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Thread: My 6 day old 55gallon and DIY AS

  1. #1

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    My 6 day old 55gallon and DIY AS

    About 5 years ago i got into reef keeping with a 20 gallon and a 10 gallon refugium in the same stand holding my sump in the picture. I got the 55 gallon two years ago and swapped out the 20 but kept using the same refugium. Kept the tank running for around a year but broke it down after an insane outbreak of neomeris annulata that completely took over my aquarium. So now im back to it and just set it back up a wk ago. I decided to go with an AS this time around and even tried my hand at making the acrylic housing for it (which turned out pretty good for my first work with acrylic). My screen is 7" x 7.5" and i have 23 watts of pc lighting on each side. I kept track of exactly how many gallons i put in when i was filling it and its holding right at 45 gallons with my rock and sand in. So im right on the money for wattage but might be a little big on the screen considering its good for 52.5 gallons. So i have a few questions for anyone that wants to chime in. First of all is my screen size going to be to much for 45 gallons? I usually keep a pretty light bioload so i dont have a huge need to feed alot, which brings me to question #2. Does an oversized AS allow a larger than recomended bioload. Finally a question about the flow through the slot over my screen. If u look closely at the pic from the side of the acrylic box you might be able to see that the water really likes one side of the screen more than the other. Both sides are equally rough and i cant understand why it stays on one side. The slot is 1/8" all the way down so i dont know what else it could be or if it will even matter. Thanks for any input.
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  2. #2

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    Couple more pics
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  3. #3
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    Welcome.

    Scrubbers are sized according to feeding. Nutrients "in" (feeding) must equal nutrients "out" (scrubber growth), no matter how many gallons or liters you have. So...

    An example VERTICAL upflow or waterfall screen size is 3 X 4 inches = 12 square inches of screen (7.5 X 10 cm = 75 sq cm) with a total of 12 real watts (not equivalent) of fluorescent light for 18 hours a day. If all 12 watts are on one side, it is a 1-sided screen. If 6 watts are on each side, it is a 2-sided screen, but the total is still 12 watts for 18 hours a day. This screen size and wattage should be able to handle the following amounts of daily feeding:

    1 frozen cube per day (2-sided screen), or
    1/2 frozen cube per day (1-sided screen), or
    10 pinches of flake food per day (2-sided screen), or
    5 pinches of flake food per day (1-sided screen), or
    10 square inches (60 sq cm) of nori per day (2-sided screen), or
    5 square inches (30 sq cm) of nori per day (1-sided screen), or
    0.1 dry ounce (2.8 grams) of pellet food per day (2-sided screen), or
    0.05 dry ounce (1.4 grams) of pellet food per day (1-sided screen)

    High-wattage technique: Double the wattage, and cut the hours in half (to 9 per day). This will get brown screens to grow green much faster. Thus the example above would be 12 watts on each side, for a total of 24 watts, but for only 9 hours per day. If growth starts to turn YELLOW, then increase the flow, or add iron, or reduce the number of hours. And since the bulbs are operating for 9 hours instead of 18, they will last 6 months instead of 3 months.

    HORIZONTAL screens: Multiply the screen size by 4, and the wattage by 1 1/2. Flow is 24 hours, and is at least 35 gph per inch of width of screen [60 lph per cm], EVEN IF one sided or horizontal.

    FLOATING SURFACE SCRUBBERS WITH RIBBONS: Screen size is the size of the box (Lenth X Width), and is 2-sided because the ribbons grow in 3D.

    LEDs: Use half the wattage as above. 660nm (red) is best. You can mix in a little 450nm (blue) if you want.

    Very rough screen made of roughed-up-like-a-cactus plastic canvas, unless floating surface, which would use gravel and strings instead.

    Clean algae:

    Every 7 to 21 days, or
    When it's black, or
    When it fills up, or
    When algae lets go, or
    When nutrients start to rise

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