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Need advice!!

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by SaltyVT, Mar 12, 2018.

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  1. SaltyVT

    SaltyVT New Member

    So built my own scrubber. So many questions! So my display is a 65 with a 20L sump. Rock varies in age from 5 years to a few months. I recently moved from a IM30 to this tank so things are still fresh but cycled. Filter wise I have the following. Filter sock, aquamaxx 1.5 HOB, bag of Phosban, livesand and few large pieces of live rock I couldn’t fit in the main tank, chaeto, LR rubble, reactor with Chemipure Elite. Then I added the ATS. Read over a ton of differebt articles but not sure I have it right. So my scrubber is made from an acrylic cereal storage container. 12”x7”x3.5”. I’m using a MJ900 for now. Followed by 3/4” pvc. The mesh is 6”wX7”l. It’s been up for less than a week and I’m getting a good brown coloring. I really need to check actual GPH. So my question is more about lighting. I might have jumped the gun and went with a less than desirable light. It’s a dual LED grow light. 5 leds per head red blue and white. It seems they are 1w LEDS. So 5w per head. I’m only lighting one side right now. Things seem to be good as far as maturing the screen. So few concerns first that the light isn’t strong enough, flow isn’t strong enough, and I’m not feeding enough. I’m scared to feed 2 cubes a day, I’ve already noticed an increase in algae in the main tank. I know it going through it’s maturaity stages so I’m just letting it do it thing. Some rock was dry rock around a month old. I have been testing every few days and ammonia and nitrite are zero. Nirate 10ppm. Phosphate around .25ppm. Not sure if I’ve given enough info but I’m all ears! Give me opinions good if bad! Thank you!
  2. SaltyVT

    SaltyVT New Member

    He’s a look at it

    Attached Files:

  3. Turbo

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

    Thanks for posting!

    That's a pretty nice DIY build, it should work well!

    For now, don't get hung up on the flow and lighting. Just let it start growing. While that light might not be the perfect one, keep using it and see what happens. If you started with a plain canvas screen (roughed up, I assume) but no mortar coating, it can take 4-6 weeks before you start to see any significant growth that can perform filtration effectively.

    That means, just hold the course and don't start changing things to try to force it. Don't overfeed just to "feed the scrubber", for a couple of reason. #1 being, the "rating" factors are not solely based on the screen dimensions, lighting is another factor. So you can make a 3 cube/day screen and only put enough light on it for a 1 cube/day screen, and that will mean it's really a 1 cube/day screen.

    In your case, the 5 LED head that uses 1W LEDs is likely only consuming actual wattage of something like 3 or 3.5W, and some of that is taken up with the electronics (probably not much though) so that light is fine for getting something started, but if you have the ability move that head down a few inches and aim it more perpendicular to the screen, then you'll have a bit more intensity on the screen, which generally will mean better growth. You may have to make adjustments to the distance to avoid a hotspot, but again I would not worry about this now, with 1W LEDs (even with lenses) I would think you won't really have an issue placing the lamp as close as you can to the acrylic.

    You ideally want a light on both sides. This allows you to go longer between harvests, when you get to the point of being able to harvest anything.

    Cleaning during the ramp-up phase is important - you want to remove any slime or loosely attached growth, while not removing any GHA. The slime can inhibit GHA attachment, so it's important to remove this when it happens, and do it as frequently as necessary - as often as every 4-6 days. But you don't really want to "scrub" the screen (ever) except for the top section (to keep it clear of growth for even flow) or to remove specific types of growth. Generally, during the first 1-3 months, you should be able to remove anything that necessitates removal by just rubbing with your fingertips while rinsing under room-temp tap water. You might progress up to using a scraper in that time period, but most of the growth should be able to be removed by "dragging" the scraper versus "chiseling". Or, you can pick at the growth with your fingers. I still use the scraper-drag and fingertips on my personal scrubber, after well over a year of use

    As far as algae in the tank, there are a myriad of causes for this, but if your tank has been set up for just a few months, then you are going to see a lot of swings in tank conditions for a while. Some of these will be muted due to the use of very mature rock, but anytime to move things around & change flow patterns (or move an entire tank setup) there will be a maturing phase triggered, and it's not one you can really "measure" with hobby grade test kits. So expect some algae outbreaks, maybe dinos, some cyano, etc. But keep the scrubber running, add some more light (a few more of those lights would probably be OK actually, do you have a link to them?

  4. SaltyVT

    SaltyVT New Member

    Thank you so much for taking the time to reply! I just got around to cleaning the brown slime off. Here’s a link to the lights.

    LED Grow Light, Plant Grow Light with 360 Degree Adjustable Gooseneck for Indoor Plants, Greenhouse, Hydroponics, Gardening, Office (10W Dual Head, Double On/Off Switch) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0773NFQ8Y?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf

    Hopefully that link works
  5. Turbo

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

    Gotcha - that's only red & blue, there's no white in that. It would be fine if there was, just noting what the listing says (or maybe you have a different one?)

    You could point both at the screen on one side, and get another for the other side. Eventually

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