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Thread: Freshwater Algae scrubber help

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2021

    Freshwater Algae scrubber help

    Hi everyone!

    I started an algae scrubber on a slightly overstocked freshwater 150 gallon tank with a 38 gallon sump. Im in the process of getting a 300 gallon tank to upgrade.

    My question is i have a 300 screen now 600 illuminating front and back that i have running at 35gph over my sump. My problem is that I seem to have hair or slime algae growing and as this is a waterfall it starts to disconnect and fall into the sump. I have set up screens to catch this before damaging the pumps. I seeded it with some hair algae 3 weeks ago the screen is completely covered in green. I think i see some thicker sports of algae. I dont see a massive drop in nitrates yet.

    How long before it starts denting nitrates?
    Will it always be producing slimey hair algae?

    I have 150 watt grow light on each side running 24/7. Algae is a bright healthy green and grows extremely fast

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Welcome. When algae let go it's because the roots are dying from lack of flow or light; so clean more often, including down into the screen holes, and move the lights closer if you can.

    This extra light, and thinned-out growth, will allow more light and flow to reach the roots to keep them alive longer. When scraping clean you should not see light brown hay-color below; that means it died. You should probably be cleaning every 5 days.

    Freshwater usually always makes long slimey green hair (spirogyra or cladophora), and that is the main problem with waterfalls in freshwater.

    If your screen is 30 x 10" = 300 square inches, and it fills up every 5 days for you to scrape off, your nitrate will probably drop 5.0ppm each week or so depending on your feeding and if you are doing water changes.

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