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Some more UAS upflow algae scrubber (tm) examples...

"Joey2525" on the CMF site...











"Alexleblanc" on the scrubber site...











"Disney" on the PH841 site...






"Cdm2012" on the scrubber site...









"Bicyclebill" on the PNWMAS site









"Mbonus" on the scrubber site...





"UasIslakkie" on the UR site...







"Alman" on the AH site...





"JosephAcquario" on another site...







"Ericsson" on the scrubber site...








"FotisGt" on the AZ site...









"Colin" on the PNWMAS site...





"Accrod" on the PH841 site...





"Atari" on the MC site...





"Kaykay" on the SG site...





"Jameshopper" on the UR site...


 

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I've read some of this already but have yet to see (will read all sooner or later) a / the place where it explains how the nitrates are used(?) up.
A very simple answer is what I'm looking for because I've read/googled and searched for a while and have yet to find any list etc which might
list those plants which are known to use nitrates as their food. I keep running into references to plants which use ammonia as food. There is one
type of a Duckweed that does better than most on this. But the articles all say the same basic statement...that given both chemicals in the
water in which they live, the plants prefer to use the ammonia.
I do have a motive for this however. I noticed that those people who talked about their systems talked about removing the algae which grew
on the screen. I can see some of it needing to be removed. But really I have been thinking that in some way a display of some kind could be
built in the tank where you could allow some of it to grow, but in a concentrated aria. I had imagined getting an old piece of board/wood and
directing the incoming water flow from the filter across it. Just have not been able to incorporate the air bubbles into that scene in any way
yet. Just a strange dream I guess.
 

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Let's not get into the pro's and con's of them as I'm only using it as an example, but could/would this replace a bio-filter such as an under gravel.
I used this type for the example because of it's singular nature as opposed to say a bio wheel by Penguin.
Here is my apprehension with the algae scraper.
I like the algae on the walls,rocks and logs. Just not a fan of it when it develops into such as hair algae. I will give a link to my photo's so you
can see what I mean. Most are photo's of fairly new or just built but I included a couple that have some age also. One is labeled "Algae on wall"
and though a poor picture, is still a good shot of how they look after a few months. I had tanks when young but have just started back into it
and only have about two years/w only a few months access to this forum and all the great info it has.
I guess I'm heading towards making one of these scrapers but thinking of reducing the size to deliberately reduce it's effectiveness so that I
still get some of my algae covering the rocks and wood. Any feedback on this I truly would appreciate.
Aquarium Gallery - Raymond S. Gallery
 

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Rivers and lakes don't have a person who cleans them even though in some streams it's clear. But in most cases the algae looks good and is a natural part
of it all. So guess how that water gets rid of the nitrates. But a picture is worth a thousand words so look at my gallery. There are two ten gal tanks in
there and one is a re-do. The other is actually the second design of the biological built in filter. Works better just because it's larger but took up too much
room in my tank to suit me. That one has pix at three points of algae growth. new / a few months / and more time. This summer/w direct sunlight it got
a heavy overgrowth of hair algae which is yet to be removed but getting rid of it to a friend to make room for the third generation of the filter in tank#3.
Moral to that one is if you don't already have lots of plants growing well don't put in mega lights and ferts.
The other tank(the re-do) has pix of it when first built when it had no wall covering (my version of 3D just gravel on silicon) and pix of the covering being
added/w slight mods to the actual filter at same time. This tank is now in it's third month. The tens are so the experimenting/w the filter don't run me into
the poor house. The wall covering is also evolving. Had tanks when young and just started back two years ago. Found this forum seems like mid Jan. of
this year.
Aquarium Gallery - Raymond S. Gallery

Quote: Are you trying to grow algae on the walls?
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Air Pump Recommendations for UAS® upflow algae scrubbers®. Having bought and tried all of these, here are the best ones:


Flow (highest to lowest):

Coralife Super Luft... TONS of flow for multiple outlets or multiple scrubbers
Tetra Whisper 300... High flow if both outlets are combined into one
JW Aquatic Fusion 700... High flow if both outlets are combined into one
Tetra Whisper 150... Good flow for one outlet
Coralife Luft (regular)... Good flow for one outlet


Noise (most to least):

Coralife Super Luft... (Loud; vibrates)
Coralife Luft (regular)... (Vibrates)
JW Aquatic Fusion 700... Slight vibration
Tetra Whisper 300... Silent
Tetra Whisper 150... Silent


Size: (big to small):

Tetra Whisper 300... Large
JW Aquatic Fusion 700... Medium
Coralife Super Luft... Medium
Tetra Whisper 150... Medium
Coralife Luft (regular)... Small


Cost (most to least):

Coralife Super Luft
Coralife Luft (regular)
Tetra Whisper 300
Tetra Whisper 150
JW Aquatic Fusion 700

Overall winner for a single UAS scrubber used at home: JW Aquatic Fusion 700 (also is the only one with adjustable flow)
Overall winner for multiple UAS scrubbers if noise if ok: Coralife Super Luft
 

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1982: The original dump-bucket style algae scrubber (works, but very hard to build, install, operate, and harvest)

2008: Waterfall style algae scrubber (works good but hard to build and install; must be removed to harvest)

2011: Upflow style scrubber (work goods, easier to build and install on the glass; must be removed to harvest)

2013: ??? (work great, all 3D growth, easy to build, and instant in-place harvesting without needing to remove anything or turn anything off).
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Phosphate flow out of rocks

Many people, when they get their scrubber running for the first time, get worried when more (not less) algae starts to grow on their rocks. It seems really strange, especially when nitrate and phosphate have gone lower than before. What is happening is that phosphate is coming out of the rocks. Remember, phosphate is invisible, so you can only see the effects of it, and it always "flows" from higher concentrations to lower concentrations (just like heat does).

Example: If your room is warm, and you put a cold object on the floor, heat from the air in the room will "flow" into the object until the object and the air are the same temperature. Example 2: If you put a hot object on the floor, heat will "flow" out of the object and go into the air in the room, again, until the air and the object are the same temperature. Now suppose you open your windows (in the winter). The warm air in your room will go out the windows, and it will get colder in the room. The object on the floor is now warmer than the air, so heat will flow out of the object and into the air, and then out the window.

Think of phosphate as the heat, and your rocks as the object, and your windows as the scrubber. As the scrubber pulls phosphate out of the water, the phosphate level in the water drops. Now, since the phosphate level in the water is lower than the phosphate level in the rocks, phosphate flows from the rocks into the water, and then from the water into the scrubber. This continues until the phosphate levels in the rocks and water are level again. And remember, you can't see this invisible flow.

This flow causes an interesting thing to happen. As the phosphate comes out of the rocks, it then becomes available to feed algae as soon as the phosphate reaches the surface of the rocks where there is light. So, since the surface of the rocks is rough and has light, it starts growing MORE algae there (not less) as the phosphate comes out of the rocks. This is a pretty amazing thing to see for the first time, because if you did not know what was happening you would probably think that the algae in the scrubber was leaking out and attaching to your rocks. Here are the signs of phosphate coming out of the rocks:

1. The rocks are older, and have slowly developed algae problems in the past year.

2. The scrubber is new, maybe only a few months old, and has recently started to grow well.

3. Nitrate and phosphate measurements in the water are low, usually the lowest they have been in a long time.

4. Green hair algae (not brown) on the rocks has increased in certain spots, usually on corners and protrusions at the top.

5. The glass has not needed cleaning as much.


Since skimmers, filter socks, etc don't remove any nitrate and phosphate, and waterchanges and macro's in a fuge don't remove much, most people have never seen the effects of large amounts of phosphate coming out of the rocks quickly. But sure enough, it does. How long does it continue? For 2 months to a year, depending on how much phosphate is in the rocks, how strong your scrubber is, and how many other phosphate-removing filters you have (GFO, carbon dosing, etc). But one day you will see patches of white rock that were covered in green hair the day before; this is a sure sign that the algae are losing their phosphate supply from the rocks and can no longer hold on. Now it's just a matter of days before the rocks are clear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Advanced Aquarist Feature Article for December 2013: Coral Feeding: An Overview
Feature Article: Coral Feeding: An Overview — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog


The picture in the article shows that in the 1000 litre test tank:

98% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 2 coral colonies
71% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 40 coral colonies
92% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 2 coral colonies, when skimming is cut in half
55% of the food particles go to the skimmer when there are 40 coral colonies, when skimming is cut in half


"This trade-off between food availability and water quality can be circumvented by using plankton-saving filtration systems, which include [...] algal turf scrubbers"

"Corals are able to feed on a wide range of particulate organic matter, which includes live organisms and their residues and excrements (detritus)."

"...bacteria [...] can be a major source of nitrogen."

"...when dry fish feeds or phytoplankton cultures are added to an aquarium, a part of this quickly ends up in the collection cup of the skimmer.

"...mechanical filters (which can include biofilters and sand filters) result in a significant waste of food."

"Detritus is a collective term for organic particles that arise from faeces, leftover food and decaying organisms. Detrital matter is common on coral reefs and in the aquarium, and slowly settles on the bottom as sediment. This sediment contains bacteria, protozoa, microscopic invertebrates, microalgae and organic material. These sedimentary sources can all serve as coral nutrients when suspended, especially for species growing in turbid waters. Experiments have revealed that many scleractinian corals can ingest and assimilate detritus which is trapped in coral mucus. Although stony corals may ingest detritus when it is available, several gorgonians have been found to primarily feed on suspended detritus."

"Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is an important food source for many corals. [...] scleractinian corals take up dissolved glucose from the water. More ecologically relevant, corals can also absorb amino acids and urea from the seawater"
 

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Can this info have any relevance to fresh water tanks ?
I am especially interested in finding out if clams can use detrius if for no other reason the micro bugs it contains.
For years I've been asked if I could get out all the particles from my tank with a better filter...LOL...
Little do they know that I actually designed this filter to allow such as those particles. I use some of that light
defuser plastic for the bottom of my filter just so the media A. won't fall out, but B. it needs a separation of the
media in one compartment and the water being drawn through it to the next compartment type thing for the
filter to function correctly. But for media I use Fluval Pre-Filter ceramic nodes(the six sided ones) under some
of what is called Bio Bale from e-bay. No pads/sponges/screens/floss are employed.



04/04/12


And this is it today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I think that leaving particles in the water is the same for fresh or salt. As long as the particles are broken up and eaten by micro animals, then the larger animals can eat more of the smaller ones. Of course you still need to remove nitrate and phosphate, and that's what the scrubber if for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Nutrient Export

What do all algae (and cyano too) need to survive? Nutrients. What are nutrients? Ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and urea are the major ones. Which ones cause most of the algae in your tank? These same ones. Why can't you just remove these nutrients and eliminate all the algae in your tank? Because these nutrients are the result of the animals you keep.

So how do your animals "make" these nutrients? Well a large part the nutrients come from pee (urea). Pee is very high in urea and ammonia, and these are a favorite food of algae and some bacteria. This is why your glass will always need cleaning; because the pee hits the glass before anything else, and algae on the glass consume the ammonia and urea immediately (using photosynthesis) and grow more. In the ocean and lakes, phytoplankton consume the ammonia and urea in open water, and seaweed consume it in shallow areas, but in a tank you don't have enough space or water volume for this, and, your other filters or animals often remove or kill the phytoplankton or seaweed anyway. So, the nutrients stay in your tank.

Then the ammonia/ammonium hits your rocks, and the periphyton on them consumes more ammonia and urea. Periphyton is both algae and animals, and is the reason your rocks change color after a few weeks. Then the ammonia goes inside the rock, or hits your sand, and bacteria there convert it into nitrite and nitrate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

Also let's not forget phosphate, which comes from solid organic food particles. When these particles are eaten by microbes and clean up crew, the organic phosphorus in them is converted into phosphate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

So whenever you have algae "problems", you simply have not exported enough nutrients compared to how much you have been feeding (note: live rock can absorb phosphate for up to a year, making it seem like there was never a problem. Then, there is a problem).

So just increase your nutrient exports. You could also reduce feeding, and this has the same effect, but it's certainly not fun when you want to feed your animals :)
 

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Getting rid of all of your nutrients, if it were possible, may have a limiting affect on algae to the point that it affects its growth. However, in a planted tank this would not be a very viable solution. The same limiting factors that would affect your algae would severely impact your plants and make them growth limited as well. Not too much of a factor in a low light tank, but up the lighting and you also up the effect. Algae requires micro amounts of nutrients to grow.

Not saying that what you have here doesn't work, but I am saying that do this in a FW planted tank with a medium light level or higher and you will severely impact plant growth and potentially have dying plants - if what you are saying is that the purpose of this thing is to completely remove nutrients like nitrates and phosphates. My high light tanks "require" manual dosing from me of both of these nutrients. If I do not they are impacted and can become targets for algae. This is just how it is in a high light planted tank that also requires pressurized CO2.
 
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