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Thread: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

  1. #1

    Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    Hi, I'm new to the algae scrubber idea and I'm going to implement one this weekend. Here's my question. Is it possible that if I don't get it right, that it will still benefit my tank? From the looks of it, it's hard to get it wrong, but I'm just curious if a scrubber can have a negative affect if something isn't quite done right.

  2. #2
    kcress's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    Negative effects:
    A little noise.
    Some ongoing energy expense.
    Possibly some salt creep.
    Possibly some temp rise from lighting or pumping.
    Humidity increase.

    You could have some of those or all of them while having nothing improve in the tank.

    But really these are simple beasts that can always be made to work and that rarely cause any issues.

  3. #3

    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    I think my question stems from being unsure if the lighting I have will work. Regarless, the lights will be the easiest part to replace. Otherwise, most of those other problems aren't any problem as I already have noise, heat, too much evaporation, salt creep, from my innefficient seaclone skimmer. I'm actually excited to do this and replace that POS. Also by taking that skimmer out, I'll be able to do so much more with that space, including covering the sump minus the scrubber. I am imagining my evaporation and heat will both actually minimize.

    It's a 20g tank and I'm looking at doing a 5"x6" screen. Hardest part is going to be how to mount it above the sump combined with cutting down my plumbing to modify it.
    Come to think of it, this is such a great idea, my fish stuff will take up way less space, my wife will love it probably more than me!

  4. #4
    kcress's Avatar
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    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    Have at it!

  5. #5

    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    Adding to the stupid newbie questions..

    Couldn't a biowheel filter with a light JUST above the wheels do the same thing?

  6. #6

    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    And the questions don't end here....

    WIth the exception of obviously chlorine, couldn't tap water be used instead of RODI with a scrubber?

    Does this mean, with the exception of aggression issues, that a higher bioload would be acceptable, and a person could safely overstock a tank?

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    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    Can't use a bio wheel for lots of reasons. You can however use the tray that comes with a nano bio wheel setup:

    viewtopic.php?f=3&t=72

    Tap water:

    A scrubber does remove most of the "bad" things in tap water, but it is not known yet if they are ALL removed. And what certainly is not known is if they are removed fast enough for you to put tap water right into your tank. Chlorine is definitely NOT removed by scrubbers, but chlorine will evaporate in a day or so if the water is circulated in an open container BEFORE puting it in the tank. Chloramines (chlorine + ammonia), however, are another matter. They are added by some city water systems, and they are not removed by scrubbers (and they do not evaporate). So if you are not using RO or RODI water, you must use an additive to remove chloramines (if your city water has chloramines; ask them). Well water, should be fine since no chlorine or chloramines are added.

    Some people are experimenting with using tap water instead of RO or RODI, but there are no results yet. A fish-only (no rock, no sand) tank is probably fine, if you have no chloramines, and if you let the water circulate for a day before using it to remove chlorine. If you have chloramines, you can use an additive to remove the chlorine and chloramines right away, without having to wait a day.

    If you have live rock, or live sand, or any corals or inverts at all, then your problem becomes copper. Copper can occur in city water or in wells. Yes a scrubber (i.e., algae) consumes copper, but the question is, will the copper be removed fast enough so that no damage occurs when you add the tap water. Nobody has tested this, so it would be an experiment. For best chances, you'd want an oversize scrubber, with powerful lighting, and strong flow, along with cleaning every 7 days no matter what. The best way would be to start with an new tank, and add your corals or inverts one at a time (cheapest first). This would be a good test for someone to try.

    Overstocking: Only concerning nutrient removal, if your tank has good circulation, and if your scrubber is 1 Watt per gallon, and the screen is 1 sq in per gallon (two-sided), or 2 sq in per gallon (one-sided), and if your scrubber flow if 35 gph per inch, and if you clean regularly, and if your screen is VERY ROUGHED UP two-layers of plastic canvas, then you might be able to over stock.

  8. #8
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    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    I would think an intensely lit bio-wheel would work fine! It should build turf and would get great aeration, an be pod resistant. How much it can actually remove? That's a good question. :?: :?:

    Another issue would be how to clean it off in a easy and successful manner.

  9. #9

    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    Thank you. I think I'm out of "dumb" questions. I don't actually see them as dumb, but I do see myself as the only one with the guts to ask. I have no shame haha.

    I've built my scrubber and it appears to have plenty of flow, a relief should water build up from a clog or otherwise, very easy to remove to clean, evaporation should be at a minimum, but the problem I ran into is, it doesn't fit in with my sump. Time for a redesign. I'm eager to get this going but man has it been a pain. If I let the screen sit in the sump, would that assist in any way, to getting it seeded until I get my sump area redesigned or would that be a waste of hopes?

  10. #10
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    Re: Newbies always have the dumbest questions

    Yes leave the screen seeding in the sump. It will speed things up.

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