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DIY space saving LED Scrubber

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by Chris, Oct 26, 2014.

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  1. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Hi there,

    when I first read about algae scrubber I was fascinated and decided to get one. So I did some reading and ended up buying parts of Santa Monica and built a LED light myself. I got some decent growth but I started to go nuts from that bubbling noise, which is not even close to a mellow ripple. So I decided to get or build an ATS. Thanks to the many information provided here, I designed my DIY scrubber which takes up few space.

    The principle I used is to illuminate one side through the glas of the sump and the other one from a light positioned within a water proof box hanging in my sump. The screen size is 6" x 8" and is lit by 16 660nm and 4 450nm, each of the 3W running at 25% of max current. I started today with 10h lightening period slit in half with 2h pause between.

    Acrylic box to hang in the sump


    with LED light


    Hang on ATS

    image8.jpeg image12.jpeg
    Hanging on my sump

    The setup

    image17.jpeg image15.jpeg

    Any suggestions? Would you hang the screen into the water or on a piece plastic with a slope into the water?

    Thanks for reading, hope the scrubber will work.

    Attached Files:

  2. Turbo

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

    Well built! One thing I was going to mention was that you should place a piece of acrylic between the outer LED fixture and the screen as the top so any sideways spray would not get to the array, but it looks like you did that (couldn't see that on my phone)

    The only other comment I will make is with respect to the distance from the LEDs to the acrylic. The LEDs will get hot enough, or produce enough light energy, to cause the acrylic to craze right in front of the LEDs. This appears to be less of a concern for the 660nm Deep Red LEDs, mainly just for the Royal Blue LEDs, and mainly when they are running at a high enough current.

    I'm not sure what the threshold current is for this effect, but what I can tell you is that I have had several of my first revision of the L2 come back in on trade and noticed a few things. The Rev 1 included a piece of plastic diffuser that was placed in front of the LED array. The diffuser was very close to the array, maybe only 0.5 cm distance from the dome of the LED to the diffuser. There was almost always a "hole" melted in the diffuser, right in front of the blue LED (which was running at 700mA - full power). More recently I had one come in that had a tiny spot of crazing on the acrylic window, which is more like 0.5 inches from the dome of the LED. Crazing is not dangerous, so it's not a leak hazard, but it just tells me that there needs to be a certain distance from LED to acrylic when running at a certain drive current.

    My 2nd and 3rd revisions do not have this problem, for a few reasons. One, there is a splash guard made from 1/16" acrylic as part of the heat sink (the MakersLED version). Two, the distance from the LEDs to the splash guard is over 0.5" away. Third, I run a pair of blues in parallel, so the max current through each is 350mA.

    I don't think you will have anything to worry about with your build, at least not immediately, because you are running at a low drive current, and your heat sinks are more than adequate to pull the heat away. But you might want to check the inside box every once in a while to make sure the acrylic is not getting discolored in front of the blues.

    I guess a question is in order - what is the distance from the dome of the LEDs to the acrylic window (on the in-sump box)?
  3. Chris

    Chris New Member

    You are right. I did a trial run and decided to put an additional splash guard in. By now I added a cover for the screen chamber to reduce micro sry to the leds. Would you recommend running the blue LEDs on half current than red LEDs? Red to blue ratio is 4:1 right now. Should I put in 2 more blue LEDs? I do not intend to increase current more than 350 mA, so they're running already on half power an distance to the acrylic window is about 0.5 inch. Thanks!
  4. Turbo

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

    I wouldn't think the blue LEDs would even fire up at 25%, much less half that. I put 3 blues in parallel once and got nothing out of them. So I would not, at this point. If you're never going to run >350mA, you have much less to worry about
  5. Chris

    Chris New Member

    My second cleaning after 2 weeks. Should I increase lighting period - up to now less are on for 9h a day.

    Attached Files:

  6. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Less = leds
  7. Turbo

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

    After you scrape and rinse, is there any algae left in the holes? Generally, I recommend waiting on increasing the photoperiod until you start to get about half of the holes still full after scraping. Usually, just to be safe, you should wait a month before increasing the light, just so you don't over-light the screen right after you clean it.

    What you might do is leave the photoperiod at 9 hours, then after 3-4 days, add 2 more hours. Back it down to 9 after cleaning. But that's as far as I would go right now, personally.

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