Lowest cost and easiest way to eliminate green hair, bubble, turf and slime algae

So I have a couple of questions.

Does the screen have to be flat or can it be curved? (think of it being rolled and suspended inside a tube. A tube in a tube.)

I have a "spare" Stunner Magenta/Blue 12" light here. I have NO idea what the power of this thing is. There are 12 LEDs on it. Think it would be enough light and of the right colours?
Screen shape does not matter. What matters is roughness, and 2-sided.

Magenta blue won't grow. And I doubt the wattage is enough.
Important videos to help you understand algae filtering...

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfMaBeLwiO4]Ocean Productivity - Intro - YouTube[/ame] - Ocean Productivity
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d96F0ak4uY]Ocean Productivity - Photosynthesis Part 1 - YouTube[/ame] - Photosynthesis part 1
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTBlq3gUv5Y]Ocean Food Webs - Food Chains vs Food Webs - YouTube[/ame] - Food Chains vs. Food Webs
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwZDIU6sM_4&]Ocean Productivity - Nutrients & Primary Production - YouTube[/ame] - Nutrients and Primary Production
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnlCx7mVcZ4]Ocean Productivity - Chlorophylls & "Helper" Pigments - YouTube[/ame] - Chlorophyll
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtZ75KW2t-U]Ocean Productivity - Zooplankton & Primary Productivity - YouTube[/ame] - Zooplankton and Primary Production
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quH4x640Jgs]Ocean Productivity - Role of Heterotrophic Bacteria - YouTube[/ame] - Bacteria
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdIjMQATQks]Ocean Food Webs - Introduction - YouTube[/ame] - Food Webs
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc_fGWjmNeI]Ocean Food Web - Microbial Food Web - YouTube[/ame] - Microbial Food Web
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQaE0e0iD3s]Ocean Food Webs - Trophic Pyramids - YouTube[/ame] - Trophic Pyramids
Some more successes from waterfall scrubbers:

Damon on the IM site: "I have been completely skimmer less for over a month now, and my ats has brought my nitrates from off the chart above 50ppm and with yesterday's test it has come down to 5 on the high end with color choosing(can't wait for a Hanna to make a nitrate). I am extremely happy with my ats as it is now, but I do believe I'm going to build a second one next to it. I built this size for a small (75-90g heavy bioload), but I'm going to add a second one that will be a more professional build quality now that I have figured out how I want it to run. I still love the fact that I have dropped $25 a month in electricity, haven't done a water change in a month while still dropping nitrates and getting amazing coral growth. The best part is I am making these to utilize my overflow drains, so in essence I adding a more efficient form of filtration without adding any heat or extra electricity. I can't report on long term results as I've only been running an ats since last fall. But from where my tank was to where it is now is enough for me to jump ship, lol."

Kerry on the scrubber site: "I was hard for me to believe that this device worked. It took about a year before I built one and now I wish I knew about this years ago. Who would have thought algae would provide so much success? I even have one on my 150G FW Jack Dempsey tank as well. And yes, its so nice not to have a skimmer anymore!!!!"

Reefkeeper2 on the RC site: "I run a skimmer, biopellets and an ATS. The skimmer and the pellets worked well keeping nitrates at 0, but there was room for improvement with phosphate control. I tried GFO, and lanthanum. My sps do not like the GFO. I got STN often when I changed it out. The lanthanum worked, but was very labor intensive and so unpractical. The ATS did the trick nicely. I have been a reefer for a very long time. I think I have tried every method of nutrient control thought up by anyone. I really enjoy trying out new ideas and trying to improve on old ones. I have to say that this combination has worked the best of all I have tried over the years."

N728NY on the RC site: "Just chiming in to say I really hope this thread keeps going! Lots of good info. I'm still pretty new to keeping a reef tank. I have been running a scrubber with my skimmer for the past three months. Before then I could never get my nitrates below 15, and since I added my scrubber I never been able to detect any nitrates, even after feeding twice as much. I know with my 75 gallon set up, I made my scrubber slightly over sized (sized for 100 gallons) and I dump huge amounts of pellets and frozen shrimp in my tank on top of spot feeding my corals on a regular basis and I still have yet to register any nitrates on my test kit. Being that I'm still new I still haven't built up the courage to unplug the skimmer yet. I may try it once I know for sure my scrubber is fully matured, got plenty of ro water made up and salt ready just in case I need to do an emergency water change lol. I still have a clump of cheato left that I suppose would be good back up if the scrubber couldn't keep up. The cheato doesn't really grow very much right now because of the scrubber. I love these scrubbers, I'm so glad I took the time to read "both sides" of the arguments on them to find out the facts about them."

Kentth on the scrubber site: "overall the tank is much healthier, a lot of feather dusters, coming out of the rocks, yellow sponges, other opaque sponges. big thing is no water changes for over 8 months, almost no silt, it has really cut my maintenance"

Langtudatinh01 on the RC site: "i completely redo my 40B with the ATS from beginning, i barely see much algae on my display tank but i now have a mature ATS. i relocated all my fish and add another one without any issue. the dead rocks i use bleach quite a lot of phosphate back into the water, but the ATS has handle the issue like a cham. i do not see much algae on my display. everything is green like grass down at the ATS. i am very happy so far.'

Bicolour on the MFUK site: "quick update, so my ats has been running since [6 weeks ago] and i gotta say all the algea in my tank and on the sand has gone, wow. gotta say it was well worth doing. i dont monitor growth at the moment but this is something i will be doing in the future, my set up was basic costing very little as i wanted to try this before i really looked into the idea. very impressed and can only say if you got space look into it"

Rysher on the RC site: "i have a 6x9 screen, 1 inch is submerged so only 6x8 is really used, i also have a 40b. it has been my only form of filtration ever since i started the tank [months ago], i feed almost 2 cubes a day, only have 2 fishes but u cant see any algae on my DT, almost non existent film algae too, i clean my DT glass maybe once a week."

Packman90 on the RC site: "I have a 72 Gallon bow front and until a couple of months ago I was going to throw my tank away and give up on saltwater tanks all together. I was brand new, took a lot of advice, started my system and watched as it became more and more green, until i found out about scrubbers. I lost all of the coral frags I bought, about $400.00 worth, and just felt that I would never get it. I have it now, and just bought my first new frags in over 8 months. Thanks to all of you scrubbers out there who showed me the way. Here is the tank after the scrubber did it's magic. this took a total of 1 month for it to clear up, and I did not remove any of the algae, it just melted a way. Only problem I have is that i have some sea grass that is melting away as well and cheto in my sump is also slowly dieing."
Here are the requirements for building a UAS.

Screen material:

Use plastic canvas as the algae screen. Remember to roughen it up properly using a wood saw or hole saw. You can get plastic canvas at craft store (under sewing section) or sewing store or online at places like Everything Plastic Canvas Home Page or ebay. Screen should look like this:




The lighting needs to be 1 watt per square inch (6.25 square cm) of screen material. A 3 by 4 inch screen is 12 square inches not 24. Make sure you have enough wattage and use a reflector if the light doesnot focus on screen. For fluorescent bulbs, it needs to have a spectrum of 2700k-3000k. For LEDs, it needs to be red 660nm. You can cut the wattage in half if you are using LED lights. In order for algae to grow, make sure that the light is on for 18 hours a day. Here are some bulbs and reflector type:




The bubbles need to be rapid and large and distributed through out the screen evenly for algae to grow. The best way to do this is by slicing the air tubing. Make sure the air pump is good so that the bubbles can constantly flow across the screen for 24 hours a day. This is why you need bubbles:

OK.. I expect I'm way too late...

I've been in that kind of industry..(Product Design / Manufacturing) .. My suggestion is to get a patent first... then sell the idea or license it to an established aquarium supply house and let them handle the head aches.

You have several evolutions of prototypes to cycle through first before it is ready for public consumer markets. It needs to be nice looking, easy to use, easy to manufacture, easy to package, easy to stack, down to the absolutely minimum manufacturing cost each, and someone needs to do a killer job on the package design art work, marketing, & physiology. Else you loose your Axx.

So... get a patent and sell it up front or license it with royalties. Let them do all THAT other crap.

Before you discuss it with anyone have them sign a non-disclosure statement that protects you from them blabbering it to anyone. You can find non-disclosure statements online.

Once you start a patent process you gain some claim to being the first to of started the idea into processes.. there is a name for all that.. I have a patent, and... it takes a patent attorney, and he/she needs to sign a non-disclosure statement too...up front!

..my two cents.. listen to the pro's...
Last edited:
Where does he live, if it is in a large city there are plenty of sources? The best way is to get parts made by different companies so they don't see the end product. If he has prints of the end product parts he can go on line and get quotes from all over the world and they have to be cheap to out bid each other. But.. only release one part at a time per quote.. to keep control of the end product.
I do have several patent applications pending, on different aspects of the scrubbers. Most are not to be posted for a long time, however.
Well that is good, now days you need the patents more that your used to. In the past you could count more on the process pending to protect you. Today, someone will rip it if there is any hope of making a few fast bucks.

I guess you noted my suggestions to part out the pieces to different injection molders.

Trouble is if you produce it yourself you will have to come up with the mold tooling money and the molding processes. AND any damage to the tooling is yours to carry too it you do not specify in the contracts that the molder is responsible if they damage the tooling. You will be responsible for normal wear and tear replacement parts as well as all parishable parts.

You will need deep pockets or a good investor..... and many folk skimp when it comes to someone that knows how to market, package, and present. If that person stands to make serious money percentages, you will make much more money at your share. But, that person needs to be top knotch... not just some want-ta-be or claim-ta-be. They need to have a track record of products they "made it" with already. They need to know the process from personal successful experiences.

I did note that you or someone has a CAD system... by your images. A good designer needs to make them appealing, and manufacturing smart. It is good if your larger parts can be stacked similar to plastic cups. When quantities start to move they can kill plenty of $$ in space if they don't. Also, if reasonable design the barrels to hold as many of the assembly parts as you can for shipping size and container protection. Again, this saves on warehouse space after boxed for delivery... via smaller packages. The bulk stack should fit a 4' x4' pallet perfectly if it can happen. This comes in during the final foam or other product and box design.

..and Good luck.. good idea. but you have to convince the public they have to have it if they have an aquarium. It they do they have an alge problem... so .. well most of them do!.. need your product... wink... there is where the skills of a good marketing person is what makes of breaks the bulk sales. Even if it is to produce and sell to major dealers....

Again, good luck..
The green hair algae and the chaeto will compete for nutrients. You should take out the chaeto in order to allow the green hair all nutrients.