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Thread: First Scrubber

  1. #1

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    First Scrubber

    Hi all!

    New to the forums and new to the Saltwater Reef tank world.

    Tank has been up for 3 months.

    Had issues with Nitrates, Phosphates, GHA on glass, Cyano, etc.

    Was led astray a little at the lfs when I purchased the tank and had a Magnum 350 canister and my LR as my filter.

    I have been researching and shopping for sumps, skimmers, etc.

    Found out about algae scrubbers and decided I had to try it.

    Here it is with 5 days growth. I "seeded" it with some GHA I just grabbed off the back glass but the growth is amazing!







    Tested the water today. API Reef Master Kit + API Nitrite test.

    0 Nitrite <- normal for my tank and happy about that!
    0 Nitrate! First time ever at zero! I have been fighting high nitrates with 20% water changes every 3-5 days. At their peak nitrates were 60+
    <.25 Phosphates Like the nitrates, I had high phosphates. Water changes were keeping them in check.

    I have not changed the water for almost 2 weeks now. Just top-offs.

    First cleaning is scheduled for tomorrow. Should I use RO or just my very clean but very hard well water? My well water is awesome. I have had it tested extensively and I use it directly for water changes in all my FW tanks. I have an RO (No DI yet but it's coming soon)

    I have a feeling this will not be the last Algae Scrubber I build. lol

  2. #2
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    Good to see it work well so soon.

    As it starts growing more/thicker, you will probably need to find a way to move the lights closer.

    I'd probably not use well water for a current reef. Could be other things in well water that cause trouble. However if you want to test it on a new reef, start out with softies, then LPS, and see how they do.

  3. #3

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    Thanks!

    RO water for the cleaning it is!

    I plan on modifying this scrubber soon. It's too much fun! lol

    Currently it is a 12" wide x 10" long screen. It sits in the water about an inch (or two inches when I do a fresh top-off)

    Algae is also floating on the surface of the water in a couple of places where the screen meets the water line. Should I remove that?

    Also there are "specks" all over the bottom of the 14 gallon tub. Is that normal? Should I get rid of them during the cleaning? I could pump the water into a couple of buckets and pull the entire tub out and clean it but that seems like a lot of work! lol

  4. #4
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    +1 on RO, but remember if you're not on city (chlorinated) water, then you need a different RO membrane. The standard ones are made to run on chlorinated water, to run one on non-chlorinated water you need the membrane that is resistant to bacteria or something like that. Also if you have hard water you might want an iron pre-filter so you don't burn out your membrane. Also verify water pressure.

  5. #5

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    Nice scrubber! However, I would get an acrylic splash shield for that thing - you can already see marks where a little water has splashed on your reflectors. In addition, you should try and prevent any light from reaching your screen where it first comes out of the pipe so that algae doesn't block the flow.

  6. #6

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    Thanks fauxjargon!

    Those water spots are my fault. I have very little splashing going on. However I plan on doing just what you suggest.

    I also wrapped the clear return line with foam pipe insulation all the way to the bottom of the riser on the back of the tank. Not so much for heat loss but to shield it from the lights. I was seeing some algae starting to grow inside the return tube.

    I am ordering a new lifereef overflow box that is supposed to provide up to 600gph. The current rate of flow is not quite what is required for a 12" wide screen. I need to get at least 420 gph and I am at approximately 250-300 gph.

    Also picking up a custom 20 gallon long sump and refugium this week so I may do some modifications to use that instead of the plastic tub.

  7. #7
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    Easier than acrylic splashguard is just drape the screen in Saran wrap. Srusso recently posted a pic of his screen, originally the idea came from an RC Team member der wille zur macht just to drape it over the pipe and an inch down the screen, but srusso took it to the extreme and wrapped the whole dang screen in it, pic on post 3280 http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1977420

  8. #8

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    Floyd,

    My RO setup is about 4 years old and was purchased for drinking water purposes with well water use intended from the start. However, i was unaware of this chlorine vs. no chlorine membrane concept so i will check on that with my filter supplier. Thank you for that information btw.

    My system is from freedrinkingwater dot com and is a 90 GPD 5 stage RO with UV sterilizer and auxiliary pump to assist my well water pressure. I also have a 14 gallon pressure tank flled with RO water which fills a 5 gallon bucket in about 5-7 minutes. It recharges the tank to full pressure in 60-90 minutes. I plan to upgrade the pressure tank to a 45 gallon soon.

    I need to add a DI stage and will be ordering that this week.

    Free drinking water! LOL nothing is free. I buy my filters every 6 months and a new membrane every year or two. I may have to buy more membranes because I am using a lot more RO since setting up the reef tank.

    I am getting a free set of filters from them because my buddy just bought an RO system from them and put me down as a reference. So for the first time in 4 years I get a bonus from them. That's cool with me. It's worth about $40 normally.

  9. #9

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    The plastic wrap splash guard sounds like a great idea!

    I want to build an ATS out of acrylic like this one.

    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...2&postcount=15

  10. #10
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    Without the DI you are probably putting a lot of nitrate and phosphate into tank. If the scrubber is strong it will handle it, but you should know that it's going on.

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