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Old 11-09-2010, 12:24 PM   #71
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ATS continued

And finally, today 11/9, at the end of week 4/beginning of week 5

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Now I've never ran a refugium before, but I can't imagine that you could produce this many ounces of excess plant material in one week. All of what you see above (or 95% at least) goes down the drain weekly. I bet if I drained and weighed it, it would be in the range of 6-12 ounces of algae per week at this point - and it's not working at 100% efficiency. 6-8 ounces of Chaeto would be a 1 gallon ziplock bag stuffed full. This is massive filtration capability, 100% natural, no fancy mechanical equipment, and while it grow and removes the bad stuff, it adds the good stuff.

I cleaned the screen but didn't take a pic...swapped bulbs and didn't have time after that.

Test results from 11/8

Nitrate 0 (was there for several months before pulling skimmer, raised up to 0.5ppm after pulling skimmer, but about 4 days after starting the ATS they dropped to 0.05 and at day 8 and on they've been 0)

Phosphate 0.1-0.25 (were as high as 2.0 in past before I took it over 1 yr ago, so it will take a while to leech them all out of the rock, I've never seen them at undetectable levels even while running RowaPHOS)

Another interesting thing is the mushrooms are splitting. I didn't see any evidence of this happening in the past year at all, but in the last month 3 of the fuzzy mushrooms have all of the sudden split, and it happened fast. I post that pic earlier in this thread and now that one is definitely split and 2 others have started.

Problems to overcome right now are #1 flow rate across screen needs to double (yellow growth is due to low-flow - screen should be all green), #2 replace slot tube with no-cross-cuts tube (my misunderstanding), #3 I'm going to modify the design of the acrylic box.

By the way, I found out that Acrylic is actually porous, which is why the lids and other parts that aren't cross-braced tend to bow over time. They absorb water and expand on the wet side.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:03 PM   #72
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what good stuff is it adding?
something else to consider-
that algae on those screens may or may not be as effective as caulerpa or chaetomorpha at exporting nutrients.
think about mangroves...people put them in their tanks and the truth is, it takes a massive specimen to make a dent in the nutrients a closed system produces.
it's my understanding that this "turf scrubber" idea was replaced by the more efficient planted refugium years ago.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:55 PM   #73
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This is a great post that addresses the question about what is added (this list is also on the ATS build thread)

Quote:
Although almost no aquarist knows this (athough every marine biologist does), algae produces all the vitamins and amino acids in the ocean that corals need to grow. Yes these are the same vitamins and amino acids that reefers buy and dose to their tanks. How do you think the vitamins and amino acids got in the ocean in the first place? Algae also produces a carbon source to feed the nitrate-and-phosphate-reducing bacteria (in addition to the algae consuming nitrate and phosphate itself). Yes this is the same carbon that many aquarists buy and add to their tanks. In particular, algae produce:

Vitamins:

Vitamin A
Vitamin E
Vitamin B6
Beta Carotene
Riboflavin
Thiamine
Biotin
Ascorbate (breaks chloramines into chlorine+ammonia)
N5-Methyltetrahydrofolate
Other tetrahydrofolate polyglutamates
Oxidized folate monoglutamates
Nicotinate
Pantothenate


Amino Acids:

Alanine
Aspartic acid
Leucine
Valine
Tyrosine
Phenylalanine
Methionine
Aspartate
Glutamate
Serine
Proline


Carbohydrates (sugars):

Galactose
Glucose
Maltose
Xylose



Misc:

Glycolic Acid
Citric Acid (breaks chloramines into chlorine+ammonia)
Nucleic Acid derivatives
Polypeptides
Proteins
Enzymes
Lipids


Studies:

Production of Vitamin B-12, Thiamin, and Biotin by Phytoplankton. Journal of Phycology, Dec 1970:
PRODUCTION OF VITAMIN B12, THIAMINE, AND BIOTIN BY PHYTOPLANKTON1 - Carlucci - 2008 - Journal of Phycology - Wiley Online Library

Secretion Of Vitamins and Amino Acids Into The Environment By Ochromanas Danica. Journal of Phycology, Sept 1971 (Phycology is the study of algae):
SECRETION OF VITAMINS AND AMINO ACIDS INTO THE ENVIRONMENT BY OCHROMONAS DANICA1,2 - Aaronson - 2008 - Journal of Phycology - Wiley Online Library

Qualitative Assay of Dissolved Amino Acids and Sugars Excreted by Chlamydomanas Reinhardtii (chlorophyceae) and Euglena Gracilis (Euglenophyceae), Jounrnal of Phycology, Dec 1978:
QUALITATIVE ASSAY OF DISSOLVED AMINO ACIDS AND SUGARS EXCRETED BY CHLAMYDOMONAS REINHARDTII (CHLOROPHYCEAE) AND EUGLENA GRACILIS (EUGLENOPHYCEAE)1 - Vogel - 2006 - Journal of Phycology - Wiley Online Library
As for the item about refugia replacing ATS, the original generation of ATS was a dump-style and got tied up in court about 20 years ago by the 2 guys that created it. It was not nearly as effective as they are today with newer design ideas and lighting efficiency. It was a patented design and they didn't sell them to the public, but wouldn't let others sell them as well, so over time someone came up with the refugium. If you research it enough, it does work and has many purposes, but a lot of it is marketing, but then again, what isn't.

Also from FAQs on SM's Algae Scrubbers website Algae Scrubbers • Index page

Quote:
Scrubbers are different from a fuge in so many ways:

o With a scrubber, there is very little water standing in the way of the light. Also, the light is (or should be) very close to the scrubber... 4 inches (10cm) or less. The power of light varies with the inverse square of the distance, so going from 8" to 4" actually gives you 4X the power, not 2X. And the nutrient removal power of algae is proportional to the power of the light, because it's the photosynthesis that is doing the processing.

o Rapid flow across the algae in a scrubber gives more delivery of nutrients, compared to the slow moving water in a fuge.

o The turbulence of water moving over the sections of algae in a scrubber help to remove the boundary layer of water around the algae. This boundary layer slows the transfer of metabolites in and out of the algae. There is no turbulence in a fuge (if there were, you'd have waves and bubbles).

o Scrubbers trap no waste/food like a refugium or DSB does; waste/food flows right past the screen.

o Scrubbers do not (if cleaned properly) release strands into display, like chaeto.

o Scrubbers do not go sexual, like caulerpa can.

o Scrubbers are 1/10 to 1/4 the physical size, for the same processing power.

o Scrubbers weigh nothing (they hold no water), so they can built into a box and placed on furniture.

o Scrubbers cool the water. And if a fan is used, they REALLY cool the water.

o If you don't want cooling, put a box around it; there will be NO cooling.

o Scrubbers do not ever produce hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs), like refugium-DSBs can.

o Scrubbers can be set on top of the tank, so pods drain right into tank, unharmed.
It's the same principal but it's on crack.

A very good source for learning the hows and whys of the ATS concept are very well explained here Algae Scrubbers • View topic - ALGAE SCRUBBER FAQ (August 2010)
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:39 PM   #74
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i'll look into those links, but i saw a thread on reefs.org a few years ago when the turf scrubber guy re-introduced it, and they tore it apart with a lot of technical commentary that was over my head.
i'll have to dig up that thread.
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:48 PM   #75
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this is not the one i was speaking of, but have a read here...
Algae Turf Scrubber, What do you think? : General Reefkeeping Discussion - Page 2
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #76
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I will have to take a look at that thread.

Take a day and read through this 2 year old thread on Reef Sanctuary. Currently 1327 posts.

Mega-Powerful Nitrate and Phosphate Remover Replaces Skimmer, Refugium, Everything - Reef Sanctuary

Santa Monica is the username that you will see plastered all over the web, he started threads on just about every site out there. Reef Central ripped him apart and banned him I think. Their loss. This thing is totally awesome. There are too many people out there that refuse to consider something that is so drastically different from what they consider to be the state-of-the-art piece of equipment or system, be it skimmer, phosphate reactor, GFO reactor, refugium, because that's what people are comfortable with.

I read through the entire thread twice. One thing you will notice is that Santa Monica can really have a sharp edge. But if you put that online persona aside and really look at the meat of this concept, it is based on very good scientific principle, and he backs almost everything up with studies and links. I really have yet to see someone legitimately poke a hole in it. This is where I think much of his bravado comes from. I think a lot of people, just intending to initiate discussion, come at it with "this can't be true" or "you're trying to sell something". And while he does make and sell a ready-to-go system, there's hundreds of designs out there for building your own, it's gone through massive evolution in the last 2 years, and his design is really a very good one, so why shouldn't he sell it? But his threads weren't, at least IMO, started to build a database of potential buyers or anything like that.

Think about it this way, if you came across an idea that could radically change the concept of reefkeeping, would you just sit on it, or would you shout it to the world? Or maybe perfect the design and try to patent it? Or both? I have to say that I have only just started "walking a mile" (building and running my first ATS, that is) and if I came up with this idea, I would have probably done the same thing he did.

But enough on my rant...I'm on his side, that's all. Lots of nay-sayers, none of which I've seen have a leg to stand on - and I mean none. And I've read a lot of ripping posts.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:18 PM   #77
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lol..i believe that's the name of the one on reefs.org too. same guy, same sales pitch.....

i'm just not sure why the guy wants to fight for it. i mean, if all he's doing is trying to educate people, why doesn't he just say his peace and then leave it alone? why 2 years of defense on multiple forums?
i have to find that other thread.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:49 PM   #78
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I think it's linked on the first page. of that 5-page reefs.org thread. I read through that one and the last post was 1 year ago, and a lot has been improved in that time. Yeah SM is difficult and I can see why he's been banned, in fact I think one of his threads was on here and got canned/locked.

I haven't quite figured him out myself. Not sure what his motives are. I tend to try to see all sides of something, and sometimes I am one sided, but when someone wants to engage me in discussion, I don't just shut them down and tell them they're an idiot (well, most of the time!!!) whereas SM seems to do just that more often than not. Off the top of my head are thing like where one person asks "so and so told me that I need to go with a skimmer system, and that a turf scrubber won't work, why would he say that" and SMs response would be "because he's ignorant" well what good does that do? So he creates enemies.

And, many stories of 'failures' are almost always a direct result of inadequate maintenance, poor design/flow, and other simple flaws.

I'd be interested to read the thread. Like I said, you really have to take into consideration the age of the threads, and the fact that this is system is still being tweaked, and things are still being learned.

For instance, recently cross-cuts in the pipe were suggested to prevent clogging from algae growing into the slot. Now they are not suggested, because a non-crosscut slot forces water through and clogging won't occur. Plus the end result is more even flow across the screen. The caveat is that you can end up with spray from the pressure, then you need a 'spray blocker'. Mine is built in, there's acrylic between the screen and the lights. Took me a while to get that explanation out of him.
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:03 PM   #79
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i read through about 8 pages and started to get blurry.....
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Old 11-09-2010, 06:09 PM   #80
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yeah....been there. Advil helps.
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