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Thread: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    7

    Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    Hey All,

    So my scrubber is what i would call "still in the infantile stages". I've had it up and running for about 2 weeks and have some "okay" growth but very uneven. I think i discovered why and remedied it last night. It turns out I must have been drunk when i cut the tube slit for the screen cause it was all over the place so my water flow was all clumped on either side with nothing really in the middle. At any rate my question is actually in regards to cleaning. I've been reading SantaMonica's posts and doing some research outside of algaescrubber.net and the consensus seems to be that weekly cleaning is the single most important task you can do for your scrubber and tank as a whole given some of the toxic effects that could develop if this weekly task is ignored. As i was doing my first cleaning last night (shhh, i know i violated the cardinal rule... i thought i was doing myself a favor by letting it slip a week cause my growth wasn't very good :-( ) i realized that at the bottom of my scrubber there is on average of about a half inch to an inch of water during normal operation. There seems to be a "field" of algae done there. Is this normal? Is this something that i should remove every week along with my normal cleaning? Will this lead to similar toxic affects experienced by others when the screen isn't cleaned for long periods? Am i doing something wrong to cause this growth down there? Also I've noticed that right by the outlet of my scrubber (my scrubber is actually a above my display and dumps into the top of my tank via a 3/4 ID flexible hose) a bloom of what looks like red slime has developed. Nothing really awful just an observation.Once again wondering if that is normal and what not. Thanks all for your help.

    P.S. - I purchased a screen from Inland Aquatics to seed the screen. Don't really know if that helped any as I'm getting growth but nothing like i expected. I thought by getting the screen i would skip the red /brown slimy stuff and jump right to the turf... yeah no chance. Its as the screen had no affect. I have it zip tied to my screen with direct contact between it and my screen and water flowing directly over it... nada... all the growth i have is definitely NOT turf...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canterbury, UK
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    426

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    Could be that the water flow is higher in the water, it would be worth holding the screen/scrubber over a bucket and timing how long it takes to fill it then work out the l/hour (or gal/hour) and make sure the pump is up to it.
    You should clean the entire side of the screen when doing the weekly clean, I get different types of algae that grow beneath the waterline on mine, nothing really to worry about.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Rowland Heights, CA, USA
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    29

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    LOL d5omino, you and I had the same idea in regards to buy a small sheet from Inland to seed a larger screen, if you look back on my posts, I have done exactly the same thing. Expecting the larger screen to jump start growth with the turf algae. What actually happens is, that the screen still goes through the usual stages as normal, i.e. the slime/brown/green algae, on both screen, meaning your screen and the seed from Inland. Then weeks or months later, you will notice that the turf have migrated to the larger screen, and eventually you will have a screen full and then you can remove the seed. Anyways, between now and then, you need to do extra cleaning on your seed screen, you DON'T want to have the black/brown oil spill looking like stuff on that seed screen, it will kill the turf algae. Anyways good luck. Just thought I should share, coz we both got the seed to jump start, but it don't actually work that way. BTW, it took 51 days for my 40G breeder tank to get down to 0 on both N and P.

  4. #4
    Administrator
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    Oct 2008
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    Domino let's get more info about your setup to make sure you are running it right. Post several pics of your tank, sump, scrubber, lights, screen before cleaning, screen after cleaning, and the flow off the bottom of the screen. And gather up this info if you would:

    Nitrate
    Phosphate
    Size of screen.
    Gallons in display.
    Type of bulb for scrubber: Watts, Kelvin, and age.
    Screen is lit on one or both sides?
    How many hours the scrubber lights are on.
    Amount, and what, fed per day.
    Circulation GPH in-tank.
    Circulation GPH to the sump and back.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    7

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    WOW! Thanks all for the responses! I appreciate it!

    I SantaMonica I will certainly get those pics and other info up asap. I have my next scheduled cleaning On Saturday night (ahead a few days i know but I'd figure I'd get on schedule). Plus by then my room wont be such disaster (putting in new floors - hardwood no worries no chemicals or anything plus pre-finished cause i didn't want to have any sanding going on in there for obvious reasons)

    Some of these questions i can answer right now actually. Tank is a new setup (only about 2 months old so this will explain the low nitrate)

    Nitrate = never had anything measurable. I use test strips on a daily basis ans salifert on the weekends (usually Saturdays when I'm doing the big maintenance tasks. filter changes, etc)
    Phosphate = again nothing detectable. I use RO/DI water from a well . My inbound water is under 100 PPM to begin with. I get pretty consistent 0PPM out of my unit. and no phosphates on the source water "pre-ro/di" so I'm pretty lucky i guess. Mineral content of the water is almost un detectable. My Friends from the city (NYC) love coming up to my house and washing their cars.... they dry completely spot free : -)
    Size of screen - i bought a standard tank divider and used the entire thing. I believe its a 19 x 12 sheet (inches) I'm thinking this may not be the best option as i just don't like the "micro" holes on it. Also its really smooth on one side and pretty rough on the other. I have some canvas/linen material i was going to use but got shy because it looks as it it may have some artificial coloring. Its a "natural" color but its doesn't look very natural to me. Looks dyed. I may bleach it and leave it soak for a few days to get all the remaining bleach out of it.
    Gallons in display - 150 US GAL (30h x 24 d X 48 w - its tall... and i have short extremeities.... you should see me trying to get down in there... my wife said she's going to by me a snorkel mask : 0 )
    Type of bulb for scrubber: Watts, Kelvin, and age. - Not sure if my display lights matter but I'll respond to both:
    Display = 2 x 250W MH 14000K , 2 x 54 W T-5 FLO 420NM , 2 x 54 W T-5 FLO 460NM, 18 x 1 watt lunars (blue and white)
    Scrubber = 8 (4 on each side stacked horizontally) 24 inch T12 3000K Fluorescent Bulbs Not sure on the wattage but its a standard fixture nothing fancy.
    Screen is lit on one or both sides? - Yes
    How many hours the scrubber lights are on. - 12 on 12 off Reverse cycle i have them on the same cycle as my fuge lights (go on about 1130 PM and turn off about 1130AM , in a dark room , shades pulled down and the scrubber itself (just a rubber-maid) is covered with its factory lid)
    Amount, and what, fed per day. -
    Marine Pellets - 2 -3 times a day , about a 1/4 to a 1/2 a teaspoon each time
    Marine Flakes - 2-3 times a day , about a 1/4 to a 1/2 a teaspoon each time
    Brine (frozen) half a cube - every 3rd day at night , final feeding about 10 minutes before actinics come on
    Mysis (frozen) Half a cube - every 3rd day at night, final feeding about 10 minutes before actinics come on
    Omnivore cube and Formula one cube frozen half a cube each - every 3rd day same time as above
    Krill - Hand feed to pagoda, brain, Green BTA and Sebae Anemone 2 a week
    Phyto and Roti 's every other day, spot with sea squirt on feather dusters, hairys, and scallops and a squirt for the tank : -) for good measure
    Kent ZOE - 5 - 10 ml every night
    Kent -Phytoplankton - 5 - 10 ml every night
    Kent - Zooplantankon - 5- 10 ml every night
    MicroVert - 5 - 10 ML every night
    Red, brown, green, and purple seaweed. i keep 2 clips on either side of the tank stocked at all times. When the lights go off anything uneaten (which has only happened once) is thrown out until the next morning...
    Circulation GPH in-tank - well okay, through the sump i have
    2 x quiet-one 9000's (2300GPH) pumping up about 4.5 ft through a maze of PVC as i made a serious of spray bars all over the tank (you'll laugh when you see the pics so I'm probably getting in the neighborhood of 2k combined out of them when the filters are clean (which is till about Thursday when stuff starts slowing down, Saturday night through Thursday sometimes Friday things are flowing real nice in there)
    1 quiet-one 5000 moving the water up about 7 feet to the scrubber through 3/5 ID flex hose. I'm probably in the neighborhood of 350 GPH there.... maybe.
    The only other "PUMP" is a Catalina for my skimmer( ETSS SumpBuddy 40) which hopefully i can punt across my yard here in a few weeks when the scrubber starts kicking in real good.
    in the tank i have 4 koralia 4's (1600GPH) and 3 MaxiJet 1200's with Mod kit on them (they are like tornado's i swear - 2100GPH) on 2 separate wave maker Power Strips which i intentionally constantly play with to keep it as random as possible. There are times things can get really moving in there. I can see my Powder Brown in fishy Ecstasy when the stars align and all the pumps are churning at once (happens very rarely). He goes right to the middle of thank and starts swimming like he's wants everyone in the room to see how awesome he can swim... absolutely adorable!!!
    Circulation GPH to the sump and back- oh oops.. : - ) i answered this one above sorry

    Okay so on the pics, I'll get those up this weekend. and anything else guys just let me know. Oh BTW I wanted to commend SantaMonica on her hard work. I have to say. Before i decided to go with the ATS i was all over the Internet doing research. Virtually every site i found had several posts by SantaMonica... i have to saw i applaud and admire your dedication and hard work. Thanks to people like you the rest of us have a place to come for when we need help!!!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    7

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    CyberSeerer,

    Thanks for your response! I which i would have seen your response earlier ( i didnt have a chance ot log on). I actually chucked the seed screen just a little while ago. I was feeling ripped off and just got rid of it cause i was up there adding a downward facing elbow to eliminate bubbles in my display. That was my first time ordering from Inland so i guess it just took me off guard because i pretty much live on line.. haven't paid a bill or bought anything substantial in person in a very long time (including cars!) and so when i tried placing my order wit them the fact that you just "email' them what you want threw me. I never even realized that they have never asked me for my shipping address and so they shipped it to my work address which is in my email signature. Well i work from home and my office is about 150 Miles away round trip.... Thank fully after some coaxing and a week later i received my order.. by that time thought i think anything short of magic algae wold have fallen short of my expectation : -(

    Thanks again for your post Cyberseerer!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    7

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    Hey Guys,

    So just a quick update... was doing some more research on the site and just didn't like the choice i made for the "screen" . I used just a generic tank divider thing that just didn't really seem to work all that well. Flow was really uneven with gushes on each end and sporadic flow through the middle. SO- i went over to A.C.Moore (for those that aren't from the east coast its an arts and crafts place) and found THE STUFF!!! Its called "Darice Artist's Ultra Stiff Plastic Canvas Mesh" ... its in the section where all the needlework/cross stitch stuff is, sort of in the same vicinity as the "Aida linen cloth" which was also one of my choices but ultimately i decided against the natural fabric for longevity purposes. MAN THIS STUFF ROCKS!!! I removed my old screen which actually did have a decent amount of growth on it so I'm kind of disappointed on that cause now I'm starting from scratch, and replaced it with this 13 5/8" x 21 5/8" sheet of plastic canvas. NOW i have perfect laminar even flow from one end to the other with no dry spots!! This stuff is awesome . I wont recommend it just yet cause its still unknown on how well this stuff will actually grow algae (unless one of you guys has used it before) but so far I'm loving it!. Also another change i made to my setup is i went ahead and swapped one side of my bulbs to 2700K plant grow bulbs by Philip's (20 W 24 inch T12) and wow! Way more growth on that side than the side with the regular 3000K bulbs so i just swapped out the other 4 bulbs. Now running all 2700K Plant Grow (pinkish hue to them) I'll keep you guys posted!

    BTW :I took my skimmer out this week also, so I'm putting all my eggs on the scrubber basket : -)... hope it pulls through for me or I'm toast! LOL. I just couldn't stand emptying out the cup every night knowing full well most of the gunk was actually the stuff i paid 10 bucks a bottle for to put in the tank in the first place!!!! So wish me luck! Any tips please feel free!

  8. #8
    kcress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Santa Cruz, California, USA
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    458

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    Thanks for that, "Darice Artist's Ultra Stiff Plastic Canvas Mesh", tip.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    18

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    O.k., it's one month after you started using the Darice Artist's Ultra Stiff Plastic Canvas Mesh.
    What's the update.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Rowland Heights, CA, USA
    Posts
    29

    Re: Scrubber weekly cleaning specifics

    yes please update us on your progress, we all would like to see your success story here.

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