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Re: Algae scrubbers

Tom Barr writes:

> I usually use a power head to flow water into the top of a 4 inch dia ABS
>  tube 12 or so inches long filled with lava and a peace lily. A small flow
>  works well such as that from a 3/16th airline tubing or rigid tubing. Cap
>  the bottom of the tube and make a hook so the tube will hang on the back of
>  the tank and make a slightly larger return tube that flows back into the
>  tank.

That sounds easy enough, but I'm confused about the connection of a 3/16" 
airline to a powerhead output.  Could you be more specific about how you do 
this without blowing the tube off from back-pressure?.  ABS may also not be 
the best choice, as it leaches plasticizers into the water.  That is why it 
is only approved for drain lines in the US, and not for water supplies.  PVC 
would be safer.  I'm sure it probably doesn't leach fast enough to threaten a 
tank that gets regular water changes, but why risk it.  This single plant in 
a single small "filter" is probably intended for small setups, yes?  I 
recently heard that a certain well-known breeder of Apoistogrammas has set up 
4" roof gutter sections over his tanks.  He planted them with various stuff 
and runs the water up out of the tank to one end of the gutter with a 
powerhead.  A drain at the other end lets the water run back down to the tank.

If we wanted to raise Africans and emerse-grown plants on the same set-up, we 
could use this gutter-pipe technique to feed plants planted in rock-wool 
pots, and supply our LFS with nice Tropica-style stuff.  No extra CO2 to mess 
with, no fancy substrates.  Just a thought.

Bob Dixon