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View Full Version : Pics of Mudshark on the MASA site



SantaMonica
05-14-2009, 11:50 AM
"Skimmerless since the 10th of Jan [2009]. Obviously the ATS was running for a while before I switched the skimmer off. I didn't have an increase in PO4 or NO3 from day 1. Both have been undetectable since then."

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-10.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-22.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-23.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-24.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-12.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-13.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-13x.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-14.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-14x.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-19x.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-20x.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-21.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-16.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-11.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-15.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMASA-25.jpg

worley
05-15-2009, 03:25 AM
Absolutely stunning tank! Thanks for posting the pics up SantaMonica.

ShanGo
05-15-2009, 03:59 PM
what size tank is this its wonderful cant wait for mine to look like that :evil:

Broder
05-17-2009, 07:07 AM
Hey, thanks for the compliments guys and thanks for posting the pics Santa Monica. It's a 500 litre plus 75 litre sump tank. The slimmerless route has been the most rewarding journey in keeping marine creatures, that I could have embarked upon. Not only is it less maintenance than the conventional LNS(low nutrient systems) out there, but it's also much cheaper.

I would advise anyone starting on the algal scrubber route to initially run a protein skimmer in conjunction with the ATS, at least until the tank is mature enough to buffer any mishaps. This also gives you leeway in case you need to tweek the performance on your scrubber.

Aquagold
05-18-2009, 12:07 AM
Can we have a picture of the scrubber as well.
That tank is awesome :shock: :) and will be interesting to see if you need a bigger screen as the bioload increases with the increase in coral mass/metabolites.
One of the intersting things that will happen once Algae Scrubbers become common place will be the increase in scrubber size with the increase of coral/fish mass we end up growing.

Great example.

Rob

Broder
05-18-2009, 08:03 AM
Can we have a picture of the scrubber as well.
That tank is awesome :shock: :) and will be interesting to see if you need a bigger screen as the bioload increases with the increase in coral mass/metabolites.
One of the intersting things that will happen once Algae Scrubbers become common place will be the increase in scrubber size with the increase of coral/fish mass we end up growing.

Great example.

Rob
Thanks Rob. I can't seem to upload my pics from Photobucket here. Maybe Santa Monica can help. Once your system has stabalised with the scrubber, any increase in bioload(which should be gradual) will simpley result in more rapid algae growth on your screen. This will require proportionally increased harvesting.
Cheers
Broder(Mudshark on MASA)

SantaMonica
05-18-2009, 11:15 AM
Here is the scrubber...

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMA-3.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMA-4.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMA-5.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMA-2.jpg

http://www.radio-media.com/fish/UserMudsharkOnMA-18.jpg

Aquagold
05-19-2009, 04:19 AM
Thanks Santamonica.
Always amazed me when so many people have looked down on them for so long
These things make reefing or just aquarium keeping much easier.
They are enviromently friendly in the case that you don't need to use as much water etc.

I have used the same algal filter on my goldfish frm for 10 years now and we grow fish faster than anyone here.

PHYTO4LIFE
05-24-2009, 09:04 PM
nice yard and scrubber

Broder
08-26-2009, 09:29 AM
My scrubber has more or less gotten rid of the last of the nuicance algae that was left. As you can see, the tank is moderately well stocked, and I feed liberally.
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1040254.jpg

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1030972.jpg

There are some small patches of macro algae here and there, but to get rid of every last trace would be unnatural.
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1040294.jpg

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1040217.jpg

jeffg57
08-26-2009, 08:03 PM
Your tank and setup are great. I appreciate the posts.

Broder
11-08-2009, 08:37 AM
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060446.jpg
The staghorn has recovered very nicely. There is already new growth on many of the tips.

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060417.jpg
Check out the warfare going on between the monti cap and the acro. The acro won the first round, now the cap is gonna grow over the acro, therby shading it and winning the next round.

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060415.jpg

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060411.jpg
The elkhorn monti is starting to take off big time.

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060406.jpg

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060404.jpg

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060403.jpg

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc82/Brodersfish/P1060400.jpg
Since I've become aware of the iodine deficiency in my water, colours seem to be improving.
__________________

ocean rock
12-03-2009, 01:00 PM
hi m8 stunning tank , that scrubber you have is running well , how long did it take to mature , also what bulbs are you using , and last question is it pumped or grav feed , cheers oc

Broder
12-07-2009, 11:27 PM
hi m8 stunning tank , that scrubber you have is running well , how long did it take to mature , also what bulbs are you using , and last question is it pumped or grav feed , cheers oc
It's awhile that it's been going now, but I think that it took about a month to have good solid growth on it. It probably took about 6 months for real improvements to be visible in the display. I'm using 4x 45w energy saver lamps of 4000k. The scrubber fed by a 3500 l/hr pump.

WmTasker
02-20-2010, 09:03 AM
I would love to see more detailed pics of this ats. Is there a build thread with information on the ats?

mikepao13
03-29-2010, 02:51 AM
Hi mate,

Very nice tank...

Is it the only source of filtration? Did you remove your skimmer and the calcium reactor?

Do you supplement anything else?

Broder
05-24-2010, 05:44 AM
Hi mate,

Very nice tank...

Is it the only source of filtration? Did you remove your skimmer and the calcium reactor?

Do you supplement anything else?

It is a filtration aid. I am in the process of adding a big protein skimmer as the scrubber is not able to cope with a high bio-load. Nitrate and phosphate levels have been progressively climbing over the past few months and consequently SPS corals are browning. I make use of a DSB as well. Calcium chloride and sodium bicarbonate are dosed manually daily.

Amphiprion
05-24-2010, 03:04 PM
It is a filtration aid. I am in the process of adding a big protein skimmer as the scrubber is not able to cope with a high bio-load. Nitrate and phosphate levels have been progressively climbing over the past few months and consequently SPS corals are browning. I make use of a DSB as well. Calcium chloride and sodium bicarbonate are dosed manually daily.

Was it just undersized for your tank? I had the opposite problem on my previous tank/scrubber build (having to dump food in just to keep the corals in good shape), so I'm curious as to why it wasn't able to keep up in your particular case.

SantaMonica
05-24-2010, 06:44 PM
The cure for my slow increase in nutrients was old bulbs, and slowing flow due to calcium buildup in the pumps. If you are feeding the same amounts, the scrubber can't work differently now that it did before.

Broder
05-25-2010, 08:12 AM
The scrubber was able to cope initially, but as the bio-load has increased due to fish growing and being added to the tank, it can no longer keep up.

Flow is still the same over the screens, lights are changed every 6 months. This is becoming an expensive excercise. Furthermore our electricity is becoming very expensive in South Africa and you can imagine that 4 x 45w lamps plus the 85w pump running 24/7 costs alot more than the 40w that the skimmer requires.

I'll slowly try to reduce the light period of the scrubber until it is no longer needed.

mikepao13
05-25-2010, 08:53 AM
to broader...
QUOTE
you can imagine that 4 x 45w lamps plus the 85w pump running 24/7 costs alot more than the 40w that the skimmer requires.

I'll slowly try to reduce the light period of the scrubber until it is no longer needed.

UNQUOTE

yes but what about the cost of nitrate remover (filter media) and phos remover (filter media) for a tank over 120gal??

a lot more in my case (200gallons)... i used to exercise that method and it proven to be much more expensive and time consuming (prefer that time to look the tank and details in it) :-

nitrate ractor plus feeding of bacteria EVERY DAY plus check the flow to be 3-4 drops a sec!!!!! = 30 euro per month
skimmer Euro 20 per month
phos remover - euro 80 every month

all above, include ur personal time is much more expensive than a successful scrubber

mine is still at its early stages. Trying to naturally remove all un-wanted algae and diatoms...
from the proges up to now im quite impressed

Broder
05-25-2010, 10:13 AM
I hear what you're saying Mike, but I've come to a point where nitrate and phosphate are steadily climbing as the scrubber simply can't cope. There is no other solution than to mechanically remove POC's. Mopping up of N and P will be left to the scrubber, but if possible that will be substituted by cheato or caulerpa to save on lighting costs. I could build a huge scrubber with massive lighting, and I'm sure that would cope with my increased bio-load, but it will simply cost too much to run.

I believe that the more means of filtration you have at your disposal, the better. With the skimmer, scrubber, DSB, live-rock and substrate in my system, I'll be able to sleep peacefully knowing that the system is well able to deal with any eventuality, rather than constantly running on a knife edge as I have been with only the scrubber. At some stage you'll have curve-balls thrown at you, such as cyno blocking light on your screens, or algae not sticking to the screen properly anymore, or power-failures, or any miriad of tribulations. You don't want to rely on only your scrubber coping with a high bio-load when this happens.

I enjoyed the challenge and novelty of running a system in as natural a fashion as possible, but I enjoy catching fish and raising them into fat happy chappies more.

mikepao13
05-25-2010, 02:24 PM
Ok
i know what your saying too...
if not a malfunction of the scrubber then its an option to add a skimmer too
i thought that you were totally unhappy with the performance of your scrubber

IMO the reason behind your prob might be a series of events and not just that the screen cannot cope due to the increase of bioload.
In that case the algea would have been growing much faster...or?... don't know :?

keep us updated

Broder
05-26-2010, 12:56 AM
That's right. I'm not unhappy with what a scrubber can do. But after 2 years of useing if as the primary means of nutrient export, I've realised that in my case it does have it's limitations:
1) High electrical consumption.
2) Algae death as a result of a power failure eliminates your filtration for at least 2 weeks.
3) Limited bio-load potential. (The speed at which algae grows even with optimum conditions has a limit.)
4) Fluctuations in bio-load are not easily absorbed.
5) There is zero tolerance for low maintenance.
6) Extreme general increase in humidity.

Obviously it has as many advatages which have been tirelessly documented. I'm only concerned with eliminating the limitations in this thread. In my opinion, adding a protein skimmer is the only solution.

timkim
08-28-2010, 09:05 PM
Hello, Broder.

What kind of bulb are you using in the scrubber you posted in picture? You use 4 spiral bulbs.

SantaMonica
08-29-2010, 07:56 AM
This reminds me I needed to reply to a few of the above points:


but I've come to a point where nitrate and phosphate are steadily climbing as the scrubber simply can't cope.

If you are feeding the same, and N and P are rising, then your scrubber is weaker for some reason. It just can't get weaker over time if the flow and light are kept up. If this idea is accepted, then you'd need to look at changes in your tank that are trapping more waste. This happens to me in the eel pipe (waste cannot get out, at all), and it used to happen in the sump when I had chaeto in there (it would trap waste). But even though I feed the eel a silverside once a week (which all wastes in the pipe, like a dead fish), and even though I feed liquid food (pure phosphate), with enough scrubbing power the N and P are zero.


but if possible that will be substituted by cheato or caulerpa to save on lighting costs.

This is often mis-understood, that chaeto etc can "do the same" with less light. Think about the chemistry: One photon of light goes into one cell of chlorophyll, causing one molecule each of N and P to removed from the water. Another photon of light causes another molecule of N and P to be removed. Thus, you cannot remove the same amount of N and P by using less photons of light. The amount of N and P removed is proportional to the amount of light. What you can do it try to get more light using less electricity, which is a different topic.


I could build a huge scrubber with massive lighting, and I'm sure that would cope with my increased bio-load, but it will simply cost too much to run.

But remember that if you are feeding the same, and if your scrubber is kept up, then you are just trapping waste somewhere and the particles are not getting to the corals. Instead the waste particles are rotting in the water; and while the bacteria that feed on it also feeds the corals directly, the N and P generated are much more than if the waste were just eaten directly by the corals. Good circulation in the tank helps kick up waste for this purpose. Three of my five powerheads point straight down behind the rocks to do this, and the remaining two are pointed to create a circular flow in the display.


I believe that the more means of filtration you have at your disposal, the better. With the skimmer, scrubber, DSB, live-rock and substrate in my system, I'll be able to sleep peacefully knowing that the system is well able to deal with any eventuality, rather than constantly running on a knife edge as I have been with only the scrubber.

Well your sand are rock are not going anywere, so if you mean redundancy, that's what separate scrubbers are for. Separate screens, pumps and lights (on separate circuits). If you mean protected from a bad event (like a big dead fish which everyone likes to use as an example), remember that a skimmer does nothing to help in this situation at all. Nothing. If a fish is going to die and kill things because of the ammonia, then a skimmer will not help at all. A scrubber however will start absorbing the ammonia right away.


At some stage you'll have curve-balls thrown at you, such as cyno blocking light on your screens

There should be no cyano in a scrubber at all. If there is, the flow is WAY too low, probably the result of a clogged pump. Mine got this way after one year of not cleaning the pump. The slow-down is so slow that you don't notice it. It went from one-inch of pooled water at the bottom, to it being almost dry.


or algae not sticking to the screen properly anymore

This can't happen, any more that a skimmer can all-of-a-sudden not make bubbles. Screens don't go smooth by themselves overnight. Actually they never should go smooth. How could that happyen, anyway?


or power-failures

If you set up a scrubber properly, with the pump and the light on the same circuit, if the pump goes out, the light goes out too. It can sit there that way for longer than your tank will survive without power.


You don't want to rely on only your scrubber coping with a high bio-load when this happens

A scrubber (algae) is the best way to deal with high bio-loads. I'm assuming you mean ammonia/ammonium, which is what bio-loads produce. If your rock and sand can't handle a large ammonia increase, then algae will. Your skimmer won't do anything, at all.


I enjoyed the challenge and novelty of running a system in as natural a fashion as possible, but I enjoy catching fish and raising them into fat happy chappies more.

All the more reason to give the small fishes more plankton to eat, without skimming it out.


1) High electrical consumption.

One CFL watt per gallon for high filtering, plus the pump.


2) Algae death as a result of a power failure eliminates your filtration for at least 2 weeks.

Power failures do not kill algae. A full screen can sit for 6+ hours with no real problems. The water collected on the inside layers keep the outside layers from drying out. And acrylic (enlosed) units can go much longer. Your tank will be dead first. A newly-cleaned screen can't sit for quite as long, but it doesn't matter because it was just cleaned and therefore was not doing any filtering anyway (the filtering would be coming from the other un-cleaned screens in an alternate-cleaning setup. And certainly, if your tank is worthy of worrying, it's worthy of cleaning only half of the screens at one time.)


3) Limited bio-load potential. (The speed at which algae grows even with optimum conditions has a limit.)

How many new fish are you going to add in a week? A blank screen can reach full capacity in a week. However the other fully-grown screens in your alternate-cleaning setup are fully available to absorb any ammonia/ammonium immediately, which is what you are trying to absorb. A skimmer, however, has zero bio-load potential... it does not remove any ammonia/ammonium/nitrite at all. So with skimmer or without skimmer, you still need something to handle the "bio load". Algae does it instantly (in minutes), via currently absorbing ammonia/ammonium, and it does it long-term, by growing more volume.


4) Fluctuations in bio-load are not easily absorbed.

The opposite. Fluctuations in ammonia/ammonium/nitrite, which is what you mean by bio load, are instantly absorbed by algae. That's what algae do, even when the scrubber lights are off. And since you would alway have algae in your scrubber (because you only clean one half at a time), even in darkness, the algae would instantly, directly, and completely abosorb the ammonia/ammonium/nitrite down to the level that the algae could not absorb anymore (which is an un-measureable amount).


5) There is zero tolerance for low maintenance.

Multi-screen systems, and especially acrylic systems, are very tolerant. If you let one screen go uncleaned in a multi screen system, the other screens absorb what the un-cleaned one doesn't. And new tests with acrylic units are showing that they can go much longer than 7 days between cleanings, because the algae cannot get "thicker" and block the light, since the acrylic keeps the algae close to the screen. And the higher growth rate of most acrylic designs compensates for the pods.


6) Extreme general increase in humidity.

Totally eliminated with enclosed designs. Considering that you can have an acrylic box built for only $100 USD, I'm surprised that you did not do this considering how much you have invested in your tank.


In my opinion, adding a protein skimmer is the only solution.

I think the electricy is the only thing that a scrubber has as a negative. But remember that a skimmer does not remove nutrients, at all, so you still have to pay for something to remove them (especially phosphate) in addition to running the skimmer. And if your rock and sand can't handle the nitrate, which obviously they can't because you say it it rising, then you have to pay for something else to remove it (in addition to the skimmer). And this is all on top of the skimmer removing most of the food that all the corals, and some small fish, need.

Broder
09-21-2010, 06:54 AM
I've now been using a protein skimmer for several months, in conjunction with the algae scrubber that I've been using all along. The nutrient levels are starting to drop again, although they're still not as low as when the tank wasn't stocked that heavily, but it's a trade-off that I'm happy with.

A scrubber (algae) is the best way to deal with high bio-loads. I'm assuming you mean ammonia/ammonium, which is what bio-loads produce. If your rock and sand can't handle a large ammonia increase, then algae will. Your skimmer won't do anything, at all.

"Bio-load" the entire nitrogen cycle as well as organic matter before it breaks down into N and P, and should be seen in relation to all the means of filtration in place. I increased the amount of fish in the system beyond what the scrubber was able to cope with and this forced me to add more filtration to my arsenal. The skimmer simply removes organics from the system before they break down, thereby allowing the scrubber to remove what the skimmer can't. I know the argument of "a skimmer removes food from the water collumn", but this doesn't fly in a heavily stocked system. At feeding time time, when all of the fish are pooping, you can literally see the skimmer going balistic. This ensures that heavy fluctuations in organic matter are evened out.

SantaMonica
09-23-2010, 09:39 PM
Well it is true that if you have a snowstorm of waste, which is way more than the scrubber was designed for, then the waste must be removed or it will sit and rot. For this reason I have three powerheads pointed straight down to the bottom, to kick up waste back into the flow so the corals can eat it.

timkim
11-04-2010, 01:47 PM
Can I have the spec of this system?
How big is the tank size, main display and sump?
What is the lighting of the mail tank?
What is the additives you give to fishes and corals daily and weekly?
How often do you clean the scrubber?