DIY project using algae as export in SW

SantaMonica

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Sep 19, 2008
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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.
 

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."

UserJski711onRS-9.jpg


UserJski711onRS-10.jpg


UserJski711onRS-11.jpg


UserJski711onRS-7.jpg

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Tom Barr

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Can/could you lower the mat to reduce noise, splash? Perhaps make it like a stair step, use a pleated cartiage with higher surface area etc? Or use several mats?
One method used in Breeding of FW fish, the old mop/yarn mats for breeding /eggs layer, fry etc. These would serve as great media. The water could directly into a filter bag due to the round shape.

Upgrading the light would also make it very effective.

Health of the corals looks great, no skimmer methods work, I've long suggested it.
Let the plants do the work.

Less cost, less electric, less noise, no fiddling with the skimmer, less heat transfer if you use a submersible pump vs the light, more options, less room. BTW, this also works great on fish only aquariums, both FW and Marine. Good to see the results on the Corals though.

And for those that like using more natural methods, this should appeal.
You might consider a more efficient light though, try some T5's.

More light = more growth.
The regular light bulbs vs the T5's produce less heat and more light.
Cheap etc, but you could get more per watt.
Another method is to make a zig zag flow pattern, or use a stair like pleated old cartiage filter that has more surface area.

I do like and love the outside method, and using natural sun etc, but you also get something else out of this method: evaporative cooling. Same with indoor. A big plus in reducing the heat. If you add a small fan to the pleated algae scrubber, now you have a swamp evaporative cooler that does even a better job.

You can use a small diversion to go to a denitrifyer by using as 3" PVC colum filled with Very fine aragonite and a screen on the bottom. Add a tad or CO2 to this, now you have semi Kalk reactor(waste more CO2 than a Kalk, but the CO2 is cheap and you get some N2 gas production as well).

I could go on, but these are just a few of the DIY notions that can be added.
There are many versions that could be done by clever folks.




Regards,
Tom Barr
 

SantaMonica

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Can/could you lower the mat to reduce noise, splash?

Yes you could, but there is normally little noise (less than the return pump). If you do touch the screen to the waterline, it's silent.

Perhaps make it like a stair step, use a pleated cartiage with higher surface area etc?

Nice in concept, but difficult in construction/cleaning. Really much easier ways to increase area. And of more inportance: High PAR.

Or use several mats?

Only for huge tanks. I can fit enough screen in a standard 5 gal bucket to filter a 240g tank, and I can fit enough into a 10g tank to filter a 1500g tank.

the old mop/yarn mats for breeding /eggs layer, fry etc. These would serve as great media.

You mean the scrubber screen would serve as the media for the breeding?

Upgrading the light would also make it very effective.

That is the number one most effective upgrade. There is no limit; the filtering is in direct proportion to the PAR.

Health of the corals looks great, no skimmer methods work, I've long suggested it.
Let the plants do the work.

Yes, although the pro-skimmer folks will give you a hard time about it.

works great on fish only aquariums, both FW and Marine.

This is the next thing I want to try, and I'm tempted to try it with no wet/dry, no rock, no sand, in order to see how well a scrubber can uptake ammonia.

pleated old cartiage filter that has more surface area.

Very hard to clean (see the cleaning videos I posted a few days ago). And remember that more area does no good without more lighting to cover that area.

A big plus in reducing the heat. I

Yep, even with powerful lights, you still get a net cooling.

You can use a small diversion to go to a denitrifyer

On top of the denitrifying that the scrubber does?


I could go on, but these are just a few of the DIY notions that can be added.
There are many versions that could be done by clever folks.

Yes I'm talking with folks on other sites that are conjuring up some amazing things :)


You might consider a more efficient light though, try some T5's.

Ah...

Acrylic.jpg
 

SantaMonica

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Part 1 of 2:

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

AcrylicDay01small.jpg

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


Day 2

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay02small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay02.jpg


Day 3

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay03small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay03.jpg


Day 4

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay04small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay04.jpg


Day 5

AcrylicDay05small.jpg

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


Day 6

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay06small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay06.jpg


Day 7

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay07small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay07.jpg


Day 8

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay08small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay08.jpg


Day 9

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay09small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay09.jpg


Day 10

AcrylicDay10small.jpg

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


Day 11 (a huge growth increase):

AcrylicDay11small.jpg

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

SantaMonica

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Part 2 of 2:

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:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup1Day10small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup1Day10.jpg


http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup2Day10small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup2Day10.jpg


http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup3Day10small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup3Day10.jpg


http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup4Day10small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup4Day10.jpg


http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup5Day10small.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicCloseup5Day10.jpg


And here is a closeup from Day 11:

AcrylicDay11closeupSmall.jpg

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:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11heldupSmall.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11heldup.jpg


Here's the growth on the 3000K side:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11out3000Ksmall.jpg
Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11out3000K.jpg


And the 6500K side:

AcrylicDay11out6500Ksmall.jpg

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:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11pulledoff.jpg


Here are the algae amounts removed, after a cleaning:

AcrylicDay11algae.jpg



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:

AcrylicDay11cleaned.jpg



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.
 

Tom Barr

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For the algae scrubber only test, try a small system you can measure well, then remove the rock, Skimmer etc, give things a few days to adjust and measure over time how long that takes. Fish only is fairly easy to measure the Nitrogen in puts.

I assume about 10% uptake of the fish food as fish, 90% as waste N.
You can weigh some dry food, look at the N content(or measure it), then know about what you are adding.

This is also a way to measure what the algae, plants etc are taking up.

Plants do not fix NO3=> N2 gas, however, they do take the NO3 up directly and then back to NH4=> amino acids in algae/plant biomass.

Same type of thing, but..........you can get a lot more flow, higher yield export etc, but you have the trade off: light is required.
So at a really large scale, bacteria win.

At this scale, this method wins.
Note, this does work very well with FW systems.

Also, the species of algae that grow on mats for both FW and marine systems are much easier to grow and maintain than any macro and are more responsive.

While more PAR is good, I think surface area is also playing a larger role here.
The more texture difference on the mat, the better, whether at the larger or small scales.

This aids in algae recruitment, it's not just all about light. This way you have a great diversity of algae. When comparing color temps, be careful, lumens and color tempos really are not fair comparisons. PAr is a much better parameter to compare one bulb, or light source from another with growth studies.

Also, do not compare wet weights, unless you also do the Dry weight comparison's for algae biomass produced. Our eyeballs can easily be deceived when it comes to algae and it's 95% or so water.

Same for all plants, that's why we do the dry weights.
A small scale(100$ or so for a very accurate 0.001 gram) and drying the algae for a few days generally can do this. Apogee PAr meters are about 250$.
I have much nicer stuff at the lab, but still, hobbyists can do and afford this stuff.

So the production might not have anything, or not as much difference as you might think, as PAR, not color temp is the real factor.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

SantaMonica

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I think another thing to keep a FO test safe is to start with just one fish :)

I think surface area is also playing a larger role here. The more texture difference on the mat, the better, whether at the larger or small scales.

In practice, you'd be surprised. Of the 20 or 30 scrubbers I've seen built in the last month, almost every one had limited or no growth after a full week. When those folks moved the bulbs closer (3") to the screens, or they increased wattage or number of bulbs, growth exploded and stayed that way. Every time. The two or three folks that used the proper lighting in the first place, got explosive growth by day 3.

PAR is a much better parameter to compare one bulb, or light source from another with growth studies.

Yes it is, but the economy ($5) CFL bulbs that many beginners will try to use seem to be lacking in PAR listings, yet they do usually have lumen ratings.

Also, do not compare wet weights, unless you also do the Dry weight comparison's for algae biomass produced. Our eyeballs can easily be deceived when it comes to algae and it's 95% or so water.

Yes most algae are water, with a notable exception being true red/brown turf, which has very little water.
 

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
 

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:

UserSly-RngrdaveOnSWF-16.jpg


UserSly-RngrdaveOnSWF-17.jpg

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And what is this.... dinner?

AcrylicOneWeek6500Kside.jpg



...Nope, it a week of growth from just one side (the 6500K side) of my acrylic unit.
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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:


UserReefskiOnMD-1.jpg



UserReefskiOnMD-2.jpg



UserReefskiOnMD-3.jpg





By the way, if this weren't enough, his entire back yard is a koi pond :)
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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:



UserSnailriderOnAC-1.jpg



UserSnailriderOnAC-2.jpg



UserSnailriderOnAC-3.jpg



UserSnailriderOnAC-4.jpg



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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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.
 

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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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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Nutrients1.jpg
 

SantaMonica

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Sep 19, 2008
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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:

UserSandztormOnRP-1.jpg





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

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserCoopattackOnFG-4.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserCoopattackOnFG-5.jpg



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

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserFramerguyOnCR-3.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserFramerguyOnCR-2.jpg

UserFramerguyOnCR-1.jpg





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:

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserLabmanOnMD-2.jpg




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

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserJohntanjmOnSGR-3.jpg




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

UserMrobo770131onUR-15.jpg





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

UserMudsharkOnMA.jpg

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Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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You may consider trying this using plants instead on FW systems.
I think you will find really good easy to care for nutrient export also.
Water sprite, Peace lilies, a lot of tropical foliage work well.

Algae is better suited for lower levels/rates of export, plants are more suited to higher levels/rates of export. This(using both) works great at large massive scales, but at the aquarium level, it's either or. Accept some higher nutrient levels(N and P), or accept lower rates of removal.

Plants will do better per watt of electrical cost to ppms removed also.

In marine systems, the goal is pretty low nutrient levels, particularly for reefs. So this is a good trade off, for marine planted macrophytes, there's no need for export, the system is dosed inorganic nutrients.
So the trade off is not required in that case.

In FW systems, plants do quite a good job, better than any algae scrubber I made, which is why I am involved in plants in the first place:) I found them of more interest after see the dramatic uptake differences with 1/2 the light.
I did similar things maybe 20 years ago now. This is why I focus on plants today.

No competition for algae vs plants for FW. Plants do a very good job.
While big, techy looking things are neat, we all like doing this stuff to some degree, the real issue is making it simple, effective and specific for a goal.

So what are the trade offs for the goals? What are the goals?

I'd argue strongly in favor algae scrubbers for reefs.
Not for macro planted tanks, nor for FW tanks. Plants are more effective and command a higher selling price. Now you may have some fish that like certain algae and not plants or macros, then this would be good. Or where you need really low PO4/NO3 levels, no plants/macro algae and have lower loading rates of fish/critters. Space is another consideration, can you fit a big skimmer in there?
Noise? etc..............Can you fit a large mat in there or not? Can you place the plant roots somewhere etc.

Then certainly, these are good. You have to be careful going on about how one method does it all, you have to consider what trade offs are involved and other goals.

Skimmerless systems are well supported for marine and reefs, but the trend is still very much huge skimmerville:rolleyes:

Keep the ideas coming and the pictures.
There are many that are interested in plants/algae as solely a means of nutrient export.

These same types of systems can be adapted to plants also.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

SantaMonica

Guru Class Expert
Sep 19, 2008
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Santa Monica, CA, USA
Well here is my 7-day cleaning from yesterday. First, here's the screen before cleaning, looking at the the edge:


AcrylicEdge2.jpg



AcrylicEdge1.jpg





Here's the screen after cleaning:


AcrylicCleaned1wk.jpg





And here's what was removed:


Acrylic8oz1wk.jpg





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.