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Thread: Multiple scrubbers w/ staggered cleaning for stability?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Multiple scrubbers w/ staggered cleaning for stability?

    Question for the experienced folks...

    I am inclined to divide the scrubber area into perhaps three screens so that each cleaning only reduces the filtering capacity by one third. I'd like to mitigate the climb in nutrient levels caused by the sudden near-elimination of my sole export mechanism (no skimmer.)

    Will a freshly cleaned screen recover well while there are two screens with more robust growth at work, or will the more mature screens starve the freshly cleaned one? Do you think I might still be able to keep a 7 day cleaning schedule if I increased the screen size in excess of the size dictated by the feeding schedule in the hopes that the extra room would buy some time before die-off and leeching occurs? I'm guessing three weeks per screen might be stretching it unless the screens were significantly oversized. Just how much oversized and whether I'd be willing to pay the wattage to light it is the question. If that could work, how much of a size increase per week do you think would be a good starting point for testing?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    I always advise to have multiple scrubbers, and clean one at a time; there won't be any starving of the cleaned one.

    The more total growth you can keep going, the better. Waterfall and horizontal river scrubbers have about a 14 day limit though, before the lower layers die off; this is because each new layer mats down the old layers. Upflow scrubbers, because they are submerged and always swishing around, can go longer; they don't really mat down.

    If you want to automate, you could have a new scrubber screen not illuminated (only the water would be flowing) until a week or two before you wanted them to grow. Then their lights go on, and you get two weeks of growth from that time.

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