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Thread: Need help getting green

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Need help getting green

    Hey guys

    Not sure if my scrubber is still building up or whether i need to make alterations.
    Getting yellow/brown slime, have done 3 cleanings now, slowly seeing more green.
    My scrubber has been running for 2 months now, i started a new 130L (35G) tank with dead rock which had been cycling in a bucket for another 2 months prior.
    Display has purple/brown stringy algae growing from rocks and substrate.

    Live stock: 1 fire fish and 3 coral frags.
    Feeding: small amount of frozen

    Was originally made using older design guidelines, pre-feeding guiding lines.
    Screen size: 17cm wide x 25cm high, double sided
    Flow: 700 litres per hour
    Watts: 2 x 20 cfl
    Distance from light: 4cm, 1.5 inches, physical space limitation cant move lights any further away unless maybe drop to single sided
    Photo period: 12 hours

    No other filtration/skimmer is running.

    Most recent cleaning, 8 days growth.


    Other side


    After cleaning


    Size comparison with pen




    Screen is fed directly from tank overflow to sump, aluminum foil for reflector


    Lights off


    Lights on



    Any suggestions on how i can improve this?
    SM, am i better to wait for the new design? Eta?

    Thanks for a brilliant and informative site

  2. #2
    kotlec's Avatar
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    Your flow is not enough for that size screen I thing. And I know that Santa will tell you find proper reflectors

  3. #3
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    If you can't increase flow, add iron, and/or reduce hours by 2.

  4. #4

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    Ok thansk SM, ill try reducing hours to 10.
    Its easy to do so ill give that a go.

    I could also increase flow per cm by reducing screen width, maybe chop it from 17cm to 10cm that would bump up flow to about 63 litres per cm.
    Any easy methods of reducing the width of existing pipe?
    Or should i just make a new one?

  5. #5
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    Any narrower and you won't catch the light from the bulbs.

    Do get some iron.

  6. #6

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    Make sure your flow is a minimum 35 US gallons/hour per inch. If it isn't, you'll struggle to get good growth without burning the algae, and to out compete algae in the display. Actually measure the flow. Don't go by what the pump manufacturer says it should put out. I think you are better off getting a bigger pump than trying to dose iron.

  7. #7

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    I've decreased the hours by 2, will see how i go.

    MorganAtlanta, yeah i know im not flowing as per Santas guidelines, pump is rated at 2000LPH, actual flow is 400-800 LPH which i measured, it has dial to change the flow.
    I've had it at 800 LPH before but get micro bubbles going straight through sump and back to display, so ive dialed it back to 700 LPH.

    My baffles are not optimal for a scrubber, i could possibly add another baffle to the sump and then dial up the flow again to 800 or even purchase a stronger pump.

    I'll check growth again next week and post results, before i make any major design changes i want to wait until i see Santas new design.

  8. #8

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    Well its been 12 days and i've cleaned my scrubber today.
    One of my 20 watt bulbs blew, the only spare bulb i had was 15W, so had to put that in, and decided to leave it in for the entire cycle so i could compare between 15W and 20W.
    The 20w bulb came out the better side.

    This side here is the 15W bulb.


    This side here is the 20W bulb.
    Slightly more green.


    Also some news to report on my foil reflectors.
    They are no good for use around salt water, i've noticed little holes have appeared, looking a bit closer you can see they are caused by corrosion.
    I've even found a little bit of foil inside my display tank, so it must've fallen into the water then pumped to the display.
    Thats no good im gonna have to rip it all out and figure out something else for a reflector.


    I'm gonna have to figure out how to up my flow without increasing micro bubbles, perhaps add a fourth baffle to my sump, might have to get onto that sooner rather than later.
    I was hoping to wait until SM released the new design but since that will be a few months away ill just bite the bullet and see what i can do with my existing design.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator
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    For now add some iron, and/or reduce hours by 2.

  10. #10

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    Ok thanks SM, wow i can reduce my hours even further, so from 10 to 8, ill do that.
    I'm not familair with iron dosing, ill pop into my lfs to see what they have, is it the same stuff used for planted fresh water tanks?

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