View Full Version : Two screens for total standalone filtration?

02-20-2011, 04:15 PM
As you can probably tell I am new to the scrubber concept but do have some would say an unhealthy interest in filtration in general!
From what I can gather the scrubber bypasses the normal nitrogen cycle so often referred to in every book on aquariums, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate etc. It does this by utilising the ammonia directly for growth.
If you had two independent screens and cleaned them alternately the filtration would be constant as long as each screen could support the tank alone. The poor bacteria would not be required and so all that expensive live rock would be unnecessary and more imaginative aquascapes could be designed.
Please tell me if I am missing something obvious.

02-20-2011, 08:22 PM
Theoretically, yes. But most people add scrubbers to already-existing rock and sand. In this case, the rock and sand get the ammonia first; all that's left is nitrate, which the scrubber gets. Now if you start a new tank with no rock and no sand, then a redundant 2 (or 3 or 4) screen scrubber becomes critical, so that there is always lots of algae in the system to remove the ammonia.

02-21-2011, 02:40 AM
So in reality it would be better to maybe have a shallow sand bed in the aquarium as the primary ammonia remover for times when the screen has just been cleaned.
I have the chance to acquire a 150 uk gallon tank and was considering oscars or something similar. I am sure I read a thread saying the screen would need to be huge to absorb all the waste these fish make but from memory do not think it received a reply.
Have there been any scientific studies on how much waste these scrubbers remove and an easy way to work out roughly the amount of fish that can be kept?
PS I think with some imaginative marketing the sale of these acrylic scrubbers could go through the roof because a lot of people are always complaining of how much work, money etc it costs them to keep their tanks algae free.

02-21-2011, 08:31 AM
Here is a somewhat scientific food guideline:

Each cube of frozen food you feed per day needs 12 square inches of screen, with a light on both sides totaling 12 watts. Thus a nano that is fed one cube a day would need a screen 3 X 4 inches with a 6 watt bulb on each side. A larger tank that is fed 10 cubes a day would need a screen 10 X 12 inches with 60 watts of light on each side. If you feed flake, feeder fish, or anything else, you will need to blend it up super thick, strain out the excess water, pour it into a cube, and see how many cubes it is.