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Old 12/30/2017, 09:42 AM   #1
marco j
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Question Any foreseeable issues with running an up flow ATS in refugium?

Title says it all.

I’m about to build my ATS and the most convenient place to position it in my system is in my 75g refugium. I planned on keeping the par38 lamp running over the Chaetomorpha like normal but using a section to attach my ATS.

The refugium is gravity fed from the display and is a comfortable 3.5’ off the ground with an open top.

Anyone see any issues with this?

Thanks and Happy New Year All!!!


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Old 12/30/2017, 10:17 AM   #2
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I doubt you will have much luck running the ATS with Chaeto, I tried running both and the Chaeto just withered away and fell apart making a huge mess. The ATS grew fantasic, one will most lilely out compete the other. If you go upflow your Chaeto will most likely continue to grow well and the ATS will not.


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Old 12/30/2017, 12:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cheapreef View Post
I doubt you will have much luck running the ATS with Chaeto, I tried running both and the Chaeto just withered away and fell apart making a huge mess. The ATS grew fantasic, one will most lilely out compete the other. If you go upflow your Chaeto will most likely continue to grow well and the ATS will not.
Why do you believe the chaeto will put perform the up flow? I was figuring the other way around since my chaeto grows so slowly.


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Old 01/02/2018, 06:23 PM   #4
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Bump for others thoughts


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Old 01/02/2018, 06:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by marco j View Post
Bump for others thoughts
I see no purpose in running both a chaeto fuge & an ATS.

Pick one, design it correctly, & it will remove excess nutrients efficiently.

Personally, I believe a downflow ATS is the most efficient, and whatever type of emerald green algae grows on the screen it will be more efficient at filtering than the typical chaeto used in a fuge.


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Old 01/03/2018, 05:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Twinfallz View Post
I see no purpose in running both a chaeto fuge & an ATS.

Pick one, design it correctly, & it will remove excess nutrients efficiently.

Personally, I believe a downflow ATS is the most efficient, and whatever type of emerald green algae grows on the screen it will be more efficient at filtering than the typical chaeto used in a fuge.
Solid point about picking one and dialing it in.

During the past week I have changed out my par 38 bulb for a red and blue 450-650nm specific bulb. I’ve seen obvious growth already and my pH shot up to 8.4 yesterday. Looks like “more light” in the refugium might be my issue.


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Old 01/15/2018, 02:29 PM   #7
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An ATS will far out perform and out compete cheato in my experience. My cheato was doing well, but my nitrates and phophates were still to high and I had some gha in the tank. I added an ATS in my weir and my nitrates and phosphates quickly droped as the algae pn the ATS grew and my cheato all but disappeared as did the gha in the display.


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Old 01/16/2018, 07:50 AM   #8
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"Any foreseeable issues with running an up flow ATS in refugium?"
Yes. The turf algae could invade the display tank killing your coral, discoloring your water, and basically making a mess of the whole system.


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Old 01/16/2018, 04:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by elegance coral View Post
"Any foreseeable issues with running an up flow ATS in refugium?"
Yes. The turf algae could invade the display tank killing your coral, discoloring your water, and basically making a mess of the whole system.
Only this doesn't happen in reality; quite the opposite!


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Old 01/16/2018, 09:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Twinfallz View Post
Only this doesn't happen in reality; quite the opposite!
I agree. I had a fair bit of green hair algae in my display and my large Refugium full of cheeto was not doing the job. I added the ATS and the algae in the display started to go away within a month.


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Old Yesterday, 11:11 AM   #11
elegance coral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinfallz View Post
Only this doesn't happen in reality; quite the opposite!
I know it isn't politically correct to admit this on forum boards, but it does indeed happen, and happens often.
This is a link to a thread just a few threads down from this one, right here in the advanced section, describing how hair algae migrated from the sump to the display.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2661276

It amazes me that people actually believe that algae, especially turf algae, can spread from one section of the system to another, but only in the direction they want it to.

"Turf", of all kinds, both in the water and out, have been sooooo successful evolutionarily, due to its incredible ability to spread and conquer new territory. We build tools like weed eaters, and edgers. We build barriers like landscaping timbers, concrete blocks, and plastics. We produce chemicals like "round-up". We spend millions and millions every year in this country just to fight back "turf" and keep it from taking over.

I know, I know, I know....... "Turf algae in the oceans and our tanks is different."
No it's not.... Especially not in the way that it spreads and conquers new territory. It produces nutrient rich fragments of itself that drifts off to nourish new territory. On land, the wind is used. In water, water flow is used. Reproductive material, like seeds and spores, fallow this same path. Through this process, and others, "turf", both in the water and out, is constantly attempting to conquer new territory, and it's VERY efficient at doing so.

Here's a pic of what happens when we don't constantly put forth the effort to fight the spread of "turf". Before long, this entire street will be completely engulfed by turf. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=...16286178814734

In our tanks, in the ocean, and on land. Anywhere turf is found, it will be using the same strategy it has for millions of years. It will constantly be attempting to conquer new territory. Like our display tanks if it's allowed to grow anywhere in the system....

A little history about ATS's.
Dr. Adey, a scientist at the Smithsonian Institute came up with the ATS method. He gave speeches to people from all over the world about his ATS. These people went back to their public aquariums and research facilities and implemented Dr. Adey's method. We in the hobby, myself included, did the same. ATS's were very popular for quite a few years. Then, over time, the same symptoms began to appear in systems all over the world. Turf algae would show up in small areas of the display. More herbivores would be added, and manual removal would be done. This fight just slowly progressed until delicate creatures, like stony corals, began to die. With time, many, if not most, of these systems became a complete failure. Everyone started to abandon this method and our ability to keep these animals improved. Dr. Adey refused to give up. He would go on to build, stock, and kill the reef tank at the Smithsonian over and over and over again. I have a pic of the sign they posted outside the reef tank, while the exhibit was closed, after one of these tank failures. I just can't get it from my PC to this forum any more...
We went for years with virtually no one running ATS's. During this time this hobby advanced by leaps and bounds. Then someone came up with a sales pitch and began to spread lies and misinformation about ATS's to all the forum boards. Slowly, more and more people jumped on the bandwagon. Now we're slowly seeing the same demise of the ATS, and the animals that are forced to live with them, that we did before. At first, this was the end all be all of aquarium filtration. You didn't need anything but an ATS and you could keep what ever you wanted with no problem. Then people started running into problems. They put their skimmers and other filtration back in use. Returned to doing water changes. Then the delicate creatures like stony corals, especially SPS, began to die. Now most people with SPS tanks have abandoned the ATS idea, like they did years ago. Naturally, many many many corals had to die before this realization occurred. Sadly, there are a few SPS keepers that can't learn from others mistakes, and won't abandon this ATS idea until it kills their SPS as well.

What worries me about today, is that people are making money off of this. Back in the day Dr. Adey was about the only one making money off ATS's. When these systems failed, we abandoned them and moved on. We didn't have the love of money propping up this idea. Now, if people speak up about the failure of their ATS's it will be them that gets the blame for the failure and not the method. Just like what happened with Dr. Ron Shimek and his largely debunked DSB. ATS supporters get angry when someone speaks negatively about ATS's. Even when whats being said is factual. People that make money off of this will argue and fight as long as they can to keep this going. The people they persuade will become loud supporters as well. This will only prolong the inevitable demise of the ATS method. At least I hope the truth can still come out and we can once again put ATS's on the trash heap of this hobby.
Peace
EC


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Current Tank Info: I'm trying to see how many tanks will fit in my house before the wife loses it.
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Old Yesterday, 02:25 PM   #12
elegance coral
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Originally Posted by laverda View Post
I agree. I had a fair bit of green hair algae in my display and my large Refugium full of cheeto was not doing the job. I added the ATS and the algae in the display started to go away within a month.
This is how people become "believers".

We need to understand what's taking place here. In the beginning, you had X amount of nutrients fueling X amount of algae growth. All you did was provide an environment that was more conducive to turf algae growth than your display was. Which was the introduction of the ATS. This didn't clean up the system or make any major changes to the amount of algae it can support. It simply gave the algae a better place to live. A place where it's ability to grow and reproduce is accelerated, and without grazers to consume it. The algae in the ATS prospered as the algae in the display suffered.

So what happens from here??? Turf algae doesn't magically make nutrients disappear. It simply takes inorganic nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, and binds them into organic form where they're no longer detectable with your test kits. This makes people think that their ATS is preforming some kind of miracle. It isn't.
The "believers" say that they harvest a portion of the algae periodically, and with it, the nutrients it bound into organic form. This is said to reduce the overall nutrient level of the system. It doesn't quite work that way with turf algae.
As I said in my previous post, turf algae is constantly shedding fragments and spores. The supporters of ATS's say this simply provides food for "beneficial" creatures like worms and pods. They don't want to get into what happens to the fragments and spores that aren't eaten, or what happens to them after they are eaten.
This organic matter ends up in various places throughout the system. It accumulates in the sand and pores of the rocks where it slowly decomposes. This is the process by which nature increases the nutrient content of environments. This is not a means to reduce nutrients.
Either eaten or not by worms and pods, microbes go to work breaking down this organic matter to fuel their own growth and reproduction. Other organisms feed on these microbes, and still larger organisms feed on them. All of these creatures, typically short lived, die and decompose. This only fuels more growth, and the nutrients that were originally delivered with the fragments and spores of turf algae are simply recycled over and over, countless times within the system. Over time, the areas where this takes place become more and more nutrient rich.
If this takes place in an area that is exposed to light, or the original area grows to the point that it becomes exposed to light, and a turf algae spore lands there, it can utilize the nutrients available to sprout into a new colony of turf algae. The strands of algae trap more organic particles, increasing the local nutrient level even more, and fueling even more growth. In time, the ability of turf algae within the system, to spread and conquer new territory grows stronger and stronger.
This is the process that makes places like the Brazilian rain forest possible. The rain is basically distilled water with a little dust in it. Not enough nutrients to fuel the explosion of plant life found there. The forest sits on a limestone bed, just like our reef tanks do. So...... The forest has clean water delivered all the time, and it covers what we would call live rock. How is the explosion of plant life we see in the forest possible??????? It is through the processes I've been describing here. It is through mother natures ability to bind inorganic nutrients into organic form, and recycle those same nutrients over and over and over, countless times, holding them in one area. Until the plant life in that area grows and spreads to cover more that two million square miles. You would be hard pressed to find any plant life that is more efficient at this than turf algae.
The vast majority of the nutrients entering our systems should be through the food we feed. The more efficient we are at delivering those nutrients to the target organism, fish and coral, and then REMOVING those nutrients, the more nutrient poor our systems will be. In other words, the cleaner and healthier our systems will be for critters like fish and coral. When we start deliberately culturing an organism like turf algae, we are being counter productive to the idea of creating a more nutrient poor environment. The more hair algae we allow to grow anywhere in our systems, the greater its ability to spread. It's whole life strategy is to enrich new territory so that it can spread and grow.
So yes...... When an ATS is originally introduced into a system, we can see a shift in where the algae grows. This doesn't reduce the amount of algae the system grows. In fact, most people report an increase in algae growth. They even brag about it and post pic's of their algae covered screens. All the time having no idea what that algae growth is doing to their system.
Peace
EC


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"Most of the failures with marine aquaria are due to lack of knowledge of the biological processes that occur in the aquarium." Martin A. Moe, Jr.
"A scientist seeks the truth, wherever that may lead. A believer already knows the truth, and cannot be swayed no matter how compelling the evidence."

Current Tank Info: I'm trying to see how many tanks will fit in my house before the wife loses it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by elegance coral View Post
I know it isn't politically correct to admit this on forum boards, but it does indeed happen, and happens often.
This is a link to a thread just a few threads down from this one, right here in the advanced section, describing how hair algae migrated from the sump to the display.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2661276
Firstly, that link is concerning a system using a chaeto refugium, not an ATS, which do not grow chaeto. And, it was hair algae that appeared in Earwick7s display, not chaeto! But its good to know you are against using any algae as a nutrient export method, no matter the technique. Secondly, Earwicker7 said - "it is very minor, and probably not noticeable to anyone but me",,, so, it isn't anything like you described in your first post. He also has a deep sand bed and described it as - " dirtier than it should be due to using a let it grow wild methodology". I would say Earwick7's first problem is not maintaining his deep sand bed, and his fuge is probably not set up correctly, and therefore, not efficient. And, he would have a much worse "hair algae" problem in his display if he had no chaeto fuge at all.
Now, you can go ahead and explain why so many people, who don't use algae as an export method, get hair algae, and so many other algaes, growing in their displays.
I read a whole lot of threads on various forums, and the only people that suggest algae migration happens, and "happens a lot" are typically people who have never used algae filtration, but have a suspicious agenda against using it.


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Originally Posted by elegance coral View Post
It amazes me that people actually believe that algae, especially turf algae, can spread from one section of the system to another, but only in the direction they want it to.

"Turf", of all kinds, both in the water and out, have been sooooo successful evolutionarily, due to its incredible ability to spread and conquer new territory. We build tools like weed eaters, and edgers. We build barriers like landscaping timbers, concrete blocks, and plastics. We produce chemicals like "round-up". We spend millions and millions every year in this country just to fight back "turf" and keep it from taking over.

I know, I know, I know....... "Turf algae in the oceans and our tanks is different."
No it's not.... Especially not in the way that it spreads and conquers new territory. It produces nutrient rich fragments of itself that drifts off to nourish new territory. On land, the wind is used. In water, water flow is used. Reproductive material, like seeds and spores, fallow this same path. Through this process, and others, "turf", both in the water and out, is constantly attempting to conquer new territory, and it's VERY efficient at doing so.
I don't have "turf algae" growing on my scrubber screen. No person I have built a scrubber for has "turf algae" growing on their screen. I also have never seen "turf algae" growing on the screen in any photo any participant on any forum has posted showing their scrubber screen.
Typically what is seen growing are speciec of ulva. But you, apparently, are not aware of this, or don't know the difference?

I have a couple of species of ulva growing on my screen. I did not seed the screen, the ulva grew on the screen >>> naturally<<<. It grew on the screen naturally because these species of ulva were already in my system. Either from the live rock I used. Or from coral I added. Perhaps the ulva was introduced when I used sea water for water changes. But here's the important part for you, elagance coral - never in the five years prior to installing the scrubber did I ever see any species of ulva growing in my tank, at all! It did not appear until I provided an optimum environment for it to take off.

Lets hear your explanation for that, elagance coral, and your expalnation for why the ulva hasn't ever grown in my display tank since installing my scrubber, >>>dispite me throwing in chuncks of it to feed the fish<<
Prior to installing my scrubber I had various algaes growing in the display as well as cyno. Within a month and a half of the scrubber screen maturing all algaes and cyno growing in the display were gone, completely. That was two years ago, and still no algaes at all growing in the display, >>>except for coralline algae, which was almost non existant prior to installing the scrubber, but which proliferated afterwards.
- - - - - - - - - - -

I'm not particularly interested in Adey's ATS, as I don't consider his ATS and a modern scrubber analogous. Only people who have an agenda against scrubbers bring up his model, and whats more, blame the apparent failures of his Monaco systems on his scrubbers when other public aquariums, which also had poor results, didn't use ATS'.



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Old Today, 04:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by elegance coral View Post
This is how people become "believers".
I reckon your rant would only confuse people that don't know any better.
For those people, here's how it works.

Nutrients are added to the aquarium via feeding the inhabitants - nutirents in.
Metabolism of this food creates nitrogen, firstly as ammonia (algaes favourite source of nitrogen).
All foods contain phosphates, so its also added to the water. Nitrogen & phosphate (fertiliser) are necessary for photosynthesis.

When the algae on a scrubber screen, for example, grows, & is then removed from the system, all the nutrients assimilated are also removed from the system - nutrients out.

So, it's a case of nutrients in, and nutrients out. This is the purpose of algae filtration, & it is testable via aquarium test kits. The nutrients do not build up in the system because they are litterally removed from the system via algae export.

If you want an aquarium analogy of elegance coral's Brazilian rain forest, where leaves, flowers, branches, etc, fall to the ground, rot & feed the forrest, then what you would need to do is, take all the algae that has grown in you algae filter and dump it back into the system rather than throwing it in the garden.


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Old Today, 11:40 AM   #15
elegance coral
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Originally Posted by Twinfallz View Post
Firstly, that link is concerning a system using a chaeto refugium, not an ATS, which do not grow chaeto. And, it was hair algae that appeared in Earwick7s display, not chaeto! But its good to know you are against using any algae as a nutrient export method, no matter the technique. Secondly, Earwicker7 said - "it is very minor, and probably not noticeable to anyone but me",,, so, it isn't anything like you described in your first post. He also has a deep sand bed and described it as - " dirtier than it should be due to using a let it grow wild methodology". I would say Earwick7's first problem is not maintaining his deep sand bed, and his fuge is probably not set up correctly, and therefore, not efficient. And, he would have a much worse "hair algae" problem in his display if he had no chaeto fuge at all.
Now, you can go ahead and explain why so many people, who don't use algae as an export method, get hair algae, and so many other algaes, growing in their displays.
I read a whole lot of threads on various forums, and the only people that suggest algae migration happens, and "happens a lot" are typically people who have never used algae filtration, but have a suspicious agenda against using it.
I have used many different types of algae filtration. I live in Florida where caulerpa, and many other algae grow naturally. I'm 52 years old and I've been in this hobby for more than 30 years. I've studied nature and how she works my whole life. Which is what attracted me to this hobby in the first place. I have no "suspicious agenda" against using algae filtration. In fact I've done it many many times, in many different ways, and with many different species. After decades of studying and working with it, I understand what it can, and can not, do. I apply no magical or mythological abilities to it.
So....... From what you're saying, you understanding that algae growing in a "refugium" and on chaeto, has no problem migrating from there to the display tank. You have no problem with the concept of algae migrating from the display to a device you call an ATS. But, for some unknown reason, you believe that any algae growing on this magical ATS loses it's evolutionary advantage and can no longer spread to other areas of the system. It can spread from place to place, all over the system, but the second it starts growing in an ATS, that's no longer possible??? There is no scientific or logical explanation to justify such a belief.


Quote:
I don't have "turf algae" growing on my scrubber screen. No person I have built a scrubber for has "turf algae" growing on their screen. I also have never seen "turf algae" growing on the screen in any photo any participant on any forum has posted showing their scrubber screen.
Typically what is seen growing are speciec of ulva. But you, apparently, are not aware of this, or don't know the difference?
I'm not interested in getting into a debate over what constitutes "turf" algae and what doesn't. There is no end to that debate. There isn't even a good consensuses among scientists. Some try to put a height limit on the term "turf" but that doesn't work well. In areas with high grazing by herbivorous a species may be short, and fit their definition of turf, but in areas with less grazing, that exact same species may grow to tall to fit that description. So is that species turf or not??? The truth is that science doesn't have a good solid definition of turf algae. But from what you're saying it sounds like you have the one true definition..
Just something interesting.... Here's a link with pic's of ulva. Look at the second one down. Looks a whole lot like what we would call "turf" if it were on a golf course. But hay..... If it doesn't meet your definition of turf, I'm fine with that.....
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=...16369357411890

Quote:
I have a couple of species of ulva growing on my screen. I did not seed the screen, the ulva grew on the screen >>> naturally<<<. It grew on the screen naturally because these species of ulva were already in my system. Either from the live rock I used. Or from coral I added. Perhaps the ulva was introduced when I used sea water for water changes. But here's the important part for you, elagance coral - never in the five years prior to installing the scrubber did I ever see any species of ulva growing in my tank, at all! It did not appear until I provided an optimum environment for it to take off.

Lets hear your explanation for that, elagance coral, and your expalnation for why the ulva hasn't ever grown in my display tank since installing my scrubber, >>>dispite me throwing in chuncks of it to feed the fish<<
I don't see your point here??? In fact, what you're saying here supports what I've been saying.
So you had a tiny amount of ulva growing in your display. So small that you never even saw it. Yet, this tiny amount had the ability to spread to you ATS. Now, without the constant grazing of fish, and possibly other herbivorous, in the display, the ulva is able to grow into a large lush colony in your ATS. But for some reason you believe that now it has lost the ability to spread to other places??? It can spread from place to place on the screen inside you ATS, but for some reason its lost the ability to spread from the screen to other places within the system????

Quote:
Prior to installing my scrubber I had various algaes growing in the display as well as cyno. Within a month and a half of the scrubber screen maturing all algaes and cyno growing in the display were gone, completely. That was two years ago, and still no algaes at all growing in the display, >>>except for coralline algae, which was almost non existant prior to installing the scrubber, but which proliferated afterwards.
What you're describing isn't all that uncommon. It's also how ATS's became so popular in the first place, and why it has become popular again after people forgot the tragedy of the first go around. The species of algae were talking about, and that are commonly cultured on ATS's, have the very efficient ability to spread from one place to another. This is how it ended up on your ATS in the first place.
Early on, after the installation of an ATS, it's relatively easy to combat the spread of algae from the ATS. Things often seem to be working great. However, every second of every day, the algae in that scrubber is working to enrich the system and create areas suitable for its spread and expansion. We are already seeing the first evidence of this system degradation. Most hobbyists that keep the more delicate species have abandoned the ATS's. Why???? If this is the miracles working filtration method people like yourself claim it to be shouldn't it work those same miracles for acros and other delicate species?? Why is there a growing trend among these hobbyists to abandon ATS's?? It is because they do not function the way you believe they do. These systems are growing more and more nutrient rich. They're being flooded with allelopathic substances. It is the more delicate species that show the first signs of this degradation.
We can fight the negative effects ATS's have on a system, but at some point, the question becomes, why? Why fight this battle and put the well being of our pets at risk when there are other methods that provide the same benefits without the negative side effects?


Quote:
I'm not particularly interested in Adey's ATS, as I don't consider his ATS and a modern scrubber analogous. Only people who have an agenda against scrubbers bring up his model, and whats more, blame the apparent failures of his Monaco systems on his scrubbers when other public aquariums, which also had poor results, didn't use ATS'.
You have made no fundamental changes to Dr. Adey's ATS. Your new version still functions with the EXACT same chemistry and biology. You even use the same species of algae. Growing algae on a vertical surface does not change it's biology. I understand your desire to distance yourself and your ATS from the failure that was Dr. Adey's ATS, but you can't. You copied his theory. Your ATS functions exactly like Dr. Adey's ATS, both chemically and biologically. You have not erased millions of years of evolution simply by growing the algae on a vertical screen or by lighting it with LED's.
I don't bring up his model because I have an agenda. I bring it up because it's the same as yours. We've been here, done this, and it was an utter failure. You're doing the same thing he did and telling people that you have some kind of magic that makes your ATS special. It isn't.


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Old Today, 12:48 PM   #16
elegance coral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinfallz View Post
I reckon your rant would only confuse people that don't know any better.
For those people, here's how it works.

Nutrients are added to the aquarium via feeding the inhabitants - nutirents in.
Metabolism of this food creates nitrogen, firstly as ammonia (algaes favourite source of nitrogen).
All foods contain phosphates, so its also added to the water. Nitrogen & phosphate (fertiliser) are necessary for photosynthesis.

When the algae on a scrubber screen, for example, grows, & is then removed from the system, all the nutrients assimilated are also removed from the system - nutrients out.

So, it's a case of nutrients in, and nutrients out. This is the purpose of algae filtration, & it is testable via aquarium test kits. The nutrients do not build up in the system because they are litterally removed from the system via algae export.

If you want an aquarium analogy of elegance coral's Brazilian rain forest, where leaves, flowers, branches, etc, fall to the ground, rot & feed the forrest, then what you would need to do is, take all the algae that has grown in you algae filter and dump it back into the system rather than throwing it in the garden.
Metabolism of food does not create nitrogen. Nitrogen is not being created anywhere on this planet. Nitrogen is an element. It is created in the heart of stars. Not in the bellies of a fish.

When algae like you culture on your ATS is involved, the process of nutrients in and nutrients out is not testable via aquarium test kits. Our test kits only give us a small picture of one small step in the cycle of these nutrients. The second your algae takes up inorganic nitrogen, phosphorus, and other elements, to combine them into organic forms, they become invisible to our test kits. Those elements that bounce from organic to inorganic and back again, over and over again within sand beds and rocks are not detectable by our test kits. The only thing our test kits show us is the inorganic nitrogen and phosphate that ends up in the open water of the system.
How is it that you add nutrients in organic form. Like in the form of mysis shrimp, pellets, and nori. Then remove nutrients in organic from by harvesting algae from you ATS, yet you're able to test for this process with test kits that only register inorganics???????

You need not throw the algae that grew on the ATS into the display in order to "feed the forest". Just as a tree in the forest is constantly shedding leaves, seeds, and branches, the algae in your ATS is constantly shedding organics as well. Like spores, fragments, and organic substances dissolved in water. When you harvest from your ATS, you do not remove all the organics that the algae produced and released into your system between cleanings of your screen. People that support ATS's can not deny this process so they try to justify it by saying that it "feeds" the system. What it does is feed decomposers. Organisms that live in the sediments (rock and sand). These organisms, from microbes up, feed, defecate, reproduce, and die. Over and over again. This process traps, holds, and recycles nutrients within these sediments. The longer this process goes on, with the constant supply of nutrients/food from the ATS, the more nutrient rich these areas become. None of which is detectable by our test kits.


__________________
"Most of the failures with marine aquaria are due to lack of knowledge of the biological processes that occur in the aquarium." Martin A. Moe, Jr.
"A scientist seeks the truth, wherever that may lead. A believer already knows the truth, and cannot be swayed no matter how compelling the evidence."

Current Tank Info: I'm trying to see how many tanks will fit in my house before the wife loses it.
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