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Unread 07/10/2008, 04:19 PM   #51
Aquarist007
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thanks for bringing this idea to may attention. I can't add anymore then the guys already have. But I will link this thread to the Refugiums and Macro thread--you might get some more responce from them

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...readid=1349443

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Current Tank Info: 150gal long mixed reef, 90gal sump, 60 gal refugium with 200 lbs live rock
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Unread 07/10/2008, 04:19 PM   #52
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thanks for bringing this idea to may attention. I can't add anymore then the guys already have. But I will link this thread to the Refugiums and Macro thread--you might get some more responce from them

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...readid=1349443

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I prefer my substrates stirred but not shaken

Current Tank Info: 150gal long mixed reef, 90gal sump, 60 gal refugium with 200 lbs live rock
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Unread 07/10/2008, 05:45 PM   #53
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sk8r: Glad you like the experiment. The nice thing is that the basic concept is known to work; it's just a question of how easy I can build and use it, before I've changed the design too much. Who knows... if it works in the bucket, maybe I'll leave it that way because it's SO simple and cheap (would then become a cousin of the bucket DSB.)

Paul: Very good points. I thought somebody might have that book somewhere. As for size, fortunately this is just a test that can't do any damage. Thus the first goal is to just see if I can get/keep turf on the screen using a waterfall and cfl lights (bare minimum setup.) I just ordered the seeded screen from IA today, should have it tomorrow; you have to call them to order it, was $10 per 4 inch square section, and is shipped wet in a bag.

Since this is a 5 gal bucket test... that will be the screen size. I can enlarge it later when I do the actual box, but even if 3 square feet is the recommended amount for 100 gal, I'm hoping that the double-sided approach does indeed cut that in half. Plus I think Aday was giving that recommendation with the thought of removing the skimmer, which I won't be doing for a while. If, in the end, I can max out the screen size that I have with turf, then I'll know I'm ready for a larger size, and/or halides. Halides may be harsher on the box material... would have to make sure acrylic would not melt.

As for the surge, maybe there is a way to cause a back-and-forth swaying motion (that does not use a bucket); have not attempted to figure that out yet. As it stands now, at least the water will be going from nothing to a flow and back again; it just won't be reversing.

This is very interesting: "I would have to say that Eric Borneman has said that he felt a refugium would have to be about the same size as the display to have a real impact on water quality, but that it is fine to be smaller if using it as a refugium for pod growth rather than as a scrubber." I always thought he and others recommended 30% to 70& of the main volume for scrubbing; I did not know about 100%. That bodes even more for the turf.

"My feeling is that the Nitrates are removed more through the deep sand bed action than by the algae scrubbing, and that a good portion of the phosphates are as well." I agree, but I think this is where you get to the core usefulness of turf: Both turf and a fuge reduce nutrients to an "extent" on a said feeding schedule, but turf seems to be able to absorb very large feedings and nutrient spikes that a fuge (unless huge) can't. Couple this with the theoretical possibility of skimmer (and even sump) elimination, and a small footprint (even at 3 square feet, as long as it's vertical), and I think that's where the power of turf shows itself. A vertical turf should not collect detritus, yet still grow lots of food. I currently don't do any filtering in my sump; I just see it a box of water taking up space.

Electrically, I see what you mean... when you pull the screen up and out, it could drip on the lights. Maybe a little lip on the box could go over the lights to cover them. But the unit will be small, so it certainly could be lifted out too. Even a 3 foot by 1 foot screen, if vertical, could be lifted out and taken to the sink.

The spraybar: I should call it a nozzle instead. There really is no spray; just today I cut some pvc tube to see what the flow would be. I made a slit 6 inches long by 1/8 inch wide, and the 190 gph could not even fill the whole slot (needs more flow). It's more of an "outflow" than a spray. It would be impossible to clog.

Capn: Thanks for the link to the "good bad ugly"... was actually on my list to read next.


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Unread 07/10/2008, 05:58 PM   #54
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There is one guy on this thread who showed a photo of his unit that had some baffles to create turbulence... from the Adey book, there is no indication that they thought the algae benefited from a dry spell... the point with the surge was more to loosen up the clumps and allow water to flow and disrupt the boundary layers that lead to dead spots within the clumps... Baffles might be enough to do the job, as with that unit in the photo...

Algae growing on the sides of the box is another story... one might have to use, lo and behold, an algae scrapper to clean it out...


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Unread 07/10/2008, 05:59 PM   #55
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I have a few problems with the design but it would still work with a lot of maintenance.
In the first picture with the enclosed box, algae would grow on the inside of the box weather it was underwater or not. It will always be damp enough for algae. The water splashing on the sides will cause the light to diminish greatly very quickly. You can't use the plastic wrap method wery well because it would melt.
You can modify the box to be a little wider and put the screen in on an angle from top to bottom, put the light over the top and solve those problems but the unit would have to be larger and you would only be able to light one side of the screen.
I am not crazy about any method where there is plastic between the lights and the screen.
Whatever method you finally come up with I use plastic window screen but I first sandpaper it very well then rub wet cement over the screen. That will cause a thin layer of cement to stick into the sand paper scratches greatly increasing the growth of the algae.
Algae love cement. Thats the method I use in my trough which by the way uses no seperate pump or light.
Keep designing, You will get all the bugs out after many models and modifications.


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Unread 07/10/2008, 09:37 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by SantaMonica
[B]if it works in the bucket, maybe I'll leave it that way because it's SO simple and cheap (would then become a cousin of the bucket DSB.)/B]
well, i have been using my 5g bucket fuge for the past 5 years now with great success.

hard to beat a fuge that costs about $5 to build (or free if you just have spare parts lying around...like an old salt bucket). i have found in my 5 years of using the 5g (and even smaller) bucket fuge of various sized tanks with varying reef inhabitants (softies to sps') that a fuge (if properly designed and utilized) doesnt have to be remotely any percentage of the display tank. i am talking about most residential non extreme systems. if and when i get to setting up my 400g display with a 200g sump and 'maybe' 150g or so cryptic zone...i would still use the 5g bucket refugium for macro growth. that is how well it works.

it has grown macro faster than any method i have used and is so easy to construct. literally 2 minutes to make and install...no, really TWO minutes!



why does it grow chaeto so fast? i think it is because i am able to replicate the rotational motion that chaeto likes in nature. this exposes the colony maximally to nutrients and allows every bit of the ball to be exposed to light. there is no bottom where colony growth my be little to none due to light restrictions. plus, the high flow (120x turnover) lets the chaeto get the most chance to nutrient absorption.

here it is spinning. the colony is much larger than i normally keep it to show it rotating. i normally try and keep it trimmed to a softball size or a very non dense volleyball size colony.




and...

i thought that some might be interested to see my $20 (or less) external zeovit reactor made from 2g and 5g buckets. currently, there are no zeovit reactors this large and the largest one one the market goes for over $400. i have been using this reactor for just over two years.



sooooo...one could say that my experience is just a drop in the bucket!!!


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Last edited by bergzy; 07/10/2008 at 09:52 PM.
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Unread 07/10/2008, 09:50 PM   #57
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Not to hijack a thread, but has anyone built a Ca+ Reactor out of buckets?

I was not quoting Borneman, just speaking from my memory of his book or an article somewhere... might have been 80% or some such... I got the impression that bigger is best...


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Unread 07/11/2008, 11:13 PM   #58
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I didn't read the whole thread but looks cool. I would test the angle of the crate before you fasten and pegs to hold in place. an increased angle instead of true vertical may get better dispersal, esp with growth that may occur more at the top then cause channeling. I have to periodically clean my waterfalls (in fuge) to prevent that problem.please post results LOL


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Unread 07/12/2008, 12:18 AM   #59
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Good Idea

I think you have a great idea that is worth trying. It looks like you have things worked out pretty well since you incorporated a suggestion or two, from the thread, into your design. I was glad to be invited to this discussion. It’s good to have a little fun experimenting. If I knew everything about this hobby, I wouldn’t post. I can only tell you what I think and what my experience has led me to believe.

I did read Dr. Adey’s book and loved it. I also got to go to the Smithsonian and talk at length to the curator as well as getting a full tour of the facility behind the glass. By the way that exhibit is now closed.

I used home made Algae Turf Scrubbers for more than 10 years without a skimmer. You can see my old tank and read a few articles about it at my web site My non-commercial web site Also, I have started a thread asking for help with the designing of my new tank. There is a fare amount of discussion about other scrubber designs including mine. It is long and flat with the fulcrum under it so that it can be moved to turn it after installation. See the postings at: New Design for a Non-Photosynthetic System

Some things to think about:
Without any surge however, you should see a 50 percent drop in effectiveness. There are several reasons why this happens that are mentioned above. The one that I did not see in this thread is the fact that when there is no surge, the algae strands tend to lay down parallel to each other and then get matted or packed down.

The water runs over the mat rather than flowing through the algae. Light has a harder time penetrating down into a mat. Agitating the strands allows light to get to virtually every cell in the colony. You would use a rotisserie for a roast in a barbeque oven wouldn’t you? Matted algae respiration is impaired for the same reasons. Additionally, I do think that you will get those dead spots that were mentioned in the thread. You could get some cheap rotating sprayers nozzles or hook up a motor to simply wiggle the screen. That being said, you can compensate for the 50 percent loss by making the screen bigger.

Light is another issue that you may have calculated already. I think that for a one hundred gallon tank, you will need about 430 watts. Splitting that light into two opposing directions might work well. You can use the cheapest K ratings but you do need the lumens. I bought some compact fluorescents that are long and narrow. If you have this type of lamps, you could point them straight down and use plastic to cover only the part that connects to the sockets. That way, if there is a little splash, the water will not hurt anything. I prefer not to have anything in between the lamp and the algae and I want the cool lamps as close as possible and safe.

I read about a few negative issues that are, I think wrongly, attributed to Algal Turf Scrubbers (ATS). Real issues all seemed to be avoidable if you think about these two points.

1. Size the scrubber correctly and have enough light on it. It stands to reason that an ATS or any other equipment, that is under sized or under performing, will not do a good enough job. It is better to build the scrubber too big and reduce the lighting time if it gets too efficient. Adey suggests, “When in doubt in a particular case, add 20-30 percent to (the) scrubber area.”
2. Use the scrubber by itself. Once it is going and growing well, wean off of the other equipment while testing the water. If you have competing devices, the scrubber will not work to its potential and then you will be adding equipment to compensate for issues that the ATS is known to be great at taking care of. Of course when you add more equipment, the scrubber will be even more deprived of the nutrient that it needs and will operate even less efficiently. Sand beds, refugiums etc. are great if they complement and not compete.

I never saw a green tent in the water, although I looked for it ever since I started the scrubber. I have heard that you are supposed to look down the length of the tank to see it. Who does that?

I never had any slime, anywhere in my tank or equipment, once I started the scrubber.

Hair algae declined slowly but went away completely, despite the fact that I chronically over fed my tanks. As a matter of fact, I had a hard time keeping plants of any type in my main tank so I added fish based plant fertilizer on a regular schedule. This, with the skimmer disassembled in the garage.

The scrubber is an ideal home for algae with tons of intermittent direct light. In the main tank, light is absorbed exponentially with depth so filaments in the show tank, under several inches of water, can not compete with the algae in the scrubber, under 0 inches of water.

The scrubber should be lit a night when the main tank lights are off to help regulate pH fluctuations and raise oxygen level to near saturation levels.

Well, that's it. Most of all, have fun!


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Unread 07/12/2008, 02:19 AM   #60
SantaMonica
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paulsiver: Yes I saw the baffles on that slanted screen. Very easy to do. But I'm going to go ahead and simulate waves by having the dry spell (already have the timer). He could easily add a timer too, and compare it (if it's powered by a pump).

Paul B: I see what you mean about it being damp enough for algae, even if it's not underwater, but I wonder why then no algae grows in my main tank just above the waterline; it had plenty of dampness and light. I agree that plastic between the lights and screen is not the best, that's why I mentioned the "open" option. And good point about coating a new screen with cement first; If I start with a new one I'll do it, but I first need to give the pre-seeded one from IA, so I don't have to wait three months for some thick turf.

bergzy: Well with all that success you've had in a bucket, I was motivated to get this thing working today (plus, I have to get light and water on the screen quickly, or else).

o.c.d.: Very good point. Even though the screen may get good water coverage to start, I can see how thicker algae at the top might divert the water. Will have to watch out for this.

herring_fish: Amazing run without a skimmer. And yesterday I believe I read the whole thread of your non-photo plans. Hopefully if my turf test works, I'll be able to feed enough to keep some dendro's. And I agree that the surge is important, but what amount of the 50% I lose, I hope to gain by having both sides going. And I see you give another vote for no acrylic in front of the light.

As for size, obviously the test bucket is the controlling factor, but a final build can certainly use your pointers in combination with what is learned from the test. If the test screen is full of algae, but there is still N and P problems, then it needs to be bigger.

Use it by itself? You mean unplug the skimmer from the start?

You never had tinting! That is great. I run carbon every so so, but I'd rather not. Slime?... I used to dose vodka and I'd get some slime in the sump; especially in the foam where the skimmer outputs. But it's the green film algae, in my case, that was the impetus to looking into turf. Glad you got rid of your hair aglae using turf (and no skimmer); I'm hoping that this green film will go away too.

And like you, I'm planning of night operations of the turf.







OK, so I got the seeded screen from IA today, about $100 including priority overnight to Los Angeles. Was in great shape, and more than enough to fill the bucket (had to trim it). It was stiff material that could stand up straight by itself, but still would be wavy and try to bend, so I put edge straighteners on the sides that I got from one of the tank dividers that were linked above. Then I trimmed the top to be narrow enough to fit into the slot that I cut in to the pvc pipe. I put it in and tried it with the Hydor 320 gph I just got (as an upgrade from the 190 gph), and it still just was not enough water to fill the whole slot.

I had to get something going soon since the algea needed light and flow, so the nearest lfs had a 690 gph that I got. The chart that came with it said at 4ft head (the bucket will be on the sink) it would have 375 gph. Was perfect! So slid the screen into the slot in the pvc, taped a hose from the pump to the pvc (amazing... does not leak at all), and it's done. So there it is in the pic above... a working bucket-turf-filter, held together with tape.




Here is a closeup of the "seeded" side of the screen from IA (they only seed one side) when no water is flowing:

Hi-Res: www.radio-media.com/fish/ScreenRightDry.JPG


Here is a closeup of the same seeded side when water is flowing. Note that water coverage is 100%...

Hi-Res: www.radio-media.com/fish/ScreenRightFlow.JPG


Here is a closeup of the "unseeded" side of the screen from IA, with no flow. Some of the turf made it's way to this side, but it's definately thinner, and there are many places on the screen that are bare plastic:

Hi-Res: www.radio-media.com/fish/ScreenLeftDry.JPG


And here is the closeup of the same unseeded side with flow (100% water coverage)...

Hi-Res: www.radio-media.com/fish/ScreenLeftFlow.JPG


Here's how I attached the screen to the spraybar... just slid it up into the slot in the pvc pipe:





Here are some video's of the flow starting; the noises you hear are the gurgling of the water in the tubes:


Seeded side:
www.radio-media.com/fish/ScreenFlowRight.mpg
Youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wm65mMM1gDs


Unseeded side:
www.radio-media.com/fish/ScreenFlowLeft.mpg
Youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=tlDw2iWIZmo


So, all in all, it's nice to have gotten the screen on Friday morning, and get the turf running by friday night. Here are my first observations:

I'm sitting here listening to the gurgling of the fill/drain process, which (unlike the bucket system, I believe) can be eliminated with the proper angles of the tubes going into and out of the bucket. The tubing I used for this test was 3/4 inch ID. Now, imagining that the tubing has been adjusted to eliminate gurgling, all you would year is the water going down the screen; similar to one of those tabeltop waterfalls, or a bubbling brook.

After examing the screen, and as can be seen in the pics/vid, there is (thank goodness) a 100% water coverage of the screen. Now of course this is now; we'll have to wait and see about then, when the algae is thicker. The flow is strong, maybe even a "mini surge", albeit uni-directional. But nonetheless, the water is covering every single part of the screen... even the top outside parts at the rim of the bucket.

I've currently got the timer set at 30 seconds (30 seconds flow, 30 seconds stop). This seems to give the turf time to really dry out, and puts less on/off strain on the pump. Also, a longer time gives the bucket a chance to completely drain, thus exposing even the bottom part of the screen to air (otherwise there is some water in the bottom of the bucket, covering the screen.)

I will probably be adding a clip-on fan to the top of the bucket to give it more CO2. Should also help with more evaporation (which I need so I can drip more kalk) and lower temps.

Well I have to admit, I did not want to say it this soon, but the skimmer has seemed to stop working. At first I though something was clogged in the skimmer pump... you know the familiar site when the foam drops way down. That's what happened after connecting the turf. I checked everything on the skimmer and all checked out. I even tested it by putting a new filter sock in the water, and it almost exploded with foam. So it was working ok. But as of now, five hours after hooking up the turf, the skimmer foam as dropped so low that I can't get any output no matter how I adjust it.

One of the advantages of the pre-seeded screen from IA is that it should be ready to filter from hour one. I'm hoping that's what happened to the skimmer. There is a possibility that the extra flow from the bucket's drain (which goes into the sump) altered the skimming, so I'll have to wait to see. But nevertheless, the turf on the seeded side of the screen was a good quarter inch; given light and flow, it's got to do something right away.

One disadvantage of this setup occured to me: If the timer or the pump ever failed, the turf would quickly die from drying out. The only way around this would be to not use a timer, and just use a constant flow from an overflow or such.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.


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Unread 07/12/2008, 11:41 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally posted by SantaMonica
One disadvantage of this setup occured to me: If the timer or the pump ever failed, the turf would quickly die from drying out. The only way around this would be to not use a timer, and just use a constant flow from an overflow or such.

Anyway, we'll see what happens.
i didnt read what kind of timer you are using for your pumps and i never used this wavemaker timer...but it is adjustable to suit your needs and is made for the aquarium hobby.

Originally posted by SantaMonica ]JBJ wavemaker

yeah, costs are adding up, esp when i read about the cost of your turf algae shipped!

i 'heard' that the hydor is a decent pump but not too familiar with it when used in 'pulse' situations. that is why i linked a timer for 'two' pumps. a second one running just in case one fails...and if both fail at the same time...when then that just sucks big time. maxi jet 1200's have worked for me on wavemakers for years.

are you thinking about putting a carlson surge on your scrubber for true filling and emptying?



looks really good so far!




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Unread 07/12/2008, 01:12 PM   #62
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Where is "The OC" Mr Ben?

I have seen these Carlson Surge devices in action, and they work wonderfully.


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Unread 07/12/2008, 02:51 PM   #63
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Well, I don't know what to do. The skimmer (ER CSS 8) has stopped working entirely; looks like it's trying to skim freshwater... there are just no bubbles no matter how I adjust it (and it even has a new pump, and the mesh mod that allows me to lower the pipe six inches from what was required before.) I let it run all night, and absolutely nothing made it into the cup (and I fed a hefty dose of phyto and plankton last night too.) So, I unplugged it. I now have no filtration of any kind except the turf.

As for the timer, I'm using a JBJ Ocean Pulse Duo ($50). It does have one known quirk: If the power fails, it comes back on full-time (no intervals). At least this will save the turf, but you have to turn the dial on it to get it to start switching again. The timer was the only thing I "really" needed to buy; everything else was laying around or super cheap, and the pre-seeded screen is optional for a quick startup. And it does seem to have started up quickly (instantly). I suppose you could build one without the timer (and have full time flow) and see what happens. I might look into a Maxijet pump... I don't trust the Rio I got (is already chattering on startup). No I'm not doing any surging, but I'm doing about 60X right now with my return and 5 tunze nanostreams.

Here are a few more things I've thought of:

There is no smell while it is operating; only if you take the screen out and scrape it (as I was doing while trimming it) do you get a "at the beach" smell. But it's nothing like a skimmer cup. And it doesn't drip bad or gooey stuff... just water.

I've noticed about a .1 PH (maybe .2) increase. It's a bit hard to tell yet since the PH is highly dependent on the kalk drip rate. But I'm usually at about 8.1 and now it's 8.3.

Since the turf is (currently) in a bucket, how about hanging the bucket up higher than the tank, and draining into it? You'd get all the pods, but not take up space on top the tank.

One nice thing is that a turf provides a good overall system backup in case somthing goes wrong with the main pump. The turf (using it's own smaller pump) provides circulation, cooling, filtering, and even feeding, all by itself.

Speaking of backup, possibly two turf filters could be run, each one (as bergzy said) with it's own pump.

When it's time for harvesting, I got an idea of using a shaver. The kind they use at the hair salon that has ajustable or clip-on length attachments. This way I can mow it down to about 1/8 inch and not harm the roots. Also, being two-sided, you can harvest (trim) just one side at a time for better filtration balancing.

I was doing more reading of old posts (2004) and I found user Scot, who said: "The ATS unit is kind of small, I originally built it for my daughters 29 gal tank. I started testing it on this 100 gal tank when it was first set up with some raw rock. Still haven't taken it off. The screen is 5 1/2 x 12 inches, thats 66 square inches. It's scraped once a week. The light is a LOA 65w pc." His screen was half the size of mine, and only one-sides. He says he had no skimmer, but ran carbon, and was giving more sps frags to the lfs than they could sell. If his situation is as seems, then maybe my 12 X 12 screen will indeed work for me.

I'll starting taking measurements soon; last few weeks I've been about 2 nitrate and 0 phos.


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Unread 07/12/2008, 04:06 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally posted by paulsilver
Where is "The OC" Mr Ben?

I have seen these Carlson Surge devices in action, and they work wonderfully.
the OC is orange county california. i put it on there when the tv show was around and more popular...though i never saw even one episode.

i am also a pretty big fan of the carlson surge. 'when' i do redo my 180g upgrade to a 400g...i will incorporate a carlson surge.

i am really not wanting to take apart in any way my 180g as it is sooooo stable right now. plus, i have no idea if the edge of my foundation (where the tank will be) is strong enough to support a 400g glass tank full of water, rock and steel stand.

where did you see the carlson in action. i first saw one on the display tanks in the waikiki aquarium. even got a personal behind the scene tour by delbeek himself. super nice guy btw!!!


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Unread 07/12/2008, 08:17 PM   #65
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Looking good!

great thread btw, glad I came here from the marine plants forum.


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Unread 07/12/2008, 09:21 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by SantaMonica
Well, I don't know what to do. The skimmer (ER CSS 8) has stopped working entirely; looks like it's trying to skim freshwater... there are just no bubbles no matter how I adjust it (and it even has a new pump, and the mesh mod that allows me to lower the pipe six inches from what was required before.) I let it run all night, and absolutely nothing made it into the cup (and I fed a hefty dose of phyto and plankton last night too.) So, I unplugged it. I now have no filtration of any kind except the turf.

Skimmers are very picky about water. Something you added is hindering foam production. Most of the time, when you add anything to the tank it either kills the foam or causes the skimmer to overflow. It always works itself out after it is in the tank for awhile. I would turn the skimmer back on and be patient. It will come back.


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Unread 07/12/2008, 09:27 PM   #67
herring_fish
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Why don’t you test the water a see if you need to turn the skimmer back on? You might not.


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Restarting 180G Very Mixed Reef Tank, Custom Cabinet, Kessil AP700, 4 x T5s , 2 X 60" XHO LED's, Dump Bucket Style ATS, bag of carbon, no mechanical filtration allows food to stay in suspension.

Current Tank Info: In Garage: 130G Refugium, 30G sump for remote ATO, 55G RO/DI Reservoir, additional EB8. Finishing: Custom Nelson style KalkRx, Custom Cole Palmer style CalRx with PT CO2 Carbon Reactor Controller, 2 Axis Robot Feeder for Garage Plankton Farm.
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Unread 07/13/2008, 01:05 AM   #68
SantaMonica
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biomekanic: Glad you like the concept. Your interest in plants could really help out here.

sjm817: Well it might be the plastic bucket, or the screen material. Probably not the clear pvc tubes; probably not the pump. I've used this skimmer for two years and it never went "flat" like this. It might drop for a bit if the overflow is splashing near the pump intake, but there would still be foam. It's going on 24 hours now of no foam.

herring: I did test it today: 0 phos, and about 3 nitrate (been like this for several weeks), no change.

So I tested the skimmer again, starting with the tube down low where it has worked well for the last year: Nothing, zero foam. I upped the tube to the highest point it would go without disconnecting, and still nothing (the water is just short of going into the cup, but there is zero foam.) So I put the tube back down to its normal spot, and dipped a new filter sock in the sump for about five seconds, and immediately the foam began and the column started rising quickly. It shot to the top and pushed the lid up about a half inch. After a half hour or so, all the sock residues had been removed and the foam was back down to zero. So I unplugged it again.

There have been some changes in the pre-seeded screen in the last 24 hours since it arrived, I think because IA probably dumped their water down onto the screen, whereas I'm sliding the water across the screen. Thus over the past day there are a few spots where the turf has slid off the screen; mostly up near the spraybar where the flow was coming out the fastest. Also my lights are surely different than theirs. And the shipping... even with priority overnight, and a few hours in my sink (with chlorinated tap water running over it)... i'm sure there is some die off.

So to end the night, I fed two pumps of plankton (normally I do just one), and a full pump of phyto (normally just two drops, if any at all). Normally this much food would have algae on my glass the next day. We'll see.


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Unread 07/13/2008, 05:58 AM   #69
jjr1964
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thats normal if your running your ats properly (sizing of ats and harvesting), i sold my skimmer on ebay. dam nice not having to matain a skimmer, ats is much easer.


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Unread 07/13/2008, 01:56 PM   #70
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Thankyou for your pm inviting me to the thread. I occasionaly receive invitations to participate in threads and I am always interested .
I like the idea of an ats and have for some time.Cost ,surge, lighting etc. have led me in favor of refugia with caluerpa and gracilaria , a couple of live rock based cryptic and twilight zones,dsb and a good but slighly undersized skimmer. I am looking forward to learning a bit more about this technique and your design and may try it.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Unread 07/14/2008, 12:04 AM   #71
SantaMonica
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Well I've now gone through 48 hours with the turf, and about the same time with no skimmer. I originally had some carbon and polyfilters in, but took them out along with turning the skimmer off. Tonight the phos tested 0, and the nitrate about 3, same as the last several weeks. However, I QUADRUPLED the feeding: Twice as much plankton and phyto along with the fish, and, doing it twice a day instead of one, which I've never done before. No additional algae has formed on the glass; I'm just started to get it today (was last cleaned three days ago), about what I'd expect pre-turf.

PH seems to have settled in at .2 above normal. I shut off kalk for a full day and it settled in at 8.15, whereas it would normally be 7.95 without kalk.

The turf screen seems to have cleared a few more spots, at least that's what I'm perceiving. However when I went back and looked at the pics above, it looks the same. I'll wait a week and take another series of pics.

One of my four clams jumped off the rock he'd been sitting on for months; they normally jump off when they aren't happy. Maybe the turf has taken the clam's N and P, and made him mad.


jjr1964: If it's normal for a skimmer to stop working when turf is used properly, why have a lot of folks in the past been able to keep using their skimmers. I'm keeping my skimmer in the sump (unplugged) for now, but usage of it is not an option.

tmz: You say that cost, surge and lighting kept you away from turf in the past. Cost of course, starting at $3,000 for a commercial unit (if you can find one). But did the surge or the lighting pose a problem for your tank? Or were you saying that building one with surge and lighting would be a problem. I'm happy that, besides the timer and pre-seeded screen, this turf in a bucket system is (kinda like a DSB in a bucket) basically free. I think most people have the materials. I wish I knew if not having a timer would be a problem; I'd be scared to turn my timer off and chance the turf dying.

Why doesn't someone show me that I'm not going skimmer crazy, and build a "freebie" turf in a bucket with no timer and no seeded screen, hook it up and see what happens over the next four weeks? If it will help, here's what I used:

o 5 gal bucket

o 700 gph pump (might be okay to use down to 400)

o 1.25 inch pvc for spraybar; mine was a narrow-walled one meant for a sink drain. A 1/8 inch slit longways for the screen to go into.

o Tank divider rails, to hold the screen straight, from the Penn Plax 29-55 gal size. Could
also use 1/2 inch stiff tubing split down the length. If you use stiff screen (stiffer
than the Penn Plax), it will stand up by itself without rails.

o 3/4 inch clear vinyl tubing, from pump to bucket, and from bucket drain back to tank.

o Bulkhead for the 3/4 inch drain in bottom of bucket.

o Packaging tape to seal one end of the spraybar closed, and to attach the other end of the
spraybar to the 3/4 tubing, and to position the spraybar on top of the bucket in the
middle so it won't slide off.

o Two clip-on lamp holders; bulbs are CFL 23W (125W equivalent light output; 5100K)


And for those willing to buy a timer and seeded screen ($150 total)...

o Call Mike at Inland Aquatics 812-232-9000, and get turf "sized to a 5 gal bucket" overnighted to you. Already have your bucket operating, though.

o The JBJ Ocean Pulse Duo timer. Any wavemaker timer will do, though.


Maybe I should change the name of this thread to "turf in a bucket"


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Unread 07/14/2008, 12:33 AM   #72
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Thanks for the breakdown. I may add one at some point. I'll keep tagging along.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Unread 07/14/2008, 03:51 PM   #73
sjm817
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Why is the skimmer off? When you add a bunch of new plastic and other things, it can easily kill a skimmer. It may take several days or longer to start working again. IME, polyfilters will cause a skimmer to overfoam unless rinsed real well. You took that out, and also the carbon. You are changing a lot of things at the same time, so be careful. If you intend to use the skimmer in this setup, you need to let it run for awhile. You have changed the water chemistry and it may take some time for things to settle down.


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Last edited by sjm817; 07/14/2008 at 04:26 PM.
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Unread 07/14/2008, 08:18 PM   #74
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What you already have is better but I thought that someone else might want to use is if they can do what you are doing.




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Unread 07/14/2008, 11:24 PM   #75
SantaMonica
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sjm817: Ah I forgot about that... skimmers do that. So I plugged it back in this afternoon , and sure enough it had some foam; got about a inch of medium skimmate in seven hours, at a tube setting a bit higher than normal. So it's not skimming as strong as normal but it is way better than what it was. However, a point made by someone a few post ago had some merit: Turn off all filtering so the turf can do what it was (already) grown to do. After all, IA uses only turf on their commercial tanks, so I'm sure the turf is used to heavy nutrients. I'd hate to starve it. I have mostly corals, and few fish, so the skimmer takes out what I need to keep in.

herring: Not sure how that wet/dry would work with my setup. If the screen were vertical inside it, it looks like most of the water would be sprayed straight to the bottom, missing the screen. But maybe you had a different setup in mind.

Anyways, the glass finally needs cleaning, right on pre-turf schedule. But then again I'm feeding at least twice as much, and twice as often now. I just cleaned the skimmer, so I'm going to leave it off again, in the spirit of not starving the turf. I know the turf and the skimmer go after different nutrients, but I think there is indeed some crossover. For example on the Aday site he talks about how turf absorbs organics and ammonia. Now that's news to me. I thought organics were for the skimmer, and ammonia was for the rocks. Nevertheless, most of the reading I did found that turf users were harvesting about once a week. I have not seen any growth yet, yet the N and P seemed fine while the skimmer was off. So I'm going to try to give the turf what it wants.


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