joshik

DIY Internal Algae Turf Scrubber for Biocube 29

So i've been running biocube 29 after my move for about 3+ months. Ever since I decided to downsize to a nano ive been thinking of how to integrate an algae scrubber into the tank so that i don't have anything sticking out the back. i really wanted a clean look. no hood just a glass top without things like skimmers sticking out of the back. i knew that i could fit a algae scrubber into center back chamber and started to brainstorm on how to make it simple and efficient.

 

originally i wanted it to be double sided but i had a hard time coming up with a way to have a waterproof led lighting system that would go inside the middle chamber on both sides of the screen. i could have done some diy led system and waterproofed it but that was too complicated and i would never get my scrubber done. i settled for single sided. the screen was going to be 7" x 10" which has an area of 70sqin which is plenty for a 29g tank according to algaeturfscrubber.net's standards (they have new standards now though). so single side is plenty.

 

so here is what i came up with

 

I scrapped off the black paint (quite easy yet messy) off the back. i tried to scrape off only what i needed for the light to come through.

DSCN1324.JPG

 

i used the Skkye Light - Utility Light because of its slim profile. i didnt like the jbj nano glo bc of the magnet needed. i might try to hack up my skkye light and change out the leds to red 660nm for better algae growth

 

i made this tray out of acrylic.

DSCN1321.JPG

 

the idea is for the water to flow over into the tray like so:

DSCN1323.JPG

 

now for the screen. instead of pvc pipe with a slit in it, i made cut a slit in a rectangle piece of acrylic. i doubled over the screen and secured it with zip ties.

DSCN1322.JPG

 

and it sits in the acrylic tray like so. the water flows into the tray and down the screen.

DSCN1325.JPG

 

here is a week and a few day's worth of growth after the scrubber being in use for about a month or so...

photo%20(6).JPG

 

i have 10 fish in my tank (check my sig for my tank specs) and i tested my water last week. nitrates were at 0 and phosphates were around 1. i feed atleast 2x a day and sometimes more when i'm home and bored.

Edited by joshik
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Great job on the scrubber josh.....that an ingenious DIY

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Great job on the scrubber josh.....that an ingenious DIY

 

Thanks! =]

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very nice. gonna try this on my 24 cube. one question, how does the water trickle down in the second chamber? Is the sheet in water? can't tell from the photo.

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Wow I never thought of adding a scrubber to a biocube. If you're using the whole second chamber for the scrubber, where are you putting filter floss/media? Or are you not running any?

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very nice. gonna try this on my 24 cube. one question, how does the water trickle down in the second chamber? Is the sheet in water? can't tell from the photo.

 

so the tray has a large opening. the screen is attached to a separate rectangular piece of acrylic with a 1/4" slit. the screen is doubled over and inserted into the 1/4" slit. u place the entire piece into the tray. the screen hangs down and the rectangular piece of acrylic seals off the large opening and the tray fills with water. the water then trickles down through the screen that sticks up above and falls down the sheet. my 2nd chamber isn't really full of water. the biocube 29s has a maximum water height marker in the 3rd chamber which is only about 1/3 the height of the entire tank. so the middle rear chamber is pretty empty.

 

here is a quickie drawing. hope it makes sense :)

 

Untitled-1.jpg

 

Wow I never thought of adding a scrubber to a biocube. If you're using the whole second chamber for the scrubber, where are you putting filter floss/media? Or are you not running any?

(i just updated my pic to reflect filter floss)

 

i dont use fiter floss on a regular basis but you definitely can use it.. i sometimes take a small clump of floss and put it onto the tray like in the pic. the water flows over into the floss and into the tray. works really well actually!

 

 

i was actually thinking of producing these algae turf scrubbers for nano cubes. i secured a laser machine to cut the pieces. just trying to see if the cost to be a sponsor on nano-reef is worth it for me. :)

Edited by joshik

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Hi,

 

Do you mind if i ask for the dimensions of your tray? I an interested in also making one for my 29g biocube. Also, how does it stay in place?

 

Thanks

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How is this waterfall scrubber doing?

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Interesting concept. How is the noise factor? Normally, you have to fill the water up quite high in chambers 2/3 (using a media rack) to avoid the loud splashing sound.

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Looks nice, I'd love to see an update!

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Interesting concept. How is the noise factor? Normally, you have to fill the water up quite high in chambers 2/3 (using a media rack) to avoid the loud splashing sound.

 

there was almost 0 sound. it was super quiet. I had a guy come over one time to pickup some frags and was extremely impressed with the lack of water splashing sound. The water flowed nicely down the screen with minimal sound. I don't use the stock hood, just a custom glass top. I'll try to get a recording of the sound once i get the new screen in.

 

 

Looks nice, I'd love to see an update!

 

I'll post an update as soon as I get a new screen and growth. I only have 4 fish right now, 2 ocy, royal gramma and a small female flame wrasse. my tank has lots of macros in it as long with corals.

 

How is this waterfall scrubber doing?

It was doing awesome. I tore down the tank when I moved to San Diego last June. I setup a frag tank in my garage for a few months to hold all my coral and fish. Then my garage got too cold (32deg) and my heaters couldnt keep up so I setup the nano just after Christmas in the house. Before I tore it down it was working FLAWLESSLY with great algae growth. My fish were happy and water params were great. I didn't do any water changes for several months and I fed heavily. I just dosed for the corals. My nano is setup but have just been lazy to get a new screen :P

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Update: 2/2/13

 

I finally got a chance to cut and rough up a screen and put my algae turf scrubber back in. I started to have a small outbreak of GHA on my frag plugs. Weird, the GHA was only growing on existing frag plugs, not on any regular rock surface.

 

Anyways, my tank is EXTREMELY QUIET. I had the scrubber running with out a screen for a while and it made a loud splashing noise. My wife and I got used to it. After installing the screen, there was a weird silence in the house. Feel's strange. LOL

 

I have uploaded a video of my tank. You can tell that it is really quiet and you can faintly hear drops of water that is dropping from the scrubber tray (you can see at the end of the video). I could prob fix that so it makes zero noise... but some other time. Please excuse the "mess". I had no place to put all my corals neatly :P

 

 

Currently for fish I have:

 

Pair of BW Ocellaris Clowns

Royal Gramma

Female Flame Wrasse

Orbic Cardinal

Green Mandarin Goby

Yasha Hase Goby & Candy Strip Pistol Shrimp pair

Pseudochromis Fridmani

 

I just put the fridmani in last week which was a mistake. The gramma picks on the fridmani so it is always in hiding. I see it come out from time to time to eat. I read that they look similar and are of similar species so they don't get a long. I am going to try to catch him and sell him.... that or sell the gramma and get a smaller one.

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Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I'm doing the same to my 29 biocube and appreciate this example.  Great info and I will try to replicate.  My question: they no longer make that light.  There's a few LED grow lights on Amazon, but I'm not sure they'll be strong enough?  Anybody have any ideas?  

 

Such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Hoohome-Indoor-Greenhouse-Hydroponic-Aquatic/dp/B01N0TNKFF/ref=sr_1_7?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1490800303&sr=1-7&keywords=660+nm+red+led+light 

 

or 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Roleadro-Panel-Spectrum-Growing-Flowering/dp/B01IVQ96KY/ref=pd_sbs_86_5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=3HH1NK995ZA0222FD536

 

Thanks for any help!

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Both of those are way too big ... they are 12" across.

 

A small 6 watt LED grow light would work.

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