Algae scrubber/macro - Carolina Fish Talk
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Algae scrubber/macro

Hey all,

I just want to get a general consensus from those who may be using algae scrubbers. (I'm not even sure if there are many of you out there.)

I've had one set up for almost a year now, and I've had 100% success with it. I know that it's not for everyone, but I have a small system which allows me to get away with a small scrubber. Mine is simply set up in a AC70 hang-on. I didn't even follow the most recent research on algae scrubbers to set it up. I just used a few bits and pieces of information and put mine together using common sense. Works well. Haven't had one strand of hair algae since.

One thing I have noticed is that once I got my scrubber going, my macro (chaeto) stopped growing. It's now all but dead. Now, this makes sense to me because the nutrients are now being consumed by the hair algae on the scrubber. So, this leaves little left for the macro. But, from what I understand (or what I thought I understood) is that macro is more efficient at removing nutrients than hair algae. Otherwise, there'd be no point in using it. There may be many scientific variables involved here, but that's always been my understanding. In fact, many recommend removing the macro from a scrubber system so that the scrubber can function. I experienced the exact opposite. My scrubber put my macro out of it's misery.

For those of you using algae scrubbers, have you experienced this? I'm going to have to pull my macro now, but I feel strange not having it. It's not growing anymore and it's all hard and crusty. I don't NEED to have macro if the scrubber is going to work as well as it has, but I've always had macro in my systems. Just wanted to hear what others have experienced.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 05:12 PM
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 06:06 PM
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I have read about accounts of people having their macro die when they start using scrubbers. I would guess the hair algae pulls a lot of nutrients and the other algaes you have grow on their ( I would guess cyano) are more efficient at utilizing the nutrients then the macro therefore starving it out.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 07:39 PM
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I have a scrubber on my frag tank and love it. I clean my glass once a week. The only down fall I have found is the light water mist from the scrubber. I since have rectified it with a small splash guard. I will post a pic.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 10:10 AM
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I'm planing to build one today.

Algae Scrubbers
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 11:02 AM
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This is mine.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-11-2013, 11:46 PM
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Yes, scrubbers usually do out-compete macro in a fuge, because the photosynthesis of a scrubber is stronger.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2013, 09:40 AM
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Once the scrubber is out competing the macro...shouldn't you remove the macro?..I am doing my first 7day harvest from my scrubber today
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 02:09 PM
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Yes otherwise it's just more work for the scrubber.


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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 08:21 PM
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Algae scrubbers work great well light and plenty of flow,compared to the macro that light has to penetrate the depth of the water then the cell walls of the algae..So the micro algae will grow faster,the only drawback that I have seen is the slight yellowing of the water,but that is easily taken care of with a little activated carbon,or small water changes,or skimmer and corals benefit from the critters that live and reproduce in the algae,What i like about them is they are not detritus traps like refugiums,and easier to clean.......That is my two cents
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