View Full Version : Building my 185

07-22-2009, 08:52 PM
I'm building up my new 185 and I have a general question about turnover. What sort of total volume should I aim to turn over per hour through the scrubber? I'm aware of the GPH per inch or screen concept, this is more of a general aquarium question. I want this job done right, but I don't want to spend more on my scrubber lighting than the display tank. My plan is to do a dual screen setup, but I'm thinking that I may go with a one sided approach since I have a ton of room inside my stand and I'm using a 75 gallon sump, which will give me plenty of space for screen length. That way I can go with some economical 24-36" T5s on each side.

By the way, I'm new to the board but I've been running an algae scrubber on my 55 since January. That tank has never had a skimmer or canister or any other filtration in it, ATS since birth! I'm totally loving it, and...due to space restrictions in the stand (hexagon tank...never never never buy one of these, IMO) my screen is undersized, and until last week it was under lit (bare minimum now), and it's still keeping that tank clean and nutrient free. My fish are so healthy looking, more so than all but the best of the LFS within 50 miles, and my shrimpies molt like mad.

I used to be a little leary about telling people that I ran an ATS because of all the sideways looks and comments that I got (and I'm sure my wife thought I was crazy too), but over the last few months more and more people have been commenting on how nice our tank looks, and that theirs was full of algae and a pain to clean all the time, we must spend all our time cleaning and screwing with it...now I get a lot of satisfaction telling them that I spend 5 minutes scraping algae off a plastic tank divider every week or so and I'm done.

True believer here.

Looking forward to hearing all of your inputs, and maybe pitching in a little myself.

Thanks all,


07-22-2009, 10:23 PM
Great to hear of your success.

Turnover is not a design factor in scrubbers; it is only implied, in the recommended scrubber size and gph. As long as some water is getting from your sump to your display, it will be fine. I personally just got a new scrubber pump that does 2X what my return does.

07-23-2009, 04:31 AM
Are you saying that you have a second path for water besides through your scrubber? The 55 that I have running right now only has one path for water, and that is through my scrubber. Could you elaborate a little on how you are setup. I read about your scrubber design back when I was planning out the 55, so maybe just a few lines about how you have your system plumbed would be great.


07-23-2009, 08:48 AM
Only one path, but with a pump that does 2X what my return does.

07-24-2009, 06:34 AM
can you please elaborate a little on that. It sounds like you have a return pump that puts out X GPH from the sump, and then a separate pump inside the same sump that runs 2X GPH through the skimmer and straight back into the sump...is that about right?

Can you please give me some specifics about your system so I can get some ideas for my build (GPH through skimmer, GPH through return, size of main tank & sump, whatever else you think may be important)...wanting to get it all together and running within the next 3 weeks or so.

Thanks SM

07-24-2009, 10:04 PM
You mean scrubber.

I'm now doing about 900 gph through my 22" wide scrubber.

For your 185 gal, average stocking, and 22" wide screen:

Double sided screen size: 185 square inches
Single sided screen size: 370 square inches
Medium filtering: total watts 90
High filtering: total watts 185
Flow 22" x 35 = 770 per screen (X2 screens), but get larger to start with.

Return pump: Not important here. Any setup will work.

Tank turnover: Not important here. Any setup will work.

08-17-2009, 08:51 AM
Thanks SM, what I got going is a 22X13 sheet of plastic mesh (two layers) lit on both sides by a 4X24W 6700K T5 fixture for a total of 100W/side. It's being fed by a mag 9.5, should get me around 800 GPH. The current scrubber I have going is too small for the tank it;s running and I have recently been experiencing some cyano problems and elevated phosphates. I do not want that to repeat itself with this tank so I am trying to go gonzo with this one.

Can you reccomend anything that I should modify to get the best performance possible out of this setup?

08-17-2009, 04:28 PM
1. Use a hole saw to cactus-up all sides of the screens.
2. install a permanent light-shield on the pipe, use plastic strips that you glue in place.
3. Consider cutting the screen vertically, so you can remove one 11" segment for cleaning at a time.