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Thread: Appropriate Lighting

  1. #1

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    Appropriate Lighting

    I am quite new to saltwater keeping but I am convinced that an algae scrubber is worth a try first, especially since I have not picked out a skimmer yet. I hope to use as much natural filtration possible, and I need some help constructing an appropriate algae scrubber. I have a 210 gallon tank, so I am thinking to making the dimensions 10 inches by 24 inches since I could easily design my sump to fit that. I have also read that 1 watt is required for 1 gallon, so I was thinking 6 40watt bulbs, three on each side. I am confused as to which bulbs to buy though. There is a listed wattage and an equivalent wattage. Which one do I need to go with? For instance, it says something like, 40W equivalent soft white (2700K) CFL. Is that what I need or do I need to look for a 23W+ CFL (100W equivalent?) Also, if anyone could post pictures of a simple but very effective design I would appreciate any advice. Just to check, do most people use an algae scrubber and a protein skimmer? Or does an algae scrubber have the capacity to replace a skimmer all together? One of the things that is challenging for me is that my tank is not set up yet, so I have no idea about bio-load or feeding, I just thought I would try to construct the best possible algae scrubber and see how my system reacts to addition of livestock. I am open to adding a protein skimmer later, but I am very intrigued by this concept.

  2. #2
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    Welcome.

    Start here:
    http://algaescrubber.net/forums/show...-for-scrubbers

    Always use real watts, not equivalent.

    What will go in the tank?

  3. #3

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    I would like to set up the system so that I won't be limited in the future. I would like to keep corals of any difficulty, sps or other, and moderate amount of fish. So I'm guessing I'd like my filter to have the capacity to handle a medium to heavy bioload. Do you think the dimensions I provided (approx 240 sq inches) will be sufficient? Also, if I choose to use LED lights, what would be the appropriate watt per gallon? Are there any particular LEDs you would recommend? Also, what I am thinking is to use two screens, 10 by 12 each, and put the lights in the middle. That way, my area stays the same, but I will still have half of the filter during cleanings, not to mention, I'll have to use half the lights.

  4. #4
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    It then will just be a reef tank, which is not a heavy bioload unless you feed lots of coral food. Probably no more that 4 cubes a day of food. If you were going to feed the corals (especially for an NPS tank), there would be no limit to the feeding; you could feed as much as your filter would handle.

    So size your scrubber for 4 cubes, which is not a lot... 4 X 12 = 48 square inches of screen, or 48 square inches of floating growth compartment. Lights should be 4 X 12w = 48 real watts CFL minimum (24 per side, if a screen), or 24 watts red 660nm LED (12 per side if a screen). 50% more would be useful later.

    Now you need to figure out configuration: Waterfall, upflow, or floating.

  5. #5

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    I think I will go with waterfall. It seems to make the most sense for my system. How far do the LEDs need to be from the screen? Also, when I clean the algae off, does that upset water parameters for a while? With a scrubber, do I need to perform more frequent water changes than with a skimmer? Thank you for all the information, it is extremely helpful.

  6. #6
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    If you use wide-angle 120 degree 3watt LEDs, put them 3" away.

    Water should be ok between cleanings.

    No water changes are needed for filtering, once your scrubber is growing.

    Looking forward to the pics

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