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Thread: How often should I clean my scrubber

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    How often should I clean my scrubber

    Hi
    I have built and set up my algae turf scrubber 9 weeks ago and have been doing weekly cleanings
    But I havent as yet been getting much green ie no turf
    I have been told from another fellow reefer who has informed me after seeing my pics that I needed to up my flow and to place my lights further away from the screen ie 4inches away and to cut down on my feedings ( I was feeding 2 cubes of frozen food per day) so I now only feed 1 cube a day plus to reduce my lighting period I had my lights on for 18hrs per day to now 9 hrs per day as all of these things will help and speed up the process

    My tank is as follows
    Display tank is a 300 ltr with 5 fish at the moment and some soft and hard corals
    My sump is a 65ltr and im still using my deltec mce600 hang on skimmer
    Lights on my screen are 2 hydroponic flood lights lit on each side these are the type from china
    Click image for larger version

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    My nutrient levels are as follows
    NO2 0
    NO3 0
    PO4 0.12ppm

    Reason for building and running my scrubber is to hopefully get rid of some cyno within my display tank
    as I have tried all of the other methods phos reactor with gfo etc to no avail

    Below is some pictures taken of my algae scrubber screen taken from week 1 to present

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    This last pic taken today left for 10days
    Should I clean this now or leave till it builds up
    Click image for larger version

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    I await your opinions and sugestions
    Should I clean every week or let it build up
    Should I move my lights nearer to the screen or not
    Should I up my lighting period a bit more or leave as it is ie 9 hrs on
    Should I revert back to my feeding of 2 frozen foods a day or leave as 1
    ]
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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  2. #2
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    Welcome from UK.

    What you have is a good example of a screen too big for your nutrients. There are not enough nutrients for the algal strands to build the length to grow outwards from the screen. This happens to a lot of people.

    Since it's already built, the quickest fix is to reduce screen size by half, vertically, by cutting the screen and by sealing up the remaining pipe slot. This will concentrate growth in a smaller area and allow the algal strands to grow longer and outwards. You can always un-seal the slot and go back to full size later if needed.

    Keep the light unchanged for now, so that you only change the screen size.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Welcome from UK.

    What you have is a good example of a screen too big for your nutrients. There are not enough nutrients for the algal strands to build the length to grow outwards from the screen. This happens to a lot of people.

    Since it's already built, the quickest fix is to reduce screen size by half, vertically, by cutting the screen and by sealing up the remaining pipe slot. This will concentrate growth in a smaller area and allow the algal strands to grow longer and outwards. You can always un-seal the slot and go back to full size later if needed.

    Keep the light unchanged for now, so that you only change the screen size.
    Santamonica thank you for your reply my screen size is 10inches across so if I cut it down by half will 5inches of screen be enough Chris

  4. #4

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    I have today cleaned the screen as I didn't want to leave it any longer question do I clean the cut down screen every week or do I leave till I get a better growth

  5. #5
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    Half would be 5 inches wide, by about 10 tall, which is 50 square inches. This is good for 4 cubes a day when lit from both sides.

    You want to clean every 7 to 14 days.

  6. #6

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    Ok thanks for that ive just cut down a scrubber that I made earlier and have made it to the specs you have quoted ie 5inches across and 10 inches down
    Ive had to also replace my pump as the other one was to powerful for this shorter one and ive replaced it with a 2000ltr power head I had kicking around it is giving me a nice waterfall flow down the screen.

    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    As you can see from the pics I will have to start again as the screen is clean

    Question
    As I am having to start again so to speak do I still keep the lights at 4 inch away from the screen and still keep the 9hrs on and 15hrs off
    I will start tomorrow on the new feeding
    I will keep you updated on how I get on

    Chris

  7. #7
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    If you can, back the lights away to 6 inches. And go to 18 hours.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    If you can, back the lights away to 6 inches. And go to 18 hours.
    Ok I'll re adjust the timer for the lights back to 18hrs on I'm not able to back the lamps to 6inch thou as im limited for room within my sump 4inch is the furthest away I can go

  9. #9
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    Point the lights towards the bottom part of the screen then.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Point the lights towards the bottom part of the screen then.
    Ok I have cut my old screen to the size suggested and tilted the lamps down a bit so will see how it goes

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