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Unread 07/23/2008, 10:11 AM   #101
biomekanic
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Looking forward to the pics

so here's a question.

I have a roughly 15g sump that was a wet/dry filter with bioballs originally.

It came with a media tray drilled with numerous small holes, could a turf screen be placed in there at an angle, would the drip from the tray provide the neccessary amount of air/water contact?


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Last edited by biomekanic; 07/23/2008 at 10:19 AM.
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Unread 07/23/2008, 01:33 PM   #102
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Area, Light and Surge

That would work but it will not work at its best. I don’t think that the air interchange is as important as Area, Light and Surge.

Adey’s designs do not concentrate on the interchange factor. His most popular design for large operations uses a bump bucket but it is placed only inches off of the screen. The water flows from the bucket, out over the screen without much of a splash. It’s more like the wall of water at the front of a flash flood not a cresting wave. One of his designs starts with water flowing evenly over a screen that is moving forward and back with an electric motor to simulate surge. It has no added air interchange.

I believe that you should stick to SantaMonica’s rule of thumb of “one-square-inch-per-gal” for surface Area. Your screen may need to be bigger than a 15g tank foot print. Don’t skimp on the amount of light. Light is the primary driver of the algal turf scrubbers. Lights can be cheap but they should be powerful or plentiful.

Finally, as I have said before, surge adds about 50% to the efficiency. You can live without it if you have to but try to incorporate surge into your design.


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Unread 07/23/2008, 01:58 PM   #103
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As I posted previously... the Adey book describes the scrubbers for use with home aquariums with more 3 sq. inches per gallon of tank... that is large, but for this unit, with both sides of the scrubber getting lit up, hopefully get at least 2 sq. " per gallon...

That would have much more impact.

And I agree that surge, light, and area are the key issues, and air water interchange is not as big a factor...


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Unread 07/23/2008, 02:53 PM   #104
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biommekanic: Now that's an interesting idea: Put the turf into the sump (since the sump is already there). Similar to my original box design that was open above the sump. Worth a try; can't be much easier to try out than this.

paulsilver: I seem to really remember reading one square inch instead of three. Maybe we can go dig up that info to be sure.

herring: Correct, it would not work it's best, without more modifications. But if it can be tested with virtually no work, then why not. As for Aday's designs, when you say his "large operations", are you referring to the lakes and estuaries? Here are some pics I found on Aday's www.AlgalTurfScrubber.com site, which are just water flowing over a screen (I don't believe there is any wave action, or "dry time"...



Here is a machine doing the harvesting:




How about this: Floating screens. Maybe they could just float in the sump, with a light on top:






Anyways, here's what popped into my head for putting turf into the sump. This version 1 just needs some air holes cut into the top panel, then place the screen over the media tray, and add the light and fan. You could argue that this will be a lot of "surge"; not sure how much air would be mixed in with the water, since it would depend on how many bubbles are in the overflow:



Version 2 moves the screen down at an angle (more similar to my bucket), and would certainly have an air/water mix since this is how the media tray in a wet/dry works. You'd still need to cut open the top panel so the fan could blow in, and if enough air does not make it through the media tray (to get to the screen), you'd need to enlarge those holes too:


Lastly, version 3 is basically the same as my bucket, just using the sump box instead. The spraybar is the same, just connected directly to the overflow. With this (more elaborate) setup, you could totally remove the top panel (since the overflow pipe is now held in place by the spraybar) as well as the media tray, providing an unobstructed pathway for air and light to get to the screen. Version 3 is also the only one to allow double sided operation:


Overall, what a nice way to make use of that space formerly known as the "bio balls blues".


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Unread 07/23/2008, 03:10 PM   #105
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Just some thoughts:

Could you "venturi" the overflow pipe to increase the amount of air?

LED grow lights: That online auction place has a 1' square unit with about 200 red and blue LEDs for $48, with shipping.


My own sump/former refugium had the return plumbed to the top of the media tray, so it dripped over a wide area. Air interface was never really an issue.

On Ver2, face the screen the other direction, and have a light source above and behind. The aforementioned LEDs could be put into a light box behind the sump. basically something to prevent splashing and salt creep on the unit. That would light both sides.


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Unread 07/23/2008, 05:55 PM   #106
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according to the math that me and herring-fish have done off line... and that being mostly the fish not me, it works out to about 2.2 sq inches per gallon based on Adey's model in the book... (Adey's units are cm2 per liter)


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Unread 07/23/2008, 08:57 PM   #107
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http://www.athiel.com/fran/netclub/ats1.gif

Sorry,
I guess I meant, popular indoor Algal Turf Scrubber. This is roughly how they are constructed except that the screen is flat and there is a small trough at the end of the screen to catch the water.


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Unread 07/24/2008, 07:31 AM   #108
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SantaMonica In looking at those pictures, I noticed that there weren’t any spray fountains to add aeration. Of course there may be some think there to insure a minimum level but they don’t make a point of it. Oh, those floating algae squares do get wave action going over it. As for the general lack of surge in the rest of the farm ….your right, there isn’t any. Sun shine is free and they make up for the lake of surge with Area and lots of it.

Biomekanic You can make a drip system and it should work just fine but just be careful to try to make up for the lack of surge with the other two, Area and Light. I am interested in your experiment and hope that you can figure how much work it is able to do. I built my scrubber to the point of for over kill but where is the other end of the spectrum? Yours might be big enough.


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Unread 07/24/2008, 07:49 AM   #109
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Ok, I decided go ahead and re-type part of the table that reports on the home aquarium in Dynamic Aquaria. This should allow you to calculate Screen Area and Light for your tank volume. I added my tank just for added reference. I hope this helps


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Unread 07/24/2008, 10:42 AM   #110
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I was thinking this morning about having the wet/dry action on a sump based unit, and I was wondering if this would work:

http://riopump.net/Accessories_folde...otion_desc.htm

Instead of pump powered, it would be gravity fed by the drain. With the style of sump/wet-dry I have, mounting it wouldn't be much of an issue.

Any thoughts on this?


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Unread 07/24/2008, 11:41 AM   #111
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biomekanic: Here is a working link for the one that you posted:
http://riopump.net/Accessories_folde...tion_desc.html
... which is this:



I think that this thing is designed to work underwater, which would not be the situation in any sump version. If you tried to use it out-of-water it might spin very fast or wear out or something; plus you'd have to adapt it to the overflow pipe. And I guess you could do a venturi on the overflow, as it enters the sump. Would be an experiment in trying different sizes and air holes though.

I think you were describing Version 2, but my thought on Version 1 is that just having the overflow crashing down on the media tray (where the screen sits horizontal) would cause enough turbulence to mix in the air. I know you say you have enough air in there for a Version 2, but it may not be "fresh circulated" enough. That's why I show cutting holes in the top and adding a fan, and making sure the air can also get through the media tray to the screen. But you could try it as-is (without cutting the top) and see if it works well enough. For Version 1, the very center of the screen where the water actually hits might not grow turf, but all the surrounding area should.

As for LED lights, sounds promising since they are so small, but I have no experience with them and wanted to make sure to use a proven light that had a wide coverage. And I'm trying to visualize your remake of Version 2 (with the slanted screen)... Not sure how/why you would face the screen the other direction, since that would make it face down. I can't see how you would get a light on the bottom side since that's the wet side.

paulsilver: Ok, 2.2 square inches for a one-sided sounds right, which brought me to one square inch for two-sided. Seems like a good starting point.

herring: You were correct that Versions 1 and 2 do not use a spray bar: It's a trade off for simplicity, since the bet is that the overflow crashing down will mix air in with it. And thanks for the data from the book and your tank.


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Unread 07/25/2008, 09:30 PM   #112
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You do not need to add CO2.



Of course this is a minor point but you do not need to add CO2 to the water to get the algae to grow better. If you want to lower the water temperature in the tank, then maximizing evaporation is a very good thing but adding air to the water will not help or hurt the algae.

I only make this point because I am an ardent supporter of Algae Turf Scrubbers of any design that works. It looks like the vertical scrubber described here works very well. The only thing is that other people that are looking for ideas might get the impression that supplementing CO2 is important or even necessary. This is not the case.

I did some surfing on the net and found a study done on an out door fresh water operation that was designed to treat affluent from cow farms. One line stood out. “There were no significant differences in algal productivity, algal N and P content, or N and P recovery values from raceways with carbon dioxide supplementation compared to values from raceways without added carbon dioxide.”

None of the designs in Dr. Adey’s book allude to CO2 injection. If it helped, you would see people that have CO2 reactors shunting off some of the gas to turbocharger the scrubber.

I ran scrubbers for 10 years and for about 8 of those years, I using the long flat dump bucket that I have talked about before. The water was pumped via a power head, from the tank to the bucket with no splash or aeration.


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Unread 07/25/2008, 11:40 PM   #113
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I must have used the wrong terms in describing the air component of the turf; when I said co2 I just meant the co2 in the air that the turf uses. I did not mean adding co2 directly. When I first hooked up the bucket (without a fan), it seemed very humid in the bucket, kinda stale. So since it was so easy to clip on a fan, I thought it would be a great thing to be supplying co2-rich air to the turf, especially when the pump is off and the air hits the turf directly. And now, looking at sump designs, I can see that the plastic lids and such will block fresh air, thus needing those lids to be opened up a bit. I reference the availability of co2 in the air to the water evaporating rate: The more evaporation that can be had from the screen, the more supply of co2 (air) it's getting.

Question about the turf's diet: Does anyone know if turf consumes ammonia directly? If someone considers turf for a FO tank (no rock, no sand, no wet/dry), I'm trying to figure out if the turf will help at all with ammonia conversion.

Week 2 Pics: Ok here they are:

Seeded Side at 2 weeks:

Hi-Res: www.radio-media.com/fish/ScreenSeeded2weeks.jpg


Unseeded Side at 2 weeks:

Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Scre...eded2weeks.jpg


...the seeded side is completely full, except for a one-inch spot that was originally a big bare spot. It has green, but not turf yet. The un-seeded side is getting thick all over too, just less. I'm going to scrape the seeded side this weekend, and I'll take some front-on shots of it before and after.

Here is the tank after the two weeks:

Hi-Res: www.radio-media.com/fish/WholeTank-2weeks.jpg


(Note the open cabinet door; that's where the turf tubing currently enters/exits). Almost all of the original green algae patches are gone (most of the ones remaining are in the shade of the powerheads. It's amazing to watch fish waste go through the powerheads and get blended all over; my BB training instinctively wants to siphon or skim that stuff out before it get blended, but it just does not affect N and P anymore. It just becomes more coral food, and when it finally does decompose into N and P, the turf zaps it.

Today I got my first N reading in a while... a very slight tinge of pink (Salifert) visible only if looking from the side (would be about a .2). It was taken immediately after a large food/phyto feeding. This, after dumping whole frozen cubes in several times a day (unwashed), along with one or two pumps of frozen phyto (plus some refrigerated phyto), cyclops, daphia, and a weekly silverside for the eel. And I've not turkey-basted the rocks in a month, nor cleaned out the powerheads or sump. Makes sense and seems to coincide with the screen getting full and growing less (supposed to be scrapped every week, but it's been two weeks already.)

Here is a growth sequence, starting with the screen as received from IA, then 1 week, then 2 weeks:

Seeded side:





Unseeded side:





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Unread 07/26/2008, 07:56 AM   #114
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I also think we are focusing too much on the air water interface, and getting enough "air" to the algae... if the water is saturated with )2, as it should be, then it is also supplying enough CO2 to the algae, and more or less wont make much difference, and certainly light is more important in accelerating the growth (and thereby the filtration) -- the surge is not intended to provide more "air" but rather to stir up the algae so that it does not matt down and not get as much light and water flow as it should... it is not so much about air or CO2... that focus I think is missing the point...


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Unread 07/26/2008, 12:29 PM   #115
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Could very well be, and is easy enough to try... just don't use a fan on the bucket (or don't drill the lid on the sump.) However it was so easy to use a fan on the bucket, that I wanted to eliminate that variable. Remember there were no previous instances of turf in a bucket before, so, many things were in question. Also, being without a skimmer, I was also thinking about oxygen.

Still, try to picture turf on pylings in the ocean. Why is it only at the water level? There is plenty of motion below, too. If air (i.e., co2) is not as important as light, why does the turf not grow all the way down the pyling to the point where there is no more light? I seem to recall that turf on pylings starts right at the water level of low tide, and goes up from there to the point of the highest waves. Also, as for the water being saturated with O2 and CO2, I thought one of the benefits of turf is that it does the O2 saturating itself.

I found the following on one of Aday's online patent decriptions, so you might be right: "Assuming adequate light is provided, algal turf production is limited only by inadequate exchange of metabolites -- oxygen, carbon dioxide and nutrients -- between the WATER and the cells of the attached algae." http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/57...scription.html So maybe all the co2 really does come from the water. That might be why turf uses some of the alk in the water (bicarbonate).

It goes on to say "Essential growth requirements for the algal turf, in addition to an adequate lighting source, include aeration and agitation of the water in order to distribute nutrients and to remove any waste products generated." ... "Wave surge action further enhances the exchange of metabolites between algal cells and the water media. The surge generated by the wave action produces a back and forth motion within the growth reservoir, preventing the development of semistagnant boundary layers that occur when a constant flow of liquid passes by a fixed object. (Steady currents tend to pin the filaments in an immobile position and a surface layer of very slow-moving water develops.) By optimizing such metabolite cellular-ambient water exchange, continuous shading of one cell by an adjacent cell is prevented. Thus, in a preferred embodiment, the algae is subjected to an oscillatory water surge."

As for matting down, the turf that has grown for me so far is like hard carpet or astro turf. It does not move at all with flow in any direction. You can even run your hand across it and it won't move. If this is the same turf that the dumping designs grew, then there is no matting... it's already matted. Anyway, it's certainly easy enough to try the media tray sump version without worrying about air. Just lay the screen down in the media tray, and clip on a light. Should take one minute.

And I answered my own question about the ammonia. The same Aday page said: "ATS produce oxygen during periods when the turf is exposed to light and remove ammonia whether lit or not." and "Ammonia, the primary excretory product of fish, is a good nitrogen source for algal turf growth." and "ATS may act as the sole oxygen supply for fish." I was thinking about the removing-ammonia part, because for a FO tank (I'm planning an all-eel tank with no rock and no sand) would need something to remove ammonia, and I wanted to stay away from the balls.

I don't think there is anything that turf does not do.


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Unread 07/26/2008, 01:55 PM   #116
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I can’t say for sure but when I looked at your high resolution photo of the new green algae, I see the same type that grew in my scrubber when it got mature. If it is, then it will grow much longer. Perhaps, it will take over like mine did. I don’t know. What I got was an algae that looked like the plastic cellophane of Easter basket grass.

It started out a little slimy looking but soon got more body, curl and length. (It sounds like a shampoo commercial) Water will flow through that very well and the way that it lays will change with each surge of water.

When you get to it, I would like to see you scrap all but a little area to see how that ends up working as opposed to the rest. In any case, the scrubber should get stronger and more resilient so that it will thrive no matter what you do.


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Unread 07/27/2008, 12:10 AM   #117
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Yes the green stuff is more recent, and was hanging down below the screen in a few places. It was very soft and feathery, brushed right off. As for scraping, I did my first one today, with full pics. I only scraped the seeded side.

First, here's the whole screen (seeded side) before scraping; notice the top corners are cut to fit into the pipe, and that there's a bit of that green feathery algae hanging below:

Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Seed...oreHarvest.JPG


Here's the screen halfway scraped:

Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Scre...wayScraped.JPG


And here it is finished:

Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Seed...terHarvest.JPG


Here the turf that was scraped off; was about half a cup:



Here are the parts of the new spraybar I just finished:



Here is it complete:



Hardest thing is cutting the 1/8" slot:



Insert the screen into the new spraybar:



Use my new paperclip technique of holding the pipe to the bucket; removes easily:



Bucket cleaned, bulbs cleaned, screen scraped (one side), freshwater rinsed, and ready for action:



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Unread 07/27/2008, 09:28 AM   #118
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just be careful with the metal clips near the salt water... those things are spring steel, and will rust fairly quickly...


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Unread 07/27/2008, 10:52 PM   #119
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Yes I'll watch for rust; sure is better than the tape I was using.

Here's an update/observation: My green bubble that I said earlier I thought was growing, is indeed (with no target feeding). It's been there for a while next to a micro mussa and a ricorda, but now especially in the last week, the feeders are out in full extension at all times. They used to only be out at night, but I'm looking at it right now under halides, and it's super-feeding. There's enough extension that they've taken out half my micro, and caused the ricorda to re-position itself further down and away.


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Unread 07/28/2008, 08:57 AM   #120
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I will be posting a pic later today that shows my old mmfi scrubber slightly modded and ready to go back into service on my new 125...


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Unread 07/28/2008, 04:39 PM   #121
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Unread 07/28/2008, 04:41 PM   #122
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Unread 07/28/2008, 04:42 PM   #123
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Unread 07/28/2008, 04:43 PM   #124
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Unread 07/28/2008, 04:45 PM   #125
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