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silverado61
12-02-2013, 11:53 PM
I've already got the design figured out for my algae scrubber. I really just need to know the screen size and the grid hole size that I need so that I can figure out how big of a system to build. So here are my specs: I'm building a 72 gallon tank with a 20 gallon sump. The sump will have 4 chambers. The first chamber will receive the overflow filtering through bio-balls. The second chamber will have live rock and macroalgae. The third chamber will have a HOB protein skimmer adapted to fit inside the sump (this is also where the up-flow algae scrubber will go). The fourth chamber will contain the return pump. Here is a picture of the empty tank and sump.50115012

When it's finished, I will post pictures of the finished project. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

rleahaines
12-03-2013, 06:54 AM
The size of the screen depends on how much you feed your tank. Look at the sizing guidelines posted on this site.

I don't recommend using macroalgae and a scrubber in the same system. They will compete against each other.

I also don't like bioballs - they are nitrate factories. What you would end up doing is creating nitrate with your trickle filter and taking it out with the scrubber.

Are you going to use live rock in the system? Is this going to be a saltwater or freshwater system?

The screen should be made of the type of plastic canvas that is suggested in the how to portion of this site.

For a tank that size, you should also think about using a waterfall type scrubber if possible. Perhaps setting it up in the first chamber instead of bioballs and fed from your overflow.

silverado61
12-03-2013, 08:06 AM
I don't know yet how much I'm going to feed. I'm still building the tank. Here's what I plan to put in it: 10 snails (small ones in the sump, larger ones in the tank), 5-10 hermits (some dwarfs, some not), sand sifting sea star, brittle star, urchins (1 longspine, 1 pincushion , maybe 1 pencil), various compatible shrimp, 1 dwarf angel, 1 parrot, 1 eel (either a snowflake or a blue ribbon), 5-10 garden eels (how much room they need and how many need to stay together will be the deciding factor on how many). All this needs to be reef compatible since I plan to eventually add corals, mushrooms, featherdusters, etc. 6 inch live sand bed (to accommodate the garden eels, sand sifters and the tunnel system for the snowflake/blue ribbon eel). The rockwork will be placed down the center to give the fish more room.

Ok. Bio-balls are out. That's where I'll probably put the scrubber then. Why do you recommend a waterfall as apposed to an up-flow? And should I over size it (a full sheet)? I'd rather have it large and not need it than need a large one and not have it.

Why not macro? Not even Chaeto?

Live rock in the sump (no sand).

rleahaines
12-03-2013, 11:51 AM
I don't know yet how much I'm going to feed. I'm still building the tank. Here's what I plan to put in it: 10 snails (small ones in the sump, larger ones in the tank), 5-10 hermits (some dwarfs, some not), sand sifting sea star, brittle star, urchins (1 longspine, 1 pincushion , maybe 1 pencil), various compatible shrimp, 1 dwarf angel, 1 parrot, 1 eel (either a snowflake or a blue ribbon), 5-10 garden eels (how much room they need and how many need to stay together will be the deciding factor on how many). All this needs to be reef compatible since I plan to eventually add corals, mushrooms, featherdusters, etc. 6 inch live sand bed (to accommodate the garden eels, sand sifters and the tunnel system for the snowflake/blue ribbon eel). The rockwork will be placed down the center to give the fish more room.

Ok. Bio-balls are out. That's where I'll probably put the scrubber then. Why do you recommend a waterfall as apposed to an up-flow? And should I over size it (a full sheet)? I'd rather have it large and not need it than need a large one and not have it.

Why not macro? Not even Chaeto?

Live rock in the sump (no sand).

Waterfall scrubbers seem to work better for larger size tanks. You also can use the water from the overflow in your tank without having to put in an extra air pump with one.

I would start with a full size sheet of the plastic canvas to start. You can reduce the size easily once your system is up and running. I also would see if you can do a two sided scrubber.

This would optimize the scrubbing power. The combination of live rock, a protein skimmer, and an Algae Turf Scrubber should give you a good system.

From what you are planning, you will eventually be feeding quite a lot of food. I would double check on the compatibility of livestock vs. corals etc. to make sure that you don't have something in your tank that would eat something else. An example would be a Parrot fish. They will eat corals, urchins and snails. I have never tried eels so I am not sure what their compatibility is.

Cheato in a sump basically is used the same way as an Algae scrubber, both are used to export nutrients. The ATS is much more efficient. What ends up happening with Cheato and a scrubber, is that the scrubber starves the cheato out and it dies.

SantaMonica
12-03-2013, 09:00 PM
Welcome,

Well of course I think upflows are as strong as waterfalls, and stronger for a given space. And if you are going to keep it inside the 3rd compartment with a skimmer too, there is no other choice. Since you are building from scratch, you can just build it into the compartment by epoxying the gravel, strings, and air tubing to the the insides of the compartment. If done properly, you'll be able to fill up that compartment with algae once a week. I'd like to see it laid out first, however.

Don't do bio balls. Don't do macros. And I personally would not do a skimmer, especially with garden eels who need the food particles.

Parrot fish will eat everything else.

Either eel with needs one or two silversides a week. The BRE will escape from any hole.

rleahaines
12-04-2013, 07:24 AM
A UAS scrubber would work as SM suggested as well.

There are many ways to do this. It depends on how much room you have, what lighting you want to use for the scrubber and so on.

I currently am running a UAS and a waterfall scrubber on my tank, both grow algae, and both contribute to the overall filtering for my tank.

The key here is to have a large enough scrubber system to handle all of the food you are going to put into your system plus a bit more. [like everyone else, you will overfeed and underestimate how much you really feed your fish.]
:-)

silverado61
12-05-2013, 01:27 PM
I'm just now starting to build the cabinet so I can pretty much build it whatever size I need for the system underneath. All the electronic controls are going into the columns on either side of the tank with the LED reef lighting going into a canopy with venting.

The bio balls are definitely out. If I did a WFS I would probably tie it into the overflow but I really don't want to take the chance and overwhelm the WFS and have the overflow backup into the tank like a slow drain in a sink. I'll have to experiment with both types I guess. Whichever one I go with will deffinately be two sided. I planned that from the get go. The lighting will be either high output compact flouresent or high output tube flouresent. Would LED work?

The Parrot Fish is out also. I don't want anything that will eat my corals or mushrooms. I'll just keep researching.

The eel is a long way down the road if at all. I'm just going to put the tunnel system in so I have the option.

As far as feeding goes, I start with small amounts and work my way up till they're happy and healthy without starving.

The protein skimmer will go on a shelf for now.

The tank is going to be mainly an invert tank with corals and only a couple of fish and I have plenty of time for research while I build the cabinet.

I'll post the schematic ideas for both scrubbers when I finish them.

Thanks for all your help and ideas. Keep them coming. I've got my work cut out for me. It's going to be a big setup for a 72 gallon but it'll all be worth it in the long run.

SantaMonica
12-05-2013, 09:20 PM
LED is probably best; try the plant-grow ones. Here are some:
http://algaescrubber.net/forums/showthread.php?2884-red-blue-led-grow-bulb

For eel tubes, have them above the sand, and pointed down so waste does not build up inside them.