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Waterfall algae scrubber production, watch this space

Discussion in 'Experimental Scrubber Concepts' started by Matt Berry, Jun 26, 2014.

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  1. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Am currently in the process of producing a simple waterfall algae scrubber, capable of removing 2 cubes of frozen food per day.
    Prototype will be on its way from China soon.

    Pricing is still TBA, but is likely to be around the $300 (US) mark.
    The LED's will be dimmable, screen will be simple to clean, uses a new design both for the waterfall (no pvc pipe), and mounting (very simple, will only take a minute to secure it to the tank).

    Shipping worldwide should be between $30 - 50 USD.

    Won't be available for at least a month or two, as it needs to go through testing, but the basic principals are the tried and true so it should pass with flying colors.

    Can't reveal 3D models at this stage, but happy to answer most questions.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  2. Turbo

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

    Sounds interesting

    I moved this to the experimental concepts section as it seemed more appropriate there
  3. Ricky

    Ricky Member Trusted Member Multiple Units! Customer

    First question:

    Do you have a picture of it I can see?!!

    Lol, just kidding.. I'm anxious to see the new idea.
  4. Kerry

    Kerry Member Trusted Member Customer

    I was just going to post a link from the SM site about this but I guess Matt is a member here, very KEWL.
  5. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Update to this, so I was in the middle of getting this design created and shipped, and at the same time I was trying to design a scrubber for my reef wall tank (the tank itself measures 1.7m long, 8cm wide tank. It was a massive pain, there is no room above it to install a waterfall scrubber (plus it would stick out like a sore thumb), obviously there is no sump for this tank either and even a UAS wouldn't fit (I know, desperate much). All I had to play with was the room either side of my LED lights above the tank. The available room I had there was: 20cm (long), 7cm (high) and 8cm of width. I was debating creating a small slanted horizontal screen in this space, which at the time seemed like my only option. Here's the tank I'm referring to, so you get the idea:

    So I kind of went back to the drawing board. Due to the relative difficulty and high cost of getting acrylic models fabricated, I started thinking seriously about designing a 3d printed scrubber . As far as I know, other than SM's 3d printed UAS, there hasn't really been any algae scrubbers 3d printed. I thought the biggest cause of this is probably because the size limitations of most 3d printers are generally a lot smaller then most waterfall scrubbers out there. Plus a big 3d printed model can get very expensive! It got me thinking about how what design would be required to build the smallest effective scrubber, so I started researching. I decided that for a small algae scrubber, it needed to be single sided lit vertical, or horizontal/slanted. Making a two sided lit waterfall scrubber did not seem at all viable for a 3d printer, it's just too big and wide and would be very difficult to print as a single model. Even a single sided vertical scrubber would not be easy to make. I started looking at old surge/dump bucket designs, and even though they are old they were pretty darn effective, most likely because of the constant back and forth of the algae being exposed to air and water.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short I came up with a new design. It's a horizontal screen (flat, not slanted screen), water is constantly flowing over it, every now and again the water is completely drained so the algae is exposed to air, then the algae is submerged again.
    There's no relays, no AC timers needed. It'll all be controlled through an arduino. Only one pump is needed, and it's not a stop/start design, so it shouldn't be too noisy at all. I'll be using a DC pump. The closest design I can find to this is Garf's B.A.D.A.S.S. However, the footprint will be much smaller. There's also no siphon breaking, it's all automated, but it can't overflow. The cool thing about it is the height of the whole scrubber, including the lights is only going to be around 7cm (around 3 inches). Because of the small footprint, I'm hoping it can be mounted in almost any tank. Since it's all controlled through an arduino with a RTC (clock) added, lots of things will be tweakable, including:

    Setting the time

    LED on duration (how many hours the led's stays on for)
    LED intensity
    LED on time (e.g. turn on at midnight)
    LED off time (and off at 8am)

    The LED stuff above also all applies to the water pump.
    The duration and frequency of how long the algae is exposed to air will also be controllable.

    Sorry, a bit of a brain dump, but I'm getting the scrubber housing printed early next week hopefully, really looking forward to throwing up some pictures to y'all of it in action. I'm also excited because the design is very simple. But hopefully it's also very effective. The screen will also be very easy to remove and clean.
  6. Ricky

    Ricky Member Trusted Member Multiple Units! Customer

    Sounds interesting. Have you done some testing?

    I'd suggest getting a few out to a limited number of people to test before you go full blown production.
  7. Matt Berry

    Matt Berry Active Member Trusted Member

    Done some testing yep, but not with a 3d printed version.
    Definitely not going into full production or anything until I've tested it. Might not even go into production at all, unless people are interested and it works properly, but the previous project has been put on hold while I look at this one.

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