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Photoinhibition on diy scrubber

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tbell805, May 22, 2018.

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  1. tbell805

    tbell805 New Member

    Hey there everyone,
    I started off with a 6X8 waterfall scrubber ran by two 23w cfl with reflectors. I didn't enjoy the sound over time caused by streamers nor the size of the fixtures. So I made an acrylic box and switched to LEDS. I am running 12 660 cree solderless LEDS (6 on each side). I also decreased the size of the screen to 6X5. Now what I am experiencing is a dark green mattish algae that almost peels off when I run it under water. When it peels off there are no roots filling in the screen anymore. I am wondering if I am running too intense of light. Due to the lights being solderless and my driver being non-dimmable I feel like my only course of action would be to decrease the number of led's to 3-4 each side. I've tried diffusing the light by making a scotch tape "panel", but may need to look into something else. Thanks for any help you can provide!
  2. Turbo

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

    Welcome to the forum!

    Do you have any pics of your setup that you can post? That might help with troubleshooting.

    Tell us a bit more about the overall system:

    Tank size?

    How old is the tank setup?

    What kind of livestock are you keeping? Fish & corals, etc...rough idea of your bioload is what I'm after

    What other filtration are you running?

    How much do you feed on an average daily basis?

    How much flow is the screen getting?

    How many hours/day are you running the LEDs?

    Do you have a little more detail on the LED array, like the driver brand/model, how you have it wired, etc?

    There might be a way to wire the 2 sides in "parallel" which would cause all the LEDs to operate at 50% current. You also might be able to use some diffuser that is used for a standard light fixture. I'd like to see more on your fixtures first though...
  3. tbell805

    tbell805 New Member

    Tank is a 90 gallon reef with 8 fish and is mostly lps and softies. Biggest fish is a yellow tang at about 5 inches
    The tank is about 5 years old. Nitrate is about 0.2-5 (usually 0.2 though) and .03-.1 for phosphate. I run a skimmer, vinegar dose, and have been using a scrubber for about a year and a half. I am running it off of a rio 1100 which should be at a foot of head loss so should be 350, but I bet it's around 200-250. I haven't actually measured flow of the screen. I run the LED's for six hours but split it up into two three hour sessions. I am running a Meanwell 700 constant driver and I will have to take a photo of my wiring and setup when I get home this evening. Thanks for your help!
  4. tbell805

    tbell805 New Member

    Here is some photos of the setup!
    20180522_180140.jpg 20180522_180031.jpg 20180522_180056.jpg
  5. Turbo

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

    I would not be using that tape diffuser, remove that immediately. LEDs get hot enough to melt that kind of material if they are within a certain distance, that being about 1/4" or 1/2". You have a fire hazard.

    Instead use the type of diffuser that you find at Home Depot or Lowe's, it comes in 24x24 and 24x48 sheets and is located in the ceiling tile section - it's a diffuser for recessed light fixtures that go into a grid ceiling. The kind I use is Plaskolite and has small bumps on the back (they are pointy and relatively sharp). You will want to cut this carefully with a razor knife and make multiple low-pressure passes as it it brittle and shatters easily (hand and eye protection is a good idea, unless you are a handy person and careful...even then....)

    With the solderless connections, you can't easily parallel 2 arrays together using standard connectors, I don't think...but you can splice and solder. It's as simple as taking the (+) wire from 2 arrays and connecting them both to the same (+) power supply, then the (-) to the (-) on both. Each fixture would have to have a dead-end plug on it instead of a interconnecting set of wires/jumper. If that makes sense. What this does is turn the parallel set of arrays into a current divider, so if you have a 700mA power supply, 350mA goes to each. From the perspective of the driver, it "sees" only one array running at 700mA.
    Dial this back a bit - you might be pushing too much flow. This is a mod to the guidelines that I'm going to be making (I've mentioned it in several places recently). You only need enough flow to provide full coverage. Anything beyond that is dependent on the results and the production you are wanting to get. You start at the just-enough flow, and once you have a mature screen and consistent growth, it's an individual judgement on whether or not it's appropriate to increase flow, lighting, duration, etc.
  6. tbell805

    tbell805 New Member

    1. Tape is gone. We don't want fires :p
    2. There is an adjustable ball valve that came with the rio so flow is dialed in to even coverage
    3. Electronics/soldering isn't my niche so I had a question. Could I install a 350mA driver instead of messing with the wires on the two arrays? More specifically I was looking at the Meanwell APC-35w-350ma driver. Then after the screen has grown thicker decide to switch back to the 700 ma driver?
    4. I will look into plaskolite. I will wear protection as I cut it.

    Thanks again for your help with this I really appreciate it
  7. Turbo

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

    You could do this
    That has a minimum voltage of 28V I think, so that might not work - that's more like 13 660s
  8. tbell805

    tbell805 New Member

  9. Turbo

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

    ^^^ That's the stuff I was referring to.
  10. Turbo

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

  11. tbell805

    tbell805 New Member

    Alright, I cut down the diffuser and took out the tape! I am going to wait about two weeks to see how the changes affect the scrubber. If I don't see the results I'm looking for i will look into changing the driver!
    Turbo likes this.

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