The Eco-Wheel Aquarium Filter

Discussion in '3reef Radar' started by Matt Rogers, Dec 19, 2006.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I found this old diagram of the Eco-Wheel filter on my computer today. One of the more different designs for an aquarium filter to come along in a while in many regards.
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    [​IMG]
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    The Eco-Wheel Filter
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    I've seen one at a fish store on a display tank. It had the biggest PVC you've ever seen on an aquarium and one thing notable is the air-lift water return. And the wheel created a nice somewhat random surge in the aquarium. Although I did see some micro-bubbles. And speaking of the wheel, there was a light above it to encourage algae growth. A rotating algae scrubber of sorts.

    Here is an old thread: http://www.3reef.com/forums/product-review-archives/eco-wheel-32011.html

    Have you ever seen one of these in action?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
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  3. jonathan

    jonathan Aiptasia Anemone

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    sounds interesting...i'd like to see a picture...
     
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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  5. CodyW

    CodyW Spaghetti Worm

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    That is a pretty big shark for that little tank :eek:
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Typical trade show pic I think.
     
  7. CodyW

    CodyW Spaghetti Worm

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    Ahh didn't think of that. Never been to a trade show :(
     
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  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    It's standard fair since it's temporary. But we really can't see the length of that tank either to be fair.

    Anyway, what do you think of the filter Cody?
     
  10. CodyW

    CodyW Spaghetti Worm

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    Hmm, of the filter, good question. I guess I was getting off topic.

    I was just thinking, of course the filter would be full of sludge, look at the bio-load.

    I'm not into bio balls or bio wheels, I like the idea of very long term setups and those just seem to reach a climax sooner or later and eventually collapse (just from my school of thought). However the size of the wheel on this setup makes it really incomparable to most other setups.

    The pumpless setup is a huge selling point for me. Anything to offset the consumption rate of my lights makes me interested. Also it is all in one, and easily concealable with no sign of equipment, another plus for me.

    I would want to see it in person but I am also very skeptical of any piece of equipment out of what I see as necessary (skimmer and power heads mostly). I entered the hobby about the time of the eco aqualizer, so I can't really help but see a lot of equipment as snake oil, that's probably one of my biggest problems with the hobby.
     
  11. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    One of my LFS's used to run one of these on one of their display tanks. Frankly, I was amazed at how quiet it was. Additionally, I was amazed at how big it was too. This is NOT something that you would want in your living room. ;D This would be fine for someone with an inwall tank or a fish room.

    This is very much like an ATS (Algal Turf Scrubber) invented by Walter Adey. As opposed to using a macroalgae like Caulerpa, Chaeto, etc., it is using turf algaes because they are MUCH more efficient absorbers of nutrients. (That's why I always giggle to myself when someone installs a 10 gallon refugium filled with Chaeto to "starve out the hair algae" in a 90 gallon display tank).

    [​IMG] CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

    This is going to have the same benefits and same bad points as an ATS.

    Benefits:
    Natural Oxygenation of the water
    pH buffer if run off-cycle from the main tank
    It will absorb Nitrates, phosphates, Ammonium

    Downfalls:
    It is not effecient at exporting Dissolved Organic Compounds

    It will actually release some DOC's that wouldn't have been in the system had you not installed this unit.

    One of the DOC's it releases is called Gelbstoff (German) or Gilvus (Latin) which are basically a fancy way of saying "Ugly Yellow and Green stuff":)
    You would have to run a LOT of Carbon to keep your display tank clean and/or run all return water through an Ozone reactor. (I personally would do both).

    Many higher algaes reproduce via sporulation. Most turf algaes primarily reproduce via abscission which is a fancy way of saying fragmentation.
    Because we have no choice but to harvest the turf algae if we want a nutrient export, and we know that fragments can become new turf algaes in the display tank, I would also run all return water through a massive UV Filter as well to nuke any fragments.

    In short, I have no desire to own one of these. I would have to buy an oversized UV Filter to prevent fragments of the turf algae from making it to the tank. I would have to build a Carbon Reactor and an Ozone reactor so my display tank is clear water as opposed to yellow/green. The concept is intriguing IMO but it works best when it's left as a concept.

    The obvious argument against my summary would be, you've never used one so what makes you so sure that is going to happen. I cannot say for sure. In fact, I don't even know why my LFS removed theirs. I can say this. Walter Adey has experienced major hair algae and green water at 5 or 6 public aquariums using this technology. I've also been to the only place still using ATS technology (Inland Aquatics) 10~12 times and they have green water and hair algae out the wazoo. The public aquariums that started with this technology aren't using it anymore. They are using massive protein skimmers, carbon, ozone towers, etc. I'm more than happy to stay with my protein skimming and carbon.

    EDIT:
    While I was sincere in not wanting this on one of my tanks, I want to point out that Adey's research was not in vain.

    Some people took his concept of utilizing turf algaes for nutrient export and have SUCCESSFULLY used this technology in eutrophic lakes and waterways that are already loaded with algaes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006
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  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I just want to say your post is great. I like your breakdown and you covered a lot of big stuff in a way that is easy to understand. That helps people like me. :)

    I hope everybody take a moment to read that.

    You bring up an excellent point about turf algae that I had forgotten regarding absorption rates. If you dig up some really old posts of mine you will find a few about ATS during a phase in which I was obsessed about it. I vividly remember the video from Inland Aquatics. I wanted that kind of surge in my tank bad.

    I don't know that I would go as far as you if I had an Eco-Wheel, but I certainly would put a skimmer on it. Another good point though on the yellow water.

    Karma your way!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2006