[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Algae Scrubber filters
On 22/9/97 12:38 AM, IDMiamiBob at aol_com IDMiamiBob at aol_com wrote:
> I am thinking of trying an algae scrubber filter in my 30 gallon tank.
> The advertisement promises an end to algae, phosphates, silicates, and
>nitrates. The algae part particularly interests me.
> My question is this: will this "miracle filter" compete with the plants
>in my tank? Will it overpower the available supply of micronutrients?
Yes, the miracle filter will compete - plants and algae are both plants
(sorry about how that sounds but you know what I mean).
You _can_ get the same results as an algae scrubber produces by keeping
plants _in_ your tank - those green things you're trying to grow do the
same things for water quality as algae, and look a lot prettier! Some
plants are better than others at achieving the same "scrubbing" effect as
the algae. The other issue is quantity and the standard recommendation
for a "heavily planted tank" comes to mind.
While algae scrubbers can be very effective, so can plants. If I was
going to run a scrubber, I'd steal a hint from Adey and Loveland's
"Dynamic Aquaria" and try running it on a reverse light cycle (light the
scrubber while the tank is unlit and vice-versa). Effectively this means
that you always have some photosynthesis (hence oxygenation) going on.
I have no idea how effective this would be, and no real desire to try it
- I'm finding the plants do a good enough filtration job on their own
without the need for extra plumbing and equipment. Having thrown the idea
out, however, I did get the idea of setting up a second plant tank - a
"plant scrubber" - connected to the first tank but in a different room,
and running it on a reverse lighting cycle. Just think - 24 hr plant tank
viewing options (g)!!!
Basically, though, I think that an algae scrubber is unnecessary in a
well planted tank and could cause nutrient shortages for the plants. I
also wonder how you keep the algae from spreading from the scrubber to
the tank. I think it would be much more appropriate, and more effective,
on a fish only tank, or a very lightly planted tank where you don't have
to worry about competition for nutrients.
The other place where it could be effective would be in (as, actually) a
tank designed specifically for algae eaters - loricariid catfish or some
rift lake cichlids. If you could get the right algae growing in
sufficient quantity in the tank but not on the glass, you could turn an
algae scrubber into a display tank. I've never really seen a tank
deliberately designed to maximise algae in that way. It could prove quite
an interesting planted tank in its own right.