In an effort to reduce green hair algae in my saltwater aquarium, and to help water quality, I’ve decided to add an algae scrubber to the system. After watching a few YouTube videos (at the bottom) I was sold. So, after looking at my feeding program I decide to purchase a SURF2 Algae Scrubber for Santa Monica Filtration. This small unit was not cheap at $299 + shipping but I think it will be a great long-term addition to the system. After picking up the unit today from the post office I’m happy to see that the scrubber seems to be built for the long run. 🙂 The construction of the floating growth container is very solid and the lid is nice and heavy. Not sure why I assume quality with a product’s weight but I’ll go with it. After a few weeks of cycling we should see some green stuff! Here area few photos I took of the SURF2:
Unpacking my SURF2 algae scrubber from Santa Monica Filtration.
Here’s what the bottom of the SURF2 algae scrubber looks like. This side shines down on the algae in the floating growth container.
The LEDs that light this unit are really bright! As you can see there are four super-red 660nm LEDs to get the job done.
Here’s where the magic happens! This evening I will “seed” the growth compartment by rubbing some green hair algae on the inside of the box. The idea is to get a good culture on the sides of the box and harvest the algae that grows on the strings. It should take about a week to cycle the box and another couple of weeks before it’s time to harvest the algae.
The “Green-Grabber” side wall material of the SURF2 provides a lot of places where algae spores can populate. This surface seems to be very durable!
The bottom of the SURF2 has a few openings to allow air to be pumped in. The air helps oxygenate the algae and move water in and out of the unit.
The LED lid sits nice and snug over the top of the growth box. I think I might float this unit right in my refugium.
I thought it was kind of interesting that the LEDs need to be turned off for at least 2 hours a day, make sense though. I will be using an open outlet on my APEX controller to program a light schedule. The instruction included with the unit provide some very useful insight on how to finely tune in the scrubber’s algae production via the trouble shooting section.
The folks at Santa Monica Filtration recommended using a Fusion aquarium air pump (model 700) to supply the air to the unit. An air pump is not included so I picked up two (one for a backup).
My Video Updates:
Day 84 (12 weeks):