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Thread: New to Algae Turf scrubbers

  1. #1

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    New to Algae Turf scrubbers

    I'm new to Algae Turf scrubbers. I ran an upflow scrubber for about 2 weeks. It was 6"x6" and I ran a household CREE Led [18 watt, 6000k color]. I seeded it with hair algae from a friend's tank. It grew well for about a week. Then the growth turned really dark and black. I returned the LED after learning the color temperature was wrong. I ended up using the funds from the LED bulb to get CFLs [24 actual wattage, 2700k color]. I made a new screen, and made a waterfall ATS using a 225gph pump. The pump only has 1' of head. It's been running for about 6 days now. The roughed area of the screen is 7"x7", and is lit on each side by one cfl about 4" away from the screen. It's been running for 5[10/20/2014 11:30am CST start] days, and has some growth on it, but It seems light colored to me. My lights are on for 18 hours a day, a slightly overlapping opposite light cycle as my display.

    My system is a 40b display with a 20g sump with about 10-15 gallons in it. I have 8 bubble tip anemones, 2 cinnamon clownfish, and 2 dalmation mollies. Lots of Zoas and a monti-cap. I want to feed the nems heavily which is why I started the ATS. When i Started the ATS my Nitrates were at 40ppm, which I consider unacceptably high. I've done a couple of water changes and brought it down to 20ppm and it's stayed there for the past 3 days, but that is still high. My phosphates have stayed at undetectable levels before and since adding the ATS.

    Growth day 1:
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    Growth day 2:
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    Growth day 3:
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    Growth Right now [10/25/2014 4:04am Central time US]:
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    Does it look ok? It's obviously growing something, but Is it the right something?

    I read you should clean it every 7 days, whether you think you need to or not, is that accurate?

    Do I need to change anything or just leave it alone? Should I wait until there's plenty of growth before cleaning it?

    Thanks for the replies! I appreciate it! =D

  2. #2
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    Welcome.

    The upflow you started with had too little light, compared to the amount of nutrients it was starting to pull out (lots of nutrients = dark). If you would have kept it going, nutrients would have come down in the water, and the growth would have gotten more green. Or you could have increased the light to make this happen sooner. Also the white LED light you used has shown in the past to grow very poorly; thus, the scrubber had almost no light at all; the light should have been 660 nm red, or a plant-grow LED.

    For the waterfall, it has enough light: 48 real watts on 48 sq inches of screen. This light probably has ten times the amount of red in it compared to the white LED you had, so it will grow well.

    Let it go another week then take it to the sink and scrape the slime off; clean the water slot, and run another 10 days.

    Continue 18 hours.

  3. #3

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    Thank you, I'll update in ten days.

  4. #4

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    I noticed you said to clean it off after a week. It's been about a week I don't really see a difference. I took these pictures before scraping the sludge off. Does this growth look ok? I'm going to let it go another ten days like advised.


    [first two are without the back light on, third is with the back light on.]
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  5. #5

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    Now that I look at the images side by side, I definitely see a difference.

  6. #6

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    This is what it looked like post cleaning.
    With flash
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    Without:
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  7. #7
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    In another 10 days it should have a good bit of green growing.

  8. #8

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    It's day nine. I plan on cleaning the scrubber off tomorrow.

    I'm having a bit of a dinoflagellete problem in my display, it isn't horrific but It's annoying and I'm not quite sure how to combat it. I'm assuming once the scrubber is established the Dinos will die off.

    Also, my nitrates are rather high now [40ppm] and I'm not feeding very heavy at all. Should I be feeding heavy now? or wait until I have more growth on the screen?

    Here's the screen as of right now:
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    When I clean it should I scrape it down to the white, or should I just kind of brush off the non-green growth and leave the green growth? Does it look normal for a little over two weeks of growth? Also, I rinsed it in tap water last time I cleaned it, is this ok?

  9. #9
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    Are you sure you really roughed the screen? It is growing like you did not; only some growth sticking.

    When you clean, re-rough with a hole saw or wood saw, so the square holes are almost filled in with plastic fuzz. Then run another 10 days and it should have much more green.

  10. #10

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    Yeah.It's really rough. It's prickly on both sides, like a cactus. I can try to rough it up more though.

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