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Thread: First attempt-welcome feedback

  1. #1

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    First attempt-welcome feedback

    Hey, guys. I'm new to this forum and ats all together. I have a 120 rimless and approx 30 gallons in my sump. I have 10 fish all small; 3 tangs, 1 angel, 1 zosters butterfly, 1 goby, 2 wrasses, 1 clown, 1 chromis. I feed them about 1 cube per day and about a 2 by 1 inch piece of nori every other day, but I'd like them a little more.

    Today a built a submerged ats in my sump. Its about 1 inch under the surface of the 2 compartment of my sump water level and is lit by a CFL 2700k bulb. The packaging says its replacement bulb for 75 watts. My screen mesh is approx. 10.5x12 inches. I can add a maxijet to increase flow if necessary, but i thought Id be ok since the water is coming across that chamber.

    I'd apprec your feedback. Again, its my first go around. I'm not sure if my screen is too large or not large enough. I don't think I need more lighting, but....

    See the attached pics.
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  2. #2
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    Welcome.

    Well, the good news is it looks like you know how to build with pvc. But unfortunately the setup is not going to work, because it lacks flow of an air/water interface which is normally delivered by a waterfall, river, or bubbles. Adding a water pump won't deliver an air/water interface either, because of the depth.

    Easiest improvement is to put a sheet of plastic under it, and tilt it up to make a river that flows down into the sump. If that whole screen has rapid flow, it will need over 100 real watts of light. Here some more info:

    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

  3. #3

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    Thanks for replying. I plan to def add a long air stone or two. As for the light? If I understand the package correctly, the bulb is producing the equalivant of 70 watts but only using 23 to do it. Do you recommend a second bulb? The one light seems to have a good spread on the screen which i rough up quite a bit. I'm also going to be lowering the light another 2 inches.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    Well an airstone the way it is now, would be beneath it, and get blocked by growth. That's why upflow scrubbers have vertical screen. I guess you could cut a series of 1/2" holes, spaced 1/2" apart, but it's going to take a lot of bubbles.

    The one light is way to weak for the screen. 23 watts is for 23 square inches. I'd add another bulb at least, once the growth starts.

  5. #5

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    Where would rec i put the air stone? Would a 100w/2700k cfl work? It still shows that its using 23watts. It's the actual use watts that you're look for right?

    Would you recommend I do two vertical screens going across the sump floor, left to right, instead of the horizontal one pictured? The problem is getting light to the screens. I can't put lights on the outside of the sump do to space. Would lights from above work?

  6. #6
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    cluog, go here and look at the last dozen or so posts

    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...4#post22011974

    There's no reason to think that your design will not work because as you can see from his build, it does grow algae.

    You do need some kind of water movement to make a horizontal scrubber work well, preferably a wave type of motion. There are other drawbacks to horizontal scrubbers though.

    Per your lighting, if you are using CFL floodlights, you would need several more. If spiral CFL, you will want the large 11" dome reflector and a higher wattage CFL lamp.

    Per the vertical screens lit from the top: no, that won't work. Incident light needs to be direct (perpendicular)

    I do also see a difficulty with getting your screen in and out. Your frame is nice, but the screen doesn't necessarily have to be taught, it can just be free and flapping away.

    You do have room for a small waterfall scrubber in there. You could make a 6" wide x 6" tall screen that has the bottom edge at the top of the water, and use a 23W CFL on either side of it, and that would probably have more filtration power than your current setup. Just sayin.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the feedback floyd. I'm planning on adding two long air stones underneath to provide additional water agitation. If not spiral cfl and not a custom led fixture, what other option do i have?

    I'm concerned about having a waterfall setup because of noice, the tank is in our hearth room, and our 18 month old daughter would see it a toy. Would you recommend a submerged vertical setup with lights on the outside pointing in better? I was planning to use the remaining space for LR or I can put my BP reactor back in. I was hoping this would replace my BP reactor.

    What do you think? Thanks again for the feedback. Its priceless.

  8. #8
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    +1 on the toy. Can you put child-safe devices on the cabinet doors?

    Light options are

    CFL floodlights (sprial in the floodlight, good for about a 6x6 screen)
    Sprial CFLs in a dome reflector (like the one you have, except larger to spread the light out more)
    LED floodlights (deep red and royal blue)
    DIY LED fixture

    For a upflow scrubber, yes that would work if you don't have another option, that would certainly free up the space more. But then you need a way to put the light through the side. I could see this working if you can slide your 2 reactors to the right and put the lamps in between those and the kalk stirrer.

    As for noise, bubbles & air pump will probably cause as much noise as anything else. If you build your waterfall scrubber such that the plastic canvas extends down to 1" below the water surface, you will have no water-crashing noise. Then you can drape the screen with saran wrap and protect against streamers (water squirting out of the slot/screen junction). Should be pretty much dead silent.

  9. #9

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    LOL. The stand is completely open. No doors. I kind of like it that way, but I may close it up eventually.

    I can do following pretty easy:
    1. horizontal with either a maxijet underneath it for additional current plus add a second cfl 2700k bulb over it. two long air stones can be used in place of the maxijet, but brummie isnt using any air stones, i suspect. I can loosen up the screen and cause chaotic water flow. I think that would help?

    2. I could do a submerged vertical screen w a long air stone underneath it on the backside of my sump and clamp two lights behind it outside the sump. I'm some what concerned of heat and plexi, but....

    Either way I can add LR beside on underneath it. The horizontal screen is just sitting inside the T's that are holding. It a T 3/4 clamp and the screen pvc is 1/2 inch so it comes right out w no issue.

    I took my bp reactor offline to make space for algae scrubber and LR. Id rather not have my screen hanging in the stand, if possible.

  10. #10
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    You might try to make use of the current setup by directing the overflow onto the screen so that it splashes. But then, it splashes.

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