1st attempt at DIY Algae Scrubber

Charley75

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1st attempt…thoughts? I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

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World Wide Corals

KrisReef

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Probably good enough where it is? With lights near saltwater I am concerned about salt creep impacting the hardware over time as a primary consideration, PAR is second but the closer the light the more PAR/unit area. Also, some light fixtures need more air for cooling that others, not sure what kind of light you are using and what the mfgr recommends for space around the fixture, if any?
 
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Screwgunner

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10"x14" lit on one side will be good for 4 cubes 2 pinches of flack and some nori here and there. If your screen is bigger than that you will end up with uln. 0's and your coral will stop growing . If you go below .03 phosphates cut some of the bottom of your screen off.
 
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Charley75

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Moved the light closer…maybe 2-3 inches. Screen size is like 10 x 9 or so. Yes, on my 90. I feed about a 4” x 4” piece of seaweed daily and then a combo of Reef Frenzy and Rods each day. I break off about a square inch of each of the frozen food and thaw in small cup.
 
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Screwgunner

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Do not change the way you feed . If phosphates go below .03 cut a inch of your screen. Until you are set at .05 or alittle higher .1 . I love mine but I have 2 screens 10 x 6 each and my phosphates stay at .06 I had a large snail die so my nitrates are 50 but going down slowly.
 

Turbo's Aquatics

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I'm assuming this pic is taken with the water running, yes?

Did you rough up the screen?

You have some "channelling" on the screen, areas where there is no flow, it looks like these are below the zip-ties but I see that in other areas. Tell me about your slot pipe:

what type of pipe did you use (i.e. sched 40 or DWV, what diameter, etc)
How did you cut the slot?
Is it relatively straight and even?
How long is your slot (same as how wide is your screen)?
Do you have the zip-ties cinched down really tight or are they pretty loose and just holding the screen in place (they look tight in the photo)

How much water flow are you pushing across the screen? If you don't know exactly, a pump model and then a description of your feed plumbing routing would help me tell you if you are OK or not
 
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Charley75

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I just used what I think was the smallest quiet one return pump on BRS…like 23 bucks I think. I tried to “slot the 1/2” sch 40 pvc 1st….that just didn’t work well for me, so ended up drilling holes like every (either 1/2” apart the length of the pipe. I zip tied really tight, because I designed mine with a union in line so to clean, I’ll have to pull the whole tray out with the screen. Yes, did rough up the screen with 60 grit sand paper 1st. The container I used is a Husky tool organizer bin from Home Depot. It was originally like 11x11x5. I used a table saw to it the night down to like half of that or so.
 
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Charley75

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Yes, water runs 24/7…have light coming on at midnight for like 10 hrs. The pump is just dropped into the middle section of my sump and the whole thing is basically suspended right over the sump with the water exiting the tray basically at the same level as the water height in the sump to try to reduce noise. This tray I found is pretty cool as the “bottom” where it exits is curved…assuming to easily grab small parts out of the bin for its intended use.
 
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Turbo's Aquatics

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That's a good pump - just wanted to make sure it wasn't a super tiny one like a maxijet or the like (those don't have good reaction to head pressure)

The holes make sense now. Works fine, just need occasional cleaning. Watch for clogging and spray, that's an issue with holes (and slots also). If you have a thin sheet of plastic you can place over the open side, just for the top 4-5", that will prevent any errant water streams from escaping your sump and/or hitting your light. Full height would be fine as well. A definite requirement I would say. Even saran wrap held on with plastic clips

1/2" is OK but that's actually restricting flow more than you might think. Good for now but if you find you need more flow, bump all the plumbing from pump to pipe up to 3/4", if that's not enough re-make the pipe itself out of 3/4" also. That will almost double the flow.
 
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Charley75

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Good idea putting some type of clear “guard” over the top few inches…didn’t think of that. I cut it down just to make it fit easier. Already a tight fit as is, the full 5” height would have made accessing other things in there very difficult. So far I’m pretty happy with it…surprised I have as much growing already…I know will be MUCH MORE…I hope.
 

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