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Ultra compact waterfall scrubber

Discussion in 'Experimental Scrubber Concepts' started by Matt Berry, Jan 4, 2016.

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  1. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Was fairly disappointed with the results of my last scrubber. I got a lot of bubbles appearing on the screen, which hindered growth pretty significantly. I think this was primarily due to the lack of heavy agitation on the screen. So next up I'll be building a waterfall scrubber.

    My goal is to make it very compact. Size wise, I'm aiming for 150 cubic inches for a 2 cube per day waterfall scrubber (300cm² screen), including the control board + LED drivers. The idea is in my head, but hopefully I should have a prototype made within the month. Fun fun fun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  2. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Here's a little bit of a preview to what I'm working on. This two cube test version is up and running as of today.
    The scrubber consists of three parts:

    Top unit - this part is permanently mounted (hence the mounting holes). It contains the PCB, a tubular heatsink, the lighting unit (comes down into the center of the middle unit), the water input/output area and the controls.

    Middle unit - (in the second picture) this is pretty obvious. Water flows over the illuminated screen.

    Bottom unit - sits at the base of the middle unit - water exits here. The middle unit and bottom unit are held to the top unit via a couple of beefy magnets. The idea is to have one or two kilograms worth of magnetic pull holding the bottom unit to the top unit which is mounted to the tank. It's then easy to separate the top unit from the ones below it, which will make it very easy to clean. In this version it works and all holds together if I just lift the top unit, but I need to upgrade the magnets a tad.


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    I'm now working on getting the PCB files finished, after that I'll look at getting a MCPCB made for the LEDs. I've got most of the LED control unit done, which IMO is pretty darn slick. I'll show how it works a bit later in the next version I'll be building.
     
  3. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Update.

    Growth is really starting to crank now. The scrubber uses one red and one violet on each side (eight LEDs total).
    The growth below has grown with the red LEDs at 11%, and the violets at 8%. I initially over lit the scrubber when I first installed it, so I dropped the intensity right down at about three weeks in. I'll give it a few more days then increase the intensity. Running an Eheim 1260 at full bore, so probably pushing through about 500 GPH through it. I previously had issues with other (experimental non waterfall scrubbers) on this tank, so it's great to see an algae scrubber finally working well on it.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Turbo

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

    Hard to see the growth, do you have flash pics?
     
  5. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Nah flash was off on my phone. The growth isn't thick yet, except in a few spots. It's now growing quick so I'll post up a couple more pics with better lighting in a few days.
     
  6. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    New pic with better lighting.

    [​IMG]
     
    mulcmu and Turbo like this.
  7. iced98lx

    iced98lx New Member

    can you show the details of part 1? Is it safe to say water fills a trough and 'overflows' over into part two using the overflow action of a means of providing a consistent sheet of water down all 4 sides?
     
  8. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    I'll be building my next revision in a few weeks, so will post complete pictures of that.
    The water is forced through the top unit. It's fully enclosed/sealed with the only exit points being at the bottom. Water exits here and hits the middle unit - containing the growth material.
     
  9. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Looking good so far, one week after the initial growth pic. Will give it a clean in a few days.

    [​IMG]
     
    Turbo likes this.
  10. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Update

    Have finished new revision. A couple of small changes to come in the next revision but almost 100% done.

    Main changes since previous revision:

    -Removal of mounting brackets
    -Removal of open ducts in side - built in heatsink can keep LEDs at a nice temperature without it.
    -Switched to PETG 3D printed screen from aragonite sand.
    -Nicer buttons on the top of the unit
    -Beefier magnets



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Quick video of how it's controlled.

    Yellow - Displays hours / minutes on (depending on the mode)
    Red - Adjust intensity. All LEDs dim sets the red LEDs off.
    Violet - Adjust intensity. All LEDs dim sets the violet LEDs off.
    Blue - Adjust the hours the LEDs are on for - in two hour increments.
    Green - (forgot to show) - enable or disable a couple of different settings.

    Left button cycles between different settings, right button changes them.

     
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  11. Turbo

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

    Pretty cool stuff! I want to see the guts though!
     
  12. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    It's all glued up so I can't take a pic, but here ya go:

    [​IMG]
     
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