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Introducing the new Turbo Algae Scrubber! (Rev 4)

Discussion in 'Product Information' started by Turbo, Sep 3, 2015.

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  1. Turbo

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

    UPDATE: L4, L8 and L16 are planned for release in Mid-July. This is pending verification of all final parts (should be done by 6/30/16).


    Introductory pricing offer for larger units will continue until JULY 15th! Just contact me to get on the waiting list!

    To get on the list, open a support ticket by following the instructions here: Turbo's Aquatics - Ordering

    ^^ this is just as simple as sending me an email, which is listed on that page. You can provide your other information later if you want!

    My goal has always been to come up with the most efficient, effective, and user-friendly Algae Scrubber available. I've spent countless hours over the last few years sketching these ideas down in the middle of raging brainstorms. These ideas have all finally come together into reality, and I am very happy to announce the 4th revision of my Turbo Algae Scrubber line of products!

    The following renderings are just rough concepts and are missing a few features, but I'm to the point in development where final 3D models are nearly complete and ready for manufacturing, so it's time to lift the curtain on what I have been working on!

    Here is a rendering of the fully assembled L2 Turbo Algae Scrubber (2 cube/day guaranteed filtration capacity):


    The Rev 4 (which I will, from now on, refer to as just the "Turbo Algae Scrubber") will be composed mainly of injection molded Black ABS parts. The false bottom (not shown) will be extruded ABS, and the Growth Chamber will be injection molded clear Polycarbonate.

    I have had a custom heat sink developed as well, which will be black anodized.

    Here is a rendering showing the movable/removable parts


    The new Turbo Algae Scrubber will be composed of a series of parts:
    • Base
    • J-channels (shown above, bonded to base, with cutouts for screen illumination)
    • Growth Chamber with dual 1.5" ID drains (O-rings and internal Divider, not shown)
    • False Bottom (not shown)
    • End Plates
    • Lid
    • Slot Pipe
    • Heat sink and Heat Sink End Caps
    • LEDs mounted on custom MCPCB (Metal Core Printed Circuit Board)
    • Custom multi-channel dimmable LED Driver board & Power Supply
    • Drain control valve assembly & sock/bag holder (not shown)
    Here is a rendering showing how the Growth Chamber and Slot Pipe fit together. In this view, the J-channel has been moved away so the interior of the Turbo Algae Scrubber can be seen (the J-channel is bonded to the base and will not be removable as it functions to hold the Heat Sink Assembly safely in place)


    And a further expansion of that rendering, showing how the Growth Chamber slides out the end


    The Growth Chamber is a lift-and-slide-out design that seals into the base. This is achieved by way of two drain extensions, each with a double o-ring seal (O-rings not shown). Removal of the Growth Chamber is as simple as removing the Lid and one End Plate, then lifting up on the Growth chamber (about 1") and then sliding it out the end of the Base assembly.


    Not shown in the above rendering are 3 things:

    1) the false bottom, which is an extruded ABS part that is flat on top, with legs to keep it above the drain. There will also be tabs formed into the inside of the Growth Chamber to keep the False Bottom in place.

    2) O-rings, as previously described

    3) A divider between the two drains. The left drain is located in the center of the main section of the Growth Chamber - right below the screen. The right drain is an Emergency Drain. The divider is a molded-in-place wall, about 1"-2" in height, that will be located right next to the Emergency Drain. More on the purpose of this divider later on...

    The Slot Pipe is formed such that it fits snugly in U-shaped cutouts formed into the Growth Chamber. The Slot Pipe has a matching U-shaped form at each end so that there is no mistake that the Slot is pointed straight down at all times.


    The Slot Pipe itself is something that I spent a lot of time thinking about, until it finally hit me one day while I was sitting in a coffee shop while my stepson and his friends were waiting for a concert to start. That's when I came up with the design, and subsequently coined the term SquarePipe.


    SquarePipe solves the problem with a slot that is cut into a piece of pipe - the pipe tends to pinch closed in the center over time. SquarePipe provides extra rigidity to prevent this from occurring, and also integrates Light & Spray Blocking into the Slot Pipe itself. Prior to this, I developed a snap-on Light & Spray Blocker that is good for use on any 3/4" PVC pipe

    I still have a few hundred feet of that for you DIYers - it's one of the best parts I've developed up until now, and it's only $10/foot and $5 shipping (Lower 48)



    The last thing not shown is the Growth Substrate, or Screen. At this point in time, I am working on development of a new technique that will mean I don't have to rough up plastic canvas anymore. Because, it sucks. Especially when you have done hundreds of them. What you might notice is that there is no rotatable ring. Well...I can't reveal EVERYTHING quite yet, can I?

    Here's a few features and benefits of my new Turbo Algae Scrubber:
    • Dimensionally, it's actually smaller than my previous versions, which has the Emergency Drain on the side (elbow down).
    • Heat Sinks with End Caps installed slide into a rail assembly on each side, and can be left there indefinitely
    • Heat sinks do not need to be removed to view growth: an End Plate can be removed
    • Slot pipe locks into notches on Growth Chamber (with vibration isolation)
    • Lift-and-Slide-Out Growth Chamber means the new version can be installed in places with as little as 8" from top of sump to bottom of stand
    • Dual Drain design allows for extended growth period without the danger of overflow
    • Drains are 1.5" ID - meaning, huge flow capacity
    • Base pipe extensions are 2" OD for standard US PVC pipe
    • Drain valve assembly (under development still) will allow for easy "tuning" of the drain to achieve dead-silent operation
    A bit about the LED fixtures:
    • Heat Sinks are a custom profile extrusion, with locking rails on each end (so they can be used for multiple sizes of scrubbers, like the L4 and L8)
    • LEDs used are top quality Philips Luxeon 660nm Deep Red and SemiLED Hyper Violet
    • LED Driver is extremely robust, developed specifically for me by Steve's LEDs using their Bucking Linear 700mA chip.
    • Driver has on-board potentiometers for individual channel dimming (3 channels)
    • Driver has a port for an external dimming knob
    • Levels for individual channels can be set on the board, then dimmed in unison with the knob
    • Driver has input ports for PWM dimming control (which means it's Arduino Ready)
    • Driver has a power out jack that can be used to power either an Arduino-based controller (such as a Typhon) or an Apex interface board (so that you can control the LED dimming level with an Apex); this means you have a single-point power connection to the LED fixtures.
    I'm probably forgetting a bunch of things, but, eh.

    The L2 size of the new Turbo Algae Scrubber product line should be available in December and the current plan (SUBJECT TO CHANGE) is that it will be initially priced at $399 - that's the price of my previous version.

    Anyone who has been a customer can attest to my level of customer service. If you aren't happy, I'll do everything I can to help you out, or make it right. I've never really offered any written warranty because to me, a warranty is only as good as the guy providing it. I suppose I'll have to come up with one though because I've had brick & mortar stores asking me for years to carry my Algae Scrubbers, and this version will be carried in stores, and will be eventually be available in stores internationally.

    Turbo Algae Scrubber Models and Availability Dates

    The L2 will be the first Rev 4 Turbo Algae Scrubber available and is currently slated to start shipping around the end of January.

    Plans are also in the works for the L4 and I expect that model to be available in the early Spring 2016. If there is enough demand for it, the L8 will also go into production at the same time or shortly thereafter.

    Note: the naming convention "L2" "L4" etc is subject change, but physical sizes will stay the same

    Limited-Time Introductory Pricing: REVISED DATES

    I will be offering Introductory Pricing for the roll-out of the new Turbo Algae Scrubbers!

    Introductory pricing is only guaranteed to be available to those who are on the Wait List prior to January 1, 2016, or the first unit ships (whichever comes first). I reserve the right to implement MSRP and/or MAP pricing at any time after 1/1/16.

    Introductory Pricing has yet to be finalized, as I am waiting on the final production quotes; I will update this post with the prices when everything is ready to go and bump the thread accordingly. However, it will very likely not be less than my current pricing, which is:

    L2 (2 cube/day guaranteed filtration capacity): $399
    L4 (4 cube/day): $549
    L8 (8 cube/day): TBD

    Shipping prices are also yet to be determined because I am working on the packaging means, which will hopefully reduce my historical shipping rates. I expect the L2 to ship for around $25-$30 and the L4 to ship for around $35-$40, but that's just a guesstimate at this time (and those are lower than my current shipping prices, generally). Those are prices for the USA Lower 48 only.

    **Introductory pricing is for personal purchases only; if you have a brick & mortar store and wish to stock or offer Turbo Algae Scrubbers, please contact me via Conversation.

    The Wait List & Advanced Payments

    I have historically refrained from taking down payments or advanced payments. Part of this is due to PayPal refund policies, or refund policies related to any kind of pre-payment for that matter. But mainly, it's because life is unpredictable, and delaying orders after payment is made, meh, not so good! :eek:

    If you think you want one when they come out, please let me know either by posting in this thread, or start a conversation with me. There is no commitment on your part, and no down payment required - it just holds your place in line. I will not accept a down payment in order to get you to the front of the line. Priority is solely based on when you requested to be on the Wait List!

    By the time I have units in stock and ready to ship, I will have my shopping cart system up and running. By requesting to be added to the wait list, you will be price-locked into the introductory pricing for a minimum of 2 weeks after you receive the Shopping Cart link. When your price-lock expires, the then-current pricing will apply (as if you were never on the Wait List).

    For example: You request to be on the list today. Your turn comes up and you receive the link on January 10th - you will have until at least January 24th to place your order.

    I'll keep the cart invisible unless you have a direct link to it (or password-protected) so that you can place your order prior to anyone who has not requested to be on the list. I will release the link in batches, so the first 10 on the list will get a few days to place their order, then the next 10, and so on. This way I won't get overwhelmed with having to ship 50 orders right away, and you will get your Turbo Algae Scrubber in a timely manner from the date you make payment! :)

    Why all this hullabaloo you say? :confused: Well...

    A bit about me

    I have a passion for this hobby and a passion for entrepreneurialism. Every now and then, I get the question "when are you going to quit your day job??"...but I find that people overestimate the size of this hobby. I have a full time job that I won't be walking away from anytime soon (part owner), a wife & 4 kids (7, 13, 16, 19), I'm heavily involved in my local Reefkeeping club (Webmaster, Treasurer, Fest Coordinator, etc), I'm a soccer coach...so yeah, life is busy!! All I ask is your patience! :cool:

    So, that's it for now folks!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
    RickCranium and Matt Berry like this.
  2. SillySanj

    SillySanj Member Customer

    Congratulations Bud!

    This is indeed a great revision to the current models and I do really like the idea to be able to take apart sections as makes it easier to clean. Also it's compact so for us reefers with small space available to house a scrubber let alone anything else in our sumps.

    I take it will still be able to use my current Rio pump with this new version?

    I'll defo will be placing an order for one of these as it'll free up some valuable space :)
  3. Turbo

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

    The screen sizes/slot pipe length has not changed - that part actually is backwards compatible so you could use your old screen, and thus any pump you are using.

    For UK customers I'm looking into options for plumbing connections. The slot pipe is going to be US size compatible.

    @SillySanj do me a favor, next time you go to the hardware store, look to see if you can find something called "Transition Cement." Should be pretty common and look something like this


    Should be in the same section as PVC solvent cement, etc. Just want to make sure this is common in the UK. The slot pipe will be ABS and most people will then bond to PVC fittings so you need a transition cement for this.
  4. SillySanj

    SillySanj Member Customer

  5. Turbo

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

  6. Turbo

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

    Some better drawings:

    Those "models" (if you want to call them that) were really my "conceptual" versions that I put together over a period of time. I converted those to more precise cross-sectional plans, and passed these off to someone I know who has 3D modelling experience and he is making my conceptual plans look like child's play!

    Check these out! The cutouts for the light fixtures aren't shown (the hole in the J-Channel)

    In this one you can see how the growth chamber interior in a lot more detail. Tabs for False Bottom, Divider, glands for o-rings,etc. Also shows the o-ring lead-in on Base, channels in Base for locking in the End Plates (they also lock into the J channels), and a slot pipe cross section. Also if you look close you can see another feature, the bottom of the Growth Chamber is sloped toward the drain, so that when you shut off flow, all the water will drain out instead of pooling in the corners (and running out as soon as you tip it)


    Another cross-section view that shows the J-Channel & Base assembly (these form grooves for sliding in the light fixture), and the lid cross section - the lid will hold everything together as well as keep water that condenses on the lid from getting out via a drip tab. If you look close you can also see the tab sticking off the End Plate that locks into the J channel. So you put the Growth Chamber in place (with Slot Pipe installed) and then put the End Plates on, and the lid on top and it's all locked together.

  7. SillySanj

    SillySanj Member Customer

    Turbo likes this.
  8. scubasamdo

    scubasamdo New Member Customer

    Interested in the L8 if it comes out. Nice work as always.
    Turbo likes this.
  9. Mike185

    Mike185 Member Customer

    Amen to that! Since I bought an ATS from you last November, you have been holding my hand every step of the way! (Does that mean we're going steady?) With your help, we've been able to surmount my profound incompetence and even more profound algae/phosphate problems in DT. Now algae in DT is definitely on run and ATS is improving production weekly.

    If the new model is smaller, I will definitely order one for my 75.

    I'd offer empty compliments on new design, but having the technological skills of a gibbon, I don't think that would do either of us any good.

    Oh, and one more thing, the Turbo ATS (like solar panels) will eventually pay for itself because of reduction/elimination of weekly changes of GFO.


    Mike Enright
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
    Turbo likes this.
  10. Mike185

    Mike185 Member Customer

    I will definitely be ordering one of new models, (Probably, much to your chagrin given the level of support I've drained from you since ordering my last one.) But need to know size of units and head room needed to remove screens, etc., from sump. Ideally, I would move my current L2 to 75 and install new more efficient model on 180.


  11. Turbo

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

    I'll put you down for one! FYI the L8 will be the same footprint as the L4, but 4" taller (so not quite 12" tall). I'm not sure if I'll have another driver developed for it or not, because if I were to use the current one, the L8 would need 4 of them (one for each pair of LED boards) and that would mean 12 channels of dimming available...kind of overkill
  12. Turbo

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

    If you needed to leave the Growth Chamber in place, the headroom to remove the screen/pipe would be about the same. For this version you can slide the growth chamber out the end, so you would need about 1" or so of clearance above the unit to lift up and disengage the Growth Chamber from the Base and slide it out sideways. That means it can fit in a space with less than 9" of clearance from rim of sump to bottom of stand (or opening)
  13. Jason

    Jason New Member

    Wow, this sounds amazing. And congratulations on branching out to retail stores.

    Plus an L8? I want one.
  14. Turbo

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

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  15. Jason

    Jason New Member

  16. Jason

    Jason New Member

    L8 here! Sorry should have said that in this thread.
    Turbo likes this.
  17. Pny

    Pny Member

    I'm impressed of the amout of thought you've put into that design! Looks like you finally have taken the step to massproduction of the the algae scrubber... What I dont get is how is the screen held up by the SquarePipe? Also, do you have any photos of a real unit?
  18. tedlietz

    tedlietz Member Customer

    Please put me down on your wait list for a L2..........thanx Ted
    Turbo likes this.
  19. Turbo

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

    I went through many iterations to come up with this layout, I'd brainstorm for a few days, take a break for a month, then come back to it with fresh eyes, repeat...when the new ideas stopped coming, that's when I decided it was time!

    Due to the inability to use a rotatable ring, I'll either go with a cotter pin type design (hole through the light blockers) or something else, which I'm not at liberty to reveal yet
  20. Tphill

    Tphill New Member

    I would also like to be put on the list for an L2. Thanks.

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