View Full Version : Working on new scrubber. Would like others opinion

06-14-2010, 04:55 PM

Here is my current concept for my new scrubber I'm building. Nothing radical particularly.

I really wanted to keep the cheap CFL's I can get them for like $1 each.

So this screen is going to be 12X12 so I'm looking for like 120 watts or so. I'd go with 24x6 but i jsut can't justify buying a new pump to support that.

I'm trying to increase coverage with the CFL and even things out to reduce the spot light issue with only good growth in the center. so I planned on NOT using spot lights..just bare CFL with reflectors

The problem is if I use 23watters I'm looking at a whole hell of a lot of watts! My flow will be 50gph for a high bio breeder setup.

The diagram shows in red a reflector in the bulb area. If I used 13w CFL that would bring me down to 150W but I'm not sure if even in this configuration if 13w CFL if I place them very close(2") with the refelctor if they will be enough. I'm prepared to go with 18w or 23w lights but I'm trying to keep my power consumption down. I was hoping someone had a reasonable idea if I'd get away with the 13w in this configuration with the reflector or not.

The other question is if I DID go with 12 23w cfl would that be too much? thats 2w per sq inch. Ideally I'd like to stay lower. 276w is a hell of a lot.

06-14-2010, 05:25 PM
About the only thing I can really comment on is the reflector.

Basically, you need a parabolic reflector, with the focal point at your bulb.
That actually works ok with T5 lighting, since they are pretty thin, compared with the reflector.

But the focal point of your reflector is actually between the bulbs.
Plus, the bulbs are very large, in relation to reflector and focal point.
So light will bounce around all over the place. Try some traces with your drawing.

My suggestion:
Switch to individual reflectors. It might actually end up being easier anyway, since you can buy them.
Or : Save a lot of effort, and just paint everything white.

Wow, $1 for bulbs. Pretty cheap if they are not total junk.
I assume the 50gph was a typo, and it should be 500gph.
Why not go with a 2x2 bulb pattern. Your screen is square at 12x12. And it gets the wattage down.

06-14-2010, 05:39 PM
50gph per inch of slot I meant.

Painting things white sounds easy:) I just don't know how effective that is. How about silver? or is that counter productive again? Premade reflectors... I don't know if I will find them that will fit. They are going to have to be kinda small pretty close to the size of a PAR38 flood. Thats why I was trying to do an all in one reflector but apparently I missed the mark. Not sure what you mean about traces.

06-14-2010, 09:38 PM
13w at 2" is fine.

06-15-2010, 11:56 AM
Flat white paint is amazing reflective. Better than aluminum foil. Near the the fancy reflectors.
BUT: It reflects light back at a completely random angle.
That means, it is not nearly as good as a true reflector, that properly focuses/directs the light where you want,
but it is probably better than a reflector that is wrong, or hand-made.
The theory, if everything is white except the algae, almost all the light will eventually get there.
And with random angles, hopefully only a few bounces.

Look up "ray tracing" Or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curved_mirror

06-18-2010, 06:31 PM
Have you heard of Mylar? It's an even reflective material used by gardeners. http://www.mylarstoreonline.com/25ft.html
If you're lucky, you can find a small piece from a garden center/hydroponic store.

White will typically reflect 75% light depending on the sheen of the paint vs 90-95ish% with silver/mirror.

Another alternative would be to buy a cheap T5HO strip from here (easier):
http://shop.aquatraders.com/Odyssea-13i ... /51101.htm (http://shop.aquatraders.com/Odyssea-13in-1x24W-Power-Compact-Light-Fixture-p/51101.htm)
But the bulbs which will require replacing after 1 yr to 1/2 yrs, are $8 each (more than your dollar bulbs). You'd likely need 2.

Keep us updated on your progress!

06-18-2010, 08:12 PM
To get the correct wattage I would need 6 of them for my application. That adds up quick not to mention the bulbs at 8 bucks a pop. I'd love to go that route but the dollars just don't add up.

06-18-2010, 08:46 PM
To get the correct wattage I would need 6 of them for my application(144 sq inches@ 1w per sq inch) maybe less if I can figure out how many bulbs it takes for about 5000 lumens or so. I'd need low Kelvin bulbs too.
That adds up quick not to mention the bulbs at 8 bucks a pop. I'd love to go that route but the dollars just don't add up. If were to go any other route aside from screw in CFL it would be Cheap off brand LED. I can get the same lumens out of $100 worth of LED's and LED drivers(I build my own drivers). There are costs beyond that in heat removal as well Somewhere around 100$. So total cost of 200$ but zero bulb replacement for many years. Trust me thats the lowest quote your likley to see for 5000-6000 lumens from LED. It would be cool it would shave a good 12" off the width of the scrubber asthetically. But for the design I'm working on I actually have plans to make a combo scrubber/rock sump because my breeder set up won't have any rock in the tanks.

I could easily apply mylar to the inside of the box there.

06-19-2010, 08:36 AM
Most likely would be better to angle the corners as aposed to rounded corners or sqaure corners too.