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Bubbles On Screen Scrubber

Discussion in 'Experimental Scrubber Concepts' started by Garf, Dec 10, 2012.

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  1. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Back in April, two or three weeks prior to the public unveiling of the UAS test, I posed a simple question. In essence, would applying bubbles or Co2 to a waterfall screen reduce or eliminate the Alkalinity depletion evident in some scrubber systems, full text here;

    Upon the UAS unveiling I decided to implement my ideas on my screen. Details of my tank etc are here;

    Cutting through the history of the threads, I think that bubbles on a waterfall screen creates a better environment for the screen and hence our displays, and the screens ability to perform.

    Several benefits are;

    Increased Co2 consumption as opposed to carbonate/ bicarbonate conversion, reducing wasted energy,
    Introducing Co2 into the water column, replacing used Co2, creating a more natural display pH,
    Increasing oxygen concentration in ours of darkness,
    Reduced boundary layer thickness aiding gas exchange,
    Greater growth, hence filtering capability.

    There are a couple of benefits over the UAS, these being;

    Higher light intensities,
    Higher water flow,
    Smaller bubbles, increasing surface area and gas exchange,
    Vastly reduced boundary layer,
    No glass cleaning.

    The best thing about this improvement is that it's nearly free of cost.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  2. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer


    Thanks for the summary write-up. Good stuff, more people should try this I think.
  3. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Cheers Bud. Now, if you were to try it and get similar results (which im sure you would), then we're talking a mainstream mod, that would be considered a basic waterfall requirement in no time at all.
  4. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    What I'm thinking is that instead of a skimmer pump, one could just pierce the vinyl hose between the pump and the scrubber and insert a fitting to connect a piece of airline tubing on to, and let the suction properties of the flow take over. IIRC didn't you or someone else do something like this? I seem to recall the issue was getting air to suck in instead of water to blow out or something like that. Such a mod would be simple enough, and anyone with a current system could do it. Replacing a pump with a skimmer pump would not be so easy.

    The Rio pumps actually come with an outflow control valve, which also has an inlet for and airline tube (also provided) similar to the old Penguin Power heads (dating myself on that one). The down side is that the control valve completely sucks, because when you close it, the valve knob just pops off and water sprays out the valve. What a dumb design. So I provide a different valve, but I'm sure the principle is the same - drill a hole in the tubing, stick airline in hole, presto.

    But the question is - is that form of bubble input as effective as using a skimmer pump? I'm thinking no?
  5. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    I'm just using a regular pump, with rigid airline jammed into the intake. The pressure reduction causes a venturi action. I know this is a bit of a bodge, but the principle holds, and the results speak for thereselves. I suppose there's loads of ways of doing it. Glad your taking this seriously, I've been researching this for 8 months, and finally people like Crashmushroom, and Wannarace have took the plunge.
  6. crashmushroom

    crashmushroom Member Customer

    im using an atman 2500 off my nac 7 skimmer which is under the stairs for the past 12 months. beauty of skimmer pump for me is the bubbles are nice and fine and i can adjust how much air with a valve. I found first hand i had a huge alk problem dropping daily, but since this mod i have no alk deplettion and now can just use kalk instead of 2 part as my system uses alk and cal in balance. Hope this helps others.

    P.S. clearly i have alot to learn in bodging garf i could not get the air line in my normal pump to take air in :)

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk 2
  7. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I've always taken you seriously Garf.
  8. data_loss

    data_loss New Member Customer

    I'll give this a try. I just need to figure out how I can set it up. I do not have a skimmer pump handy. I have an unused eheim 1250, just try to get an air hose to pull air into the intake somehow?
  9. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Here's what I did;

    And got this,

    And this,

    Not exactly proud of my bodging, but a more permanent fix would be very easy. A cheap valve on the airline would provide adjustability, and a silencing effect on the sucking noise produced.
  10. sabbath

    sabbath Member Trusted Member Customer

    I'm running a L2 with a skimmer. I wonder how much I would benefit from doing this. As I would think that the dissolve oxygen count would already be high. Hmmm. What do you think?
  11. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Do you have a disproportionate Alkalinity consumption? If not, then I would suggest the other advantages of putting bubbles on the screen would still apply. There's no risk of having too much oxygen.
  12. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Do you notice an issue with microbubbles? I would think that running a closed-box scrubber with a drain would result in a lot of bubbles finding their way to the drain and then circulating in the system. I know that according to Randy Holmes-Farley, microbubbles causing problems is a myth, but they are unsightly.
  13. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    My screens in my sump and I've got no micro bubbles in the display. Just had a closer look, and the bubbles look too large to stay submerged for long. I suppose it would just be another hurdle to overcome if it was problematic in enclosed scrubbers. Isn't Crash using an L2?
  14. crashmushroom

    crashmushroom Member Customer

    Yeah my sump has loads of bubbles but not the display will post pics later when im home.
  15. crashmushroom

    crashmushroom Member Customer

    Ok chamber 1-4 in my sump. Chamber 1 skimmer pump. chamber 2 lots of bubbles like a chamber of milk. Chamber 3 very little bubbles. Chamber 4 crystal clear. Display same.

    Attached Files:

  16. crashmushroom

    crashmushroom Member Customer

    Display is just thrown together as its my new tank not running long.
  17. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

    Looking good Crash, looking very good.
  18. crashmushroom

    crashmushroom Member Customer

    Cheers garf
  19. Garf

    Garf Member Trusted Member

  20. Ricky

    Ricky Member Trusted Member Multiple Units! Customer

    What about running a skimmer without the collection cup and placing the intake of the scrubber pump next to the skimmer drain.. would this give the scrubber co2 rich water and eliminate micro bubbles?

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