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  1. #1

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    Default Micro Bubble Scrubbing


    2 Not allowed!
    So a while back I had posted a video in which I discussed using a sand substrate and cleaning the tank. After posting the video in my journal, a discussion among some members arose regarding my use of filling my tank with bubbles to help clean it up. This practice was something I stumbled on randomly when refilling my tanks in the past and has become standard practice in my house for tank maintenance.

    Poor quality screenshot from that video:
    dffffeeee.jpg

    Imagine my surprise when I got involved in the saltwater side of the hobby and found out that this is actually a thing that a lot of folks do in their saltwater tanks. It is referred to as bubble scrubbing, with some folks tossing the words "micro" or "nano" in front due to the size of the bubbles. The main difference between my method and theirs is that they use simple air pumps and wooden air "stones" to create the micro bubbles whereas I would create mine with my Python water changer. Of course, their way is much better as it can be done in any tank at any time, unlike mine in which it had to be done during water change time only in tanks that used tap water.

    hqdefault (1).jpg

    These are a couple of generic wooden air stones that are used alongside any air pump to generate the bubbles. These produce very fine misty bubbles as opposed to the huge bubbles created by traditional air stones. You can pick up these wooden ones of several different brands online for around $7 for two.

    cd36b575-wooden-airstone-gb.png

    Basically, this whole concept is the core of a protein skimmer. The skimmer creates billions of tiny bubbles that scrub the water and push all the crud, referred to as skimmate, into a collection cup. This is all contained in the protein skimmer and is working 24/7. The more generalized bubble scrubbing method I'm writing about, however, is not contained to a skimmer device. You are essentially turning your entire tank into one giant protein skimmer. As the bubbles scrub through the tank, they attach to all manner of organics that are in the tank, on your rockwork, driftwood, plants, substrate, and floating in the water column. The bubbles eventually rise to the surface, where they can be skimmed off using your water changer/siphon, a fine net, or an overflow if your tank has one.

    This is all the skimmate that is removed from a tank using bubble scrubbing, whether done via air stone or protein skimmer. A skimmer is much more effective as it runs constantly, but the results are similar.

    skimmate_12hrs_b.jpg

    So just think, ^that^ is all that extra crap in your tank that you could be removing from your tanks using a cheap air pump and wooden "stone." Just run it in your tank for a little while prior to doing a water change and then use your siphon to suck all the crud you see floating on the surface while you are draining the old water. In my experience, it is best to turn off any filters that generate surface agitation so that the stuff the bubbles lift to the surface can stay on top more easily.


    I have not been able to do this in my reef tank as I did not know about using the wooden air stones until this week and I do not use my Python for that tank as I use RODI water to make my saltwater. I have my stones arriving today and will be trying them out in my reef tank for the first time this evening. I will take a video of the process and share it with y'all who are interested in following and seeing it in action.
    Last edited by BluewaterBoof; 02-09-2018 at 07:25 PM.



  2. #2

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Wow!!! Subscribed! Thank you :)))
    Last edited by angelcraze2; 02-09-2018 at 07:40 PM.
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  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Well, darn... There was an issue with the UPS plane and the delivery didn't go out today like it was supposed to, so no bubble scrubbing in the reef tank for me tonight :( Looks like I'm gonna have to wait until Monday for the wooden air stones.



  4. #4

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Thanks for letting us know :)
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  5. #5

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    I'm looking forward to the video whenever you get a chance to post it Boof.

  6. #6

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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    This is interesting. I remember when you posted that video of your method in your freshwater tank. Did you order one of those wooden stones for use on your freshwater tanks too?
    Learn from yesterday
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  7. #7

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    Default


    4 Not allowed!
    Well, since it's water change weekend and I'm not getting my wooden stones until Monday, I figured I might as well make a little video dedicated to how I have been using my Python to scrub my big tank. It shows just how much crud the bubbles bring to the surface even after vacuuming the tank and how I use a net and surface skimmer to remove all the scum.



    Quote Originally Posted by RiversGirl View Post
    Did you order one of those wooden stones for use on your freshwater tanks too?
    Yes. I ordered the Lee's brand wooden stones off Amazon and they come in a pack of two :)



  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    That is just an impressive cleaning method and the end result is a healthier tank and fish.

  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I love it!!! Thanks for sharing that :) I can't wait to see the wooden airstone method since I don't use water straight from the tap.

    Actually, what do you think? Would the water off-gas the same with python bubble scrubbing as aging it with an airstone in a tub?
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
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  10. #10

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I’m not sure. It would be a nice little experiment to compare the two.



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