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maglofster 06/04/2011 06:16 AM

Algae Scrubber Advanced
 
We have on this forum (imho) an excellent thread - Algae Scrubber Basics - created by srusso (thanks man!). Now I think it could be wise to start a thread about the more advanced topics in Algae Turf Scrubbing.

For the theory as it stands, all basic questions, designs and other basic stuff about ATS, go HERE.

Since I'm an avid aquarium DIY nerd, and have been for 20 years, I recently jumped on the ATS-wagon to see what it would do for me. So far I have experience from five different versions. Versions that are open, closed and with CFL, T5:s as light plus all sorts of different media to grow the algae. One could say there are as many versions as there are people scrubbing.

One thing is for sure - this is a method that not many people use compared to other more proven methods. Maybe it will rise in popularity in the future or maybe it will be forgotten over the next "flavor of the month". But I think it's time for a collective scientific approach. I think we need to discuss and try out different methods and approaches to scrubbing in a scientific way to see what is good, what is bad and where this method can be refined.

One might look at the open source movement of GNU / Linux - They have enjoyed tremendous success due to the fact that they work as a collective (well mostly) all over the world. I think we have an opportunity to do this as well. Crowd-sourcing to gather data, draw conclusions and figure out solutions to problems.

Some topics I think could be included in this thread:

* How can we be scientific about ATS and provide empirical data to draw the correct conclusions?
* For what kind of tanks can an ATS be beneficial or dangerous?
* Light sources - can LED be more than experimental for ATS?
* Skimmers in cooperation with scrubbers - Advantages and disadvantages.
* Scrubbers and carbon dosing - Competition or cooperation?
* Approaches to achieve 3D-scrubbing in both open and closed designs
* Ozone and UV combined with an ATS - good or bad?
* Effects on livestock - Good and bad
* Long term usage of an ATS and how to collect data about it?
* How to avoid crashes - what are the safeguards?

This thread is NOT intended as a "it doesn't work" *flame on* kind of thread. If you wish something like that, please start your own thread and watch it go down in flames. (pun intended) :love1: Also, English is not my native language, so feel free to correct my language, spelling and such.

Let's get going! :wave:

salty joe 06/04/2011 06:47 AM

I think photoinhibition would be interesting to look at. Everybody seems to run their scrubber lit for 18 hr a day. Maybe in some setups this is ideal. I suspect that with intensely lit scrubbers this is not the case. An O2 senser plumbed to the scrubber drain would reveal what is going on.

I think two scrubbers where only one is lit at a time would be the most efficient use of electricity. Use the O2 senser to determine when photoinhibition begins and set a light timer accordingly. So when photoinhibition begins the light goes out on that scubber and the other scrubber gets lit up. On the runup to photoinhibition, growth is fantastic, then growth drops like a rock, no matter how much light (electricity) you throw at it.

I base my opinion on this link http--www.int-res.com-articles-meps-134-m134p207.pdf

It is a study of Cheato, but it is mentioned that most marine algae behave in a similar manner.

salty joe 06/04/2011 06:52 AM

http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/134/m134p207.pdf

redneckgearhead 06/04/2011 06:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salty joe (Post 18859875)
I think photoinhibition would be interesting to look at. Everybody seems to run their scrubber lit for 18 hr a day. Maybe in some setups this is ideal. I suspect that with intensely lit scrubbers this is not the case. An O2 senser plumbed to the scrubber drain would reveal what is going on.

I think two scrubbers where only one is lit at a time would be the most efficient use of electricity. Use the O2 senser to determine when photoinhibition begins and set a light timer accordingly. So when photoinhibition begins the light goes out on that scubber and the other scrubber gets lit up. On the runup to photoinhibition, growth is fantastic, then growth drops like a rock, no matter how much light (electricity) you throw at it.

I base my opinion on this link http--www.int-res.com-articles-meps-134-m134p207.pdf

It is a study of Cheato, but it is mentioned that most marine algae behave in a similar manner.

Ive read a similar idea, so on my scrubber I started to run my lights on 4 hour intervals off for 4 hours, I have since raised it to 5 and 3 and It seems to get a little better growth now. But since this thread is being started maybe I should start adjusting the light schedule and measuring how much growth I can get with each one. And where would we get an 02 sensor for saltwater?

salty joe 06/04/2011 06:59 AM

Kind of pricey, but here.

http://www.marinedepot.com/American_...TEMOID-vi.html

redneckgearhead 06/04/2011 08:09 AM

Hmm, thanks for the link. Now how to get it to graph the 02 level.....hmmm I wonder if a small PLC would do it. Ive been contemplating integrating a PLC into my tank. Ok time for some more research. Thanks Joe

salty joe 06/04/2011 08:21 AM

Just curious, what kind of lights do you have on your scrubber? The reason I ask is, unless you are running something fairly intense like T5s at point blank range, it might be a waste of time to try and find when photoinhibition occurs.

redneckgearhead 06/04/2011 08:27 AM

Im running the 4 total 23 watt cfl's. You think that with these lights they will never reach full photoinhibition? would LED's work better?

maglofster 06/04/2011 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salty joe (Post 18859875)
I think two scrubbers where only one is lit at a time would be the most efficient use of electricity. Use the O2 senser to determine when photoinhibition begins and set a light timer accordingly. So when photoinhibition begins the light goes out on that scubber and the other scrubber gets lit up. On the runup to photoinhibition, growth is fantastic, then growth drops like a rock, no matter how much light (electricity) you throw at it.

This is very interesting. I have been thinking about running two scrubbers - but that has been to get a more even export (cleaning one on Wednesday and the other on Sunday) than I get now. Photoinhibition is another good reason. Currently I run all my scrubbers on 24W T5 @ 3000K but have been thinking on trying out 10W powerled modules.

salty joe 06/04/2011 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redneckgearhead (Post 18860115)
Im running the 4 total 23 watt cfl's. You think that with these lights they will never reach full photoinhibition? would LED's work better?

I don't know. If it were me, I would not spend the money on an O2 sensor if I were running cfls.

salty joe 06/04/2011 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maglofster (Post 18860161)
This is very interesting. I have been thinking about running two scrubbers - but that has been to get a more even export (cleaning one on Wednesday and the other on Sunday) than I get now. Photoinhibition is another good reason. Currently I run all my scrubbers on 24W T5 @ 3000K but have been thinking on trying out 10W powerled modules.

I also would expect rock solid steady PH with alternating scrubbers.

srusso 06/04/2011 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maglofster (Post 18859815)
We have on this forum (imho) an excellent thread - Algae Scrubber Basics - created by srusso (thanks man!). Now I think it could be wise to start a thread about the more advanced topics in Algae Turf Scrubbing.

For the theory as it stands, all basic questions, designs and other basic stuff about ATS, go HERE.

Since I'm an avid aquarium DIY nerd, and have been for 20 years, I recently jumped on the ATS-wagon to see what it would do for me. So far I have experience from five different versions. Versions that are open, closed and with CFL, T5:s as light plus all sorts of different media to grow the algae. One could say there are as many versions as there are people scrubbing.

One thing is for sure - this is a method that not many people use compared to other more proven methods. Maybe it will rise in popularity in the future or maybe it will be forgotten over the next "flavor of the month". But I think it's time for a collective scientific approach. I think we need to discuss and try out different methods and approaches to scrubbing in a scientific way to see what is good, what is bad and where this method can be refined.

One might look at the open source movement of GNU / Linux - They have enjoyed tremendous success due to the fact that they work as a collective (well mostly) all over the world. I think we have an opportunity to do this as well. Crowd-sourcing to gather data, draw conclusions and figure out solutions to problems.

Some topics I think could be included in this thread:

* How can we be scientific about ATS and provide empirical data to draw the correct conclusions?
* For what kind of tanks can an ATS be beneficial or dangerous?
* Light sources - can LED be more than experimental for ATS?
* Skimmers in cooperation with scrubbers - Advantages and disadvantages.
* Scrubbers and carbon dosing - Competition or cooperation?
* Approaches to achieve 3D-scrubbing in both open and closed designs
* Ozone and UV combined with an ATS - good or bad?
* Effects on livestock - Good and bad
* Long term usage of an ATS and how to collect data about it?
* How to avoid crashes - what are the safeguards?

This thread is NOT intended as a "it doesn't work" *flame on* kind of thread. If you wish something like that, please start your own thread and watch it go down in flames. (pun intended) :love1: Also, English is not my native language, so feel free to correct my language, spelling and such.

Let's get going! :wave:

Thank you very much, and I must say an excellent start to this thread!! Well said, and you should be proud of your english, as it is eloquent and well stated. Better than my own...

redneckgearhead 06/04/2011 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salty joe (Post 18860346)
I don't know. If it were me, I would not spend the money on an O2 sensor if I were running cfls.

While they may not be ideal, I do get a decent amount of growth with them and if I move them to close it will turn the algae yellow. I know I could get better coverage with t5's or LED's so I might look into a cost/benefit analysis. And running a 02 sensor would help prove what light is best and if CFL's are sufficient.

srusso 06/04/2011 10:02 AM

If someone has time to skim or should I say "scrub" the basics thread of any useful posts that help here. I know myself and others have posted some great info that relates, I wish I could but don't have the time at the moment.

srusso 06/04/2011 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salty joe (Post 18859903)

Could I use an ORP probe to get a good data for photoinhabition?

Randy explains in this link how ORP works, and I know my apex can take this probe. I could began to possibly provide some relevant data. I haven't yet read the link you provided about photoinhabition so please excuse my ignorance on the topic.

If so I will purchase the probe as soon as I can.


http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-1...ture/index.php

salty joe 06/04/2011 02:03 PM

From what I gathered from the first part of that article, probably not.

Floyd R Turbo 06/04/2011 02:06 PM

I was initially thinking that there's no way this discussion is going to fly on this site. Everyone who wishes to discuss this, on both sides, needs to be on their Ps and Qs. I personally don't have a ton of free time to dig up data so you may not see me posting on here a lot. But I'll follow it...and we'll see how it goes!

maglofster 06/04/2011 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by srusso (Post 18860390)
If someone has time to skim or should I say "scrub" the basics thread of any useful posts that help here. I know myself and others have posted some great info that relates, I wish I could but don't have the time at the moment.

I can give it a try later on. I have read EVERY post in that thread. Lots of good information in there!

maglofster 06/04/2011 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo (Post 18861084)
Everyone who wishes to discuss this, on both sides, needs to be on their Ps and Qs.

Exactly!

Floyd R Turbo 06/04/2011 07:30 PM

As was mentioned in the basics thread, I am working on setting up a controlled experiment using multiple independent (and isolated) systems using various LED combinations in an attempt to 1) pinpoint the optimal growth spectrum and 2) monitor nutrient uptake. #2 is really secondary, but since it only minimally impacts #1 to sample and test water, why not (gotta do it anyways). There may be other pertinent data, but mainly I am working on this to try and pin down the spectrum issue, as it seems there has not really been any study to date that really shows the optimal artificial spectrum for growing algae for our purposes.

It may also reveal the dominant type of algae grown under each given light source, or combinations of light sources, as well as the efficiency of said algae.

Should be interesting. If I have the time, I'll periodically post about the experiment, but the detailed thread about it is not on this site.

mrbncal 06/04/2011 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salty joe (Post 18859875)
I think photoinhibition . . . On the runup to photoinhibition, growth is fantastic, then growth drops like a rock, no matter how much light (electricity) you throw at it.

I base my opinion on this link http--www.int-res.com-articles-meps-134-m134p207.pdf

It is a study of Cheato, but it is mentioned that most marine algae behave in a similar manner.

I can only offer my experiences with this as "proof", but due to a lack of outlets I run my lights 24/7. During the scrubbers intitial breakin period of 4-5 weeks the algae grew like crazy and I got enormous amounts of stringy growth on the screen.

Now after almost 2 years of the same 24/7 schedule the results are obvious. The algae is very thin and weak. Also there has been an increase in DT algae in certain areas. IMHO this is a very important part of the ATS that really needs to be followed correctly for long term success.

Floyd R Turbo 06/05/2011 07:00 AM

Cardinal rule violation! You need to run 18/6. Everything needs dark time. Get a shorty extension cord and a timer. Also have you been replacing your lamps?

slow_leak 06/05/2011 09:07 AM

As far as tuning a scrubber, I would look at factors that limit growth, and do not think a well aerated tank would have a O2 deficiency.

I suspect limiting factors to growth are light, nitrogen, phosphorous, flow rate, and surface area and possibly micronutrients.

When I set up ATS originally I used iron gluconate to test whether micronutrients were a limiting part of algae growth. It appeared it was. I then widened slot and and put in larger pump, and again I suspect flow rate limits growth.

Another issue I am concerned about if nitrate limitation would lead to cyano in display tank. However this may be overcome with adjusting other factors such as light levels or flow rates.

In freshwater planted aquarium, a standard recipe is used to easily grow vascular plants.

1) adjust CO2 levels to 10-15 ppm by injection and controller.
2) add micro nutrient mix for 2 weeks to remove this a limitation
3) add mixture of Potassium chloride and potassium nitrate, maybe 2:1 to reach 5-10 ppm nitrate. Will remove blue-green algae when present.
4) spike phosphates when symptoms of phosphate limitation are seen.

For reef tanks, I suspect iron gluconate may infact also intially lead to cyano. For corals I also much prefer to feed more. instead of add nutrients as organisms are heterotrophic.

mrbncal 06/05/2011 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo (Post 18863520)
Cardinal rule violation! You need to run 18/6. Everything needs dark time. Get a shorty extension cord and a timer. Also have you been replacing your lamps?

I know, i know. . . lol. Kind of embarassing to admit that :uhoh2:

Its a physical limitation, I just dont have any more outlets. I am going to have to come up with something though. . . also, yes the lights get changed on time. Every three months when I change the chemipure.

srusso 06/05/2011 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrbncal (Post 18865497)
I know, i know. . . lol. Kind of embarassing to admit that :uhoh2:

Its a physical limitation, I just dont have any more outlets. I am going to have to come up with something though. . . also, yes the lights get changed on time. Every three months when I change the chemipure.

Head to walmart,
For a few bucks go buy a power strip. If you don't have space for a power strip, get an outlet splitter. It's designed to turn a standard pair into six outlets. Even comes with screws to replace the face plate of the outlet. Also if you have a lot of D/C adapters you should grab some short 6" extensions, so you are able to get full use of all outlets. And most importantly grab your self a indoor/outdoor timer... Plug a power strip into it... You could get everything you could need for less then $20.

Thank you for being honest.


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