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Scrubber build

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by Tim, Sep 17, 2017.

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  1. Tim

    Tim Member

    Some pictures.. I will use mirror plexiglas to see if that helps. I used clear acrylic just to see how it works and if the splash thing is good and to see how the water will flow through the false bottom. I should not have used the 3/3 40mm.. it is too bulky.. I could also just remover the pipe with the "witlof" I don't know the english wordt for it.. the pvc lart that goes through the acrylic. Unfortunately I am struggling to find the right LED.. I have no diy led skills.





  2. Tim

    Tim Member

    Almost there


  3. Turbo

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

    Nice looking build! I inserted the pics for you since the thumbnails weren't loading fully (for some weird reason...I'll have to test that out later)

    If it's possible, I would consider removing the lenses from the LEDs. Those look like they are going to focus the light tightly along the center of the screen, so you'll likely get photosaturation (no growth) right there.

    Do you mean "bulkhead"?
  4. Tim

    Tim Member

    Dear Bud,

    Thank you for your reply. I hope the lenses are removeable, I will check tomorrow. I asked the seller from china, according to him they are 120 degrees. I though that would be fine? The distance from the screen is 6cm. The bar consists of 18 leds, "3w". However, the driver is 21-33V / 900 Amp. >88% efficienct (that is what the label says though). I am not yet familiar with the world of led.. but the seller explained it is about 25w true power. I asked for 16x660nm and 2x450nm. I hope the 660nm are ok.. they look a bit orange to me.. probably 630nm? If the bar is 25w or lets make it 20W.. that would be a bit more than 1W per led. Would the 120 degree lens still make it to intense?

    I had an idea, maybe you tried this already. I was thinking about using mirror plexiglas on the sides, right above and below the led bar. (I had this idea because I though 20W would not be enough power.. maybe reflecting light back to the screen would increase the efficiency of the led bar). I also made a small video of the testrun:

    The initial idea was to have an open top emergency overflow right underneath the 3/3 pvc connector of the slot pipe.. but it did not work for my sump design so I came up with the moveable emergency drain (with knee), I can change the hight with the bulkhead (thanks for the word). I have 0 micro bubbles and no noise.. apart from the pump noise. I made the slotpipe on the table saw. (yes dangerous... but I figured out a way to do this relatively safe)
  5. Tim

    Tim Member

    Fortunately I was able to remove the lenses, so I did. I choose a 12h on 12h off schedule. Although I wonder if 18h on 8 off is more applicable regarding the low intensity.
  6. Turbo

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

    Nope - start with 9 hours/day and monitor. You are not running low intensity, those are actually pretty intense. You will want to monitor and verify before adding hours.
  7. Tim

    Tim Member

    Thank you for your advice, I will do that and see how it works out.
  8. Tim

    Tim Member



    unfortunately.. after 3 weeks, no growth. A few days ago I scraped off some stuff.. hardly anything.. and ruffed up a strip of plexiglass with sandpaper on both sides.. and I have this now. So far, not so good. Leds are running 9 hours per day.
  9. Tim

    Tim Member

    Some more pictures. If anyone has some advice for me please let me know.


  10. Turbo

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

    On the contrary - that is an OK start! Every tank is different, every scrubber build is different, so you have to give it some time

    However, now that you're past the very early / initial stages (where you go from "nothing" to "something") you will want to be regularly clearing off the slimy type growth so that your GHA can take hold. It's there, but it's patchy.

    Don't scrape. You should not need to at this point. Scraping won't be necessary for a while, if ever really. "drag" your scraper, if anything, that is less aggressive.

    At this stage, you should only really be rubbing with your fingertips (lightly) and rinsing. Sometimes, there is some growth that you want gone, but it doesn't come off too easily. Don't focus on removing all of that stuff, just most of it, without taking the GHA or the mortar with it.

    Use a toothbrush and "drag" that across the screen, one pass over each area of growth. "drag" = swiping down the screen with the bristles on the trailing side of the direction of motion. That should do a pretty good job of clearing the less desirable growth away.

    You can do this every 5-10 days, as needed, just clearing off the unwanted growth. You might have to continue this method for several weeks, maybe a few months. This can depend greatly on tank conditions and other filtration in play also.
  11. Tim

    Tim Member

    Thanks for your advice, I will do so. Apart from doing this I already ordered stuff for diy led (also reading your information about lighting) never done this before but I think I figured out how to. I ordered 20x 660nm photo red cree and 5x semiled violet 420-425nm. Plenty of heatsink, wires, thermal adhesive arctic alumina, shrink tubes, and some meanwell drivers a fellow reefing had laying around (35-700), and I will still need some polyurethane rubber or silicone to pour onto the leds. Unfortunately there is not enough space to run the scrubber and skimmer simultanously, solely some gfo in a reactor is doing the filtration at the moment. Hopefully the scrubber will do its thing soner than later. Thank you again turbo! I will
  12. Tim

    Tim Member

    So I cleaned the scrubber (gently brushing with an old toothbrush).. some brown stuff came off.. no idea what it is..

  13. Turbo

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

    It's algae - the first type that usually populates a screen is brown
  14. Tim

    Tim Member

    So it has been almost a week. Lights are still on 9 hours per day. After 6 days these are the results; more of the brown algea, it feels like a slimy layer that does not come of easily using a toothbrush. Hardly anything came off, before and after cleaning did not really help. Maybe up the lighting to 10 hours? or just keep on doing this untill the screen turns green?



    Attached Files:

  15. Tim

    Tim Member

    I still use GFO, and no other form of filtration. Po4 is still low despite using no skimmer (rock buffering po4?). Macro algae (cheatomorpha & caulerpha) are also not growing faster. There is no sign of algae in the main tank:

    2017-10-14 10.13.19.jpg
  16. Tim

    Tim Member

    This is what the refugium looks like, a patch of hair algae started to grow on the bottom of the refugium. I feel appromately 2 cubes of frozen food per day and some small frozen fish to the snowflake eel every few days.

  17. Tim

    Tim Member

    No one...? is this forum dead?
  18. Tim

    Tim Member

    How can gently rubbing this screen (with fingers/toothbrush) make a difference? The brown stuff is thick stuff and does not come of at all.. if I run no other form of filtration how can green hair algae even stand a change? If this stuff is caused by high nutients.. I just don't see how this going to work. I guess I need to scrape off al the stuff, remove the diffucer, up the photo period.. and maybe then green hair algae has a change to take over. Or find a way to run both the scrubber and ATS at the same time.. so nutrients will not skyrocket while the scrubber takes it time to grow green hair algae instead of the brown stuff.
  19. Turbo

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

    Sorry for the late reply but I left Friday for Mexico for my wife’s birthday week. Literally sitting in the pool at the moment

    Rubbing the screen is for loosening slime and detritus. That’s what you will typically get when starting up. Once the slime is gone, rubbing still does good because it loosens up the algae, breaks it from where it “settles in” under the flow pattern of your setup, etc.

    Once you have growth that stays on pretty well, you can start to do more aggressive removal. My recommendation is to leave at least half the growth behind for the first few harvests. Use the corner of a scraper or plastic card to remove growth in “stripes” then follow with rubbing & rinsing (which will more easily remove some additional growth)
  20. Turbo

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

    Skimmers don’t remove phosphate. Your GFO is doing that.

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