algae scrubber vs wet/dry

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by reef_guru, Jan 14, 2008.

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  1. reef_guru

    reef_guru Humpback Whale

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    an algae scrubber is an offset hinged tray, plastic mesh, algae, that fills with water, when the level reaches a certain point the tray dumps the water, the tray goes pivots back to the start position and starts all over again. the algae scrubber also has a light above it.

    an algae scrubber can double as a wavemaker if placed above the main tank. so, would the use of an algae scrubber be more beneficial than a wet/dry? could you replace the wet/dry with the algae scrubber?
     
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  3. Otty

    Otty Giant Squid

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    There is some of these running at Inland Aquatics on some tanks and one of them has only had 1 water change in 12 years and it's the only filtration on the tank. I went there with Curt (Inwall) and his local reef club. Pretty neat set up, just need the space for it.
     
  4. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    I have ran one for many yrs not the rocking type but a solid weir trough type about 12 inches wide and 2 ft long with a sheet of grey PVC shower pan liner then pull that out and add a fresh one as needed to export waste .. water changes are way over rated LOL I think.. My last 135 at Home in Va. is still up and running strong since 97 maybe 96 or earlier ? Son said all is well still.. That one also has a flush bucket about 8 gallons every 5 mins..
     
  5. JasonSquared

    JasonSquared Spaghetti Worm

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    I am all in favor of NOT using a wet dry. They are nitrate sinks and very few people I know of use them anymore -they're not needed.

    But I am intrigued by this algae scrubber. I have heard of these, correct me if I'm wrong, but they were far more popular 10 years ago, but never really took off or got advanced past the DIY stage that I know of. Let me see if I am thinking of the same thing. Its a place where the algae (chaeto, caulerpa etc.) is grown in conditions that simulate shoreline conditions. So it gets wet, then it is dry... It's supposedly increases the the growth rate of said algae by emulating this atmosphere, and therefore increases the amount of nitrogen export?

    If you have any links or any other information, please share!

    I don't know how effective they would be as a wavemaker for 2 reasons. One,a mechanical failure would be disastrous. The other would be the noise.. Even the carlsons which are fairly quite, are too noisy to some. But to have gallons spilling into a tank would literally sound like an ocean wave crashing in your living room.

    Also I think that huge volume change in such a short period of time would be hard on the glass... Any true surge device is, but this would be especially hard.
     
  6. Otty

    Otty Giant Squid

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    Hopefully Inwall will chime in on this as he knows alot about this type of filtration.
     
  7. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    Nothing fancy about any I ever used as for when ? I set my first one up about 85 or so. While working on a system at a Museum display in D.C the two Dr's there designing the system had us to construct them one for a 5,000 display we where putting together for them.. They got me interested as a hobbyist and she totally explained it made good sense to me. I just did the math of the sq inch from a 5,000 to a 180 and went from there .. and its simple just a light source a spray like bar to supply water at the top of the inclined plate with a 2 inch lip on either edge and it just runs back into the sump as the algae covers the mats I just pull it and replace and soak the covered on in bleach ans water until clean.. about a 100 sq inch per hundred gallons and on about a 10 to 15 deg. incline and about 10 GPH over the plate or about or 5 GPH per 100 sq inches.. I also have my mats set up so that a single strip at the very top always stays in place so as to seed the new mat. that strip is about 3 inches long and as wide as the tray.

    I find a well set up refugium to actually do more then a algae scrubber if its sized and flowed properly.. Less is more..
     
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  9. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    Otty just courious how large is that scrubber at the place you visited ? In rough sq ft or inches ??? always looking to refine my stuff to see where I'm at :)
     
  10. KOgle

    KOgle Zoanthid

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    I would disagree on wet dry filters being nitrate dumps. I have a home made one and have 0 nitrates for the past 6 months. Like everything else they just need routine maintenance. Otty can even attest for how crude mine looks...
    Otty did you see the scrubber at the place we got the powder browns last week? It was on the tank the two guys were cleaning in the back corner (the softie tank)
     
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  11. Otty

    Otty Giant Squid

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    He had quite a few, the smalles being on the back of a 180g being the length of the tank and the dump tray was about 10 to 12" wide. Now the ones in the back were about 8' long and about 4' wide dumping into a large tank. Once it filled up with water they would teter-totter back and forth dumping the water in the tank like a wave generator. It would go back and start filling up with water again until it reached a certain point then dump the water again. Not nice to look at but really done a nice job a filtering water.
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I agree with this. I consider the 'nitrate factory' type comments an Internet tumble weed. Many who repeat this have never used wet/drys. When I did aquarium maintenance back in the day, many of the tanks had wet drys and growing reefs. You need to replace the pre-filter pads above the balls with regular maintenance. I think wet/drys are especially good for softie and clam tanks. They add a lot of 0[SUB]2[/SUB] which should not be overlooked.

    Anyway, as for ATS, I was fascinated with them for a long time. You can find many details from me and inwall75 on this if you dig.

    Here is a pic of a commercial ATS filter that was sold on algaeturfscrubber.com for a while:

    http://www.3reef.com/forums/refugium/ats-algae-turf-scrubber-32396.html#post266199

    LIke most filters, I don't think they are the end all be all as problems surfaced with them on a commercial aquarium level. But I think that used in conjunction with a skimmer and regular maintenance they could have merit.
     
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