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Thread: My new/first scrubber

  1. #1

    My new/first scrubber

    I am lucky/unlucky? enough to be working as an aquarium maintenance tech. Love the work, but it is not very lucrative. Anyway, I have a couple of tanks on my route that are hugely overloaded with fish, and underfiltered. Of course the client doesn't want to spend much/any money to improve them at this time. The setup this is for is a dual tank setup, one side is a reef, the other is a fowlr. Each tank is around 150 gallons. The fo has a large lion, a gigantic vlamingi tang, a couple of other large tangs, and a 2ft snowflake eel. The reef has around 15 fish, most small, with a couple medium sized tangs and kleins butterflies, I know, I know, not reef safe. But the owner likes them in there, for now.

    Filtration consists a generous amount of live rock in each tank, a filter sock, and a skimmer. The skimmer is a Euroreef model, not sure which. It uses a sedra 5000, and has a 4 inch neck. The tanks both share the same sump, which is a standard 75 gallon tank.

    The screen will be lit on each side, and measures 20" x 12", I know it is a bit undersized by the recommendations made in the FAQ section. I will light it with 2 23w cfl bulbs on each side. Do you guys think that will be enough to make a significant difference on this setup? I visit there every week, and could probably pop in 2x if needed to quickly scrape the mesh. It is my understanding that more intense lighting can maximize efficiency, will additional flow help also?







    That's not the sump, obviously, but just to show how it will be mounted. It will be plumbed from the return pump which has flow to spare, I will use a valve to be able to adjust the flow.

  2. #2
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    Re: My new/first scrubber

    First, can you clarify how you are attaching the screen..

  3. #3

    Re: My new/first scrubber

    I installed it today, decided to leave the lights on 24hrs./day for the first several days anyway. The screen is held by zip ties that are just pushed through the screen. The pvc is grooved top and bottom. I just have to pull the ties and drop the screen out the bottom to clean it. I had a brain fart and cut the slit on the wrong side of the pvc to begin with. Rather than start over I just cut another slit, figured if it pushed some water out the top, it would still end up running down the screen eventually.

  4. #4
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    Re: My new/first scrubber

    Well at 240 square inches for a 300 gal predator tank, it's kinda small but at least you have a filter sock and skimmer. The problem is the lighting. 46 total watts won't do anything on this setup. Average filtering need to be 150 watts, and strong filtering (needed for highly fed tanks) needs to be 300 watts. So don't even try it unless you can do 150 watts; you would be better off using the space for some GFO, or maybe dose some vodka, or use pellets. All kinda depends on how important the corals are... they are the things to look out for.

  5. #5

    Re: My new/first scrubber

    There are two bulbs on each side, 92 watts. It is installed and running, the sump space wasn't being used for anything before, so I'm not really out anything. If nothing else, I will start learning more about scrubbing.

    Not sure I understand your wattage recommendation, it seems that how efficiently you get the light to the screen would play a big role in determining the needed wattage. An example of this would be the octagonal scrubber that my next scrubber will be patterned after.

    The next one will be an acrylic cube, probably about 10" x 10" x 10". There will be a single sided pad on each side, plus one on the bottom with a cutout for a drain, If my math is right, it should be big enough for around a 200 gallon tank. I also plan on running it with only one central bulb inside an acrylic cylinder to keep it dry. This design will use all the light available from the bulb, in 5 of the 6 planes anyway. Maybe I will make a reflector for the top to redirect the light escaping from the top as well.

    Thanks SM for all the work you have put in on these, and for being willing to share it with the rest of the aquarium community. I remember reading about it a couple years ago and all the flaming that went on in some of the other forums, kudos to you for sticking with it. Obviously after this long, if it didn't work I wouldn't be able to read about it on this forum.

  6. #6

    Re: My new/first scrubber

    After 4 days the scrubber mat was starting to grow algae, I seeded the mat with a little of algae from my sump at home. I will be there Monday morning and will take a couple pics. Hopefully N and P will start dropping soon.

  7. #7
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    Re: My new/first scrubber

    Not sure I understand your wattage recommendation, it seems that how efficiently you get the light to the screen would play a big role in determining the needed wattage
    It's patterned after how most people build their scrubbers.

    The next one will be an acrylic cube, probably about 10" x 10" x 10". There will be a single sided pad on each side, plus one on the bottom with a cutout for a drain, If my math is right, it should be big enough for around a 200 gallon tank.
    Yep. With at least 100 watts, preferabley 200.

    Hopefully N and P will start dropping soon.
    After you've cleaned of 3 full screens...

  8. #8

    Re: My new/first scrubber

    Here are the tanks, you can see some of the big fish,..




    and some test results.

  9. #9
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    Re: My new/first scrubber

    Ok those fish aren't all that big, so it kinda depends on how much you feed the eel. I feed my one silverside per week, but my 200 watts of scrubber could probably handle 5 per week, on top of the fish food and coral feeding. So if your screen is rough enough, you should be ok in about 5 cleaned screens.

  10. #10

    Re: My new/first scrubber

    Here is two weeks of growth, this is the first time I have scraped it. Now that it is filling in, can I expect it to start growing more rapidly? I am going to swap a couple of the 23w cfl bulbs for 40 watters on one side this next week as well to see what kind of impact that will have.

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