Cheepo ATS

Discussion in 'DIY Forums' started by RSnodgrass, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Those more experienced minds could likely tell me why this may have problems but I thought I'd do this over the chaeto due to a lower sump water level.
    I filled the pipe with sand and sealed it so it'd sink easily.
    IMG_20171228_114932091.jpg
    IMG_20171228_115119754.jpg

    I'm trying to think of a good lightweight material I can hang like a drape to shield the light pollution in the sump. Best idea I've had is a flexible sled... suggestions?
     
  2. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    You're looking for something submersible; correct?
    You should look into the silicone cutting mats. It's safe to assume that the material would be food safe, so it'll be safe for being in your water.
     
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  3. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    That is an excellent suggestion and will work perfectly!
     
  4. Gary

    Gary Started in '96
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    Is it setting right on your Marine Pure blocks? I love this idea but you might want to keep it off the blocks or you will ultimately have algae growth on them. It would be great to see more pics of the finished product.
     
  5. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Gary I was wondering when someone might catch that (o:

    Ya I've moved most of them but still need to move the rest as I'd best they'd be a total loss trying to clean.
    IMG_20171229_153558867.jpg

    The cutting mats worked fairly well but even double layered there's quite a bit of light pollution. I'd guess it's enough to grow algae elsewhere so I'll probably just add a third layer. On the outside of the sump I'm going to add some window tinting and see if that's good enough.
    IMG_20171229_153836514.jpg

    Other observations are that I made the light to be raised and lowered but after looking at it I'd hate for a pump to shut off in a power outage and dunk it.

    One other concern I have is if gunk flowing into the pumps will be a problem, particularly when cleaning. If so I throw in a sponge before removing.

    Seeding it now and see what happens over the weekend. I blindly set the light at 40% but will likely turn it up since it's not as close as a normal ATS.

    It seems obvious that there is NO way this will be as effective or clean as a modern ATS but better than nothing I'm hoping.
     
    #5 RSnodgrass, Dec 29, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  6. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    If the window tinting isn’t opaque enough to block the light, pick up some adhesive vinyl; the sign crafting variety.
     
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  7. tomte25

    tomte25 Junior Member
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    So I’m curious (and probably a fairly noob question)...all the ATS I’ve seen have been hung vertically with water flowing over the media. Did you model yours after something you saw online? I’m curious if there are any benefits/drawbacks of doing a submerged horizontal approach that you’ve come across. I like the idea of not needing separate pumps/having additional plumbing from return lines. Following
     
  8. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I didn't see anything specifically but years ago I saw the original ATS that was mounted horizontally on top of a tank and used as a surge device. Inland aquatics? Either way, that device had a patent squatter issue and the new version apparently gets around that.

    The vertical design is one that is largely due to having water running down in an unsealed chamber so that lights can be mounted on both sides for twice the growth/effectiveness.

    *having it unsealed makes maintenance much easier. Having it vertical means that you don't have to move a light when doing it. When mounting above the sump waterline you also eliminate your likelihood of water overflows.
     
  9. tomte25

    tomte25 Junior Member
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    So your flow is all from the normal sump/refugium flow? Keep us updated on how your growth rate does please. I love this idea . Wish I had the room in my current system for one. Add it to the wishlist for the upgraded system :)
     
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  10. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    For sure, I'll be more curious where the growth is fastest because the flow rate over the surface is far from even.

    The left is "casual" flow and the right is "sweet baby Jesus".
     
  11. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I haven't done my research on this latest topic yet, but here's what my sketchy memory has stored.

    The horizontal turf scrubbers were more popular years ago; even in the 90's they were using them. From what I remember, the trays (now screens) were placed with a slight downgrade and were mostly/partially exposed to air. Water would flow over the tray that would grow the various algae like a typical scrubber. The water could be supplied by a dedicated pump or feed line, but many people just allowed the flow through their filtration system to feed the scrubber. I know Bill Capman has talked about using one of these "ancient" systems in the lab on his tanks, so he may have more information if he chimes in.

    Here's my thoughts about how this horizontal system has "evolved" today.
    Over the years, people have added many changes/improvements to this type of a system. They've added new algae species, macro algae species and even some coral species to the mixture of nutrient exporters. Eventually, those "scrubbers" were combined with another popular nutrient export method; deep sand bed or Miracle Mud. When this happened, the scrubbers evolved into the modern refugium.* The modern refugium is basically a contained ecosystem (many contain inverts as well) within the filtration system that the aquarium water flows through. So the algae tray/screen has been removed and the algae is free to grow on some live rock or grow free. Keeping the screen in the water will provide real estate for the algae to grow on and allow for easier harvesting.
    I would recommend taking a look at Marc Levenson's refugium. It's a great representation of an evolved horizontal scrubber; a long chamber filled with macro algae that has linear flow through the entire volume. Marc has primarily limited the variety of different nutrient export methods to the algae but he doesn't have the algae attached to a screen.

    * [In those earlier days, a refugium was just some live rock for pods and inverts to grow; like a small cryptic zone.]

    Hopefully, Bill will chime in. He'll be able to add plenty of knowledge and first-hand experience to this discussion.
     
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  12. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Here is what an ATS screen looks like after 10days that hasn't been seeded properly... one point of observation is the highest flow area (back right) easily has the most initial growth. I may extend out my wall behind to help better direct flow over the mat more evenly... will wait and see after some meaningful growth occurs.
    PSX_20180110_184835.jpg

    I also turned up the intensity of the light to 60%... has anyone tried taking par readings of their ATS for me to compare with?
     
  13. Nickz

    Nickz Senior Member
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    From my understanding you don't want to turn up the lights until you have good growth
     
  14. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Ok down they go again.
     
  15. OP
    RSnodgrass

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    7 day update (from last photo) when first growth started.

    I'm going to have to get a white light for photos because my phone is struggling. I've got a decent base of ~. 5-1" and the higher flow corner continues to be the primary growth spot.

    I'm also going to turn the lights up to 60% now and see what happens.
    PSX_20180117_203254.jpg
     
  16. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Been a little bit since my last update. The first harvest was about 6oz and took a month because I didn't seed it. The second was the same but in two weeks, however the color was much darker. Light on a 12 hr cycle.

    Differences:
    1)Established algae mat.
    2)Lights turned from 30% to 50% during first harvest and then 60% for the second.
    3)Turning to 70% now.

    Growth still clearly bias to the higher flow corner.
    IMG_20180222_185250272.jpg
     
  17. OP
    RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Quick update, turning the lights to 70% was likely too much as growth has slowed quite a bit.

    That being said I think I'm going to ditch the design all together sooner than later as it simply sends alot of debris to the pumps clogging the intakes. I could put up a filter screen however it would be exposed to light and thus turn into an algae farm. It's also a little hard getting items in and out of my sump making the maintenance less attractive. Lastly a screen would also would impact the height of the entire water column in the sump as it collects debris which makes the skimmer and herbie overflows unworkable.
     
  18. Sudip Ghimire

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  19. Sudip Ghimire

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    I am trying to use Miracle Mud in my refugium, any ideas or suggestions? Is Chaeto the best or there are other better options? When is the best time to introduce Copepods?
     

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