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Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Happy Christmas - MuckyFish thanks for advising on vegetables for my kribs! so here is a discus - ScottishFish You help a lot - PhillipOrigami For the bank account, and thx for the rep - Cliff beautiful discus! - Crispy 
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    Talking In Tank Algae Scrubber Results


    0 Not allowed!
    In light of my somewhat silly (OK, very) post in the discus forum on discus grow out and scrubbers, I thought I'd post on my water parameters and current experimental results.

    Current water parameters are:

    Nitrates: < 0.5 ppm

    Phosphates: < 0.2 ppm

    Water: ultra-soft, somewhat acidic

    Of course, zero ammonia, and nitrite

    My tiny in tank algae scrubber accounts for 100% of the phosphate reduction in the tank and somewhere between 50% and 75% of my nitrate reduction. I have, for the past three weeks done zero water changes (from my normal bi-weeky 50%.) I simply vacuum once per day (about 10% of the tank's water. OK, most days, have missed a few ... .) Since the fish are producing waste far faster than this tiny W/C can remove/replace with clean water, the nitrates and phosphates should be off the charts in no time.

    For a tank with too many discus, this would normally be a grossly inadequate level of water changing. While I am not gonna continue with this method (I'll start doing once weekly 50% WC) I just wanted to demonstrate how effective a scrubber can be - even with an over stocked tank.

    That I have a very good canister (with UV and all bio-noodles), a nitrate reactor, and an undergravel reverse flow sand system all running allows this ridiculously low water change rate with a too large bio-mass (waste producing machines called discus: five feedings a day.)

    This lack of water changes even with a scrubber should not, and I'm serious here, ever be attempted by anyone without a good bit of experience in fish maintenance and multiple and redundant bio-filtering; otherwise, disaster can easily result.
    Last edited by Cermet; 03-31-2013 at 03:18 PM.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    It might also help to put this in perspective if you would post your water parameters out of the tap to see the starting point. If I remember correctly, your tap water has somewhere around 10ppm of nitrate and some phosphates in it? I few pic could also be helpful if you have them just to see and better understand all the equipment you have mentioned, specially the algae scrubber.

    What is your plan for on-going weekly changes ?
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Happy Mother's Day! - Slaphppy7 For 7,000 posts!! - steeler58 Thanks for the rep!! - steeler58 For working with new fish keepers! Outstanding this month. - Taurus Just Because - Surfdog 
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What were your tank parameters before the algae scrubber? How has not doing water changes for three weeks affected the GH and KH? Does the scrubber also clear out hormones secreted by the fish or replace trace elements they need to thrive? How much of the reduced nitrates are you attributing to the nitrate reactor?
    Algae scrubbers have been around and in use for many many years. No one is questioning the efficiency of an algae scrubber, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the algae is a plant and will use up nitrates. What is being questioned is this is not for everyone and continuously mentioning them when something simpler and more immediately effective like water changes is like listening to a broken record. Some people can barely grasp the basic concepts never mind one that is slightly more advanced. Not everyone wants their tank to look like a science experiment with tubes and gadgets coming out of it, and in cases where it is necessary, not everyone wants to use a sump.
    I don't have a phosphate problem and my nitrates are kept low with water changes, and water changes removes much more than nitrates and replenishes trace elements. I will stick with clean, fresh water and let the children do the science experiments.
    When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.


  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Happy Christmas - MuckyFish thanks for advising on vegetables for my kribs! so here is a discus - ScottishFish You help a lot - PhillipOrigami For the bank account, and thx for the rep - Cliff beautiful discus! - Crispy 
    I know this doesn't help but it's all I can do! - chrisfraser05 for all the wise advice you've given me - fishmommie Congrats on 2000th post! - andreahp Merry Christmas! - fishmommie Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    Thanks for the rep :-) - ~firefly~ appreciate it. - fishmommie Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ - korith For all the good advice you give. - ~firefly~ 
    Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff thanks for the rep points.  appreciate it - fishmommie happy friday! - mojosodope Merry Christmas! - ~firefly~ Thanks for the rep! - steeler1 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    A lot of questions and some have proven answers and some are guess work or based on others work that I will not footnote.

    First off, algae scrubbers remove far more than nitrates - that is a fact; they consume any remaining ammonia and nitrites (if these do occur in the tap or due to an accident.) Yes, these wastes should not be in the average tank and the first course of action is a water change; but spikes do happen for various reasons and are not always caught. As such, these units can help with such issues (like after a too good of filter cleaning.) A second standard filter might or might not help with such an issue. However, I am NOT saying get these units for that type of problem; I am only stating that scrubbers do consume these types of wastes in answer to your post.

    Also, these units will not prevent a filter to cycle nor compete with a standard filter, so that is a none issue.

    As for what percent of my nitrates are handled by my in tank algae scrubber - by my calculations, over 50% but less than 75% as I have posted in this thread.

    As for my hardness, I have posted in the past on this. In my current experiment, no measurable change BUT three weeks is a joke of a short time to test that issue. I'd think that these would fall (really the Ca levels) but can't address that. Since most people do some water changes every week, can't see this being an issue.

    As for pH, this has allowed me to better stabilize my system (Not because these units do that - just the opposite.) Rather, by not needing to make such large water changes twice a week, my pH swings less and this has helped my fish (but then I have very soft water; for people with hard water, that is not as much an issue.)

    Also, many experts have used these units to consume other organics (closed aquatic systems) so yes, they do appear to consume fish hormones and other organics produced by fish (i.e. slime coatings, maybe.)

    HOWEVER!!!! I have only read this and make NO CLAIM THEY DO this service or should anyone at all depend on this property. I have not post this claim in the past nor would I suggest these units for that purpose! You asked this question so I am answering it. Yes they appear to do that but for me and most aquarium keepers, that would be a terrible reason to use/suggest these units.

    Again, I have and remain a believer in standard filters, water changes and carefully say this.

    I am lost why you feel in tank scrubbers (the only units I really suggest) are so difficult a device to install/operate - it is far more simple to maintain than any other filter on the market - cleaning away some algae once a week is it - that makes a HOB look difficult. Relative to slumps, I agree with you 100%. That is not what I post about, however.

    An in tank scrubber’s profile is far smaller than the average in tank filter (heck, even a canister since these scrubbers do not have the large intake/exhaust tubes.) An in tank scrubber can be hidden behind a small piece of wood. Since they use an air pump, they will also help a tank with oxygen.

    As for water changes, I totally agree with you that water changes are the best way to keep any tank; but if one has high nitrates in the tap (I and others have this issue), we have few options: either buy a very complex and VERY expensive R/O system or get one of these small, cheap and far, far simpler algae scrubbers. Water changes simply do not help with high tap nitrates!

    However, algae srcubbers are a powerful, yet simple and safe new tool (no, they have NOT been around for the average user for many years; a very useless unit was created long ago. These units were for huge commercil saltwater tanks. From my reading, it was only a few years ago that this type used by freshwater people was developed.)

    In tank scrubber units (the off-the-self commercial ones) are simple to operate, small and can protect a tank from many common errors or problems. They are ideal for people with high nitrates in the tap (and to a lesser extent, nitrites; can't see much use for dealing with low ammonia levels in the tap.) They can be used to reduce water changes for people that either can't make largte water changes (bad tap water) or need to reduce their W/C levels for other reasons. But that, I agree, these are often only a special issue not commonly found/facing the average aquarium user.

    Any non-planted tank will benefit from a small, in tank unit. They are simple, easy to maintain and as I have discovered, solved my previous never ending battle with algae and Blue-green algae. If a beginner installs one, and ignores it – really, harmless. If a beginner buys a HOB or canister and ignores it, the tank will, in time, do far worse. Just don’t see how these scrubbers can create issues for a beginner – besides, how else do people advance and become experienced? By trying, no?

    I will continue to discus my use of these units (including my experiments) and where I feel they can help someone here at the forum (high tap nitrates, uncontrolled algae growth even with large water changes), I will suggest them. I do not agree at all with your idea that in tank, small scrubber units are complex but I do agree 100% that the slump systems are well beyond most people's ability to operate. But I never argue that people should use those units.

    While I do feel that in tank algae scrubbers are the wave of the future for none planted tanks and useful for many types of other tanks tanks, I do think they do require a level of caution compared to simple HOB’s. Scrubbers can work well in planted tanks but here I’d always argue against them except for experts – and in most of my posts, I say that.

    So, if someone has high nitrates in their tap water, and if they also have fish that produce a lot of waste (I do and this causes nitrates to shoot up even faster; like every day!), what low cost, simple solution would you suggest?
    Last edited by Cermet; 04-01-2013 at 11:36 AM.

  5. #5

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff View Post
    It might also help to put this in perspective if you would post your water parameters out of the tap to see the starting point. If I remember correctly, your tap water has somewhere around 10ppm of nitrate and some phosphates in it? I few pic could also be helpful if you have them just to see and better understand all the equipment you have mentioned, specially the algae scrubber.

    What is your plan for on-going weekly changes ?
    Cermet, It can help others to understand the exact impact of your set-up if you were to post your typical water parameters before the scrubber as well as the parameters of your tap water. That could help to demonstrate your point rather than just focusing on the theory
    Last edited by Cliff; 04-01-2013 at 12:18 PM.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cermet View Post
    But using a very small, in tank commercial or kit algae scrubber is rather advanced stuff that very few people could ever handle - this requires cleaning the in tank scrubber at least once a week and running/operating an air pump and a cheap light timer: I am talking super advanced technology here that even scientist with backgrounds in chemistry and aquatics rarely attempt ... . OK, maybe a few really expert aquarist in the world might, maybe can handle this level of advanced work but that will be a secret that we won't let get around ...LOL.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cermet View Post
    I am lost why you feel in tank scrubbers (the only units I really suggest) are so difficult a device to install/operate - it is far more simple to maintain than any other filter on the market - cleaning away some algae once a week is it - that makes a HOB look difficult. Relative to slumps, I agree with you 100%. That is not what I post about, however.
    (first quote from thread "discus size growth")

    I can't tell if you were being sarcastic in the first quote, or simply trying to make it out to be this extremely difficult thing to do to make yourself feel special for being able to do it (which it really isn't difficult at all, so I'm hoping it was sarcasm). I've known about algae turf scrubbers for years now and they're really simple to DIY and a child could maintain one. Sorry, but these two quotes from you are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum which was just confusing to understand your actual take on the product.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Happy Christmas - MuckyFish thanks for advising on vegetables for my kribs! so here is a discus - ScottishFish You help a lot - PhillipOrigami For the bank account, and thx for the rep - Cliff beautiful discus! - Crispy 
    I know this doesn't help but it's all I can do! - chrisfraser05 for all the wise advice you've given me - fishmommie Congrats on 2000th post! - andreahp Merry Christmas! - fishmommie Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    Thanks for the rep :-) - ~firefly~ appreciate it. - fishmommie Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ - korith For all the good advice you give. - ~firefly~ 
    Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff thanks for the rep points.  appreciate it - fishmommie happy friday! - mojosodope Merry Christmas! - ~firefly~ Thanks for the rep! - steeler1 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    My tap water runs up to 10 ppm nitrates; hence my tank starts off with this level even with a 100% water change.

    My water is very soft and drifts: + 0.2 to + 0.3 in a week with no water change.

    Without the algae scrubber, my phosphates were between 3 and 10 ppm (my sand really did absorb phosphates; guess that makes a good case for bare bottom.)

    My nitrates could reach 13 ppm (water changes per week: one 50% water change and one 75% w/c. My pH would swing and stress the fish.)

    funkman262 that paragraph was so over the top I didn't think anyone would think otherwise so sorry, if that wasn't clear that I was being very silly. You are 100% correct about the scrubbers being easy to operate/upkeep. I am lost that this is a possible issue for Mommy1 so I was being a bit of an as... I mean, being silly.

    Mommy1 is correct that slump based systems are rather advanced filters and I think that is what the issue is between us on this question. As such, I was trying to address this question in better detail.

    Since NO ONE that I can find has demonstrtaed the effects of algae scrubbers on tank maintance and phosphate levels here (at least), I thought I'd do that and get a better handle on this issue. I am using my fish so I am putting my money where my offering advice is concerned. Only fair since others, if they follow someone advice, are risking their's.

    I will, from time to time, try and explore issues as I think of them. But algae scrubbers are, at least for the small in tank units, cheap and easy to use devices. In tank scrubbers can help the average (read non-beginner) fish keeper IF they understand their limitations and uses as Mommy1 so correctly points out. In this, Mommy1 is 100% correct and offers good advice.

    I hope this helps to clarify the far too long post.

    Aside: I have posted some pictures in the past and when I get the chance, will add another. New ones aren't loading even as jpeg so I'm still trying to figure that issue out!
    Last edited by Cermet; 04-01-2013 at 12:48 PM.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cermet View Post
    funkman262 that paragraph was so over the top I didn't think anyone would think otherwise so sorry, if that wasn't clear that I was being very silly. You are 100% correct about the scrubbers being easy to operate/upkeep.
    That's what I thought but it's hard to tell over the internet sometimes. In mommy1's defense, it's really not for everybody. Some people just prefer as little equipment as possible and simply doing frequent water changes, and honestly there's nothing wrong with that. Not all equipment benefits every tank, so it's up to the hobbyist to determine if/when changes may be necessary, but people have kept fish for many years without these contraptions and some may simply prefer to continue without them. I personally love the new gadgets/methods that are always popping up in this hobby so when I have the cash/time I try out whatever I can. I started keeping fish right around when new technologies were popping up and in the testing stages where nobody really knew how effective they'd be, especially for saltwater tanks. For example, I built a denitrating coil and a 72W LED fixture for my reef tank, among many other things. I love to experiment (it's in my nature as a scientist/engineer), but many people prefer old-school methods that are tried and true.

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Happy Christmas - MuckyFish thanks for advising on vegetables for my kribs! so here is a discus - ScottishFish You help a lot - PhillipOrigami For the bank account, and thx for the rep - Cliff beautiful discus! - Crispy 
    I know this doesn't help but it's all I can do! - chrisfraser05 for all the wise advice you've given me - fishmommie Congrats on 2000th post! - andreahp Merry Christmas! - fishmommie Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    Thanks for the rep :-) - ~firefly~ appreciate it. - fishmommie Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ - korith For all the good advice you give. - ~firefly~ 
    Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff thanks for the rep points.  appreciate it - fishmommie happy friday! - mojosodope Merry Christmas! - ~firefly~ Thanks for the rep! - steeler1 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I agree with you but the issue for me is that there are specific situations that this class of filter is ideal for at a vastly lower price and far more simple operation than other, more oftenly used filters. Talking about this scrubber and my applications does no harm and it is silly to think a beginner will have issues if we clearly apply a specific solution to a person's specific problem - i.e. high nitrates in their tap leading to algae problems. A perfect, low cost, childishly simple solution like a scrubber can offer a lot of help to many people.

    Like all filters (and some are far, far worse than others) issues related to their use can bite anyone - even an expert. But everyone here should always realize that any advice can be a dangerous exercise: even something as common as just water changes can kill fish if not carefully done. Knowledge is, fundamental ... lol.
    Last edited by Cermet; 04-01-2013 at 02:29 PM.

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Are you planning on posting any pictures of your ATS?

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