Santa Monica100 Algae scrubber!!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Thatgrimguy, Aug 17, 2011.

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  1. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

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    I do care alot actually I just dont normally have much to say. I am a pro lurker. lol. Been wanting an ATS really bad just dont have the $$ for this one. Thinking about building one myself with the plans they offer. Also, do you have to introduce the hair algae? Looks like your just growing diatoms (which works but you can use up alot more 3D real estate with hair algae)
     
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  3. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon Fire Goby

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    I will say one thing though. a 2 bulb T5 for each side seems a bit overkill considering most DIY ATS's use just one low watt CFL.

    Comments?
     
  4. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    I almost agree with falcon. From your pics it looks like your not growing GREEN algae. It looks brownish/yellowish. On santa monicas forum he says that if you arent getting GREEN algae and its more yellowish or browning, then you have too much light. Then again it could be lack of nutrients?

    Anyways, thank you very much for doing this thread and updating it. I just started a DIY scrubber and this thread was nice to reference. Mine is going to be LED lit though, so we will see how it turns out.
     
  5. Caspian

    Caspian Coral Banded Shrimp

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    I've read that the dark black/brown is from Too much nutrients in the water... not sure really but that's whats been rumored.

    My micro ATS I'm going to build is based of the SM design but I'll be building two lighting boxes instead of spending the big $$$ on manufactured lights. Grab a few sets of t5 light ends a ballast that can support all 4 bulbs and wire her nice and tight. Of course I'll enclose the lights with a gasket and put the light boxes on some kind of hinge so changing bulbs will be easy. But I've heard great things about the SM ATS.

    Also when you harvest are you pulling all the algae off the screen or just half? because it's recommended that you only do like half? Also Lighting both sides is required or else you'll have to double the size of the screen. The math that i've pulled from the SM site is that you require a unit lit from both sides to = 1 square inch per gallon of water. While lighting from only one side requires 2 square inches.

    My original plan was to use LED's but after not really reading about the phase shift they go through, and not knowing enough about them; I decided I should go with what I know and wait till I bother to read more in to LED's =P
     
  6. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    I fully agree with the questions and statements about the growth. The first three weeks were really just a black sludge that I attributed to the fresh screen and high nutrient levels. (20 nitrate and unknown phosphate)

    This last week was definitely more than just diatoms. Looked like a weird slop more than anything else. I got with Santamoncia on his forum last night and was advised to let it grow for 14 days to allow the stringy algae to take hold. I was also advised to feed more. Currently I feed 1 cube of random frozen foods a half sheet of nori every day and 1ml of oyster feast every 3rd day or so.

    Really, I think the screen is still seeding. Don't forget that 4 weeks ago it was simply a white virgin coarse screen. I will not be cleaning it this Sunday and am going to see what happens. SM thinks that the diatoms that are still on the sandbed will vanish around day 10.
     
  7. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Lighting amount is simply a function of flow and screen roughness. You can handle more lighting with more flow, but you can't handle more flow without a coarse enough screen to hold the algae to keep it from falling off. I'm not getting bald spots from algae getting torn off the screen or burnt spots from not enough flow so I don't believe my lighting/flow ratio are far off. The more light you can provide should mean the more algae that can grow in a set period of time, increasing the efficency to size ratio of the screen (more filtering power in less space)



    The advise on cleaning half the screen at each cleaning is to keep the tank from going through swings. My nutrient levels and other filtration are strong enough that I'm not worried about it. If this was my only/primary form of filtration then it would be very important, in my situation it's not biggie really.

    Also, keep in mind, that tank size really has nothing to do with needed screen size. We just use that measure because it's easy to write. Really feeding amounts and waste levels (bioload) are the only determination. I feed my 210gallon less than some feed there 40breeders, the food amount is the main determination for needed screen size.

    Looking forward to seeing your build! I'm a big fan of algae scrubbers over using additives or chemicals.
     
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  9. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Check SM's youtube page. He is doing an experiment with LEDs now that is going really well!

    For me, if the 14day growth doesn't produce hair algae I'm going to start dosing small amounts of iron to help the growth.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  10. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    Sweet, ill check that out.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk
     
  11. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    Hey grim, do you have a link to sm's led experiment?

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk
     
  12. Reef4life

    Reef4life Feather Duster

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    Grim thanks for all the updates! I have been pondering between biopellets and this.. what do you think so far? What about the pod population? Have you had any luck growing pods in there?

    I am def subscribing to this! Thanks!