An algae scrubber refers to a water filtering device that grows algae by using light. During the process, the algae scrubber removes the undesirable chemicals from the water. The introduction of algae scrubbers have in a big way allowed pond, freshwater and saltwater aquarium hobbyists the ability of operating their tanks in way similar to which the lakes and oceans operate. This is by use of natural filtration for primary production. If you are a newbie in this part of the world, don’t imagine even for a single minute that algae scrubbers are brushes as their name seems to suggest.
These scrubbers make use of flowing water and light for the bad things or nutrients for that matter from the aquarium water thus ensuring that the aquarium only has the good things, i.e. food and nutrition. And unlike the scrubbers that are used for glass cleaning, algae scrubbers are not used for cleaning anything physically. Rather, the term scrubbing is used to mean the passing of the ‘dirty’ water via the algae scrubber from where clean water then comes out. As such, the water is said to be scrubbed of bad nutrients and only the good nutrients are left.
As an aquarist, you should consider getting an algae scrubber if your tank has a nuisance algae problem. Typically, the nuisance algae thrive because there is nitrate and phosphate in your aquarium. You should use the algae subscriber regularly so that you can succeed in solving your bad nutrient problem completely. The key to achieving this is by availing strong lights, a rough screen, weekly cleanings and ensuring a good flow.
You can buy a commercially available algae scrubber or make you own. When making your own the algae scrubber should be built properly to ensure that they are not noisy. The screen should be designed in a way that it slightly goes in the sump water and the water should be set in a way that it flows smoothly into the screen. When you are building your algae subscriber, the most important things are ensuring that the screen is rough and strong lighting. Make sure that you clean your algae subscriber at least once in a week for the filtration process to be effective
You can be sure that the algae subscriber won’t harm your corals in anyway. In fact, the truth of the matter is that the corals tend to grow best when a lot of food particles, i.e. nutrients are available in the water. In addition to this, corals will do much better when grown in an aquarium with lower phosphate and nutrients levels. Fortunately, this is exactly what the algae scrubber will provide you. The results are even much better when it comes to SPS corals. The algae subscriber also works perfectly well in fresh water and comes with the same benefits. Keep in mind that subscribers are not suitable for use in ‘planted only’ tanks since they tend to compete for CO2 with the plants.