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SURF4x Algae Scrubber - Santa Monica Filtration


Starting at $51/mo with . Prequalify now

Item #: 6Y24542

Shipped by Santa Monica Filtration in 3-5 business days

Santa Monica Filtration SURF4x Algae Scrubber

The SURF4x is the stronger-LED version of the SURF4, a floating surface upflow algae scrubber with Green Grabber surfaces, and strings for saltwater, designed to reduce your glass cleaning and water changes while creating an environment for living micro-animals to grow inside the scrubber.

The SURF4x offers drop-in installation, reduction or elimination of water changes and nuisance algae, along with almost no-light and almost no-sound, and --possibly most important-- one-handed cleaning with no disassembly required. Compared to the SURF4, the SURF4x has 4 extra LEDs, making 12 in total. These Xtra LEDs allow the SURF4x to grow green in water with higher nutrient levels over 0.2 ppm phosphate, where the lower-power SURF4 would grow dark or black instead. In addition to growing green sooner in higher nutrient water, the SURF4x will generally grow more algae overall and at a faster rate (the top layer of floating algae in the scrubber will generally be about 50% thicker than on the SURF4).

Other than the more powerful LED light (which also fits the larger SURF8), the SURF4x is identical to the SURF4-- simply lift up the LED lid and pull the algae out! You can even feed some of the algae to your fish and snails if you want (fresh is best!)

  • Has 48 square inches (300 square cm) of extremely rough Green Grabber® algal growth surface which can grow up to a 2" (5 cm) thick block of green hair algae
  • Quiet, near-silent operation
  • Creates a lower-nutrient ecosystem inside itself which is different from the rest of the water in your aquarium, allowing for optimal algal growth
  • Eliminates almost all salt spray (for saltwater) and allows for minimal bubble production
  • Upflow scrubber technology prevents overflow risk-- since it is ALL underwater, it can`t overflow onto your floor
  • Comes with 6 ft (180 cm) of quad vinyl airline, but requires a 4-outlet air pump, or two 2-outlet pumps, that can pump at least 10 total liters per minute (0.4 cfm)
  • Will run on both 120V and 240V
  • Dual power supply, each one powering six LEDs (total of 12 LEDs). Not only does this provide backup, it allows you to start the scrubber with less light which sometimes helps growth start faster in low-nutrient water or new tanks, or after a really thorough cleaning
  • Each power supply has a 10 ft (300 cm) UL and CE approved power adapter cord with a simple 2-prong U.S. plug, which can easily be modified
  • Can be used as a stand-alone filter or in conjunction with most other filters
  • Dry-Out proof: Power outages will not affect it since it`s always under water
  • Harvested algae can be used to feed your fish, if desired
  • Includes a 1 year warranty for replacement or repair
  • Ideal for saltwater systems with phosphate levels over 0.2 ppm
  • Needs to be cleaned ("harvested") every 7 to 14 days or when thick with growth

  • Includes twelve red (660 nm) 3-watt LEDs, which are attached to an aluminum heat sink which is painted black to reduce heat; it does get warm
  • The LEDs will give the aquarium or sump a slight red color at night when the aquarium lights are off, which will reduce as the SURF4x fills with growth
  • The LEDs never need replacing
  • A timer is required to run the LEDs for up to 22 hours per day
  • Controlled by dual power supplies, each one powering six LEDs

  • Dimensions: 8" wide by 10" long by 4" thick (20 cm wide, 25 cm long, 10 cm thick)
  • Recommended Water Level: 4" (10 cm) of water to operate in
  • LEDs: Twelve red (660 nm) 3-watt LEDs, which are attached to an aluminum heat sink which is painted black to reduce heat; it does get warm
  • Requires a 4-outlet air pump, or two 2-outlet pumps, that can pump at least 10 total liters per minute (0.4 cfm). Pumps that say they can handle 20 or more airstones, or pumps with 4 tubing attachments instead of one, are best.

1 - 5 Gallons 5 - 10 Gallons 10 - 40 Gallons 55 - 120 Gallons 180 - 300 Gallons 450+ Gallons
RAIN2 x2 x3 x5
DROP.2 x2
Saltwater only
HOG.5 x2
x2 x4
HOG1.3 x2 x4
HOG2 x2 x3 x5
Saltwater only
x2 x3 x4
Saltwater only
x2 x3 x5
Saltwater only
x2 x4
Saltwater only

5 Stars


Reviewed on
June 16, 2019

Yes, I would recommend this.

A high performer!

Pros: Great build quality and a nutrient uptake.

Cons: Expensive..

I have a 175 gallon reefer with 20 fish and 40+ coral, so it’s safe to say I have a high bio load. I have been battling GHA with NoPox, manual removal w/ water changes, and a chaeto reactor. NoPox is great but it has limitations, manual removal is necessary with any route you take, and chaeto doesn’t stand a chance against hair algae. The Surf scrubbers grow an impressive amount of hair algae to out compete what is growing in the display tank. I have two (Surf4x & Surf2xx) and clean them at different times of the week so there’s always enough algae to export NO3 and PO4. I turn them off for 4 hours in the middle of night (at different times) so they’re running while the display lights are on to uptake nutrients before the GHA on the rocks gets it. This is the highest performing nutrient uptake method that I have encountered so far and I have tried them all. I run both Surf’s with one Alita AL15A air pump. Definitely worth the investment for high nutrient systems!.

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