View Full Version : Algae Turf Scrubber question

09/22/2010, 02:37 PM
I'm fighting cyano for about 5 months without success and thinking of building a ATS but from what I read it's typically a high flow rate but inmy case I'm trying to growcyano for exporting so'm guessing I should have a low flow rate. Jim

09/22/2010, 04:45 PM
Cyanobacteria are known for their many toxins produced. Some algae can produce toxins, but I would only assume that the cyano toxins could be more of a problem.

FWIW, perhaps growing algae would be safer. I don't know for sure, since the species you happen to grow would be the biggest factor in the final outcome. :)

09/22/2010, 04:50 PM
The whole idea behind an algae turf scrubber is to create an environment so ideal for algae (water flow, high lighting) that it will proliferate there rather than in your tank. This, in theory, should allow your excess nutrients to be consumed by the algae on the screen which eventually will kill off most if not all of the pest algae you have in your display tank, depending on how efficient your screen is. This is a sort of starvation process may take some time so if you end up installing one on your tank don't expect the cyano to be gone the next day. Additionally, slow flow over the screen will only cause you more problems because algae will grow, and then die off from air exposure, thus releasing the nutrients back into the water.

09/22/2010, 05:15 PM
I'm sorry & obviously out of my element (if I have one), but I remember reading that cyanobacteria isboth a bacteria and an algae. That's why I thought the cyano would consume the nutrients thereby allowing meto extract the cyano growth. I never thought about algae also growing especially if it's a low flow rate. I also didn't know/consider the toxins emmitted from the cyano.
I'm back to ground zeero, but did start today, using a portable power head to
'wash' the areaswherecyano typically grows as well as redirect thed three other pwoer heads and for the first timehave somegood visibleresults.I'll keep thisup and abandon the scrubber approach.
Thanks for the help, Jim

09/22/2010, 05:22 PM
Cleaning your sandbed if it is less than 3" deep, can pull small food particles out & other dead debris. It also disturbs the surface sand that cyano have become established in, which can add together to help rid the sand bed surface of cyano. The cyano can feed on the nutrients as fast as they escape from your sand bed which means your water column can have low nutrient levels.

Scrubbing the cyano off rocks will remove the cyano that is established and also remove derbris the rock has collected. Just siphoning may not be as effective.

09/22/2010, 05:43 PM
HighladReefer, thanks for your inputs. I'm just gettign it together. First I replaced an very fine white sand with FiJi aragonite whicis a larger grain size thereby allowing higher water flows near the substrate. I have been brushing the rock and the water flow across the tank is pretty good. I juar started using a powerhead to get into the small areas where cyano hads been a problem and I think I'm finally making progress.
I had a setback when I used a chemical 'remedy' because it killed a massive number of white worms which not only added massive food for the cyano but set back the nitrogen cycle.

I'll keep at it. Jim