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View Full Version : Algae scrubber experience?


IanWR
12-04-2013, 04:30 AM
Hi all,

I just came across the concept of a turf scrubber (I believe Doug mentioned it as an aside when talking about his upcoming refugium, and I finally looked it up). To hear proponents speak it can replace skimmers, GFO, all mechanical filtration, etc.. Does this fall into the "too good to be true" category?

One example of a commercially available unit is http://www.santa-monica.cc/SURF2-floating-surface-Ribbon-Scrubber-with-Green-Grabber-surfaces--2-cubes-feeding-per-day_p_40.html. Am I seeing the reef equivenent of a Q-Ray, or looking 10 years in the future where skimmers aren't used anymore except by old school die hards?

Head swimming, help! :)

- Ian

Doug
12-04-2013, 05:39 AM
I had a real turf scrubber back a few years ago on my larger tanks, built by Inland Aquatics. It worked well for me but required skimming and carbon also. I will find a pic of it, should be on here somewhere. For sure never had any phosphate or nitrates.

But apparently according to a certain someone, us old timers were stupid and doing it all wrong...LOLOL. So I left it at that.

Turf scrubbing does work though, in any style you do it. But absolutely would I run a skimmer with it and carbon to remove any tinting of the water from algae spores.

Madreefer
01-26-2014, 09:09 PM
The search button on this site doesn't seem to work very good.
I'm looking for a new project. Thinking bout turning my fuge/frag tank in to an algae scrubber. Anybody on here use one and care to share your experiences, pics and build of it?

straightrazorguy
01-27-2014, 02:11 AM
I use an upflow algae scrubber in my refugium (different from my sump!). I chose the upflow design because it was easier to make a compartment for it in my 33 gal refugium. It works, but not as well as I was hoping. The macroalgae in my refugium grows faster than the turf algae in the scrubber. Don't get me wrong, I grow algae in the scrubber, but not so much that I need to clean the scrubber more than once a month. Either way, I export a lot of nutrients via algae.

I think my light spectrum may not be right for the scrubber (I am using an old fluorescent fixture I had kicking around). So, I still skim and recently started running GFO, because although my nitrates were zero, the phosphates wouldn't go down. So, from experience I agree with what they say about nitrates being the limiting factor to the elimination of phosphates.

So, I don't believe that an algae scrubber alone is enough to take care of all the waste products from a tank. I will always skim and use GFO whenever phosphate situation warrants it.

Madreefer
01-27-2014, 02:32 AM
Yea thanks. I have a pretty good skimmer and i also run GFO and carbon. I just figure my frag section of my refugium is just a waste as I can't seem to get rid of frags in my town. Might as well put it to better use or just get rid of that tank all together.

straightrazorguy
02-02-2014, 03:20 AM
I just figure my frag section of my refugium is just a waste as I can't seem to get rid of frags in my town. Might as well put it to better use or just get rid of that tank all together.

The frags are insurance for yourself, not for others. Noah's approach to protecting biodiversity....