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Old 12/26/2011, 06:48 PM   #1
ghellin
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DIY Algae Turf Scrubber

Ok I am building and adding this to my 58 gallon as a natural way to remove nutrients from my tank. The idea is to grow algae on a sheet and remove the algae on a regular basis, to pull nutrients from the water and hopefully eliminating the need for GFO. I hope to have this up and running with a week or two using a simple CFL light bulb. I plan to add LEDs down the road to free up more room in my sump and create more light while using less electricity. My tank is currently running GFO with 0 phosphates so I will not be able to watch phosphates drop any further however I do plan to stop using GFO if this works well.

Here are a few build pics. The box is 1/4 acrylic it measures 15"T x 12.25"L x 4" W.

Holes for bulkheads.

Two 1" bulkheads.

Top notched for 1/2" PVC.

Pipe laying on top.

After using a drimmel to cut a slit the entire length of the PVC so the screen slides in.



I fastened the screen to the pipe with zip ties. The water will flow down the screen like a curtain.


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Old 12/26/2011, 09:06 PM   #2
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Old 12/26/2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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keep the pictures commming


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Old 12/26/2011, 11:49 PM   #4
danielbui23
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http://www.Santa-Monica.cc/Santa-Mon...ubber_p_8.html

They recommend light on both sides to work properly. Are you doing this as well?


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Old 12/27/2011, 07:19 AM   #5
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Looks like a winner! This is the exact same set up I am planning on doing once I get everything set up. Like the post above, I will be setting up lamps on both sides of the scrubber. Very clean looking, did you fabricate the acrylic yourself or have it done?


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Old 12/27/2011, 09:15 AM   #6
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I hope to put light on both sides once I have LEDs worked out, as for now the light will just be on one side. From what I have read 1 square inch per gallon is best so i am using a 12"x12" sheet (144 square inches) for 70 gallons of total water volume. Using two clamp lights with CFL bulbs would take up too much room for now. With LEDs this should be a different story. As for the box my grandfather had the acrylic so he cut it out and put it together for me I just drilled the holes and notched it out for the PVC pipe. I Will start roughing up the screen tonight to give the algae plenty of surface area to grow.


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Old 12/27/2011, 06:58 PM   #7
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greg, so it is my understanding you clean the screen almost weekly? Will you remove the screen or will you remove the PVC pipe and all?


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Old 12/27/2011, 07:32 PM   #8
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Yes the screen will be removed once a week and scraped under tap water to remove surface algae and pods. I am working on some kind of quick disconnect valve to make this easy to do.


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Old 12/28/2011, 11:14 AM   #9
Lytehouse
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interesting build
I assume the box construction keeps the water contained and not splashing all over the sump.


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Old 12/28/2011, 12:30 PM   #10
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I have a similar build. You will not be disappointed with the results. There are new sizing guidelines and an entire thread about building one of these. This is from post 2723 of the Algae Scrubber Basics thread. Floyd and Srusso are great and can answer any questions you might have.

Quote:
Updated the threads on other sites with this, so just for consistency:

New Scrubber Sizing Guideline (Sept 2011)

Scrubbers will now be sized according to feeding. Nutrients "in" (feeding) must equal nutrients "out" (scrubber growth), no matter how many gallons you have. So...

An example VERTICAL waterfall screen size is 3 X 4 inches = 12 square inches of screen (7.5 X 10 cm = 75 sq cm) with a total of 12 real watts (not equivalent) of fluorescent light for 18 hours a day. If all 12 watts are on one side, it is a 1-sided screen. If 6 watts are on each side, it is a 2-sided screen, but the total is still 12 watts for 18 hours a day. This screen size and wattage should be able to handle the following amounts of daily feeding:

1 frozen cube per day (2-sided screen)
1/2 frozen cube per day (1-sided screen)
10 pinches of flake food per day (2-sided screen)
5 pinches of flake food per day (1-sided screen)
10 square inches (50 sq cm) of nori per day (2-sided screen)
5 square inches (50 sq cm) of nori per day (1-sided screen)
0.1 dry ounce (2.8 grams) of pellet food per day (2-sided screen)
0.05 dry ounce (1.4 grams) of pellet food per day (1-sided screen)

High-wattage technique: Double the wattage, and cut the hours in half (to 9 per day). This will get brown screens to grow green much faster. Thus the example above would be 12 watts on each side, for a total of 24 watts, but for only 9 hours per day. If growth starts to turn YELLOW, then increase the flow, or add iron, or reduce the number of hours. And since the bulbs are operating for 9 hours instead of 18, they will last 6 months instead of 3 months.

HORIZONTAL screens: Multiply the screen size by 4, and the wattage by 1.5

Flow is 24 hours, and is at least 35 gph per inch of width of screen [60 lph per cm], EVEN IF one sided or horizontal.

Very rough screen made of roughed-up-like-a-cactus plastic canvas.

Clean algae off of screen every 7 to 14 days, so that you can see the white screen material.



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Old 12/28/2011, 12:31 PM   #11
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I have a similar build. You will not be disappointed with the results. There are new sizing guidelines and an entire thread about building one of these. This is from post 2723 of the Algae Scrubber Basics thread. Floyd and Srusso are great and can answer any questions you might have.

Quote:
Updated the threads on other sites with this, so just for consistency:

New Scrubber Sizing Guideline (Sept 2011)

Scrubbers will now be sized according to feeding. Nutrients "in" (feeding) must equal nutrients "out" (scrubber growth), no matter how many gallons you have. So...

An example VERTICAL waterfall screen size is 3 X 4 inches = 12 square inches of screen (7.5 X 10 cm = 75 sq cm) with a total of 12 real watts (not equivalent) of fluorescent light for 18 hours a day. If all 12 watts are on one side, it is a 1-sided screen. If 6 watts are on each side, it is a 2-sided screen, but the total is still 12 watts for 18 hours a day. This screen size and wattage should be able to handle the following amounts of daily feeding:

1 frozen cube per day (2-sided screen)
1/2 frozen cube per day (1-sided screen)
10 pinches of flake food per day (2-sided screen)
5 pinches of flake food per day (1-sided screen)
10 square inches (50 sq cm) of nori per day (2-sided screen)
5 square inches (50 sq cm) of nori per day (1-sided screen)
0.1 dry ounce (2.8 grams) of pellet food per day (2-sided screen)
0.05 dry ounce (1.4 grams) of pellet food per day (1-sided screen)

High-wattage technique: Double the wattage, and cut the hours in half (to 9 per day). This will get brown screens to grow green much faster. Thus the example above would be 12 watts on each side, for a total of 24 watts, but for only 9 hours per day. If growth starts to turn YELLOW, then increase the flow, or add iron, or reduce the number of hours. And since the bulbs are operating for 9 hours instead of 18, they will last 6 months instead of 3 months.

HORIZONTAL screens: Multiply the screen size by 4, and the wattage by 1.5

Flow is 24 hours, and is at least 35 gph per inch of width of screen [60 lph per cm], EVEN IF one sided or horizontal.

Very rough screen made of roughed-up-like-a-cactus plastic canvas.

Clean algae off of screen every 7 to 14 days, so that you can see the white screen material.



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75 gallon soon to be 90 gallon reef

55 gallon FOWLR
Life aint goin as planned? Look to the two things you can change...YOUR perspective and YOUR actions!

Current Tank Info: 75g reef
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Old 12/28/2011, 02:11 PM   #12
danielbui23
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The main reason for me would be cutting cost or long term cost of GFO. Instead you will implement the initial start up cost for a DIY fabrication or by purchasing a product like the Santa Monica 100 Algae Scrubber.

I have been following, "budcarlson1" on youtube and seems his design has been working REALLY well. Here is a link to a video he posted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FOFZ...0&feature=plcp




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Old 01/06/2012, 10:18 PM   #13
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Update! Ok I am finished with the plumbing for the overflow/drain and the screen has been thoroughly roughed up to promote algae growth. All I have left now is to pick up one last piece of flex pipe and a clamp light and bulb which I should get this weekend. I will be switching to a mag 12 to give me the extra 385 gph of flow I will need.
Here are a few pics,







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Old 01/07/2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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Very nice build.

I like it a lot.... now get that puppy running!


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Old 01/07/2012, 08:01 PM   #15
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yep, fire that bad boy up and lets see it do it's thing!!!


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Old 01/08/2012, 03:03 PM   #16
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We are up and going! I will start keeping a log here of new growth.






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Old 01/08/2012, 03:16 PM   #17
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Is it possible to add a reflector and another bulb lower on the screen to give even dispersion of light?


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Old 01/08/2012, 03:33 PM   #18
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I am sure it is, I am planning on building a LED fixture soon so this is what the light will be for now. With LEDs I can build a fixture that will provide exponentially more light in a smaller package with better coverage and spacing. That is all still in the design stages so it may be awhile.


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Old 01/08/2012, 04:41 PM   #19
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Awesome, I have been following a few threads here on RC about ATS and WOW, there are soo many variations but I still haven't seen one made out of LED's as of yet. Mainly T5,T8,T12 and CFL. One guy stated that he will never harvest Chaetomorpha Macro-algae (in sump) or use GFO again.


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Old 01/16/2012, 07:44 AM   #20
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Ok one week growth pic!



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58 Gallon, DIY Cree's 14 XP-G's 7NW,7CW, 28 XT-E RB's, 8 UV, 4 XP-E blues. 20L sump, mag 9.5, BRS carbon and GFO reactors, Reef Octopus XS160 skimmer, LR1 Ca Rx, 3 MP10 WES. Controlled by Apex.
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Old 01/16/2012, 07:55 AM   #21
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nice, Are you planning on weekly cleaning? I plan on trying something similar. I built the lights already just have to figure out the box, and design.


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Old 01/16/2012, 08:12 AM   #22
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Yep every 7 days.


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Old 01/20/2012, 03:47 PM   #23
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Have you discontinued using GFO yet and if so have you seen any increase in PO4? This is really interesting and I may want to try if I can make room for it in the cabinet.


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Old 01/20/2012, 05:12 PM   #24
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I have not I will keep running GFO until the screen is completely covered in algae. Since the algae can remove phosphate faster than the GFO I decided to let it be for now. As far as phosphate I have not ever had a testable amount so I have not seen an increase or decrease.


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Old 01/22/2012, 06:43 PM   #25
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Week 2 update.

Before clearing off new growth.


After cleaning.



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