DIY Algae Turf Scrubber

chowberg

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#1
Background: Due to some equipment failure, I changed my sump set up out and temporarily took my refugium offline. GHA took over my display and refugium while everything stabilized. My DT is now GHA free.

Problem Statement: GHA is established in refugium and out competed my chaeto. It comes loose and gets all over the place. It also actually also gets stuck in the sump’s bubble trap/wall teeth and changes the sump’s water level. This throws off my ATO.

(My) Solution: I know there are many fixes to this problem and a lot of them simpler and cheaper. However, if I was going so simple and cheap why be in the hobby at all. Part of the reason I like this hobby is the equipment and having never used an ATS, I thought it would be something to try out - I like the idea of promoting growth of algae in a contained area and I would use the existing refugium as a crypt space.

Why DIY? Initially I was going to just buy a second hand one to try it out. There wasn’t any for sale that fit my application. When I looked at new ones I was surprised/not surprised at the price. Knowing things are expensive in this hobby, I wasn’t shocked at the price tag but generally wasn’t impressed with the build quality. Also, oddly enough I had most of the plumbing parts already accumulated from previous builds. I decided to build my own. Attached were my initial high level sketchup plans. These were really only for dimensions.
 

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chowberg

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#2
Knowing my limitations, I didn’t think I’d be able to make an acrylic product that I’d be proud of so I reached out to Advanced Acrylics. After sending them my renderings and Jon had something nice made for me. The lid and rounded corners were a nice touch.

I also bought some growlights on Amazon and plastic mesh - that’s all I really needed (I hoarded a lot plumbing parts over time).

When I reached out to AA, I didn’t really have the full design yet because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to drain and emergency drain to be placed yet. Once I figured out where I wanted the holes, I marked it off and drilled them myself. I also tapped the acrylic and used some clear screws to hold the light brackets in place.
 

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chowberg

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#3
Intake
I plumbed the intake with a gate valve so I can control the flow. I plan on using an existing controllable Tunze DC pump (I really hoard too much stuff) to feed it so I don’t plan on using the gate valve but it’s nice to have if I ever go with a AC pump or feed from a manifold.

Drain(s)
There are three 1.5 inch bulkhead drains that will go directly into the crypt space. The drains have a bulkhead strainer.

1.5 inch emergency drain is on the side.

Spray Bar
I used some existing red PVC and used a Dremel to make a slit for the mesh. The mesh wasn’t big enough so I had to cut it in half and the corners so it fit flush. I will also make the mesh rough to promote algae growth (not done yet in the pictures). I used a larger PVC pipe and cut it into rings to hold the mesh in place. It fits really snug, I like the white in red contrast too LOL. I connected it with two bulkheads for removable to clean it.
 

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chowberg

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#4
Lights
I really don’t like the wiring for my lights, I was going to run six transformers to a surge protector. That will go to a single outlet to my Apex. Does anybody know if I can use a single transformer that will split into 6 lights? I attached a picture of a single transformer to this.
 

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#6
Something like this would drive all 6 lights
ALITOVE AC 100-240V to DC 24V 5A Power Supply Adapter Converter with 5.5 x 2.1mm 2.5mm DC Output Jack for 5050 3528 LED Strip Module Light
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GC6VS8...t_i_8BVCRXRPE0X9VX3XZZMD?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

But here’s the deal. I sent you a link for a 5amp power supple because it’s a better thing to slightly under drive the LEDs. You might be able to do a 6amp sense each transformer is 24v/0.95A if you multiply by 6 you get 5.7amp. I think a 5 amp will be well worth going with. It will drive the lights hard enough
 

chowberg

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Something like this would drive all 6 lights
ALITOVE AC 100-240V to DC 24V 5A Power Supply Adapter Converter with 5.5 x 2.1mm 2.5mm DC Output Jack for 5050 3528 LED Strip Module Light
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GC6VS8...t_i_8BVCRXRPE0X9VX3XZZMD?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

But here’s the deal. I sent you a link for a 5amp power supple because it’s a better thing to slightly under drive the LEDs. You might be able to do a 6amp sense each transformer is 24v/0.95A if you multiply by 6 you get 5.7amp. I think a 5 amp will be well worth going with. It will drive the lights hard enough
This is exactly what I was looking for. The device and the post. I searched the interwebs and your post validated my findings.

The grow lights came with a on/off switch and I plan on splicing there and reusing the existing heads. I have an unused distroblock and will be ordering the power supply.

Thanks for your help!
 
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#9
Hey sir its an amazing build. I love see what crazy ideas people have going on in there mind. So what you contracted the work out. You still took your thoughts and design and put it in action.
Can wait to see it finished and in operation.
No problem I’m glad to see I was able to offer a little input to help, but I’m pretty sure you would have figured it out.
 
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#12
Algaescrubbing.com has lots of info. Ran by a guy that goes by Trurbo, owns Turbo Aqautics. He split from Santa Monica years ago after some debate. Be some good info there I’m sure. Not that there isn’t here.
 
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#13
Algaescrubbing.com has lots of info. Ran by a guy that goes by Trurbo, owns Turbo Aqautics. He split from Santa Monica years ago after some debate. Be some good info there I’m sure. Not that there isn’t here.
I did use that site as a reference when designing mine. Thanks for sharing.

I still don’t have this up and running yet - hopefully will pick it back up this weekend.
 
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