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Old 10/24/2011, 06:54 AM   #76
BluScrnOdeth
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any new breakthroughs on the ATS? I was going through some figures and though the ATS is a great option for the tank as i used to run one till about 2 weeks ago, the ATS uses more energy and cost of bulbs per year will end up costing you more than a Skimmer. I'm all about energy efficiency and saving a buck, but i think that a LED solution needs to be made. I seen on Cutter.com.au that CREE has released these to grow plants http://www.theledstore.com.au/category_s/35.htm so it may work with a scrubber. I'll be ordering some near the end of the year when i put in a large order for a customers tank that I am building.

it uses: 3 Red 625nm, 1 450nm Royal Blue , 1 Red 660nm


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Old 10/24/2011, 09:24 AM   #77
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Actually if you read that closely, you get 3x 625 cree red, 1x 425 cree RB, and one triple 5w ledengin 660 deep red (which is 3 5w chips on a common PCB). That actually looks like a good mix. You get a 6:1 ratio of red:blue with the red 50:50. That's for the Kit 1. The larger kits you get it seems the go more blue, which is the wrong direction - you want ideally 7:1 red:blue. the DR LEDs are less intense than the 625s so having the 5w triple-chips is probably comparable to the regular reds. I think those would be a good buy for a DIY kit, and just thin out the RBs - use them on your display or make a nice moonlight kit

Still, they're 3W which IMO is too intense and you have to stand those off the screen quite a bit. You should only need 1/2 the wattage to compare to fluorescent. Then use the new sizing guidelines (based on feeding) and concentrate down your screen to get good mixture of the LEDs and you're good to go.

On my end, I have hardly had the chance to unbox my fixtures and play with them, let alone build an enclosure and setup my test. bummer.


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Old 10/24/2011, 03:48 PM   #78
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I am debating buying these or making my own similar to this. Anyone see a problem with it? http://homegrownlights.com/14wled.html


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Old 10/24/2011, 04:09 PM   #79
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I saw a built fixture using similar LEDs but they were much less spread out. Those are likely smaller than 1w LEDs but they're very close together, so that might actually work OK. They're in a 3:1 r:b ratio but that's not the end of the world. I wonder if you could get that kit with more red and less blue.

Either way you cut it, that tightness of the LEDs is what you would need with the low power ones like those. Not too many have had success with low power yet (<1w LEDs)


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Old 10/24/2011, 04:10 PM   #80
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add: that fixture has 272 LEDs and draws 14 watts. That makes those 0.05W LEDs. it might be worth a shot if you had $45 to throw around an test it out. Probably would do about as good as a 23 or 26W CFL.


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Old 10/24/2011, 05:31 PM   #81
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What's the most ideal ratio of Red/White/Blue LEDS?
I have a 10x10 screen lit on both sides with CFL right now but I was looking to add LEDs.
I was looking at at doing 12 LEDS on each side with a ratio of 50% Red Crees and 50% Warm White Crees. Does that sound good?
Thanks for the opinion!


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Old 10/24/2011, 06:22 PM   #82
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Skip the WW and go all red. If anything mix 50/50 660nm and 630nm and maybe 1 455 or 425 blue per 6-8 reds, if any blues at all. Nothing is 'proven' yet but there have been a few getting good growth with only 660 and only 630 so mix 'em and that way you're covered.


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Old 10/26/2011, 01:12 AM   #83
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Hey Guys,

Just chiming in to say I really hope this thread keeps going! Lots of good info. I'm still pretty new to keeping a reef tank. I have been running a scrubber with my skimmer for the past three months. Before then I could never get my nitrates below 15, and since I added my scrubber I never been able to detect any nitrates, even after feeding twice as much.

As I said I'm still new so correct me if I'm wrong. However to my understanding on what I have read, in nsw corals have a constant food source of live plankton, and other "goodies" that we don't dare to keep throwing in our tank as it would completely mess up all the levels in our tank. Also to my understanding ATS remove all of the nutrients or in our case "pollutants" from putting these things in our tank. I have been wondering if it would be possible to run a large enough turf scrubber to the point where you could keep a small constant source of food for corals and fish to feast on thus resulting in faster coral growth? Sorry if this is way to far fetched and can't be done, but just an idea I had thought of from all the hours upon hours of reading I have been doing on reef central in the past 10 months lol.


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Old 10/26/2011, 08:02 AM   #84
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I believe that has been done. I seen a video of Santamonica running a nearly constant food drip through an IV pump to constantly feed his tank (full disclosure I have no idea if it worked long term). And that is part of the beauty of running an ATS, it leaves that food source in the tank and only removes it once it decays and turns into ammonia, nitrates and trites.


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Old 10/26/2011, 08:53 AM   #85
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N728NY I assume you mean NPS (non-photosynthetic) corals. The short answer is no I have not specifically heard of anyone running an Algae Scrubber on an NPS tank, but it seems to me like a perfect match. NPS corals in particular benefit from a multiple feedings. I saw Gary Parr give a presentation at MACNA and he mentioned that there are some that must be fed several times a day, and some required squirting food directly at them. So I'm sure that there's not a one-size-fits-all answer, but the bottom line here is that NPS corals would strongly benefit from a constant drip feeding system (that is not in dispute) and an Algae Scrubber is a form of filtration that is capable of handling the nutrient load associated with a constant drip feeder (this is also not in dispute). Now whether they will work together long term remains to be seen, but that's just because nobody (to my knowledge) has tried it.

redneck is referring to the system that SM runs which is about 90 gallons and runs 2 100 gallon rated scrubbers. He feeds 72 mL of a DIY oyster-feast plus 20 sq in of Nori (a DAY) and one whole silverside a week. No N, no P.


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Old 10/26/2011, 08:55 AM   #86
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update on the LEDs - they sent me 2 of the exact same fixture instead of switching the blues on one of them. Slight bummer. I was pretty ticked when I figured it out and sent him a message to that effect so we'll see what happens. Worst case I can do a Band A vs Band B vs combined band test and nothing else.

And what you've all been waiting for



This fixture is insanely bright. It doesn't look like it in this pic, but all the lights in the room are on. My wife said "what the f#%@ is that???!!!" when I turned it on. Lit the ceiling up a nice pretty hot pink. If anyone was driving by they probably thought I was refining uranium or getting abducted.


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Old 10/26/2011, 02:06 PM   #87
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That's great Floyd! I will have to see if I can some posts from him and check it out! I know with my 75 gallon set up, I made my scrubber slightly over sized (sized for 100 gallons) and I dump huge amounts of pellets and frozen shrimp in my tank on top of spot feeding my corals on a regular basis and I still have yet to register any nitrates on my test kit. Being that I'm still new I still haven't built up the courage to unplug the skimmer yet. I may try it once I know for sure my scrubber is fully matured, got plenty of ro water made up and salt ready just in case I need to do an emergency water change lol. I still have a clump of cheato left that I suppose would be good back up if the scrubber couldn't keep up. The cheato doesn't really grow very much right now because of the scrubber. I love these scrubbers, I'm so glad I took the time to read "both sides" of the arguments on them to find out the facts about them.

Cool LED Fixture! Keep us updated on it! It definitely would be awesome to venture into the LED lighting side of this. Almost seems like maybe the LED fixtures would be a more evenly distributed light as well as the energy savings? As compared to my cfl lights with the reflector? I know what you mean Floyd, when I live in a second floor apartment and when we're not home you can see a big dark blue glow of actinic light coming from our living room window, can only imagine what the neighbors think we're doing up here lol.


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Old 10/26/2011, 02:37 PM   #88
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The advantages of LED are better as you venture to the areas with higher power cost. Here in Iowa electric is 8.1 cents/kWh for the first 1000 then 7.2 after that. In CA it's like 40 cents/kWh.

As far as green / environmentally friendly, that's marketing right now. There's no proof that LEDs are better for the environment. DOE had commissioned a big study via Cornell or another big U and fired then years later (recently) after they couldn't deliver such a report (regarding processes used in manufacturing and their impact on the environment). CFLs have little mercury, etc in them anymore. So the environmental impact of throwing away CFLs is becoming less relevant.

Light distribution and spectrum tuning are the keys. Use of 1W vs 3W LEDs will hopefully solve the distribution issues.

The biggest issue is heat sinking. These fixtures have fans on the back that push air at the heat sink, so you have a potential corrosion issue (which has happened).

We have such a specific application that no one makes anything that works "perfect"...


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Old 10/26/2011, 05:21 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by N728NY View Post
That's great Floyd! I will have to see if I can some posts from him and check it out! I know with my 75 gallon set up, I made my scrubber slightly over sized (sized for 100 gallons) and I dump huge amounts of pellets and frozen shrimp in my tank on top of spot feeding my corals on a regular basis and I still have yet to register any nitrates on my test kit. Being that I'm still new I still haven't built up the courage to unplug the skimmer yet. I may try it once I know for sure my scrubber is fully matured, got plenty of ro water made up and salt ready just in case I need to do an emergency water change lol. I still have a clump of cheato left that I suppose would be good back up if the scrubber couldn't keep up. The cheato doesn't really grow very much right now because of the scrubber. I love these scrubbers, I'm so glad I took the time to read "both sides" of the arguments on them to find out the facts about them.
Hey N728NY
I would suggest putting your skimmer on a timer and gradually reducing the amount of time you run it as opposed to shutting it off cold turkey. I have mine set to run for one hour in every 24, over skimming 5 gallons per session. No negative effects on water quality and I've cut more than 2 KWH/day off my electric bill by not running a 90w skimmer pump all day.


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Old 10/26/2011, 07:10 PM   #90
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You skim out 5 gallons in 1 hour?


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Old 10/27/2011, 12:06 AM   #91
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Thanks a lot! Wow, I can't believe I didn't think of that before. Saving electric is always good, as well as I heard the skimmer pulls nutrients out that are good for the corals. Up here in new york our electric is around .32 cents a kw.


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Old 10/27/2011, 06:51 PM   #92
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You skim out 5 gallons in 1 hour?
Closer to 45 minutes actually. Is not real "dirty" looking but if it's foam it's skimming out, more like an automated water change. I never have to clean my skimmer cause it's flushing itself.
Using an MD9.5 on an AquaC EV180 with oversized nozzle. Has a gate valve on the pump that isn't even open all the way. Foams over into the cup very heavily, which drains into a 5 gallon jug with a float valve in it that shuts the skimmer down when it's full.
Was a primary strategy to keep N&P under control before I started the ATS, running about 10-15gl / day back then. I keep doing it on a smaller scale just cause I think PWC's are a good idea in general and the seawater is free.

BTW - THANKS for the tip on modifying my lights to remedy the black goop situation. Changed my ballast from a Workhorse to a pair of ATI's and moved the T5 tubes from 4.5" away to 2" from the screen. One week later things are MUCH improved, algae having some hair structure and looking green again, Nitrates back to zero.


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Old 10/27/2011, 08:57 PM   #93
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That's more skimming than I've ever heard of. Why do you have it set to skim so wet?


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Old 10/28/2011, 03:07 AM   #94
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Wet Skimmate Water Changes is sticky in Advanced Topics.


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Old 11/03/2011, 10:30 PM   #95
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floyd: did I read that it cost you about 40 bucks per side for the red LED's?


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Old 11/03/2011, 10:51 PM   #96
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um...no. I had those fixtures custom made. It was not cheap.


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Old 11/14/2011, 09:22 AM   #97
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Good, i been waiting for someone to narrow down the spectrums needed since i dont have time to test things myself anymore. And it seems that you recommend the 1w LEDs? Thats good to as maybe they should be cheaper to buy than the CREE 3w LEDs, i havent looked yet.


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Old 11/14/2011, 11:19 PM   #98
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When i ordered LEDs to replace some of my whiter (10000K) whites i ordered some reds (~660nm) too... I planned on 9 3W red LEDs on each heat sink, but now that my actual lights are populated i have left over 10000K and 4500K whites. I wonder how much overkill it would be to add 4 of the 4500Ks to the 9 reds on each sink? It makes a nicer 3, 2, 3, 2, 3 pattern on the heatsink (5.9 x 7").

Main reason i want to go LEDs is to save space, as i can't really get into my sump anymore with the big reflector cones there.


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Old 11/21/2011, 08:01 AM   #99
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I have been running a bucket scrubber with CFL bulbs for 8 months and I am considering building an acrylic led scrubber. I am starting to do research and I am mentally playing around with a few ideas. As for LEDs I think I will wait to see what Floyd’s experiment yields. As for dimensions, I wanted to get everyone’s input. The typical acrylic scrubber is wide with only a few inches of screen hanging down. This makes sense with the use of long T5 bulbs but is this optimal for an LED scrubber? It makes sense to me that a led scrubber might be built more efficient by designing it with a longer vertical screen. This would allow for a lower total flow rate on the scrubber’s inlet while maintaining the same flow/sq inch requirements. A lower inlet flow requirement would mean a cheaper pump during the initial investment and lower total power month to month, reducing energy expenses. I would also like to consider the advantage a scrubber of these dimensions might have on achieving good 3d growth. I am not sure on this one but it seams logical that a short width scrubber might allow faster 3d algae growth. You may be able to further take advantage of this by tapering the scrubber box so that it is narrow at the bottom (Plexiglas close to screen) and wide at the top (Plexiglas further from the screen). These are just some things I have been thinking about and I wanted to get some feedback from the community.


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Old 11/21/2011, 09:08 AM   #100
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That is all fine, the only disadvantage to a narrow screen is less turnover of the water passing over the screen, which mean slightly less effective filtering. But only slightly and this only matters, really, if you feed to the maximum. You can compensate for this if it becomes an issue by widening the slot and increasing the flow. But in 99.9% of the case, it is a non-issue because the algae takes the excess nutrients out of the water continuously and quickly.

I like your idea of the tapered box. This should work, but you probably won't be able to use a bulkhead type setup. The other concern is that if you get very thick growth, the growth toward the bottom may partially block the flow. This would lead to some good 3D growth, but could potentially block enough flow to overflow the box. What I would do in this case is make the box about 1 inch longer that the screen on each side so that when the algae does grow in and block the flow (and it will, if you make it narrow enough) then the flow has a place to go. This is basically how my box runs currently, I have holes in the corners of the box, which is 1" longer on each dimension. The growth regularly builds up and traps about 4" of water.

Also the tapered box would probably have to have the screen terminate in a sump chamber.


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