DIY Drop Turf Scrubber for AIO

ReeferWarrant

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So I'm trying to figure out how to make a turf scrubber for my 32 Biocube and I came across some cool things. I'm currently running the inTank media tray which is a must have in my experience with the tank. I have tried to make chaeto grow in one of the chambers and I think due to my own error I caused there to be too little of flow in the chamber it was in.

InTank Tray Layout (Top Chamber, Middle, Optional 3rd Chamber)
IM Chaeto Light velcro'ed to the rear of Chamber 2 of the Biocube

Media layout of first iteration with Chaeto
(Filter Floss, Carbon, Chaeto)

So after a month my Chaeto melted and I couldnt find out why, I had some scraps of it floating in the chamber so I put them in and filter flossed the bottom to retain it. So time passes by and I go to check the Chaeto and its completely gone. However because of my error, way too much carbon in a sock, algae started to form on the sock.

I saw this on one of the feeds and I was thinking I could recreate this in one of the chambers of the inTank based on my unintentional growth of algae on the filter sock.

Santa Monica Drop Scrubber

So my idea is to have that 3rd chamber of the Intank Media Basket and put some knitting canvas in the chamber with an air stone below it to move nutrients across the canvas. Recreating the above Santa Monica Scrubber, and the light provided by my IM Chaeto Light. I basically have all of the parts on hand except for the knitting canvas, any thoughts?
 
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ReeferWarrant

ReeferWarrant

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That’s an awfully small footprint for chaeto to be worthwhile for nutrient export. you’re likely better served with an efficient hob skimmer or a media reactor.
I mean its not much different than the chamber inTank sells specifically for Chaeto, but I get what youre saying. I'd be in there cutting back a lot vs periodically doing it with a larger chamber. Good point.
 

lilgrounchuck

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I mean its not much different than the chamber inTank sells specifically for Chaeto, but I get what youre saying. I'd be in there cutting back a lot vs periodically doing it with a larger chamber. Good point.
Yeah, but those are too small to really make a dent in your no3/po4 levels, if that’s your desired end state. They’re good for pods though. I didn’t really start seeing a noticeable difference in mine until my chaeto got to be the size of a volleyball in my 50 gal.
 
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kkoranda

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Hey, it never hurts to try - you could potentially have a little success with this, but only if you've found that turf algae actually grows in other parts of your tank (like on your rocks). A tiny bit of green growth on a filter sock doesn't necessarily mean you've got an abundance of nutrients which is what turf algae needs to really thrive.

Did you save some of the turf to seed the plastic kitting mesh with? You'll need to seed it if you want to get it started, and don't forget to sand the plastic til it's really rough to give it the algae something to adhere to easily.

Just a word of caution - I have a bit of experience with turf scrubbers and I really don't think they're the best method for nutrient export/management. I built my own waterfall turf scrubber a few years ago by gluing together acrylic sheets, throwing some grow lights on it & connecting it to a small return pump. It grew a heck of a lot of algae, but that was because my nutrient levels were hugely excessive and I wasn't doing water changes or taking proper care of my tank. If you're actually able to support a good amount of turf growth it's probably an indication that you're not taking good care of the water quality IMO, especially with a system that small.
 

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