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Hi Masters of Aquatic Lore,
Ive been fascinated reading all I can find about the algae scrubbers. The concept of intentionally growing algae in a place seperate from but connected to the aquarium (as in a sump) so as to soak up nitrates and phosphates etc is especially amazing when you consider how easy and cheap it is to set up. From what I've read, it replaces water changes, biological filtration etc.
Although I don't intend to replace my filtration with the set up I'm planning, I want to get some wise words from you regarding using it with a planted aquarium. Your thoughts, warnings, ideas and suggestions?
Also I've read about Soilmaster as the principle (only?) substrate used with planted tanks, (as recommended by Tom Barr). My idea here is to sprinkle peat on an empty tank, add Miracle Gro as recommended by Diane Halsted (1/2 inch) and then 2 to 3 inches of Soilmaster. Your comments?
Thanks very much.
PS: This is a terrific site, many plant experts, gurus and mentors.
 

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got a friend trying the miracle grow. he has had good luck so far
i will try to get some more info from him
 

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The plants in the tank are going to suck up the nitrates and phosphates so there is no reason to have anything else competing with them for nutrients. Also conditions that are beneficial for plants are not for algae and visa versa.

Your idea is good for fish only tanks that are not compatible with plants and some sort of nutrient export is needed outside the tank. I've heard of folks putting floating pond type plants in their sump to do this.
 

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...Ive been fascinated reading all I can find about the algae scrubbers. The concept of intentionally growing algae in a place seperate from but connected to the aquarium (as in a sump) so as to soak up nitrates and phosphates etc is especially amazing when you consider how easy and cheap it is to set up. From what I've read, it replaces water changes, biological filtration etc. ...
Algae scrubbers have their place, and they can do a lot. Like everything else, they don't solve all your problems.

Consider also that while you may be trying to grow algae in a separate container, if the water is good for growing algae there, it can easily grow in other locations in the system.

Also, in a planted system the plants do a fantastic job or removing nitrates and phosphates. Once established, you'll be surprised at how much fertilizer you'll be adding to keep up with the demands of the plants.

So an algae scrubber isn't really needed. Save your money, time and effort.
 
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