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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building and testing an algae "scrubber" and thought I'd keep a record.

I think it has been about 12 days since I set up the ATS for my 80 gallon freshwater tank. I harvested one of the 6 pads today and got a good sized pile of mixed algae. Maybe 4 - 6 grams wet. I mixed it with a little top quality fish food, water and agar in a pot on the stove top. It made about 4 days worth of gel food for my goldfish.

I was a bit surprised to see algae growing on the glass again after cleaning it at the start. I was hoping it would not grow there anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
day 13?

am seeing long hairlike algae. this is what i am after; spiro and similar green hair. Most is brown, likely due to photolimit induced die back. a small tuft growing on a low two dimensional grid is pure green. This is exactly what i want. i think the light is lower here but it may also have something to do with bacteria having less substrate on this media versus the pad media or the depth of water and or lower current caused by being recessed lower than the surrounding pads. the bac may have speeded initial growth but then overrun the algae on the pads. score one for 2d plates vs. 3d pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
if it is due to the lower light the difference is about 1/4 inch further away from the light, so the light is indeed dropping off very drastically in short distances from the bulb as i was advised it would. A very small margin of height adjustment capacity built into the unit would suffice for fine tuning light levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The device may well benefit from a mechanism which allows for the water depth to be adjusted.perhaps via a vertically sliding drain pipe serving as an overflow dam.
 

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subscribed. are you doing this to control nitrates or to control algae in the tank itself
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To control Nitrates. But I am open to discovering whatever applications may exist. I was led to believe ATS could control tank algae but now think that is inaccurate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I must say that watching tis stuff grow is very interesting. It is very different every day. People who like "pearling" would be surprised. It is often almost completely covered in large O2 bubbles. I may have to be careful about O2 oversaturation. I read that ~110% can kill fish by giving them a stroke via O2 bubbles passing through the gills. Gassing O2 out and CO2 in is my main question right now.
 

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How is your Nitrates tracking? and some pics would be cool:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unfortunately I was hasty and didn't test my nitrates before it was up and growing, but they were always accumulating and are gone now. I will stop and restart with proper testing sooner or later. Let me see about getting some pics...
 

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????? update
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Toms post gave me a lot to think about. My algae is growing as we'll as expected but I am going back to the drawing board with the design in order to increase production rates . Emergent or floating Plants outperform algae and a plant filter is a better choice for an easy way to export nutrients but algae has certain qualities which make it better suited to certain applications. I will post more when I get to a real keyboard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So why am I doing this if I know that plants export more nutrients? Because I want a compact filter. I have an excellent design in mind for a plant filter and I will build it someday. It will consume more nutrients than anything else possibly could, but it will be both bulky and complex compared to my algae filter. Macro algae (as opposed to green water) is very good at exporting nutrients but is limited by being stuck to a surface in a thin layer where as plants grow in three dimensions. This is both a weakness and a strength. You would have trouble designing a plant filter as small as my algae filter. My algae filter may not be as powerful as a plant filter, in theory, but it can be engineered to produce close enough to the same export rate to be fully effective and, in reality, can be made smaller than a plant filter. Smaller tech is better tech, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The long green stuff finally kicked in and WOW! within 24 hours it was seversl inches long. That was yesterday, today it can be pulled out in foot long slimy noodles. I am reconsidering allowing the fish to eat it. I bet they have the sense not to eat toxic forms (I will look into it) and think I the one non toxic species will dominate anyway. I am really stoked about my new design. I can't wait to prototype it and am going to apply for a patent too.
 

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so how did u get algae to grow? i want to grow some and feed to my shrimp XD
 

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How long do you keep the lights on the scrubber? Ive read salt guys running them 24/7 on their scrubbers. Post a pic of your setup.
 
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