Algal Filtration In Reef Aquariums

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w2inc

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Thanks for that link.

My primary concern or question, was with inorganic (not containing hydrogen or carbon) compounds. Specifically Ca3(PO4)2 and it’s stability. My take from the article was that this crystal was soluable, and could act as a phosphate reservoir. I was just not clear as to whether it was a simple equilibrium or which factors would need to be in play to have the crystal break down.

I was also addressing the phosphate binding to the growing surfaces of rocks associated with the ongoing precipitation of calcium carbonate. My understanding was that it became part of a solid precipitate that I believe is not available to algae unless the pH were to drop low enough to break down the rock surface.

I just realized that the answer was probably farther down the page on that link. Thanks again.
 
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skijumpersc

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I've got a 34 gallon red sea max, I was thinking about turning the rear chamber into a fuge for nutrient export and pod production, but now I think I'm going to DIY an upflow ATS. If I combine the ATS in the back chamber with a rock rubble pod condo will I be able to sustain a large population of pods?
 

SantaMonica

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If I combine the ATS in the back chamber with a rock rubble pod condo will I be able to sustain a large population of pods?

You will get pods even without the rocks. Only when you clean/harvest a scrubber in FW do you remove the pods, which is the goal for max filtering. But if the goal is some filtering and some pods, just use SW, or harvest in-place.

It gets thicker every week, but never get the fuzzy looking alage

Remember that the goal is filtering, not growing algae.

I am using kessil H80 on the lowest setting, if I turn it up, the brown part (hotspot) in the middle gets bigger

Yes just needs more nutrients delivered to the middle.

As for the flow, I'm maxed out

Dose some iron.

Up to how many inches I can submerged the screen?

You need to have an air/water interface turbulence. This usually does not go less than an inch down.

the natural reef is easily out preformed in a well functioning home aquarium these days

This is an interesting viewpoint. If you look back a few years, before corals started getting attacked from so many angles, there were common occurances of staghorns growing a foot per year. And sometimes as much as 20" per year. Many of these measurements were by Adey.

My goal is to never have to change my water

Easily done. My last one was 7 years I think. Some people are at 10+ years. There is just no need to change if everything grows great, including corals. And you keep all the food particles in the water.

what is going on when 18 months old rocks beging to leach out phosphate

Randy and others have covered this a lot, on RC and elsewhere. Also, it's common knowlege in marine ecosystem, especially estuaries, and also water treatement systems. And especially now in coral core drillings, to determine past climate conditions. Adey was a specialist in coralline reef-building chemistry and structure.

My understanding was that it became part of a solid precipitate that I believe is not available to algae unless the pH were to drop low enough to break down the rock surface

That's pretty accurate, as far as what we need to deal with. The only other factor is the ambient P value in the water.
 

w2inc

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I've got a 34 gallon red sea max, I was thinking about turning the rear chamber into a fuge for nutrient export and pod production, but now I think I'm going to DIY an upflow ATS. If I combine the ATS in the back chamber with a rock rubble pod condo will I be able to sustain a large population of pods?
I have that same tank. Are you thinking of putting the ATS where the skimmer is? Surface area and food equals pods. ATS has a lot of these things, but a stack of rocks is obviously going to provide more places to live. I think you have a good idea.
 

skijumpersc

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I have that same tank. Are you thinking of putting the ATS where the skimmer is? Surface area and food equals pods. ATS has a lot of these things, but a stack of rocks is obviously going to provide more places to live. I think you have a good idea.
That was my original plan, now I'm thinking I might try something in the media basket first. You can pull the side panel off and put a light in there that would shine right through the glass into the media basket and I can put the knitting grid in the lower two chambers against the side with the light. Im wondering if that will be enough flow or if I'll have to put an air hose in as well. If I do that I'll keep the skimmer where it is, if I do the other option ill have to do without the skimmer or put it where the media basket currently is.
 

w2inc

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I am still hoping for a concise answer from you about the rocks and phosphate. More specifically, your comment describing what sounded like filamentous algae that will grow on the rocks "that is a good thing". You had explained it as a sign that there was no more phosphate in the water and that the rocks are leaching out phosphate causing algae growth on themselves only.

In your response you may have unintentionally split my question into 2. It was the information I gathered from articles written by Randy Holmes-Farley "Phosphate and the Reef Aquarium" and "others" on R2R that led to my question.

Answering my question with a statement that it is "common knowledge" doesn't really help much and really isn't an answer. It is just an unkind way of stating that I don't know simple (common) things. It also alludes to the idea that I am likely the only one who doesn't know these simple things and that compared to others my ability to gain knowledge is considerably less. Can you see how a person might feel a little insulted from a response like this?

Furthermore, I agree that Adey is a specialist. I am interested in the core drilling samples and future research. I am not sure how this answers my question about your statement that rocks leach phosphate after 18 months. I enjoy Red Herrings as a snack, but not as a means of sharing information. https://literarydevices.net/red-herring/

In your answer to the second half of my question you agree with me that the phosphate is bound as a solid precipitate that is not available to algae and that it is "the only other factor is the ambient P value in the water". I am having trouble making sense of this because it disavowed the reason the rocks in the main display begin growing algae. The phosphate on them is not available, and there is no phosphate in the water column due to the efficiency of your device. Can you see how a person might struggle to put these concepts together?

I do not want filamentous algae or Hair algae in my main display. You have stated that when using your device, it will appear in my display at a given time due to the leaching of the rocks, and that it is a good thing. I disagree there and would like details as to why algae in the main display is good.

We have just agreed that the rocks won't leach the bound phosphate at normal reef pH and that there is no phosphate in the water when using your ATS. However there is still algae in the main display. I believe that a drawback of ATS is the potential spread of undesirable algae into the main display.

My reading has lead me to believe that filamentous algae can out compete many other types of algae as well as spread to and survive in the main display. This is why I have chosen to culture Cheato rather than filamentous Green hair algae, (GHA) as an export method. I have learned from this thread that Ulva grows well in an ATS and I believe that is another good choice.

I am under the impression that this tread is about your product and that you are the expert. If that is not the case please clarify.

I like the idea that my entire nutrient export can be handled in a relatively small space as compared to Cheato growth area. I am interested in your product and your wealth of experience with it. It would be helpful if you could share your hands on experience with us in the form of some photos of your system with your ATS. Clarify GHA versus Filamentous and Ulva algae. Let us know generally which type of algae your device grows the best and possibly include some visual reference so we can recognize it. Cite literary references that are specific to the page about the information you are sharing regarding speed of growth, nutrient uptake, amino acid release, phosphate retention, and coral nutrition needs so that we can read it and clarify our own questions. Discuss the types of corals that grow best with this system. Share your experience or research as to why that is the case. Let us know when your are sharing personal observation and when it is from cited literature. Dumb it down a little for us and explain the things we should already know. Touch on some of the water perimeters that work best for coral growth when using your device. Tell us what to expect from our corals as they transition to a zero phosphate, zero nitrate environment. Give use some before and after photos.
 

w2inc

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That was my original plan, now I'm thinking I might try something in the media basket first. You can pull the side panel off and put a light in there that would shine right through the glass into the media basket and I can put the knitting grid in the lower two chambers against the side with the light. Im wondering if that will be enough flow or if I'll have to put an air hose in as well. If I do that I'll keep the skimmer where it is, if I do the other option ill have to do without the skimmer or put it where the media basket currently is.
It seems like that would be plenty of flow. My most efficient set up is a 5 gallon bucket has 5 or 600 gph moving through it and a 150 watt led. It grows pretty much any kind of algae I put in it. If I harvest every week, I can choose which one I want to let take over. I was focused on cheato for the past 4 or more months. If I keep it spinning it grows long slightly curved strands. I seem to grow Ulva just as fast and this week I decided to let the Ulva take over. The LFS says they will trade for it. I grow some algae that I don't want, but they are easy to remove. They all do the same job.

I had a set up that had a 35 watt light shining through the side of the tank like you are talking about. Coralline grew pretty fast on the glass and would block the light. Removing it was just another time consuming thing. I am not sure if a brighter light or color shift would have changed that, but I switched to lighting from the top to make cleaning less work. I only ran that set up for a couple months. Flow was about 400 gph. It grew the Cheato that I had seeded but nothing other than brown slime showed up.

What you are describing seems like a combination of the two. I don't think you will need the air.

I still keep a skimmer in my main tank. I have one system that has been established for just over 2 years that I pulled the skimmer out of. It has been about 3 months. It looks like it is doing ok. I dose 2 part to it and grow Cheato in the main display. I can give you some details if you like, but I am not super experienced in running a system without a skimmer. #Scrubbersteve on this thread said he runs without one and linked a photo of his tank. Maybe reply to one of his posts and get some feedback.
 

skijumpersc

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Here is attempt 1, I put it together pretty quick last night and I havent had time to dial it in much. I didnt realize two two shelves in the media rack were different sizes so one grid is loose and the other is a bit snug. I'm going to make some guides so they both have slots they slide into.
rRltqmW.jpg


The lights I bought arent compatible with a 24 hr timer, but they do have multiple intensity settings so I'm going to try them 24 hours a day but at the lowest intensity, if that doesnt work I'll just turn them on and off manually. The other issue is the amount of extra light that shines through into the main tank. Im going to line the glass side of the light chamber with aluminum foil or something and then maybe cut some black plastic to slide down between the media rack and the glass to block that section.

HlBGzaD.jpg


I'm pretty amazed at how easy that was to put together, I think its going to need some more work and tweaking, but I think its a decent start
 

w2inc

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Here is attempt 1, I put it together pretty quick last night and I havent had time to dial it in much. I didnt realize two two shelves in the media rack were different sizes so one grid is loose and the other is a bit snug. I'm going to make some guides so they both have slots they slide into.
rRltqmW.jpg


The lights I bought arent compatible with a 24 hr timer, but they do have multiple intensity settings so I'm going to try them 24 hours a day but at the lowest intensity, if that doesnt work I'll just turn them on and off manually. The other issue is the amount of extra light that shines through into the main tank. Im going to line the glass side of the light chamber with aluminum foil or something and then maybe cut some black plastic to slide down between the media rack and the glass to block that section.

HlBGzaD.jpg


I'm pretty amazed at how easy that was to put together, I think its going to need some more work and tweaking, but I think its a decent start
Nice work. It looks like it belongs there.
 

skijumpersc

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If it grows only dark slime, then it's going to need more power. I think those lights are mostly for decoration.

We’ll see. They claim to be grow lights. The blue is 450 and the red is 660, I have them on the lowest power setting to start since I’m going to try leaving them on 24 hours a day, they get a lot brighter when I turn them up
 

skijumpersc

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The colors are, yes. But if they don't get hot when on high, they will be low power, and you might need several of them.
do you think I should run them at full power then? its 20w total, I was thinking that would be enough for the size I've got
 

SantaMonica

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It's 20w at the mains, but less at the lights. Anyway it's easy to see the final growth color; dark means you need more power. But to start, use one light until the screen fills in.
 

Jason_1990

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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.
You started this helps get rid of cyano?
How effective if true?
Cyano seems to be very common problem. An most end up using chemicals an lights out methods. Some with out ever having success.
 

Jason_1990

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If true ?
If you are doubting my honesty why bother asking?
Sorry wrong choice of words.
Im not doubting your honesty. To me it seems like everyone has an opinion/experience on the subject if you look up solutions for combating cyano. Nothing personal towards you.
 

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