Urea and algae turf scrubbers

Dan_P

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I disagree about the algae growth.
If you put an algae scrubber on a new tank, with zero livestock introduced and dose nitrates, nutrients, the turf scrubber will grow algae,
You can grow algae in a vast on a window sill lit by sunlight, even with a lid on it.

The “algae“ growing under these circumstances is most likely cyanobacteria.
 
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Shooter6

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The “algae“ growing under these circumstances is most likely cyanobacteria.
Actually its green hair algae.
Algae spores travel the world on the wind currents. Algae spores and bacteria literally cover the entire surface of the world. I dont think theres anywhere that doesnt have both, unless its sealed and completely sterile.
 

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Algae pushed to those levels release exudates as the algal quality diminishes. Herbivores in the system can suffer as a result from inadequate food sources (pods etc). These exudates contain sugars and aminos which in turn could feed undesirables, especially in systems limited by inorganic nutrients as they feed heterotrophs initially. They can also release reactive oxygen species which could deplete iron and interfere with other photosynthetic organisms. There were plenty of cases of “clamped” corals back in the day but these are not referenced so now folks don’t even know they existed.

The main benefits of an ATS is to limit the amount of N & P in the system, not strip it to prevent photosynthesis, although most don’t know or at least never mention it.

Scrubbers should have the lighting tweaked to maintain a minimum N & P. The nutrient stripping idea to remove display algae was touted years ago, and just as wrong now as it was then.

Just a friendly warning, that’s all. I have nothing to gain. I would also admit that the deeper you look into this subject, the less you know is absolutely correct.
This is interesting. I remember on other forums someone saying refugiums/algae scrubbers couldn't eliminate all N & P, and the algae in the display tank, because the algae "leaks" when the levels get too low.
 

Dan_P

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Interesting information. Thank you.

The information is about freshwater spores, and unless you lived in a desert, you are surrounded by bodies of freshwater. The likelihood is pretty high for encountering algal spores. Inoculation of swimming pools this way is good example. Not so for saltwater species. Unless you live by the ocean, airborne marine algae spores would be very rare and a very unlikely source for an algae. Assuming the green slime that you observed was green hair algae (did you identify it under a microscope?), most likely it was present on the container surface or in the water. Odds are that you cannot repeat this observation with sterile water and equipment.
 
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GeoSquid

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Why do you want the scrubber established so quickly? Do you want to dump a bunch of livestock in the tank on day 1 after cycle? I feel your overthinking the whole thing and trying to rush the process and it may end up causing you problems. If you go slow the scrubber will have plenty of time to do it's job. Once you start dumping a bunch of stuff in the tank your chances of getting issues increases. This is just a fish tank - I think people make things way too complicated.
 
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FuzzySPS

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Quite the opposite. In no hurry to add livestock. Want to the build bio filter slowly and thoroughly and not overwhelm it with the addition of a horde of fish. The objective/idea/“experiment” is to establish the ATS growth to minimize or eliminate the typical new tank algae bloom by outcompeting it earlier rather than later. It’s more food for thought than anything.
 

Shooter6

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Interesting information. Thank you.

The information is about freshwater spores, and unless you lived in a desert, you are surrounded by bodies of freshwater. The likelihood is pretty high for encountering algal spores. Inoculation of swimming pools this way is good example. Not so for saltwater species. Unless you live by the ocean, airborne marine algae spores would be very rare and a very unlikely source for an algae. Assuming the green slime that you observed was green hair algae (did you identify it under a microscope?), most likely it was present on the container surface or in the water. Odds are that you cannot repeat this observation with sterile water and equipment.
The world is surrounded by ocean, even deserts receive wind and rain from the oceans.
If you were on a planet that 70%+ was surrounded by desert. Then algae spores wouldnt be as prevalent. LUCKILY you are on the OCEAN planet, which 70%+ is covered in sea water. Hell from space the continents look like islands in the sea.
Your perception of algae needs reevaluated. It appears narrow.
 

Garf

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Quite the opposite. In no hurry to add livestock. Want to the build bio filter slowly and thoroughly and not overwhelm it with the addition of a horde of fish. The objective/idea/“experiment” is to establish the ATS growth to minimize or eliminate the typical new tank algae bloom by outcompeting it earlier rather than later. It’s more food for thought than anything.
Here’s my scrubber from nine years ago, you may gain something from it;
 

GeoSquid

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Quite the opposite. In no hurry to add livestock. Want to the build bio filter slowly and thoroughly and not overwhelm it with the addition of a horde of fish. The objective/idea/“experiment” is to establish the ATS growth to minimize or eliminate the typical new tank algae bloom by outcompeting it earlier rather than later. It’s more food for thought than anything.
I've had to move around quite a bit for my job and would start a new reef tank every two or three years. I don't think there is a way to circumvent the process of algae successions in a reef tank, but it might be a fun experiment. I still think you'll run into problems dumping Urea in the tank down the line somewhere but maybe not. One thing to consider would be to start the scrubber using a separate bin or tank to get it running, then plug it into your display when the time comes. I've done lot's of experiments on tanks. I'm working in a different field so don't have to move as much. My current tank is 180gal set up for close to 3 years now. I wanted to see if I could run it with as little equipment as possible and just light and water flow. I'm only using a 650 g/h pump that pumps water up to two Borneman style surge tanks. The tanks create a surge every couple minutes from each tank. I put t5 lights above the surge tanks and DIY's two horizontal ATS with flow from the same pump. I also have some Macro algae in the surge tanks. I did add additional wavemakers in the tank but I might have been able to get away without them.
 
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FuzzySPS

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I've had to move around quite a bit for my job and would start a new reef tank every two or three years. I don't think there is a way to circumvent the process of algae successions in a reef tank, but it might be a fun experiment. I still think you'll run into problems dumping Urea in the tank down the line somewhere but maybe not. One thing to consider would be to start the scrubber using a separate bin or tank to get it running, then plug it into your display when the time comes. I've done lot's of experiments on tanks. I'm working in a different field so don't have to move as much. My current tank is 180gal set up for close to 3 years now. I wanted to see if I could run it with as little equipment as possible and just light and water flow. I'm only using a 650 g/h pump that pumps water up to two Borneman style surge tanks. The tanks create a surge every couple minutes from each tank. I put t5 lights above the surge tanks and DIY's two horizontal ATS with flow from the same pump. I also have some Macro algae in the surge tanks. I did add additional wavemakers in the tank but I might have been able to get away without them.
I've had to move around quite a bit for my job and would start a new reef tank every two or three years. I don't think there is a way to circumvent the process of algae successions in a reef tank, but it might be a fun experiment. I still think you'll run into problems dumping Urea in the tank down the line somewhere but maybe not. One thing to consider would be to start the scrubber using a separate bin or tank to get it running, then plug it into your display when the time comes. I've done lot's of experiments on tanks. I'm working in a different field so don't have to move as much. My current tank is 180gal set up for close to 3 years now. I wanted to see if I could run it with as little equipment as possible and just light and water flow. I'm only using a 650 g/h pump that pumps water up to two Borneman style surge tanks. The tanks create a surge every couple minutes from each tank. I put t5 lights above the surge tanks and DIY's two horizontal ATS with flow from the same pump. I also have some Macro algae in the surge tanks. I did add additional wavemakers in the tank but I might have been able to get away without them.
@GeoSquid...trying to get the ATS going in a separate tub to incorporate into the main system was exactly what I was originally scratching my head about and seemed like a good idea but had difficulty learning about what to add to add, how much, how often, etc. in that environment, hence, the origin of this thread. If there were a simple way to do it I’d think ATS manufacturers would spread the word as I’m sure many people are incorporating an ATS into a new system (not only established ones) and I know I’m not the only one who would prefer to minimize/avoid new tank algae blooms if there is an alternate way that will also benefit the establishment of a viable long term filter. So, long story made short, I’m totally on board with you and FWIW, based on the input of many, I’m less inclined to go the urea route after all and may just stay lights out or dimly blue in the DT with very slow livestock additions hoping to have the ATS gain strength that way. Anything more involved is something I’d wager I’ll be sure to botch. Thanks for hopping in...much appreciated.
 

GeoSquid

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@GeoSquid...trying to get the ATS going in a separate tub to incorporate into the main system was exactly what I was originally scratching my head about and seemed like a good idea but had difficulty learning about what to add to add, how much, how often, etc. in that environment, hence, the origin of this thread. If there were a simple way to do it I’d think ATS manufacturers would spread the word as I’m sure many people are incorporating an ATS into a new system (not only established ones) and I know I’m not the only one who would prefer to minimize/avoid new tank algae blooms if there is an alternate way that will also benefit the establishment of a viable long term filter. So, long story made short, I’m totally on board with you and FWIW, based on the input of many, I’m less inclined to go the urea route after all and may just stay lights out or dimly blue in the DT with very slow livestock additions hoping to have the ATS gain strength that way. Anything more involved is something I’d wager I’ll be sure to botch. Thanks for hopping in...much appreciated.
Inland Aquatics used to sell a pre-seasoned Turf scrubber screen but I think the company has changed a bit.

 
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FuzzySPS

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Yes. Saw an old post somewhere along the line recently mentioning the exact same thing. Looks like I.A. still exists but largely on the freshwater side of things.
 

Dan_P

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The world is surrounded by ocean, even deserts receive wind and rain from the oceans.
If you were on a planet that 70%+ was surrounded by desert. Then algae spores wouldnt be as prevalent. LUCKILY you are on the OCEAN planet, which 70%+ is covered in sea water. Hell from space the continents look like islands in the sea.
Your perception of algae needs reevaluated. It appears narrow.
I think we’ll end this discussion right here. Bye!
 
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