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Algae Scrubber.. not scrubbing! :(


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  • Regular Member

Hello everyone..

 

I decided to make an (DIY) scrubber similar to this:

 

and have it in the return part of the sump

 

However, the algae is starting to grow inside of the tank not in the scrubber & I don't know what to do to make it grow where is supposed to..

I thought about moving the scrubber inside of the tank for a couple of weeks to allow the existing algae migrate to the scrubber then move it back to the sump but I don't really know if this will happen

 

 

Any suggestions ???

 

 

 

 

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  • Regular Member

I actually made one of these unintentionally, and it worked great!  I had a floating plant net, which was directly beneath my quad t5 ho light.  The algae grew only in there, and nowhere else, and boy did it grow like crazy.  The net was directly beneath the filter outflow, which made the perfect environment for it to grow.

 

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  • Regular Member

I actually made one of these unintentionally, and it worked great!  I had a floating plant net, which was directly beneath my quad t5 ho light.  The algae grew only in there, and nowhere else, and boy did it grow like crazy.  The net was directly beneath the filter outflow, which made the perfect environment for it to grow.

 

100_5617_zpse4740985.jpg

 

 

100_5620_zps21f59a63.jpg

 

100_5618_zps6a8fed3d.jpg

 

100_5623_zpsfa568d98.jpg

 

Thanks!!.. I guess not many ppl have algae scrubbers.. :undecided:  (you're the only one out of 60 that has been able to give me some feedback)

 

How long did it take (from day 1) for the algae to grow inside the net ??

Don't you think that "all the green" you have has helped to create an ideal environment for the algae??..

 

I'm in the understanding that Im doing the same thing but with different process

I have a 20G air pump dedicated only to pump air inside the scrubber to simulate the same water flow yours receive

and I have RED led's which I thought were better (than regular fluorescent) for the algae growth

I've seen this ones on youtube and everyone's seems to be working just fine ..So I don't know what am I doing wrong!??

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It took a while for it to start growing there, but once it did, it was unstoppable.  I was pulling out chunks every two weeks.  I've seen scrubbers for HOBs that was hanging out of the outflow, so maybe try it that way, and see if it works better.  It's not as aesthetic, I suppose, but it got the job done.

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Is there only that red light on it? Switch to a fuller spectrum bulb. Like a cfl that he uses in the video. I'm not so sure how well algae grows with red lighting.

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Thanks Mikey.. I might try that.. :)

 

However, algae grows faster at a lower kelvin (warmer color) light

Red LED being approx 1500K-2000K is better to grow algae (for what I read) than a regular fluorescent lamp (3000k-5000k).

He used a fluorescent light in the video to keep costs as low as possible but the company that build the scrubbers professionally (Santa Monica Filtration) uses red LED

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HOG1-3-UAS-Upflow-Algae-Scrubber-with-Green-Grabber-Textures-/291093140231?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43c680d307

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Thanks Mikey.. I might try that.. :)

However, algae grows faster at a lower kelvin (warmer color) light

Red LED being approx 1500K-2000K is better to grow algae (for what I read) than a regular fluorescent lamp (3000k-5000k).

He used a fluorescent light in the video to keep costs as low as possible but the company that build the scrubbers professionally (Santa Monica Filtration) uses red LED

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HOG1-3-UAS-Upflow-Algae-Scrubber-with-Green-Grabber-Textures-/291093140231?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43c680d307

want to know what I've been noticing? Everything with salt water says red. But what about freshwater? Doesn't algae grow differently in salt in some cases :hmm I'm stumped here right now :rofl
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It will take some time to establish algae on the filter.  Did you rough up the mesh?   If you keep scrubbing the algae off the sides of the tank they will eventually colonize the mesh.  Can you turn off or decrease the lighting in the tank?

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It will take some time to establish algae on the filter.  Did you rough up the mesh?   If you keep scrubbing the algae off the sides of the tank they will eventually colonize the mesh.  Can you turn off or decrease the lighting in the tank?

That's actually what I was thinking.. (meaning patience)

I only have 5ppm nitrates so "How can I expect algae if I don't have sufficient amount of nitrates" ..Duh! :doh11:

The amount of algae I have in the tank is super little, just a few inches in top of the silicone (joints)

 

The mesh was sanded pretty hard so it is good (I guess)

 

I only have the option of "ON" - "OFF" & "NIGHT" (blue LED's).. Not dimmer

but I guess I can turn off the light earlier.. right now it's "ON" from 9am to midnight (15hrs/ day)

 

I even thought about scrubbing the tank algae and place it on the mesh.. perhaps it's cheating but it might do the trick!

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  • 2 months later...
  • Regular Member

Any news on your scrubber? I was thinking of setting one up myself, since one of the things I remember from keeping tropical's was the constant war with algae.

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I only have 5ppm nitrates so "How can I expect algae if I don't have sufficient amount of nitrates" ..Duh! :doh11:

The amount of algae I have in the tank is super little, just a few inches in top of the silicone (joints)

 

The mesh was sanded pretty hard so it is good (I guess)

 

I only have the option of "ON" - "OFF" & "NIGHT" (blue LED's).. Not dimmer

but I guess I can turn off the light earlier.. right now it's "ON" from 9am to midnight (15hrs/ day)

 

I even thought about scrubbing the tank algae and place it on the mesh.. perhaps it's cheating but it might do the trick!

 

 

You might also say "How can I expect my nitrifiers to survive when I have 0 ppm ammonia and nitrite?"  If you had any readable amount of ammonia, it would mean you have more ammonia in the tank than your ammonia oxidizers can use.  Since you have low nitrates, something is eating them.  Since you still have some nitrates, that "something" is overfed.

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It will take some time to establish algae on the filter.  Did you rough up the mesh?   If you keep scrubbing the algae off the sides of the tank they will eventually colonize the mesh.  Can you turn off or decrease the lighting in the tank?

 

 

Any news on your scrubber? I was thinking of setting one up myself, since one of the things I remember from keeping tropical's was the constant war with algae.

 

My dollar scrubber is (finally) working AWSOME!!.. :nana

 

The filters took over 3 months to cycle so I guess "patience" was the key..

 

I'm cleaning the scrubber once a week to allow new algae to grow so right now it looks "semi white".. I'll post a picture of it (w/ algae) in a few days..

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Just a question-- what are the benefits of this? I thought we didn't want to grow algae?

The only reason we don't want algae is aesthetic. in reality, it is very good for water chemistry. :)

Edited by ChelseaM
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Just a question-- what are the benefits of this? I thought we didn't want to grow algae?

The only reason we don't want algae is aesthetic. in reality, it is very good for water chemistry. :)

What about it is good for water chemistry? Excuse my lack of knowledge, haha.

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  • Regular Member

 

 

Just a question-- what are the benefits of this? I thought we didn't want to grow algae?

The only reason we don't want algae is aesthetic. in reality, it is very good for water chemistry. :)

What about it is good for water chemistry? Excuse my lack of knowledge, haha.

 

Read for yourself.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_scrubber

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  • Helper

What Chelsea said. Algae is very healthy, especially soft brown algae, diatoms, green water (volvox), hair algae, etc etc. Some types, like cyanobacteria, stag horn, and black beard algae are less helpful.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Well if I do end up needing one, I need to figure out how to make one that doesn't involve having to stick a lamp against the side of my tank.

Ugh, and I can't believe they charge $$$ for pre-made ones.

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Well if I do end up needing one, I need to figure out how to make one that doesn't involve having to stick a lamp against the side of my tank.

Ugh, and I can't believe they charge $$$ for pre-made ones.

 

I spent around $8 with mine (for the airstones, the mesh & suction cups)..  I already had the air pump, silicone, red LED & the power supply to power the LED's so I saved myself $50-60 there.

 

There's an LFS that make & sells them and they charge above $150

 

The one I made is a combination of the one Joey made in youtube and the one from Santa Monica filtration (eBay)..

When ready.. let me know.. I think I can probably start a thread in "how did I make mine"..

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