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 - 400 gallon
Dimensions - 19" L x 10 1/2" W x 14" H
Screen Dimensions - 11 1/2 x 10 1/2
Recommended Flow Rate - 600 GPH
Input Barb Size - 1/2"
Main Drain Bulkhead - 1"
Emergency Drain Bulkhead - 1/2"
Power Consumption - 100W @ 120VAC
1x CW-300 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.
A company that stands behind it’s product.... By Kris on 10/21/2017Kris would recommend this product to a friendI am revising my original review for a couple reasons.........
I originally gave this a 1 star out of pure frustration / disappointment. The first unit I received from BRS had some problems with the weld on the main box. I sent it back, and they sent another, that had even more problems than the first unit I had received. Thus the 1 star review.
HOWEVER...... I contacted not only BRS, but wrote directly to the company itself. I quickly received an email from Josh with Clearwater scrubbers, who seemed genuinely surprised to hear about the issue. I sent him a few video’s to show him what I was talking about. He quickly started researching the issue to see why the bond would fail like this. What I appreciate, is that he agreed to build me a new one, using a much stronger (read major overkill) welding agent, to insure that the third unit I received would NOT fail. He built it the next day, and shipped it directly to me. It came In one piece, and I had it on the tank in no time. This was before Josh really knew what the problem was. He has since reached out to let me know they figured it out, and it won’t be happening again. If you encounter this problem, make sure to let them know right away, so they can make it right.
I am admittedly an intense / impatient person when it comes to spending my money. I am a perfectionist myself and probably have a little OCD to go along with it (sound familiar to any of you aquarists?). So, I expect things to be right when I order them. With this said, nothing makes me happier, than when a company stands behind their product. Josh did the right thing, and made ME a happy customer. Thank you Josh.
As for the performance? This is very easy to set up. I am running a line off of my return pump to feed it. It takes some time and patience to get just the right flow, and to get the screen arm in just the right position. It has been running for 3 days now, and I am just now starting to see some algae on the screen. I am running it 24/7 until I get some base growth, then plan to decrease it to 12 hours, as to not shock my system. It doesn’t have much of a waterfall effect. Seems pretty quiet overall. Josh threw in a pair of light covers for me, because of the trouble I had. They are actually VERY NICE and I am very glad I got them. These lights are extremely bright, so it’s great to be able to cover them. BRS does not currently offer the covers, but I hope they change their minds, as they are really a must have in my opinion.
Another side note. This unit specifically (the 300 version) is very tall. 13”, a little more if you consider the union before the screen bar. I happen to have a very tall cabinet at 42”. I have 19” of space from the water line to the top. I have only 14” of space from the top of my sump. The only way I can make this work is to mount it just above the water line. This is not a problem for me, as I run the third chamber in my 160 gallon sump at only about 8” of water. So when I shut down my system, it fills the third chamber, but doesn’t affect the water line in the rest of the sump. However, if your sump fills when you shut off your pumps, you need to consider this. It was also difficult to fit the whole unit under the cabinet, as it is pretty large. You may need to remove the lights and put them back on, once the unit is in place. Just something to consider. Otherwise, I really like this unit. Looks nice, easy to run and hook up, and doesn’t make a lot of noise.
Oh, my system is a 300 gallon display. 160 gallon sump, 60 gallon attached frag tank, and skimmers, GFO / carbon / kalk / calcium reactors. I figure I run about 400 gallons total water (with displacement from rocks and sand, etc). The screen on this is very large, so I am sure it will be plenty for this tank. Time will tell. Hope this helps if you are looking into one.
Quality control issues.... By Kristopher on 9/30/2017Kristopher wouldn't recommend this product to a friendSo I just recieved this unit today. Took it out of the box, and was excited to hook it up. As I was looking at it, I realized that the side of the acrylic box that holds the plumbing, was not fully bonded together. Only the bottom half was bonded and the top was pulling away from the box due to the wieght of the plumbing. This is a $450 acrylic box..........can’t even put words to how dissapointed I am that it didn’t get bonded properly. Even a terrible bonding job would hold for an application like this, but this is just poor quality / craftsmanship. Very surprised to encounter this. It also had a broken nylon nut that holds the light to the base, but that really isn’t that big of a deal. I have contacted BRS, so we will see what the response is. I am guessing these will function fine once plugged in, but since I can’t even plug it in, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Not happy at all.
Also has no instructions or introduction to who “clear water scrubbers” is. These are NOT complicated, and some google research will tell you anything you need to know on how these operate. Again......$450 shouldn’t have to do the leg work myself. There is also no light cover for this. I took a chance on buying a new product with no reviews, counting on BRS to only sell quality stuff. My bad I guess.
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That's a great question! While algae turf scrubbers may not be specifically called out as part of the Triton method, they serve a more or less identical goal of controlling dissolved organic wastes through the use of algae to uptake these by-products. I can't see any reason running the Triton method would prevent you from using one of these. Of course, you wouldn't get the other benefits of a refugium such as a copepod sanctuary, but when it comes to keeping organics very low, these are a great solution! Proponents of the Triton method do offer macro-algae reactors as a suitable option, and I really can't see a meaningful difference between that and an ATS.