View Full Version : My AquaClear 110 UAS build

02-24-2013, 10:27 AM
I've built a 40 gallon reef tank, and after reading some posts on various salt water community boards, decided to try and build an algae scrubber. My original intent was to convert the AquaClear to a HOB refugium. I've done one before on a 37 gallon reef tank, with great success. This tank, however, is going to be mostly corals and just a very few fish. I've also put a lot more live and dry rock in this tank, a little over 80 lbs. I've provided a good sized rubble pile in-tank, and have observed copepods and other critters hanging out there, so I thought I'd attempt an upflow algae scrubber conversion instead. Actually pretty simple, I think. Took the media basket and RTV'd 4 red LED tubes in place so they shine on both sides of the plastic grid. I'm not sure I'm going to keep these LED's. I'm probably going to DIY an LED array if this works out. I took a surplus glass top rear filler strip and cut it up for the channel to hold the grid in place as well as a strip to stiffen the top and bottom of the grid. Grid is standard Hobby Lobby stuff. I used 40 grit sandpaper in an orbital sander to rough up the grid. An air stone was RTV'd in place so the bubbles collect on the slightly angled screen. No permanent modifications have been done to the AquaClear HOB in creating this scrubber. Fired it up yesterday, and I'm very happy with the bubble interaction with the grid. Lots of bubbles stick to it, and the distribution is pretty good. Get a few bubbles through to the tank, but they dissipate at the surface. I''ll post some photos later today. I'm curious if anyone has attempted the conversion of a HOB filter, and if so, how successful was it? I found one thread where someone had done a fairly crude conversion of an AQ 70 using just a couple of plastic clips to hold the screen across the top of the filter, and a desk lamp for illumination.........

02-24-2013, 10:34 AM
Some photos




02-24-2013, 11:51 AM

Are the bubbles on?

02-24-2013, 12:04 PM
Yes, have lots of bubbles trapped in the grid, and good air flow considering. Am going to go to a different air stone and pump first of the week. The pump and stone were salvaged from an old FW undergravel filter. Going with one that is the full width of the screen, plus a larger air pump. Have 4 watts total of LED lighting, again I'm probably going to change to a different LED setup to even out coverage on the screen. My aquarium is just finishing up its initial cycle, and I don't have any fish in the tank yet.

02-24-2013, 03:31 PM
If the bubbles were on, however, you should not be able to see the screen.

Floyd R Turbo
02-25-2013, 10:19 AM
I can see the bubbles in the pics

As to the screen roughing up - IMO sandpaper is not enough. You need to use a hole saw or blade and get it prickly, not just scuffed.


02-25-2013, 03:38 PM
Got a full width air tube and a bigger pump. Didn't need the bigger pump. While I had it apart I used a coarse tooth sawsall blade and tore it up pretty good. Looks nice and hairy now. Lots more bubbles. Cut a weir from an old under gravel filter and glued it across the outflow to help with breaking up the bubbles. Have lots of tiny bubbles in the UAS due to the air tube I used. Are larger bubbles better? Or does it matter as long as I have good screen retention and bubble coverage?

02-25-2013, 05:57 PM
Larger is better.

02-25-2013, 07:35 PM
Took a straight pin and poked holes in the air tube. Bubbles are about 1/8". Needed the bigger air pump after all :) Now have a nice curtain that cascades up the back of the screen, rather than tiny bubbles that clung to the screen.