Mega Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover - DIY! - Page 33 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #321 of 435 Old 11-07-2009, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
Excerpts from "Our Coral Reef Aquaria - Our Own Personal Experiments in the effects of Trace Element Toxicity" by Ron Shimek
Our Coral Reef Aquaria by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. -

"Trace elements in heightened concentrations are considered to be poisons, nothing more, nothing less, by every researcher examining them."

"With regard to arsenic (when found), copper, nickel, tin, and zinc, the average tank water must be considered as being polluted with heavy metals."

"The water from the average reef tank is clearly dangerous to the organisms put into it [because of too many trace elements]."

"What causes these excessively high trace metal concentrations? Initially, the problem occurs with artificial seawater mixes that have abnormally high concentrations of these materials [...] Also, there is inadequate export of the materials due to any number of causes, but including such factors as poor skimming, inadequate water changes, and inadequate biomass export. Finally, in some cases well-meaning, but ill-advised aquarists often add supplements containing unknown quantities of some trace elements."

"There are NO data that any trace element additions are beneficial, and for any trace element for which there are data, excess amounts are detrimental. No adequate test kits exist for the vast majority of these materials, and few supplements list their ingredients in a trustworthy manner. Consequently, it is prudent not to add any at all to a system."

[Scrubbers remove metals]
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post #322 of 435 Old 11-22-2009, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
Success Updates:

Coolhandgoose on the scrubber site: "Since I installed the new light two weeks ago my nitrates have gone from 20 to 0. The cyano in my display is now starting to disappear."

Desert_Fishy on the SWF site: "I started my 75g reef 5 months ago (2nd venture w/SW) and decided to start up with a scrubber and no skimmer due to this thread. All I have are powerheads, lights, scrubber and a heater. My water readings are perfect, corals are really flourishing, fish are happy and I spend 10 minutes a week cleaning the algae off the scrubber - although that is becoming a bigger and bigger job. My only problem now is that copepods, feather dusters and some other small pink bug-like creatures that live on the glass are multiplying out of control. I have feather dusters everywhere!"

Toddo on the MFK site: "This is my 125 freshwater tank with medium bio load. I have an XP3 with Biomax/mech pads, and this scrubber as the only filtration now. Its been 12 days with just the scrubber for nitrate control. Nitrates and ammonia are still at zero. No water changes. This is significant, as my well water is 35-40ppm Nitrates. It grows enough algae to need weekly cleaning now. I had a specific freshwater requirement for low to no nitrates, and I have met that, using my scrubber. It was properly designed and built using info provided, and is now functioning as expected."

DeathWish302 on the RC site: "The turf scrubber slowly drove out the cyano, and has been amazingly processing EVERYTHING I have thrown at the tank in regards to food."

AlgaeNator on the scrubber site: "I have been running a version of ATS for about 2 months, and have been skimmerless for 4 weeks now, and am very happy with the ATS concept and performance so for. I have been running my prototype Victory Scrump for about 3 weeks now, to prove the concept and it's working VERY well. My corals are healthier than EVER, Two of MY RIC's that were dying going clear, are now SPLITTING after removing the skimmer. Im amazed actually at how well my other softies are doing too. In my case, I might not be typical though, as I think i was OVERSKIMMING my tank with my larger skimmers i build and sell, removing the good stuff with the bad"

Manuelink on the scrubber site [from spanish]: "with algal over 4 months without water changes, no skimmer, no additives anything, just food and my corals growing like additives. the coralline algae and is infested by all sides, that speaks of good levels of alk and calcium. is a wonder this invention"
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post #323 of 435 Old 11-22-2009, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
I now have a system to make double-layered, cactus-rough, plastic canvas screens:
Algae Scrubbers • View topic - Now Available: Screens you can buy

If there is a sales or vendor forum where this would be better placed, let me know.
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post #324 of 435 Old 11-29-2009, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
The trick of skimmer popularity

In my reading of what is going on lately with the discussions of skimmer vs. skimmerless tanks, I'm seeing the same fallacy repeated over and over and over, usually by the most experienced reefers who have been around the longest: "Because everyone uses skimmers, a skimmer must be required or else they wouldn't use one." Or, "Every Tank-Of-The-Month has a skimmer, therefore a skimmer is required to give you the best chance of a TOTM."

It's all completely irrelevant. I can't believe how many people fall for this line of reasoning. This trick is taught in Debate class in high school; It's called "Appeal to Poplulariy", otherwise known at Argumentum ad populum...

Argumentum ad populum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On a side note, realize that many people are paid to promote skimmers. Millions of dollars are put into the marketing and promotion of skimmers, and some of that money goes into the pockets of the people who are posting reasons to have skimmers. Also, there must be a hundred companies who make skimmers, and all of them have promotion budgets. The job of promotion is to "get the word out". How many Algae Scrubber companies have promotion budgets? Zero, because there are no companies. Scrubbers are DIY. This is why the "popular thinking" is to use a skimmer... because skimmers are all anyone reads about. Promotion is my day job, and this is exactly how it works.
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post #325 of 435 Old 12-01-2009, 10:31 AM
I'm just about to start the main bulk of the work on a 150 gallon. I'm considering going with a big algae scrubber instead of a skimmer, any thoughts?

I just figure that it will save me a few hundred quid and if there are no downsides to running a scrubber instead of a skimmer then why not?
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post #326 of 435 Old 12-04-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
It will work fine. Make it two screens and three bulbs.
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post #327 of 435 Old 12-18-2009, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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post #328 of 435 Old 12-18-2009, 09:34 PM
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post #329 of 435 Old 12-26-2009, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
Update: Cleaning algae off of the rocks.

If you are running a scrubber to help remove algae from the display, try first running the scrubber without manually removing algae off of the rocks. This is because when you scrub algae off of the rocks (or if you put a lawnmower or similar in) while the rocks are still in the tank, the algae will float around and die, causing a nutrient spike. It's better to let the scrubber slowly remove the algae for you. This will prevent spikes, and is less work too.

However, if there are LOTS of algae in the display (so much so that the phosphate and nitrate tests are zero), then your scrubber may not easily compete, even after many weeks. So if after four weeks you don't notice a reduction in algae in the display, then slowly start removing algae manually from the display (or, add a small algae eater). Don't remove TOO much algae at once (or don't get TOO big of an algae eater) because that will generate a spike too. Once the algae in the display has been reduced some, your scrubber should be able to take over from there, and all the rest of the nuisance algae should slowly go away.

Note: This does not apply if you remove the rocks from the system before cleaning. Removing rocks can be done at any time, but is much more work.
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post #330 of 435 Old 01-01-2010, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
New Year Update: Screen Roughness

It's becoming more and more clear how important a rough screen is. A year ago it was thought that lighting was most important, but only because you could see new growth easily from stronger light. The effects of a smooth screen are not nearly as obvious, because you start losing small pieces of algae off the screen bit-by-bit, but they are covered up by the other algae. So here is an example of how fast a brand-new screen can grow; it is just 4 days old, but it is two layers of cactus-rough plastic canvas:

Which gives us a new goal:

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