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Old 07-05-2005, 04:28 AM   #11
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It dosen't matter what the nitrogen out put of discus is because that is irrelevant. What you have to consider is the imput of nitrogen from the food you give them. Theoretically speaking normal standard foods, brine shrimp,flake foods pellets and other similar foods have about 8-12% nitrogen of the dry weight, scrubber algae has a nitrogen percentage of about 6% and most scrubbers can produce about 12 dry weight grams of algae per day , per 1sq meter of scrubber. What this translates to is a export:import ratio of 5-7:1. To speak in more friendly terms I would say 3 sq ft of scrubber area would be fine with the correct lighting, if you are not certain go a little bigger or use more powerful lights. These calculations are geared towards total nitrogen levels of about 0.0014 ppm and these levels are way below natural levels. So I would not be concerned about the scrubber not handleing the bioload. Ime I have found as the nutrients go up algae product goes up too, with low levels as metioned earlier it is harder for algae to grow efficently.
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Old 07-05-2005, 05:46 AM   #12
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for the purposes I want to use the ATS I will need to actually grow a turf of algae.. I really dont want to oversize it too much for this reason..
And Im aware that fish=food for nitrogen production.. I just dont know how much they eat..LOL.. Ive never kept them personaly..

Im trying to get this right so I can find out if I can do this with a smaller scrubber.. to try and make sure I dont have trouble producing the algae...

just trying to break it down(I have to understand things before going forward I hope this isnt bad.. dont worry about trying to make it easy on me I had a job tutoring calculus Ill be fine! LOL)
12 dry grams of algae consumes 6% of its weight in nitrogen.. in other words .72 dry weight grams wich is 11.1-16.7 grams of food on average.... so to get it down to square feet I would divide that by 10.8 to get square feet.. Im I getting this right? and how often does it consume this much nitrogen.. (is it absorbed and then removed when the algae is scraped(thats what Im assuming)

And to get light needed in square feet you would take the 1000 and divide it by 10.8 right? or 1600 / 10.8 if your the author of the book..LOL wich gives me 92.6 watts per square foot or the very high 148.12 watts per square foot that you were talking about earlier.. And must it be MH? could it be CF? I would think that any spectrum between 5000-6500K would be best as well..

Now it seems like I should consider the best way of going about this.. as far as design goes.. should the dump bucket go down the longest demention of the scrubber to increse the surfase it makes contact with?
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:36 AM   #13
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ashdavid,

So it would be 720mg NO3 consumed/day with ~25gal of algal turf scrubber (at 4" deep) and 1000w of MH light? Many aquarists, like Tom Barr, with high light experience plant uptake of 5ppm NO3/day: in same volume with 125w of CF light (5wpg), this is ~470mg of NO3 -- should note most high light folk only count NO3 from ferts, not from animals/feeding, so actual grams of NO3 removed is higher, and this is with pretty plants, not efficient plants like hornwort and anacharis. Cost of CO2 is more than made up for in lower electricity/operational cost, let alone MH vs. CF startup costs. Why does microalgae need so much light, compared to higher order plants? Am I missing something? Thanks.

I *love* your system, btw. Thanks for answering question on aquaticphotos.com.
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Old 07-05-2005, 08:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagi
Quote:
Originally Posted by JProx
well i volunteer for building one along side you, maybe we could try 2 different approaches and measure the results. you already know my interest in an ATS.
What type of tank would you be building your ATS for?
SW fish only, Reef, FW of some kind.. just trying to get an idea of what kind of differences we would have..
i have been looking for a reason to start up a reef tank again... (i moved in late 02 and had to sell off my old tank and its inhabitants.) of course using an ATS on a brand new tank (regardless of type) will really take a long time before accurate data can be collected and analyzed. i am thinking at least 3 months before any of my data can actually be used for anything. however i have a 55gallon fresh water shark tank, that i wouldn't mind overhauling filteration wise. my tap water has been spiking in phos. for the past few months, and as a result i am getting green water outbreaks from water changes and i was thinking of making it into a planted tank to break the green water cycle, but i have always wanted an ATS anyway...

i have always heard ATS systems were 4-6inches deep with light out around 100 - 250 watts and those can be ODNo, VHO, PC, or even metal halide, merc. vapor, or halogen and the lights should be as close to the water as possible, to reduce the wattage requirements. i have never heard of the sq/m per watt rule before, so it sounds like i might need to pick up some reading material on the subject again. and the yellowing condition can be controlled with the use of a UV sterilizer connected to the output of the ATS in case anyone is really concerned over that side effect.

but i can see alot of people already turned off to the ATS system though, the magic bullet in the reef/salt water world these days is a refugium, and with an ATS system the fuge is almost worthless (other than a spot to raise live food)

czcz: Why does microalgae need so much light, compared to higher order plants? Am I missing something? Thanks.

the ATS system is a complete replacement to a traditional bio filter, a regular bio filter just needs No-of some sort and oxygen, as long as both are supplied in neccesary counts it will work just fine. but with ATS you need the higher lighting to make sure the algea is kept at the peak of life, if its not at the peak, then its efficienty (absorption of NO regularly) falls very drastically and since its a replacement to traditional bio-filters it has to be kept running at peak effficienty or the tank will die off pretty quickly. however i am not liking the idea of 1000watts of light for an algea scrubber, i did a bunch of research when the idea was marketed in the aquarium trade years ago, and never did i hear them using such a ridiculous amount of light, maybe i am alittle ignorant on current gen systems, but like most things in the aquarium trade, filters/devices seldomly change much over a few decades (case in point, HOB filters, Underground filters, wet/dry, etc) and the other guy did have this system on a monstrous tank so maybe that explains it.

i mean seriously.. does this commerical unit look has it has a 1000watt lighting engine under its hood? http://www.aquaticengineers.com/imag...el_Model12.jpg
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czcz
ashdavid,

So it would be 720mg NO3 consumed/day with ~25gal of algal turf scrubber (at 4" deep) and 1000w of MH light? Many aquarists, like Tom Barr, with high light experience plant uptake of 5ppm NO3/day: in same volume with 125w of CF light (5wpg), this is ~470mg of NO3 -- should note most high light folk only count NO3 from ferts, not from animals/feeding, so actual grams of NO3 removed is higher, and this is with pretty plants, not efficient plants like hornwort and anacharis. Cost of CO2 is more than made up for in lower
electricity/operational cost, let alone MH vs. CF startup costs. Why does microalgae need so much light, compared to higher order plants? Am I missing something? Thanks.

I *love* your system, btw. Thanks for answering question on aquaticphotos.com.
Ok again I should have clarified myself. I like your reasoning I must say. Ok this is the whole story on the nitrogen uptak. Those figures that I quoted are for water with extremly low nutrients usually in Dr Adeys tanks it total nitrogen is less than 0.01 ppm and phosphate is also at very low levels, also what I stated before was 12g a day is the mean algae production level. Now this is where higher plants tend to fail, algae can continue to function and photosynthisize when certain nutrients are lacking or are at very low levels , where as higher plants on the other hand if either phosphate or nitrogen are lacking or are too low to be used the plants begin to feed off them selves, which I think you may already know. Micro algae will opperate at much, much lower concentrations of these nutrients.
Now to the production level. The figure as I said earlier are in very low nutrient situations, when nutrients are at an abundance like in a normal planted tank, ATS's have been seen to produce anywhere from 60g to 120g a day per/ sq/ meter( that last figue,120g is off the top of my head, I will check it tomorrow). So even if you go off the 60g per day figure you will be looking at 360g of nitrogen consumption.What you also have to realise is that it is the surface area that matters not water volume. I read the article you gave very interesting but what i got from that article was that the way Tom stated his tanks can not be compared, can you show me where it said that a 25g has a nitrogen uptake of 5 ppm per day, btw I am not doughting you I just want to see this so I can compare this for you. Anyway there have been comparisons done on water water hyacinth which is probably the fastest growing higher plant in the world and it dose not even come close the nitrogen uptake of micro algae. Also you have to start working in surface area, it dosen't really matter how much water there is more so how much is passing over the screens. As for light subject, what I am stating is the light required for 11sq ft of ATS, commerical units would be lucky to have 1/10 of that surface area and if that is in fact the case you will be looking at only 100w for 1 sq ft of scrubber area. I can garrentee you an ATS with the same surface area as a 25g with 125w of light will take up nitrogen much faster and more efficently than a planted tank.
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Old 07-05-2005, 10:50 AM   #16
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Thanks JProx and ashdavid. You two may find this interesting, with nitrogen injected at .025ppm in planted systems, and time for uptake with ammonium vs. nitrate. It could then be said, in either system, fish waste is eaten up before it ever sees NO3, depending on uptake time (which would benefit pro-ATF argument, since algae is lower order): http://www.aquabotanic.com/plants_an...filtration.htm

re: 25gal 5ppm NO3/uptake a day -- Tom has his 20gal 5.5wpg routine at the bottom of the main article, before references, where he adds 1/4tsp of KNO3 (~824mg NO3, ~11ppm) every other day. I just did the math at same volume as algal turf scrubber with above specs, for comparison sake. EI's resetting with large pwc can makes overdosing a non-concern, of course. I have ~15g system and, before running it lean, dosed KNO3 at the same weight btw, but I run reverse-photoperiod fuge and figured constant nutrient uptake was too off to use as comparison. I see now why rich macro approach of high light EI doesnt apply with low ammonium/nitrogen and fast adaptation of ATF.
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Old 07-05-2005, 11:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by czcz
Thanks JProx and ashdavid. You two may find this interesting, with nitrogen injected at .025ppm in planted systems, and time for uptake with ammonium vs. nitrate. It could then be said, in either system, fish waste is eaten up before it ever sees NO3, depending on uptake time (which would benefit pro-ATF argument, since algae is lower order): http://www.aquabotanic.com/plants_an...filtration.htm

re: 25gal 5ppm NO3/uptake a day -- Tom has his 20gal 5.5wpg routine at the bottom of the main article, before references, where he adds 1/4tsp of KNO3 (~824mg NO3, ~11ppm) every other day. I just did the math at same volume as algal turf scrubber with above specs, for comparison sake. EI's resetting with large pwc can makes overdosing a non-concern, of course. I have ~15g system and, before running it lean, dosed KNO3 at the same weight btw, but I run reverse-photoperiod fuge and figured constant nutrient uptake was too off to use as comparison. I see now why rich macro approach of high light EI doesnt
apply with low ammonium/nitrogen and fast adaptation of ATF.
Thanks, See my 400g I use no filter on it, only powerheads to move the water and Co2 for the plants and the plants take the ammonia up as NH4. I have comparison statisics on micro algae and higher plants with nitrogen uptake and the micro algae is miles ahead, I have them at the office so I can't quote them now. Also you have to remember that those states are with keeping a level of no3 at 10-20pmm. Also given Co2 and the adding of nutrients algae production will be even greater than what I stated earlier, a lot greater b/c the limiting factor can be Co2 with ATS , but then algae turns to taking carbonates out of the water, but given a good supply of Co2 algae will thrive.
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Old 07-05-2005, 01:27 PM   #18
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Well, Nice to see everyone on topic..ROFL!!!

I stated at the beginning of the tread that nitrogen uptake was not the only reason I wanted to try this, or at least alluded to that fact, I also want to try this for the mechanical filtration ability of the algal turf. It being effective enough to out-work a protein skimmer http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...threadid=79463 ...

The fact that both types of filtration (if you can call a planted tank filtration LOL) can run nitogen to zero is great but ATS can continue to operate when all nutrients are near 0 wich of course cant be said for higher plants..

On the other hand I have to know the nitogen uptake of the ATS in order to design one for my application.. and I do plan on running all nutrurients into the ground with it and will not want to have to supplement the system with NO3 of some sort or PO4..

I wasnt aware or had forgotten, cant remember wich right now, that algae turned to taking carbonates out of the water when there isnt a sufficient source of carbon ie CO2.. in other words it will eat your carbonate buffer in you water ie lower your KH? To what degree would this happen and is it why you recommend a low dose of CO2 to prevent this from happening.. Im thinking since I have a KH of 6 that the CO2 and KH would come to a ballance in the system but I really dont want to put fish through that shock! 8O Like running the tank my adding fish-food to achieve a balance.. low dosing CO2 wouldnt be hard so who knows.. it can be done..

So, as far as my above attempt to understand your calculations... this is algal growth in a nutrient depleted enviroment... wich ultimately will be my situation hopefully with a Fish-Only system.. And I misunderstood the 12g.. thats 12 g a day.. or enough algae to consume .72 grams of ammonium a day (what does that translate to for calculating ppm of corse it would depend on how much water it is diluted in) or .067 grams per square foot of algae turf. that seems to be alot of fish food!! LOL..
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Old 07-05-2005, 10:45 PM   #19
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So it would be 720mg NO3 consumed/day with ~25gal of algal turf scrubber (at 4" deep) and 1000w of MH light? Many aquarists, like Tom Barr , with high light experience plant uptake of 5ppm NO3/day: in same volume with 125w of CF light (5wpg), this is ~470mg of NO3 -- should note most high light folk only count NO3 from ferts, not from animals/feeding, so actual grams of NO3 removed is higher, and this is with pretty plants, not efficient plants like hornwort and anacharis. Cost of CO2 is more than made up for in lower electricity/operational cost, let alone MH vs. CF startup costs. Why does microalgae need so much light, compared to higher order plants? Am I missing something? Thanks.]..
After reading my post I realised that I did not explain what I meant clearly.Algae has a nitrogen content of 6% is what I stated earlier this is an average percentage, but this is for extremly low nutrient conditions, especially when nitrogen is severly lacking, to quote how much nitrogen can be pull out of water in a day, I will do it in grams not percentages. The amount of nitrogen micro algae can take out of water per day ,per sq/m in normal aquarium conditions is about 4g or a little more, higher values have been recorded in experiments , but for purposes of designing an ATS it is probabely best to calculate your ATS suface area of the 4g N/per/day value. If nitrogen is lacking then obviously the nitrogen value will be lower, and to answer youe question Greenmagi , the good thing about ATS is that they do not need ferts to run efficiently , I was only stating that if ferts were used then the nutrients available for the algae will increase and so will the algae production, so don't add ferts b/c they are not needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagi
Well, Nice to see everyone on topic..ROFL!!!

I stated at the beginning of the tread that nitrogen uptake was not the only reason I wanted to try this, or at least alluded to that fact, I also want to try this for the mechanical filtration ability of the algal turf. It being effective enough to out-work a protein skimmer http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...threadid=79463 ...

On the other hand I have to know the nitogen uptake of the ATS in order to design one for my application.. and I do plan on running all nutrurients into the ground with it and will not want to have to supplement the system with NO3 of some sort or PO4..

I wasnt aware or had forgotten, cant remember wich right now, that algae turned to taking carbonates out of the water when there isnt a sufficient source of carbon ie CO2.. in other words it will eat your carbonate buffer in you water ie lower your KH? To what degree would this happen and is it why you recommend a low dose of CO2 to prevent this from happening.. Im thinking since I have a KH of 6 that the CO2 and KH would come to a ballance in the system but I really dont want to put fish through that shock! 8O Like running the tank my adding fish-food to achieve a balance.. low dosing CO2 wouldnt be hard so who knows.. it can be done..
So, as far as my above attempt to understand your calculations... this is algal growth in a nutrient depleted enviroment... wich ultimately will be my situation hopefully with a Fish-Only system.. And I misunderstood the 12g.. thats 12 g a day.. or enough algae to consume .72 grams of ammonium a day (what does that translate to for calculating ppm of corse it would depend on how much water it is diluted in) or .067 grams per square foot of algae turf. that seems to be alot of fish food!! LOL..
As for algae using carbonates for a carbon source, I would not be too concerned, this would only happen when Co2 is severely difficient, but then the ph would be over 10 and too dangerous for fish to survive. The highest ph I have had was a little over 9ph with a dkh of 1, this gives you a Co2 value of about 0.03 ppm and even then the kh remained stable. As for mechanical filtration I can't recomend it , ATS systems usually have a lot of small particals in the water column, this is very desirable for a natural system but not the best looking for veiwing, I personally don't think it is that bad. So in calculating the area of your ATS out how much food (dry weight)you are going to be putting in and work of the percentages of food values that I stated earlier and you will have your ATS surface area. But from experience a ATS of 3 sq ft would be more than enough for what you are going too do, I would say that you could possibly get total nitrogen down to 0.01ppm quite easily, that being said say for example if the ATS is not big enough all that will happen is that your total nitrogen levels will remain at a higher level, but still much much lower than you would get in the wild. I hope that clears things up.
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Old 07-06-2005, 12:02 AM   #20
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The idea of using it for mechanical filtration, removing dissolved protein, came from a reef central thread.. I dont care about floating particles of plant-life I want to remove dissolved protein from the water.. normal particle filtration can be done with a sponge, dissolved protein is usually done with a skimmer on a SW system..
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...threadid=79463
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