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Thread: Bubble algae out of control in scrubbed tank.

  1. #1

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    Bubble algae out of control in scrubbed tank.

    I have a 55 gallon tank with a 40 gallon planted sump and a 2+ cube per day algae scrubber, I am very comfortable that the scrubber is working correctly, I remove about 1.5 - 2 cups of algae ever 5 days or so. Since I got the scrubber a few months back my hair algae problem has disappeared. However my bubble algae is INSANE it has gotten worse and worse, it covers absoutely every surface that recieves even the tiniest bit of lite. I have triedlowering my light as low as it will got (about 5%) and left it there for weeks, I have tried everything from 8-12 hour light cycles, and I just tore the entire thing apart and removed every scrap of it that I could find, which was about 6 cups.

    Anyone have any ideas outside the norm to get rid of this or slow it down? My scrubber is my only mechanical filter of any kind.

  2. #2

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    Sorry for the typos, I wrote the first post on my phone.

    Here are some pictures of what it looked like a few days ago, and about 3/4 of what I removed.
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  3. #3
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    Well if your scrubber is still growing plenty, then it's strength could probably be increased until it does not want to grow anymore.

    Bubble algae are good at concentrating the nutrients inside it, so that it artificially has higher nutrients.

    Or you could get emerald crabs.

  4. #4

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    I am kinda at the burn tolerence of my scrubber, I can't flow more until I increase the drain flow and my algae is already starting to turn yellow on the outside at day 6 or 7 on my 12 hours a day light cycle.

    It is possible I am getting the screen to clean, growth isnt really visible for the first 2 days and picks up on day 3 and by day 5 or 6 its packed in there. Definately a VERY exponential curve on my growth. I suppose I could just trim it short and try to do that every 3 days or so...

    As far as mithril crabs.... they might help a small amount but we are talking about POUNDS of bubble algae... by the time I had enough to take care of it, I would have nothing BUT mithril crabs in there..... Plus I think they would kill all my porcelin crabs, although I suppose I could just go down to the beach and get more of those later....

  5. #5
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    Well clean less, and let grow more. Also 12 hours seems very low; add iron and flow if you can, and try to get the hours up.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Well clean less, and let grow more. Also 12 hours seems very low; add iron and flow if you can, and try to get the hours up.
    The scrubber I am using is one of Floyd's LED L2 units, and its pretty damn bright running full 750mA. While I would like to increase flow I am currently around 300-400 GPH on a 6 inch screen, although that does slow down some as the screen fills with algae.

    I should probably dose with iron, but as I said the scrubber is really doing great, it goes from completely scraped clean with a serrated knife and rinsed in tap water to completely packed with algae to the point that no more can grow within 5 days. The total nutrients its removing is very high, its just that in the first 2 days its probably not removing much because I removed 99.99% of the algae then shocked it with chlorinated tap water, and that might be allowing the bubbles to soak up nutrients.

  7. #7
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    Well yes when the screen is bare, there is no filtering. This is why I prefer two smaller units instead of one larger. The workaround is to clean 1/2 the screen, but that's a lot of work.

  8. #8
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    Here is what I recommended for someone else recently

    At the 7 day point, take the screen off and clean the slot pipe and top edge of the screen to make sure there is no impedance of flow. Then do a very light cleaning, and don't run it under tap water. Only run the screen under tap water if you are having an issue with copepods causing detachment (this is a new recommendation of mine). I read a study that said that exposing SW algae to FW causes the cells to burst. Seems to make sense to me. Taking a small pan of saltwater out to use for rinsing doesn't affect the system that much.

    When you do your intermediary cleaning, scrape the algae off the screen for about 2-3 rows in from the sides and bottom edges on each side. Then swipe your scraper across the whole algae mat lightly on both sides to loosen off the top layer or any loosely attached algae, and then use the edge of the scraper to clean off strips in a "tic-tac-toe" pattern on one side, then a similar pattern on the other side but rotated 45 degrees.

    I like this technique instead of cleaning one side completely. The LEDs penetrate deep enough to keep roots alive, so this keeps about 25% of the algae on the screen to continue filtration without a "gap".

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelespinoza View Post
    Sorry for the typos, I wrote the first post on my phone.

    Here are some pictures of what it looked like a few days ago, and about 3/4 of what I removed.
    That is some SERIOUSLY bad bubble algae man. Dang!

  10. #10

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    So wally world has a set of stainless steel bladed hair clippers for $7.77.... http://www.walmart.com/ip/CONAIR-10-PC-KIT/10813829

    I am half tempted to try clipping the screen algae with the hair clippers I have, since they are 6 years old and were less then 12 bucks brand new.

    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd R Turbo View Post
    That is some SERIOUSLY bad bubble algae man. Dang!
    Yea, it was over 4 cups of algae bubbles once it was drained. Most of the bigger rocks I cleaned out over the sink so I didnt catch the bubbles, lots of the bubbles popped when I worked them off with my toothbrush, and of course I didnt get them out of all the cracks and crevices even pulling out every single rock and working them over inch by inch.....

    Overall, its probably fair to say that I had around 10 cups of bubble algae total in my 55 gallon display tank.

    I left the light off for a day and a half after I did all the scrubbing, and even now am running just 28 Cree XTE Royal Blues at 10% of 750mA. I also did it a few days after the scrubber had been cleaned so it was in its max growth phase. Hopefully it helps some, because that bubble removal was a LOT of work.....

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