Will this ATS / Algae Scrubber idea work well?

HomeSlizzice

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Hi All,

I'm newer to the idea of running an Algae Scrubber. I've always used other methods for my tanks, but the idea of an algae scrubber interests me. I've read a lot about them recently and see that the waterfall style is the most popular currently, followed by the UAS (Upflow Algae Scrubber), and then in the past the horizontal trough or dump bucket style.

My understanding is the surface area, water flow, air flow for gas exchange, and lighting is best on the waterfall style. The UAS style is another good option if you don't have the space for a waterfall style, or if you don't want anything outside of the sump.


My question is.... for a really simply UAS / horizontal style Algae Scrubber, why not just put the roughed up screen material mounted horizontally on say an egg crate platform about 1-3" inches below the water surface of your sump, with an air pump underneath the screen pumping air under the mesh screen? I've read that a horizontal screen underwater alone won't do much, but with an air pump under it, why wouldn't it work?

Lastly, I was reading about a design this from this guy, Garf on Algaescrubbing.com, which he called his B.A.D.*****. (Benthic All Dimensional Algae Surge Scrubber) which is functionally similar to my idea, but with a normal powerhead aimed at the surface of the water creating waves.

Any thoughts, or ideas? I want to make my own ATS, and was basically going to do a DIY SMF floating SURF UAS, but am wanting to look into the best/easiest options.

Thanks!

- David
 

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HomeSlizzice

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There are lots of ways to do an ats. But the general consensus is that you want lots of water flow over the surface but not have the screen submerged. My thread below shows how simple it can be.

httpstapatalk.com/shareLink?url=https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/cheapest-easiest-diy-ats-ever.362888/&share_tid=362888&share_fid=1020&share_type=t

Cheapest easiest diy ATS ever.
You're link was broken, but I was able to find your thread. Very cool, and simple design. I like it, especially for running on a nano.

I have heard that you don't want them submerged, but the whole premise of the UAS is that is is submerged but has bubbles running over it, so wouldn't a horizontal function the same way, but be lit the same way as the @SantaMonica 's SURF design?
 
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Your idea sounds very similar to how the surf design works so should work just as well
Thank you! Because the egg crate stand with mesh secured over the top of it is less work than building the floating box, but I'm open to ideas. The floating box is cool though, so I may just do that, but i'm wanting to hear out my options.
 
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Trust me when I say an upflow scrubber is vastly inferior to a waterfall ats.
How so? Just curious.

Also since I'm doing DIY and have limited room, a UAS is best for my current situation.
 

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How so? Just curious.

Also since I'm doing DIY and have limited room, a UAS is best for my current situation.
The gas exchange seems to do something and the very turbulent water flow too. Ive tried both and the upflow takes significantly longer to grow. The waterfall is better. But the upflow is better than no ats.
 

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why not just put the roughed up screen material mounted horizontally on say an egg crate platform about 1-3" inches below the water surface of your sump, with an air pump underneath the screen pumping air under the mesh screen?
I would be interested in seeing how this one works out

Been a while since I went back and looked at the BAD*** that Garf came up with, I'll have to dig up that thread and review it again

I would think if you're going to do the submerged horizontal screen, the main thing you want is turbulence. Having the overflow run directly over the screen gets you partway there. Adding a powerhead (maybe a wavemaker) positioned opposing the overflow, perhaps from slightly underneath pointing upwards (so you get turbulence over the top and flow pushing through from underneath) as well as air bubbles (bigger the better, so the issue here is that in a UAS the bubbles can traverse the entire screen, whereas from underneath a horizontal, they only cover the spot directly above them) might work OK.

The egg crate might create a cavity to force air bubbles to group together and push up through the mesh. It's also possible the air bubbles will not be able to make it through the mesh and algae mat once there is one, due to surface tension. The powerhead might break up the bubbles and spread them around a bit, having it on a wavemaver/pulse mode could distribute them a bit better.

You will likely want the screen close to the surface, so 1" or less. You want to avoid a large volume above the screen, as this will allow the water to just pass the screen by. You might tilt the screen up a bit on the far end possibly?

I like the creative thinking, the true test would be building it and seeing how well it works. Start small, at least I would
 
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I would be interested in seeing how this one works out

Been a while since I went back and looked at the BAD*** that Garf came up with, I'll have to dig up that thread and review it again

I would think if you're going to do the submerged horizontal screen, the main thing you want is turbulence. Having the overflow run directly over the screen gets you partway there. Adding a powerhead (maybe a wavemaker) positioned opposing the overflow, perhaps from slightly underneath pointing upwards (so you get turbulence over the top and flow pushing through from underneath) as well as air bubbles (bigger the better, so the issue here is that in a UAS the bubbles can traverse the entire screen, whereas from underneath a horizontal, they only cover the spot directly above them) might work OK.

The egg crate might create a cavity to force air bubbles to group together and push up through the mesh. It's also possible the air bubbles will not be able to make it through the mesh and algae mat once there is one, due to surface tension. The powerhead might break up the bubbles and spread them around a bit, having it on a wavemaver/pulse mode could distribute them a bit better.

You will likely want the screen close to the surface, so 1" or less. You want to avoid a large volume above the screen, as this will allow the water to just pass the screen by. You might tilt the screen up a bit on the far end possibly?

I like the creative thinking, the true test would be building it and seeing how well it works. Start small, at least I would

I appreciate your info! I like the idea of a pump pointed up towards the surface for more turbulence.

One thing that could help the air pump continue to be effective through the mesh would be to simply cut out a few 1/4-1/2" sections in the mesh where the air bubbles could flow freely. That would be fairly simple. Unfortunately I won't be testing this right now, but could be worth trying for those reading.
 

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