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Filtration Lighting L2 8 weeks growth, lighting adjustment?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Paul, Nov 5, 2017.

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  1. So here is my growth after 8 weeks. It's been slow going, but I have the intensity still at 6 o'clock and 14 hours of on time, what do I need to adjust to get more growth as it's not quite beating out the algae in my tank. Also, for some reason, the flow skips the first inch of the scrubber before it falls down, so that's why it's brown there. Any fix?

    Attached Files:

  2. Turbo

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

    The flow should even out after you start to get thicker growth, you can probably reduce flow a bit until that happens. The 35 GPH/in rule is a guideline, I've found that you can start much lower as long as you don't push the intensity too hard.

    Have you harvested at all? If not, I would

    Generally, you want to harvest/clean at maximum about 20 days from start-up, then about ever 14 days after that

    You can pull out the screen as often as every 4-5 days and swipe & rinse to get rid of any diatom-type growth or slime. The yellow stuff is in this category, but that could be flow related.

    When you harvest, don't scrub. First try, you should rub with fingertips & rinse. After that you can proceed to using the scraper, but just "drag" it rather than "chiseling" with it. A few months down the road, you might need to use the toothbrush, but use it very gently
  3. I've harvested twice now. I'll start doing it every weekend. My flow might be a little high as I'm using a variable speed DC pump to feed it. I'll turn it down a little for now. Any change to light timing or intensity? As for cleaning the screen, do I just swipe with the plastic piece like a backwards chisel gently against the screen or just use my fingers to rub off the slime?
  4. Turbo

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

    7-14 days is ok
    bump up to 5 or 4 o'clock, go to 18 hours/day
    Don't angle the scraper into the direction of motion - that's the "chisel" method. You shoulnd't need this for a while. Just drag it with it either perpendicular to the screen or pointing away from the direction of motion
  5. Two more cleanings later, still have a lot of brown hair algae and slime. Lighting is at 18 hours at 5 o'clock position. What do you suggest next?

    IMG_20171127_183954.jpg IMG_20171127_184002.jpg
  6. Turbo

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

    Hmmm...A few questions:

    What is your flow?
    If you haven't measured, what pump are you using and what vertical head?

    What are your tank conditions:
    Algae Issues?

    Have you done this step above?

    How many days growth is shown in the last pics you posted?
  7. I have a Jebao DCT-6000 pump providing water on the lowest setting and it's only 6 inches straight below the ATS.

    0 ppm (tested 2 days ago)
    0.01 ppm (tested yesterday)
    70 gallons water volume
    9 fish (yellow tang, lawnmower blenny, 2 clowns, 3 cardinals, 1 damsel, 1 six line wrasse)
    Feed 2 pinches of pellets 3 times a day, 2 big pinches of flake once a day, 2 cubes frozen once or twice a week
    Had some green hair algae at first, but not much now, diatom growth on glass needs to be cleaned every 2 days now, used to be less often

    Been cleaning about every 7-10 days

    Last picture was about 10 days of growth, only really likes to grow green in the middle on both sides. Water doesn't fall down in the first inch, so little to no growth there.

    Recommendations? Turn up flow? Increase feeding? Increase light time or intensity? I'll post a pic of the setup when I get home tonight. Thanks Turbo.
  8. Turbo

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

    If I'm looking at that right, that's 6000 LPH => 1500 GPH max, the lowest setting I think is 48% (level 1) so that's over 700 GPH still. I'm thinking that even if the flow is 1/2 of that, it's way too much for an L2 actually. More on that later

    You've got low nutrients, so this is good
    Your feeding is good for the livestock you have. I'm not a fan of over-feeding just to get a scrubber growing. But when you average this out, you're probably at less than 1 cube/day, overall.
    What I was asking about was this, specifically:
    Versus a full cleaning, where you harvest the GHA. This above step is an interim step to keep the slimy stuff at bay. But this may not solve the issue
    Your flow is too high (perhaps, way way too high) and this is what is causing the arcing. It may also be causing the yellow growth to some extent, and could be a factor in GHA not being able to anchor to the screen and start filling in. In my opinion, based on the nutrient levels and the tank water volume, this is the primary issue.

    I mentioned earlier this:
    To clarify, pushing the intensity too hard when the flow is lower than 35 gph/in would be something like cranking it to 2 o'clock when your flow was only 200 GPH. That might result in yellow growth, even with good nutrients.

    None of these - actually, the opposite

    What all this tells me is that you are trying to push the scrubber too hard, in an environment that can't support it at that level.

    1) The feeding is OK for the tank, so like I said, I don't generally suggest increasing feeding to get your scrubber growing.

    2) Reduce the flow to the scrubber. This will be a major reduction. If you have a spare pump that has comparable head/loss curve to the Rio 1100, I would use that, and dial it back to the point where you are just getting coverage on most of the screen, and no arcing at all. You would start out low, so that you weren't getting coverage on the far side of the screen from the inlet, and increase until you do cover that area, without arcing. You will leave it here for a while (possibly permanently)

    3) Your lighting could probably use an adjustment but only after you fix the flow issue. You have a base of growth, so 5 o'clock or even 4 o'clock is probably OK. But back off the duration until the screen starts to fill in green more - go back to 12 hours/day. I didn't have the full picture on your tank before, so I apologize for telling you to extend it. It didn't hurt, but it didn't really help either...oh well.

    I don't know if you can adjust #2 with a valve on the outflow of a DC pump, I'm not sure that's recommended. It might be OK. I know you can throttle back any AC pump this way, just not sure if that's the same rule with DC pumps.
  9. Thanks Turbo, I'll change out the pump to something lower in flow and adjust it to how you suggest. I may just put a tee on my jbao and have some water recirculate to the sump through a valve to reduce the flow even further. I'll cut back to 12 hours and leave the light at the 5 o'clock position. I'm still confused on the cleaning though. I'll go to a 4-5 day cleaning of just swiping with the back side of my fingernails to get the soft brown slime off and leave the thicker green algae. On this last cleaning I did, the thicker parts with the green on it fell off too, so I'm kind of starting over. Thanks for your help. I still love this thing and can't wait to see it working properly.

  10. Turbo

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

    That'll work too!
    May not even have to do that much, just run under tap water and rub with your fingertips, or swipe your palm across it. Depending on the amount of slime left over, you may want to use the toothbrush and "drag" this across as well to get some of the yellow slime to detach from the screen and expose the mortar or plastic. Gently though, you can use a back & forth motion if that helps loosen the yellow stuff more, but you'll probably take some mortar with it (which is fine)
  11. Last cleaning was November 27th, and it's now December 6th for another cleaning. I reduced the flow to where it's now just covering the whole screen by putting a T on my supply line with an open valve to the sump. Looks like growth is improving. Still at the 5 o'clock position with 12 on, 12 off lighting.
    IMG_20171206_171255.jpg IMG_20171206_171505.jpg
    I cleaned it off with some light toothbrush action to get the brown slime off but left most of the green algae. Any changes? Also, is the black baffle in the bottom required, or can I take it out to check on my flow occasionally? Thanks!
  12. Turbo

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

    Looking better, I’d hold the course for now

    About the false bottom - why would you need to take it out to check flow?
  13. I just want to be able to leave it out for about a week so I can see the flow dripping off the screen more easily. Just trying to see if I'm at the right amount of flow.
  14. Turbo

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

    Flow shouldn’t change that much over the course of a growth cycle. You can try it after cleaning then put it back in. You don’t absolutely need it, but without it, you’ll probably get more bubbles into the drain and possibly some sucking sounds.

    I wouldn’t overly worry about the flow. If you can see it covering most of the screen, you’re good
  15. Here's my growth on 12/18 which is 12 days of growth from the last picture / cleaning. Is this an improvement? Is this when I need to start scraping most of it off? Any changes to lighting needed? Still 12 hours at 5 o'clock.

    IMG_20171218_102129.jpg IMG_20171218_102139.jpg
  16. Turbo

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

    Seems to be getting better, but slowly. I would hold the course on the lighting intensity/photoperiod. Your nutrient readings combined with tank volume tell me that increasing anything might result in a growth reversal...it might not, but I would hope to see the growth fill in a little better before changing anything

    You can "drag" the scraper across the green growth areas when you harvest, that should pull the growth off the screen pretty well, leaving a thin layer of GHA strands behind.

    There rarely a reason to aggressively scrape, even the drag-method removes 90% or better of the growth typically. The exception is when you get a lump or ball of GHA growth that is strongly attached, that does happen, usually during the first few months, and you want to thin that out by scraping at it a bit more. Other times are when you have some other types of growth that are firmly attached in patches, something red or brown growth can get this way

    Hope that makes sense!
  17. Thanks Turbo, I don't suppose you could post a picture of what a scrubber screen looks like after a cleaning so I have a visual to gauge if I'm doing it right. Thanks.
  18. Turbo

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

    Here's one of my Rev 4 L2 after it got to a full screen of growth for I think the first time

  19. Turbo

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

    Here's a few more, just randomly picked a bunch. It's not a direct parallel to your because the growth on these is full coverage, but hopefully this helps give you an idea of how much I try to leave behind. Maybe 5% ish, but many times after the drag pass & rinse, it's less than that






  20. Thanks Turbo, that helps a lot. Here's the newest growth which was 16 days as I was gone on vacation. It's getting more full but kind of snotty looking. I had a fair amount of green hair algae grow in the tank too while I was gone. Change anything or keep with 12 hours at 5 o'clock? Thanks again.


    IMG_20180103_205556.jpg IMG_20180103_205556.jpg

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