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Thread: Finally back with a new scrubber

  1. #31

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    Found them. 2x 45w cfl in position temporarily with temporary reflectors. Hopefully this will now give the screen the kickstart it needs.


  2. #32
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    Ah the good ol days of big cfl's

  3. #33

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    So a week after adding the cfls and the difference is like night and day (excuse the pun)







    I appear to have a little bit of a flow problem, so all cleaned out today with a toothbrush. Hopefully it will stay flowing well for the next 7 days. Double the amount of product produced this week, so here's to the next few weeks' harvests.

    Mark

  4. #34
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    Much better. What you are getting now is the thin growth layers of over-sized screens. They work fine but usually don't have enough nutrients to grow thick across the whole screen.

    If you want you can cut the screen vertically to make it about 30% smaller, then tape up the remainder of the slot. This will give more flow and concentrated growth in front of the light.

  5. #35

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    It's a 4' system still with quite high no3 and po4 readings (need some new tests to give a good reading), presumably leaching out from the 5 year old or so rock. This size screen is roughly what i was using last time on a 3' system and gaining 200g per week growth. Could it really be that a smaller screen is needed for a bigger system with more livestock? I was thinking it is because the bulb is quite close to the screen and the water flow still hasn't been tweaked enough yet. Also, the bulb positioning favours the right hand side of the screen (top pic) as the bulb isn't as long as the screen, so less light is being reflected onto the screen. I also seem to remember having to use some iron fertiliser as well.

  6. #36
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    Ok then it's probably just too slimy to growth thick.

  7. #37

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    So, new Salifert test kits. No3 25 and Po4 1.

    When I started with this back in December, No3 was 25 and Po4 was 0.5, so I am going backwards at the moment with the phosphate. I was also vodka dosing and using a skimmer when I started, I stopped the vodka, so maybe I need to restart that again to help drop the nutrients down again, then hopefully the gunk will go and proper growth begin. I'm sure I used to have a higher flow rate on my original, but don't have that info any more, i'm sure back at the time more flow was better, it seems to have changed now.

    The dosing will have to wait as I am away with work next week, also the screen will be about 12 days old by the time I get back. Let's see what happens now! I have also added some iron fertiliser to try and help the green, just hope it doesn't get skimmed out!

  8. #38
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    1.0 phosphate will certainly get you dark slime. This still filters well, see below. If you get it harvesting enough, you should not need to dose. Iron is not the problem with dark slime; that's only the problem with yellow growth. Doesn't hurt though.

    ---


    Sometimes people see lots of pictures of green-hair-algae packed scrubbers, and then worry when their own scrubber is only growing slime. Well, here is some good news: slime pulls out more nutrients from the water than GHA does! And this goes for dark, and especially black, colors of slime.

    Now this may sound the opposite of what you have heard. But think about it: Scrubbers usually start off growing slime first. Why? Because nutrients in the water are usually higher when a scrubber is first installed on a "problem" tank. So, slime can handle larger amounts of nutrients at one time. This slime starts off first, coating the surfaces, and quickly pulling nutrients out of the water. If nutrients in the water are higher, the slime is darker, which is even more dense with nutrients. As nutrients in the water come down, the slime then grows less dark. Interestingly, the slime coating also prevents GHA from attaching. Slime is king! So why then does everyone get lots of GHA, if slime works so well?

    Because slime can't hold on. Slime is all about holding nutrients; not about holding onto surfaces. Holding onto surfaces requires growing cellulose structures that can hold on better. Cellulose structures like the roots and branches of trees don't do any filtering but hold on great; the leaves do all the filtering of the air. But leaves can't hold on to the ground, so the roots do that instead. In algae, the softer structures like slime do the filtering, but can't hold on. So GHA evolved a more solid structure to be able to hang on. Bryopsis takes this even further with "roots" that dig into rocks to get nutrients from inside them. Even GHA has the ability to use enzymes to dissolve into silica rock as a way to anchor itself. But slime just has trouble holding on.

    Slime holds on best to rocky flat surfaces, like our Green Grabber rocky textures. Slime does not hold on that well to plastic screens like those used in waterfalls. So rocky texture scrubbers will pull nutrients out faster, and stay covered in slime longer, thus providing better filtering in high nutrient water.

    But all slime washes away if not harvested soon enough, such as every 3 to 5 days. So to get the benefits of slime, especially black slime, harvest as soon as the surfaces are covered. This usually involves brushing under running tap water. This will pull nutrients out of the water so that GHA can subsequently attach and grow.

  9. #39

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    Wow, that was a comprehensive answer and has given me info that I didn't know before. I knew slime came fast, but didn't realise the slime filtered better, I always though the goal was the turf.

  10. #40
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    GHA is easier to deal with, and more fun to look at, and you can feed it to fish, so it's generally preferred. But yes if you deal with the slime more frequently you can get good filtering from it.

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