Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by timkenagy, Jun 28, 2014.
Simple Diy algae scrubber for my 180
After 3 days.. Seems to be working.
Looks nice and simple and should do the job!
I plan to add lights on the other side. The goal was to throw it all together with stuff I had laying around. I had everything minus the screens ($3.00) and the end cap ($.68)
Need to buy 2 more lights.. Want to see how well it works first and debating between the same ones or LED red grow lights.
Pretty large, any reason? Current sizing recommendations are based on feeding, not water volume. So you might be able to compress the growth area down smaller concentrate your flow and light to a smaller screen. You will get better results this way.
Another factor is that your lighting is way too little for as large as the screens are. CFL floods are good for about a 6x6 area, max. So you would need 4 on each side of each screen, but then you would be sized to filter a very large amount of food. So if you only feed say 2-4 cube/day your current setup might do fine.
How much did you rough up the screen? It's a bit hard to tell from the pics but it doesn't look very rough.
What is your total water flow over the screens? If you can, check actual flow, but worst case you can figure it with head loss. I use 2' of head for the slot pipe, add the vertical, look at chart. If it's very low, the screen might smell when you start to get a lot of growth.
I hope this post doesn't come off as critical. I just like to help out whenever I can. The beauty of algae scrubbers is that they are simple and easy to build, and you don't have to do things perfectly to have results that work.
No.. Be critical... I posted hoping someone would. The screen is pretty rough. I scraped it with a hole saw pretty good (last pic.. 1st was just putting it together) I feed quite a bit.. It's on a 180 display with 40 gal frag system and 50 gal in sump and 40 gal fuge. I set the flow to a nice steady flow. I have it plumbed with a ball valve so I can adjust flow as needed. I'll change to better lights soon... I threw this together withe things I had laying around. My first attempt at one of these so advise is appreciated.
Any bulb recommendations?
For fluorescent lamps, you want to stick to the low end of the Kelvin rating, so 2700K or 3000K is best, 3500K is still OK. The problem with fluorescent sources is that everyone uses different combinations of phosphor coatings in order to achieve the color temp, so one 3000K lamp might actually have a different spectral output than another 3000K lamp, and sometimes these can give different results. But it would be pretty rare to find one particular brand that just would not grow algae at all, especially if you stick to 2700-3000K as all of these have at least a fair amount of red in them. It's when you start to get into 5000K and above that you start to lose more of the red spectrum and get into the "lamps that won't work" arena.
If you wanted to stick with just one fixture on each side or each screen, then what I would do is get one of the dome-shaped reflectors from HD or Lowe or Menards that is as big as the screen - you can get 10"+ diameter reflectors like this. Get the biggest you can. Then get a bigger CFL lamp. These are generally more expensive (42W or larger) because they are not in high demand.
Alternatively, you could get 2 smaller dome reflectors (don't get the funnel-shaped ones, stick with bowl or dome shaped) and kind of point them toward each other a bit, if you get what I mean, and then use a couple more readily available CFLs, like 23W or 26W.
Thanks.. I'll eventually buy reflectors and a few different bulbs and experiment. The bulbs on it I think were 5100k (recommended by melev for fuge) that I repurposed.
Update day 6
Yea way too little flow and light. I'd shut one screen off (tape up the slot), and move the light to the other side of the current one to make it 2-sided.
Thanks for the input... I've doubled the flow and doubled the lights.
I doubled the flow and lights. Things a rock'n now. Cleaned 3 days ago.
Got an update?
Actually yes! I completely forgot about this thread. I changed quite a few things. I guess you can't really call it a simple DIY scrubber anymore! I completely changed the refugium and scrubber out (and frag tank) for a much cleaner and safer look. I made the changes because I got reflectors and the salt creep building up was a bit much for my comfort, and I had a spare 180 gallon tank not being used. I'm thinking the skimmer is to go on a timer now and the fuge I'm currently waiting to see what direction it goes. I have an Achilles Tang on order that will be the primary resident until I'm positive it's fat and healthy enough (if ever) to go with the rest. But enough rambling I'll get with the pics!
And I'm still playing around with bulbs but can't find anything that will top the 2500k CFL.
Those scrubbers are well hung.
Have you changed the lights? I'm in the process of making 1.
On 1 I'm using a low kelvin (like 2700k) CFL Spotlight and on the other screen I'm using a 5000k Cree LED bulb. I thought I liked the CFL way better but after just cleaning the screens today I'm still undecided.
As of right now I'm using the 75w one.
How is the growth going? Any updates?
Love the setup and as I am designing my new system I am considering the addition of a DIY scrubber. I like what you have done here with the boxes and was thinking how to do something similar, my question though is how much of a PIA is it to get the screens our to clean? Thanks and nice setup!
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