View Full Version : ATS help needed

11-03-2013, 07:13 PM
Hey guys, I just signed up because I need help with my scrubber. I built an acrylic box that's plumbed to my sump. The return pump does around 1000gph or less. Screen size is 18"x6" so I get around 55gph per inch or less. I run 9x660nm and 2xRoyal Blue LEDs on each side. I'm running the lights for 9hrs/day right now(not sure where I got this number). The ATS has been up for about two weeks, and all I have is a thin layer of brown/clear slimy stuff.
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_A1A2DA9E-C5C6-4357-B464-F01BA36B223E-1958-0000036DB7E07213_zpsee04bc4f.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/A1A2DA9E-C5C6-4357-B464-F01BA36B223E-1958-0000036DB7E07213_zpsee04bc4f.jpg.html)
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_0A95FEC6-A7F6-43EF-9BE7-1202A4FFE928-1958-0000036DBE770F91_zps8f157e7b.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/0A95FEC6-A7F6-43EF-9BE7-1202A4FFE928-1958-0000036DBE770F91_zps8f157e7b.jpg.html)
My tank is 180 gallons. My fish are in quarantine at the moment, but will be added back to the display soon. So there will be medium bioload, and I'll probably be doing 2-3 cubes of frozen + flakes on an autofeeder + nori daily. I plan on adding more fish, hence the screen size. The tank is in bad shape right now(gha on rocks, was cyano before) so there are definitely nutrients needing to be pulled out. I also have a skimmer running in tandem, and it pulls out a fair bit of gunk.

Can someone please advise me as to how long I should run my lights, and what else I can do to get this thing going? Someone also suggested that I need a minimum of 21 LEDs per side. Is that something I should invest in?


11-03-2013, 07:49 PM

With no fish and no feeding, growth will be low because of no ammonia/urea being added to the water. So it's not a bad start for 2 weeks.

You have 1 red every 2" wide, but the screen is 6" tall, so I can see where someone might say you could have twice as many per side. Since your LEDs are already built, see how they work once you start feeding.

Floyd R Turbo
11-04-2013, 09:33 AM
Can you post a pic of your LED array?

You probably read the 9 hrs/day recommendation from one of my posts somewhere as that is what I recommend starting at.

18x6 screen is 108 sq in, so if you go with one 660nm Red for every 8 square inches, you would need 13 or 14 per side. That is generally what I consider the "minimum" number you should have, but that's just a general guideline. If you stretch that out a bit as you have, you will still get good growth, but there might be a bit of a limitation on capacity of the screen. Meaning that your screen is 108/12=9 cubes/day according to the size, but might only have enough light to support more like 6 or 7 cubes/day. And that is still a "maybe", but I think that if you're feeding more than 6 cubes/day, you will probably also have other filtration in place as that is a lot of feeding and one should never really rely on a singular form of filtration for a tank that is that large or that heavily fed, IMO - unless you don't have a choice for various reasons. If that is indeed the case, then I would make changes to ensure the scrubber is as powerful as it does need to be

11-20-2013, 05:40 PM
Totally did not get a notification for the last post :P Here's a pic of the array. The two blues are to the center left and right.
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_9CF8FB45-B831-4B42-AA21-79380CC65024-206-0000004D7D85DDB8_zps280363ef.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/9CF8FB45-B831-4B42-AA21-79380CC65024-206-0000004D7D85DDB8_zps280363ef.jpg.html)

And here's a pic of growth from a few days ago. It does not seem to be growing much. A couple brown strands, and some snotty clear stuff.
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_8D0EB6BC-E1D6-4BA1-ACC4-2FC7BE10C89D-206-0000004D894DAD59_zpsfb17fb82.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/8D0EB6BC-E1D6-4BA1-ACC4-2FC7BE10C89D-206-0000004D894DAD59_zpsfb17fb82.jpg.html)

I did bump up the hours to 15 after my last post. Oh, and there are fish in the display now. I've got a 5 inch harlequin tusk, and two clowns. Feeding about 2-3 cubes a day. I also pulled a couple pounds of algae off of my rocks. So there is algae growing, just not on the scrubber.


Floyd R Turbo
11-21-2013, 10:18 AM
I would not have bumped the light up that much that fast, without a base of growth. You're causing photosaturation. I would bump it back down to 8-9 hours/day and let it grow - don't harvest it until you start getting darker growth, then only lightly clean.

Continue to harvest your display algae. "a couple pounds" is a tremendous amount of algae if that is squeezed dry weight. That would equate to roughly 8-10 cups of algae. If you're getting that much, then I would back off on your display lighting cycle a bit and allow the scrubber to get a foothold. Also how close is your LED array to the screen?

11-22-2013, 07:42 PM
Changed back to 9hrs.

Most of the weight was probably water. LEDs are 2 inches from the screen on either side.

12-11-2013, 01:11 AM
Latest pics:
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_695A0F17-7C99-4732-A890-28814030093B_zpslxglfgfh.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/695A0F17-7C99-4732-A890-28814030093B_zpslxglfgfh.jpg.html)
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_43F8F5B4-9A40-4317-B0A4-FDB7DD22DABE_zps8tf92xhx.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/43F8F5B4-9A40-4317-B0A4-FDB7DD22DABE_zps8tf92xhx.jpg.html)

There is some green starting to show, but the middle is mostly blank. Why is that? It seems to be going awfully slowly. Do I need more flow, or light or something?


12-11-2013, 06:03 AM
The light is too strong in the middle. More flow helps but youre just gonna have to let it grow. My l2 took a while to start growin in the middle.

A better light difuser helps too.

12-11-2013, 07:39 AM
Clear/white or no growth means too much light. Dial it back a couple/few hours or move the LEDs further from the screen. If growth starts to get really dark/black, then you have gone too far and need to up the light until you're getting the bright green.

12-18-2013, 09:46 PM
I put a light diffuser on the LEDs. Still not getting any more growth. I also have a question about cleaning. Since there is barely anything on there, should I clean the screen or just leave it until it grows?

12-18-2013, 10:28 PM
The last pics don't look too bad. It can be cleaned if you want. The algae are still trying to get a grip on the screen.

12-18-2013, 10:34 PM
I wonder if I didn't rough up my screen enough... How long would it set me back to make another screen?

12-19-2013, 03:23 AM
A few weeks. I think it looks ok though.

01-03-2014, 11:27 PM
Here's the latest growth pics. I'm starting to get some strands on the edges(along with gooey stuff). Nothing in the middle yet. Do I need to dose iron or something?

http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_8C7541C9-A6DE-4068-9BB3-123A9FB4F295_zpsordxz6lu.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/8C7541C9-A6DE-4068-9BB3-123A9FB4F295_zpsordxz6lu.jpg.html)
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq358/adeebm_photos/Random/th_074C7192-E90F-417E-9985-40B1538DB03B_zpsa49tf92w.jpg (http://s463.photobucket.com/user/adeebm_photos/media/Random/074C7192-E90F-417E-9985-40B1538DB03B_zpsa49tf92w.jpg.html)

01-04-2014, 05:52 AM
No iron needed because there is no yellow rubbery growth. Probably could use more flow, or 2 less hours of light, or move the lights back a few inches. Overall looks good. Do a good scraping and clean the slot.

When you up the feeding you'll get a lot of green growing.