DIY floating algae scrubber and results

Hi RC this is my DIY floating algae scrubber and I know it has been done already and available in the market for few hundred dollars. But i wanted to build something similar but a lot cheaper and my budget was arround 30-40 bucks So this is what i have put together and it has been working great and great results. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Rav
 

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_shorty_

New member
what are you using for a 'screen' (algae growing surface)? How is the air introduced to the algae, and where? Looks like good green growth!
 
Thanks for all the response I have built this out of plastic box that is 15"x12"x3.5" and painted it back. I drilled 3/4" holes in each corner as shown in the picture and then epoxied calcium media for rough surface and added multiple nylon strings in the middle so that algae have something to grab on besides rough surface. I drilled 2 small holes on the side where I have used one single piece air line tube and punched multiple holes in the tube and connected each end of the tube to 2 outlet air pump so air is pushed in the airline tube and there enough bubbles. To make this float I bought black insulation foam but best thing to use is laptop packing foam it works better. The tray should have at least 2.5" of water. I had piece of acrylic sheet laying around that I am using to protect light from water. I bought aluminum 1" U piece and mounted 5x3w red led's and I had driver from previous builds that I am using to run these led's. This is three weeks growth with led's on all the time. Now I will put this on timer. But one thing i could have done better is to add more led's. So I will be adding 5 more led's to get growth in the whole area. But results are promising and next build I will take pictures with step by step instructions. But if someone as question please don't hesitate to send pm or post in this thread....

Happy reefing.....
 

_shorty_

New member
How and where is air being introduced to the algae mat? Are you just pushing the air into the two holes in the side? If so, are you finding that this is adequate? An interesting idea on the epoxy/sand!.. you find it's a good surface for the algae to adhere? You think it would work without the nylon string?
 
I really don't think that it is going to work without the strings because when I did first harvest algae was really holding on the strings and to answer your question with air the air line is connected to air pump and its basically one 15" piece of air tube and there are multiple holes punched in the air pine and its glued right on the base of the tray right on top of the gravel in coil shape because I wanted the bubbles to be in most area and then you will be left with 2 open ends of the air tube which you will connect to dual outlet air pump and when you add that in the sump and it floats you will hear bubbles in the water. I hope I have addressed your question...
 

_shorty_

New member
yep! thank you. You've got me thinking now.... I was going to implement a scrubber of some sort for an ocellaris grow-out tank. I may try something like this to see how it goes.

I wonder, if you were to use the typical screen used for ATSs (plastic #7 mesh) you could epoxy that down onto the growing surface and use the crushed coral to rough that all up. You probably only want enough epoxy to coat the mesh and stick it down, so that there is plenty of underneath area (below the mesh) for the algae to grasp onto. That way you may be able to avoid the nylon string and provide more rootable area.

And, to anyone else reading: to give credit where it's due - SantaMonica Filtration came up with this idea of the 'floating scrubber' as well as the UAS (upflow algae scrubber). If you are not a DIY'er you can purchase from him. He's a sponser on RC.
 
using mesh is good idea as well and Sure credit goes to SantaMonica for sure it's just my approach to DIY and save money for my self and like to share the results :)
 
Its working great and I have invested not more than 40 bucks into this unit and I have done cleaning 2 times already. Pictures I have posted are when I did clean the first time and yesterday was second. It's very lush green algae.
 

ali1

New member
awesome build. I have a vertical ats and it's a pain in the a$$ to clean bi-weekly.

I have some questions for you, if you don't mind:
how are you protecting your leds from getting water damage? Any concerns for overheating?
How are you attaching your LED top to the tray?
Water is entering the tray from the 4 holes at the corners right?

Thanks in advance
 
led's

led's

awesome build. I have a vertical ats and it's a pain in the a$$ to clean bi-weekly.

I have some questions for you, if you don't mind:
how are you protecting your leds from getting water damage? Any concerns for overheating?
How are you attaching your LED top to the tray?
Water is entering the tray from the 4 holes at the corners right?

Thanks in advance

I have sealed the leds with sealer it's basically clear coat spray paint and I have coated the led's with multiple layers of clear coat those led's are mounted on aluminum "U" channel that i bought from lowes and they dont over heat at all. I have cut the channel little bigger than tray and they are just pushed in the tray without any screws in the picture but now i have brackets for them. I found some 24w led fixture someone is selling for 24 bucks and they are 1w high power led's red and blue mix i might go with those since its fair price and water is entering in the tray from 4 holes and its sitting in my sump. Please let me know if you have any further question.

Thanks,

Rav
 

bobshields

New member
paint

paint

I was wondering what type of black paint you used and did you paint inside/outside/ or both.Also any info on led's.
I bought a HOG from Santa Monica, but starting a larger tank and will need a larger scrubber.
Thanks
 

Floyd R Turbo

Either busy or sleeping
Premium Member
painting aluminum does not make it a better radiator. Possibly anodizing, and some audiophiles have argued with me as such, but simply painting with a flat paint does as much to insulate as it does to promote radiative dissipation. Also paint + heating/cooling + saltwater = flaking paint. I have pictures to prove it. Also any minimal amount of convection completely eclipses radiative cooling.

Also I had the pleasure to spend 2 days at the Cree factory in Racine, WI (commercial lighting, but I learned a LOT about their chip manufacturing process) and I pointedly asked them if they considered using a black anodized heat sink instead of clear anodizing and the answer was an emphatic "no". Whether indoor or outdoor, convective cooling and clear anodizing is all they needed. They also pointed out that certain white finishes are actually better radiators than some black finishes.
 

Floyd R Turbo

Either busy or sleeping
Premium Member
I may have misinterpreted your question - are you asking about painting plastic? Krylon Fusion is fine but it will flake off eventually under water. But it's not toxic. I think the base that the OP used was black plastic to begin with
 

bobshields

New member
I was thinking of the plastic tray that was used for the body of the skimmer.
I guess I was conserned of the toxic of the paint that might be introduced to the water.
I think leds would be the way to provide the light source, but do not know the color and wattage needed.
I have yet to purchase a protein skimmer.
Would running an ATS change the sizing of the protein skimmer?
 

SantaMonica

Active member
Just make sure the paint dries really good (about a week).

660nm red

No. Scrubbers do not remove food particles, so you'll still need to size your skimmer to the amount of food particles you want to remove, with or without a scrubber.
 
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