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About SantaMonica

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    Toad Fish
  • Birthday 04/06/1965


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    Santa Monica, CA, USA

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  1. The Super Guide to Algae Turf Scrubbers: Part 1 Filtering your tank by using "algae to fight algae" has been gaining in popularity in the last few years, so I wanted to make this article, including: · History of scrubbers · DIY topics · Comparison to other filters · Usage with other filters · Sizing · Lighting · Water flow · Operation · Fresh vs. Saltwater · Effects on animals · Troubleshooting · Dosing · Types of algae · Results in tank · Uses of algae · Safety First, the origin of scrubbers should be mentioned. It was Dr. Walter Adey of the Smithsonian Institution in the USA who really got the scrubber concept going in the 1970's, when he was investigating nutrients and corallines on reefs (see photos). His nutrient measurements confirmed what other researchers had found, which is that nutrients basically "stay on the reef" and do not flow out into the ocean, even though the water itself flows out into the ocean. It was already known back then that reefs are both generators and consumers of nutrients, consuming any nutrients as soon as they were available (thus making reef water "nutrient poor"), but he wanted to investigate further into who generated and consumed what, and by how much. He started publishing many reef nutrient studies, and came out with the first edition (now in third edition) of his Dynamic Aquaria book which describes in great detail about nutrient flow in reefs, corals, algae and animals. Adey's big contribution to the aquarium community was in the separation of the nutrient generators from the nutrient consumers. The generators are the animals, micro creatures, and bacteria that all generate ammonia, whereas the consumers are the algae which consume this ammonia. On reefs this is all intermixed, and it keeps nutrients inside the reef, but he separated out the algae and created a device which mimics the environment where the most biomass of algae grew the fastest: where waves crash down on rocks. As soon as you scraped algae off of these rocks, it could be fully regrown in just 24 hours, and that's even while teams of herbivores were eating it. This could be a 100x increase in biomass in 24 hours, which absorbs a tremendous amount of nutrients from the water. His device in 1980 used a dumping bucket to pour water onto a very shallow screen, and thus made a bubbling turbulent air/water interface that grew a lot of biomass of algae fast, and he called this device a "turf scrubber" because it grew a turf algae and it scrubbed (removed) nutrients from the water. By separating the nutrient producers from the nutrient consumers, the conditions for operation of the consumers can be controlled and optimized without changing the conditions for the rest of the reef (aquarium) itself. Adey licensed the design to someone to have some small models made, but nobody ever really sold many of these dumping bucket designs because they were so big, complex, splashy and noisy, and also they were just 1-sided (top side) only which grows less. Also, Adey never had any interest in making or selling them himself, so they disappeared. Later in the 1990's a few people made and sold the simple horizontal river design, like the Aquaricare scrubber which had little baffles to stir up the water and create a more turbulent air/water interface (the light on top is removed for the photo). But it too was large, splashy, hazardous (used high voltage T5 bulbs and wiring), and was also just 1-sided (top side) which meant it had to be larger to make up for less dense growth. Then in the 2000's the last "different" version of an algae scrubber was introduced, the Eco-Wheel. This was a giant, expensive, complex rotating machine that did work, but no known installation pictures have been found; just this small photo from a sales ad (see photo). And so, up until 2007 the basic algae scrubber designs were the dump bucket, horizontal river, and rotating wheel. And none were really being sold, so nobody knew about them. Then I made the first waterfall style scrubber. The thinking was that there must be an easier way to get a turbulent air/water interface on a screen than using a bucket, a wheel, or a river. Let gravity do the work straight down! And a waterfall on a screen could have lights and growth on both sides, so it would grow more and could be half the size. This first waterfall was put into a bucket on a sink in the office, complete with dangerous CFL bulbs that got shorted by salt spray. It grew great, and brought nutrients down to zero with no water changes. But in order to get a waterfall in to our sump area it would have to be low-profile, so a custom acrylic box was made and the first boxed waterfall was born. But it had flaws which caused it to be left behind in favor of modern versions. First, it could not reliably be mounted anywhere but over a sump, because a clogged drain would cause an overflow onto the floor, or a clogged slot would cause water shooting out the top, even with a lid. Second, the cleaning/harvesting process was very involved, requiring water shutoff and disassembly of some plumbing or even taking the whole scrubber out. Third, the acrylic was fragile and easily cracked, especially after many heating/cooling cycles. And lastly, the high voltage 240/120 volt metal-case lights were dangerous. The lights would slowly corrode in the salty environment, and eventually short out. And so there you have it; the evolution of the algae turf scrubber from the 1970's to today.
  2. 1 year warranty now on all Santa Monica Filtration products, for the original purchaser. Owner's manuals and description pages may not be up to date with this however.
  3. Ok, the winner is.... Jeff Bednarek: "Looks like output holes got clogged and exposed too much air to the top half. Then the lights cooked the moist algae in the air pocket" Clay, NY, USA And the almost-winners are... David Price: "I believe what happened is the filter screen got clogged with too much algae not allowing enough water to flow through the area that turned yellow/brown color causing the algae in that area to die." Cranberry Twp. PA USA Tiago Gomes Silva Simões: "Overgrown and clogged. But it had to be like that for a long time" Josh Graves: "Went without maintenance for 8 months" north port Fl USA Gareth Barber: "Water level dropped and light cooked and dried the algae" Gareth Barber, Wauchope NSW Australia Here is what happened: I installed this unit on a large tank myself, and made sure the light timer was 18 hours, and the bubbles were 24 hours, and the shade cloth was half covering the lights. After 3 weeks the cloth was removed and growth continued to get thicker. The person running the tank said he would handle the cleaning thereafter. I finally heard from him 6 months later, saying this photo is how it looks today, on its very first cleaning. Yes, first cleaning. So it had not been opened or adjusted for 6 months. So the growth got heavy inside and blocked to the top air hole, which caused an air pocket to push the water down halfway. The top half then got more light and less water, and grew thick slime (which is still alive and removing nutrients from the water). And around top air hole you can see how the slime let go and started to fall down, but the Green Grabber rocky textures still held it in place without letting it float away. Also this amount of slime is rarely seen on waterfall scrubbers, because their smooth screens and the weight of the algae causes the slime to let go. But the Green Grabber rocky textures hold on. The strings are visible, which many people thought were worms or anemones. No, just strings holding on to growth. The strings don't hold slime as well as the rocky textures though, which is why strings are recommended for saltwater only (the slime in freshwater does not need strings). The bottom half was growing normally, and even started to pull upwards on the bottom section because there are no textures there, just smooth plastic. Here are the remaining entries.... Sirrahn Nelms Was Donohue: "Lack of water flow and too much light" Plymouth, uk Richard Miller: "The user put a soft coral (leather frag) inside the unit and tried to grow it out? Supply pump was off for several days causing zero oxygen levels and then restarted" Port Saint Lucie FL USA لؤي خليف "Make the half in the water and the other half out of the water ... and leave it clean for a long time" luay khalifa, Germany Phil Peekay Kent: "They thought the food rating was how much food the scrubber needed and were adding food directly into the chamber" Brisbane, Qld, Australia. Tommy Filthiest Hua: "Half the LED panel died and was only lighting half the algae" Sydney NSW Australia Dwight Whitey Burgess Jr: "Not enough air in that area" Baltimore md., Usa Jesse Boyko: "Didn't properly clean it the first time. Not enough light?" Canada Joshua Benson: "Used vibrant to get rid of bubble algae and nuked the algae in it" Josh Benson Bristol WI USA David Wiseman: "Looks lack of water flow and the light caused bacteria bloom" David Wiseman. Nv usa Travis Lund: "Was trying to get more nutrients into the system by dosing and overdid it" Hampstead NC, 28443 Michal Fessler: "Did not clean it with in the recommend 2 weeks. As well as light on for 24 hours" Macomb Mi, 48044 Jim Hart: "Some type of zoas tried growing in it,my guess, they got sucked in or were mistakenly placed in" David Schaelling: "Had it mounted in the tank instead of the sump, was not flat against the glass/acrylic, anemone found a way in and rotted away" Astoria, Or USA Brandon Pfeiffer: "Seeded it with their own mangroves" St Louis MO Ian Pollock: "Calcium doser to close to input, Causing calcification" Bath, Uk Bosco Octave: "The water was rich in nutrients and the tank received no or inadequate water change. The unit may have been on 24/7 and/or the aeration was not adequate in the unit or water flow out of the unit was restricted." Ameya Gudekar, Melbourne, Australia Chris Downs: "The batteries on the auto feeder were dying and it dumped all the pellet food out." Chris Downs Bohemia NY, USA Mark M. Davis: "Forgot to turn on half the lights. Mark M. Davis Tucson, Arizona" Mark Brown: "Not enough water flow and did not clean it properly" Massachusetts usa Mike Schell: "Over dosed carbon dosing. Mike schell Kindred, ND U.S.A." Tyler Westover: "Slime not removed and overgrew" Spanish fork, UT USA Lisa DiMercurio" "Are those worms?" Devon Murby" "Power loss" Attleboro Massachusetts United states Robert Fowler: "Im gonna guess too long of a photo period or they didnt properly acclimate the lights." Nick Ellis: "It looks like someone shut off the return pump for maintenance and forgot to turn the heater and lights to the scrubber off which boiled the water and algae" Akron, Ohio USA Jordan Mullan: "Air pump was below aquarium. Water got into line. No flow, so algae got gross" Andrew Nolan Calvo: "Looks like the water Sat stagnant and went anaerobic" Mathieu Poulin: "Stop cleaning it and let thé light on" Canada, Québec Eric Barello: "Looks like it sucked up some kind of sponge that grew and restricted flow and the top area was exposed to oxygen for too long" Harford county maryland. Nickolas Brock: "Voltage leak" Jacksonville Florida u.s.a. Jeff Larson: "I think he left the lights on for to long" Marquette Michigan Matt Green: "Put too strong of an air pump on it" Tucson Arizona Joshua Mummery" "Inserted their own macro algea and had a major bloom" Tucson Arizona Jim Stime Jr: "Allowed the water level to drop too low" Spot Oliver: "The salinity of the aquarium was above 1.035 causing odd algae in a tropical water system, or it’s from a cold water system that didn’t have a properly Calibrated refractometer based on water temp." Samantha Nicole: Left lights on 24/7 Jonathan Jones: "Looks to me like it just sat in a shut off tank. Then died an molded" El Reno, Oklahoma Jason Teed: "He placed it in his sump by his refrugium, and set the timer opposite of the light for his refrugium" Washington twp, mi, United states adobo_reef: "This looks like too much light or too much air coming in" Ivan: Run out of water and dry out ; Supply water problem robert_ellis: Placed it flat with not enough flow instead of vertical? Not enough light also. Fullerton, ca Luis Carlos Vitorino: "Looks like melted plastic" Pacífico, Guaratinguetá, São Paulo, Brasil Lexinverts: "Too much light, and not enough dark hours" Corvallis cjmdh: "Didn't clean it" xmas_one No air pump TaylorW: "Looks moldy, not enough water running through it" Gaston, Oregon kjlife: "Not enough flow because it wasn't cleaned" Cornelius or. Mesamech" "The LED lights were not covered with cloth during initial start up. He used too small of scrubber for the amount of nutrients run in his system." householdofpayne" "Used with nopox" Estacada Derbird: "Ran 24-7 without clearing off the algae growth" Milwaukie, Oregon BeardUp" "Lack of cleaning which lead to lack of flow and build up of temp." xxkenny90xx: "Clogged/not enough flow" Tacoma waldend Did they have an improper water level? Either from evaporation or from not installing it properly from the start? Lafayette IN, USA.
  4. BeardUp is entered! But Mesa needs to say what happended, not what should happen.
  5. "Used with nopox" - entered Others - not so entered
  6. All Entered: Lexinverts - too much light, and not enough dark hours cjmdh - Didn't clean it! xmas_one - No air pump. TaylorW - Looks moldy, not enough water running through it? kjlife - Not enough flow because it wasn't cleaned ? i wouldn't want to clean something that looks that nasty either lol Mesamech - I would say that the LED lights were not covered with cloth during initial start up.
  7. http://www.pnwmas.org/forums/topic/44856-contest-time-win-a-300-new-hog3-scrubber/
  8. Can you figure out what happened to this HOG3 upflow scrubber? It was brand new when installed, but the user did something which caused this to happen (see photos). The contest person who guesses what happened most accurately will win a new HOG3 shipped anywhere in the world (winner supplies his own air pump, and pays any customs/import/duty fees if out of USA). To enter, post below and describe what you think happened, and include: Name, City, State, Country. Or you can post on our forum here:http://algaescrubber.net/forums/showthread.php?3705 Contest ends April 30, 2019. Here is the item new: https://www.santa-monica.cc/HOG3-Hang-On-Glass%C2%AE-UAS%C2… Hope you win!
  9. April 7, 2019: Stock update from Santa Monica Filtration: 0 - RAIN4 1 - RAIN2 with 4 GEM5 lights 0 - RAIN2 with 2 GEM5 lights 0 - RAIN2 with 1 GEM5 light 2 - Pole Mount for RAIN2 0 - SURF8 1 - SURF8x 1 - SURF4 0 - SURF4x 0 - SURF2 2 - SURF2x 1 - SURF2xx 3 - HOG3 1 - HOG3x 1 - HOG3xx 2 - HOG2 1 - HOG1.3 2 - HOG1 4 - HOG1x 2 - HOG.5 2 - DROP1.4 1 - DROP1.4x 4 - DROP1.2 2 - DROP1.2x 1 - DROP.6 3 - DROP.6x 2 - DROP.2 6 - Fusion 700 air pumps 1 - GEM5 set of four grow lights, white 0 - GEM5 set of four grow lights, black 8 - 4x6 Green Grabber Screen (1 mm thick) 0 - 4x6 Green Grabber Screen (2 mm thick) 5 - 5x7 Green Grabber Screen (1 mm thick) 3 - 5x7 Green Grabber Screen (2 mm thick) 20 - 7x7 Green Grabber Screen (1 mm thick) 13 - 7x7 Green Grabber Screen (2 mm thick) Purchase at: www.Santa-Monica.cc Selection chart: http://algaescrubber.net/WhichOne.jpg
  10. Ah very nice, yes you can illuminate from beneath too.
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