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Spinning Chaetomorpha Reactor

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Clever Spinning Chaetomorpha Reactor is the Perfect DIY Project


Very few tanks absolutely need a form a vegetative nutrient export like an algae scrubber or reactor but most tank certainly benefit from having one of some kind. Whether you’re trying to buff the pH, reduce nutrients, or outcompete nuisance algaes, a dedicated place of algae scrubbing can not only be effective, but also quite fun. 

This was not lost on Alfredoo Bergsma who built a very creative spinning chaetomorphareactor. We’ve seen many different designs for ‘dynamic’ moving Chaetomorpha reactors, most notably the giant rotating ball of Chaeto we spotted at the SEA Aquarium a number of years ago. Some dynamic macroalgae scrubbers use just the movement of incoming water to get the algae moving, but Mr. Bergsma took this idea one step further. 

This tall, 22.5 gallon aquarium is located next to Alfredoo’s main tank and the tall dimensions of this vessel is ideally suited to create a living wheel of Chaetomorpha. In order to guarantee even and predictable motion of the Chaeto, this scrubber design includes a spinning platform or cradle which rests on two hinges, each located on opposite walls of the tank. 

The entire Chaeto-cradle is moved by a dedicated powerhead, what appears to be a Tunze Nano Stream, strategically pointed to spin the entire assembly. This kind of dynamic Macroalgae holder helps to expose the living algae to variable lighting and water flow with every rotation it makes, and to a lesser degree the centrifugal force helps to eject detritus that might get stuck inside. 

We’re really digging Mr. Bergsma’s creative interpretation of a dynamic macroalgae reactor with a spinning cradle to keep everything moving predictably, and using a normal aquarium will make it very easy to harvest and maintain this standing crop for nutrient export. 


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