1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A question and some chemistry

Discussion in 'Basic Principles' started by Jlholimon, Dec 8, 2013.

Welcome to Algae Scrubbing Join our community today
  1. Jlholimon

    Jlholimon New Member

    Hi all,
    I am in the process of putting together a DIY ats for my tank, a new 75 gal mixed reef system that is an upgrade of my old 40. I have been reading here and elsewhere about different methods and results.
    My inclination is to use a two sided water fall style with these two plant grow led rigs I found on Amazon. And powering the flow from my t split in my return line.

    My question involves understanding salt water algea nutrient consumption. I found that in fresh water there has been research resulting in the Redfield ratio. A 16:1 nitrogen : phosphorus ratio describing (with what I think is a molar based ratio) what is the ideal quantities you need in a tank to inhibit/limit the growth of undesirables. If you go either direction you get differences in the type of algae likely to grow, GHA or cyano (most notably blue, but in my case the nice red kind --GO PACK!.).

    I have already gotten some red cyano showing up, which I previously fought before with some success. I have yet to see any GHA, though my two urchins and lots of snail may be keeping it at bay. Also I feed dried food in small quantities so I may be limiting the amount of food I put in, at least compared to two cube per day quantity.

    Have any of you tried to emulate this ratio or tried to understand/use this in the process of regulating your nutrient levels/exports.

    It's kinda late for me to being doing my chemistry calculations right now, but I will post them tomorrow, with my additional thoughts.

    I just wanted to get some other peoples thoughts on using this as a kind of target for getting things right in my tank.

    Sent from my Nexus 10 using Tapatalk
  2. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    The redfield ratio is a good reference point, but in my experience and from what I've seen others post, it is not necessarily a hard-and-fast rule. In a limiting environment, where for instance there are very low levels of nitrate, the uptake ratios may differ. Remember that algae is one of if not the oldest organism on the planet, so it's pretty well adapted.

    All you can do is rig it up and get it running, give it time to mature, and tweak & adjust as necessary to get your best possible results. It's sort of one of those things that you have to learn by doing, no amount of calculations are really going to get you where you want to be before you build it, other than the general sizing guidelines. Even those are meant to get you in the general ballpark, because all tanks are different and many food types don't really fit well into a nice guideline for nutrient load per unit weight, so there are many factors that are difficult to control or predict. Compound that with the fact that every tank is different to some extent.

    The important things to get right, for a good start, are:

    Screen size
    Screen roughness
    Slot width and straightness
    Flow rate
    Lighting (post a link to your LED lights!)

    And of course, your maintenance process

    Looking forward to seeing your build, and welcome to the site!

  3. Jlholimon

    Jlholimon New Member

  4. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Well, you can try that light, but past results have shown that it us not very effective. Those are ultra-low power LEDs. If you search enough, you'll find that anyone who has tried those has not had much success. I'm crashing right now or else I would go into more detail as to why. It will grow algae but not well

Share This Page