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Old 07/04/2008, 10:11 PM   #1
SantaMonica
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Waterfall Turf Algea Filter: CHEAP and EASY to build



I want to build a cheap and easy turf algea filter, primarily to knock down N and P. After reading about the superior nutrient uptake of turf algea compared to other macros, and after seeing that there are really no units for sale anywhere, I thought I'd see what I could (easily) build myself in about a day. After all, we are just trying to get water to splash across a screen that is lit up. It's shouldn't be this hard to do.

So I came to realize the hardest thing to build would be the device that sloshes the water across the screen; the two prevailing methods were a dump bucket, and a rotating wheel. Both seemed difficult to build. So I thought, those methods are going through a lot of work to get water from point A to point B; why not just let the water fall on it's own (like a waterfall)? Think vertical, instead of horizontal.

So the idea came to just tilt the screen up vertically, and let the water slosh down the screen. Here are the advantages to building a waterfall version of a turf algea filter instead of one of the other versions:


o The turf algea screen can be lit from BOTH SIDES.

o Extremely simple design, about as complex as a HOB overflow (and may even be able to use the same HOB box.)

o There are NO MOVING PARTS at all.

o You get to choose any (low cost) water pump size you wish, and keep it wherever you wish (sump or otherwise).

o You get choose to have the pump on continuously (very easy to do), or pulsed with a timer to simulate waves.

o You don't have to move or turn off the lights to get to and scrape the screen; just slide the screen up out of the box.

o The unit can fit right over (and drain into) a sump if desired.

o There is NO dumping-bucket to build or deal with or wear out.

o There is NO rotating wheel or drum to build or deal with or wear out.

o There is NOTHING to break or clog.

o VERY cheap and EASY to build (main item required: a square acrylic box.)

o Theoretically, would have no no dumping sound to listen to.

o Theoretically, would have no microbubbles.

o Theoretically, would be half the size of a one-sided filter (since it is lit from both sides).



Drawbacks:

Not designed to provide a surge to display tank.
Not designed to douse the screen with high-velocity water (like a dumping bucket would).
May give tint to water; may need carbon to clear it.



"Open" Option:

For an even easier setup that is almost free to build (all that is needed is a pvc tube with holes or a slit in it), you can just not use a box at all, by just placing the screen vertically over your sump, and use your existing sump/fuge lighting (or else add small light on both sides of the screen. This version might not be as effective since the lights may not be as bright (or as near). And you'll need to figure out how to attach the spraybar to the top of the screen. But talk about simple! You don't have to open anything at all in order to scrape the screen!


Anyway, remember that I have not built this yet, since I wanted to get input first. My current tank is about 100 gal, and I seem to remember a recomemdation of once square inch of screen per gal, so that would be 100 square inches for me (10 X 10). Pretty small. But the two big unknowns are: Can it be smaller since it's lit on both sides, and, will it perform less since the water will not be "surging" as much.

Here's the basic cutout of an acrylic box, is open on the top, and closed on the bottom. Note the drain hole on the bottom too:


Add the algea screen; could be held in place with a slot or rail or pegs:


Add the spraybar over the top; a piece of pvc drilled on the bottom, or slit from one side to the other. It fits in the the circular cutouts in the box:


A standard light, placed vertically; this one is facing towards you:


A standard light, placed vertically; this one is facing away from you:


Both lights:


This is how the lights would be attached to the box:



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Old 07/05/2008, 04:05 AM   #2
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just be careful....when that turf algea gets into that main tank..man what a pain that would be, other than that, sounds like a great idea.


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Old 07/05/2008, 04:06 AM   #3
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also, it sounds kinda bulky. especially with the lights on BOTH sides.


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Old 07/05/2008, 08:11 AM   #4
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Well from my understanding of turf filters, the reason the algea grows in the filter and not in the tank is that you use algea-friendly lighting in the filter (5000K or so, i.e., more red, just like in a fuge), but mostly it's because of the large amount of air that is available. That's why in the ocean you see turf algea grow at the air-water interface (on pylings, rocks) only where the waves crash. I believe the huge amount of air is what makes turf so much better of a nutrient uptake than other macros; the CO2 must be limiting in other macros (they're all underwater in a fuge), but in a turf filter of any kind you have continuous air-water-air-water alteranations. So CO2 no longer is limiting, and thus the turf is free to take up more N and P. Not to mention, of all the accounts I read about people previously using turf filters, almost none got turf in their disply. Some even replaced their skimmer entirely.

As to the bulkiness, yes there are two lights instead of one, but the concept is that since there is light on both sides, you can make the entire unit half of what would normally be required. Most of the units I read about were 3 to 4 feet long horizontal bucket-type units that were a foot thick, or 3 feet tall wheel units that were 1.5 feet thick, both of which were too bulky (and impossible to get) for my 100 gal. At the recommended one-square-inch-screen-per-gal, my screen only needs to be 10 inches square, maybe less if you account for lights on both sides. So the acrylic box only needs to be about a foot high and 2 inches thick. If you just use a standard pc light from a nano (about 2 inches thick), the entire unit becomes just a foot high and 6 inches thick. This can sit right on a sump, instead of having to have it's own room


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Old 07/05/2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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Are you writing people asking them to comment in your thread?
If so I will suggest you stop that practice.


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Old 07/05/2008, 10:53 AM   #6
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"Are you writing people asking them to comment in your thread?
If so I will suggest you stop that practice."

That's what " threads" are , you post something, and someone else comments.
Who cares if he asks people to comment.


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Old 07/05/2008, 11:21 AM   #7
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hello and thanks for the pm to take a look at your turf scrubber...

when i first started reefing in the early 90's, there was no such thing as a refugium (to my knowledge anyway). there was a constant struggle with nitrate build up and the only solution was water changes (which, imo, should still be done on a regular basis to this day).

along comes loveland and adey and show that a system could be kept in balance with growing turf algae with an alternating wet and dry current.all the maintenance that was required was the harvest of the turf algae.

sounds great and yes, it does work...but as you have already noted, that you would expect a tint to the water where you would need to use carbon. i am trying to recall this from almost 20 years without the luxury of having loveland and adey's literature in front of me...so if i am wrong in certain areas...please forgive me.

if you are truly gung ho on wanting to use a turf scrubber, if you will allow me to...i will point out the things that could be changed for it to function more effectively and efficiently.

the vertical screen: try...really try and get 'some' angle to it. i know what you are wanting to do (turf algae on both sides) but the large issue you may have is inconsistent water flow down the screen. this 'may' cause dead spots, bald spots etc on the screen as flow patterns change with turf algae growth.

if you really want to grow turf algae on both sides of the vertical screen, then:

you may have a hard time with one spray bar spraying on two sides of the screen. the angles of the holes need to pointing directly to the screen. perhaps i can suggest two spray bars as opposed to one. each spray bar spraying on the side of the screen it is suppose to. you can still use one pump but make sure that when you split the water flow for the two spraybars that you are able to regulate the flow of each spraybar (each with a ball valve or something) to achieve optimal even flow.

make sure that your container is wide enough so that you can easily and regularly clean the acrylic for optimal light transmission.

overall, i dont see why the design shouldnt work as a turf scrubber. you can get turf algae seed from:
http://www.inlandaquatics.com/prod/tr_algae.html

NOW!!!

let's fast forward to 2008...

i will say that i have never used a turf scrubber. i love the concept and i love that mother nature does so much of the nutrient removal...

BUT!!!

there are presently, again imo and experience, better alternatives that are less maintenance intensive now.

while i have no idea how fast turf algae grows, from what i have read, it grows pretty quick for rapid nutrient reduction. this is great because i 'think' loveland and adey didnt use a protein skimmer and said that with the turf scrubber a skimmer would not be needed anymore. now, back to the early 90's...skimmers of that day were horrible in what they could remove. most of us were still using finicky counter current air driven skimmers. the wealthier reefers were able to purchase 'venturi skimmers' (i wasnt one of them). most of us did not have the space nor a properly designed air driven skimmers of today for them to be effective. thus, loveland and adey's use of a turf scrubber was considered a revolutionary thought.

i am not saying that i am a genius by far...but at the time, there was no such word as a refugium. a remote container to grow algae? what? so, i introduced intentionally, caulerpa (not banned at the time) into my display tank for it to grow and soak up nutrients. results were great (water clarity, etc). i did not know of anyone doing this but again, never thought anything of it as special.

i would never ever do that to this day. most species of caulerpa are banned here in southern california (but i didnt live in SoCal the time anyway) and most caulerpa is aggressive, invasive and can choke a display with rampant growth in no time.

thus, to my next point. turf algae grows ON a screen. it is kind of a slimy goo when exposed in the air. what i wouldnt want to do is to remove that icky screen and scrape that algae off as maintenance. call me sissy'ish but i think i deal with enough icky goo from skimmers already.

thus, there have been much easier to handle macro algaes since the notion of turf scrubbers have erupted onto the reef scene.

my favorite is chaetomorpha. the benefits are decent rapid growth for nutrient reduction, easily harvested due to non hold fast development into rocks etc, non invasive to the display and i havent heard of it going sexual and releasing gametes into the water...thus possibly nuking your entire system.

as you have mentioned that the compact size of your scrubber is a bonus...refugiums for macro growth can be very small (imo and experience) also. my 180g with a 100g sump and 65 cryptic zone utilizes a 5g refugium in the form of a white hdpe bucket...that's it. that's all i need for a 250g NET volume sps system.

what is different about my 5g bucket refugium is that it receives a 120x per hour turnover. rapid flow, lots of light directed into the bucket (over the chaeto) for incredible growth and nutrient reduction. couple a rapid growth mechanism with an effective skimmer....and you have the makings of a great nutrient export system.

i have stopped my skimmer on my 110g mixed reef. in it i have 5 clams to rapidly use ammonia in which the nitrite is quickly broken down to nitrate via my live rock. in the sump, i have a 2g bucket fuge receiving 150x turnover per hour with incredible chaeto growth. there is no sps in the 110g. just some softies, clams, anemones and lps (acans, scolys and frogspawn). tank heath is amazing and growth is fantastic. i just add cacl and buffer...that's about it.

turf algae scrubbers never took off (maybe) for a couple of reasons...one was loveland and adey patented the concept or design...thus whatever turf scrubber was out there...was very expensive. second, even as you have found out how inventive and diy reefers are...turf scrubbers never really became popular. reasons? i dont know...but i never used one for the reasons i listed above. the eco-wheel has been around for some time. it uses the turf scrubber concept and i know of only one reefer on rc that has used it.

http://www.aquaticengineers.com/index.htm



personally, i think the appearance of the health of the display tank...looks terrible...and this is what they put on their website to show off the results of what their eco-wheel does.

i am by no means saying that you should not set up your turf algae. on the contrary, i would actually be interested in seeing how it would work.

hth's a little.


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Old 07/05/2008, 01:21 PM   #8
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Good points. And I'm like you... have not tried one yet. Nevertheless...

Two spraybars: I also just thought about a spraybar for both sides; this would make the screen removal super easy... just lift it up between them. Although even with a single spraybar, if the flow were enough, I would think it would hit all parts of the screen. You could even make the drain hole small so that the box would almost fill up every time.

Icky cleaning: Well, compared to a skimmer (dead waste stuff), I figured the turf algea would at least be alive. So even though if it smells like algea, I did not think it would be as bad as a skimmer. Also, you only harvest once every 7-10 days, so at least the frequency is less.

Chaeto bucket: It's neat that you got all your macro filtering into a 5 gal bucket. I tried chaeto last year and it disolved away, but then I did not turn my skimmer off.

Tint: I do believe that turf and other macros (chaeto, etc) use the same photosynthesis process, and it's this process that puts the chlorophyll into the water. Maybe the reason turfs have been associated with tinting is because their processing is so much faster (because of the large amount of CO2 from the air) that for the same amount of algea, the turfs are processing much more N and P, and thus releasing more chlorophyll. I would think chaeto and the others also tint the water, but at a much lower rate because of their slower process (less CO2 available in the water). So, maybe, all macros tint the water the same amount for a given amount of N and P processing, but turfs can do it in a much smaller space, or in a much quicker time.


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Old 07/05/2008, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by jman77
That's what " threads" are , you post something, and someone else comments.
Who cares if he asks people to comment.
He PM'd me to post my comments in a thread I had never seen.
Obviously I care. And I care for the same reasons I dislike spam in my inbox.

If PM'ing people to get them to your thread becomes standard practice then it soon be tough to find legitimate PM's you care about.


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Old 07/05/2008, 02:32 PM   #10
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Turf scrubbers would work well imo.

But you need a turf raceway on your roof, with the sun lighting it for a 10 gallon tank. Algae have one goal, to survive. They will spread to the main tank eventually. Alage are not natures filter, bacteria are.

Stick to gfo if you want to keep phosphate low to prevent algae.


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Old 07/05/2008, 02:38 PM   #11
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There are several problems with your design.

1.) The turf screen needs to be exposed to air and water. I've been out of the hobby for a couple of years, so I no longer remember why, but this is important and is the reason behind dump buckets, wheels and such.
2.) You will have to constantly clean the sides of the container. You're going to see all sorts of algae grow over most surfaces exposed to light, killing your turf algae in the process. That is one of the biggest reasons for turf filters to be open on the top.
3.) Turf filters need massive amounts of surface area to function properly. Several square feet of screen is needed for an average size moderately stocked aquarium.

It is better to let us stumble across your thread and offer our help than to solicit it. That is generally regarded as rude and even SPAM. I have no authority here, but I'd suggest you not do that again. We are all here to help, but no one should feel pressured to do so.

I think that this post summed it up nicely:
Quote:
Originally posted by UrbanSage
He PM'd me to post my comments in a thread I had never seen.
Obviously I care. And I care for the same reasons I dislike spam in my inbox.

If PM'ing people to get them to your thread becomes standard practice then it soon be tough to find legitimate PM's you care about.
Quote:
Originally posted by jman77

That's what " threads" are , you post something, and someone else comments.
Who cares if he asks people to comment.
Exactly. That is what threads are for. People have been banned for doing what he did. Unsolicited e-mail and PM's are generally considered SPAM. I have no idea who this person is and when I open the thread I get a new product development style thread. The original post reeks of a thinly veiled commercial post.



Last edited by MarkS; 07/05/2008 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 07/05/2008, 03:41 PM   #12
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I would have just thought that he respected and wanted your opinions?? Thus he requested you to assist with his idea... LOL RC always seems so aggressive


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Old 07/05/2008, 03:44 PM   #13
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Natural filters: Aren't all macros just different species of algea? And all fuges with macros are just algea filters?

Lighting and screen size: Several people who have run turf said they read Dynamic Aquaria (I have not) and it said to have about 1 square inch of screen for every gallon. Matter of fact, the eco wheel has about 1.5 (800 square inches rated for 500 gal). That's the reason for planning for a small 10 inch square one for me (100 gal). Also, the commercial ones use (as well as is recommended in the book) regular lighting in the lower spectrum; the same as is used on a macro fuge. I don't remember many cases at all of turf spreading to the main tank; the main tank has the wrong lighting, no air, and (hopefully) grazers. It's just like a fuge: chaeto does not start migrating to the tank there, either.

GFO: I current use it as needed, but besides cost and complexity, it lowers PH (turf increases PH), and it can trap detritus (a waterfall turf filter should not trap anything).

Air and water: It might not have been clear in my drawing, but the waterfall design does indeed alternate between air and water if you opt for the a timer on the water pump. Simply select how long you want it on and off. And the nice part is if the timer gets stuck in either position, nothing bad happens. I believe that turf is a high user of CO2 (and other nutrients), which is why it's found at the air/water interface of waves.'

Cleaning the sides: Good point about algea buildup on the sides of the box; I've seen pics of that occuring in the commerical models. However I would imagine it would take the same effort to lift out the spraybar and screen, and clean the box out, as it would with the big commercial ones to lift out the bucket/wheel and clean it. My box would be small, too, about the size of a cereal box. Also, if you opted for the no-box version, you would just have to wipe off the lights.

DIY: It's supposed to be relatively easy to build yourself ($30-$50), with the acrylic box being the one item that might take some searching to find. I could even see somebody using his already-owned items to build: an acrylic HOB overflow box, a pump, some pvc, two nano lights, and some fiberglass window screen. The design does make consessions, however, mostly the surge, which if needed would have to come from a commercial device because it's too difficult to build. I would hardly call this cereal-box size thing commercial, however.


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Old 07/05/2008, 04:24 PM   #14
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cool idea.
the pull-out tray seems like an easy way to clean it.
for better air mix, a cross hatch of screen or gutterguard might work better than a straight vertical piece.
for a cheap temporary test unit you could even do a plastic bread box or something similar.
you gonna set one up santamonica? i'll bet it works.


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Old 07/05/2008, 04:56 PM   #15
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I'm going to try some version of it. The screen might just be the pre-seeded one from Inland Aquatics. Some people have also used knitting fabric. True, a bread box, if clear, could work. Or even no box... I like the open design that would just flow into the sump; all you would need to do is pin-up the screen in the sump and position the spraybar over it. If next to the fuge light, maybe that would be enough by itself.


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Old 07/05/2008, 05:07 PM   #16
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the simpler the better.
watch out for a lot of salt creep in the open design.


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Old 07/05/2008, 05:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by boxfishpooalot
Turf scrubbers would work well imo.

But you need a turf raceway on your roof, with the sun lighting it for a 10 gallon tank. Algae have one goal, to survive. They will spread to the main tank eventually. Alage are not natures filter, bacteria are.

Stick to gfo if you want to keep phosphate low to prevent algae.
Scheeze, with all due respect, you really are just taking a wild guess with this, right? I am not sure where to begin with how completely off base you are with this post of yours.

First off, turf scrubbers are very effective at removing phosphates and nitrates from aquaria. Hardly the size of a "turf raceway on the roof". As anyone knows, a ball of chaeto does a good job of removing phosphates and nitrates from the aquarium and it has just a tiny fraction of the power of a TS. I realize that they should have called you first, but *many* municipal water treatment facilities use TS's. Of course, on the scale you recommend, they need to make turf algae raceways the size of Lake Ontario. http://www.algalturfscrubber.com/point.htm

As far as turf algae growing in the tank...well, there you go again. Turf algae will not grow in the tank. I know people that have been running turf scrubbers for years and they have had no algae problems. I have been using a turf scrubber for over a year and have never had turf algae in my tank. As a matter of fact, I have had absolutely no algae problems in my tank. I shake my scrubber a couple of times a week to break loose the pods and bits of algae in order to treat my tangs and other fish to the pods and algae bits. Lot's of opportunity for algae to take hold in my tank and not one instance of it ever growing.

As far as algae not being nature's filter..., again, with all due respect, this is a rather stunning statement. Did you go to the link above and read it? Do you still want to stand by that statement?

I know I am being a little abrupt with you, but you are making definitive, matter-of-fact statements and it is clear you have no idea what you are talking about.


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Old 07/05/2008, 06:37 PM   #18
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algae indeed is an interesting topic. could it be the a viable fuel source?

from the moment i learned about corn etc being grown for ethanol to supplement gas...i thought to myself 'is that the craziest thing i have ever heard of? we are using a virgin food product to be converted to fuel for our vehicles?'

at first, i thought this was tragically funny...but now that it has been implemented and is a part of our gas program now...watch how food prices will and have soared due to the midwest flooding and ruining crops (for food and fuel). dont forget to couple that with record oil prices along with the incredibly high demand from india and china...and we have the makings of a perfect storm!

plus, how stupid is it to use corn for fuel? it takes 1 gallon of fuel to produce 1.3 g (or so) of fuel. 30%? great yes IF it didnt involve a lot of watering, pesticides, fertilizer, harvesting, land use for a FOOD product.

http://www.ethanol-gec.org/corn_eth.htm
http://feinstein.senate.gov/05speeches/ethanol-oped.htm

plus, ethanol doesnt have the same punch as gas. it takes more ethanol to get the same power of a lesser amount of gasoline...so, it becomes pretty much a break even point...insane!

solution?

there are so many and i feel we are in the infancy of discovering viable alternative energy solutions (corn, soybean, sugarcane are not, imo).

here is an interesting and innovative solution. vertical growing of algae. it uses profoundly less land than having a spread out flat land mass. it does not use soil, pesticides etc.

Mr. Glenn Kertz, with his High Density Vertical Bioreactors.



http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...3/ai_n24931701

still experimental but interesting...and profitable!


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Old 07/05/2008, 07:07 PM   #19
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Build it and tell us if it works, conjecture only goes so far.

Friend of mine had one of the original algae turf scrubbers that provided a surge to his tank, show tank looked great and was algae free. He swore by it but I always wondered if it was the turf scrubber, the surge, or the macro algae lagoon tank plumbed into the system that was as big as his reef tank.


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Old 07/05/2008, 09:36 PM   #20
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Ok, being a former ATS guy here are my suggestions...

Scrap the spray bar idea and seriously consider incorporating a surge device so the box will alternately fill and empty. This should solve your problem with slime algae dead zones on the screen (which I fully expect you to get) but still provide the algae with it's air requirement. I might even go so far as to add some mesh or rubble to create a pod friendly habitat in the bottom of the box so every time the surge fired the fish would benefit from some free food.

Depending on your nutrient load I could see you having to clean the inside of the box as often as every other day. Even the smallest buildup could reduce your light penetration considerably. Also, you can spend the money on a seed screen from the likes of Inland Aquatics or just let it grow in on it's own. I've done it both ways and after a while I can't really tell the difference. The real secret is good light penetration and a frequent and even screen harvesting.

In my experience I've not seen any more algae in the display than you would expect to see sans an ATS. Properly maintained tanks running a good scrubber are generally too Phosphate limited for the algae to take hold anywhere but in the ATS.

Brett


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Last edited by Putawaywet; 07/05/2008 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 07/05/2008, 11:04 PM   #21
Joe Kelley
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SM, I ran an ATS 250 on a seagrass tank for almost 3 years. It worked. Not sure about your design. Get Adey's book and read it if you have not. We could talk if you'd like.

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Old 07/06/2008, 12:15 AM   #22
SantaMonica
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Power of turf: This is the main reason I wanted to get some turf going. It appears to be not a little, but a GIGANTIC leap in N and P processing, for a given size. The graphs that someone posted in older posts (I think taken from Dynamic Aquaria) seemed to show turf being 20 or 30 times higher in processing power per unit size. Nobody mentioned it, but I surmized the reason was the high CO2 content of the air.

Raceways: I thought about a raceway (as in the linked pics, or one like Paul B. has), but it seemed to me to lack the air-portion of a surge. I'm sure raceways work, but maybe you need a larger size for a give amount of processing. Also, since they are horizontal by design (and although they fit perfectly with a 4-foot pc bulb), they kinda eliminate any chance of placement below the tank.

Growing in tank: Good to hear of another case of turf keeping to it's own area, and not getting into the tank.

"Vertical Bioreactor": Now that is a cool name! From the pic it looks like he has water running down those sheets of algea.

Growing on box: This just occured to me... How would the turf grow on the inside of the box, when the inside of the box is dry? Remember it's vertical. The horizontal ones, of course, were basically tanks themselves filled with water. But with this waterfall version, the water should stay on the screen and flow down. This is assuming that you don't fill the box with water, of course; it would need to drain as fast as it comes in. In this case the box is not a tank at all, but just a platform to hold the lights a few inches from the screen. You could even cut out the sides of the box to get more air in.

No-spraybar: This is the idea of just filling and emptying the box, which would indeed give a wet a dry phase to the screen, but also gives us the just-mentioned algea on the walls of the box. I see a further possible drawback too. I read a few times of a possible boundary layer around the algea, where a strong surge helped break through (thus getting more CO2 to the algea.) If true, then the weaker the surge, the less processing you get. With the spraybar, while it's not nearly a "surge", it's still stronger than a "slow fill" of the box. I do realize that raceways work with no surge at all, so somewhere among these tradeoffs, I'll have to decide what give the best processing, the smallest size (really important), the lowest maintenance, and the easiest build. I must say that a simple "fill the box" method is about as easy to build as it gets; it could be tested with a 5 gal bucket with the screen in it, and a light shining down on it. As for a spraybar causing deadzones on the screen, that seems to be just a design problem. With enough flow, or possibly two spraybars (one on each side), and properly drilled holes or slits in the tube, wouldn't it be possible to saturate the screen every time?

Joe: I do like reading but I have a bit too many projects going now to add another. Since this is a hobby I like to be able to just test stuff, as long as it won't kill anything. But why don't you stop over when you are over here... the tank is in my office. By the way I'm considering a seagrass tank with seahorses to be the fuge for the reef.


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Old 07/06/2008, 06:10 AM   #23
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Interesting idea to make a small vertical algae scrubber, that possibly can be used for nano tanks - I looked for this some time ago, and this is next in compactness after Tetratec PF150 Power Filter-based.

Alas, I have no possibility to work with acrylic and no ready made inexpensive suitable containers are available here. And the lights have to be protected from accidental splashes and during the screen removal for a cleaning.

Another thing, I started to develop allergic reaction on touching LR and removing macroalgae from the tank and now am replacing flooring in the room, that suffered from splashes and leaks. And because of this frequently removed for a manual cleaning dripping screen with smelly algae (and it is, I have the hair algae rock in the tank) is not a thing I would like to employ in my practice, as long as I have any other options, not much of them left, though.

As for PM, I really glad to have a possibility to read this thread, especially bergzy's posts, it was very educative for me. Thanks for the input, everybody!

Would you add a couple of comments on dripless cleaning of the screens?


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Old 07/06/2008, 08:13 AM   #24
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I cant really say if that style of turf scrubbing would work or not. I would guess any turf screen/ water & air mixture and proper light would grow turf algae.

I only have experience with the dump tray and it worked well for me. I think its a good filtration aid, in many situations. As mine was destroyed in transport, and we rebuilt the unit from glass, its never been the beautiful turf scrubber it was designed to be and to sit on ones aquariums as a showpiece, instead of being behind the scenes as mine was in my fish room.

Running it, I would never worry about ammonia, phosphates, nitrates, etc. The algae only grew on the screen and some in the acrylic dump tray, which was mostly a red slime type.

I always ran a large skimmer with it, so again, used it as supplemental filtration, much like one would use a sump full of algae.


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Old 07/06/2008, 08:19 AM   #25
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Here are a few suggestions for screens:

http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategor...ders/divider/0
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...ductId=2753067
http://www.aquaticeco.com/subcategor...ders/divider/0

The screens by Lee's are more pliable and have more holes. The screens by Penn-Plax are stiffer. Give the idea a try and let us know how it turns out.

Good luck!


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