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Scrubber Questions

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by IMUG, Mar 7, 2016.

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  1. IMUG

    IMUG New Member

    First of all this my first post here so I am not 100% up to date on the lingo.

    I have a 55g mixed reef tank. I just recently added a 10g sump (10g tank with baffles installed) and it doesn't really have the room to add a fuge so I am really looking into a scrubber. I also don't have the room to add a waterfall type scrubber, so I am looking into the HOG option.

    I have been doing a little research and found that microwave safe restaurant "to-go" containers seem to be the favorite option. I understand the general idea of using air line to push water up through the container.

    My question is:

    I have about 6 deep red solder-less Phillips LED's left over from a build for a friend's tank and I know that's what I need. Will the single LED heat sinks melt the plastic container?
    These are the heat sinks:
    Small Single LED Heatsink - Rapid LED

    Another route was to buy a hammond project box and buy 3.5"x6"x1" heat sink. I am just not sure of the heat output.

    Second question;
    Do you want to run the scrubber before or after the skimmer?
    If you have a waterfall type scrubber can you just run it off your return line?
  2. Turbo

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

    The thermoplastic used for food containers should be fine with the single LED heat sinks you linked to. Generally, those won't get much over 100-110F and that's no where near as hot as it takes to melt/warp plastic. A good way to verify would be to connect one up and run it for a while, then hit it with an infrared heat thermometer to see what the temp is at the point where you are going to mount it. It also give you a reason to buy an infrared heat thermometer. I use mine all the time, one of my favorite "big boy toys" :D

    IMO it doesn't make a ton of difference.

    Before skimmer: scrubber gets first crack at dirty water. However, not 100% of water goes through the skimmer so this isn't a big argument, might make a difference if you have a really strong skimmer or you are having difficulty getting the screen started, but after the screen starts, it is less of an issue

    After skimmer: the effluent of water mixed with air can actually be beneficial for scrubber growth, as there is a lot of CO2 mixed in and the argument here is that as your scrubber growth sucks out the CO2 out of the water, the algae growth goes to another source for CO2 and this results in your alkalinity dropping a little more than it would without the scrubber in place. This gets magnified with very large scrubbers, not quite as noticeable with reasonably sized scrubbers. Also with the UAS, the air bubbles provide a mechanism for the diffusion of CO2 into the water so there is an argument that UASs don't cause an alkalinity drop, but there is also lower water turnover in a UAS so the combination of less flow + bubbles give you plenty of CO2.

    So in the case of a UAS, I don't see much advantage to placing the scrubber after the skimmer
  3. Turbo

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

    Missed this one

    Yes you can run a waterfall scrubber off the return line, both from the return pump line or from the drain line coming from the tank. For the latter I always recommend a safely mechanism that allows for water to take a secondary path past the scrubber.
  4. IMUG

    IMUG New Member


    Ok here is a rough sketching of what i had in mind. Please excuse the poor MS Paint skills

    Attached Files:

    Turbo likes this.
  5. IMUG

    IMUG New Member

    Ok after tons of research i found that the upflow which i believe is called a UAS or HOG (Hope I am right) is not the right way to go. Even though they look really good on paper. I believe I will have to go with a waterfall type.

    I am not sure if I can incorporate my LEDs unless spend an arm and a leg. I am guessing I would need more than 5 deep reds which would mean a bigger driver or a 2nd driver. I would need 2 large heat sinks and some sort of enclosure.

    It looks like I will have to go simple with just some PVC pipe, a small pump, and a Utility light with a low K bulb
  6. Turbo

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

    That's a great and inexpensive way to start! If you only need a screen that is say 5x5 or so, you can use Warm White (2700-3500K) CFL floodlights, which have a CFL inside a floodlight housing, so you don't need any dome reflectors, just a clip-on socket and put the lamp about 4" from the screen. Light blockers are good to have also. If you use 3/4" pipe, I sell these for $1/inch cut to size.
  7. IMUG

    IMUG New Member

    New question:
    I already have a pump but it's a little two big for my scrubber plans. Can I put a "T" and run my Carbon gfo reactor off it?
  8. Turbo

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

    I don't see why not

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