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Thread: new tank. scrubber only setup.

  1. #1

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    new tank. scrubber only setup.

    So I started this tank out with all the bells and whistles (skimmer, gfo reactor, carbon reactor) Because I had them laying around from an older setup after I moved. After reading through this forum for a few months I decided that this all makes perfect sense. Why In the world would you limit food intake to something your trying to keep healthy and grow? That's like not feeding your child cause you don't want to change diapers(although way more complex in a reef tank) but you get my point.

    So I decided to remove all that money pit #$%^ and just diy a scrubber from the get go. It has been about 4 weeks after cycling the tank with dry rock and dry sand. I used Dr. tims one and only(I actually know this stuff works I have used before ). 3 day cycle 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 50 ppm nitrate. Added all my live stock, and started feeding 1 cube of brine and roughly one cube of prawn roe(for the mandarin) sense I was not able to keep any rock from the previous tank due to major hydroid infestation.

    I figured I would wait and let the nutrients build up for a week while the scrubber was being finished.
    Heres what I got.


    Started seeing what looks to be brown algae on the rocks. Are these diatoms? cyano?


    Here is the scrubber. I have it hooked up to a 1600 lph about 225 gph skimmer pump. Screen is 6x7 inches 42 in^2. 23 watt bulb and is one sided for now.


    and here is the growth after 1 day of running.


    IS it normal to only have brown ? should I decrease the screen size to allow for better growth? Is the lighting okay?
    I would really like to keep a photo journal of the growth of the corals and fish in this tank for all the haters out there. I just know this is gonna work and I would like to do it right. Thanks
    Last edited by Wopadobop; 05-10-2012 at 01:38 PM. Reason: wrong picture

  2. #2

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    So I guess I should ask. If there isn't any green hair algae in the tank. Where does it come from ? Do I need to seed the screen?

  3. #3
    kotlec's Avatar
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    Patience is all you need by now.
    Screen need time to mature. Filtering is not strong until.

  4. #4

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    Kotlec is right. Time. You should figure out lighting from both sides. And feeding it from overflow to lose that other pump. Crazy thing is your display may get ugly before getting better. Rock house phosphates and nitrates. So it should or will leach out.

    I don't know the science of this but I'm a firm believer. It's and awesome feeling knowing that all that is needed is a return pump and two lights in the sump. Of course the heater but I'm talking filtration wise. And wise it is.

    When other reefers come over for something and all they see is a screen with lights on it and no water changes for almost five months now. They question all their equipment like you did. You will gain faith in your system once it matures and find yourself not worrying about it.

    My last setup as well as my temporary setup I have now. I would leave for over a week on vacation and the only thing I would check before leaving was topping off the ATO.

  5. #5

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    It really is amazing. The more I research and look into the system the more it makes sense. With all the money I have left over I'm thinking of getting a tank controller and the cool thing is I can get a base model and it is waaayyy over kill. Without all the other systems to run I can use it to run dosing pumps and really dial it in. does anyone else use these? I have also noticed that my ph has been less up and down and more of a swing since adding the scrubber and removing the skimmer( really only good thing a skimmer is for o2 in the water) and I actually had to turn my heater on. Tank now sits at 79 f and stays there. green bubble tip is slowly starting to bubble up and my acros and digis are fully extended. the screen is still just brown but starting to turn green after just 3 days. This is awesome. I think maybe starting a tank with a scrubber may be better than adding one later as the system balances to having it right out the gate. Super excited to see the results a week from now.

    This forum kicks so much ass it's not even funny!

  6. #6

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    So it's been about 2 months. After a full blown outbreak of algae and cyano while I was vacation and my mom was watching the tank, the loss of a few birds nest and my favorite mandarin, things are starting to look up.

    New additions:

    Radion xr30w : I love this fixture. Cranks out plenty of light and the customizable times, kelvin rating and intensity through out the day are just amazing.

    So I changed a few things on my scrubber after a month of running an over sized and under lit screen. I now have 4 3 watt Cree red LEDs per side of a 6x4 screen running for 8 hours on 16 hours off. Took the advice to run the waterfall from my overflow. Took a little tuning to get it right but it's running really well now, nice solid sheet off the whole screen. Time will tell how this setup will work out I suppose.

    Has anyone used the ecotech vortex pumps. Would one be enough for a 36 inch tank ? Mp10 or 40?
    I'm using the cheap jb wave maker now but the circulation is very focused and can't seem to get flow across the sand without making a sand storm. As I currently have cyano issues I'm looking for some way to move the water column a bit better for nutrient export.

  7. #7

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    Some updated photos of scrubber and dt.
    SCrubber : 8x cree 660 nm red leds run 8 on 16 off. (yes that is a skimmer in my sump, just running as back up while the new screen grows in)



    This stuff grows like a weed.


    sprungs stunner . Tried to capture it under actinic light but my leds just swamp my camera with blue and cant see it.


    fts!


    new setosa frag. (god i take terrible photos)

  8. #8
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    Let the weeds grow !

  9. #9
    kotlec's Avatar
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    Single pump is always worse than few. Single looks nicer - thats for sure. With multiple units you can adjust streams to your liking and move all water without making tornado in tank. I would go for 2 smaller wortexs in place of of one bigger with closed eyes. You can make alternating flow this way, wich is very benefical. Even two simple pumps alone can make more turbulence.

  10. #10

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    So lately My corals have gone from growing quickly to not at all and are actually experiencing some tissue loss.
    my params are as follows.

    salinity 1.025
    po4 0.04 (hannah checker)
    nitrates 0
    ca 500
    mag 1500
    alk 10 dkh
    temp 78 (very stable)
    ph from 8.0- 8.2

    I have no clue whats going on. I have very good corraline growth and no algae in the dt at all. I am feeding 1.5 cubes a day. scrubber grows aquamarine colored slime.

    any sudgestions wood be awesome. Im at a total loss. I have lost almost all my coral at this point.

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