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Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1

    Default My first Attempt at a Algae Scrubber


    0 Not allowed!
    The guidelines / rules of thumb the I used and mention below are taken directly from the below link: http://algaescrubber.net/forums/show...cs-The-Summary

    I thought I would document my first attempt at building a vertical algae scrubber. I’m taking a little different approach by trying to keep everything as low cost and low energy consumption as possible. I used the below rules of thumb which are explained in a lot more detail in the link I posted above. Whenever possible, I followed that information as close as I could

    Some Scrubber Guidelines that I used:

    Sizing of the screen:
    If you will have the screen lit from both sides then the size (area) of the screen should be 1 square each per gallon of your display tank (double that if the screen if only lit from one side). In my case, for a 180 gallon tank, the screen needs to be at least 180 square inches as I am lighting it from both sides. As I am also running a skimmer and have a macro algae compartment in the sump, I choose a little smaller screen size of 12 X 10 inches just to make this build easier for me and to be able to use some cheap LED lighting that I already had. On a system without a skimmer, this screen would only be able to support a maximum of a 100 to 120 gallon tank (depending on how it is set-up).

    Flow through the scrubber:
    The rule of thumb is 35 GPH for each inch of screen with. As my screen is 12 inches wide, I would need 420 gph of flow. This will be plumbed this off my return line which will put the flow closer to 550 gph. From what I have read, more is better.

    Lighting:
    For a double sided (lit on both sides) vertical scrubber, you should have 1 watt per gallon of water with a color temp of 2,700 to 3,500K for best results. This rule of thumb applies to CFL or T5HO lighting and refers to actual watts, not the “incandescent equivalent”. I could not find anything credible to use for LED or other forms of lighting. I will be using two cheap/knock-off LED panels with a total of 240 watts of LED lighting somewhere closer to 6000K range of color temp. The color temp is just my guess based on my visual observations and comparison to the 6,700K lighting on my fresh water planted tank. I do not know for certain what the actual color temp is making this will be a little bit of a test/experiment for me.

    From what I have read, with both higher than required flow levels and higher than required lighting levels, the color spectrum of the light becomes less important. To quote the link posted above, “flow and light intensity trumps spectrum”. I’m counting on that here in my build.

    And now for the actual build

    As I will have about 550 GPH of flow, I used a combination of ½ and ¾ inch pipe and fittings for the build. I could have just used ½ inch, but seeing as how I had a good mixture of both sitting in the garage, I decided to use them. As long as the smallest sized fitting/pipe can handle the maximum planned flow that will be alright (and it will in this case as well). From what I have read, cutting the slot for the screen to slide into is the hardest part of the build, and they were correct (even more-so since I can only use my left hand). I tried using my dremel with the correct cutting blade but I could not cut a straight 1/8 inch wide slot to save my life. Then the “red-neck” in me remembers the blade on my table saw was also 1/8 inch thick. I must say, cleaning plastic bits off the table saw blade was a lot easier than trying to cut this by hand. I would not recommend doing this very often as it is hard on saw blades

    As I will likely be up-grading my sump in near future, I decided to build my scrubber separate from the sump. It will also fit in the space a lot better this way.

    As I had an extra rubber maid tote kicking around and no extra tank, I decided to use the rubber maid tote. I just cut open the lid so I could use this tote with the lid on it and hopefully help to re-enforce the sides of the tote and prevent bowing.
    As I did not exactly follow the best process for setting up a scrubber only because I wanted to use the materials that I had and not purchase a lot for this.

    The Risks:
    -The lighting that I am using is not the best suited for a scrubber and may need to be up-graded. I am assuming the higher intensity of the lighting will make up for the higher color spectrum.
    -The scrubber is plumbed into the return line from the sump, which is after the live rock/macro algae and skimmer compartments of the sump. As they will both take nutrients out of the water before reaching the scrubber, the algae growth might be slower.
    -My nitrates are currently around 1 ppm. It may take a while before the fish get close to their full sizes and increase the bio-load enough for a good amount of nitrates the algae can use to grow.

    And now some pics

    I figured I would use a rubber maid tote that we had sitting around empty for a while now instead of buying a used tank. I cut open the lid to use on the tote to help prevent the sides from bowing out. But with only 5 to 7 gallons (about 1/3 full) there should not be a lot of pressure on the tote anyways





    And a few pic of the some of the plumbing. The perfectly cut 1/8 inch grove is thanks to the good people at Bosh power tools.



    Last edited by Cliff; 09-16-2012 at 03:46 AM.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I built a stand for the scrubber to sit on. I made it high enough so it will sit higher than the tank to help prevent a syphon in the event of a power failure.



    I also roughed up the screen pretty good. I used the hole saw bit and it did work pretty good.



    And here’s a pic with the scrubber in place



    And one of the duriso stand pipe inside the tote. This should maintain the water level inside the tote just below the plastic mess (about 1/4inch)

    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  3. #3

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    A few pics with the screen in place





    One pic with the splash guard in place



    And a few of the LEDs and after I placed the LEDs on the scrubber

    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!




    The bottom of the LEDs is about 2 inches from the top of the water line in the tote

    Once the glues and silicone has cured, I’m going to test everything and hopefully put it in operation this weekend.

    I’ll up-date this thread with some more pics as I go.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Glen Arm. MD
    Posts
    2,635

    Awards Showcase

    Happy Christmas - MuckyFish thanks for advising on vegetables for my kribs! so here is a discus - ScottishFish You help a lot - PhillipOrigami For the bank account, and thx for the rep - Cliff beautiful discus! - Crispy 
    I know this doesn't help but it's all I can do! - chrisfraser05 for all the wise advice you've given me - fishmommie Congrats on 2000th post! - andreahp Merry Christmas! - fishmommie Merry Christmas - Cliff 
    Thanks for the rep :-) - ~firefly~ appreciate it. - fishmommie Thanks for the birthday wishes - mommy1 ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ - korith For all the good advice you give. - ~firefly~ 
    Thanks for the rep the other day - Cliff thanks for the rep points.  appreciate it - fishmommie happy friday! - mojosodope Merry Christmas! - ~firefly~ Thanks for the rep! - steeler1 

    Question


    0 Not allowed!
    How is the scrubber working? By now, I'd think you would have had a few heavy algae growths. If so, is it removing the nitrates? and if so, how well? Pictures of it working available?

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    LOL, I wish it were

    After one week, It started to leak around the bulk-head flange. I think the weight of the line bent the side of the tub enough for a small leak to form. I drain it before the small leak could turn into a big leak


    Once I get a tank for it, I will start it up again. Even tho the tank only has 1ppm of nitrates, I am still hoping I can get a good growth of algae.

    I'm currently watching for a use 20 tank to replace the tub. That way I can use everything that I have put together for this scrubber.
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    cliff,

    There are new sizing guidelines for the scrubber. You base the screen size on the amount of food fed. 1 cube of food = 12sqinches of screen. If you feed feed more than just cubes just weigh it out. Every 3 grams of food is equal to 12sqinches of screen.

    LED's - Use 660nm. I use those. Each LED cover 4"square so I can mount a LED every 4 on center. Even better now they have ones that you don't have to solder.

    I have a small one on my 300g tank and never done a water change since. I am building a bigger one for the new setup I am working on.

    Looks good! You will love it once it starts to grow.
    300g + 240g in wall build! - Follow Here
    120g SW Reef, LED lights, cool fish and corals!

  8. #8

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks glarior

    I had read some info about scrubbers based on the amount of food put in the tank but I was not too sure about how well those would actually work. I ended up going for the more tradition set-up. Are you basing the scrubber for the new sump that your planning based on this? If you are I would really like to read about how well it works.

    I would think the lighting that I have would work as I have 240 watts of LED lighting somewhere around 6000K. Even tho the are low quality 1 watt LEDs, at a spacing of 1 to 2 inches, they should work and do give a high intensity light

    I'm going to drill a 20 gallon tank I have to use for the srubber this weekend so hopefull I will get this up and running soon
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL="http://saltwater.aquaticcommunity.com/"]

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff
    Are you basing the scrubber for the new sump that your planning based on this? If you are I would really like to read about how well it works.

    I would think the lighting that I have would work as I have 240 watts of LED lighting somewhere around 6000K. Even tho the are low quality 1 watt LEDs, at a spacing of 1 to 2 inches, they should work and do give a high intensity light

    I'm going to drill a 20 gallon tank I have to use for the srubber this weekend so hopefull I will get this up and running soon
    The new build I am basing it off the amount of food fed. My current on paper design is a 20" long x 26" tall waterfall style setup. Starting out I will only use 20" x 12" of screen with 15 660nm CreeXP LED's on a 20"x10" heat sink on each side. It will be capable of 100grams food per day. When I start to feed more (when I get the banded shark and ray) the system will be able to expand to 440sq" of screen or 20x24 which is 0.44lbs. That would be a lot of food!

    I plan to keep a paper and digital log of my values, growth, pictures etc etc... put my biology degree to work haha.

    I don't see any reason your LED's will not work. The name of the game is to grow algae. I had a proof of concept design scrubber that used the same spectrum and it grew just as well.

    Hope to see pics of your new setup in the 20g.
    300g + 240g in wall build! - Follow Here
    120g SW Reef, LED lights, cool fish and corals!

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Wow, that looks complicated. I think I'll stick with my little ole freshwater tank.

    With that being said....I envy the folks who are brave enough to have saltwater tanks.

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