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Re: Algae Scrubber filters

> Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 07:54:52 -0400
> From: Dan Q <dqallwet at avana_net>
> Subject: Re: Algae Scrubbers
> >    I am thinking of trying an algae scrubber filter in my 30 gallon > tank.
>  I agree with David Aikens general assessment that there doesn't seem to
> be any real need for an "Algae Scrubber" in a planted tank. 
>  I have yet to try one myself but have been intrigued with their concept
> ever since I read about about their use in marine aquariums. I suspect
> there are many on this list that keep some fish tanks without plants,
> especially if keeping a lot of cichlids. For those that may want to try
> a scrubber, I have a suggestion for you that I learned from one of my
> customers.
>   The customer is a large bio-lab that is working on many solutions for
> feeding the future generations. One of their projects is raising food
> fish such as the Tilapia (cichlids). These fish require huge holding
> tanks (vats). Their filter of choice is an "algae scrubber". 
>   After much experimenting, they believe the best plant for the scrubber
> is NOT an algae. For those that might be inclined to build a scrubber
> based on their research, you might want to try a "Fontenellis scrubber".
>   The way Fontenellis can mat up, I suspect it also makes a decent
> mechanical filter as well as biological filter.
> Dan Quackenbush
> http://www.malloftheworld.com/aquarium

I like to use duckweed to absorb excess nutrients in fry and grow-out
tanks where the fish are overfed.  When the duckweed covers the surface,
I skim about 3/4 of it out.

I've been thinking for some time of setting up a Malawi cichlid grow-out
tank with a hmmmm vegetable scrubber, running the water through plastic
eavestrough with hydroponic lettuce and back into the tank, or maybe using
emersed aquatics as a more lucrative "crop".  Recently I found a U of Arizona
aquaculture web page where they are doing this sort of thing on a large
scale.  They are raising Tilapia in tanks and circulating the water through
hydroponic vegetable beds.  Arizona has plenty of sunshine for greenhouse
crops, and a water-conserving cycle like this produces two crops in one space.

The important thing with plants as nutrient/waste absorbers is to keep them
growing and keep them thinned.