The concept of using macroalgae as a method of nutrient export is not new. However, the introduction of the ARID (Algae Remidiation Illuminated Device) by Pax Bellum is a quantum leap forward. This ingenious device utilizes macroalgae (specifically Chaetomorpha) to function as a nutrient export mechanism. The unique design of the ARID incorporates a coaxial LED light tube to maximize light penetration and efficiency.
The tube and flange design within the device serves to isolate the algae from atmospheric CO2, which effectively limits the carbon source for the algae to just that which is respired by organisms within the aquarium. The ARID is analagous to a human lung for the aquarium, in that the ARID supersaturates the the aquarium with oxygen from the algae created during its respiration. Pax Bellum recommends running the ARID on a "reverse daylight" cycle (ie; opposite of the display aquarium). which helps to balance the natural day/night pH swing that occur, and to maintain high dissolved oxygen levels throughout the night when the display aquarium lighting is off and photosynthesis has ceased to occur.
Use with the Triton Method: One of the reasons we love this product is due to the fact that it is satisfies the need for the algae component when running the Triton Method. This method relies heavily on algae as the heart of the filtration system. Nutrients, namely No3 and Po4 are largely kept in check by an algae component roughly 15-20% of the system volume. For aquarists that currently lack the space or ability to incorporate a large algae filter in their existing or new setup, this upright, sealed unit offers an excellent alternative. Because of the fast growing nature of chaetomorpha algae, we recommend placing it in the upper half if placing other algae in the same unit.
Using the plastic spiral wraps installed in the unit, wrap several small clumps of clean chaetomorpha around the spirals, pinching it so it holds in place.