1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Would this work?

Discussion in 'Algae Scrubber DIY' started by Kygass, Jun 29, 2016.

Welcome to Algae Scrubbing Join our community today
  1. Hey folks,
    I am really interested in this form of filtration, but unfortunately my tank is a 29 Biocube. The only method of running a waterfall that I have seen is gutting my back chambers and dramatically reducing water volume to create a large level discrepancy between the first and second chambers which I do not really want to do. Therefore, even though they are not as effective, I feel an up flowing version may be best for my tank, but instead of DIYing a transilluminating design, I am wondering if a fully contained cylindrical version would work.

    My thought would be to utilize my first chamber which could house a 3"-3.5" pvc pipe in a vertical orientation lined with roughed up mesh. Then I would center an acrylic tube in the pipe with a water tight seal on the bottom to house my light source. i would need something awfully narrow for a light source - my thoughts were to spiral an LED grow light strip around an aluminum pipe or rod.

    The strip I was looking at was this one below:

    I think flow would be fairly straightforward. Cap the pvc pipe, put holes in the outer perimeter of the cap and run airline tubing from an air pump to the holes. Using a 3 inch circular brush would make harvesting pretty easy as well.

    My concerns are the lighting (are these strips too weak or would they be too close to the mesh) and heat (would the lights last or could they overheat my tank).

    If anyone could give me their thoughts I would be interested to know if such a design has been tried before or if it would be doomed to fail.

    Thank you,
  2. Turbo

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

    The biocube tanks are definitely problematic for implementing a waterfall scrubber, unless you plumb in a sump somehow. This is where the UAS really is the better option in most cases.

    I'm guessing what you're getting at here is that you don't want to shine a light through the back of the tank? This would be the simplest way.

    if you look on the RC thread I think karimwassef is using a very similar strip on his mega scrubber: Algae Scrubber Basics - Page 343 - Reef Central Online Community it's post 8551 that should link to but his build starts a few pages back depending on how many post/page you have set (vBulletin thing)

    The spec on the amazon link are confusing though, I'm not sure if each strip is 5 reds and 1 blue or 25 reds and 5 blue, the pic shows blue + 5 red + blue

    Either way, I think that strip seems to show promise but I still think that for karimwassef's build, it's not going to produce thick growth with a strong base (intense per his PAR readings, but that doesn't mean that light is penetrating deep).

    But for a UAS shining through a tank wall, those LEDs might work well. You would want to pack them in tight as they don't likely have much for coverage (each LED may only cover a small area)

    If you wanted to do a submerged application, this is where you might actually look at the GEM light that Bryan (Santa Monica) came up with. I haven't personally seen one and while I don't know about his claims that his 5W light is equal to 10W of every other LED (probably a generalized comparison to stock light fixtures), but regardless of that it's submersible and the right spectrum, would save you the DIYing a sealed chamber for the strip light.

    But then again, what fun is that, not DIYing....
  3. Turbo,
    Do you think an air pump is necessary for an UAS, or do you believe a water pump would work just as well? Also, I know you have mentioned that using a different type of screen other than the knitting screen may work better for UAS application, could you tell me what type you would prefer?
  4. Turbo

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

    I would try the mortar screen actually. It's rougher than anything else I've tried or seen. The downside is that it is sacrificial, and the plain plastic canvas does not work well fully submerged. However, the UAS type algae does not typically attach strongly, so the mortar screen might work OK in a UAS situation (meaning, you might be able to clean the screen without scraping it, thus not causing the mortar to detach).

    I've always thought bubbles were needed but I've read a few threads recently that claim success without bubbles, just flow. But I don't know if those are just exceptions to the rule, working in those specific setups.

Share This Page