View Full Version : Algae Turf Scrubbers

03/08/2000, 09:28 PM
Does anyone use one? Just read an article in Tropical Fish Hobbyist that sounded interesting. Eric Borneman wrote the article in the March issue. Had an interesting thread over at Aqua-link http://www.aqualink-too.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/025889.html They refered me here for additional info.
TIA, Mike

Larry M
03/08/2000, 09:53 PM
Mike--Welcome to the board. One of the moderators here, cetenophore, has an ATS. He will check in with you on this thread, I'm sure. Here is the link to his website:

although he hasn't update it since he added the ATS.

Larry M

See my tanks at Northern Reef (http://www.reefcentral.com/northernreef/index.htm)

03/08/2000, 11:07 PM
From what I've been hearing from Morgan at Inland Aquatics, it looks as though if you want an ATS, you'll have to DIY it. There is some legal issue with Dr.Adey, and IA no longer has the right to sell the units based upon Adey's patents. I purchased a unit recently, and I got the impression that they went out of their way to sell me one.

In the future I will definitely want another, and since I am horrible at DIY, I think I will take the unit to a local plastics store and ask if they can clone it for me for under $500.

03/09/2000, 05:48 AM
My advice for anyone DIY-ing an ATS (and it beats the heck out of buying one IMO) is to avoid any of the schematics offered by the brilliant Dr. Adey (in his book Dynamic Aquaria).

Try the concept out with a non-mechanical model. A small tray with a standpipe drain to allow (say) 1.5" of water; a clear cover; a lightsource over it (.5 to 2w per sq.in.); and rigid plastic screening cut to fit the tray (w/ a hole to allow for the standpipe); a means to get water to it and from the standpipe back to the main tank (tray vol/minute up to 4 vols/minute). No wave action. Bare bones.

To harvest, you just pick up the screen and thwack it against a hard surface (outside the house!) to lose algal growth. Study the benefits and downsides. IME an ATS is a great addition to nutrient-suppressing fitlration like skimmers, etc.

The models on the market (until recently) seem oversized if they are to be supplemental devices. They seem designed to wholly embrace Dr. Adey's purist approach (no skimming, etc.) --and they can be prohibitively priced. That is why I recommend cheap DIY to try it out first.
Besides, the purist approach gives you yellow water (w/c within limits I don't mind but you might)

If you need more info, let me know.

03/09/2000, 06:42 PM
horge ... great idea. I have wanted to build an ATS for a long time but this makes it sound real simple. I have one of the rectangular 20 gallon tubs that you get at WalMart, HD ect that I use for a surge device. It has a toilet valve in it so it never goes dry. Do you think that I could just put the algae tray on the floor of this tank, throw a light over it and start scrubbing? Where do you get the start for the turf algae that you use in an ATS? Can you make the tray out of egg crate with plastic window screen streched over it for the tray? What do you mean rigid plastic screening? I am full of question tonight. :D

03/10/2000, 05:25 AM
Did I hear you right? UNDER US$500?? Man, that's a lotta moolah!! How much did the old IA models cost??!!!

I was talking about plastic screening, the kind they sell in rolls --in various gauges the 'rigid' implied the quality/gauge you should choose within the range offered.

Seeding your ATS?? Haha, if you light it, they will come :)

Fearing a spread of possibly-unwanted turf in the display, I really wouldn't suggest the raw return provided by your surge
cistern. I'm sure you can devise a sequence of filtration devices in the circuit to discourage turf colonization of the display.

03/10/2000, 08:03 AM
Thanks for the pics and all responses. Sounds like another project for another day. Mike

03/10/2000, 08:25 AM
Actually, you can't get the IA scrubbers for $500. After shipping and a few extras(pre-seeded screens, fan, shipping) the unit comes to about $600 for my hang on back model. The large shuttle that ctenophore has starts at $800. These things are not remotely cheap or even affordable, but IA was the only manufacturer of quality units I knew of. There was some other company that has those 4 page black and white ads in FAMA with no pictures. I heard their units were less than insipring, so I never even considered that option.

03/24/2000, 07:19 PM
I have been very interested in ATS ever since I travelled to Inland Aquatics a few months ago. I would love to run a big tank with an ATS. I talked to Morgan at IA earlier this week and he said I could still get on from them for a few more weeks.

Also, check out this link and let me know what you think. Anyone ever heard of this company?

03/24/2000, 10:44 PM
HI Chad, I have seen these in action and they were not too impressive, there was no real motion over the screens. One product that I am surprised we haven't heard about is the RDP from US aquarium. I saw it at MACNA10 and talked to John Walsh how helped design it about it. I think that it would be a great ATS. They just can't call it that, Adey owns the name. I will see if I can find something about it...HTH

03/25/2000, 06:50 PM
I don't have a "ATS" I just have a sump in which I grow algea under a 400 W MH.
I have a lot of current but it is not a surge/wave or turbulent flow.
I have found that lighting 12 on and 12 off helps my PH. With 24hr lighting I had a PH of 8.0. With a 12 on 12 off light cycle I now have a PH of 8.3
It is amazing how fast algea can grow and cover not only the screen(fiberglass window screen) but the sides of the sump.
I find a lot of amphiopods in the algea.

I'm so skeptical, I can hardly believe it!
The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant

03/25/2000, 09:14 PM
If there's 'turf' algae in there (okay, hair, or whatever else the pedestrian epithet for them is), and you harvest it, then it IS an ATS :D

This business with using a surge is just icing on an already very rich and fulfilling cake.