Blacking out DIY Algae Reactor

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by TinyChocobo, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Hello!

    I converted a bio reactor into an algae reactor with some waterproof string LEDs and an external pump.

    Due to space limitations I would like to sit this in my sump’s skimmer area.

    I’ve been trying to think of a good way to black out the reactor so it doesn’t leak light into the rest of the sump.

    I thought about painting it but I have the LEDs on the outside so that wouldn’t work.

    I also thought about maybe some sort of vinyl wrap or something.

    If the base and top of the reactor weren’t so large I would probably just find a large piece of PVC to put around it. I suppose I could take a smaller piece and cut it in half and use a rubber band or something to hold it on.

    At any rate I want this to be able to sit in my sump with as little light leak as possible.
     
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  2. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I wonder if “FlexTape” will last in salt water...

    Or if it’s even safe for reef.

    I just need something dark to black out the reactor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  3. Jomama

    Jomama Marine fish monthly R2R Supporter

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    Use black garbage bag, wrap as many times you need , there plastic, used rubber bands to fasten. Cheapest way, I think. Quick too.
     
  4. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I think I'm going to get a sheet of black vinyl, wrap it around, and then use black zip ties to hold it in place.
     
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  5. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam Well-Known Member

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    Black geotextile (that you use in road/garden work) and some velcro could be made into a little "holster".
     
  6. Jomama

    Jomama Marine fish monthly R2R Supporter

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    Some vinyls have adhesive some don't. That's good idea
     
  7. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Whatever you use, you should use white material to reflect light back rather than black material that will absorb light.
     
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  8. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I thought about that but I'm going to be using 5700K 700 Lumen LED - I think even if I lose it to black - it'll still work just fine.

    That said I was trying to avoid anything with adhesive on it - not sure how it will do in salt water / if it will leach anything.
     
  9. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Built and installed.

    31031784-8DFC-4ED9-9B5D-3BF93F310196.jpeg C375B75F-CCA2-4892-B8E1-C7A3BA814395.jpeg 6E69F56A-7CFB-4E7E-9A91-5D8394070DB8.jpeg 4C9AA7B1-76AB-40F1-A14F-F9ED236947E0.jpeg D3CE054A-7ABF-4805-84E0-7A8155F7A094.jpeg 88ED2AB5-D418-474B-9F89-CD29C0254801.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  10. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I put some silicone grease in the connector that's right next to the reactor itself just in case water gets up to that level. I thought about using some hot glue or epoxy to seal up the connection permanently.

    I have a different set of LED lights coming tomorrow that I don't think has a connector like that there and, if so, I'll re-do this with that string of lights. I'd really prefer this to be sitting in the area with my skimmer instead of my return pump but due to water levels/this connector - I couldn't do it :). I also have some white vinyl coming tomorrow that should work better.

    In the meantime this at least got it off the floor and out from in front of the stand.

    I also have a Reef Octopus VarioS-2 pump coming tomorrow that I'm going to use to feed this. I may plumb up some hard piping to the underside of the top of the stand with some valves and hose nipples so that I can add other stuff/reactors/whatever later without having to fool with the plumbing.

    In the meantime I'll probably set the pump to run at its lowest setting and then will ramp it up to max when I hit feed mode to flush out some pods to the tank if I have any growing in there :).
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  11. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm going to be replacing the connector near the reactor for the LEDs with a water-proof 4pin connector and extending the overall cable so that I can move it to the main part of the sump.
     
  12. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Interesting idea :).
     
  13. mknightryder

    mknightryder Member

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    I used a piece of 8" sdr35/sewer pipe to put around a Synergy Reef SMR2500 reactor. The pipe was green, so I spray painted inside and out white. I put my light(s) inside of the pipe. I had read a few threads where lights attached to the acrylic had caused some crazing and possible weak spots. I tend to over-think things. Lol Well, After killing a few balls of chaeto, I was getting very frustrated... I finally figured out the problem by playing around with my par meter one night. The first 16' string of lights were 50/50 SMD grow lights. They were bright to the eye, but did not put off much par... So, I added a second 16' string of 6500k leds and that has really got the chaeto growing now!
    What's crazy is others using the same 50/50 lights had success with them on their DIY reactors.
    2nd Picture below show just 50/50 smd leds par
    3rd is just the 6500k leds par
    4th is both strips on together

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    20180308_195003.jpg

    20180308_195303.jpg
     
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  14. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Very nice! I was looking for some PVC I could fit around it but I couldn't find any big enough oddly enough.

    I would really like to go the PVC route as well to mount the lights to the inside of the PVC instead of to the reactor itself. That said my reactor is sitting in water up to it's top level - so the LEDs will keep cool / reactor should not get weak or haze.

    If I had it sitting outside the sump - I would definitely want to do something other than attaching the LEDs to the reactor itself.

    Even with it sitting inside the sump - I would like to find a nicely fit PVC sleeve ... any suggestions on finding a piece of PVC of the right diameter? I checked Lowe's and Home Depot and none of them seemed to have larger than 6" and 8" is what I need.
     
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  15. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    @mknightryder What cable management are you using - it looks good. I have cord-pocalypse under my stand right now.
     
  16. mknightryder

    mknightryder Member

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    I own a plumbing company, so pipe is easy to come by... Oddly enough, plumbing my aquariums usually takes Me longer than plumbing a 4-story hotel! lol

    Best bet to find larger diameter pipe would probably be a plumbing supply store. Bad thing is it usually comes in 10' or 20' lengths... Or stop by a local plumber's shop to see if they'd let you get a piece out of the pipe yard. The supply houses usually will have a bone yard with assorted sized pipes that got damaged in transit, etc...

    For my wire management I used 2"×2"×39" open slot wire duct/ cable raceway. Found it on fleabay. It's fairly cheap and easy to work with. I used a miter saw to make cuts, but a razor blade will work too. 39" lengths are about the longest you can get and not have the price jump up cause of shipping. I order 4 pieces and it came in same type tube t5 bulbs come in.
     
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  17. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I will have to see what I can find. Should I call a couple of plumbers and ask if I can get a piece of pipe off them, or just stop by?
     
  18. mknightryder

    mknightryder Member

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    If you stopped by my shop I'd definitely lend a helping hand. But that's just the way I am...
    It just depends on whomever you run in to though. Worth a shot. Worse they can say is No! Lol Good luck!
     
  19. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam Well-Known Member

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    Yea but to be honest I missed that the op was putting it inside the sump. I'm not 100% that the geotextile is reef safe. It should be.
     
  20. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Yeah I am not sure about it - I just found the idea interesting. I would never have thought about it.
     
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