View Full Version : Need help - waterfall ATS - not sure if this will really meet my needs

05-07-2015, 02:39 PM
I have been really impressed after reading so many success story and since i have been plagued with Nitrate issues - i thought this is the only option which is left for me. For background - I have a 500 liter Planted Gold fish tank with around 25+ Goldfish in it. Yes - i know i am super heavily overstocked as per standards. Unfortunately when i started one year back - i did not have any knowledge and i guess like many others kept on stocking fishes. Now my problem is - my kids love these fishes and i do not see any other "human" person who i can handover them - mostly people look at them like display items and don't really bother if they die. So even after trying to regulate feeding - my biggest problem is Nitrates.

I also do have space issue to really try the two sided ATS - but decided on a single sided screen with LED lights. Each LED lights are 15w and i have around 11 of them. My screen size is much bigger than what the calculator gave me on the basis of 15g of feeding per day. The exact screen size i don't remember it now (will provide you surely) and i have my lights around 18 hrs a day but in 3 stages (12 am to 6 am , 8 am to 2 pm , 4 pm to 10 pm) with 2 hr gap in between. One difference which the person who helped me create the ATS did was that the screen is submerged in water (not fully). It seems to have a decent flow and i have this ATS now for more than 1 month now with maybe cleaning every 10 days or so. My nitrates don't go down - it goes to 40 ppm or more if i do not change water every 2 days (around 90 liters). Wanted to know if really this can work for my needs ? I am attaching some snaps of the ATS (not very good ones i know - if you need i will provide you more) . What am i doing wrong - please let me know.

Any help will be greatly appreciated - I had very high hopes on this one !.

One of the picture is of the other side (non lighted) of the screen - i added it just to provide you an idea how the ATS is placed above my main tank.

05-07-2015, 04:30 PM
Welcome from india.

First thing, what color are the LEDs ?

05-07-2015, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the reply!. They are white. Maybe blueish a bit. We don't get other kinds here for home use.. My screen gets covered in 3 days max. Were the pics of any help?

05-08-2015, 05:46 AM
I seem to get green algae but it does not seem to stick to the screen but prefers to flow down to the water. The screen seems quiet rough. Not sure if this is because the bottom of the screen is submerged in water? Or is the water flow too much ? Please let me know if you need any further pics. The effective screen size above water is around 18 by 6 inches (104 sq inches).

05-08-2015, 11:06 AM
Well I'm not sure what the screen material it, but FW growth will take time to attach to any material, and so it will slowly accumulate more and more. However if you did not rough up the screen, it will take longer. Also, if the screen is wavey instead of stiff like plastic canvas, then some parts won't get good flow. So one option is to just let it develop.

However since you already have detaching growth, I'd say first thing to do is order real plastic canvas and start your roughing-up procedure:


Then cut your current screen in half vertically and remove half, and install half of your new screen, so that you have half new and half old. Once the new screen fills in, then replace the other half.

Next thing is to do whatever you have to do to get lights on the other side. Make a bracket or something.

Last is to change to red or plant-grow lights. You might could get one that mounts easily in your space:

White LEDs are just terrible at growing.