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Old 02/15/2011, 08:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bridgeport, CT
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Algae Scrubber Basics



These are the materials used by many successfully scrubbed tanks, and is the unoffical standard build method. In no way is this gospel, however if you are building your first scrubber you should start with this standard build. This will be a very inexpensive build and will cost most people ~$15 - $25 dollars. Although, most keepers have a lot of these materials just laying around.
After you make your first scrubber and you feel you can make adjustments to the design to achieve better results, please always post pictures of weekly growth, harvest measurements, water chemistry and materials used as well as how you designed your system.

-23w Spiral CFL bulbs- (2,700 kelvin is suggested)
Bulbs should be about 4 iches away from screen
Vertical MINIMUM 0.5 watts per gallon
Vertical HIGH 1.0 watts per gallon
Horizonal MINIMUM 1.5 actual watts per gallon


-Plastic Canvas- (Roughed up, Cactus-like)

(Veritcally Hanging)
1 sq. inch of screen per gallon with bulbs on BOTH sides
(10 x 10 = 100 sq. inches = 100 gallons)
2 sq. inches of screen per gallon, if lit on just ONE side.
(10 x 10 = 100 sq. inches = 50 gallons)

(Horizontal) - (can only be lit from one side, for obvious reasons)
4 sq. inches of screen per gallon
(10 x 10 = 100 sq. inches = 25 gallons)
Minimum of 35 GPH per inch of width of screen, EVEN IF one sided
Flow should cover screen evenly

(Should be noted, if one increases flow, light or screen size. The others need to be balanced accordingly)

-18 hours lights ON, 6 hours lights OFF, per day.
-Flow is 24 hours
-Clean 90-95% of algae off of screen every SEVEN (7) days. (Even in the begaining)
-Screen needs to be removed from tank and cleaned under tap (will cause water yellowing if cleaned in tank)
-Bulbs must be changed every 3 months


Overflow Feed - Engery Savings (one pump system)

Sump Feed - Easy add to exsiting Setup

People have used bucket systems as well as systems directly feed into the top of the display tank. As these designs are not asteadicly pleasing and google can be your friend for design plans for these setups. However other than plumbing, and placement they have little differences.

Many thanks to the work done by SantaMonica, most of this collection of data has been gathered form his great work.

70 Gallon Oceanic | Coral Reef | Apex Controller | Algae Scrubber |Started 8/14/2010
General Interest Forums > Advanced Topics > Algae Scrubber Basics Thread
Basics Write Up - Post #1 | Quick Troubleshooting - Post #1902 | Alternate/Updated Sizing - Post #2723 | Latest Summary - Post #3251 - #3264

Last edited by DgenR8; 05/15/2011 at 08:32 AM.
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