DIY project using algae as export in SW

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
745
113
SantaMonica;34744 said:
You can see the results of the nitrate and phosphate; it's the nuisance algae. But you cannot see the nitrate and phosphate itself. This fact causes the most problems when people see a lot of stuff (food) that their skimmers have removed, but wonder why their nuisance algae is not being removed (skimmers don't remove Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate), and also when their phosphate tests zero, but they still have algae on certain parts of the rocks (the invisible phosphate is coming out of the rocks.)

I do not think we can say this.
The evidence does not support the conclusion.

The issue is one based on germination of the algae in question, not nutrients in and other themselve, rather what starts the germination of the spores etc.
You stop germination/signals etc, you stop the growth and problem.
Most aquarist have an extremely poor understanding of algae and their life history.

So if noxious algae are indeed due to inorganic forms, such tanks disprove such hypohtesis and falsify them.

The livestock/plants etc does matter there, however, the inorganic nutrients in and of themselves are not the "cause".

You need an alternative hypothesis that addresses these observations as well;)
Observation corleation and wishful thinking alone is not enough, you need to test and confirm under a few different situtations. You need enough control to grow the tank without any issues prior, then add the dependent variable.

Otherwise you end up promoting a myth. Don't do that, that does not help anyone in the hobby.

Here's a tank with 15ppm NO3, 0.3ppm of PO4 and it's pure inorganic:

DSCN0053.jpg



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

SantaMonica

Guru Class Expert
Sep 19, 2008
143
0
16
Santa Monica, CA, USA
Question: Where would someone buy marine self-priming pumps? Several people are trying to build the top-of-nano scrubber I posted, but in order to put the pump in the scrubber (and thus not in the display), the pump needs to be able to pull water up and out of the display. So far, the only thing found is the Eclipse nano hoods with small pumps built in, and a few other HOB filters with small self-priming pumps built in. But these are built-in and molded to the other parts. What is really needed is a self-contained pump that is separate from the other parts, and which of course is aquarium safe, and in the 70 to 150 gph range (266 to 570 lph).
 

SantaMonica

Guru Class Expert
Sep 19, 2008
143
0
16
Santa Monica, CA, USA
Update: Other ways to reduce nutrients

If you are using a scrubber, here are some other permanent ways to reduce nutrients (aside from feeding less), starting with the easiest first:

o Remove floss/foam/socks (they trap food and cause it to rot).

o Remove chaeto (also traps food and causes it to rot).

o Remove bio balls (or similar media) slowly (they create excess nitrate, and trap food).

o Remove all sand in your sump (food settles in sand and rots); if anything, use LR.

o Use kalkwasser (lime water) in your top-off (the higher pH causes phosphate to precipitate).

o Change any area of the sump that lets food settle to the bottom; all food should
continue through the sump and back to the display (this is why an open sump is best).

o Reduce sand in your display to 1/4 inch (6mm), or increase it to 4 inches (10cm).

o Using an ultraviolet sterilizer also helps reduce phosphates, but it also kills the live
pods that come from the scrubber; thus it's not recommended for normal use.
 

SantaMonica

Guru Class Expert
Sep 19, 2008
143
0
16
Santa Monica, CA, USA
Update: Screen roughness

If your screen is only growing little spots of algae here and there, it means the screen is not rough enough. What is happening is that algae is trying to attach and grow all over the screen, but the water washes the algae away. Only a few areas have enough roughness for the algae to hang on in the water flow. So, you need to remove the screen and really really really sand/scrape/rough it up. If it's a clear screen (i.e., acrylic), you should not be able to see through it. If it's a plastic canvas screen, it should feel prickly. For highest results (and highest maintenance)... rug canvas works the best, but it only lasts so long before it comes apart. Then you have to make a new one. Whatever you use, make it as rough as possible.