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kinetic

Cool DIY Algae Reactor (cool being literal)

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kinetic

Just put together my Algae Reactor!

 

Here's the full build:

 

All the parts used for this algae reactor:

 

AquaMaxx Reactor XL:
https://www.marinedepot.com/AquaMaxx_Fluidized_GFO_and_Carbon_Filter_Media_Reactor_XL_Chemical_Reactors-AquaMaxx-UJ5313-FIFRISCR-vi.html

 

LED Grow Lights:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MRHQMYH/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Clip on Fan:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012BKZC86/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Aluminum tube:
http://www.speedymetals.com/pc-4689-8379-6-sq-wall-sq-tube-6063-t52-aluminum.aspx

 

Heatsinks:
http://www.heatsinkusa.com/4-850-wide-extruded-aluminum-heatsink/

 

The idea is to use a huge reactor to allow the chaeto to grow quite a bit before needing pruning. It also just increases the water volume for my system, and I have the space. The LED grow lights I got because another forum member used them, and said they didn't get to hot. But after trying it for a few hours, the lights got REALLY hot to the touch, so I was worried it would damage the reactor. People mentioned this, and I think it was time to really try to cool it down.

 

Aluminum should be really good at conducting heat. So I went for an aluminum tube. But without fins or a heatsink, the aluminum is bad at passively passing the heat off to the air, so it basically just traps most of the heat in itself and inside the tube.

 

I got two 8" long heatsinks (that are about 5" wide) and used a bunch of thermal paste (arctic silver) in between the tube wall and the heatsink, and attached them firmly with JB Weld. That worked well for passive cooling. I went the extra mile and attached a clip-on fan above the whole unit to move air out of the tube and to pass fresh air through the fins. After a day of running it, everything is nice and cool. Hopefully the chaeto grows!

 

Chaeto from reefcleaners.org. A great source that grows chaeto in a fishless system. Hopefully also without any other nuisances or pests.

 

23654043068_34d4e4867f_b.jpg

 

37458517306_3dae0532f1_b.jpg

 

37458505046_8e1a41d56f_b.jpg

 

36837256743_7255f9352e_b.jpg

 

36796353214_0c37cf8939_b.jpg

 

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d_adler
1 hour ago, kinetic said:

Just put together my Algae Reactor!

 

Here's the full build:

 

All the parts used for this algae reactor:

 

AquaMaxx Reactor XL:
https://www.marinedepot.com/AquaMaxx_Fluidized_GFO_and_Carbon_Filter_Media_Reactor_XL_Chemical_Reactors-AquaMaxx-UJ5313-FIFRISCR-vi.html

 

LED Grow Lights:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MRHQMYH/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Clip on Fan:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012BKZC86/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Aluminum tube:
http://www.speedymetals.com/pc-4689-8379-6-sq-wall-sq-tube-6063-t52-aluminum.aspx

 

Heatsinks:
http://www.heatsinkusa.com/4-850-wide-extruded-aluminum-heatsink/

 

The idea is to use a huge reactor to allow the chaeto to grow quite a bit before needing pruning. It also just increases the water volume for my system, and I have the space. The LED grow lights I got because another forum member used them, and said they didn't get to hot. But after trying it for a few hours, the lights got REALLY hot to the touch, so I was worried it would damage the reactor. People mentioned this, and I think it was time to really try to cool it down.

 

Aluminum should be really good at conducting heat. So I went for an aluminum tube. But without fins or a heatsink, the aluminum is bad at passively passing the heat off to the air, so it basically just traps most of the heat in itself and inside the tube.

 

I got two 8" long heatsinks (that are about 5" wide) and used a bunch of thermal paste (arctic silver) in between the tube wall and the heatsink, and attached them firmly with JB Weld. That worked well for passive cooling. I went the extra mile and attached a clip-on fan above the whole unit to move air out of the tube and to pass fresh air through the fins. After a day of running it, everything is nice and cool. Hopefully the chaeto grows!

 

Chaeto from reefcleaners.org. A great source that grows chaeto in a fishless system. Hopefully also without any other nuisances or pests.

 

23654043068_34d4e4867f_b.jpg

 

37458517306_3dae0532f1_b.jpg

 

37458505046_8e1a41d56f_b.jpg

 

36837256743_7255f9352e_b.jpg

 

36796353214_0c37cf8939_b.jpg

 

Talk about going the extra mile! This is by far the most effort I've see go into a diy cheato reactor. I'm interested in seeing how well this works out for you. Keep us updated. Well done 

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Jrodinnola

Following!  I like the idea of using an aluminum housing like that.  Very smart!  

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kinetic
7 hours ago, d_adler said:

Talk about going the extra mile! This is by far the most effort I've see go into a diy cheato reactor. I'm interested in seeing how well this works out for you. Keep us updated. Well done 

I ran out of things to do with the tank while it was cycling. I got REALLY bored, so this was fun ;)

6 hours ago, Jrodinnola said:

Following!  I like the idea of using an aluminum housing like that.  Very smart!  

Thanks. I think it makes some sense. I built a computer or two back in the day, and remember heatsinks were made of aluminum. I looked it up, and sure enough they help a lot (so does copper). So found a good cheap source of aluminum tubing and some cut to order heatsinks! It was pretty hard to find places that would make these pieces affordably and not in huge bulk amounts. 

 

One full day of running the chaeto. So far the aluminum is cool to the touch! Chaeto looks the same haha.

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dorky08

Definitely interesting concept to follow

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Rehype

Very Cool. How much did everything run altogether?

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Sancho

Very cool. 

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kinetic
2 hours ago, Rehype said:

Very Cool. How much did everything run altogether?

Just under $300 (including reactor, shipping for everything, tax etc.). You can literally just click all the links I have and add it all up.

 

Mind you, this is a super large reactor, an equivalent product (pax bellum etc.) for this size is more than 2x the price.

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