Algae scrubbers

Lebeeze

Just wondering if anyone here uses, or has used, an algae scrubber and if they work well at removing nitrates from the water? Was thinking about getting one but dont want to waste money on a useless product.
 

Noroomforshoe

An algae scrapper?
I use to use a magnetic one, or a plastic credit card type card.
Removing the healthy live plant Algae, and turning it into dead decaying detritus, can raise nitrates.

to lower nitrates=
do frequent water changes, and add live plants.
 

CaelB

An algae scrapper?
I use to use a magnetic one, or a plastic credit card type card.
Removing the healthy live plant Algae, and turning it into dead decaying detritus, can raise nitrates.

to lower nitrates=
do frequent water changes, and add live plants.
An algae scrubber uses bright lights over an isolated spot with very high flow, usually outside the display tank like in a refugium or sump, to grow algae quickly. The idea is that you can grow most of the algae a tank can produce in one spot, and in doing so pull nitrates and other things that promote algae growth out of the water in an easy to clean place.

I was pretty interested in them as well a while back and made a small diy one, and it definitely worked to grow algae, but I still managed to develop hair algae in the rest of the tank, albeit far less than what I'd had before putting it in. It was only a 3 gallon though, and I suspect there was a lot out of whack in that tank, it was one of my first forays into fishkeeping. Still set up, but it was neglected for a long while because I couldn't get into my office after the outbreaks started.

To answer OP's question, I know saltwater keepers have claimed they're very effective, and I think they could be in FW too, if done correctly (mine was.... questionable.) I think it's probably better to diy it though, that materials, apart from a good light, are very cheap and it's an easy project.

Oh, and while there is still a fair bit of algae growth, it did read 0 nitrates after the long break, before a water change. There only a few shrimp and a handful of snails in there. And there was a damselfly larvae that managed to sneak in and eat some of my red cherry shrimp before finally molting and emerging from the water, which was actually pretty cool to find.

Just went by the office, checked the algae scrubber and pulled this out, it would probably work a lot better if I cleaned it out more often
 

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Noroomforshoe

AHH, I had a feeling I was missing somthing. Cant believe I never heard of that before.
 

Lebeeze

An algae scrubber uses bright lights over an isolated spot with very high flow, usually outside the display tank like in a refugium or sump, to grow algae quickly. The idea is that you can grow most of the algae a tank can produce in one spot, and in doing so pull nitrates and other things that promote algae growth out of the water in an easy to clean place.

I was pretty interested in them as well a while back and made a small diy one, and it definitely worked to grow algae, but I still managed to develop hair algae in the rest of the tank, albeit far less than what I'd had before putting it in. It was only a 3 gallon though, and I suspect there was a lot out of whack in that tank, it was one of my first forays into fishkeeping. Still set up, but it was neglected for a long while because I couldn't get into my office after the outbreaks started.

To answer OP's question, I know saltwater keepers have claimed they're very effective, and I think they could be in FW too, if done correctly (mine was.... questionable.) I think it's probably better to diy it though, that materials, apart from a good light, are very cheap and it's an easy project.

Oh, and while there is still a fair bit of algae growth, it did read 0 nitrates after the long break, before a water change. There only a few shrimp and a handful of snails in there. And there was a damselfly larvae that managed to sneak in and eat some of my red cherry shrimp before finally molting and emerging from the water, which was actually pretty cool to find.

Just went by the office, checked the algae scrubber and pulled this out, it would probably work a lot better if I cleaned it out more often
Thank you, I think I might look into building one for my 135. I'm really just interested in its ability to help with nitrates. If it's cheap to build I figure why not try it out!
 

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