Mega Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover - DIY! - Page 9 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
Old 11-20-2008, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
Member

Update Of The Day: Overflow GPH and Screen Width

If you are doing an overflow feed like this:

...then the overflow gallon per hour (U.S. gph) will determine how much flow you have to work with. You have to start from there, and size your screen accordingly. The maximum flow you'll get to the screen will be what's going through your overflow now. This is easy to figure out by counting how many seconds it takes your overflow to fill a one-gallon jug:

60 seconds = 60 gph
30 seconds = 120 gph
15 seconds = 240 gph
10 seconds = 360 gph
8 seconds = 450 gph
5 seconds = 720 gph
4 seconds = 900 gph
3 seconds = 1200 gph

Take this gph number that you end up with, and divide by 35, to get the number of inches wide the screen should be. For example, if your overflow was 240 gph, then divide this by 35 to get 6.8 (or just say 7) inches. So your screen should be 7 inches wide. Or you can use this chart:

Screen Width-----Gallons Per Hour (GPH)

1" 35
2" 70
3" 105
4" 140
5" 175
6" 210
7" 245
8" 280
9" 315
10" 350
11" 385
12" 420
13" 455
14" 490
15" 525
16" 560
17" 595
18" 630
19" 665
20" 700
21" 735
22" 770
23" 805
24" 840
25" 875
26" 910
27" 945
28" 980
29" 1015
30" 1050

How tall should the screen it be? That is determined by how much screen area you need, which is determined by how many gallons you have. Try to get one square inch of screen (lit both sides) for every gallon. If lit on only one side, double the screen area.

When finished, this is how you want your flow to look:

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Old 11-22-2008, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
Member

Quotes Of The Day:

Eric Borneman: "What turfs are, essentially, are excellent nitrogen and phosphorus uptake species, with a number of benefits over many other species: faster growing, less invasive, more efficient and less toxic than macroalgae, much more efficient by fast growth than Xenia, and far more effective in most tanks than seagrasses (which require so much more light, sediments, symbiotic microbes, benthic nutrients, and space) or mangroves. The big benefit of turfs as nutrient uptake and export, if needed or desired (by removal of the turfs as they grow), is that they grow faster than macroalgae in biomass, are generally not producers of prolific secondary metabolites (their defense and competition is fast growth), and they are confined to a specific area and are thus not invasive. Even if some get released into the tank, they are very palatable and are a treat for herbivorous fishes and invertebrates. In fact, turfs are havens for copepods, amphipods, ostracods, and polychaetes, favoring their reproduction."

Tom Barr: "You might also suggest this to folks, you can prep this [scrubber] filter very easily by using a bucket and the pump and getting a good film of growth outside (if possible , near a window with direct sun light) on the screen prior to use in the aquarium; no waiting for it to get all furry. This is pre cycling for an algae scrubber. There is a little sloughing and adaptation once you place in the tank, but this will accelerate the process. Use a bucket to prep things instead of the aquarium, this way you can get on top of things and cycle the tank much faster, essentially bypassing the cycle altogether, a so called "silent cycle". Algae remove NH4 [ammonium] directly, so there's no NO2 or NO3 build up. No need for bacteria (they will form later anyway, but will have a less prominent role). For folks that do FC ["fish cycling" in FW tanks], they should prep their algae filters in a bucket, not bomb the whole tank with NH3 [ammonia]. That's foolish to do that."
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:49 PM
Member

I really like the
"Jfdelacruz" on the RP site
modification to this. The container sitting above the tank could work...

Do you know if that drains straight into the tank?
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
Member

Yep I'm pretty sure it does. Or to the back panel and then to the tank.
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
Member

Update Of The Day:

"Christophe" on the MD site has an idea which could greatly improve a screen's performance after cleaning. As you know, after cleaning there is very little algae remaining to do any filtering. One way around this has been to clean half the screen each week, and another is to use two screens, cleaning only one screen per week. Yet another way is to pancake two screens together which makes extra deep holes for the algae to grab on to. (By the way, "rug canvas" holds on to algae much better than "plastic canvas", it's just more flimsy and hard to work with.)

Christophe's idea was to use Lego Base Plates (the ones you played with as a kid):

They are available all over the web, and at almost every toy store and discount store. The beauty of these plates is that no matter how hard you clean/scrape, algae will still remain in-between the pegs (except the first week or so, where it will all come off anyways). Of course, you'll still want to sand/scratch all the areas in-between the pegs, but overall this looks very promising, if someone else would like to try it.

One disadvantage is that the plates are not (at least that I could find) available in clear, so a light on one side does not benefit the other side like it does with a screen. But since these plates are only formed one-sided anyways, it might not be such a bad thing, and indeed would be perfect for a twin-screen one-bulb setup.
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Old 11-25-2008, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
Member

Well there are three folks now on the scrubber builder directory who can build your scrubber for you: 2 in the U.S., 1 in the U.K. So there is no excuse to not have your own scrubber :)

Algae Scrubbers &bull; View topic - Builder Directory
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Old 11-25-2008, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Member

Reminder Of The Day: Feeding

Here is a diagram by Eric Borneman that shows what feeds on what:

It was taken from Eric's two building block articles that cover what happens when you feed your tank. This information is what you need to know to really understand what scrubbers do:

The Food of Reefs, Part 5: Bacteria by Eric Borneman - Reefkeeping.com
The Food of Reefs, Part 6: Particulate Organic Matter by Eric Borneman - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
Member

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Text Version: Nutrients, part 5

When Food Decomposes

Food ==> Bacteria ==> Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate ==>

==> Algae growth on your rocks and glass eats most of the
Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate.

==> The remaining Inorganic Nitrate and Inorganic Phosphate
stays in your water, which is what you read when you test.

Previous Versions:

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Old 11-29-2008, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
Member

LEDs for Scrubbers

Many folks want to try an LED scrubber. We do to, which is why we are trying to figure them out on the scrubber site. However, they are a ways down the road; nothing to report yet. If anyone wants to try themselves, here is a starting point:

Low-Power LED panel, to experiement with:
http://shop.sunshine-systems.com/product.sc?productId=1

Higher-Power LED panel, not sure if enough for good growth:
led grow lights -Sunshine Systems : The GlowPanel 45 LED Grow Light

The deal with LEDs is that you need lots of light power to have good growth. How much is still unknown. But the above panels are cheap enough that some folks should be able to give them a try. It's just for experimenting, though. If you need results you can count on, get a 23W CFL full spectrum or bigger, or a T5HO, or halide
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
Member

Successes of the Day:

brianhellno on the MFK site: "Just wanted to share my success with a turf scrubber with my freshwater tank. Currently I have a 125 with (5) 6-inch piranha, (6) 4-inch giant danios, about (20) 1-inch baby black cons, (2) 2-inch green terrors, (2) 2-inch jack dempseys, and (1) 2.5 inch blue malawi cichlid. The smaller fish were all supposed to be feeders, but the piranha ignore them. Anyways I've had the scrubber up and running for almost three weeks now and I finally tested the water parameters: Ammonia 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 5 ppm. Not too bad! Usually the Nitrate sits around 40 to 80 ppm right before a water change, so this is definitely an improvement. All I can say is thanks for the great idea!

worley on the scrubber site: "Well just got my phosphate test kit and did a test... *drumroll* .... 0ppm. It's the API phosphate test kit, and it was the very lightest green on the salt water card (0ppm). That's a great result, especially as I'm now feeding tonnes into the tank, 1 block of brine shrimp and 1 of mysis, plus some live brine (fed with live phyto a an hour before feeding to the fish) and some pellet foods. [...] I still can't get over the phosphate test, and how low the nitrates are considering there's not been a water change in 2 months and so much food has gone in.

jan on the RPhil site: "Today is my 24th day of cycling, I measured my water my parameters and here are the result: Nitrate 0ppm. Turf algae is almost all over my screen Razz !!!! thanks for this great Idea!
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