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UAS Upflow Algae Scrubber


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#1
scott26

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Okay here is the virgin design.

I tired the first time by just attaching it to the air stone but the thing wouldn't stay down so I tried to zip it to a piece up live rock with no luck and then I found some PVC laying around and got this going.

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Then I noticed that this air stone was working well but seemed to be looking some of the bubbles since the stone is about 3/4" wide and the screen is only so wide so some were just floating away.

So I tried the other type of air stone called a "wand" and it works okay but I was getting more bubble contact with the basic stone.

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Then I thought why not use both! I also noticed that if I left the zip ties uncut then they can be left up to support the screen.

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This is just with the basic stone on, I plan to get a Y connector to power both.

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The idea is that instead of having to make a waterfall type scrubber which takes up extra space in the sump area since it needs height to fall. You can make a UAS that you can put in the overflow box of your tank or in an area of the sump that you may not have room for with the other type of scrubber.

The idea is that the bubbles have to rub against the side of the screen by doing that it is able to absorb the CO2 that algae needs to grow and by doing so gives the algae a prime place to grow on the screen and not in your tank.

Copied from another UAS user.

UAS Pros:

- Continuous 3D growth without waiting for the mat to expand

- No slot tube means no clogging, and no need to CLEAN the slot tube

-Less flow means cheaper pumps, maxijets should work for a remote box

- If running an enclosed remote box, much less chance of overflow due to detachment as flow rate is much lower

- Extends the time between need for cleaning (no drain to block, or see above)

- Single sided screen is simple on a sump or in tank, with screen submerged there's a better chance the roots won't die. (Extremely easy addition to almost any sump, esp. with using LEDs and single LED heat-sinks)

-Screen can live much longer if power goes out, as its submerged under water. (Tank will definitely be in worse shape than the screen by the time power comes back on if it's out long enough for the algae to die off.)

- Greater propensity for green growth, less chance for brown/yellow/black (pretty much none, that stuff will not grow under water)

- Can put the lights pretty much as close to the screen as you can feasibly get them without burning

- In most cases you will not have to turn off pumps to remove screen for cleaning/harvesting better for pumps.

-New design a lot easier to add to existing setups, and can easily be used as a secondary filter to polish out N's and P's and reduce water changes, eps. on larger setups

- Anyone can build this one...

UAS Cons:

- not pretty for the quick and dirty DIY version, (but the first bucket waterfall scrubber wasn't exactly a looker either)

- Air pumps suck (noisy, have issues)

- containing bubbles can be problematic

- bubbles popping at surface make for lots of salt creep or calcium deposits in FW

-Coraline algae may also be an issue, however the lights maybe too bright for coraline. (time will tell...)

The idea is that instead of having to make a waterfall type scrubber which takes up extra space in the sump area since it needs height to fall. You can make a UAS that you can put in the overflow box of your tank or in an area of the sump that you may not have room for with the other type of scrubber.

The idea is that the bubbles have to rub against the side of the screen by doing that it is able to absorb the CO2 that algae needs to grow and by doing so gives the algae a prime place to grow on the screen and not in your tank.

Copied from another UAS user.

UAS Pros:

- Continuous 3D growth without waiting for the mat to expand

- No slot tube means no clogging, and no need to CLEAN the slot tube

-Less flow means cheaper pumps, maxijets should work for a remote box

- If running an enclosed remote box, much less chance of overflow due to detachment as flow rate is much lower

- Extends the time between need for cleaning (no drain to block, or see above)

- Single sided screen is simple on a sump or in tank, with screen submerged there's a better chance the roots won't die. (Extremely easy addition to almost any sump, esp. with using LEDs and single LED heat-sinks)

-Screen can live much longer if power goes out, as its submerged under water. (Tank will definitely be in worse shape than the screen by the time power comes back on if it's out long enough for the algae to die off.)

- Greater propensity for green growth, less chance for brown/yellow/black (pretty much none, that stuff will not grow under water)

- Can put the lights pretty much as close to the screen as you can feasibly get them without burning

- In most cases you will not have to turn off pumps to remove screen for cleaning/harvesting better for pumps.

-New design a lot easier to add to existing setups, and can easily be used as a secondary filter to polish out N's and P's and reduce water changes, eps. on larger setups

- Anyone can build this one...

UAS Cons:

- not pretty for the quick and dirty DIY version, (but the first bucket waterfall scrubber wasn't exactly a looker either)

- Air pumps suck (noisy, have issues)

- containing bubbles can be problematic

- bubbles popping at surface make for lots of salt creep or calcium deposits in FW

-Coraline algae may also be an issue, however the lights maybe too bright for coraline. (time will tell...)

#2
mygolfisslow

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way to go giving this a try. i am interested to see how it does

#3
KerryL.

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That looks great Scott. Let us know how it goes.

#4
BulkRate

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What a difference posting this in a subject-specific subforum makes! Another poor guy's getting torn a new one over in General Discussion for bringing up just this thing, I think. Admittedly, it looks like he attempted skirt the sponsor policy and hawk the design for some serious $$$ instead of discussing it as a DIY project...so take that into consideration.

Your design looks crude at this point, but potentially very effective and even better, inexpensive. Kudos for actually building it and posting progressive build pics instead of just slinging 2nd/3rd hand comments back and forth! Your use of a prong-style holder for the growth screen appears to have several benefits...no mounting hardware to tinker with and a means of quickly recolonizing the new screen post swap every 2-4 weeks, plus it can be tailored to fit just about any sump/chamber shape.

If I had one of the larger AIO tanks with concealed back chambers to play in, this + some submersible daylight-spectrum LED wands would be a compelling alternative to the defacto standard approach of LR rubble + chaeto/calerpa. I think the 25-34 gallon tank weight class skirts very close to falling off the balancing act of "small size/small stock lists/small feedings/small water change" regimen that make nano-reefs plausible as a part of the hobby. Definitely the ones that I've seen featured here and on other reefing sites that are doing well seem to have much more intensive needs from a dosing/support hardware perspective.

Good luck with the project!
I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, when he said, "...I drank what?"