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Thread: Help with overflow UAS

  1. #1

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    Help with overflow UAS

    What should the light cycle be with the t-shirt filter for one month? My tank is low nutrients/high nuisance algae. I have an overflow fed scrubber like the mix2. I have 52 watts total. I have the lights set at 18/6. No growth in 1.5 weeks. I hope I don't have too much flow but it looks like I need to do the t-shirt filter or change the light schedule but need to know what light schedule to use and if I should use a filter and if I should just use 26 watts instead of the 52? Thanks as always.

    I have attached pictures below of my 2 cfl work lights, 2 pictures of the flow and a picture of the current growth. I know the lights should work as I originally had them on the side of my sump for chaeto and I grew turf algae on the acrylic wall in front of the lights like crazy. For some reason all the pictures load upside down.

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  2. #2
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    Well, I can pretty much assume from the paths of the past that the MIX idea is completely untested. Not only that, I think it goes against the initial concept of the SURF idea, which was:

    First, the enclosed growth compartment increases the dwell time of the water and bubbles inside the unit so that they rub the algae many times before leaving the compartment. This actually reduces nutrients (nitrate, phosphate) to a level lower than the outside water, which allows greener growth to occur sooner (lower nutrients grows greener algae) inside the unit, especially in high-nutrient aquarium water. In other words, the SURF2 creates a lower-nutrient ecosystem inside itself which is different from the rest of the water in your aquarium.
    ...because you are now slamming the water through the thing. So that would be one problem, that is, if the above statement were indeed true (again, no published testing to prove that statement, it just sounds really good)

    Second, it took me a while to figure out what was going on from your pics but to me it looks like the scrubber box is at the water level/near the overflow and the CFLs are very far away. The light pretty much needs to be right at the top of the box. Of course this will cause all kinds of concerns like what happens when the power dies and the lamp gets submerged by sump water rising, and having a power socket that close to the water all the time in the first place.

    I think your growth box looks fine, I think light is your #1 problem and flow is possibly a factor (but unknown whether it is or not - technically, I think more flow would work better)

  3. #3
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    Can you give a better pic of the lights near the box, and maybe a vid of how many bubbles is being made? The water falling into the box needs be high enough that bubbles are made.

  4. #4

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    I will grab some more pictures when I get home. I actually have the scrubber under the overflow output from my external skimmer. So it's probably just as much flow as my overflow, but with thousands of bubble from the skimmer. But I can move the scrubber under the overflow if it's a bad idea to have it under the skimmer output. Just figure it would give me more bubbles while cutting out the microbubbles in my sump.

    Turbo you may be on to something with the lights. They are about 4" from the top of the box. But I was hoping the 52 watts would make up for the distance.

  5. #5
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    4" is probably good. And the small bubbles probably good too.

    You have a scrubber in your tank. It's one of the hardest situations to start a new scrubber. You can reduce display lighting, and remove the algae from the rocks; this will put more nutrients into the water for the scrubber to get.

  6. #6

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    Ok. Should I leave the lights on for 22 hours a day? I have no problem being patient for the next 2-4 weeks. Right now I'm sitting at .10 phosphates and 0 nitrates. As background I had a huge algea issue and then I added chaeto using the lights I'm using now. The chaeto grew but about an area 12x12" on the glass in front of the light grew thick turf algea. This last about 3 weeks then the turf started to die off and the chaeto stopped growing. So I removed it all from the wall and decided to try a scrubber for easier removal. I wonder if that initial huge growth ended up pulling out my excess nutrients. I will have to say that all I have left In the main display is bubble algea which is also starting to die.

    Maybe I should just be happy that my nutrient problem may finally be in control and keep the turf scrubber in place and give it time so it can grow if nutrients become a problem again. I only feed 2 pinches of flake a day and one cube every other day (12 small fish). I would like to get phosphates closer to 0 or 0.05 to give me some wiggle room.

  7. #7
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    Yes what you had was a large flow of nutrients into the chaeto. This was the easy, first amounts. As nutrients become less they will slow down.

    The more "scrubber" in the display you can remove, the more nutrients will be left in the water for your real scrubber to grab.

  8. #8

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    We'll I've been doing 22 hours a day. I am now getting algae growth but it is all brown. Should it be all green?

  9. #9
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    Most scrubbers start off brown.

  10. #10

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    Cool. I'll keep watching it, but I think it is working. How longer before it turns green?

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