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  1. #11
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    Would be quite the project.

  2. #12
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    Results Of The Day:

    Johnt on the UR site: "corals are doing extremely well, the water is clear, and the rocks are starting to look like new. the scrubber is improving things; I'm getting better growth and the rocks are clearing, N & P are up and down a bit, as I keep cleaning the screen too well, but are remaining low even though I've not had the skimmer, rowaphos reactor or carbon running for 2 months."

    Sinful_Waters on the RS site: "Ok I couldnt resist! After reading and reading forum after forum, I had to know what all the excitement was about with the ats. End result, miracles happen! Ive spent the last year and a half battling the green stuff, with excessive waterchanges, phosphate reactor, etss skimmer, limited lighting period, pulling by hand, constant dusting with turkey baster, Lawnmower blen, blue leg hermit, lettice nudis, astrea snails, super clean sand, remote dsb, etc, etc, etc. The algae covered every inch of LR and was seriously suffocating my corals. What do we do when the tough gets going, we build an ats! I did as was advised and built the 5 gal [bucket] with a doulble sided screen, two 21 watt, 6500k compact flourecent bulbs, and the flow is supplied from my overflow and returned into sump. I do a light scrubb on the screen about every 4 days, and thats all. It actually took a few weeks to get the green going, but when it did the [nuisance] algae in the tank started to melt away. It went away so fast I was literally worried that my fish, crabs, snails would all be deprived of the green feast. Long story short, overfeeding is not in my vocab, and my sps, lps, corals have beautiful color and growth, with perfect tank conditions and stability. Being on a limited budget I couldnt be more pleased at the ease of the build and its amazinig effectiveness (excuse the spelling)."

    Keifer1122 on the RS site: "update: the ats on 75 gallon, almost 2 months, been put on with only about 20lbs live rock, [...] also 8 fish, 1 1/2" of sand. N & P undetectable, all params good, havent done a water change in 2 months. had to do about 20 gallon wc every week before the install. $$$$$$$. 12 gallon aquapod with ats been about 17 days. N is about 10, was 15 before the install, with pair of percs feeding 3 times a day pellets in the morning and afternoon, with a pinky nail cube of rods, also piece of silverside every week for the Bta. the numbers arent falling fast, but its steady (with a 2gal water change i could boost the process or just cut feedings). coral growth: everythings growing like a weed including my yellow m.digitata that i got along with my screen from inland aquatics. all in all, tanks look sweet. life made easy."

    Arab_NA on the MASA site: "My scrubber after 3 weeks, cleaning 1 side each 7 days: My PO4 went from 1.0 to below 0.1, and NO3 from 50ppm to 0ppm. I am feeding 3 times a day now and have no problems at all! Thanks SantaMonica for saving my tank and giving me back the love for this stunning hobby."

    mudshark on the Masa site: "WOW things are starting to happen now. The algea is getting really thick on the screens after 20 days. I measured phosphate, which has always been low, as it was being used by algea in the display. It read a big fat 0. In fact it seems to be at a crossover point where the algea on the screens is growing faster, and regressing in the display. I've taken some pics of SPS colours now, altough they have already improved since the introduction of the screens. I'm hoping to post some further improved colours at a later stage."

    Sly on the SWF site: I've had my scrubber running since September. When I started, my phosphates were 8-10 ppm or maybe higher. The test water turned a very dark blue, indicating high phosphates. Today I did a test and can verify that my phosphates are now between 2 and 4 ppm. I am still getting massive growth in the scrubber.. So far the nitrates have reduced some, but not much... maybe by 5 ppm. I am seeing the greatest reduction in phosphate so far. Maybe the nitrate will start going down some more as the phosphate gets consumed completely. Some background: Tank has been running for 7 years. Using RO/DI water, ozone, refugium with macros, UV sterilization, skimmer and [now] scrubber. I don't really do water changes. The last one I did was sometime in 2007. I have had high phosphates for quite a while, and nitrates have been higher than I wanted, but still manageable. My fish and corals are still growing and thriving. I have never seen anything that would reduce the phosphate in my tank. Even water changes only lowered them momentarily. They would go back up in just a few days. This is the first time I've ever seen a reduction in phosphates. I suspect that in another month they may well be at 0ppm. Nitrate reduction still remains to be seen. Overall though, I think the scrubber was a positive addition to my tank. I'm finally starting to get some more corraline growth like I used to have. The growth is slow but I do see a definite increase in the vibrance and quantity of corraline in my tank."

  3. #13
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    brianhellno on the MFK site: "Just wanted to share my success with a turf scrubber with my freshwater tank. Currently I have a 125 with (5) 6-inch piranha, (6) 4-inch giant danios, about (20) 1-inch baby black cons, (2) 2-inch green terrors, (2) 2-inch jack dempseys, and (1) 2.5 inch blue malawi cichlid. The smaller fish were all supposed to be feeders, but the piranha ignore them. Anyways I've had the scrubber up and running for almost three weeks now and I finally tested the water parameters: Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 5 ppm. Not too bad! Usually the Nitrate sits around 40 to 80 ppm right before a water change, so this is definitely an improvement. All I can say is thanks for the great idea!

    worley on algaescrubber.net: "Well just got my phosphate test kit and did a test... *drumroll* .... 0ppm. It's the API phosphate test kit, and it was the very lightest green on the salt water card (0ppm). That's a great result, especially as I'm now feeding tonnes into the tank, 1 block of brine shrimp and 1 of mysis, plus some live brine (fed with live phyto a an hour before feeding to the fish) and some pellet foods. [...] I still can't get over the phosphate test, and how low the nitrates are considering there's not been a water change in 2 months and so much food has gone in.

    jan on the RPhil site: "Today is my 24th day of cycling, I measured my water my parameters and here are the result: Nitrate 0ppm. Turf algae is almost all over my screen Razz !!!! thanks for this great Idea!

  4. #14
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    small_ranchu on the MFK site: "Here is the progress on my goldfish tank. 90 gallon tank with 3 goldfish + heavy feeding. Nitrate reading at the end of the week is usually around 40 PPM with a lot of brown algae on the wall. After 1 month of installing the Scrubber filter, Nitrate reading is 10 PPM and brown algae is disappearing slowly."

    argi on the MD site: "I set up my scrubber on my 54 gallon tank a few weeks after its initial set up (it has been running for around 3 months now). One thing I have noticed on this tank compared to all my past tanks is the lack of algae growing on the glass. In the past I always left a magnet cleaner in the tank because I would have to scrub the brown diatom algae off the glass at least once per week. Now with this current tank I haven't had to clean off the glass nearly as often. While I still clean it, usually weekly to every other week, I can still see in the tank after 2 weeks!!! So far I am very happy with the results."

    johnt on the UR site: "after 10 weeks of running a screen I can say it's the best method I've used, it also takes out metals and other nasties, and I've not even reached the turf algae stage yet. In the 10 weeks it's been running I've not run any reactors or the skimmer (I'm saving a small fortune not having to buy phosphate remover). I'm still running the refugium, Chaeto and deep sand bed, all corals are doing exceptionaly well, N&P are remaining low and rocks are looking better by the day."

    Elliott on RC: "I built one about 5 wks ago and so far it seems to be working well. My cyano has diminished and there is less cleaning to do on the glass."

    Mtroboer on the MASA site: "my algae is already visibly starting to disappear after only 1 1/2 weeks! Also added a PC Server fan in front of the screen and dropped my temps from 29.8 avg to 25.8 avg, saved me from buying a energy hungry chiller! First time in little more than a year I got to see results regarding getting rid of nuisance algae as well as dropping my high tempratures!"

    Keifer1122 on the RS site: "Aquapod 12 gallon update: Its been couple days short of a month, and still no water change, my N & P have been at zero for 3 weeks now. everything is still growing just daily dosing, daily 2-3 feeding times a day, and weekly scrubbing"

    bigtanner on RC: "I built this little one for about $65, pump, light, and all plumbing needed. Some people frown on these things and some people praise them. It's about like anything else really. I have had success with mine. Since building it and hooking it up, my tank is basically algae free. I also went from running my magnet daily to only running it every three to four days. [...] I never have any bad algae in my tank, my water is always crystal clear, and since adding it, I run my magnet a lot less than I used to.

    corinna on the AC site: "I started out as a sceptic, but after spending a fortune on phosphate absorbers, carbon, sponges, water changes etc, Im convinced. Two months in, ive not done a water change or cleaned the glass, just to see what happened. Zooanthids are reproducing, seahorses are fat and active, values are reading zeroes. Scallops are happy. Plus I feed a lot."

  5. #15
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    Last Results of 2008:

    dave3441 on the UR site: "an update for you, been running scrubber since day 1, 19th nov 08 [7 weeks] and tank cycled very quickly 10 days!, although i did have some seeded tonga rock which i kept live bout 15 kgs, the rest was out of water for 36 hours so would have died off. started adding fish at 5 days just 3 chromis to get things fired up then added more fish and corals at 3 weeks still no sign of any additional spikes. its been about 6 weeks now and i have had the very faintest of blooms, just a dusting on glass. cant believe how good this cycle has been compared with first tank set up in 2002. scrubber has been cleaned weekly, to be honest i am cleaning both sides every week as it gets so clogged up . starting to see some more stable green algee now, and this does not come off like the brown/red/black slime does. i just use a george forman plastic spatula and run it down both sides of screen. i would say i get about 1/2 normal size tea cup off screen each time. i gotta say i think this is a very good system, as the algee is definatly growing on the scrubber rather than all over the tank. i have never seen a new tank without the dreaded algee bloom occuring before. i must add i am skimming, although just with a small mc500 deltec which needs emptying approx every 3 days or so. just did battery of tests today approx 7 weeks running now: sal 1.024, temp 27.5, phosphate absolutly zero crystal clear reading not even hint of blue."

  6. #16
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    Successes of the Day:

    todj2002 on the SWF site: "since installing scrubber, N and P are still both at zero. i cleaned it again today. not any big deal, but huge progress for me. finally beat the algae after two years of trying. using scrubber with chaeto and RO water now. finally getting somewhere."

    Marine_Nick on the RP site: "Thought I'd update on my screen. When setting it up I was concerned about light pollution from the sump into the room, and noise from the falling water. as my tank is on an outside wall, I wanted to put the screen outside if possible. I already had an old 18 x 12 x 12 tank, so had it drilled and put a small wier in it, the water is pumped from the sump up and out through the wall to the screen, runs down the screen, through the weir, back through the wall and back into the sump. All of this is in a small shed I made which contains all the lighting etc, my screen is 18 inches tall by 12 inches wide and has a light on either side. Screen has been running now for 4 weeks, and my nitrates have dropped from 30 to 7 and phosphate from 0.25 to 0. In the last 4 weeks, nothing else has changed in my tank other than more fish being introduced, and therefore more food being added, and still the parameters have dropped!! Overall I'm really happy with results so far and hope to see the nitrates drop to zero in the next week or two. Big thanks to Santa Monica for this thread and all the info!"

    jtrembley on the MD site: "I got frustrated with the skimmer (EuroReef, rated for 80) on my 40 gallon a while back. It was pulling out *lots* of crud, but I was having trouble with detritus building up, and rising P values. Since yanking the skimmer and DIYing (poorly) a rev. 2 scrubber [acrylic box style], phosphates and nuisance algae are down, and the backlog of detritus is slowly being consumed. I'm seeing lots more worms (particularly the small ones that build white, spiraling tubes) and 'pods (amphi- and cope- that is, but not octo-). Here's the funny thing: at the 3 year stage of my 40, I started getting lots of nuisance algae, despite having one of the hands-down best skimmers for small tanks, an MCE600, on it. Thinking that I was doing something wrong, I put an MC-80 on it. After another year, I started getting more and more detritus building up in the display, despite having a *lot* (over 2k GPH) of flow. And then I noticed something else: I no longer had many fan and bristle worms, amphipods, or copepods left in the sytem, either. So...I started swapping out my old LR for new, to replenish the critters. And I tried Fauna Marin and vodka dosing. But the critters weren't really spreading, and the nuisance algae was getting worse, and my P was rising despite water changes. So, I thought about it, poked around, and looked at Eric Borneman's study of *fresh* skimmate (i.e., not stuff that was left in the cup to rot). And I realized something: having a high quality skimmer on the tank was probably stripping the tank of big chunks of its potential cleanup crew. So I took off the skimmer, and put in a turf screen to cover the water's surface in what used to be the skimmer's chamber in my sump. Low and behold: I'm feeding more; I'm once again seeing fresh worm tracks in my sand bed; the copepods are back; the nuisance algae is dying off; P is undetectable by hobby kits; and the detritus is slowly clearing up. And I'm not doing as many water changes. I checked pH this morning, it was 8.2, before the lights are on. I'm honestly not seeing the down side. So yeah, removing the skimmer and putting in a $5 turf scrubber fixed my tank of "old tank syndrome". Just for giggles, I just tested my N (0.2 or 0.5 Salifert) and P (0.05 Hanna photometer). No visible HA, turfs, or cyano in the display, and I can (easily) feed 2X cubes of Hikari mysis, some dulse, and 2 scoops' worth of Reef Chili daily (again, in a 40). And I haven't done a water change in a month. I'm honestly not seeing a downside to scrubbers at this point."

  7. #17
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    "Mxett" on the MD site says: "I installed a simple [scrubber] over my refugium. It uses an old plastic fruit juice container and a syphon [which makes a surge device] to dump 2 litres onto a white plastic chopping board which lays horizontally over the top of the refugium. A reflective CFL [bulb] is situated just 10cm above this board. The surge occurs every 30 seconds, lasting for 15 seconds. Growth on the [scrubber] has been excellent. Harvesting the algae is performed every 1 to 2 weeks per SM's instructions. [should be weekly ] N & P have never been detectable in my system, BUT I have always struggled with a very persistant nuisance red algae! It threatened to overtake my entire tank in the months before installing this [scrubber], which is only a modest size for my 800 litre cube. Anyway, after 3 months of using the [scrubber] I can confidently say I have little to none of this red algae left! My purple tange eats it and always has, but with less nutrients available to [the red algae], it has just withered away, and he just finishes it off. Overall a great success over a difficult pest. Thanks SM for providing the inspiration and idea to create, install and use such a cheap, easy and effective natural filter.

  8. #18
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    .
    Today's Success of the Day, from OceanParks on the MFT site, had a good story to it. So here it is with his posts and the dates:

    12/17: SantiMonica: I've also built and installed your screen. I am on day 5. I have the brown/green film and was wondering how long before you start to see a noticable drop in Nitrates? I have a 110 gal reef tank with fish and my Nitrates are at 20ppm. Thanks.

    12/18: and what wattage bulb would you suggest (pc flood) would you recommend for better results?

    1/5: Ok. So I read your thread and built a scrubber (a true hobbyist). I'm in the middle of week three and I've done 2 cleanings and one freshwater rinse. Nitrates began at 30ppm and are now down to 5ppm (with the help of a 40% water change) in this 110 gallon reef tank. I removed the skimmer and UV sterilizer to allow room for the scrubber. I will compose a more formal, descriptive posting in the near future on my setup - one that I hope you will use in your RESULTS postings. I am still trying to get a grip of this thread thing....it is my first one. Did you say that you were getting better results with a different light bulb. If so can you please specify? Thanks! Enjoy the pictures! What do ya think?










    1/5: [Remove the filter socks.] Really about the socks? I'm afraid of too may particles floating around. I'll give it a try. Also, can I get the plant-grow bulb at Home Depot and is it in Flood form? I have the timer set for 16hrs on and 8hrs off, however, I get excited and want to turn them on early for (in my mind) faster results. Probably no better results? Ok. Off with the socks. Good idea. Is the grow-light a flood light like those pc flood light? Thanks for the help! I will send a full report and pictures in a few weeks!

    1/7: I replaced my flood lights with 2700K "soft white" PC Flood lights today. Same wattage...they just seem dimmer. It's that red light. Hope it works better.

    1/12: I spent some time reviewing the begining of this thread and noticed that most of the pictures showed bright green thick mats of algea on the screen. I am not getting that after 5 weeks. I am getting dark brown/red stuff and it's only about 1/4" combined. [The stealthy high-nutrient black/brown algae that must be removed right away.] I did use some of the brown/red stuff to seed the new screen when I built it. Should I rebuild the screen and seed it with some hair algae from the tank? [not now.] Also, at the bottom of my sump, beneath the screen there is red/brown slime forming (see picture). Should I remove/treat for this or can it be concidered benefitial? [leave it.]

    1/12: Here is 5.1 oz of the black oil (I read from your other site). Funny enough, under the layer of black stuff there was some bright green algae. Any thoughts on that? [that's why it needs to be removed right away.]

    1/20: CLEAR!!!!!! My scrubber has been up since December 18th and tonight the Nitrate test (Nutrafin) read clear indicating 0 nitrates! Awesome. Thank you SantiMonica. Awesome. 0 Nitrates on the Salifert Test too.

  9. #19
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    jtremblay on the MD site: "the last few strands of HA have disappeared from my 40's display, and the build-up of detritus is continuing to go down, despite there being no skimmer on this tank."

    nitschke65 on the SWF site: "My biocube is currently being filtered by my custom [nano] turf scrubber in chamber two; there is also a ball of chaeto in the bottom af chamber two, and a bag of Chemi-pure Elite in chamber three. My protein skimmer stopped working two or three weeks ago. (My mushrooms and zoas have never looked better!) I also have some polyps, hammers, and galaxia. There's a few nassarius, and a few hermits, an emerald crab, and possibly a pepermint shrimp. There's a lawnmower blennie, two green chromis, a scarlet hawk, and a Potter's angel. I haven't cleaned my screen or done a water change in 2 weeks [bad!]. This mornings readings: Ammonia - 0 Nitrites - 0 Nitrates - 0

    Skunkbudfour20 on RC: "Yes i built one, Yes i am running it, and YES my nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and phosphates all dropped to almost 0 within the first 3 weeks, and yes algae growth in my display has come to a stop, and slowly recedes... I am still running my skimmer, even though it doesnt seem to be doing AS much, its still doing something for now."

  10. #20
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    Re: Results of Successful Scrubbers

    Broder on the SARK site: "I have been running my tank with an algal filter for about 3 months now. I removed the skimmer on the 10th last month. My display has never looked better. The [nuisance] algae has almost totally dissapeared. My SPS colonies are thriving. Not only are they growing well, but the colouration has become vibrant due to 0 PO4 (Salifert test) and 0 nitrate. I've seen better colouration in systems that were using Zeovit, but I'm more than happy with the results the algal filter achieves."

    Sly on the SWF site: "The back glass used to be absolutely covered in green algae, but now it's staying clean on its own. I have never cleaned it. The rocks weren't that bad, but there were some patches of cyano in places that are now gone. It now seems to be staying cleaner on its own. My ORP has started rising again and is a 270mv without ozone. I don't know if it's related but as my tank levels have improved lately, my Mandarin is coming out more in the day time. This is the first picture I have ever been able to get of him in the open... and I've had him for over 2 years. The live rock and the substrate both have zero algae on them"

    TODJ2002 on the SWF site: "i added a scrubber several months ago after reading this thread. my nitrates and P slowly lowered and went to zero for the first time. they have both been at zero since. everytime i check levels i am expecting to see a rise, but always zero. i also added cheato to my system and i believe boths items are a must for any system."

    Adee on the SARK site: "Ok so its been about 6 weeks since i fired this scrubber up. Did the 1st "harvest" on just the one side; i'll do the other side next weekend. My phosphate reading is a zero according the Elos color chart... and for the very first time the complete back glass pane has broken out with coraline algae. Its never done that before due to the back always being covered with the normal glass algae/diatoms. Since the latter no longer appears, the coraline is now growing. I'm sure in a few weeks I'll have a complete pink wallpaper at the back. The fact that the scrubber makes the ideal platform for all this gunk to grow OUTSIDE my display tank, was well worth the investment."

    Bob the (reef) Builder on the SARK site: "Both my filters are going great guns. Probably the best is the sun [powered] one, it's big and now that its settled, grows algea like crazy. My phospates down to 0.00 - 0.01ppm on a Hanna meter. Never seen it this low before. My corals are starting to grow and colour up really well now."

    RentalDeceptionist on the UR site: "Ooh the [nuisance] algae. Well, it has certainly receeded massively. It's not 100% gone but I feel I'm on top of it. The hair algae which virtually smothered every flat surface is now down to about 20% of its mass, and there is more rock than algae. I do believe decreasing the lighting has helped."

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