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Scrubber build

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by Tim, Sep 17, 2017.

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  1. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    some results tmp_5725-20180214_2026271036570592.jpg tmp_5725-20180214_2026271036570592.jpg tmp_5725-20180214_2022122073713341.jpg

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  2. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Still doing incredibly well; lid 17 hours per day . tmp_18076-20180225_092421599771221.jpg tmp_18076-20180225_0910571456796037.jpg tmp_18076-20180225_091035647535376.jpg
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  3. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    1,5 months ago I placed two big blocks of marine pure in my tank too see what would happen. Despite feeding a lot, I notice by scrubber is growing a bit less and I also noticed some diatoms (I think) developing on the sand. So I decided to check the water paramaters to see what is going on.

    It turns out no3 is way lower than before; instead of 3.0.. it has dropped to 1.0 !! Apart from that po4 increased from 0.03 to 0.06. I do not like to jump to conclusions.. but I think the is some denitrification due to the marine pure blocks which is driving no3 too low; inhibiting algae growth.
    I will probably remove them to restore the No3 : po4 balance, I fear there will be a cyano outbrake if the growth of hair algae is restricted and po4 keeps climbing.

    On the other side I think this is very interesting moment.. as I can test too what extend po4 is removed by algae when no3 is limited.. I can tell by the about of growth and testing water parameters. I will remove 1 block by the end of the week, test for no3/po4, and leave the other one in there too see what will happen.
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  4. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

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  5. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Building new led light; tmp_24584-20180309_2107331758491382.jpg tmp_24584-20180309_2107521890814888.jpg
  6. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    In between MX-4.. I hope this is going to be a bad-*** light. It will light the scrubber much more even now.
  7. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Today I finished the new led build. results: tmp_15603-20180310_203412377821541.jpg tmp_15603-20180310_214538305329364.jpg tmp_15603-20180310_192951216119677.jpg
  8. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    So far the led is performing really well, the heatsink becomes just a little bit warm. I also notice now the scrubber is maturing there is a thick layer of hair algae that just does not come off easily. I really have to scrape hard to remove the algae. Is this normal? Or should I leave this layer and just scrape off the excess?

    The scrubber is still lid 17 hours per day. Flow increased; the scrubber is fed now by a jecod DCP5000 at 40%.
  9. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Your tutorial on soldering also helped out a lot bud, unfortunately my iron did not became hot enough to quickly apply the solder, but it looked much cleaner than before. I will light the scrubber from 2 sides for now.. I think that would be overkill. I already have a hard time getting enough algae on 1 side. I have too feed a ton..

    that also makes me wonder if I should leave the bottom layer of algae.. when the scrubber is scraped off clean.. I guess no3/po4 will rise a bit initially and affect stability a bit..
  10. Turbo

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

    Doing partial cleanings or "pruning" is always a viable option. I try to leave anywhere from 10-25% of the growth in tact. I just take a plastic scraper and "drag" is over the screen to pull growth away, rinse, and leave whatever stays attached behind.

    A less aggressive method is to use the corner of a scraper and scrape lines about 1" apart in an "X" pattern on one side, and a "#" pattern on the other, this leaves patches behind that don't intersect from one side to another which allows light and water flow to get through to the base of growth pretty well.

    Intermediate/partial harvests can be done more frequently, like every 7 days or so, doing that 3 times in a row and then doing a more aggressive harvest is a good plan, then repeat that.
  11. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    so far so good. I recently dumped 10 cubes of frozen food in the tank... i accidently forgot to place the blister back in the freezer. scrubber just explodes with algea and no3/po4 remains stable. incredible... I also burned the algea.. flow was too low again and I increased flow to 3000lph (for 42 cm screen).

    Apart from that I ordered MnEDTA and will experiment with this. FeEDDHA is thusfar without any problems. I am also in the process to come up with a 2-part for ATS systems.. i wonder too what extend K/I/B/Sr is consumed by the scrubber and will be measuring these.

    It will be in the form of a genuine 2-part based on JimWelsh. However, I will add trace elements and make sure Na:CI:SO4 will be balanced nearly spot on (also taking into account the exact amount of water to remove and adding back the lost trace element by doing so etc)
    kH mix contains: sodiumhydroxide/sodiumsulfate/potassiumiodide/trisodiumtreaborate/sodiummolybdate
    Ca mix contains: calciumchloride anhydrate/magnesiumchloride hexahydrate/potassiumchloride/strontiumchloride hexahydrate

    I do not know if it is possible to combine MnEDTA and FeEDDHA. for now i'll just dose them seperately.

    I also tried calciumcarbonate dosing for clear water (like kz coralsnow). I tried it with the scrubber.. no problem whatsoever and the water is very clear!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  12. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    hair algae looking awsome.. I just scrape of the top layer. [​IMG]

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  13. Turbo

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

    That's a great way to do it, nice use of an icing spatula!!
  14. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Yes, I am very pleased, I notice the increased flow definitely prevents the algae from yellowing. I will be adding many NPS corals to my tank. I think this will be the biggest advantages of the scrubber; keeping the water nutritious and rich. I wonder if I can get away with just dumping a big chunk of frozen food in the tank two times a day. I do not own NPS at the moment though, I do have a feather seastar for a few months now.
  15. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    So I recently got Mn-EDTA 6% fertilizer solution. 1 drop equals 9.5 ppb increase for my tank volume. This is 5x the more than desired. I found this out too late, as I forgot a comma and thought I was dosing 0.95 ppb. I expected a tank crash but it did not happen... I wonder too what extend the scrubber will have absorbed the manganese. Anyone an idea how much % of algae consists of x elements? I think it may be very interesting to figure out...

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  16. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Another good harvest.

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  17. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    So, the past growth has been a bit of a disappointment. I have been feeding a lot, overfeeding, I think maybe 1/4 is eaten by the fish.. the remaining demineralises in the tank. I have a low fishload.

    I wonder, bud, it is possible to skew the no3:po4 balans to po4, if there are not enough fish to actually eat the food and supply no3? I say this because I noticed algea growth dit not recover after the last harvest. I expected a massive amount but did not got much.

    No3: 0.2
    Po4: 0.2

    I do have a big marinepure block in my sump... other than that; nothing. Should I remove the block (which may denitrify and inhibit algae growth) or is it true po4 rises if there are not enough fish to consume the food and supply no3. I am confused by my findings as I thought the amount of cubes fed determine the size en flow of the scrubber.

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  18. Turbo

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

    #1 rule of mine is don't feed the scrubber. Size and operate the scrubber based on how much you feed, but don't size the scrubber and then drive it like you were feeding 4x more than you are, and then start feeding 4x more because it is now "underfed".

    Instead, adjust the scrubber (flow, light intensity, light photoperiod) to more closely match your feeding, or rather, your tank needs. There is no perfect formula here unfortunately, only something that will get you in the ballpark.

    Regarding NO3 and PO4: in a lab, you can monitor uptake rates and see the consumption of these relative to each other, and that is usually pretty repeatable. But our tanks are much more dynamic. There are denitrifying bacteria which skew the NO3 down, and then there can also be phosphate depositing (or leeching) mechanisms working, depending on your rock/sand condition. There is a thread on R2R about this where someone actually tested this situation so it's not a myth or half-truth - it actually does happen.

    The bottom line is that you are better off with food that is eaten/digested vs uneaten food that is broken down by other organisms (or by rotting).

    Also remember that the real thing that matters is how your tank looks. If your system is disease free, nuisance algae free, coral growing well, etc - then Nitrate at 2 (which is low) and Phosphate at 0.2 (which isn't necessarily "high") might be OK.
  19. Tim

    Tim Member Trusted Member

    Hi Turbo,

    Thank you for your advice. To be honest, I like to experiment and test the limits of the scrubber to a certain extend. I am planning on having NPS corals and broadcast feed them by dumping chunks of frozen food in the tank. So this skewed ratio is an opportunity to understand the scrubber dynamics.

    I will remove the marinepure block and start dosing potassiumnitrate, to see if this is the limiting factor for the scrubber. I find it hard to believe I initially had a very thick mat of hair algae which suddenly came to a halt.. despite improved lighting, high flow a fair amount of trace elements. There must be something limiting.

    Iron and manganese are ok; I dosed both (Fe-EDDHA/Mn-EDTA) and it did not make a difference. Apart from that potassium has been corrected from 340 to 400+ and molybdate added to the kH-mix.. Sr/B/I are also on target. I think, but do not know for sure, that the scrubber can handle all the excess food given the right circumstances. Iuse some gfo in a panty hose to drive po4 down a bit. If I can drive it around 0.1 that would be excellent and I will remove the gfo and block and start adding the potassiumnitrate to the topoff water. Hopefully that will be the solution. I will report my findings in time.

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  20. Turbo

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

    You may have a greater dynamic than just the PO4 in the water. If it's leeching, and depending on the method of leeching, you could use GFO to pull it out of the water column fast, but when you remove the GFO it might bounce right back up again (leeching from rock > water). I believe (could have this wrong) that there is an organic/inorganic phosphorus conversion process constantly happening, so this might also be in effect.

    My take is that you can't force algae to grow very easily. I understand what you're doing, the experiment part, and I'm all for that :)

    Therefore, some of my comments are mainly related to what most people would be mainly concerned with - how the tank looks...which doesn't necessarily apply in this case.

    What might have happened when you had that growth spurt is that the algae scrubber had a "sink" of nutrients available that had built up slightly while the scrubber was in disrepair, but the scrubber was still present, not growing great, but it might still have been "preconditioning" the water. Then, when you made certain corrections and got the scrubber running much better, the conditions were perfect for growth to take off and use up that sink of nutrients. And we're not necessarily talking about a huge nutrient sink, maybe not even enough to register a noticeable difference in some test kits! But it was enough such that the algae thrived on that, but it emptied that reservoir out quickly and then growth fell back to a lower level.

    I'd recommend, if you make a series of changes, that you give it a longer period of time before drawing too many conclusions. I've seen a scrubber run on a system for 6-9 months and not really produce very well, and then it will turn a corner and growth will explode. Not really sure of the mechanism behind that. I would certainly love to find out!

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