ATS or Chaeto 2nd Attempt

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by H2OHOH, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. H2OHOH

    H2OHOH Senior Member
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    I have noticed many people giving and wanting Chaeto recently. I have also noticed many have been installing or upgrading their ATS.

    Why ATS over Chaeto, or why Chaeto over ATS? I think most of us agree Cheetos take them all
     
  2. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    Chaeto in a refugium was cheaper/easier for me as I didn't have to plumb in another device. I can reach in and take handfuls out when I see that its full, and it doesn't require maintenance. Those are big advantages for lazy reefers such as myself.
     
  3. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I might be too biased to reply, but I do have a very strong opinion that Cheetos are garbage.
     
  4. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    But what about these things? They're so damn good!

    0002840058989.jpg
     
  5. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Epitome of the term “dumpster fire”.
     
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  6. infinityends

    infinityends Senior Member
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    The type of algae that grows in an ATS is a simpler form of algae than cheats and can therefore grow much faster and consume more nutrients.

    Either can be an effective way to reduce nutrients, using a fuge, or probably even a cheato reactor also has the benefit of a good habitat for pods to grow since the chests is submerged. In an ATS the water is flowing across a screen so you don’t really have anywhere for a pod population to inhabit in the scrubber.

    Like so many things in this hobby it comes down to preference and what happens to be the better option for your system for a variety of reasons.


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  7. Nickz

    Nickz Nobody
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    Been running ats for 5 years been thinking lately of switching to chaeto in the fuge due to my having LARS.
     
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  8. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Late Age Reefer Syndrome? Lol

    I have always had cheto fyi but here are my perceived differences.

    Cheto:
    • Cheaper? Depending on the light source if you custom make a sump for it.
    • Takes up more space typically.
    • Debate over effectiveness as several people here have stated entire vats haven't helped them.
    • Super lazy maintenance, easy to let over grow for weeks before dealing with. May affect performance?
    • More water volume for small systems.
    • Pod-tastic
    • Fish generally should not eat it. Longer pieces will bind up and kill fish if your return pump doesn't sufficiently chop up what gets through.
    ATS:
    • Much easier to scale up for high nutrient systems it seems.
    • Weekly maintenance fur to rapid growth.
    • More heat in water (good or bad)
    • Smaller for factor relative to export quantity.
    • Leaves room for a cryptic/pod zone in sump.
    • Probably requires more effort to "tune" to your tanks needs since I heard now of several doing too good of a job. Don't have to run as long I suppose.
     
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  9. Nickz

    Nickz Nobody
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    Lazy Ass Refer Syndrome
     
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  10. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I'll chime in as I'm taking a break from working on some APIS-300 and APIS-60 ATS units.

    A lot of the main talking points have been brought up already about the differences between ATS and a chaeto reactor. I'll just highlight some of the comments based from my experience.
    (I'm not including refugiums in this post.)

    Pods... not a factor.
    You'll find pods living in both chaeto and scrubbers; more in chaeto if placed in a refugium. What you need to remember is that these algae need to be harvested and removed so you're going to be tossing out what population there is living inside the algae. Unless you're willing to spend the effort sorting through the algae and recovering pods, it doesn't really matter which method you employ as you're just throwing out whatever population you have. (I do recover any pods/stars that I readily notice during my maintenance but I don't make an extra effort.)
    If you're wanting to use you sump for pod production, it's much better to install a "permanent" structure for them to colonize. Items like "pod hotels" are fancy, but I have several blocks of Aquamesh in my sump that are crawling with pods and micro-brittle stars. There's no risk to them of being removed from the system from an algae harvest unless I intentionally do so.

    Heating of water... not a factor.
    The contact time of water through a reactor is too quick to be affected by the relatively low power of the lighting used with the reactors. If anything, I would think an ATS would have a cooling effect as the ambient air temperature is lower than our system's water.

    Algae... a possible factor.
    A chaeto reactor utilizes chaetomorpha algae. An ATS unit utilizes multiple types of algae. I haven't compiled the research to know exactly which species are all found on an ATS screen, but it's not just GHA. I would believe that having more than a single species of algae removing nutrients from the water would be more effective; if not more beneficial.

    Maintenance... a possible factor.
    This is where I spent most of my time with designing my units.
    For either of these reactors to work properly, you need to keep up with maintenance or the reactor will not work efficiently. (That comment is true for everything running on our systems; lights, pumps, powerheads and reactors.) Chaeto reactors and traditional ATS units need to have some dismantling of parts to perform maintenance. This involves a little bit of time, but it also introduces the opportunity for water leaks if not properly assembled. The design of my ATS unit makes maintenance a little bit easier by removing the dismantling process and risk. You pull out a drawer, harvest algae and reinstall the drawer. By having the drawer also allows easier access to the algae during operation. If you want to see how the algae is growing, you can slide the drawer out part way and inspect the screen without needing to dismantle the unit or even turn the water flow off. It's extremely convenient for the user.

    LARS... a factor.
    There's no remedy for LARS other than due diligence and doing the work. Sorry, Nick.

    If anyone has more questions about using an ATS unit, feel free to ask.
    Time to get back to working on more APIS-series units.
     
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  11. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Ahem... I present Exhibit A, your Honor.
     
  12. DarkSky

    DarkSky Administrator
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    Well I mean, the reasons given are the spicy twicies and red poop. So... not much different from eating anything else that's hot :)
     
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