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New here (and to ATS)...critique my build..

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by jimxms, Nov 27, 2015.

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  1. jimxms

    jimxms New Member

    5
    0
    UK
    Hi All,

    After having very little success with carbon dosing, I decided to give scrubbers a go.

    I haven't really followed any guides, only looked at a few pictures and picked up the general gist of what was required. For this reason i'm interested to hear feedback from all you professionals on my implementation.

    I used 20mm PVC pipe for the entire build, and roughed up all joins before using PVC cement on them. I decided to build my ATS as a loop, so it could free-stand in my sump. The pump sits at the bottom of the loop in the centre and pumps water up both sides of the loop up to the slot I cut in the top using a Dremel. This seems to be giving me quite an even and high flow rate down my screen.


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    The whole system is 55cm high, 35cm wide and has a screen which is 30cm wide and 35cm high.


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    For lighting I just searched eBay for grow lights, and came across these '40w' units in weatherproof spotlight casings. I doubt they are anything like 40w, so I purchased 2 just to be sure and run them 18hrs a day.
     
  2. jimxms

    jimxms New Member

    5
    0
    UK
    I should add that the growth you seen on the screen is approx 1 week worth.
     
  3. Turbo

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

    Nice build! Ideally you would want to have light on both sides, and position the lights so that they are more perpendicular to the screen, but what you are doing seems to be working pretty well. How long has the scrubber been up and running?

    If you are able to lower the lights, like on a pendant, and then rotate them so that the fixture is pointing more perpendicular, you might get a bit more green growth.

    How big is the tank, and how much do you feed?

    Is it doing it's job? i.e., reducing nitrates/phosphates, out-competing tank algae, etc? <-- that's the most important thing :D
     
  4. jimxms

    jimxms New Member

    5
    0
    UK
    Thanks. Yeah the lighting position is somewhat temporary as my reactor and skimmer prevent me from having them lower and aimed directly at the screen. The long term goal is to ditch them and just run the ATS, at which point I can mount the lights on my cabinet doors. But it's early days as the ATS has only been up and running for a little over a week.

    The tank is only a 250L, and I pretty much starve my fish with only one pinch of flake a day, and a few prawns (for my lionfish) 3 times a week. I want to increase the feeding quite a bit as my fish have barely grown in over a year :/

    At the moment its hard to say if its doing its job. I'm seeing a slow decline in nitrates, but I'm also doubling up on water changes at the moment. My tank had a semi-crash a month ago after which my nitrates shot up to 60ppm. I've been slowly getting them down and the latest result is in the 20ppm range, so it's getting there.

    My main reason for wanting to go ATS is that a previous reef of mine was thriving with very little maintenance, and I put this down to a sump full of GHA and bubble algae which I'd harvest every few weeks. I went all 'tech' with my new reef, employing dosing pumps and bio pearls...and to be honest its a load of s**t.

    If the ATS ends up working I may look to buy a more 'refined' solution such as one of your units.
     
  5. Turbo

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

    That's very good for a week from scratch.
     

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