Clear Water

CW-200 External Algae Scrubber (DISCONTINUED)

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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 - 16" L x 10" W x 11 3/4" 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 - Up to 400 gallons

Dimensions - 16" L x 10" W x 11 3/4" H

Screen Dimensions - 9 3/4" x 8 1/4"

Recommended Flow Rate - 450 GPH

Input Barb Size - 1/2"

Main Drain Bulkhead - 1"

Emergency Drain Bulkhead - 1/2"

Power Consumption - 60W @ 120VAC


What's Included?

1x CW-200 External Algae Scrubber

2x Replacement Screen Clips


Clear Water Scrubber Sizing Recommendations

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 Aquarium Size
CW-50 6" x 6" 60-100 gallons
CW-100 7" x 7" 120-200 gallons
CW-200 10" x 8" 180-400 gallons
CW-300 11.5" x 10.5" 400-1000 gallons


Installation Instructions:

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. 

More Information
Product Name CW-200 External Algae Scrubber - Clear Water (DISCONTINUED)
SKU 211057
Out of stock message DISCONTINUED
UPC 860266001421
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Product Questions

In the video on how to set up this scrubber, the woman in the video has it sitting on a white platform. What is that platform? Do you sell it?
Question by: Christopher A Spera on Dec 16, 2021, 11:10 AM
Hey there. Thank you for reaching out with your question. Jen had the scrubber sitting on a piece of PVC. I think it is actually the lid for the 25 gallon DreamBox water tank so it would be a very expensive piece of PVC. A much less expensive but similar option would be a piece of PVC trim sheet. They can be purchased at most home centers.
Answer by: William Glenn (BRS Staff) on Dec 16, 2021, 2:54 PM
Could you please tell me, what is the weight of this scrubber?
Question by: Ieva Aleksa on Jul 11, 2020, 10:07 AM
Hey there-

Thank you for reaching out to us! The CW-200 would be approximately 13lbs.

Take care!
Answer by: Brad Ohmann on Jul 14, 2020, 11:45 AM
Would it be necessary to have GFO & CARBON reactors to go along with an ATS?

What about a Calcium Reactor?

Thanks in advance.
Question by: D. Mitchell on Oct 28, 2017, 4:54 PM
Algae turf scrubbers can be incredibly efficient at removing dissolved wastes from your water, and generally with a properly sized scrubber you shouldn't need to run gfo. Carbon on the other hand can have other benefits for water clarity and chemical removal, so this may not be dependent on the use of an ATS. A calcium reactor directly addresses calcium and alkalinity needs, and will have no real bearing on or interaction with the function of either an ATS or GFO and carbon, so I would examine this separately.

Hope this helps!
Answer by: Zack on Nov 17, 2017, 4:08 PM
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