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Old 07-04-2005, 06:02 PM   #1
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ATS (algal turf scrubber) project smaller tanks 75 and 29gal

Im am hoping to get some input on the design from someone who has built a ATS.. to help me deside on the size and what would be a good design to go with. Any and all imput welcome..

btw: I know all the pros and cons to this project but for what I want to do the ATS is an experiment, only it will do..

Thanks in advance..
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Old 07-04-2005, 09:07 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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you probably already seen this one, but in case you haven't...

http://www.thekrib.com/Filters/scrubber.html#0
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:19 PM   #4
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Ive seen that one.. I am wondering if anyone can post or point me to detailed pics. of one a how it was made kind of picture.. even if its out of scale.. like on a bigger tank or one for a SW setup.. In therory it would be the same..
Ive read about ones that were crafted out of acrylic..
The type of lighting used, the dynamic aquaria book suggests MH from my understanding but Im thinking ODNO or CF would suffice for a smaller project..
I would want the dumpbucket part of the design as well.. to put the water up over the turf.. I would need help in figuring out how to design that and how to build it..
thanks for the link though.. Ive read it again today.. LOL.. I have a link to a thread that has links.. if you dont see the link you have in it then its safe to say that I probibly havnt seen it..
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/v...lgae+scrubbers
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Old 07-04-2005, 10:43 PM   #5
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Well this could be long. First a little about my tank. It is 1850g and is filtered by an algal turf scrubber, at the present time I am experimenting with water flow rate and in doing that I have put a small bio filter on the tank. I also currently have a 400g which I do not have a bio filter on it so to speak, I am using powerheads to circulate the water and I use powerful lighting combined with co2 to get fast growth from my plants, this is more than enought to bring nurients down to undetectable levels. But what to do if you can not have plants in your main tank, that is where the ATS comes in.
I have been experimenting with these kind of filters for a while now, veggie filters, algae refugiums, 24/7 lighting and so on. But for the most efficient nutrient scrubber I would say the ATS has the title hands down, there are people who don't believe that going to the extrems of using an ATS is neccessary, but I would love to see a tank which is heavily stocked bring nitrates down below 0.2 pmm with the ease that an ATS can do it(test kits don't test any lower). When I was experimenting I did not do a water change on my tank for one year ,only adding water that evaporated in that time which was about 20g a week. Through out that time the fish were all healthy and growing well( Approx 30 to 40 big cichlids and about 30 -40 other assoted fish was the bio load). There are some drawbacks by using the ATS, water can not always look clear and as small particles of algae pass through the pumps they can by broken apart and release a yellowing compound. But it can be easily fixed I might add by adding good mechanical filtration( not the yellowing though, ozone or carbon could do that).
I have read Dr Adey's "Dyanamic Aquaria" about 5 times and I still don't understand it fully, there are a lot of areas that do not relate to keeping of aquaiums. But I do believe that if you build a scrubber to Dr Adey's specs then I think it is the best filter going around( that includes Bio filters)
As to building one , it is quite simple if you are mechanicaly inclined. As for how big of a scrubber to use is completely up to the bioload of your tank and what size wattage of your lights that you use. To get an accurate size you can calculate the size of the scrubber by how much nitrogen you will be putting into the tank, but an easier way is to go about half the size of the tank with a wattage of 1000w per sqaure meter. That should take a heavy bioload, It couldn't hurt to go even bigger though. Also you should consider using Co2 injection, the reason I say this is because in my tank I had co2 injection and it ran out and I had no time to change it for about 3 days ( I usually keep my ph at 7.8 with a 1 dkh) and with a dkh of 1 or there abouts the ph went up 9, I will tell you that is only a Co2 rating 0.03ppm, now you show me a planted tank that will have plants grow in that litttle Co2. The scrubber never missed a beat, and another great thing about ATS is that it is that O2 is almost always at supersaturation, except for when the lights are turned off which is usually only 6 hours of the day.
Well for starters this will do, I know people will have questions so I will leave it here and wait for your replys. Thanks
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Old 07-05-2005, 12:02 AM   #6
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the 75 gallon would eventurally have as its top bio-load 6 adult discus.. not very heavy I know.. I would consider using my fuval 403 as the pump and putting a prefilter on the intake, I would try to get a sponge filter for the intake to a mag-drive pump (models 2-5).. and using course plastic media in the bottom basket of the fluval and Activated Carbon in the top two baskets..
as far as the size when you say half the size of the tank do you mean half the capasity or half the surfase area.. I thought these were designed to be shallow to allow the light to be more effective? The size scrubber I was thinking about wouldnt come close to one square meter from what im thinking off the top of my head.. it would be at most 3 square feet.. and I thought only 5 to 6 inches deep.. thats almost a square meter and your saying 1000 watts of NO? like ODNO? or more like MH.. thats alot of light for only 6 inches of depth..LOL!! if it is so then I would try to incorperate what your saying..
I more or less need to know what I need to get..
Are normal pumps "bad" for some reason?
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Old 07-05-2005, 12:53 AM   #7
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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..
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Old 07-05-2005, 01:43 AM   #8
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In my hast I did not clarify myself. I meant surface area. Btw where do you get the idea that it has to be six inches deep, mine is at most 4" and the distance from the srceen to the surface would not even be 1/2", some places it actually breaks the surface.Just make sure you build the side high b/c water splash from the dump bucket will occur. Building the bucket is the hardest, I will try and get some plans that I did when I built mine. I will say there is no plans on how to build an ATS in Dyanamic Aquaria. When I say you need 1000w per square meter I mean if you had a ats of 1 square meter you would need 1000w of MH light. So for 3 sq ft, you would need 270w of light if my calculations are right.Dr Adey has a ATS on his home aquarium that has a surface area of about two ft but he uses about 1600w per/ sq/m, which is a lot of light ,that translates into one 300w MH. He also states that this is his most effective scruuber, which would mean that if you have more light to a degree that is, you dont't need the surface area. Ime a lot of light is wasted through the ATS not being big enough so I prefer going the bigger surface area route. Also don't put the MH too close to the water or the heat will kill the algae, I put my 400w MH about 17"-19" away from the surface. Also it dose not say anything about what kelvin to use so I went with 5500K, And I believe that is what other people have used. I get great growth and my ATS is about 30sq ft, which produces about 1 and 1/2 gallons of scraped algae every 7 days.
Using a fluval should be fine , but I will mention that the recomended water flow is 40g per/sq/m of ATS, so yours that would mean 10g per/min.
You are so lucky, it took me so long to figue all this out.
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Old 07-05-2005, 03:26 AM   #9
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The 6" was a wild guess..LOL. I should probably ask around for the nitrogen output of the Discus, I would really like a recommendation on the size as in square feet the turf would need to be... How many square meters are needed for how many units of nitrogen?
Im guessing at those flow rates I might be better off getting a pump...
Could your give me the formulas your using to give me this advise?
I would have to convert it to english measurement.. I cant visualize metric in my head...LOL. Im actually supprissed your flow rate wasnt in liters instead of gallons....

1 square meters = 10.7639104 square feet: I googled it...LOL
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Old 07-05-2005, 04:09 AM   #10
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ashdavid....
btw... I dont want to say anything too off topic but I think the PH spike was from the lack of buffering capacity of your water rather then the lack of injected CO2.. a well aggitated tank should have around 3ppm of CO2 to be consumed by plant life at any point in time.. of course I have no idea how fast the turf would consume carbon so how much it needs is beyond my knowlege.. though you did give me a good idea in your story of the situation you had...
A spike in PH seems to be a problem that happens in high light planted tanks from what Ive read, from lack of buffer and lack of CO2.. I really think it was the combination of both of them.. It would be nice to hear wether or not CO2 was needed if you kept a KH of 3+ and took down your CO2 injection.. thats a big indever and dont expect you to try that unless it is what you want to do and is incredibly more convenent for you.. thats alot of water to change water peramiters..ACK!..LOL
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