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Scrubbing too much...help?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Skull, Sep 8, 2018.

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  1. Skull

    Skull New Member

    Heloo Guys:

    I started with algae scrubbing two months ago, however I changed lots of things on my scrubber and I can say it really started working well 2 weeks ago, I optimized the size, the flow, the light and the power consumption, the mesh (or net) is very near the light source, leds are dimmerized and I got very little consumption and great algae growing, and when I say great I mean GREAT!

    My TANK is:
    180L net water
    2 small damsel fishes and 1 medium Zebrasoma Flavescens
    Like 10 small coral frags, 2 LPS and the rest all sps.
    NO3 = 0.2 (Salifert)
    PO4 = 0.00 (Hanna)
    Salt = 1.025
    Kh = 7.5 very stable (Hanna)
    Calcium = 415 Stable (Salifert)
    Skimmer Deltec AF600 = Rated for 700L modified with a Red Dragon pump for more air intake

    Mesh = 16x20cm (one sided, but it gets full of algae on both because of the proximity to the light source)
    Water pumping = 700L/h
    17 hours light (660nm osram, 660nm Cree, full spect. and 430nm Semiled leds)

    My tank was always 0.2 Nitrates and 0 Phosphates, and corals were good, I started feeding a lot since I turned on my scrubber, and NO3 and PO4 never went up.
    Exactly 2 weeks ago, when I fixed/optimized it, the few algae growing in the display went away, but color on some corals faded away too, a few days back I almost lost my monti CAP, it was completely white and no PE, so I turned off my skimmer and the scrubber for 2 days and now it seeeeems like the cap is going back to life..very slowly, at least I can see PE now, zoas don't grow at all, and my only LPS favites started to bleaching on one side and lost the red color, Acros are doing fantastic!

    I believe the scrubber is too much for my tank, it is growing too much algae (I harvest it once a week and take like half cup of strong green and brown algae), I am feeding a LOT, however my NO3 were always stucked in 0.2, after these 3 days of no skimm nor scrubbing (and keep the heavy feeding) the NO3 went up to 0.5 ppm.

    I want to tune this up, and be able to use the scrubber, able to have a display free of algae and have the coral colors back, the question is:

    -Should I cut some hours to the scrubber light?
    -Should I leave it like that and start dosing NO3? (like Potassium Nitrate?)
    -Should I buy more fish and leave the scrubber like it is today?

    May be some one of you had this issue/problem before and can help me or guide me where to start?

    Thank you guys in advance!
  2. Turbo

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

    Sorry for the delay, I've been out of state on a job training apprenticeship

    about 47 gallons
    Converting to inches (for me) that's 48, or about 6.5 x 7.8 ish, but single-sided makes it essentially 24, which is ~2 cubes/day
    184 GPH = 28 GPH/in or 23 GPH/in, that's OK if that's actual flow but if that's based on the pump rated flow, it's likely much lower (head loss)

    This sounds like a fair assumption - you only have 3 fish, and a ~2 cube/day scrubber, lit 17 hrs/day, that's a bit much ever for a single-sided scrubber

    I would reduce to 9-12 hours/day
    I am not a fan of dosing nutrients for the purposes of growing algae (i.e. "feeding the scrubber"), there are times when it makes sense but you need to proceed with caution. I would firstly work on adjusting things like flow, LED intensity, and LED duration and balancing out feeding and scrubbing/skimming aggressiveness. Also, be careful not to over-clean (or over-harvest), you want to leave plenty behind to keep the nutrient steady
    more fish generally means more feeding, less dosing, etc...but you don't "need" to buy more fish to balance it out. That sort of falls in line with not dosing if you don't need to.

    Again sorry for the delay, keep the questions coming, if you think I misunderstood anything, let me know
  3. Skull

    Skull New Member

    Thank you Turbo, your comments are of great help to me!
    A few days ago I changed to 12 hours of light on the scrubber, but made a mistake, I overfed my tank the whole weekend, my NO3 went from 0 to 2.5 in two days.

    Now, with the change from 17hrs to 12, it seems to be stable at 2.5ppm NO3, I would love to have them there! Not above nor below, 2.5ppm seems perfect to me.

    I have the Potassium Nitrate but after measuring the tank and realize it was 2.5ppm didn't dose anything, so I believe it will stay like this for some time and see what happens.
    The algae in the scrubber grows more slowly now.

    I believe I can find the balance I am looking for.
    Turbo likes this.

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