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Thread: Results. Anyone please

  1. #1
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    Results. Anyone please

    I have been in this hobby for fifteen years. Have tried just about everything and was so happy when I found the scrubber. I'd made this hobby so much more enjoyable and I'm very thankful to sm for promoting it.

    That being said, I'm a little frustrated with recent developments. Last time I checked the scrubber is a form of filtration and a very effective one. You measure a filters performance by the results. Your n, p and debris is low your filter is effective. If not then you wasted your money.

    When did we become an algae growing community? Why does it matter how much algae I get? Why does it matter what color it is? We need to start seeing results. I don't need a video on how to harvest. It's not rocket science. You grab it and dump it. I need a video that says this is my growth and THESE are my TEST RESULTS.

    My ats was my ONLY form of filtration on my 120 over a year. My 60 over 8mo and is still going strong. My tank crashed during hurricane sandy and my ats handled the cycle beautifully. I have yet to find someone running a tank on a UAS only. All of the tests from reputable hobbyists have come back the same. It grows algae but it doesn't get nutrients where we want them.

    I gave it a try, a bunch of people in my local club did, some people in this forum did and we all get the same results? Where is the proof that this thing works? Because you post pictures and it has algae attached? My rocks had algae. Heck let me throw some nori in the tank and it should filter!

    We are driving people away from trying the ats. Not only that. We are deceiving people. There is no clear definition of what an effective scrubber is anymore.

    We had PROVEN by trial and error many things.

    Eg.:

    Dump bucket style: not effective
    Horizontal scrubber: not effective
    Single sided: less effective
    Vertical waterfall double sided: very effective.

    Tons of thanks running them with similar results, low to very low nutrients.


    As of right now there is no proof that the UAS works. Please let's start posting results of tests, what other kinds of filtration we have, size of tank vs size of scrubber.

    These are the kinds of things we need to show the hobbyist that is looking for a scrubber so that he or she can make an informed decision on what scrubber to buy or build.

  2. #2
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    "FlyPenFly" on the scrubber site: "It [UAS@] cured my cyano problem in about 3 weeks!"

    Creekview on the RS site: "Have 20w of 660nm LED lighting powering the scrubber. It is installed in one end of the tank. The bubble lift pulls water from the plenum. No other filtration is present. Tank has ~100 lbs of live rock, and a 4" aragonite substrate. Plenum is 1". A koralia supplies circulation in the tank. I seeded the system with two bags of Doc's Eco Stuff, a new item at the LFS. After two weeks, the system is alive with rotifers and 'pods. The water quality tests 0-0-0, and is incredibly clear, other than the presence of live plankton, both zoo and phyto. I examine water samples microscopically couple times a day. Saturday I fed 4 cubes of brine shrimp+ and checked the water quality every 4 hours through this morning. Not a detectable change in any parameter. Growing algae, brown and green hair, like crazy. Harvested 3 oz of algae yesterday. It was full of rotifers and pods."

    NMETCALF on the RC site: "So after reading info on the whole upflow algae scrubber thing I decided to try that, and I have a roughed up 12x12 screen in my sump with it lit from only one side, and a few air stones around the bottom of it. The one thing I did that deviates from what most people are doing is the LED light I put on the side of my sump to light it is a 120w Red Orange Blue LED grow light. I gotta say the light makes a huge difference!! I am harvesting a softball sized bunch of very long stringy green algae every other day! It is mostly growing up to the surface so I can just reach in and pull some out without removing the screen. the screen has only been in for 7 days so it takes some time for it to cover, but the light has just made the growth rate incredible."

    Dennis B on the scrubber site: Letting you know that I really think the [HOG.5] scrubber you have is outstanding - really controls my phosphates - the #1 cause of uncontrolled algae growth and something that has really been an issue for me - until I added your unit. Also, helps with my nitrates, too! I have continued to suggest these units to fellow fish keepers - you really have a great unit due to its small size, little upkeep and great performance. Thanks again for creating this clever and so useful device! I really feel this is the best filter that anyone has produced in twenty years for tank upkeep.

    ReeferMat on the MASC site: "So I decided to build one of these [upflow scrubbers] today. It's huge because all I had was a 12 inch airstone, but I'm hoping that won't matter too much. It cost me less than $20 to build, so if it works that is the best bang for the buck I have ever seen in the war on algae! It has been up and running for 3 months now and I have to say my tank looks a lot better. Every time I clean it it grows a new type of algae, slime, turf, etc... and it grows fast. I would say I have seen a decline in nuisance algae in my tank, but to be honest that would be an understatement.... It has all but eradicated it. Every time I look at the scrubber I can't help but think that all that junk would be growing in my DT"

    Owenreefin on the PNWMAS site: "The first two months of running this UAS scrubber thing I was convinced I was going to rip it out for the algae growth was dismal, and I figured that my system just couldn't make it work. (I also have algae in my fuge) WELL I WAS WRONG. The thing started to really kick in. So much so that I just conducted my only water change in 2 months and I hardly think it was even necessary. I usually do a change of 30% every 2 weeks. My sand bed has cleared up big time too. With the water change I pulled out a good baseball sized amount of algae off the scrubber, couldn't be happier! I will always be running one of these. I will post pics of its growth next time I change water. Many months from now. "

    Bobba on the scrubber site: "Well, it's been almost 3 weeks with the HOG.5, and 2 with my lone Turbo snail. I am happy to report that I have no Hair Algae left in the tank. No signs of any regrowth of what the snail has eaten either."

    Clavius on the scrubber site: "I've been running a 500 liter tank now for 5 years. It is very well stocked with SPS, LPS, softies, filter feeders and a modest amount of fish. The nutrients were being kept very low by a combination of a giant skimmer and the ZEOvit method. Off course, this results in very lightly coloured corals, which was my goal. Generally I'm very pleased with the colouring and growth of my corals, and please with my tank in general. But one battle I've always lost: brown algae covering my sandbed. I could not, for the life of me, find what was causing those algae. Not to mention solve it. I've tried many many things to solve it, but up untill recently, without luck. Almost three weeks ago though, I installed a HOG.5 unit. It was a little experiment that I wanted to do ever since I learned about algae scrubbers. I was never creative enough to build one myself, as the space in my 100 ltr sump is very limited. The HOG.5 was affordable and tiny enough to enable my experiment. I could even fit 6 of those units in there with ease. Off course, with the ZEO-method, my nutrients already were really very low. I couldn't measure any NO3 or PO4 with my Salifert test kits. And I never bothered with more expensive kits; unmeasurable should be good enough. I wanted to see if the vitamins and amino acids that the algae scrubber produces would add anything to my reef. And, more importantly, if the algae would consume "something" that the brown algae on my sandbed require. The result in my sandbed is staggering. After only 3 weeks, not a trace of the pesky brown algae is left! An extra benefit, that I didn't expect, is that my lightly coloured corals now all have noticably much more colour. Without getting darker. They seem to glow! I don't know if it is from the vitamins that are released in the water [from the algae scrubber]. Or maybe the ugly brown algae [on the sand] were also covering my corals and that I now finally seeing my uncovered corals! Strangely enough, the algae in my HOG.5 aren't light green, as you would expect with nutrient-poor tanks. But they're a mix of dark brown with red tints here and there. So, I have no idea why that is or how that works. But at this stage I'm just so happy that I really don't care."

    BigAl2007 on the RS site: "I've been running an Algae Scrubber on my work tank for months now. After using one I don't plan to run another tank long-term without one. I've reefed for several years and I admit I was more than just a little skeptical about this whole ATS thing. Well not any more. I installed the Santa Monica UAS (HOG.5) on my work tank and the tank has never looked better. I was close to giving up on this tank and tearing it down (It's been up and running here in my office 5+ years now) because I could not get the GHA under control. Because it's in my office it gets the least care/love of all my tanks I've ever owned. It's just a pain to come back to the office after hours to clean/maintain it. I now have zero GHA in this tank and only a small patch of receding Bryopsis in this tank and it's crystal clear. This all came about with NO changes other than the UAS. I didn't treat the tank or increase my water change regimen or anything. By growing the algae in an optimal environment (UAS) and then harvesting the growth I'm removing whatever the algae is feeding on in the main tank and exporting the growth from the system. I've noticed a slow-down in the GHA inside the UAS and I can only assume it's because the tank is more stable now and found it's equilibrium with the UAS installed. I installed the UAS and honestly for the first month I thought "This isn't working at all... there's hardly any green on the screen material". Honestly I sort of forgot about the UAS and didn't check it for weeks. One morning when the lights came on I was thinking, "What the heck is that green stringy stuff hanging off the glass on that one side? It was where the UAS has grown so MUCH GHA that it was spilling out from under the unit due to lack of cleaning. I honestly don't know it it was 4 weeks or 8 weeks since I had even thought about it but it was working."

    Vinnyboombatz on the 3R site: "This ATS has worked so well I will never run a tank without one"

    Bgmac on the scrubber site: "Upset with this Algae Scrubber: So far I have been running a DIY algae scrubber for a little over 3 weeks. When I started, my N was hovering around 15 to 20 and my P was around .25. You see, I have always done a 10 gallon water change every week for my 60 gal display and 20 gal sump. Now, with my algae scrubber, I stopped doing the weekly water changes, N so far has dropped bellow 2 ppm, and P is 0! I expect N to be 0 by the end of the week. I have also doubled the amount I feed the fish. Coraline calcium is starting to pop everywhere along with tube worms, sponges, hitch hiker soft coral, and countless other wild creatures. I am upset with this algae scrubber because I went for over 2 years constantly battling High N and making trips to the local salt water well, trucking buckets of water back and forth. Buying multiple skimmers and wasting hours of time and $ trying to dial them in with no real luck. You see, so far I am upset with this algae scrubber because I didn't set one up earlier. What was I thinking. After going through all of the ups and downs of this salt world hobby. I am truly amazed at how unbelievably great this simple and extremely cheap contraption is working! I am still going to do water changes in the future but think I will wait a few months and just top off with my RO/DI to give myself and my back a deserved break for a while. Thank you to all that posted on how to setup a scrubber. This has been one of the simplest things to do to my tank."

    Holidayz on the scrubber site: "Tried the normal way like slimmer, bio-pellets, cheato, gfo, carbon, etc but still same, no purple and blue milli. Now I'm running scrubber alone, and even though my screen wasn't great, I found quite some benefits already. That's why I wanted to have a full green screen so situation probably even better. My blue milli is coming back, not full blue yet. Much more pods. I haven't feed my sun coral for 2 months now and still going good. Good growth on corals, more food from the screen? N always non detectable (salifet) and P ranging from 0 to 0.04 (Hana). Usually above 0 after I clean the screen or move rocks around, and drop back down to 0 after 2 -3 days."

    lexxxx208 on the UR site: "I've had my scrubber up and running for 5 weeks now and I can safely say its the best thing since sliced bread lol the skimmer came of last week with no Ill affects and my gha in my dt has droped by half so if any one is in two minds to build and run a algae scrubber I'd say get it done you won't be disappointed"

    BeanAnimal on the RC site: "I had a refugium on my system but was suffering very high nitrates and phosphates. Did the nitrate spike when it was removed? NO. I then put an ATS on my system (no other changes) and dropped my nitrate from deadly levels to ZERO and cut my phosphates significantly. Furhtermore, my PH is much more stable and my nuisance algae problem is starting to come under control. Water changes, a 6' tall skimmer and a refugium did not help."

    Byron on the scrubber site: "I could not be happier with my ATS! Tank has no measurable N or P, I have been able to reduce LR in the tank, skimmer has gone, no more water changes etc. Feeding 7 - 10 cubes a day. I was cleaning half the screen once a week, but it is growing a lot better cleaning the whole screen every 14days. I have increased the ATS lights from 14 -18hrs per day."

    Tomymar on the GK site: "I have a 140 gal, tank with 7 Ryukin. It's outdoors and even with a cover it had a major algae bloom. Could NOT see more than 3 inches. Built a waterfall Algae Scrubber and BOOM, no algae in the tank, I mean NONE. Water is crystal clear. AND, my bio filter was going OK but had Ammonia, like .5. Witht the Algae scrubber, Am 0, Ites 0, Ates 0. Right now I have an Up Flow Algae Scrubber (UAS) in my 30 gal. I used some Rubbermaid containers, a bubble wand, a very small air pump and there you go. This Algae Scrubber stuff works. My Ryukin are in totally clear water, I am amazed but it works."
    Ansphire on the NR site: "Never made a waterchange, never ran skimmer, gfo, carbon. Saved a ton of money in salt, ro water, useless chemicals and equipment. Better yet, i spend 5 mins a week cleaning a screen. 10 yrs of reef keeping and my only regreat is not finding the algae scrubber sooner."

    Tat2z_21 on the RF site: "The last [scrubber] I built worked almost to good. I noticed that the chaeto in my refugium started dwindling away. I thought if I let it go it would balance out but it out competed my chaeto. It also took out all of my nuisance algae in my tank."

    Joshik on the SCR site: "i have one in my biocube 29 and i run an algae turf scrubber and it works great. i have 10 fish in my biocube and do not do water changes. i feed 2x day. i dose sea chem reef fusion to replenish elements. i have various softies, lps and sps that are doing great! i am an algae turf scrubber believer!"

    Rexbrown on the SCR site: "The ATS that I have been running has worked out great for my 180 gallon. I have been skimmer free since setting it up. My Nitrates and Phosphates are always 0. It's been a copepod factory and my obese mandarins appreciate it. I harvest 2 to 2.5 cups of algae, every 7 to 10 days or so."

    Cole on the CR site: "I have been running a scrubber for month now and it works really well. My phosphate and nitrate are at 0 consistently for the first time in 6 years. My fish and corals like the extra food they are getting as well.So easy to build and effective."

    Edmontonnewbie on the CR site: "i doubled my feedings just to test it all out and found for the first time in 3 years i am running 0's in all my tests across the board, i brought a sample to the fish store and they got zeros too"

    Pterfloth on the CR site; "I am very, very happy with the results. I have been at it for 3 months now and results continue to improve. Hair algae growth is significantly reduced and gradually receding. More importantly, my SPS growth has returned to former levels, colors are better and polyp extension is better. Colonies that had shown no growth for many months are now sprouting new tips everywhere and visible growth of SPS colonies is quite apparent. Areas damaged by hair algae or cyano encroachment are repairing. All cyano has disappeared. Maintenance is very simple, clean the mesh once every two weeks, and I don't have to dose anything. I took the bio-pellets out two weeks after starting the scrubber. I'm not trying to advocate algae scrubbers. I'm just trying to share what is working for me. I tried the zeo approach and the bio-pellet approach, with RowaPhos, and they did not work for me. Nutrient test results were low, but hair algae was rampant and SPS growth had ground to a halt. I have a lot of fish in my tank, probably too many, and they have grown a lot in the past three years. Loonie-sized fish three years ago are now 8-10" in size. My SPS growth is outstanding and almost every trace of the hair algae I battled for 18 months is gone. I tried this out of desperation and it is the only thing that has worked so far."

    Iprayforwaves on the scrubber site: "I have a mini 1x6 horizontal scrubber on a 5 gallon nano lit with 2 red LEDs and the growth on that thing is bright green and thick. Before there was algae all over the glass and rocks. since I put in the scrubber the algae has disappeared."

    Kbb0118 on the TCMAS site: "Performace is AWESOME on this design. No water changes. Baseline readings 10/1/2011: Nitrate (Red Sea Pro) 1 ppm, Phosphate (Hanna ULR Phosphorus test) 0.120 ppm. Installed ATS on 10/4/2011. 10/13/2011: Nitrate 0.80 ppm, Phosphate 0.058 ppm. 10/21/2011: Nitrate 0.75 ppm, Phosphate 0.034 ppm. 10/29/2011: Nitrate 0.70 ppm, Phosphate 0.018 ppm <<< YEAH!!! I tested it 3 times with the Ultra Low Range Phosphorus Hanna test to make sure. 11/14/2011: Nitrate 0.25 ppm (Red Sea Pro), Phosphate 0.003 ppm (Hanna Phosphorus ULR reading of 1 ppB phosphorus). The only filtration I have is liverock, sand and this algae turf scrubber. No skimmer, GFO, carbon, pellets, filter socks anymore. Nearly all my DT algae is GONE! All fish who are able to are spawning in this tank! Some of the snails too! That is a huge deal for me. I feed pellets 2x daily and 2 cubes of frozen once a day. I have not done a WC in 2 months. I am monitoring my flame angel to see if her HLLE improves.....that fish's disease prompted this whole ATS thing. Water clarity seems normal to me. I haven't run any carbon since I read it may cause HLLE, so that was a whlie back. The one piece of acro I have is doing really well! I don't have any more cyano, bryopsis, bubble or hair algae in my display tank anymore."

    Waucedah_joe on the scrubber site: "I built another [LED scrubber] that was nearly identical but had 45W panels instead of the 50w panels on the original. Not a lot of research just bought the cheapest ones I could find. Anyway, I started the current scrubber up along with my upgrade from a 75g to a 140g display in June of 2010. Except for the initial spike upon start-up my nitrates are zero with the Salifert test, I don't test for phosphates. I've never done a proper water change. I do add fresh salt water to replace what I pull out when siphoning sediment out of the sump but that adds up to no more than 5 gallons every 2-3 months. I see from reading newer threads that this is all old school but I couldn't be happier with the results."

    Billym24 on the RDO site: "I have had a reef tank for 5 years and was never able to get my nitrate to 0 until I built a algee truff scrubber, cost about $35 to build and takes about 4 weeks to get to 0 but now I test 0 all the time and ph is never a problem either."

    AntónioVitor on the MR site: "This algae scrubber is my second attempt. I had it since [6 months ago]! The previous one had lots of sucess (some 2 years ago), still I dropped it, because I thought that a very big skimmer was still better...
    That was a mistake! I bought a good top skimmer for 600 gallons aquarium, my tank only has 100 gallon, but it was not better than my scrubber! My previous attempt had a feeding pump to the scrubber, now I only use my return water from the tank to the sump to "feed" the scrubber. that is smarter, less energy used. I only use leds, in the scrubber and tank, but that is another history!"

    Ace on the CCR site: "I still swear by the ATS as being the #1 filtration method by far above everything else. The price to performance ratio simply can't be touched by any other form of filtration in my opinion. I think getting the right lighting (660nm red LEDs) was the key.. my ATS is super super super charged to the point I have to clean it every 4 days tops and the screen goes from clean to stuffed in that time and is very heavy. Before I thought skimmers did very little to help a tank, I know what they do, how they work, what they remove... but now I can really see that it is causing more harm than good on my 75G tank. My 55G is doing great, corals that were all on the verge of death in my 75G have made a great comeback in the 55G and no other filtration other than the ATS."

    Norfolkcod on the MFUK site: "My Diy effort has been running well since i started it, with a good weight of algae on each weekly scrape. I have no skimmer running with it and my sump is alive with creatures, main tank looks healthy too. I am the first to admit i do very little maintenance to my setup but the 7 day scape and 2 monthly bulb change (salt deposits) it has given me no grief at all. When i have missed a scrape and the screen has clogged it just runs around the overflow and causes no mess. and the cleaning is quick so the return pump stays off for less than 5 mins. I found rescrape with the holesaw when cleaning too, gets the holes clear real easy and leaves a nice rough screen everytime. If people are still toying with the idea then i would say give it a try. In my experience a couple of hours tinkering makes a nice cheap filter."

    Chrisp on the IM site: "I read the entire blog on algae turf scubbers from Santa Monica and I have an ATS running under my 150 gallon. I use to struggle to keep my nitrates under 40. I currently no longer check because the readings are always zero."

    Fishbrain888 on the scrubber site: "I finally got the courage to test the water for nitrates and phosphates after being unsuccessful for many years with a skimmer and other gimmicks. I can tell you all that the test came out to ZERO Nitrates and ZERO Phosphates and the DKH was a little high at 12. I can't believe it! Thank you for getting me into doing an ATS everyone"

    Scubayachts on the scrubber site: "A couple months ago I built and added my first algae scrubber. I had nitrates that where off the charts and high phosphates as well. After running this system with two cfl 23w bulbs, one on each side I now how 0 for both nitrates and phosphates."

    Doompie on the scrubber site: "Ever since my tank started, I won't ever ever want to use a skimmer again in my life. Especially after reading what it actually removes, and what benefits you have with the ATS. I really only enjoy the hobby since, never have to worry about anything actually. Just keep the feeding up, and enjoy. Cleaning is done in 15 minutes for me."

    Thatgrimguy on the 3R site: "I guess I should update.. The unit is working GREAT now. Tons of hair. Green and growing!! NO3 is untraceable and Po4 is down to .04ppm. I haven't actually done a water change in over 2 months because I have been lazy and my BRS 50ml pump that was pumping water out failed on me... and I haven't really needed to. Tank looks great, corals look great. I'm super sold on this unit!!! It's been amazing! I'm feeding 4 cubes, some pellets, some oyster feast and a sheet of nori every day!! I'm cleaning it every 10 days now with no problems and I pulled a pound or more out last week! Takes about 15 minutes to clean properly and I can do a quick clean in about 5 minutes really. Mine is really easy to access so maintenance is easy."

    Reefkeeper2 on the BR site: "I toyed with the idea for quite a while and then I finally went and did it. I am pleasantly surprised with the results. I havn't noticed any difference in evaporation, but my system is automated and very large so I probably wouldn't. What I have noticed is cleaner sand and less algae on the acrylic. The pH is higher at night. I can also feed a lot more. I have even started feeding the corals and nephthea some freeze dried rotifers. So I can say the experiment has been a sucess and I will continue to run the scrubber."

    Iggy on the RB site: "This filter allows me to feed 5 cubes daily without nusaince algae. I also stopped rinsing frozen foods. Tank took 3-4 months for acans to adjust. SPS seemed to love system from the start!"

    Milkman on the SC site: "OK, I got this going about [2 months ago]. Been letting the screen build about two weeks between cleanings. Tonight I cleaned the screen and was just amazed how much algae this thing creates - pulls from the system. First time in months I wanted anyone to see my tank. I had to move all the corals to the frag tank for awhile due to the algae overtaking everything. Just moved most of the corals back to the display this past weekend. I m going to add one of these to my 200 gal breeder system to keep algae under control and feed pods to the breeding pairs. I have seen no hair algae appear in my three tanks on the system with the ATS since about one month after setup.

    More important, I believe my 200 gal system is largely free of algae for the first time in maybe 8 months. The back glass of the display, which had a bed so thick it needed mowing, is completely clean. I have just a small amount around the openings on the four return lines, but that's about it.

    Spcunnin on the AR site: "I think you will be pleased when you get it functioning. I was impressed with how fast it removed my nitrates. I'm doing 5 gallon water changes every 3 weeks only because I'm uncomfortable with not. The algae seems to handle whatever you throw at it. If you over feed it just grows faster and has no effect on water column. I found the idea for ATS by searching no more water changes."

    Salty on the AFS site: "I have one, and have had great success with it the past 6 months or so. it is my only form of filtration otehr than the live rock."

    Damon on the IM site: "I have been completely skimmer less for over a month now, and my ats has brought my nitrates from off the chart above 50ppm and with yesterday's test it has come down to 5 on the high end with color choosing(can't wait for a Hanna to make a nitrate). I am extremely happy with my ats as it is now, but I do believe I'm going to build a second one next to it. I built this size for a small (75-90g heavy bioload), but I'm going to add a second one that will be a more professional build quality now that I have figured out how I want it to run. I still love the fact that I have dropped $25 a month in electricity, haven't done a water change in a month while still dropping nitrates and getting amazing coral growth. The best part is I am making these to utilize my overflow drains, so in essence I adding a more efficient form of filtration without adding any heat or extra electricity. I can't report on long term results as I've only been running an ats since last fall. But from where my tank was to where it is now is enough for me to jump ship, lol."

    Kerry on the scrubber site: "I was hard for me to believe that this device worked. It took about a year before I built one and now I wish I knew about this years ago. Who would have thought algae would provide so much success? I even have one on my 150G FW Jack Dempsey tank as well. And yes, its so nice not to have a skimmer anymore!!!!"

    Reefkeeper2 on the RC site: "I run a skimmer, biopellets and an ATS. The skimmer and the pellets worked well keeping nitrates at 0, but there was room for improvement with phosphate control. I tried GFO, and lanthanum. My sps do not like the GFO. I got STN often when I changed it out. The lanthanum worked, but was very labor intensive and so unpractical. The ATS did the trick nicely. I have been a reefer for a very long time. I think I have tried every method of nutrient control thought up by anyone. I really enjoy trying out new ideas and trying to improve on old ones. I have to say that this combination has worked the best of all I have tried over the years."

    N728NY on the RC site: "Just chiming in to say I really hope this thread keeps going! Lots of good info. I'm still pretty new to keeping a reef tank. I have been running a scrubber with my skimmer for the past three months. Before then I could never get my nitrates below 15, and since I added my scrubber I never been able to detect any nitrates, even after feeding twice as much. I know with my 75 gallon set up, I made my scrubber slightly over sized (sized for 100 gallons) and I dump huge amounts of pellets and frozen shrimp in my tank on top of spot feeding my corals on a regular basis and I still have yet to register any nitrates on my test kit. Being that I'm still new I still haven't built up the courage to unplug the skimmer yet. I may try it once I know for sure my scrubber is fully matured, got plenty of ro water made up and salt ready just in case I need to do an emergency water change lol. I still have a clump of cheato left that I suppose would be good back up if the scrubber couldn't keep up. The cheato doesn't really grow very much right now because of the scrubber. I love these scrubbers, I'm so glad I took the time to read "both sides" of the arguments on them to find out the facts about them."

    Kentth on the scrubber site: "overall the tank is much healthier, a lot of feather dusters, coming out of the rocks, yellow sponges, other opaque sponges. big thing is no water changes for over 8 months, almost no silt, it has really cut my maintenance"

    Langtudatinh01 on the RC site: "i completely redo my 40B with the ATS from beginning, i barely see much algae on my display tank but i now have a mature ATS. i relocated all my fish and add another one without any issue. the dead rocks i use bleach quite a lot of phosphate back into the water, but the ATS has handle the issue like a cham. i do not see much algae on my display. everything is green like grass down at the ATS. i am very happy so far.'

    Bicolour on the MFUK site: "quick update, so my ats has been running since [6 weeks ago] and i gotta say all the algea in my tank and on the sand has gone, wow. gotta say it was well worth doing. i dont monitor growth at the moment but this is something i will be doing in the future, my set up was basic costing very little as i wanted to try this before i really looked into the idea. very impressed and can only say if you got space look into it"

    Rysher on the RC site: "i have a 6x9 screen, 1 inch is submerged so only 6x8 is really used, i also have a 40b. it has been my only form of filtration ever since i started the tank [months ago], i feed almost 2 cubes a day, only have 2 fishes but u cant see any algae on my DT, almost non existent film algae too, i clean my DT glass maybe once a week."

    Packman90 on the RC site: "I have a 72 Gallon bow front and until a couple of months ago I was going to throw my tank away and give up on saltwater tanks all together. I was brand new, took a lot of advice, started my system and watched as it became more and more green, until i found out about scrubbers. I lost all of the coral frags I bought, about $400.00 worth, and just felt that I would never get it. I have it now, and just bought my first new frags in over 8 months. Thanks to all of you scrubbers out there who showed me the way. Here is the tank after the scrubber did it's magic. this took a total of 1 month for it to clear up, and I did not remove any of the algae, it just melted a way. Only problem I have is that i have some sea grass that is melting away as well and cheto in my sump is also slowly dieing."

    Aydee on the scrubber site: "I'm going to call this a success. My nitrates had been sitting steady at about 10 or so for over a year. For it to drop to undetectable in 2 weeks.. THAT is impressive. I have got my skimmer running still, but once my ATS is running, I'll turn off the skimmer (not remove.. Yet....) If situation remains excellent as the trend currently is, I'll remove the skimmer. However, I came into ATS thinking "It can't hurt, as I'll keep my skimmer running" and now I'm thinking "WOAH! They're right!".
    Obviously, the proof will be in 2 years time, ATS sans skimmer.. But.. So far, the numbers are fantastic."

    Robert_Patterso on the RC site: "Best thing I have ever put on any of my tanks in over 25 years of being in the hobby"

    Pskelton on the RC site: "I personally have not done a water change in 6 months ever since I implemented my scrubber. long story short my tank was a mess, kid dumped container of food in tank. I got a snow flake eel that dug up my sand bed and I was running a very under powered cheep skimmer. This lead to my nitrates peeking at 160. I did water changes for a while but the nitrate just keep coming back up to 160. The water changes were getting expensive and I was about to give up when I tried the scrubber. Within a few weeks nitrate dropped to 60 and slowly came down from there. As of my test last week I am finally at 0 nitrate and I haven't done a water change in six months. The protean skimmer has been removed and my tank is healthier than ever. I am just waiting for the algae on my rocks to finish dieing off."

    Murph on the scrubber site: "my ATS is coming along fine. I think I spent about 30 bucks making it. When I compare that to the thousand or more I have spent on skimmers over the past ten years or so that made little to no difference when it came to nuisance algae in the display I want to pull my hair out. My ATS has out done them all in a matter of a few months."

    Spotter on the RC site: "Nitrate Day 1: 5ppm, Week 1: 0ppm, Week 2: 0ppm. P04 Day 1: .035, Week 1: .015, Week 2: .0092 I am liking this very much."

    JohnnyB_in_SD on the RC site: "I feed about 6-7 cubes a day on a 100gl tank, and 10-12 cubes two days a week when I do the nems & corals too. N&P have been undetectable since I started using ATS, which is a mickey mouse rubber maid tub version. Since I am always looking for the easiest way to do everything, I will continue cleaning the whole screen once a week. For me, it was a real struggle maintaining water quality with just a fuge: starving my fish, super skimming, massive weekly water changes - just to keep Nitrates near 20ppm and Phosphate under 1.0. That all went away with an ATS, the hobby is much more enjoyable and not a huge chore."

    Thedude657 on the scrubber site: "So my screen finally filled out with greenish algae. Water quality is excellent and now I have all sorts of cool things growing on my live rock. Little white sponges are popping up everywhere, some stuff I have no clue what it is yet. Just wanted to say thanks to help me get started."

    Chrisfraser05 on the RC site: "I just wanted to jump in and say after bumping into Santamonica on a forum a while back and also watching Lafishguys videos I started a marine tank [8 months ago]. Obviously I started my first tank with a DIY algae scrubber and have NEVER seen either nitrate or phosphate."

    Redneckgearhead on the scrubber site: "Heres the pics of my HA problem. [algea all over]These where taken just before I added my scrubber. I had tried EVERYTHING nothing helped. I paid a small fortune for a skimmer that I was told would surely take care of the problem. The HA laughed and kept on growing. My lights where down to 3 hours a day, my fish where only fed a small amount every two to three days, I was doing 10 percent water changes twice a week. And keep in mind those picks are only about 3 days growth, I would remove about 80 percent of the HA during my water changes. These are pics I took today just before my weekly water change. [almost no algae] I am feeding daily, my fish are now fat and happy. My scrubber is working beautifully! I am so glad I found out about scrubbers. I am still using my skimmer, but I may take it off line as soon as all the HA is gone. From the looks of things that shouldn't be much longer."

    Fragglerocks on the RC site: "Ive gotten rid of 95% of all "bad" algae in the DT and my P04 Level is 0.12 checked by Hanna meter. Nitrates - Zero. I feed the equivalent of 2 frozen cubes per day, along with pellets whenever I think about it. up to 2 times per day."

    Scrubit on the scrubber site: "have been running a scrubber-only 90gal tank for over a year now with great success. [...] I was ready to buy a big ol skimmer for my new tank build when I came across some of the info SM had posted. That was all it took, and I've never looked back. NEVER had algae in DT, NEVER had readable nitrates/phos after cycle, and have probably changed out maybe 40gal of water since setup. Personally I find running a scrubber almost as fun as the tank itself!"

    Psyops on the RC site: "I had a DSB and chaeto fuge. When I added a ATS, the chaeto disappeared. I don't know if the DSB is doing anything. I feed my fish and tank from 1-2 times daily depending on my schedule. The ATS is doing really well, especially when I added a Calcium reactor 3 months ago. I did not believe some of the stuff people were saying on how effective an ATS system could be, but they were mostly correct."

    JohnnyBinSD on the RC site: "I finally got around to putting an ATS on my tank 3 weeks ago. Just harvested a pile of algae off it tonight. In those 3 weeks I have doubled the amount of daily food I put in the tank, run the skimmer 6 hours/day instead of 24/7, and removed the lighting from the chaeto in the old fuge. Nitrates & phosphates are undetectable, algae in the display tank is almost nonexistent, fish are fat & happy. An ATS is the cheapest & most effective thing I've ever done to improve water quality. I wish I had built one sooner."

    Kcmopar on the MFT site: "Its been about 5 weeks (started the weekend before fathers day) or so and the green hair algae has stopped growing in my 40G. Yeah!!! Its all receding, maybe just a few percent left at the base of a couple rocks that my coral beauty snacks on. Just amazing. Started this 40G salt from Jump with an ATS. IT NEVER CYCLED!!! I have little pods, tiny feather dusters, and other critters thriving like crazy. Coraline already starting to spread across the tank. Nutrients are always zero to just barely detectable on both the 10g and 40g. Also a note on the 40G, I never had to do a water change yet!!! No test results ever got past barely detectable. I have been dabbling with an ATS on a 10 gallon Freshwater as well. Same results so far. I am building a bigger one for my 150G FW in a few weeks."

    Reeftanker on the MFUK site: "i have cleaned it about 8/10 times now, about 50-90 grams of algae each time and i have just tsted my tank i have on my test kits; Phosphates = clear that means undetectable levels on my test kit, Nitrates = 1ppm maybe 2ppm, what more do i have to say im am chuffed to bits and over the moon"

    Etan on the MFUK site: "Just to share some of my results with my scrubber. I set up my new tank at beginning of Jan(Rio 400). The only filtration I have on the tank is a scrubber and about 50kg of live rock. After the tank had cycled my nitrates peaked at about 25ppm about 2 weeks ago. There were only 2 clowns and 2 chromis in tank and small cuc. Just tested today after all stock and cuc from old tank have been in there for about 1 week and nitrate reading is only 2ppm and not much signs of algee in main tank or on glass. It seems to me the scrubber is doing its job."

    Weatherby68ss on the scrubber site: "i have been into this hobby for 3 years now and was using a wet /dry filter for the first year and a half or so untill i found out about algae scrubbers. i have to admit i would not still have an aquarium if not for my ats. its simply to much time, work and $$$ using any other type of filtration. with the ats i can actually sit back and enjoy my tank and keep my fish fat and happy with out worrying about the next water change because i hav'nt done 1 in over a year! anyone thats thinking about building 1 all i can say is go for it THEY WORK!!! nuff said"

    Mgraf on the RC site: "I have been running a scrubber for about 8 months now, at first I had a skimmer running, macro's, rock rubble, and deep sand bed. Same setup as you almost. I still have the deep sand bed but, eliminated the other stuff over time for the sake of simplicity. I clean the scrubbers algae once a week, do monthly water changes, feed often and alot, and my corals and fish have never been happier or fatter in the year and a half it has been set up. Many may disagree but, for me it is the easiest way to run a salt water reef." Update: "I have been running a sump very similar to this for about two years now. I run with the ATS only, no skimmer. As stated above in the thread, I built the scrubber over the whole section of the deep sand bed and refuge. It has been working great! I originally built the scrubber one sided and sloped as well but, eventually rebuilt the sump to have the scrubber lit on both sides. I only harvest one side at a time to keep lots of growth going on the screen at all times. It worked really well one sided, but works even better two sided!"

    Jukka on the RC site: "I used to have various carbon sources + ATB Supersize skimmer as filtration for my 400 gal reef. I never succeeded to outcompete nutrient problems with those, no matter how much carbon I added. I also tried the pellet version. Since building a large scrubber with lots of light, all problems are gone. But I didn't take the skimmer out of the system and didn't stop carbon dosing, and don't intend to. I just reduced carbon amount to about 1/10 of the original. I like the effects carbon does for fungi, and other stuff like that, growth. Though other reason for keeping skimmer online is the amount I paid for the supersize ATB.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RkyRickstr View Post
    I have been in this hobby for fifteen years. Have tried just about everything and was so happy when I found the scrubber. I'd made this hobby so much more enjoyable and I'm very thankful to sm for promoting it.

    That being said, I'm a little frustrated with recent developments. Last time I checked the scrubber is a form of filtration and a very effective one. You measure a filters performance by the results. Your n, p and debris is low your filter is effective. If not then you wasted your money.

    When did we become an algae growing community? Why does it matter how much algae I get? Why does it matter what color it is? We need to start seeing results. I don't need a video on how to harvest. It's not rocket science. You grab it and dump it. I need a video that says this is my growth and THESE are my TEST RESULTS.

    My ats was my ONLY form of filtration on my 120 over a year. My 60 over 8mo and is still going strong. My tank crashed during hurricane sandy and my ats handled the cycle beautifully. I have yet to find someone running a tank on a UAS only. All of the tests from reputable hobbyists have come back the same. It grows algae but it doesn't get nutrients where we want them.

    I gave it a try, a bunch of people in my local club did, some people in this forum did and we all get the same results? Where is the proof that this thing works? Because you post pictures and it has algae attached? My rocks had algae. Heck let me throw some nori in the tank and it should filter!

    We are driving people away from trying the ats. Not only that. We are deceiving people. There is no clear definition of what an effective scrubber is anymore.

    We had PROVEN by trial and error many things.

    Eg.:

    Dump bucket style: not effective
    Horizontal scrubber: not effective
    Single sided: less effective
    Vertical waterfall double sided: very effective.

    Tons of thanks running them with similar results, low to very low nutrients.


    As of right now there is no proof that the UAS works. Please let's start posting results of tests, what other kinds of filtration we have, size of tank vs size of scrubber.

    These are the kinds of things we need to show the hobbyist that is looking for a scrubber so that he or she can make an informed decision on what scrubber to buy or build.

    I ran my 29 gal. system with a handmade UAS - with approx. 6 X 5" of surface area with red and blue LED's for about 5 months.

    Found that the Nitrates always measured 0 and Phosphate was at .03 to .10 depending on the day.

    I have had a large outbreak of hair algae and bryopsis in my Display tank that I am fighting.

    3 Weeks ago I added an additional single sided waterfall scrubber with an additional 4 X 8" of surface with an LED floodlight of 20 Watts. Red/Blue mix.

    The Nitrates are at 0 the phosphate now is at .01 to .03 - still have hair algae and bryopsis, but it seems to slowly going away and not growing back as fast.

    The upflow scrubber seemed to work fairly well growing algae. It certainly was easy to put into my sump - just a bubble bar, a piece of plastic screen [roughed up per instructions] some plastic ties to hold the bubble bar and the screen together and a magnet to hold it to the side of the sump.

    I have pulled out about a cup of algae [wet] from the DT each week for the last 2 weeks by hand.

    I am not sure what is actually going on here, the UAS by itself didn't seem to make a dent in the algae growth in the DT or reduce Phosphate much.

    It may work very well for a smaller tank.

    I feed about 1/2 to 1 cube of food daily -

  4. #4
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    SM, I think you need to read the OP again. Ricky wasn't asking for a generic list of testimonials about scrubbers in general, he was asking people to post their specific experience with UASs. You can weed that long post down to about the first 10 testimonials because the rest are all talking about non-UAS scrubbers.

  5. #5
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    Read the last two testimonials again SM. why is the success down to algae? And pretty sure Reeftanker on MFUK is no longer running one.

  6. #6
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    I don't need testimonials. I don't even know if they are real. I want to see the thread. See what other forms of filtration they use. See pictures. I don't think we have a single thread on this site like that. Other than buds thread that shows it failed and proved the waterfall again. The rest are all pics of algae growth... Useless.

  7. #7
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    Rky - never seen one that works. SM still sells then though.

  8. #8
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    I agree that all quoted posts should really include the link to the actual thread where the statement was made. But the problem then is that it becomes difficult to broadcast-post that across 100+ different forums in an effort to spread the word, because some forums block hyperlinks or only allow a finite amount.

  9. #9
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    Whatever man. Im done.

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