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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

    Thank you both for all the information. For the next fixture I will again wire 10x red leds in serie. And I will leave enough room to add violets (and connect these to a seperate driver), if I would like to give this another try some time. Unfortunately there is no good source for quality leds here in the Netherlands. I am looking for a supplier in the UK. Importing from the US is very expensive.
    I also ordered 50x titanium m2 screws and nylon washers.

    Thank you for your explanation and help Turbo, I am very thankfull and who knows maybe I can spread the word here in the Netherlands for you.

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  2. Tim

    Tim Member

    I started a topic on a Dutch forum to keep track of my progress: www.zeewaterforum.info.

    The url of this topic is also included. Unfortunately it is not accessible for non-members.

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  3. Tim

    Tim Member

    So far so good[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  4. Tim

    Tim Member

    I also added 2 marine pure blocks. I believe the ATS removes. no3:po4 in the right amounts. But just in case no3 rises a bit I would have the opporunity to add a bit of carbon for denitrification.

    I am also thinking about growing phytonplankton as this becomes much more interesting now without any skimmer pulling out the plankton. I guess this promotes the microfauna and improves conditions for nps corals. The marine pure blocks would serve as a great place for the pods to hang out.[​IMG]

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  5. Tim

    Tim Member

    Update. 9 days of growth.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  6. Turbo

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

    Nice, consistent growth!
  7. Tim

    Tim Member

    Yes it is growing ok. I do notice the deeper layer on the canvas is a dark green color. Is this because the light does not penetrate deep enough? (not enough light or maybe due to a lack of hyper violet leds?)

    last time the algea appeared a bit more "cropped", this time a part is more "stringy", this part was under more flow as the scrubber clogged a bit. Is that what changes the appearance of the algea?
    no3 is 4
    po4 is 0.03

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  8. Turbo

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

    If you mean that there appears to be some browish stuff, like detritus/waste, this can be a combination of some die-off and/or some mechanical filtration taking place (i.e. the algae mat is acting like a filter sock)

    I see this now and then, usually it's not much to worry about as long as big chunks of the growth don't detach, but you may want to harvest a few days earlier. Are you running the LEDs on full intensity?
  9. Tim

    Tim Member

    Yes the leds are running on full intensity. It are just 10 leds on a 30cm heatink to cover a 42 cm wide scrubber. Grow on the edges is thin. I notice the algea clogs the pipe halfway and prevent water from reaching the far end of the scrubber. (you see a bare spot in the screen, maybe some aIgae detached/died). Eventually there was a lot of water running down the scrubber at the start of the screen. Maybe this resulted in the string-like growth pattern. Anyway, the next heatsink will light the entire screen for more even growth. Maybe I should consider making the scrubber narrower as it would promote 3d growth if algea can reach the sides of the box to hang on to. Like I see from videos of your scrubbers. I also notice more bright green growth underneath I wonder if this is due to the violet leds. I could buy a 350mA driver for violet leds and run them on 50% power by default. Better some violet than nothing at all right?

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  10. Turbo

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

    Cover your clear acrylic "skirt" with black electrical tape, just the vertical faces, don't wrap it around the bottom edge. You don't want the adhesive in contact with the water. Alternatively, you could paint it with Krylon Fusion (reef safe). That will solve the blocking issue.

    If you make the scrubber box about 2-2.25" wide, that will promote 3D growth well
  11. Tim

    Tim Member

    Hmm that is really narrow. maybe I'll stick with a bit wider scrubber then and harvest a bit more often. Currently the scrubber is 12cm wide. For now I'll keep everything as it is and will use some black acrylic for the new scrubber. I do like to see what is going on so I'll probably use transparent arcylic primairy. A black false bottom would also be better. What do you think about mirror plexiglass turbo? Is it safe to use? If it is safe to use it would be a nice addition to light the algea from multiple angles.

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  12. Turbo

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

    IMO there's not a ton of benefit to mirrored acrylic, but it's fine as long as it's not submerged

    When I changed the width of the growth chamber from Rev 1 to Rev 2+ by reducing it by only 1/4", that made a big difference. So that dimension is tried and true. Then just keep the LEDs about 2" from the screen.
  13. Tim

    Tim Member

    This week the scrubber did not work well, I think this is due to photosaturation. I increased the period from 20 to 22 hours. This week hardly any growth. I have cut the lighting period back to 19 hours and gently scraped the screen. Hopefully the algae will return. Apart from that the holder for the pvc bar broke. tmp_435-20180126_205840692265526.jpg
  14. Turbo

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

    This could be due to a shift in the nutrient levels in the tank. That's why you make slow changes, and think long-term. It makes giving advice a bit difficult sometimes. The filtration system becomes more dynamic when you add a scrubber, meaning, as the scrubber matures, the tank dynamics / water chemistry can shift, so when you start seeing results, then you become more aggressive, you're changing your aim while assuming the target has not moved, when it might have. If that makes sense.

    So usually I just tell people to set at a certain intensity/duration to start, and leave it there for a while. Then make an adjustment, and get verification, etc. You can usually progress up to a certain intensity/duration and have good results to a certain point, and then you just need to stop and observe to verify - let the target move and don't change anything for a while. I think this might be where you were at sort of - no scrubber running on the system for a while, but it was on it before so the growth kicked in pretty fast. That might have been a short-term thing because some nutrients had built up, i.e. the tank was ripe and ready for the scrubber.

    Now, the "edge" has been taken off the tank, and the scrubber might be operating past the mark.

    I think this
    was the right move. Test your nutrients now and compare to before you put the scrubber back on (if you have those test - I haven't scrolled back in the thread) and then test again before your next harvest
  15. Tim

    Tim Member

    I found the problem. The pump was laying on its side cutting back the flow to the scrubber dramatically (50% or so) Apart from that the drain clogged a bit. I flushed the system en placed the pump on its back. I noticed not much growth so figured out something must be wrong.. the sand is also colouring a bit so there is enough waiste
  16. Turbo

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

    That would do it - glad you found the problem! I would expect decent growth this next cycle!
  17. Tim

    Tim Member

    Indeed, it is something I will change for the next design. The false bottom should raise 1 cm. And some components will be black acrylic to block the light a bit.

    I recently ordered m2 titanium skrews for mounting the leds to the heatsink. however m2 is really really small, the nylon rings have 2mm edge and I think I touch the metal of the star anyway and shortcircuit stuff.. so I ordered m3 and m4 nylon skrews.. too see if this would work better tmp_30988-20180130_212302599158388.jpg tmp_30988-20180130_212302599158388.jpg tmp_30988-20180128_1220241976454754.jpg
  18. Turbo

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

    You should try to find self-tapping screws. Also, they don't need to be that long, just long enough to bite into the heat sink metal.

    I actually use a very specific bit to drill the hole, I believe a #38, and #4 1/4" and/or 3/8" 316 stainless pan head metal screws (not even self-tapping)

    But you can also use #4 machine screws and then use a standard drill bit and then tap the hole so you don't have to worry about the self-tapping screw head twisting off. I've found that to be an issue, they can only withstand so much torque.

    If you use standard metal screws, experimenting to find the right size bit to match the screw is important. If the hole is one size too small, you can snap off the head. If it's one size too big, you can strip out the hole. Either one of those can ruin your day.

    Also, lining up the holes with the gap in the heat sink fins is important too, if the screws are long enough. I've snapped off bit taps when I crank them down into the hole and they bottom out.

    Use lubricant (WD-40 or whatever you can get) on the tap

    Or, just use 2 part Arctic Alumina adhesive and don't drill/tap at all...that's the easiest way
  19. Tim

    Tim Member

    I ordered some nylon machine skrews (m3 & m4). I'll make sure the holes are nicely tapped and lubricated. The scrubber is still doing well; the growth is minimal but it is green and no3/po4 are not rising. I seems like po4 is at 0.03 and no3 2.0... is it possible to drop even lower? What it your experience with this bud?
  20. Turbo

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

    I've had them both at as close to zero as you can expect from hobby grade test kits. 0.00 on the Hanna Phosphate Checker (not the ULR one, the regular one) and then clear to yellowish on the Salifert Nitrate kit, looking from the side (low range). On the latter, you know it's really low when it's not clear or even a hint of pink, but instead actually a bit yellow. At least, that's the way I took it.

    I just sent a sample from that tank off to Trition & took one to test myself but I haven't had time to run the tests at home yet.

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