Algae turf scrubbers use natural growing algae to combat nutrients and have been used for many years now with great results. Many reefers that have been using them do not use any type of protein skimmer or expensive phosphate removal media to combat nutrients because scrubbers work very efficiently and can be added to almost any saltwater or freshwater system. As algae grows it will "lock" up nutrients in its structure and harvesting the algae you are basically removing nutrients and other undesired chemicals from your tank
Clear Water Scrubbers are an external design that needs to be mounted higher than the sump of your tank for the drain to flow into. The feed for the scrubber can be done with a stand-alone feed pump, manifold, or through the drain of your aquarium and plumbed into the included 1/2" barb fitting. Water will then flow over the algae screen that is blasted with high power red/blue LED lights that encourage algae growth and then the water will flow into the main drain fitting and down into your sump. Clear Water's scrubber was designed with a 1/2" emergency drain fitting that will accept any excess flow if the 1" main drain ever gets clogged with algae.
Maintaining the scrubber only takes a few minutes every one to three weeks to harvest the algae that has grown on the screen. By removing the horizontal union and rinsing the screen under a faucet will help knock a majority of the algae off the screen to be disposed of. Removing all the algae from the screen will lead to a slow start of the next batch and by leaving a small amount of algae on the screen you will help seed the next batch allowing it to grow faster. You may need to use a soft bristle brush (toothbrushes work great) to clean the slot that the screen fits into every now and then also.
Max Recommended Tank Size - 125 gallon
Dimensions - 13 3/4" L x 9" W x 9 1/4" H
Screen Dimensions - 7" x 6 3/4"
Recommended Flow Rate - 350 GPH
Input Barb Size - 1/2"
Main Drain Bulkhead - 1"
Emergency Drain Bulkhead - 1/2"
Power Consumption - 40W @ 120VAC
1x CW-100 External Algae Scrubber
1. Find a suitable place for the scrubber to be placed that allows it to freely drain into your aquariums sump.
2. For best results remove the main and emergency drain bulkheads and install them in reverse (flange and gasket inside of the scrubber body).
3. Using 1" soft tubing or PVC plumb the drain into your sump.
4. Plumb the emergency drain with 1/2" PVC or soft tubing allowing it to drain into your sump. We prefer to keep the emergency drain a few inches over the water level making the water crash into the sump that produces an audible noise, letting you know when something is not correct with the main drain.
5. Attach 1/2" soft tubing to the included feed barb fitting. We really like using soft silicone tubing for this application.
6. Adjust the flow over the algae screen so that an even sheet of water flows down the screen. Flow adjustments can be made with either a ball valve on the feed line or with a DC style pump.
7. Plug the LED light power cord into a timer or aquarium controller and program it for a 12-hour daily photoperiod. We suggest illuminating the algae scrubber in an opposite lighting cycle than your display tank to help stabilize your aquarium pH.
8. Monitor the algae growth and after a few weeks, algae will be ready to harvest!
Note - For feeding the scrubber we prefer to use a stand-alone feed pump since they can be fine-tuned to the algae scrubbers needs. We really like to use DC pumps that let us control the flow rate through a controller or an AC pump with a ball valve.
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While you could technically replace the screen material if it were somehow damaged, it's a very durable plastic mesh and should not ever wear out. The material is a roughed up mesh that allows the algae to adhere to it, and does not need to be completely cleaned during maintenance. It's best to just remove the majority of the algae during cleaning, and leave a portion on the screen to allow for rapid re-growth. I've had mine running on my tank for 2+ years and the mesh shows no signs of degrading.