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Thread: Undergravel UAS

  1. #11

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    Before resetting the tank up last week I covered the 15 watt scrubber with JB weld. To my surprise, light still comes through. It's not as much, but it's certainly not catching all the light. I also took out the fry nursery and cleaned any algae, green and brown, from the display tank.

    The 30 watt scrubber filled in a lot.
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    I completely scraped the 15 watt scrubber, and this is what grew back this week.
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    What's interesting is the growth is on the opposite the side where the lights are. It makes me wonder if 15 watts of leds is too bright still.

    Even though in the scrubber the algae looks really slimy, and it is, but when it breaks off and floats around the tank it looks more like hair. Lots breaks off when I removed the scrubber for cleaning.
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    Here's a picture of the tank.
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    Another with the scrubber lights on.
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    I still need to do something about the light and aesthetics now that I know they do the job of growing algae.

  2. #12
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    FW algae is very slimey and thin hairs. And 15 watts of LED on one area is quite a bit.

  3. #13

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    Well I went on vacation for 2 weeks. It ended up being almost 3 weeks since the last scrubber clean out. The fish had an automatic feeder that was overfeeding them, I'm not sure there would have been this much growth if I had been hand feeding them.

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    The only downside is quiet a bit of the algae broke off from the scrubber and floated into the tank. It did come right off with a gravel vacuum attached to a small power head, so it definitely wasn't attached to or growing on the rocks. I also wiped down all the glass with a white paper towel, and only little bit of brown algae came off. I think most of it was growing on the silicone in the corners.

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    The tank has been set up for almost 6 months. It's been nearly 8 weeks since there has been a water change in my 21 gallon tank with 8, 2" fish in it. The only filters I'm running is the lava rock and the algae scrubbers that pull water from under the gravel. The fish are healthy and active, and the water parameters you can see for yourself.

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    I'd say the scrubbers are a success and I'm pretty happy with the setup. The only complaint I have is that the red light comes through the fiberglass. I'm thinking about redoing the up tubes with a ~2-3" black abs pipe that will contain the light.

  4. #14
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    Good work.

  5. #15

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    No sir, good work to you. You were the pioneer, all I did was read up and reinvent the wheel you created. Thank you for your help.

  6. #16

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    Doing my weekly clean up. This is what the fresh water algae looks like still in the water. At this point, there is almost as much algae growing on the fiberglass as there is on the screen.

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  7. #17

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    Long term update.

    I painted the scrubbers with the black spray paint for plastic. That worked really well to contain the glow.

    I also removed the 15 watt scrubber. I didn't have the bio load to need two scrubbers and the lower power one never really took off.

    The algae that grows now looks nothing like the green hair algae in the previous post. Its very dense and grows almost exclusively on the fiberglass right next to each light. The knitting mesh used to be completely covered with algae, now it's reduced back to just a few patches right in front of the lights. It makes me wonder about the previously believed best distance for spacing the light from the screen. It would appear that anything more than about 1/2 the size of a quarter from the light will eventually be starved out and have no light, at least in my scrubber anyway.

    I'm still very happy with the algae and lava rock as a sole filter source. It was almost 6 months since a water change with 11 fish ~2-3" in length for a ~21 gallon tank. The only thing I didn't like was the substrate (lava rocks) was fairly large. I lost several fry that went down in rocks never to return. It also trapped some detritus below the filter that apparently wasn't a problem for the water quality, but it was impossible to get at without taking down the whole tank. If I do another one, I'd use ~3" black abs pipe for the scrubbers, and either break the lava rock into smaller pieces or use some other type of small rock.

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    A few weeks ago I took the tank down. I have decided to try a salt water tank. I didn't want to have air bubbles causing salt creep, so I've done a redesign. Stay tuned for an update on my in tank waterfall scrubber next.

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  8. #18
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    When you removed the larger scrubber, the remaining nutrients were high for the remaining scrubber and thus grew darker slime. This darker slime blocked the light quicker, and formed rings.

    With the waterfall, you'll still need to protect was salt spray where the water drains down.

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