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New to scrubbing. Lots of questions.

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by lastflea, Apr 25, 2018.

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  1. Hi all. I'm Rob. New to algae scrubbing and new to the forum.

    I'm building my first one, and so far have this in mind.

    10"x16" - width/length of number 7 plastic canvas. I think I read some where that width is better than length, so is mine going to work less efficiently this way?

    LED's - A mix of 660 and 420. I'm not sure how many of each, spacing between each LED, order of lighting. A row of each, two rows of each, more reds than blue/violet? Should I buy the LED's with, or without a heat sink? I'm guessing I'll need the sink to stop them melting the board they'll be attached to. Sorry, I have no idea on this. My understanding is the 420's will need to be dimmed until growth has started and evened out. Do I need two controllers in this case? Again, apologies. As you can probably gather, I have no knowledge of building LED boards.

    3/8" pipe with 1/8 cut to hold the algae canvas in place. I'm going with cable ties to secure it.

    The scrubber will be for my 166g, 34g sumped discus tank. I'm hoping the scrubber will reduce the need for daily water changes, until the discus grow out to adulthood. The tank will be bare bottom, until they've grown to 6".

    Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks, Rob :)
  2. Sorry, I meant 3/4" inch pipe with 1/8 slot...
  3. Turbo

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

    Let's back up a few steps - tell us about your overall system - size, filtration in place, rock, fish, corals, feeding amount, what maintenance you currently do, etc...
  4. Hey Turbo. Just wanted to say thanks to you I found out about algae scrubbers, so thanks for all the info.

    Well, my tank is in the build stage at the moment. It'll eventually be a bare tank for juvenile discus. Maybe a couple bits of bogwood and potted plants, but that's all. It's 160USG tank with 34USG sump with 4 chambers. First chamber for algae filter, then mechanical filtration. The third I'm not sure yet, because I was hoping to get the algae filter up and running during the fishless cycle, then keep the ammonia topped up so the scrubber can start growing algae. The idea being I have a tank with a working scrubber, before I put any fish in. Is this feasible?
  5. Fourth chamber for heaters and return. The third might be biomedia, but if the scrubber performs then I'm not sure I'd need to spend a tonne of cash on expensive nitrate remover. I'll have a hydro sponge in the tank with the discus. This will be the main source of filtration for the cycle.
  6. Turbo

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

    Freshwater tanks follow a different set of rules, so I'm glad I asked. Generally, most of the information that is out there applies to saltwater tanks, and freshwater grows a different type of algae.

    It tends to be more fine, human hair-like, and fragile. It also tends to need a lot of intense light and a long daily photperiod to grow enough to really keep nutrients under control.

    The main reason I asked was because of your initial size of 10x16. The current rule of thumb is to size your scrubber according to what you feed, not the tank volume. For each cube of food you feed per day, it's 12 sq in, lit on both sides. So 10x16 = 160 would be the appropriate size for a tank fed 15 cubes of food per day. But again, that's for a saltwater tank.

    This link is in my signature: Algae Scrubber Basics - Overview

    That is the "basics" thread, converted to a website (a freebie one, but it works)

    For a freshwater tank, you might check some discus forums and see if anyone has any personal experience. I'm not going to be a ton of help, because while I was a FW hobbyist for decades, I started using scrubbers after I flipped to salty, so I haven't ran one on freshwater personally. However I do have several customers who run them, one who runs 3.

    The feedback I hear is as above - you have to drive them hard to get production, so that means electricity and heat. Other things I've read is that the fine green hair algae does tend to break off easily, so I've seen people use a filter sock to catch that. I've also seen examples where the filter sock turns bright green very quickly, which could have been due to the specific system it was one (i.e. something not working right) but it's possible that FW algae tends to tint the water whereas this does not really happen with SW scrubbers - I've run a filter sock as a bubble-trap on a SW tank for months and never changed it, because it was just for trapping bubbles, but it never got any green discoloration.

  7. Oh, that's a bit discouraging. I have stumbled across another method of removing nitrate, phosphates and algae from the tank without water changes. Will try that one instead. Anoxic filtration. So far indicators look very positive. Cheers, Rob
  8. Turbo

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

    Seems like a freshwater-only type of system, which may be why I haven't read about it

    Kevin Novak: Anoxic Filtration - The Planted Tank Forum

    DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Sounds interesting, a few notes I saw in this last thread:

  9. Exactly the thread that I read this morning on Simply Discus. It really does look promising. Lots of experiments going on with it, and looking very good indeed. One person is using a plenum substrate in conjunction and her nitrates are permanently 0. Her tank is spotless and discus looking incredible. Possible game changer for FW...
  10. Turbo

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

  11. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Have a look at DyMiCo.
    DyMiCo - Clean and Living Water

    A friend of mine is one if the investors. Too expensive for my taste, but it does work really well!
    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G930F met Tapatalk
    Turbo likes this.
  12. Thanks Tim. Does look pretty expensive to me, and difficult to understand :D

    Here's my set up. Nothing mechanical, electronic. Just a couple baskets of cat litter with a thin layer of Flourite Red. Just started it up today, so early days. Am cycling my tank with it.


    Attached Files:

  13. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    It looks like marinepure blocks. I actually removed my blocks as I noticed nitrate dropped fast and the scrubber was not growing.. (denitrifaction consumed the no3 before the algae did)

    Verstuurd vanaf mijn SM-G930F met Tapatalk

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