1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Running other reactors with ats

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pcezar925, May 23, 2015.

Welcome to Algae Scrubbing Join our community today
  1. pcezar925

    pcezar925 New Member

    Hey guys I'm new to ats, but a lot of other reefers from my group say that u shouldn't run bio pellets and ats together? Of course they don't use ats themselves. Do u guys use both? Can gfo be used as well?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Turbo

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

    I've heard that too on other forums, but I don't know of any hard evidence to show this. I think I read a thread on The Reef Tank to the effect of BP and Algae Scrubbers being a "recipe for disaster". The guys on TRT are pretty down on scrubbers though, and I doubt any of them have tried BP + Algae Scrubber.

    What I can tell you is that the people who have told me that they run Algae Scrubbers + Biopellets have some of the best scrubber growth I've seen.

    Biopellets are a carbon source for bacteria. Algae mats have dynamic surface area by nature - the surface are grows as the algae mass grows. Bacteria populate on all surfaces of the system, and algae in the scrubber is no exception. So when you export the algae, you will also by nature export some bacteria.

    This is a somewhat parallel/similar concept to Zeovit in a way, in that you shake the Zeo to break the biofilms and create new surface area for bacteria to populate (that is not by experience, that's just what I've been told)

    I think that the concern is that there are sugars (carbons) that algae exudates and this can be a source of food for bacteria, so if you are running both, you can have issue with bacterial population explosion. The same thing might happen if you run a huge amount of biopellets right from the get-go

    As will all things, moderation and balance is the key, and that's what some people tend to skip over. Some will tend to point out the worst thing that can happen and make it seem like it's the straw that broke the camel's back. The point here is that if you run both, you should first of all make very gradual changes to your system. Second, don't run any more biopellets than you need to maintain stable levels. That means, if you add another piece of filtration - any piece of filtration, not just an Algae Scrubber, you may need to adjust the other components (over time) to compensate for the lessened load.

    So in the case of adding an Algae Scrubber to a tank that primarily runs BP for filtration, what you might do is start the scrubber about the same time that you replenish the BP. The scrubber will take time to ramp up, so it shouldn't affect the tank immediately - likely not for a few weeks. As your biopellets dissolve, and they get to the point where you should replenish them, add about half of what you would normally add, and then keep it replenished at that level for a while and monitor your parameters closely. If you see a spike, then add a bit more BP.

    You might follow this trend of backing off the BP until your scrubber is mature and growing consistently - this might take several months, making slow changes, and monitoring things in the system. And, of course, change nothing else during this time.

    The key with any change to a system is to do it gradually. When you hear someone complain about a system crashing and they blame it on a particular piece of equipment malfunctioning, it's usually the guy in the mirror that made the mistake.

    That's my take on it...HTH
  3. pcezar925

    pcezar925 New Member

    Wow, okay thank u for the info. Do u only run an ats in your system?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Turbo

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

    On my personal tank (which I really need to update, I'm sure I've got a thread on my OWN SITE somewhere :eek:) I run an L2 on top of the tank (sumpless) it's a 120 2x2x4, running 2+years with no water changes (which isn't the best way, but for me, it works - I don't add anything to the tank)

    I maintain another tank in an office, that is a 144 and also runs only an L2

    I clean the scrubber on a restaurant tank every 2 weeks, 200g, owner does PWCs, it runs filter socks, carbon (changed very infrequently) and a RO-150NW skimmer

    All 3 tanks have really negligible N and P over long term, and no algae problems in the tanks. The office tank has a lot of loc-line at the surface and lights right there too so there is a lot of surface algae growth along the back/top of the tank, but it's not a nuisance.

Share This Page