- CW-100 External Algae Scrubber - Clear Water
Solve your nutrient & algae issues with an Algae Turf Scrubber from Clear Water Scrubbers. Algae scrubbers can save you money and time with the minimal maintenance and energy usage.
Dimensions - 13 3/4" L x 9" W x 9 1/4" H
- Easy to harvest
- Safe design
- Simple to plumb
- Quality acrylic construction
- Multi-directional input barb
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
How to Properly Size an Algae Scrubber
While we can provide tank sizing recommendations based on typical feeding habits, the best and most accurate way of sizing for an ATS is based on the amount of food fed each day, measured for ease here as cubes of food, regardless of the size of your aquarium. There should be 12 square inches of growing screen per cube or equivalent amount of food fed to the tank each day. Oversizing an algae scrubber does not necessarily mean that it will grow algae faster or be more efficient, and in some cases, we have found oversizing the scrubber too large, can lead to poor results.
|Model||Screen Size||Cubes Per Day|
|CW-50||6" x 6"||up to 3|
|CW-100||7" x 7"||2 to 4|
|CW-200||10" x 8"||4 to 7|
|CW-300||11.5" x 10.5"||7 to 10|
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.
Best purchase ever made By Jonathon on 3/18/2020Jonathon would recommend this product to a friendI installed the 100 on my Red Sea Reefer 350, have been running for 1 month and had first harvest of algae. The display is algae free after fighting it for months. Tried a large refugium with Prime Fuge and that worked for a while but chaeto always grew hair algae. I will not have a another tank without an algae scrubber. I saw some reviews with complaints of leaking but Clear Water has fixed that problem. I was worried about light bleed but that is also not a problem. The noise was a loud at first so I installed a 1 inch drain valve to slow the flow and that reduced the noise.
It Works By David on 8/9/2019David would recommend this product to a friendI have Han this scrubber for almost a year now and never have detectable nitrate levels. The one problem is if you don’t routinely clean the bar the system will leak. Due to space restrictions I have my scrubber on a shelf above my tank and this leaking issue has caused me some problems. If you buy this scrubber get the light blocker kit. The light bleed from this thing is blinding
Works as advertised By David on 9/7/2018David would recommend this product to a friendI have this mounted over my sump on a bracket that I built out a couple of 1x1 pieces of wood and drilled and screwed to the base of the scrubber. If it ever leaked, 100% of the water would go in the sump. I grabbed some algae that was growing in my refugium and rubbed it on the screen. I had a "harvest" of GHA in about 2 weeks. I always have read < 0.03 ppm phosphate on my hanna checker but knew I needed to try something else as GHA alway grew on my ball of chaeto no matter how much chaeto I kept in the refugium. It seems to be helping to contain the GHA to the scrubber.
It scrubs Algae but it also leaks By Diablo on 7/5/2018Diablo wouldn't recommend this product to a friendSo I have had this Scrubber for little less than a year and while it did grow Algae as described it has 2 major flaws IMO. 1. The bleed is obnoxious from this thing, I do understand they now offer covers to correct that but they should have sent them out to existing customers or offered a deal, it’s a design flaw for sure. 2 and this is the BIG one, it leaks, and not from the container that would make it a warranty claim. The way the spray bar is designed, it clogs then the runs backwards down the spray bar and out the top of the housing. It drips all over the Union and fittings and finally last night mine just full out flooded my stand. If it was a one time event I would mark it up to a wired situation but several times it has leaked and I have to take apart, get a knife and clean out the slot in the wand closest to where the water comes in.
Great Product! By Xander on 1/15/2018Xander would recommend this product to a friendUsing this on my Reefer 250 with great success! This product is very well built and top notch. Works as stated with no issues as far as I've owned it.
The Perfect Scrubber By Jim on 12/23/2017Jim would recommend this product to a friendExcellent product by Clear Water Scrubbers! The design and quality of this turf scrubber is second to none. It is compact and easy to locate within an aquarium system - practically plug and play. And it is very easy to clean and to put back into service
Outstanding Product By Jim on 12/20/2017Jim would recommend this product to a friendThis is a very well constructed ATS unit. It has been in operation for two weeks and is already growing algae on the mesh screen. Currently running this unit on a 120 gallon display, mixed reef aquarium. The CW-100 is capable of handling this system on it's own; however, it will eventually operate in tandem with a second CW-100 unit so that the cleaning cycles can be alternated every other week. Clear Water Scrubbers are a high quality product and a very reasonable price - and will do as well or better than other brands of ATS.
Good but some issues to be resolved By Hew on 11/22/2017Hew would recommend this product to a friendI have the 100 which fits perfectly where the built in reservoir used to sit in my redsea reefer 425.
I had received a scrubber which had a bonding issue with the acrylic. I contacted clearview and they sent me a replacement which arrived in 2 days. They are also very fast to respond to any assistance or tips.
My only issue with the design is that the brackets for the lights are made of steel which is painted. I have already started seeing some rust on the brackets. Clearview stated that they tried acrylic in the past and had issues with them breaking during shipment.
All in all, great piec eof equipment. saw algae growth within a few days on a 24 hours cycle. Once I saw growth I dialed it back to 12 hour cycles, opposite of tank schedule. I see new growth daily.
Has there been any studies on how much more evaporation/ro water will be needed in say 100 gal tank since this increases air to water contact more than normal. I am curious as to how much more RO water for top off I will need per day and therefore $$ of media and cartridge changes on RO unit more often?
We do not know of any such study to confirm or deny that. Certainly is something to look into! Have a great day.
Can you recommend a pump to go along with this scrubber?
It only needs 350 GPH so we would recommend using a Sicce Pump, specifically the Sicce 1.5. If you end up using your scrubber farther than a few feet from the pump you will need to get a bigger pump like the Sicce 2.0.
What type of maintenance for the white pad shown in the pictures. Are there replacements if needed?
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.
Can this be used with a tank that doesn't have a sump?
I am debating whether to set up this or a refugium with marine pure blocks and cheato in my 90 gallon system. Is it possible to run them both with success (I would like the refugium to grow pods too) or will it have to be one or the other? Which one would be more efficient at nutrient export? I plan on having about 8 fish with LPS and SPS corals. Thanks!
How is a "cube" defined exactly?
It is referring to the amount of frozen food cubes you can feed a day.
What do you recommend when it comes to attaching a barb to the emergency drains. Any thread sealant needed?