View Full Version : adding ATS to bio filtered mixed reef

05-07-2009, 06:41 PM
afters stumbling across an old thread on another forum, i have been reading here. i have decided to try breeding marine bettas in my mixed reef which has become increasingly stocked with non photosynthetic corals. i already do not run a skimmer - instead i have a very deep sand bed fuge with mangroves. i wanted to boost pod population and increase the nitrogen processing capacity of the tank to accommodate the heavier feeding i will have to do for the nps corals and the fry once i get to that point (since they will be housed in a rearing chamber plumbed into the whole system. the total water volume is about 320 gallons with the display size of 240 gallons.

here is the design i have come up with - still have to add the pvc drains that will take the water into the sump. this will be run with one of my two drain lines (about 800gph). it is a 24" wide screen. the bottom section will be filled with live rock rubble.


05-07-2009, 07:10 PM
Welcome to the site!
A few questions, is 24" the widest part, or the thinnest part? 24" wide for 800gph is perfect for flow.
How tall is the screen too? If the thinnest part is 24" you really want the whole thing to be 10" tall or more, if the widest part is 24" then you'll need to make it taller (15"?)
Don't forget to light it on both sides.

05-07-2009, 09:08 PM
yep, the widest part is 24" and the total height of the screen is right at 10". planning on putting a plant grow fluorescent tube (24") on each side. also, i will be filling the bottom of the box (up to the bottom of the screen) with live rock rubble to provide plenty of pod growout space. i wont be relying on this as my only filtration, the dsb fuge full of mangroves will stay in the system. currently i have been skimmerless for at least three months with a heavy fish load and feeding four times a day, so it is doing a pretty good job already. i have right at 30 fish including a 30"+ zebra moray eel in the display.

05-08-2009, 02:45 AM
You may want to try and make it taller if you can, it's likely the water flow won't properly cover the sides. Also, you will need more than one tube either side, careful on the colour temperature of the grow lights, make sure they're "warm" around 3000-4000k.
The liverock rubble is probably a good idea for trapping the pods in.

05-08-2009, 07:40 AM
thanks for the tips. unfortunately, there is no space in my stand to make it taller. hopefully it will be efficient enought to help filter the water along with the existing fuge.

05-08-2009, 12:42 PM
I can not figure out what I'm seeing in that photo. Completely perplexing. Got a farther back shot?

05-08-2009, 05:46 PM
I think it's not finished yet =)

05-08-2009, 07:26 PM
Since only the center of the screen will be used (the flow will not make it out to the ends), and since you have a heavy load, double up on the lighting on both sides. I'd try to get 100W of CFL 2700K on each side (total 200W). Your eyes will not see the brighness, but the photosynthesis will. Double up on the screen thickness too.

05-08-2009, 07:44 PM
thanks for the suggestions, i will keep them in mind if i need to tweak it. i got it installed and it is working well. just like you suggested, the water doesnt make it all the way to the edges, but it is sheeting down the middle 18" (or so). i have more screen that i can add to double, but i was wondering why do you suggest that?

anyway, here are the pics

installed and running - still havent put the stand brace back in

05-09-2009, 12:43 PM
Nice job!

Thanks for the pictures.

05-10-2009, 04:23 PM
Hobo you will want to move the lights down to the middle of the screen; you can put them right up against the acrylic of the scrubber so they are an inch or so away. It will not work the way you have them placed now (too far away; too little light-power, even though it looks bright.)

05-10-2009, 06:45 PM
ok, i will move it.

05-12-2009, 05:58 PM
moved the existing light and added another one to each side of the screen. there is already a light algal film on the canvas :)

05-17-2009, 07:01 AM
just thought i would post a quick update. 9 days running - only four of those with double lights front and back. i still want to work on getting the lights closer to the screen like sm suggested, but it seems to be working pretty well for now.


05-20-2009, 06:51 AM
Looks like a nice neat system. Can you see any diffrences in your N and P values?

05-20-2009, 08:33 AM
thanks. the system was already pretty stable before adding the ats, it had been without a skimmer for a few months already. i havent tested the water in at least 6 months, so cant offer much scientific data on that. i do know that the glass still grows algae at present like it has for months, a very light film that is cleaned once or twice a week.

Looks like a nice neat system. Can you see any diffrences in your N and P values?

05-21-2009, 05:43 AM
Give it a few weeks and you'll start to see nitrates/phosphates coming down, and you'll need to clean the glass less and less often.
Can you give us an overall photo of the scrubber + lights with the new lights please?

06-09-2009, 07:06 AM
sorry this took me so long - here are some update pics. i added a third NO light behind the screen and put a 65 watt pc 6500k light in front.

here is the screen just before cleaning
here are the lights behind the screen
here it is all put back together.
i have only cleaned my glass once this week, i think it is starting to make a small difference in the tank :)

06-09-2009, 10:02 AM
Clean the screen right away, and clean every 3 days until it starts growing green. Then switch to 7 days.

Put a strip of plastic or metal foil along the pipe, so it blocks light from hitting the slot.

06-09-2009, 11:13 AM
yessir :)