1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Problems with my DIY ATS

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by Jason Lee, Apr 18, 2015.

Welcome to Algae Scrubbing Join our community today
  1. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    Hi Bud,

    I am putting together my DIY ATS basically following your design. I have a few questions that would appreciate your kind response :-

    My DIY :
    1) ATS box - 6" width x 7" height and 15" long. The screem area is 2" width, 7" height and 15" long. Is this area too small to allow water to be drained in time ? I drilled a 1" diameter hole at the bottom and a 1" standby hole at the side. I found water cannot be drained quick enough even without any valve in place to control the water level ;

    2) My ATS box has a very loud siphoning sound. Air was siphoned to the draining hole and created a very loud siphoning sound. THis is very disruptive. Does the false bottom lid have anything to do with eliminating the siphoning effect ?

    Below is a video of showing how air is sucked into the draining hole .



    20150415_231652(1).jpg
     
  2. Turbo

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

    Is your drain pipe submerged? It needs to be submerged by about 1/2" all the time. The drain must be able to act as a full siphon in order to drain properly.

    The SM100 was wider than yours and would run fine - loud, but fine. That was one of the secrets of making it work - the drain pipe has to be submerged.
     
  3. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    The drain pipe was submerged by about half an inch. I stick the pipe further down into the water and the noise has subsided a lot. Thank you for your help.
     
  4. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    After running the ATS for 14 days, the algae starts to grow on the screen. But the algae are of brown color and have lots of bubble on them. It has nowhere close to the green algae that were shown on your mature ATS system. I am now feeding the ATS with a pump Eheim 1250 ( 1250 lit/Hour) or ( 337G/ hr). Screen size are 12.5 inch width x 4 inch in height. Is the flow sufficient ? The DIY LED lighting has six 660mn red and one 420 mn purple on each of the 2 heatsink , running at 7 AM to 11 PM ( 16 hours a day ). Can you give some advice how to improve turn the brown algae into green one.

    Attached is a picture of the screen at 14 days after ATS kick off. Cleaned once at the 7 days.

    20150527_214726_resized_1.jpg
     
  5. Turbo

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

    I would not clean every 7 days, not at first. Also I would not run the lights for 16 hrs/day, my experience says that is too much light on a bare screen - there's not enough algae present yet to "take" that level of light.

    If this pic above is prior to cleaning, then I would knock it back to 9 hrs/day and let it grow for 14 days. Snap a pic at 7 days and 10 days and post here.
     
  6. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    Got you. Thank you for the advice. Will reduce the lighting period to 9 hours/day and clean every 14 days until the screen is more mature. What about the flow rate ? Do I need to ramp it up to the standard requirement of 38G/inch ?
     
  7. Turbo

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

    Lets back up a step:

    Pump head loss chart:

    http://www.marinedepot.com/Eheim_Un..._Aquarium_Pumps-Eheim-EH1046-FIWPSBUF-vi.html

    I calculate the vertical head + 24" for the slot pipe. That gets you pretty close. For the Eheim 1250, at 3' head, that's about 230 GPH, so 230/12.5 = 18 GPH/in, which is low, but I've run a scrubber at that flow rate OK (it was my first T5HO unit) so that's probably not the primary issue. But it would not be a bad idea to try to get more flow, in general

    That being said, what are your N and P levels, and do you have any tank algae issues?

    How much do you feed?

    How big is the tank?
     
  8. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    My tank's total water volume is about 700 liter ( 185 gallon) - Length 40" x width 30" x height 24" .
    NO3 = zero ; PO4 = zero ;
    No of fishes = 4 small tangs.
    I feed dry pellets twice a day.

    But I am curently having the bubble algae problem. please see some pictures of such algae. I don't understand why I am having this problem. Bubble algae is very difficult to get rid of them.

    rsz_dsc02262.jpg

    rsz_dsc02265.jpg

    rsz_dsc02265.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Turbo

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

    I can't really tell for sure, but in those first 3 pics, is that bubble algae or are those air bubbles? They look like air bubbles. This the attached file, the first one with the frag that has receded, that kinda looks like bubble algae but again it's not really clear.

    The other think I forgot to ask is about the lighting - you said you have 6x 660nm and 1x violet per heat sink, 2 heat sinks - so is that one heat sink per side? Got a pic?

    If that's the case then I think it could be a few things: your screen is a bit oversized compared to the bioload, and then the lights are running for too long. Initially, this can cause a delay in maturing of the screen. Also if you have very low N and P, running high intensity and long duration can easily result in photosaturation. This is where you are at I believe.

    If you are running the LEDs at 650-700mA, then see if you can make it so they run at 1/2 of that current. If you have a standard driver, you can just wire both arrays in parallel so that the current gets split between them (and run 9 hours/day).

    Once the screen fills in, then you can extend the photoperiod longer at this current level and you won't get photosaturation. Photosaturation is related to intensity generally, but it is related to intensity and duration for a brand new screen.

    How long have you had the tank set up?
     
  10. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    My tank had been set up since Dec 14 for almost 6 months. Yes, I have 2 heat sinks with one heat sink on each side. I am not sure how to wire the arrays in parallel. I saw how you half 2 royal blue LED by running parallel. But I am not sure how to run a series of LED in parallel. Maybe it is easier to place a light blocking sheet in between the LED and the sheet to reduce the light intensity.

    I had increased the flow to approximately 1800 liter per hour and only runs the light for 9 hours ( 11:00 PM to 8:00 AM) a day. Will report back the result in a week.
     
  11. Turbo

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

    You can connect 2 strings of LEDs in parallel by wiring the (+) side together, and the (-) side together, and then connecting the driver.

    Right now you probably have all 10 in a series string, correct? So the (-) terminal of the last LED on one side is connected to the (+) terminal of the first LED on the other side.

    What you would do is connect a wire to each of the (+) on the first LED of each array, then tie those 2 wire to the (+) driver terminal. Do the same with the (-) on the last LED of each array, then tie those wires to the (-) driver terminal.

    The driver in this case must be a constant current driver. You should not be using a constant voltage driver anyways, but it never hurts to point that out. If you have doubt about what your driver is, post a pic...I'm guessing you know what you have :)

    Anyways, if it's a 700mA driver, then 350mA will go to one array, and 350mA to the other array, or pretty close to that. The sum of the currents in each "branch" will equal the total driver current - this is called a "current divider" and it the same concept as putting 2 blues in parallel like I have done, except you are doing it with an entire string of LEDs.
     
  12. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    I draw a diagram on connecting two strings of LED in parallel per pdf file attached. Can you help to take a look ? THank you.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Turbo

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

    Yes, that's correct.

    What brand/model driver are you using?
     
  14. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    I think I am having a constant current driver. See the pic.

    rps20150603_064628.jpg
     
  15. Turbo

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

    yup found it here

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/pro...m-alloy-shell-belt-led/825213_1806116265.html

    the only thing I see about it that I would want to know is the "40-60V" rating, and the aliexpress link doesn't help. If "40-60" means 40V minimum, then that means if you run it at less than 40V, it might act funny - like it might start flickering the LEDs on and off. Some drivers require a minimum load on the output side to work correctly.

    If you have 14 LEDs running on it right now (12 deep reds and 2 violets) then you are probably running a total voltage drop right near 35V on the whole string - you can find out by placing a volt meter across the + and - of the driver leads where they connect to the array.

    If you then split these 2 fixtures apart and wire them in parallel, then you have 1/2 the total voltage drop, so you would be closer to 17-18V. The driver may work OK, it may not. I don't think that it will ruin the LEDs, but I'm not sure...I'm not an LED driver expert, just an Electrical Engineer (not an Electronics Engineer, I lean on others for that insight)
     
  16. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    You are right. In fact, when I first wired the driver, I did not know about this min loading requirement. I connect one driver to a heatsink with only 7 x 3V LED. The LED blinked non-stop. You are right to point out that if we wire the two heatsinks by parallel, the voltage would drop way below the min. The same problem will occur.

    I can get one Meanwell LPC-35-700 35W 700 MA from Alibaba. Would it work ? Thank you so much for your help.
     
  17. Turbo

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

  18. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    I had eventually reset the LED wiring so that the two heatsinks were run in parallel. The flow was increased by changing to a Aquabee 3000 with hourly flow tuned to approximately 2700 Lit/Hr.

    Below is a picture of the screen at the 7th day after running the LED in half the intensity. LED is on from 22:00 to 08:00 for 10 hours.


    rps20150701_153510 (2).jpg


    Below is the picture at the 10th day, but I had increased the time period of lighting from 22:00 to 10:00AM for 12 hours a day. I clean the screen every 14 days,.


    rps20150701_153955 (3).jpg


    What else I can do to get the green algae ? Or I need to be more patient and wait a few weeks more.

    How come the centre of the screen where the blue LED is located does not show much growth of algae ? Do you suggest to disconnect the blue LED for the moment until the screen is fully matured ?
     
  19. Turbo

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

    If you can't diffuse the light in front of the blues, then yes I would temporarily bypass them. They have a motif intensity and thus can cause photosaturation = no growth.

    What it comes down to is, how are tank conditions?

    Also you aren't feeding a ton, so growth might not be huge due to that. Extending the photo period may or may not help - depends on how mature the screen is. But extending it in the middle of the growth cycle is the right thing to do. Then back it down after cleaning. That will ensure less chance for photosaturation.
     
  20. Jason Lee

    Jason Lee New Member

    15
    0
    China
    Thanks for your comment on the blue LED causing no growth issue. I would either bypass it , replace it with a 1W blue LED, or diffuse the light.

    Well, I have to say my tank's condition is pretty good with no obvious growth of algae and the water is crystal clear. I currently only have 4 tangs in my tank and feed them with 2 cubes of Artemia per day, actually more than they should eat for the purpose of generating more waste for breaking in the ATS faster.
     

Share This Page