Has anybody had any success in reducing nitrates by installing an algae scrubber? I am looking at ways to reduce the frequency of water changes. I currently do a 50% water change weekly. It would be nice to stretch that out to every two weeks.
The purpose of water changes is not just to reduce nitrates. Nitrates are just an indicator, because test are readily available that show how much nitrate you have in the water. Water changes remove any number of compounds at the same time as replenishing others. It's kind of like pushing a reset button on an electronic device. It often fixes a problem without anybody really understanding what went wrong in the first place. You just start from scratch. If nitrates are high, it's a good time to push that reset button.
With that in mind, if you want to reduce your maintenance chores, a much better idea than installing something that tackles only nitrates is an automatic water change system. There are many that work well. This is the one I am using: