Algal Filtration In Reef Aquariums

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SantaMonica

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My understanding is the surface area, water flow, air flow for gas exchange, and lighting is best on the waterfall style

Surface area is simply what size you make it. Does not matter what style.

Water flow only needs to be "somewhat", to circulate nutrients. But water flow does not remove the boundary layer on the algae; this instead requires air/water turbulence interface.

Air flow is not so much for gas exchange, as it is to create air/water turbulent interface to remove the boundary layer on the algae. And for this, bubbles are best, followed by waterfall, followed by horizontal river (no dump bucket). If a dump bucket is used on a horizontal river, it becomes as effective as a bubble upflow (because of course, there are now bubbles).

Lighting is actually worse on a waterfall, because the growth mats down and blocks the growth. Blocks water flow too. This is why waterfalls get brown dead spots in the middle of the screen. A super strong focused light can help solve this, by over-lighting a middle part of the screen so growth does not grow there. Bubble upflows are always under water, so the water supports the growth and prevents matting down.

why not just put the roughed up screen material mounted horizontally

Yes it will work if the light is down there too. The challenge though is bubble spreading, which will leave grown areas as upside down islands with no more bubbles, just light regular islands on horizontal rivers. Better might be to just attach strings the eggcrate and let the bubbles and growth go upwards.

but with a normal powerhead aimed at the surface of the water creating waves.

If the screen is at the surface, this will work and will be someone of a cross between a horizontal flowing river and a dump bucket. Waves must be strong and reach the screen though.

My experience is that chaeto thrives even in a 4" thick mat.

Depends of course what you mean by thrive. The inside 3" is certainly lacking; it may not be brown yet, but it's very shaded. Shade does not generate much photosynthesis. It can probably hold it's shape, however, which is why you can pull it out in one piece. Just remember you need 5X the chato mass to equal biomass growth rates of rapid GHA growth.

Maybe the green from the warm white is what penetrates deeper

It might penetrate, but chlorophyll does not use green at all. Only red and blue. White is just for watching (and white LED's don't really have a full spectrum anyway; just a "trick" spectrum to fool your eyes. Doesn't fool algae though). Almost every time someone had chaeto growth problems with white light, after they switched to red, the problem stopped.
 

HomeSlizzice

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Surface area is simply what size you make it. Does not matter what style.

Water flow only needs to be "somewhat", to circulate nutrients. But water flow does not remove the boundary layer on the algae; this instead requires air/water turbulence interface.

Air flow is not so much for gas exchange, as it is to create air/water turbulent interface to remove the boundary layer on the algae. And for this, bubbles are best, followed by waterfall, followed by horizontal river (no dump bucket). If a dump bucket is used on a horizontal river, it becomes as effective as a bubble upflow (because of course, there are now bubbles).

Lighting is actually worse on a waterfall, because the growth mats down and blocks the growth. Blocks water flow too. This is why waterfalls get brown dead spots in the middle of the screen. A super strong focused light can help solve this, by over-lighting a middle part of the screen so growth does not grow there. Bubble upflows are always under water, so the water supports the growth and prevents matting down.

Yes it will work if the light is down there too. The challenge though is bubble spreading, which will leave grown areas as upside down islands with no more bubbles, just light regular islands on horizontal rivers. Better might be to just attach strings the eggcrate and let the bubbles and growth go upwards.

If the screen is at the surface, this will work and will be someone of a cross between a horizontal flowing river and a dump bucket. Waves must be strong and reach the screen though.

Depends of course what you mean by thrive. The inside 3" is certainly lacking; it may not be brown yet, but it's very shaded. Shade does not generate much photosynthesis. It can probably hold it's shape, however, which is why you can pull it out in one piece. Just remember you need 5X the chato mass to equal biomass growth rates of rapid GHA growth.

It might penetrate, but chlorophyll does not use green at all. Only red and blue. White is just for watching (and white LED's don't really have a full spectrum anyway; just a "trick" spectrum to fool your eyes. Doesn't fool algae though). Almost every time someone had chaeto growth problems with white light, after they switched to red, the problem stopped.


Thank you! This info really helped. :)
 

Sunny Goold

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I follow this method, also, since I have the space in my sump.

Have you tried to stop harvesting your chaeto for awhile and let it grow in thick? It will start to self shade and reduce the net nutrient removal. I used to try and keep nutrients up by harvesting more but that just encouraged faster growth. Let it pack in and you may get your nutrients to rise. Then you can practice just how much to harvest at any given time to keep it locked in. Might save you money in additives.
As I understand it there are added benefits because the dying algae releases aminos which corals utilise. I suspect this is a big, often overlooked, part of the Triton method. I think Triton also recommends more than 1 type of Macro as different Algae removes different nutrients at different rates. The more diversity the better I would imagine.
 

SantaMonica

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dying algae releases aminos

I think this is not what it appears. Amino's etc are mostly released when algae grow, not when they die. In other words, amino's, vitamin C, glucose, etc, are released into the water as a function of Photosystem II in the photosynthetic process, and when the algae die, this photosynthetic process stops.

Yes algae is a "super food" (and yes you can eat scrubber growth if it has no fireworms) in terms of nutrition, and it does have amino's if eaten directly by animals (corals don't eat macroalgae) . But, when dying and decomposing due to bacteria, the amino's in algae are remineralized back into ammonia and other base components.

So the idea is to grow more algae, faster, which will put more amino's etc into the water, and will also host all the microfauna/pods that will flow out of the algae to feed the corals and small fish.

. just don’t know what’s size to use and what material to use for the algea to grow

You can use 7-point plastic canvas, roughed up good. Or gravel epoxied to a wall. Or nylong strings. Or a combination of these. For sizing:


Scrubbers are sized according to feeding. Nutrients "in" (feeding) must equal nutrients "out" (scrubber growth), no matter how many gallons or liters you have. So...

An example VERTICAL upflow or waterfall screen size is 3 X 4 inches = 12 square inches of screen (7.5 X 10 cm = 75 sq cm) with a total of 12 real florescent watts (not equivalent watts) of light, or half that for LEDs, for 18 hours a day. If all 12 watts (6 watts LED) are on one side, it is a 1-sided screen. If the watts are divided on each side of the screen, it is a 2-sided screen. This should be able to handle the following amounts of daily feeding:

1 frozen cube per day (2-sided screen), or
1/2 frozen cube per day (1-sided screen), or
10 pinches of flake food per day (2-sided screen), or
5 pinches of flake food per day (1-sided screen), or
10 square inches (60 sq cm) of nori per day (2-sided screen), or
5 square inches (30 sq cm) of nori per day (1-sided screen), or
0.1 dry ounce (2.8 grams) of pellet food per day (2-sided screen), or
0.05 dry ounce (1.4 grams) of pellet food per day (1-sided screen)

Problem rocks: Each 50 pounds (2.2 kg) of nuisance algae covered rocks you have adds 1 cube a day.

Flow or air bubbles is always 24 hours; water flow is at least 35 gph per inch of width of screen [60 lph per cm], EVEN IF one sided or horizontal.

FLOATING SURFACE SCRUBBERS WITH STRINGS: Screen size is the size of the box (Length X Width), and is 2-sided because the strings grow in 3D.

Clean algae:

Every 7 to 14 days, or
When it's black, or
When it fills up, or
When algae lets go, or
When nutrients start to rise
 

Sunny Goold

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What's your take on the relatively small screen in a scrubber compared to a larger refugium with a lot more surface area/mass of macro algae?
My plan for my 140G display at the moment is to combine a small bubble upflow scrubber with a large fuge with chaeto and then a then a skimmer. I have the room and was originally just going to go with a triton style sump with a large fuge but I like the idea of having more than 1 type of algae (I suspect different types of algae utilise nutrients at different rates).
A fuge is good to build a diverse range of organisms such as copepods (though I have seen reefers with lots of pods in their ATS). Plus in the fuge I can have extra rocks and substrate (I will use two little fishes refugite). Not necessary but beneficial.
I think if you are after efficiency then an ATS is the way to go with better use of space and I think the GHA exports nutrients at a faster rate and doesn't require any dialing in.
I suspect Triton has numerous factors that go into the design of it's method. I suspect important factors are the diversity of creatures that live in the fuge, diversity of macro that exports different nutrients at different rates and the way that macro algae breaks down as it dies and releases amino acids. Also chaeto and other macro traps particles which break down in the fuge.
I don't think a skimmer is necessary with an ATS but I think it assists with nutrient export, exporting different nutrients at different rates and helps manage pH (with an airline outside).
I think the combination of a fuge with chaeto, an ATS and a skimmer should mean better stability.
Also I travel and be away for a month so I don't think an ATS, on it's own, could manage this period without harvesting.
This article is excellent and provides me with more information. Yes, having both a fuge and an ATS will mean competition between the two but it also competes against algae in the display. I'm sure you can also make them work together by adjusting the photoperiod of each. Once my system is up and running and if nutrients are under control I will probably not need the ATS and so could turn it off and only turn it on when there is a problem or something. The benefit of an ATS is that it can be started relatively quickly whereas with chaeto you need to purchase it and it may need to be dialed in.
So I think an ATS makes an excellent backup export system and there are a lot of designs available that make it easy to add it to any system.
Triton also recommends running more than 1 type of macro. I was thinking of caulerpa but then I heard it can go asexual and spew nutrients back into the system. I wouldn't want to risk that.
I'd be interested if anyone is using the Triton method but with an ATS instead.
Again the article and all the comments are excellent. There was a lot of great information I learned especially in regards to how effective the bubble up method is and the mechanics of how that works. Thanks
 

SantaMonica

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This article is excellent and provides me with more information

Glad to help out. Been posting this type of info for 10 years and some folks are just now finding it :)

I have seen reefers with lots of pods in their ATS

Yes, the key to pods is to not use freshwater when cleaning in your sink. Also, the rapid air/water turbulent interface of scrubbers washes away the pods downstream for eating, so a new group of pods can colonize. Fish learn to hangout at the output of a scrubber (and a chaeto reactor too, if there is no foam filter to block the pods), and this is a great way to utilize algal devices for feeding too. An oversized device will provide enough pods to do all the feeding for a few small fish.

macro algae breaks down as it dies and releases amino acids

See above post; this is not correct.

combine a small bubble upflow scrubber with a large fuge with chaeto
I suspect different types of algae utilise nutrients at different rates
Yes, having both a fuge and an ATS will mean competition between the two but it also competes against algae in the display
GHA exports nutrients at a faster rate and doesn't require any dialing in

This is part of the "mix it up" category of algal thinking. It's not wrong exactly, and will still work, but it's also not the best use of the advantages of each type of algae.

Currently, the focus is on nutrient export via an algal device. For this to be maximized, you want to stick to one basic type of device: reactor, ATS, or fuge. Mixing them is sort of robbing Peter to pay Paul, meaning you could do what you need with just one device instead of two or three (I'll call a fuge a "device"). Just size it larger; the recommended sizes posted above are just minimums.

in the fuge I can have extra rocks and substrate

This is a great way to cultivate more pods if you run a scrubber or reactor; it does not compete, and aside from just running a larger scrubber or reactor, it's probably the best way to grow pods per unit size.

and then a then a skimmer
I don't think a skimmer is necessary with an ATS but I think it assists with nutrient export

Note that skimmers do not export nutrients (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, CO2, metals) at all. Instead, they export food particles, including waste, which is also food particles for corals. Exporting food particles "before they break down into nutrients" is the same as exporting food; it would be easier to just feed less. Food is the "steak on the grill" and nutrients are the "smoke". Just export the smoke, and leave the food on the grill. This is all moot however if you need the water to look unnaturally clear (like air) such as an LFS display. But real reefs are not clear; they are packed with food particles, especially at night.

exporting different nutrients at different rates and helps manage pH

Only CO2 directly affects pH. And fortunately, algae consume CO2 directly out of the water which is why algal filtering (once growing) instantly raises pH. Exporting food particles, or ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, or metals, does not directly affect pH.

Also I travel and be away for a month so I don't think an ATS, on it's own, could manage this period without harvesting

All algal filtering will slow down after a month, so if one month is the primary design goal, just double your device size requirement so that when it has reached its peak it will still be doing some filtering.

The benefit of an ATS is that it can be started relatively quickly whereas with chaeto you need to purchase it and it may need to be dialed in

Keep in mind that a scrubber still needs to get started, if new. The GHA will need to attach in order to provide the high air/water interface turbulence that it provides. Unless you mean instead to keep the scrubber grown and ready.

Triton method but with an ATS instead

I've seen several people do this. Just run two units, and harvest one at a time.
 

HomeSlizzice

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Hey I have a question when making a floating style UAS I'm hoping you can help me with...

To bond the rough #7 mesh to the Tupperware container I painted black with krylon fusion, what glue or bonding agent would you suggest? I tried a gel super glue, but it didn't do anything which I found surprising. So my next thoughts were either a hot glue gun or 2 part epoxy. Any tips?
 

Nurse.Reef.Reapeat

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Now I am torn, I just want a simple answer. I have a Reefer 170 with 6 fishes in there. I have Anthias and feeds them 2 small cubes of (x1-2 daily) Reef frenzy and pinch of NLS pellets(3x daily), I have yet to see any Hair algea in my tank, I have a refugium and using Cheato in it. I don’t test for phosphate. I am looking into ALgea Scrubber to add to my tank as I plan to get more Anthias. Question is: is it just best to keep my set-up or Does Algea Scrubber enough to do the filtering throughout my system plus the protein skimmer?
 

SantaMonica

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To bond the rough #7 mesh to the Tupperware container I painted black with krylon fusion, what glue or bonding agent would you suggest? I tried a gel super glue, but it didn't do anything which I found surprising. So my next thoughts were either a hot glue gun or 2 part epoxy. Any tips?

Well the best texture for that is gravel epoxied to it, using Devcon 2-ton epoxy. You need to scratch up the plastic first, a lot, then clean it repeatedly with alcohol. But it should also hold the screen if you rough it up a lot.

Don't forget to add nylon strings to fill up the middle section. See attached pics:



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upload_2018-7-13_12-29-7.png


upload_2018-7-13_12-27-54.png


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I have yet to see any Hair algea in my tank

If the rocks are less than 18mo old, they may be absorbing phosphate still. If so, there won't be any nuisance algae until the rocks fill up.

I have a refugium and using Cheato in it

If it's growing each week, then yes it is absorbing nutrients out of the water. It just needs to be fast enough to match the amount of food going in.

is it just best to keep my set-up or Does Algea Scrubber enough to do the filtering throughout my system plus the protein skimmer?

Well the first thing to know is that the skimmer does not remove nutrients; it only removes food particles (see explanation above). So for the anthias, you could feed more, or skim less. But you still need to remove nutrients, which you are doing with the chaeto. The question is, how fast.

The size of chaeto needed to remove nutrients is about 5 times (that's the number I use) of the size of a 2-sided scrubber to to the same thing.

2 small cubes of (x1-2 daily) Reef frenzy and pinch of NLS pellets(3x daily)

Sounds about 3 cubes a day. This would be a 36 square inch 2-sided scrubber screen with 2 inches of space on each side, which takes up about 144 cubic inches (not including lights). Or it could be 144 x 5 = 720 cubic inches of inches of chaeto space, which might be 12 x 12 x 5 inches (not including lights).

What you don't want to do is have a scrubber and chaeto at the same time. So choose based on space available, how you want to harvest, and if you want to be able to feed the growth to the animals (you can only feed scrubber growth, not chaeto).
 

Justfebreezeit

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Hey @SantaMonica,

I have the 1.2 drop scrubber on my 20 gallon tank that I feed probably less than half a cube a day total (including coral feeding) and its been doing great the last 4 months (have to harvest it once a week and keeps nutrients virtually undetectable). A couple weeks ago the algae in the scrubber died or what looked to have died. I removed the bulk of it and let it start over.

Previously it would grow nice long and green strands of algae. Now it seems to grow a brown slimy algae that clings much closer to the surface of the walls. It still seems to keep my nitrates below 1 and my phosphates around .02 - .03 though.

Nothing in the tank changed so i'm unsure what caused the algae to die and another form to grow. Does the scrubber need a good deep cleaning every once in awhile (like every 6 months)?

I also do weekly 20% water changes so I think all trace elements would be replenished and ok.

Oh and I run the lights 12 hours a night; reverse of the display lights.
 

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Now I am torn, I just want a simple answer. I have a Reefer 170 with 6 fishes in there. I have Anthias and feeds them 2 small cubes of (x1-2 daily) Reef frenzy and pinch of NLS pellets(3x daily), I have yet to see any Hair algea in my tank, I have a refugium and using Cheato in it. I don’t test for phosphate. I am looking into ALgea Scrubber to add to my tank as I plan to get more Anthias. Question is: is it just best to keep my set-up or Does Algea Scrubber enough to do the filtering throughout my system plus the protein skimmer?
Sounds like you have a healthy system going. You should put some more fish in it if you want. Technically you already have an algae scrubber, you are just considering an new strain of dominant algae. Are you sure you want to change things up? Cheato does a pretty good job of export and, it is important to note that IT STAYS IN PLACE. It doen't have a sexual stage and won't suddenly show up all over your system. I currently use Cheato. More light and removal of other algae in the refugum usually fixed the issues I have had.

If you want to do a test run, just increase your food supply for a few weeks and see if your refugium starts producing more, or if your nutrients shift. It will give you an idea of what your system is going to do with more biomass. Be sure to pay attention to its growth. Depending 0n your light, Chaeto is only producing new growth about 3 inches into the ball. So keep it trimmed up and be sure it is doing its job. Remember that your Calcium, ALK, and Mag levels are effected by the new growth and monitor them.

I agree that you need to choose. Cheato doesn't play all that well with some of the other algae. It could be just competition for food, but likely some chemical warfare is also going on. When my Cheato tank gets too much mustard colored gunk on the walls, there is an inevitable Cheato death and I have to clean and reboot. Keep it clean and there is not much to worry about. I am sloppy, so I keep a backup culture.

There are so many scenarios that can influence phosphate related to rock and hair algae and your tank. I could never point at one without much more info. If you have Coraline algae growing on your rocks and a stable pH, there are a lot of algae concerns that will never show up for you. Crazy things happen in the first 6 months fo a reef tank. My best advice is to pick one method and commit, consistency pays off. Don't panic, and keep your tech junky at bay. There are a lot of functional ways to run a system and it sounds like you have one of them. Every time you change a large element, the whole system gets a shake up and has to recoup for months. Relax and watch things take off.

I love nutrient export through algae turf scrubbers, any version of them with any kind of algae or plant matter. I have been playing with it since the 90's and it feeds all my hobby needs. If it is something you are into, Walte Adey and Karen Loveland literally wrote the book on it (and then patented the technology which kept some of the aquarium products off the market until recently). It is called "Dynamic Aquaria", 500 pages of research finding, real world examples, and practical application. One of the only 25 year old books I still open.
 

SantaMonica

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Cheato does a pretty good job of export and, it is important to note that IT STAYS IN PLACE. It doen't have a sexual stage and won't suddenly show up all over your system

Correct, and GHA does not either. Caulerpa might, but I think nowadays that nobody uses it. Chaeto does however break up, and if there is no sponge filter on the output, the strands will go floating away. And if there is a sponge filter, pods will get stuck and can't get to feed the fish and corals.

Another situation though, that some folks confuse with "algae spreading" is when phosphate comes out of rocks:

If after running an algal filter for several months, you start seeing more (not less) algae growth on the rocks in your aquarium, what probably is happening is that phosphate is coming out of the rocks. As the phosphate comes out it gives algae more fuel at the surface of the rocks. This is good! This is usually the case when the phosphate in the water measures "zero", and the algae that is starting to grow on the rocks is green, long, and concentrated in certain spots; usually near the top of the aquarium and on sharp rock edges and points. Another indicator will be that there will be no algae growing on clean (no coralline) plastic or glass, even if these parts are up at the top, because plastic and glass do not accumulate phosphate. The rock algae will increase for a while, and when the phosphate in the rock is used up, the rock algae will start turning yellow and letting go, sometimes in large chunks which get caught in pumps. The time for all this to happen can be from two to nine months, depending on how much phosphate was in the rocks, how many scrubbers you have, and how many other filters you have.
 

w2inc

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Correct, and GHA does not either. Caulerpa might, but I think nowadays that nobody uses it. Chaeto does however break up, and if there is no sponge filter on the output, the strands will go floating away. And if there is a sponge filter, pods will get stuck and can't get to feed the fish and corals.

Another situation though, that some folks confuse with "algae spreading" is when phosphate comes out of rocks:

If after running an algal filter for several months, you start seeing more (not less) algae growth on the rocks in your aquarium, what probably is happening is that phosphate is coming out of the rocks. As the phosphate comes out it gives algae more fuel at the surface of the rocks. This is good! This is usually the case when the phosphate in the water measures "zero", and the algae that is starting to grow on the rocks is green, long, and concentrated in certain spots; usually near the top of the aquarium and on sharp rock edges and points. Another indicator will be that there will be no algae growing on clean (no coralline) plastic or glass, even if these parts are up at the top, because plastic and glass do not accumulate phosphate. The rock algae will increase for a while, and when the phosphate in the rock is used up, the rock algae will start turning yellow and letting go, sometimes in large chunks which get caught in pumps. The time for all this to happen can be from two to nine months, depending on how much phosphate was in the rocks, how many scrubbers you have, and how many other filters you have.
In my experience, a large pore sponge fixes all the problems related to pods being trapped and Cheato drifting into the main display.

GHA does however spread all over your aquarium. That is how it is able to show up on an algae scrubber.

My understanding of phosphate and rocks is considerably different than what I am reading in your explaination. I am sure that I am misunderstanding part of what you are saying. Are you referring to calcium phosphate layer that forms on rock and substrate when there is the correct levels of the two elements and the proper PH? Is there another way the rocks take in phosphate and hold it to be reased at a later time?

I don’t understand the phosphate limited water and why algae wouldn’t grow on plastic in the tank but would grow on the plastic of your scrubber. Can you point me to these plastic and algae related studies? Why would it ever leave the rock?

I really don’t believe that one specific algae is the golden ticket. I am speaking from personal experience as well as my readings from publications of Walter Ady and Karen Loveland. However, I t has been years since I have really dived into literature on this topic and I am sure there is a lot of new information available. I think I could really benefit from reading up on this topic. Can you offer me some resources, or studies that have helped you gain your understanding?
 

Scrubber_steve

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GHA does however spread all over your aquarium. That is how it is able to show up on an algae scrubber.
I disagree. I had a species of ulva take up on my scrubber screen, & from pictures i see of other's scrubbers ulva seems to be the norm.
Sure, its spores were in my aquarium, naturally ( thats how it self seeded on my screen), but I never saw the ulva anywhere in my system prior to its appearence on my screen.
The scrubber provided a perfect environment for it to grow. The ulva has never started up in my display, or in any other part of my system since using a scrubber, even though I feed it to the fish!
The nuisance algae & cyano that did exist in my display prior to adding the scrubber eventually all disappeared.
 

w2inc

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I disagree. I had a species of ulva take up on my scrubber screen, & from pictures i see of other's scrubbers ulva seems to be the norm.
Sure, its spores were in my aquarium, naturally ( thats how it self seeded on my screen), but I never saw the ulva anywhere in my system prior to its appearence on my screen.
The scrubber provided a perfect environment for it to grow. The ulva has never started up in my display, or in any other part of my system since using a scrubber, even though I feed it to the fish!
The nuisance algae & cyano that did exist in my display prior to adding the scrubber eventually all disappeared.
I obviously agree with you regarding spores. I wasn’t aware we were discussing Ulva. I thought the debate was on GHA, which was defined in early posts to mean Green Hair Algae. I can not imagine Ulva taking over a display tank and all of my herbivores would love to eat it. It does cause my Cheato to die off when it gets a good foot hold in my Cheato tank. I was just thinking it would be helpful if we could be more specific with our algae. I appreciate you clarifying things. I was thinking about use letting the Ulva take over my Cheato tank but wasn’t sure it could preform as well as I needed it to. Thanks for the input.
 

Scrubber_steve

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I obviously agree with you regarding spores. I wasn’t aware we were discussing Ulva. I thought the debate was on GHA, which was defined in early posts to mean Green Hair Algae. I can not imagine Ulva taking over a display tank and all of my herbivores would love to eat it. It does cause my Cheato to die off when it gets a good foot hold in my Cheato tank. I was just thinking it would be helpful if we could be more specific with our algae. I appreciate you clarifying things. I was thinking about use letting the Ulva take over my Cheato tank but wasn’t sure it could preform as well as I needed it to. Thanks for the input.
I think that many people refer to ulva as green hair algae, at least when their talking scrubbers. Although the green hair algae people get as a nuisance in their displays is a different algae to ulva.
Some people like to refer to scrubber screen algae as turf, but the true turf algaes are different again to ulva.
There are many varieties of ulva. I still can't quite be sure what type i have. Could be a couple of different types?
Ulva leak a small percentage of exudate, grow quickly, & is aquarium friendly.
 

w2inc

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I think that many people refer to ulva as green hair algae, at least when their talking scrubbers. Although the green hair algae people get as a nuisance in their displays is a different algae to ulva.
Some people like to refer to scrubber screen algae as turf, but the true turf algaes are different again to ulva.
There are many varieties of ulva. I still can't quite be sure what type i have. Could be a couple of different types?
Ulva leak a small percentage of exudate, grow quickly, & is aquarium friendly.
Thanks again. I am a little out of the loop with common terms. I think I mentioned earlier that my algae scrubber knowledge came from experimenting and the book “Dynamic Aquaria” and I was just looking at the cover of the book that has a photo of some hands pulling up on a big web of hair like algae and that has been my point of reference up to now. I know the exudate was a concern back in 95 when people were choosing between the “Berlin” method and algae scrubbers. I am glad to hear that it is not much of an issue.

Several of the references in the book refer to the Baltimore aquarium. When I was there earlier this year I went back stage and was talking to one of the biologists. I asked him what came of the scrubber. He pointed to where it had been located for their reef display and said “I was just sick of climbing up there to clean it out”. They had pulled out some time ago. I agree with him about cleaning. With my tank scraping Ulva out of the grow section is not convenient or easy. It is much nicer to just grab a handful of Cheato and pull it in half. A little different design of my algae grow chamber and I could see how a turf algae would be just as attractive to me.

The National aquarium’s (Baltimore aquarium) coral display still showed a need for nutrient removal that was not being addressed, but the massive shark tank is something I have only imagined.
 

Ingenuity against algae: Do you use DIY methods for controlling nuisance algae?

  • I have used DIY methods for controlling algae.

    Votes: 20 48.8%
  • I use commercial methods for controlling algae, but never DIY methods.

    Votes: 11 26.8%
  • I have not used commercial or DIY methods for controlling algae.

    Votes: 9 22.0%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 2.4%
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