View Full Version : My scrubbed tank (pics)

09-05-2013, 12:55 PM
Here are some pictures of my scrubbed tank. It is not a perfect tank but It has been up and running with a scrubber as the only filtration for at least 5 years now. I have messed around with water changes,skimmers,and other filtration over the last few months none of them I was thrilled about. I do have some very minor issues that I would like to discuss here. Have a look and feel free to say anything!47004711471047094708470747064705470447034 70247014712

09-05-2013, 05:48 PM
as you can see I am getting some algae in the display and in the sump. I find this strange because in the 5 ish years I have been running the scrubber there was zero algae. Also there is that patch of yellowish rubbery stuff on my screen. That stuff showed up about a year ago and I have tried everything to get rid of it including screen cleaning,new LED lamps,more flow,iron,not cleaning,and more. There is also bubble algae and some kind of macro that grows on my power heads. Maybe I am just feeding to much? I do feed about 3-4 cubes per day.....

09-05-2013, 06:15 PM
Well it's pretty clear that the uneven light is causing a loss of filtering power. One part of the screen is under lit, another is burned.

If you can't pull the lights back, I'd add a second scrubber.

09-05-2013, 06:30 PM
But the lights are centered on the screen? And there is slightly more flow an the burnt looking side? I am not being argumentative and will take your advise but just want to make sure you have all the information I can give ya

09-05-2013, 08:30 PM
But the lenses are focused in one spot. Which is burning.

09-06-2013, 05:20 AM
Ok well I rotated the lamps about 15 degrees to the green side and moved them back about an inch. I also set the timer to 15 hours from 16.5

Floyd R Turbo
09-06-2013, 08:41 AM
Do you have all the lenses installed on those PAR lamps? Not sure if this was discussed in one of your other threads, but I know I've discussed it in many other similar threads (regarding PAR lamps)

I do agree that you are severely burning the screen right where the lamps are pointing. This is a sign of photo-saturation, likely due to the blue LEDs. You're going to have to find that "happy spot" where the lamp is not too far away to lose intensity, but not too close to burn. Knocking down the intensity of the blue LEDs is the main goal first, either by removing lenses, adding a little piece of diffuser over each of them, or partially covering them with masking tape. That alone may solve your bald spot issue.

09-06-2013, 11:57 AM
ok Im not sure how the screen is burning only on one side, but I guess it is :(

So now what option is the best option? 1. Move lights a greater distance away and leave the optics in place.
2. Remove all the blue optics.
3. place some semi transparent tape over blue optics.

I am well aware of the fact that PAR is not the same as LUX but is there a way to use my lux meter just to see why maybe the screen is burning so bad? The LED's that make up this par bulb are only about 1.5 watts each so I am having a hard time grasping how they could burn my screen so easy. I have seen people running phillips and cree 3 watt led's at full power and not have burns like this??

Just as a side note: Back when I was running CFL lamps on my scrubber I never had burn spots but I also was never able to grow thick green hair algae, back then my growth was always thin and slimy but it did seem to filter well. Now with the LED lamps I get very thick green growth with large burn spots.

09-06-2013, 12:08 PM
forgot, I also wanted to ask about the main tank lighting. Over my display I am running 12 cree royal blue,2 cree royal purple(almost UV) for 12 hours per day and 12 cree cool whites for 9 hours per day,all at full power.They have mostly 80 degree optics and sit 7" above the water line ,,they are about 27" off the sand bed. Could this make it hard for my scrubber to out compete the display algae? If so I could rais the fixture up and cut the hours a bit.

Floyd R Turbo
09-06-2013, 12:13 PM
It has to do with proximity and intensity. I run 3W Philips LEDs but they are 2" on center, fully perpendicular to the screen, 2" away from the screen, and the blues are at half current. Your lamps have all the LEDs crammed right on top of each other and since the intentisy peaks right in front of the LED and then goes down like a bell curve radially, when you put 12 of them in a tight pattern then put optics on them your intensity goes through the roof and overpowers the algae.

You say you are only getting the burning on one side, but pic 008 and 009 (5 and 6 in the original post) are opposite sides, are they not?

What I personally would recommend is removing the bezel and then removing all the blue optics as step 1, as well as any optics that are over red LEDs in the center - leave the optics on the reds around the perimeter. Don't change anything else. Give it a week or two and see if growth fills in.

I don't think you will need to change anything else, but if it still doesn't start to fill in, then I would place a small piece of prismatic diffuser material over the blue LEDs.

It might help to see a picture of the lamp while it is on so I can see which LEDs are red and which are blue. The arrangement can affect things, and different lamps have different arrangements. You can provide a link if you want


09-07-2013, 04:46 AM
Thanks floyd,I will try that later today ,I will also try to post pics.

09-07-2013, 07:11 AM
ok the optics are removed! removed all the blues and the center reds. I will try to get a pic or link soon.

09-10-2013, 08:14 PM
You guys know your stuff! The bare spots are turning green! I never would have guessed. Learn something every day...now let's see if the display algae starts to fade......

09-11-2013, 10:21 AM

Floyd R Turbo
09-11-2013, 06:12 PM
Good to know! I was looking through your older threads, specifically, the one where you showed pics of the LED lamp, and I actually suggested this on that thread as well. Odd that it didn't seem to be necessary to actually do it until now though.

09-12-2013, 09:47 AM
Yea floyd odd but I did buy brand new lamps a while back when one burnt out..

Floyd R Turbo
09-12-2013, 09:56 AM
That's even more odd, an LED lamp burning out. If built right, should last for years.

09-13-2013, 06:35 AM
Nothing is built well thease days! It was the power supply/driver portion of the bulb that burnt out

Floyd R Turbo
09-13-2013, 07:34 AM
That is usually the case with all LED fixtures actually - the LEDs will outlast the electronics.

09-16-2013, 07:26 AM
well I removed the optics and my "burnt" spot started to turn green. I cleaned the screen just to keep the flow going strong but today I have noticed that my algae has hardly grown any and it is very dark almost black! also my "burnt" area is now dark brown and not algae at all ,,almost looks like brown jelly. Sorry no pics today SD card missing lol

Floyd R Turbo
09-16-2013, 08:52 AM
Get the SD card back and take a pic. You may need to change the photoperiod now that you have corrected the hotspot issue. May need to adjust proximity as well.

Let's check a few things before jumping to a conclusion though:

1) Is the change in growth effective across the entire screen, or mainly just in the area that was formerly burnt (which had started to grow green)?

2) Did you change the position of either or both of the lamps at all? Angle, proximity, etc

3) Have you change the flow rate across the screen?

4) is the brown/black algae a coating, meaning that you can gently "swipe" it away (with your hand, not a scraper) and there is green underneath? (do this in the sink, not while the scrubber is installed/running)

09-16-2013, 01:02 PM
found an old sd card...

09-16-2013, 01:15 PM
the pics are post cleaning today.
bud: 1.the burnt area turned brown the day after it started to get green the green area just did not grow much this week and got a much darker shade.
4.The "burnt" area has always been easy to clean,It was what I called a yellow paint skin before and now it is like a brown jelly.

Lets not forget that I DID start carbon dosing a few weeks back and I am up to a 25ml dose per day. Today I cut the dose way back to 10ml. I also tested my water last night and found the ALK to be at 14kdh!! Something tells me this is due to the vinegar dosing or at least a bad reading due to the dosing?I have been doing this a long time and use BRS 2-part and test once per week and have never had my CA&ALK out of whack before,, In any event I have decided to stop dosing any kind of carbon and just concentrate on making the scrubber work the best it can.

09-16-2013, 03:58 PM
After cleaning? The screen should be empty.

Floyd R Turbo
09-16-2013, 05:40 PM
I agree, you definitely need to clean better. You should be able to see the canvas on at least 90% of the screen. Leave all growth in the holes.

09-16-2013, 06:17 PM
ok i will re-clean and post more pics

09-17-2013, 07:02 AM
ok is this clean enough? I also some pics of display and display algae

Floyd R Turbo
09-17-2013, 07:09 AM
Yes, that is about how much I clean my screen. Holes are filled in very nicely, even in the area that was 'burnt'

09-17-2013, 07:36 AM
ok how long should I let it grow now? and what should I look for as far as the burnt spot goes?

09-17-2013, 08:06 AM
another thing that has been bothering me for a long time is the decline of my hammer coral, this was my first and oldest coral,I have had this coral for well over ten years! This coral used to grow and grow to the point where It was making it hard for me to clean the glass on one side of the tank! I think I gave over a hundred heads away over the years. About 1-2 years ago however this coral stopped growing and no longer looks so puffy. I wish I could get to the bottom of why my sps corals died about a year ago and why my only lps coral don't look so good. I will post some before pics here..

09-17-2013, 08:11 AM
here are some more pics of hard corals that did not make it

09-17-2013, 08:26 AM
That's better but you should get all the dark stuff off so you can see the white of the screen.

09-17-2013, 11:02 AM
Ok santa I will do that,I did not want to go to crazy with it and have to start all over that's all. Bud,do you still run a skimmer? Just wondering.....

09-17-2013, 02:14 PM
No I have not had a skimmer for years.

Floyd R Turbo
09-17-2013, 02:19 PM
On the longest-running tank, scrubber only. But the hammers and frogspawns did not like that tank - or any other scrubber-only tank, really. Not sure why. Haven't had time to figure it out either.

09-17-2013, 08:14 PM
I am starting to find the same floyd. It seems when I ran a skimmer my LPS did great and my soft corals would wither away. Now it is reversed! I wonder if it is because soft corals need more food and hard corals need to avoid soft coral toxins? Maybe the combination of a skimmer and scrubber is the only way to keep BOTH happy?

Floyd R Turbo
09-18-2013, 07:12 AM
Maybe put the skimmer on a timer and only run it 6-10 hours/day

09-18-2013, 07:37 AM
Maybe put the skimmer on a timer and only run it 6-10 hours/day

Or slow down the return pump

09-18-2013, 04:49 PM
ok why not? i will throw the skimmer online & try to get my scrubber screen up to snuff

09-26-2013, 07:59 AM
what does dark growth mean? My "burn" spots are filling in a little but the screen is much darker than before. Before removing the optics my growth was light green and fluffy with giant burnt spot,now its dark dark green with tiny burn spot.

Floyd R Turbo
09-26-2013, 08:23 AM

09-26-2013, 10:25 AM
Dark growth is darker that green. Or is black. Is caused by low light.

09-26-2013, 11:53 AM
here are some pics! I decided to forget about things like skimmers,vodka,and foods until I get my screen up to snuff. I ran this tank for years without issue using nothing but my old scrubber. I must be missing the mark with the new scrubber.

Floyd R Turbo
09-26-2013, 12:08 PM
You said you remove the blue optics and the center reds. How many center red were there?

09-26-2013, 06:11 PM
3 center reds I think and 8 outside reds

09-27-2013, 08:08 AM
I replaced all the red optics,and the two blue optics on the outside edge,as far as the center blues I took sandpaper to them to "fog" them

09-29-2013, 11:13 AM
What do you think??

09-29-2013, 01:09 PM
Need pics of LED and screen, to think :)

09-30-2013, 06:23 AM
lol the pics above! BUT I will get more today and include the lights lol

09-30-2013, 11:07 AM
the screen does look a little darker in the pics than it is in life

Floyd R Turbo
09-30-2013, 11:22 AM
Having seen screens and then looked at the pics, I know what you're talking about regarding looking darker in the pics. I think you're getting more even growth across the whole screen. I would continue to clean all growth off down to the mesh every 10 days +/- 3 days

09-30-2013, 03:56 PM
ok I will post a pic of growth in 10 days! oct 10th ish :)

09-30-2013, 03:57 PM
It's still burning in the middle, and not getting enough light on the edges. So, all parts are not doing as well as they could. Moving the lights further away, or adding a diffuser, will help.

09-30-2013, 07:03 PM
Ok I will move the lights back about 2". Thanks guys!

Floyd R Turbo
09-30-2013, 08:06 PM
I would maybe back off only 1 inch and try that. Small changes...

10-01-2013, 07:48 AM
ok thanks

10-16-2013, 07:40 AM
Well I have tried everything to get my led's to work but nothing works! I still get a giant burn spot in the middle,and when I remove the optics I get next to no growth. So What I did is I screwed in two brand new 23 watt 2700k CFL lamps. I placed the lamps about 2" from the screen and was able to get them fairly straight ,maybe a 10 degree down angle if that. I will post pics of growth in about a week!

10-17-2013, 10:49 AM
Some burning in the middle of a screen when you get good growth around the edges is not totally bad. I have had this condition on mine and found that the scrubber still did the job of keeping Nitrates at 0 and reducing phosphates over time.

Perfect algae growth is not the goal here. Keeping nitrates and phosphates in check is the goal.

10-18-2013, 06:29 AM
good point rleahaines,sometimes we cant see the forest through the trees! But I do think my scrubber was a little weak due to the burning only because I was getting some algae in the display.