna be building me one of these as soon as i get some time to myself, thanks for posting this so everyone can see and share.

9/10: what is the best way to get rid of nuisance algae, despite regular water changes and picking this stuff off the rocks it keeps growing back, my nitrates are 0ppm confirmed with 2 different test kits. my phosphates are also 0ppm with different tests. i have since set up a turf algae screen but that has only been running for a day and a half so its not working yet.

9/10: [waterfall pipe is] just an ordinary gravel vac pipe, fed by my external canister filter, the light is above at the mo i need to go out and buy some brackets and 2 light fixtures so i can have a light either side of screen, the other end of the gravel vac pipe has a water tight access plug, so i can still get in to clean the pipe. this nuisance algae just keeps on growing despite regular water changes picking it off the rocks, this stuff is ugly no matter what i do it just dont wont to disapear, this turf filter is my last resort.

9/13: i am determined to get this right but sometimes its so disheartning to see a tank that you try your very best to get things right to just keep getting covered in crap algae.

9/18: over the last couple of days i have noticed the nuisance algae i've been suffering with is eventually starting to die off. i'm sure the second 60 litre tank that i placed my calurpa green grape and cheato are starting to take up the nutrients before the nuisance stuff, i'm so pleased today that my tank is half way to looking great again.

9/20: i have done 2 small water changes whilst siphoning out as much as possible, i'm quite glad now i,m eventually getting back on track, my water is crystal clear all params are spot on, i had feared of water turning a bit yellowy with the release off the nutrients from the dying algae but i have had none of that. [...] hopefully fingers crossed i,ve got a hold on this now.

9/23: [answering "how did you do it"]: it could be a number of elements, i took on board all the advice which i received which im totally greatful for, i set up a 60 litre tank next to my main dt and filled it with a 4 inch deep sand bed, plus added culurpa green grape and cheato, i set up a temporary turf algae filter as suggested by Santa Monica in his thread under mega powerful nitrate and phosphate remover, i have continuously picked at the stuff and used a toothbrush to gently wipe over the rocks and inside the nooks and crannys, no doubt scaring my fish half to death, the only thing i haven't done yet is to replace the skimmer, i should say upgrade the skimmer, currently running a red sea pro prism, i had advice to get rid of it and get a better one. and also added another koralia 2 to improve water circulation which i placed at the bottom of dt to serge current over sand bed. increased slightly the amount of water i take out for water change, from about 90litres to about 125litres every 2 to 3 weeks. on the whole it could be any number of things i have done if not all, and once again i would like to thank all of you for your advice and recommendations.

10/6: this thread is really getting interesting now with all the different people posting and for santa monica posting pics of the scrubbers, etc. GOOD WORK SANTA MONICA KEEP IT UP

10/9: i,ve nearly cracked it, this nuisance algae have a look at these pics to see, i'm over the moon its nearly all gone.

10/16: i've been running my scrubber for about a month and a half now, n and p are zero, i have always had a zero n and p reading using the salifert test kits, but when i had that nuisance algae problem i was told the kits were registering zero because it was quite possible that the algae were taken it all in. if that makes any sense. ps another note i'd like to thank you again for your hard work and commitmant in keeping this thread a live and with the great pics your posting up, keep up the good work, without your posting of this thread i wouldn't have even known about these turf filters, so once again a BIG THANKYOU.
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Post InfoPosted 22-Oct-2008 01:47Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Update of the Day:

It's been recently discovered that the screen-wrapped-around-pipe design will clog up and stop working when the algae gets thick. It grows heavily where the screen is wrapped at the top, and blocks further flow from going down the screen. Instead the flow starts going out the ends, completely missing the entire screen, thus killing what algae was previously growing on screen. It affects different screens in varying amounts; the higher the lights are (thus closer to the wrap), the more it clogs. This is the type I'm referring to:


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Post InfoPosted 23-Oct-2008 05:23Profile Homepage PM Edit Delete Report 
santamonica
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Today's success story is from "keifer1122" on the RS site. He got the pre-grown screen from Inland Aquatics, and put a powerful bulb on both sides (even though the screen comes only one-sided, he wanted it to grow on the other side too.) His results took six weeks. Here are his comments, highly edited for readability:

9/23: its a pre grown screen from IA. [...] my nitrates are up, its only been 2 weeks and it looks like there at a stand still, but im feeding heavily, lot of anemones in there. also where the light is the brightest theres a certain type of algae that looks like an oil spill , its got a rainbow of colors yellowish greenish brown. also no yellowing in my water. [...] i run a skimmer just cause my numbers are up there, but when there down to nuthing then ill remove.






its a 75g with 29g sump, the lights i use are 40 watt cfls comparable to 150w, but today i picked up the big daddy cfl 65 watt/300 watt comparable 3,900 lumens. so i cleaned yesterday to the point where everything was off except for the red turf that didnt come off, plus i want that to grow i think. but the screen was bare and today the screen is covered. been in for 2 weeks, not much growth the first week. but adjusted to my tank and now my first week cleaning was about the same growth that grew (lol) in one day. [...] right now i have toooo many fish... a buddy i work with was gettin out and i bought his liivestock and equip...

yellow tang
hippo tang
big royal gramma
blue green chromis
2 clownfish
mandarin
coral beauty
small bangaii cardinal

...and i only have about 35 lbs of liverock, maybe. thats pushin it. 2" sandbed, run an undersized skimmer, i think euro reef made for 55g. i test with api nitrate test, and i lost the color chart, but yellow good, red bad, im orange. and since ive been testing it looks like its getting a lighter color. [It] was usually just goin up everyday, but with the new light i think that will speed up the growing process.

9/26: i cleaned monday and today is friday, and i have to clean again. [...] the other side is getting there, still needs to catch up tho. [...] no lights on a timer, runnin it for 24/7. [although should be changed to 18 hours ON, and 6 hours OFF]. pump is on a timer, 30 [seconds] on 30 off, its just that the screen from IA was one sided and thats why the other side has to catch up.

10/23: just chimming in to say my n and p are undetectable.(!)

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