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On the right track?

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by tom39, Apr 17, 2014.

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  1. Turbo

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

    Textbook. Good job!
    MASTERSURGEON04 likes this.
  2. Turbo, up to this point, I have only been running 3 - 3w reds on both sides. Do you think that it is time for me to flip the switch and turn the other reds and the blues on? Which would give me 5 reds and 1 blue (at 1/2 power) per side?
  3. Turbo

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

    I would leave it be for a while. Make sure you get consistent growth. Also your tank conditions can shift as your scrubber picks up 'strength' so changing too many things before you know if things are stable can lead to incorrect conclusions
  4. Ricky

    Ricky Member Trusted Member Multiple Units! Customer

    If it aint' broke...
  5. Thought I would post an update since it has been a while.
    My scrubber is doing great. My cleaning is about every 2 weeks and the last scraping yielded 14.2 oz.


    I have yet to increase the light intensity and still only running 3 reds each side with the diffuser in place. Unless I start to see a decline, I don't think I will have the need for the other 2 reds and the 1 blue per side.
    I have however increased the flow and that seems to yield a greener crop. Going to experiment with increasing flow until I see a decline.
    This Friday I will pull the carbon and gfo and monitor any changes.
    Next on the list will be the bio-pellet reactor.
    Anyway, the tank is 95% clear of algae and I could not be happier.

    Peter likes this.
  6. Her is a pic of the before.

  7. Turbo

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

    Awesome before & after! How long ago is the 'before'?

    You might get faster growth if you up the LEDs, but right now - not broke, don't fix it.
  8. The before pic was from May 16, 2014. 10 days after my ATS went on line.
    The latest pic which was the time of the last harvest, was August 1st, 2014, which would be the 11th week and 4th cleaning.
  9. Turbo

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

    Nice! A lot better growth than this scrubber at 11 weeks...

  10. That kind of looks like spaghetti noodles in a pesto sauce. Those things aren't cheap for it to be working so poorly and taking so long, I feel bad for that guy. I had 50% algae dieback in my DT after 7-8 weeks and that felt like forever. I can't imagine how long it is going to take that guy to get to that point. I would strip my dt down and start over before I would wait that out.
    After watching that video I feel compelled to again thank you and all the others that provided advice for the building and operation of my scrubber.

  11. Peter

    Peter Member Trusted Member Customer

    Amazing results Tom!
    I hope to catch up with your growth soon. I am running my Turbo's Aquatics L4 for 4 weeks now, and I got some really good growth so far.
  12. The worst part is the wait for the screen to mature. But once it does, it is AWESOME!
  13. I have no idea what is going on here. Is this a growth stage? This is about 3 weeks of growth. Very interesting looking, not sure what to make of it.
    Any ideas?
  14. Peter

    Peter Member Trusted Member Customer

    It seems like pipe slot is blocked somewhere from algae growing on top of your screen. Maybe you should try to remove pipe and inspect this.
    Try to clean pipe thoroughly and see what will happen next.
    I don't think that this can be due LED light position itself.
    Your glass window on scrubber is clean?
  15. I thought the same thing about flow but there was nothing blocking the slot and thee was no growth under the light blockers.
    I am thinking of making the slot a little wider or rounding the edges to see if that helps.
    What do you think?
  16. Peter

    Peter Member Trusted Member Customer

    I am not experienced a lot with algae scrubbers, so I shouldn't give more advice. :)
    Nevertheless, you got really great growth before, so I am positive that you shouldn't modify anything mechanically at this point.
    Only difference is in water parameters, or maybe even battle for domination between some algae types in your DT.
    Please, let us wait for someone more experienced to answer, before you change anything.
    I am just trying to help somehow.
  17. Turbo

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

    You had really good growth before, has anything else changed??

    I skimmed the thread and saw this pics
    I normally would have commented about this, but I must have missed it. Have you tested & verified your power-outage water level in the sump? Is it possible that you flooded the scrubber during an outage and fried one of the LED arrays in the process? Because that growth makes it look like you only have a few of the LEDs working.

    Another explanation might be that you had a blast of strong growth which was the scrubber "cleaning up" and then the available nutrient started to ramp down, and the result is over-lighting. What has your photoperiod been?
  18. I have checked the power outage level of the sump and have plenty of room to spare and have confirmed that all of the leds are functioning. Also, I have not changed my lighting period since August when I was seeing awesome growth and is still a 4hr on 4hr off cycle with 3 leds per side.
    One thing that I did notice was that there was this white sponge like growth inside the scrubber box, not sure what that that is either. I should have taken a pic of it to post but forgot to get one before I flushed it.
    I cleaned the screen and box and it is currently up and running. I will monitor the growth and see if it goes back to normal before I make any changes.
  19. Turbo

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

    So are you doing 4 on 4 off continuously throughout the day? 12 hrs/day total?

    How much are you feeding now?

    Since the tank algae is gone, that might indicate that the source of it's nutrients has been wiped out. This would send to support the soluble waste theory, which is basically that the surface of the rocks can contain a layer of nutrients that is still soluble, so when you drop the water column nutrients these leech out. Once these are gone your extra nutrient source is gone, and the scrubber might now be over-lit.

    This theory is basically the SM "phosphate leeching" theory, except limited to what is soluble. The rocks don't actually absorb phosphate like a sponge as he states, there are 2 mechanisms of nutrient deposit. One is non-bound surface nutrients, the other is chemically bound in a crystalline form to the rock structure through a form of precipitation, and the only way to unbind that form is by lowering the pH below 7.0, which is why people acid bath their rocks as a last resort. Theoretically, phosphate solublizing bacteria (PSBs) can access the bound phosphate but it is a very slow process and has not really been studied in reef tanks so saying that is what is happening is quite a stretch.
  20. That sounds very logical and probible. I only feed about 1.5 cubes a day so I think that you are right on with your explanation.
    I will cut back the time and see how it goes. What do you think of 3 hrs on and 5 hrs off? For a total of 9 hrs a day instead of 12. Then if I still see that growth,either reduce the light more or feed more.

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