IceCap Algae Scrubber Light Mod

Aquachristik

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I purchased the IceCap Algae Scrubber PRO Small 14 Watt since it seemed like an easy plug and play way to get into algae turf scrubbing. It replaced my chaeto refugium so I was hoping for it to be an upgrade.

First impressions were mostly positive leaving a bit to be desired when it came to build quality. Some pieces didn't fit flush and the fit and finish just wasn't top notch.

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After several months using the unit I don't feel like I've had good turf algae growth. Most of it is just gunk or sludge that comes off with a light rinse of the hose; a far stretch from the credit card scraping stuff I've seen from others; so I decided to upgrade the lighting.

The current lighting consists of 3 rows of 12 LEDs for a grand total of 36 LEDs. It is a very white spectrum light that I don't feel is enough to get good growth of turf algae. My plan is to replace the current metal slab of LEDs with 7 rows of "grow" spectrum LEDs. I plan to use the existing power supply if possible. I will also shave a quarter inch off the bottom of each panel as they hit the bottom of the scrubber and don't sit flush on the top side.

PXL_20231230_015636379~3.jpg


More to come tomorrow!
 

Outlaw Corals

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I have the same one on my 30 gallon it took me a little while to dial it in but it’s doing awesome now I’m getting some nice thick build up if GHA now, I’m very happy with it
 
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Aquachristik

Aquachristik

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I have the same one on my 30 gallon it took me a little while to dial it in but it’s doing awesome now I’m getting some nice thick build up if GHA now, I’m very happy with it
I'm jealous lol. Did you do anything extra to it at all? I heard some people sand the screen with a very course grit...
 

PlumberDude

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I have the large and run it 24-7 It grows a thick turf/mat in a couple weeks. Just cleaned it yesterday. Maybe you have a lack of nutrients? I know it took mine a bit to get started. Also it needs seeded with some type of algae typically rubbed on the mesh.
 

rtparty

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It took months for mine to get nice, dark growth on it.

You were nice with your build quality critique. It’s downright horrible. Ice Cap should be ashamed to slap their name on this rebrand. The fit and finish on mine is so pathetic it’s funny that any company would try to pass this off.

The lights are also a horrible spectrum IMO and this is why it has taken mine so long to get good growth.

It does the job thankfully and finally got the good growth I hoped for but took WAY longer than it should have. LEDs are so cheap that Ice Cap should be able to tell the manufacturer to change them out and it won’t raise the price.
 

VintageReefer

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Ice cap is new to the game. Santa Monica has been building these for over a decade, they work great. I have one on my 75g, it’s a floating unit in my sumps <prior> refugium chamber. No plumbing, no light leaks, no risk of overflowing, no sound, super simple to add to almost any sump

I just added a scrubber to my 15g nano a few days ago, it fits in the rear chamber of all in one tanks. Five 660nm red leds emitting 1000 par. Excited to see what this grows

If you get frustrated with the ice cap I would suggest checking out Santa Monica
 
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Aquachristik

Aquachristik

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I have the large and run it 24-7 It grows a thick turf/mat in a couple weeks. Just cleaned it yesterday. Maybe you have a lack of nutrients? I know it took mine a bit to get started. Also it needs seeded with some type of algae typically rubbed on the mesh.
I'll try rubbing the mesh with some of the hair algae that's growing in the display. Thanks!
 
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Aquachristik

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It took months for mine to get nice, dark growth on it.

You were nice with your build quality critique. It’s downright horrible. Ice Cap should be ashamed to slap their name on this rebrand. The fit and finish on mine is so pathetic it’s funny that any company would try to pass this off.

The lights are also a horrible spectrum IMO and this is why it has taken mine so long to get good growth.

It does the job thankfully and finally got the good growth I hoped for but took WAY longer than it should have. LEDs are so cheap that Ice Cap should be able to tell the manufacturer to change them out and it won’t raise the price.
Yeah I was being kinda nice... But the idea of it and it fitting in my sump worked for me so I took the plunge. Now I'm trying to fix their mistakes.
 
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Aquachristik

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1000012214.jpg

Beta testing right now. Let's see if I get any growth while I wait for more connectors. Ended up using a 12V strip and power supply with waterproof connectors.

I also ended up cutting about a quarter inch off each panel bottom since they hit the bottom of the scrubber when in place. Fit and finish....
 

Troylee

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I'll try rubbing the mesh with some of the hair algae that's growing in the display. Thanks!
It’s best to take a grinder with 36 grit and rough the mesh up… leave like an inch at the top smooth so it doesn’t grow into the water chamber and clog it up.
 

VintageReefer

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Turf scrubbers should not grow hair algae, they should grow slime algae or turf algae, possibly forms of sea lettuce

You shouldn’t have to “seed” a turf scrubber by rubbing it with hair algae. If the spectrum is correct they will grow their own algae naturally.

Slime algae is super high in nutrients. Harder to clean, but more nutrient bound than most other forms of algae. Remove it as the screen becomes full, brush with toothbrush until screen is clean. Slime may grow again if so repeat. Eventually you will get turf algae instead of slime. Due to the nature of slime algae, it prevents turf algae from taking root. Harvest more often until you start getting turf :)
 

Devaji

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good to see you are getting some grow. I am looking in to this ATS no that I cant get a turbo aquatics any time soon. the standing in sump option is kinda nice.

is the drain back into the sump loud?
 
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Aquachristik

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good to see you are getting some grow. I am looking in to this ATS no that I cant get a turbo aquatics any time soon. the standing in sump option is kinda nice.

is the drain back into the sump loud?
The waterfall on the screen is the loudest part, I wish it was quieter. You can mess with the PVC and screen but it doesn't stay quiet for too long.
 

VintageReefer

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The waterfall on the screen is the loudest part, I wish it was quieter. You can mess with the PVC and screen but it doesn't stay quiet for too long.

Search around for diy upflow algae scrubber. Might have to search outside the forums. I run one (bought, not diy) and it’s completely silent
 

cdnco2004

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I heard some people sand the screen with a very course grit...
Thats what I have been reading as well. Makes sense.

Santa Monica
I just went to their site and checked them out. Very nice units. I wish I could afford the size I would need for my 220. Cost is why I am looking at IceCap.

Edit: Actually, I just found their "Which One" page and it says one of the Surf 4's would work for a 180-300g tank. That unit is cheaper at $499 than the MAP price for the IceCap Pro Large at $629
 
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