Introducing the new Turbo Algae Scrubber! (Rev 4)

Black Pearl

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Bud, I’ve been getting patchy growth like the above and as of late it’s gotten worst. Action so far, I’ve decreased time to 20 hours from 24 decreases intensity from full by 1/4 turn. any other suggestions
 
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This is about 3 weeks growth on my l8
Nice! Do you regularly let it grow for 3 weeks?
4ADAC249-83D5-4433-AC0B-D518F085828A.jpeg
Bud, I’ve been getting patchy growth like the above and as of late it’s gotten worst. Action so far, I’ve decreased time to 20 hours from 24 decreases intensity from full by 1/4 turn. any other suggestions
That upper left section almost looks like there is a gelatinous type of growth or coating there, am I seeing this right?

Backing off the hours and intensity might help, but it's hard to say. I don't think it's going to hurt though.

Let's start with a few questions:
What is the intensity setting at currently?

How frequently do you harvest?

How aggressively do you harvest? (do you pull off with finger, do you scrape, to you scrub with a brush, etc)

What are your tank nutrient levels for nitrate and phosphate? Has this changed over time?

Has anything changed recently in the system?
 

Black Pearl

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Nice! Do you regularly let it grow for 3 weeks?

That upper left section almost looks like there is a gelatinous type of growth or coating there, am I seeing this right?
Correct, slimmy


Backing off the hours and intensity might help, but it's hard to say. I don't think it's going to hurt though.

Let's start with a few questions:
What is the intensity setting at currently?
one quarter turn from max


How frequently do you harvest?
14 days
How aggressively do you harvest? (do you pull off with finger, do you scrape, to you scrub with a brush, etc)
About a moth ago scraped, but not bare, having 3D harvest before that

What are your tank nutrient levels for nitrate and phosphate? Has this changed over time?
Po4 0.3ppm, has been as low as 7ppb no3 around 25

Has anything changed recently in the system?
Started dosing carbon(vinegar)
sorry answers in quote section
 
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Correct, slimmy
I would remove that slime with a toothbrush, not scrubbing too hard, but try to get most of it off
one quarter turn from max
Should be fine at that level
About a moth ago scraped, but not bare, having 3D harvest before that
I wouldn't think that would be a cause
Po4 0.3ppm, has been as low as 7ppb no3 around 25
Again, I don't think that variance would cause any odd growth, maybe a slight shift, but once the screen is mature, the scrubber should work over a wide range
Started dosing carbon(vinegar)
This might be something, depending on how aggressively you are dosing. From what I've seen (not personally) is seems that certain forms of carbon dosing (usually vodka or vinegar) seem to have an affect on the algae scrubber growth. I'm not sure what the mechanism is, and it's very much anecdotal. Usually it's when one is trying to start up a screen while they are vinegar/vodka dosing that there seems to be issues, and backing off the dosing usually helps. If I recall correctly, the growth you get when vinegar/vodka dosing seems to be light and slimy. This for some reason doesn't seem to be the case when using something like biopellets, again, I'm not sure why. Are you dosing a large amount once/twice a day, or is it in the top off water or via a doser at hourly intervals?
 

Black Pearl

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I would remove that slime with a toothbrush, not scrubbing too hard, but try to get most of it off

Should be fine at that level

I wouldn't think that would be a cause

Again, I don't think that variance would cause any odd growth, maybe a slight shift, but once the screen is mature, the scrubber should work over a wide range

This might be something, depending on how aggressively you are dosing. From what I've seen (not personally) is seems that certain forms of carbon dosing (usually vodka or vinegar) seem to have an affect on the algae scrubber growth. I'm not sure what the mechanism is, and it's very much anecdotal. Usually it's when one is trying to start up a screen while they are vinegar/vodka dosing that there seems to be issues, and backing off the dosing usually helps. If I recall correctly, the growth you get when vinegar/vodka dosing seems to be light and slimy. This for some reason doesn't seem to be the case when using something like biopellets, again, I'm not sure why. Are you dosing a large amount once/twice a day, or is it in the top off water or via a doser at hourly intervals?
Hourly dosing, dose 8ml, 8x a day. its been 17 days since last cleaning and it looks to be about half of what it had been before dosing. Ill give it a few more days before cleaning and clean by hand only
 

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Comparing my growth to those that I see in this thread I feel like I’m doing something wrong. Below pictures are of my setup and 2 week growth running 16hrs a day with the intensity set at “4 o’clock”. I’m running the L4 on a 240g that I feed frozen every other day and pellets daily.

IMG_0741.jpg
IMG_0735.jpg

IMG_0736.jpg
IMG_0737.jpg

IMG_0740.jpg
 
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Tell me how much you feed on an average daily basis - let's start there, then I might have more questions.

Try to be specific, like, 1 tsp of small pellets daily, 2 cubes of frozen every other day, etc...as best you can
 

Jurg

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Tell me how much you feed on an average daily basis - let's start there, then I might have more questions.

Try to be specific, like, 1 tsp of small pellets daily, 2 cubes of frozen every other day, etc...as best you can
Approximately- 1/2 tsp daily and 2 cubes every other day, mixed in with an algae strip 2x a week. The pellets are automated so I never miss those feedings, but frozen I might miss a few days being away and there are weeks that I feed every day. Really depends on my schedule.

Not sure if reef roids or acropower have an impact, but I feed those as well.
 
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That's not an overly large amount of feeding, which is what I suspected. When you combine the scrubber with a skimmer and a few reactors, each piece is going to take up some of the load. So the scrubber might just be growing what it can.

One thing to always remember is that the goal is not to get X volume of growth, the goal is more related to your tank conditions. Meaning, keeping nutrients in check, controlling DT algae, etc. If the scrubber grows what you are getting, and everything else is looking good, then don't worry about the growth not looking like someone else's - that could be wholly dependent on the other person's system, so that's not an equal comparison.

FWIW, that's decent looking growth. Good color, screen is mostly covered, no slime...these are all signs that the scrubber is growing well (or "properly")...just because you're not pulling out pounds of growth doesn't mean you're doing something wrong.

If there's another piece to the puzzle, like, you're still nutrient-rich or have DT algae issues, then there might be adjustments needed - or it could just be a matter of time (allowing the scrubber to gradually outcompete)

You posted:
2 week growth running 16hrs a day with the intensity set at “4 o’clock”.
What is your flow rate at? If you don't really know, or it's hard to judge, all that really matters is if you have enough flow to cover the entire screen. That doesn't mean "35 GPH/in" necessarily (or 400 GPH for the L4) - in fact lately I've been downplaying that "rule" as even coverage seems to be more critical than any nebulus target value.
 

Jurg

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That's not an overly large amount of feeding, which is what I suspected. When you combine the scrubber with a skimmer and a few reactors, each piece is going to take up some of the load. So the scrubber might just be growing what it can.

One thing to always remember is that the goal is not to get X volume of growth, the goal is more related to your tank conditions. Meaning, keeping nutrients in check, controlling DT algae, etc. If the scrubber grows what you are getting, and everything else is looking good, then don't worry about the growth not looking like someone else's - that could be wholly dependent on the other person's system, so that's not an equal comparison.

FWIW, that's decent looking growth. Good color, screen is mostly covered, no slime...these are all signs that the scrubber is growing well (or "properly")...just because you're not pulling out pounds of growth doesn't mean you're doing something wrong.

If there's another piece to the puzzle, like, you're still nutrient-rich or have DT algae issues, then there might be adjustments needed - or it could just be a matter of time (allowing the scrubber to gradually outcompete)

You posted:

What is your flow rate at? If you don't really know, or it's hard to judge, all that really matters is if you have enough flow to cover the entire screen. That doesn't mean "35 GPH/in" necessarily (or 400 GPH for the L4) - in fact lately I've been downplaying that "rule" as even coverage seems to be more critical than any nebulus target value.
Thanks Bud!

The only algae In my display is cyano, which has slowly been thinning out.

the flow is dialed in to cover the screen and then I add a little extra.
 
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Cyano can take a while to get out-competed, so if that is your only problem, I would hold the course for a while. The cyano might be acting "opportunistic" which can happen whenever you change the filtration scheme and affect the set-point of the tank - but it should pass.
 

homer1475

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Wow great to see Floyd is over here too.

I've also found that in my tank the 35G/H rule didn't apply. I simply have just enough flow to cover the screen and a little bit more Seems to work best for me.
 

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i need a water proof set up... i have my old dyi one..any thoughts on the ribbon leds? dont mean to high jack the thread.. but i cant wait two months for a build.. they look very nice.. thanks
 
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My lights are not waterproof, but I think you already knew that :)

My general opinion on LEDs for Algae Scrubbers is that unless they need a heat sink to operate, they're likely not going to be intense enough to really do much good. The reason is that you need intensity in order to get light to penetrate through a thick mat of growth, or else the base/roots that are attached to whatever growth surface you are using (screen, etc) will start to die off and detach.

FWIW, my current build time is about 1 month or less. I'm ramping up production over the next month.
 

dannyt

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hi,

i've had the L8 for about 6 months now and can't keep my nutrients in check. instead of getting a nice "turf" in my scrubber, i get mostly either green lettuce algae growing OR a dark slime. need some advise on what to adjust.

Background info:
-250 gallon reef , medium to heavy stock of fish and corals.
-NYOS Skimmer running 24/7
-no filter media, i dont run GFO and rarely run carbon
-i run the triton method 4 part solution
-monthly triton tests, all elements properly adjusted and dosed regularly
-small refugium with mixed macro algae, mostly chaeto, but not much growth or export
-ALK - 7.0 - 7.5 dkh

Po4 - 0.15-0.18
No3 - 10-15 ppm

and theres the issue, i can't get my nutrients to move. my Po4 and no3 stay in that range, no matter how/what i adjust. My skimmer does export pretty well, i have to drain the cup 2x per week. My fuge, as mentioned, not much from there, other then a little cyano growing. My display on the other hand does not have any nuisance algea, cyano, i can just see the difference in my sps browning a bit.

I've adjusted my hours up and down, the intensity, pump speed, and i can't get it to be just right. while i dont normally run GFO, when i did, i was able to cut my po4 down to 0.05 - 0.08, once the GFO was exhausted, it started to climb back to 0.15 - 0.18 and stays there. it doesn't really go higher.

I feed about 1-2 square inches of LRS food 2x per day, so not a whole ton.

here are some pictures

this was on may 9, after about 3 weeks running at 18 hours per day, intensity around 3 o'clock

IMG_1290.jpg
IMG_1291.jpg


this is after my cleaning on may 9 (did i clean too much???)

IMG_1292.jpg
IMG_1293.jpg


on may 9 after cleaning the screen and putting it back in , i adjusted my lighting schedule to 16 hours per day, and reduced the intensity to around 4:30 , here are pictures from yesterday , may 18th, 9 days later
IMG_1305.jpg
IMG_1306.jpg
IMG_1307.jpg
IMG_1308.jpg
IMG_1309.jpg



what do you recommend i do? i didn't clean it at this point, since it hasn't been 2 weeks. should i reduce intensity? schedule? by the way, i have this running on a dedicated pump with enough pressure to cover the entire screen.

HELP! i've seen some amazing pictures of growth with others and i want to have the same!
 
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Hey @dannyt I’m only looking at these on my phone but from what I can see, it almost looks like the light brown areas of the screen are where the growth has died back somewhat. That one cleaning didn’t look like it was too much, but all the brownish stuff is still attached, and that might be inhibiting growth from attaching and filling in, or staying attached.

If I’m seeing it right, that layer of growth is kind of a “mulm” like layer, and it should rinse away under running tap water and some rubbing with your fingertips.

While you don’t want to over-harvest, you definitely need to rinse off the screen. It’s OK to be able to see the plastic canvas after you’re done with a harvest/cleaning.

As for the schedule, try 4 o’clock and 22 hours/day. Let the grow for 10 days, then do a partial harvest where you only rub & rinse, leave whatever growth stays attached alone and put that back in for 10 more days.

If I wrote anything that doesn’t sound like I saw it right, let me know. I’ll have to re-read it again also so I might add more thoughts
 

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