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

Investigating Scrubbers for my 100 Gallon system

Discussion in 'Pre-Sales Q&A' started by NateAnderson, Sep 13, 2016.

Welcome to Algae Scrubbing Join our community today
  1. NateAnderson

    NateAnderson New Member

    So, I'm newly back into saltwater, and am once again overwhelmed by options.

    I recently picked up a 100 gallon corner tank It's about a 10 year old tank that he said was professionally maintained, and I'm certain he didn't maintian it cause he seemed to have no idea on how the thing actually ran. - I estimate it's got about 75 lbs of live rock, a half a dozen smaller fish by far the largest is a blue tank about 4" long, and perhaps 15-20 lbs sand.

    My sump is I think kind of old-style as it's pretty similar to what I had 20 years ago. A little filter pad, (7x13) that I clean every other day, a section of bio balls, a protein skimmer, and I've added a canister purfiltrum.

    Generally my levels are pretty good... no ammonia, no nitrites, low phosphates but man do I have tons of nitrates. After I moved everything I tested the water with a brand new api test kit and had 100+ ppm nitrates. So three 50% water changes I'm down to 20 ppm, I don't think my system is really very well setup for long term as I'd really like to add some corals to the tank. I need to go buy more salt to do more changes, but this could get expensive if I'm constantly changing out 50 gallons in the system. What should by nitrate goal be?

    I took a tour of a reef supplier in the cities - Bulk Reef Supply and they were really helpful, but I came away a bit confused as to my options.

    I had been considering either adding some porous ceramic blocks - replacing my plastic bio-balls with ceramic ones or even looking at the nitrate reactors. The guy giving me the tour did say that the nitrate reactors basically require daily dosing so I don't think that's for me. on the way out... I noticed some devices I'd never seen before, and I think perhaps they were a couple of the perhaps older turbo scrubbers but he said they like them but don't carry them.

    We try to feed pretty sparingly,
    a little frozen shrimp cube a day (3g)
    plus a few pinches of pellets (all gone within a minute)
    plus a few square inches of sea veggies from two little fishies - gone within 30 minutes

    So now what say you all on these scrubbers?? Are they a good fit for my system, What size is recommended? I can post a pic of the space I've got available but it looks like the current design requires the scrubber to be mounted above the aquarium (not asthetically pleasing in my setup) or over the sump - I think I may be able to make it work, but it may be a tight fit especially for the routing maintenance. My sump is mounted in the stand under the aquarium, and I have no ability to mount anything in a different space.

    Do you think I'll still need the protein scrubber? I suspect so, but looking for input.

    Do you think adding a ton of the porous ceramic block and balls may be enough to better handle my nitrates? They're kind of expensive so I'd rather skip this step if it's not really going to solve my issue.
     
  2. Turbo

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

    Yup, they have a Rev 3 and a Rev 4, you probably didn't get to see the Rev 4 though unless you went into the back room where they have the stress test tank. I've been working with them but online retailers want such a huge margin it makes it unfeasible to make it happen, but we'll see.

    The bio-balls are old school - they can work if they are done correctly, most do not utilize them correctly though. Then, they become a nitrate factory.

    What's purfiltrum?

    Several brands of these are available, not sure how well they work but I've heard of good results

    Adding that up, you're likely at less than the equivalent of 2 cubes/day. Probably 1.5 or less

    They are pretty effective as reducing nitrate, so I would say yes. If you DIY one, you would want something able to handle 2 cubes/day, I find that is a pretty good "minimum" size, but you can do smaller also. Your skimmer is going to be taking up some of the bioload as well, don't forget that.

    Pretty much, except that you can also remote-plumb my unit as long as it can gravity drain to somewhere. I run a Rev 4 L2 on the top of my tank, sumpless 120g.

    I don't think it would hurt to keep it, there are things that a skimmer provides that are beneficial, but IMO there is no real single piece of equipment that everyone "must have"...except a scrubber, everyone must have a scrubber :D:D:D
     
  3. NateAnderson

    NateAnderson New Member

    It looks like L2 is shipping but no real indication on the bigger units... what's your production schedule on those?​
     
  4. Turbo

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

    The L2 has been in production for over 6 months, but now that I have all the parts in for the larger units I'm nearly 100% focused on getting these built. I have a big backlog of orders, both paid and waitlisted/invoiced. So right now no matter which size unit you want, there will be a wait. Of at least 2 weeks. probably more like a month
     
  5. NateAnderson

    NateAnderson New Member

    Timing isn't a huge issue to me - a good system relatively easily maintained is important.

    I think I biffed up my previous response and somehow managed to put a bunch of my follow up questions within the quote... you'd see them if you hit the expand button. Anyway, here's the rest of my questions.


    Yup, they have a Rev 3 and a Rev 4, you probably didn't get to see the Rev 4 though unless you went into the back room where they have the stress test tank. I've been working with them but online retailers want such a huge margin it makes it unfeasible to make it happen, but we'll see.

    I first saw the one on their stress tank, then one of the ones on one of the personal tanks that everyone has at their desks.​

    The bio-balls are old school - they can work if they are done correctly, most do not utilize them correctly though. Then, they become a nitrate factory.
    Any hints at how to properly utilize them, or is it better at this point to remover them or move to ceramic balls/blocks?
    Do you have to maintain the ceramic balls/blocks too or they install and forget?​

    What's purfiltrum?
    Basically Purigen - a synthetic absorption media
    aquavitro . purfiltrum
    A local aquarium store (aquatropics) recommended it in place of activated carbon... not sure if it's really all that great though, or perhaps my nitrate factory is just too much to handle.​

    Adding that up, you're likely at less than the equivalent of 2 cubes/day. Probably 1.5 or less
    So at my current load, I'd be at an L2 right? of course I'd like to add some corals and a few more fish so is the L4 a better size if I can make it fit?​


    They are pretty effective as reducing nitrate, so I would say yes. If you DIY one, you would want something able to handle 2 cubes/day, I find that is a pretty good "minimum" size, but you can do smaller also. Your skimmer is going to be taking up some of the bioload as well, don't forget that.
    I like DIY in some cases, but here I'd like to get something pretty solid as a basement full of saltwater or a dead tank is really undesirable.​

    Pretty much, except that you can also remote-plumb my unit as long as it can gravity drain to somewhere. I run a Rev 4 L2 on the top of my tank, sumpless 120g.
    I'm trying to keep the noise and clutter to a minimum, and don't have a hood on the tank so I really, really want to make under the cabinet work, mabye I can give you some pics and dimensions and we can figure out the if the L4 can fie and the best placement??​
     
  6. Turbo

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

    Unless they switched them, the one on the stress tank is the Rev 4 (all black) and the other one is a Rev 3 (horizontal heat sink fins)

    1/2 submerged, 1/2 under water I think is the recommendation, trickle/drip water over them, rinse out in SW every couple months to keep detritus from building up, replace 1/2 every 6 months I think, something like that.

    I think that's the idea behind those...set and forget.

    Seachem = Aquavitro so that's pretty much Purigen. Incidentally they have the same error in their directions as I indicate in my article on R2R How to "Regenerate" Seachem Purigen mainly, don't do the discus buffer soak. Just run in a bucket of water with a power head and change the water a few times.

    I would say an L2 + a few other pieces of equipment on a 100g are going to get you a long way for quite a while. I usually recommend the L4 once you get over 150g or have a really high bioload.

    yup, post them here!
     
  7. NateAnderson

    NateAnderson New Member

    Well, here are some pics, I'm still kind of setting it up so the cords are kind of messy but there's always something to do!!

    For size reference, my sump is 13.5" wide by 25.25" high by 17" High (in back)



    IMG_1775.JPG


    again cord management... my new maxspect gyre cords need some work


    In the left pic here, you're looking at the pump section of the sump... I have added a GFO filter in there right now that I don't think I'll need to keep. at the worst it can move out of that sump section

    My two primary spots are
    to set the scrubber on the top off water bucket, but that would be pretty hard to plumb the drains into the sump

    IMG_1771.JPG



    No Hood, so mounting on top of tank would look kind of messy - my wife's not a fan of messy for this tank

    IMG_1769.JPG


    Took out my bucket of top off water for the ATO for a better view...

    I thought about above the wet/dry section of my sump because I have about 10" free space above the sump available, but that white cover has to lift strait up so I can clean my mechanical filter pad so that kind of knocks out the above the filter section of the sump



    IMG_1774.JPG
     
  8. NateAnderson

    NateAnderson New Member

    I was going to add... the primary spot I've identified is to just set it over the pump section of the sump I think there's enough room for either the L2 or L4, and I can still get at my skimmer and filter media through the other door.

    I'm kind of leaning towards the L4 - they're not exactly cheap... so I'd like to not have to upsize an L2 in a year if I can avoid it.
     

Share This Page