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Another firm believer in the Algae Scrubber

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lshin037, Mar 4, 2019.

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  1. lshin037

    lshin037 New Member

    I love my ATS! I wanted to share here (this forum) since it has helped me a ton with my questions and I think its super cool that Floyd helps out anyone, whether you bought his, a competitor's, or DIY. Prior to this, I've been using a DIY chaeto reactor. Started out at 4 NO3 and 0.25 PO4 and the chaeto reactor got my NO3 to 0 and my PO4 would hover around 0.16 to 0.20 and would not go down. I dosed KNO3 but PO4 would not budge. My scrubber is from 302aquatics and the model is the AS-2. I bought it used for a great deal. It's a bit oversized for my feeding (2 cubes a day). I started in 01/29 but changed out the lights to this. Photoperiod at 18 hrs/day. A few weeks ago, I stopped dosing dosing KNO3 because I read somewhere that the algae on the screen will shift to phosphate absorbing type once nitrates were very low. This theory didn't work out for me as my phosphates went up. I maybe not have given it enough time...not sure. I started dosing KNO3 again. Today, my PO4 read 0.01! I lowered my photoperiod to 12 hrs and hopefully this will keep my NO3 and PO4 balanced and low but not bottom out.

    Has anyone ever gotten their nutrients to bottom out using an ATS? All I've read are theories but never heard/read about anyone going too low.
  2. Turbo

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

    Thanks for joining the forum and sharing your experience!

    Nutrient imbalance sometimes means that you have to use more than one method. Every system is different, so things like type of food you feed, longevity of tank, condition of rocks/sand, etc - these all have an influence. This is why I avoid saying that an Algae Scrubber is "the solution to everything", because it's not. But I do feel that it can be a vital and primary part of any filtration regimen, and in the right situation, it can be your only filtration method (aside from live rock, which I always consider to be a given)

    I've had several systems with Nitrate = 0 and Phosphate = 0. The thoughts I've heard on the "don't bottom out your nutrients" idea is that you don't want something that is dropping them out really hard. For instance, GFO and the like can completely bottom out phosphate. But an Algae Scrubber is a more dynamic and self-adjusting type of filtration. Algae is not an adsorbant (sp?) like GFO or other similar media, so it doesn't tend to "strip" the same way.

    Also, nutrients are always added by food and digestion/excretion, so as long as you continue to feed the tank, there will be a source of nutrients. I don't know if the "don't bottom out" philosophy takes the dynamic of an Algae Scrubber into account, or if that is mainly based on the more mainstream filtration methodologies that have been used in the past. I'm sure there are some commonalities, but there are also some differences, and I don't think these have all been scrutinized enough to be able to draw a firm conclusion and say "it doesn't matter what filtration method you use, this is the way it is"

    But you can always do what you are doing - tweak what you can to balance out things such that everything in your system stays in good health. I think more than anything, balance and stability are the primary keys to any successful system
  3. lshin037

    lshin037 New Member

    Thank you sir! Again, I really appreciate your help. This site has been a tremendous help with my phosphate issue.
    Turbo likes this.
  4. trivodi

    trivodi Member

    Never happened to me with algae of any kind however, I've done it by over cleaning the tank by hand.

    Hair algae loves phosphate more than nitrate in my opinion but like any algae needs both to grow.

    I am glad things are working out for you
    Turbo likes this.

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