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Thread: Need help getting started

  1. #1

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    Need help getting started

    So after reading a lot on this great site I have some questions for you all. I have a 56 gallon cube with 6 fish a HOB 19" refugium, SWC 160 skimmer, 15 gallon sump with ATO, carbon/GFO reactor with two filter socks for my fitration. I am interested in seeing if a ATS will be better for me then my current equipment plus I like the idea that nature is doing the work. I would like to take the reactor and refugium off line ideally and replace them with a ATS. Can I run a ATS and skimmer? I see there is a lot of controversy about that. I haven't come up with a design yet but will be using your great threads for guidance. I will however be using the returns to supply it. Any suggestions for me?

  2. #2

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    Re: Need help getting started

    Well, I can't say that my response is based on experience, because my ATS is only 15 days old. But I have read that many others are using both the ATS and a skimmer. I have also read that the skimmer is not really needed with the ATS. I currently still have my skimmer in place, but I will probably remove it later, after the ATS is mature. I'm not 100% sure of that just yet, but that's the way I am leaning. It has been stated many times that the skimmer takes away the organic matter (food and poop), before it is broken down into inorganic matter, which is food for the ATS. So, in a way, you are taking away stuff that would later be broken down and eaten by the algae on the ATS screen.
    I'm sure there are plenty of others that can offer a more educated answer to this question.

  3. #3

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    Re: Need help getting started

    Yes it can be used together, though your tank will not benefit as much as it could when the skimmer is running..

    To go for a full transition, it is adviseable to run the skimmer for two months in parrallel with the ATS.

    The thing is this:
    The berlin system uses bacteria for breaking down No3 and Po4, and the skimmer removes all food (leftovers)...
    These bacteria will be outcompeted very fast by the ATS, because algae can do that much much more efficient (that's why you can increase feedings), and cyano will be the result..this will eventually go away off-course..

    the ATS needs a big decomposers army, which all died in your liverocks because the skimmer steals their food. (DOC's fe.) and that army needs to grow..that takes time..it's an other army of bacteria and such then you have now..

  4. #4

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    Re: Need help getting started

    Thanks guys that really makes sense to me now. When I build my ATS I will have to watch and wait for this transition and see about the skimmer. When I read the great write ups on here I quickly learned that I knew nothing about ATS and would need to really plan out my design. Is there a height to width ratio for when making the screen? I wanted to build one that fits well within my sump area and is enclosed so that it's quite.

  5. #5

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    Re: Need help getting started

    Ok so I have been doing a far amount of reading on here to get down the basics but now I am more confused then ever. I have a 60 gallon tank that I feed 1 frozen cube daily to. I would like to build a self contained ATS like Santa Monica does so that I don't get the noise and splashing since my sump is outside of my stand. I plan on plumping it directly into the drain line of my overflow so that I can eliminate the need for additional pumps. So my question is what size screen should I be looking at? I want it to be a vertical 2 sided unit.

  6. #6
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    Re: Need help getting started

    An example VERTICAL waterfall screen size is 3 X 4 inches = 12 square inches of screen (7.5 X 10 cm = 75 sq cm) with a total of 12 real watts (not equivalent) of fluorescent light for 18 hours a day. If all 12 watts are on one side, it is a 1-sided screen. If 6 watts are on each side, it is a 2-sided screen, but the total is still 12 watts for 18 hours a day. This screen size and wattage should be able to handle the following amounts of daily feeding:

    1 frozen cube per day (2-sided screen), or
    1/2 frozen cube per day (1-sided screen)

    High-wattage technique: Double the wattage, and cut the hours in half (to 9 per day). This will get brown screens to grow green much faster. Thus the example above would be 12 watts on each side, for a total of 24 watts, but for only 9 hours per day. If growth starts to turn YELLOW, then increase the flow, or add iron, or reduce the number of hours. And since the bulbs are operating for 9 hours instead of 18, they will last 6 months instead of 3 months.

  7. #7

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    Re: Need help getting started

    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica
    An example VERTICAL waterfall screen size is 3 X 4 inches = 12 square inches of screen (7.5 X 10 cm = 75 sq cm) with a total of 12 real watts (not equivalent) of fluorescent light for 18 hours a day. If all 12 watts are on one side, it is a 1-sided screen. If 6 watts are on each side, it is a 2-sided screen, but the total is still 12 watts for 18 hours a day. This screen size and wattage should be able to handle the following amounts of daily feeding:

    1 frozen cube per day (2-sided screen), or
    1/2 frozen cube per day (1-sided screen)

    High-wattage technique: Double the wattage, and cut the hours in half (to 9 per day). This will get brown screens to grow green much faster. Thus the example above would be 12 watts on each side, for a total of 24 watts, but for only 9 hours per day. If growth starts to turn YELLOW, then increase the flow, or add iron, or reduce the number of hours. And since the bulbs are operating for 9 hours instead of 18, they will last 6 months instead of 3 months.
    Thanks Santa Monica for the clarification. so the new way of thinking about these has to do more with feeding then tank size when referring to the size screen needed.

  8. #8

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    Ok so I have decided on using Santa Monica's SM100 design since I need the scrubber to be self contained since I have a young child in the house. I purchased the aryclic yesterday and need some advice on what to use to bond the acrylic. Lowes and Home Depot weren't helpful and I see you need a bonding agent. Where and what did you all use?

  9. #9

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    I use Weld-on 3 or 4. 3 acts very quick, but once you learn the proper technique, it works great. Then used weld-on 14 on the seams after the initial set up, to take care of any leaks. You will not find any of these at the box stores. I got mine from a local glass and plexiglass installer. I get my aryclic from him also. Normal pieces he has left over from larger jobs.

    Here is a link to show you technique, tools, etc. http://www.melevsreef.com/tools.html Also on reef central there is a good thread. http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...postid=1171757

    I went from novice to building a new sump and a scrubber last summer. The scrubber actually took longer.

    Kent

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kentth View Post
    I use Weld-on 3 or 4. 3 acts very quick, but once you learn the proper technique, it works great. Then used weld-on 14 on the seams after the initial set up, to take care of any leaks. You will not find any of these at the box stores. I got mine from a local glass and plexiglass installer. I get my aryclic from him also. Normal pieces he has left over from larger jobs.

    Here is a link to show you technique, tools, etc. http://www.melevsreef.com/tools.html Also on reef central there is a good thread. http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...postid=1171757

    I went from novice to building a new sump and a scrubber last summer. The scrubber actually took longer.

    Kent
    Kent,

    Wow thanks for the great info. I was looking online at Weld on #40 as an option. I was thinking of using silicone for the seems since it works for tanks but I would like it to look professional rather then novice. Does anyone have any thoughts on how specific I should be in screen size? I know the new way of looking at this is based on feeding habits but I am not sure about my actual screen size. (guess I just don't get it).

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