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Filtration Newby ATS DIY

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by Erik737, Jul 15, 2018.

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  1. Erik737

    Erik737 New Member

    This is my first attempt at building an ATS. The downside of most ATS imo id that cleaning the screen seems like a hasle. So I wantend to build something with an easy to clean screen.

    So far nothing out of the ordinary.

    My version has 2 spraybars on the side. They do get plugged so I clean them with a toothbrush whenever I clean the screen.

    The screen fits in the middle so it’s easy to remove for cleaning or getting some algea for my docters.

    This is the setup in the sump.

    The screen is 13x27cm and is lit from two sides, each side is equipped with 8x 2w 660nm LED’s 18hr per day.
    Water supply comes from a take-off from the overflow.

    One week of algea growth.
    I feed one cube per day and the ATS has been running for six months now.
  2. Turbo

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

    Looks good! I've seen several versions of scrubbers built like this, one was a commercially available unit at least for a while (not sure if it's still being built) but it had the screen attached to the lid just like yours.

    Thanks for posting, great build! Keep the pics and updates coming!
  3. Adobo_Reef

    Adobo_Reef New Member

    I would love to see this design on my Reefer 170. How thick is the sheet?
  4. Erik737

    Erik737 New Member

    The sheet is 4mm perspex.
  5. Erik737

    Erik737 New Member

    I’ve been running this scrubber since march last year and so far I’ve been happy about the results.
    Phosphates and nitrates have always been close to zero and corals are growing fine.

    Over the last few weeks alqea growth has decreased and has now come to a point where there is hardly any growth.
    Corals (and fish) are still doing well.
    I suspect that there are now so many ‘users’ in the system that there is not enough left for the algea to grow and I need to feed more, perhaps add fish.
    Anyone with more experience that has an idea?

  6. Turbo

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

    If you're still feeding about 1 cube/day, the scrubber is a little large for that system. Not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation.

    I think if you have a gradual reversal of growth like you're seeing, it's just lack of nutrients in general. I've seen this happen on other people's systems as well - growth tapers off.

    It looks like this went on an established tank, so the rock may have been holding in some nutrients. That could explain why the scrubber grew so well for a year - it was basically "cleaning up" the system. This is just one possibility, but it seems to match what occurred.

    Now that the system is cleaner, your scrubber is oversized compared to what you are feeding. Also, corals do consume food, but also excrete waste, so they should be like the fish - a net zero.

    I would say that it would be time to modify the scrubber slightly. I would start by dialing back the intensity. If you have a way to connect the 2 lights in parallel with each other and run them off one power supply, this will cut the lighting intensity in half.

    Or you can use some diffusers, or reduce the screen size, or reduce the size of the LED array, etc. I would start with the less permanent solutions and see what you can make happen

  7. Erik737

    Erik737 New Member

    Thanks for your reply.
    I put the ATS in as I was about 1 month in the tank start-up and, indeed, still feeding about 1 cube/day.
    I always saw corals as just another type of algea growing.
    Whatever the cause is, the ratio between scrubber and feed-rate seems off at the moment and you’re right; why start feeding the algea when you can decrease the ATS.
    I tried playing around with the lighting timer, that didn’t seem to make a difference.
    Putting both sides in parallel is easy to do, I’ll try that this weekend.
    If that works I wouldn’t mind a a bit more room in my sump, so I may build a smaller version of the scrubber.

    Turbo likes this.
  8. Erik737

    Erik737 New Member

    3 weeks since I modified the scrubber. Algea growth is better, although not nearly what is was half a year ago and mostly at the bottom of the scrubber instead of on the screen.
    Still measuring 0 on nitrate and phosfate but the tank is doing well.
    I’ll keep it like this for now and see how things develop.

  9. Turbo

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

    When it comes down to it, this is the goal - nutrient reduction. 0/0 might not be the perfect goal, but at least it tells you that it is working.

    You may actually want to dial back the intensity or duration a bit. There can be detrimental effects to driving nutrients down too low

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