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Thread: DIY LED Scrubber Lighting Guidelines and Builds

  1. #21
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    Let's try to keep this on topic. I'm guilty too

  2. #22
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    I updated the Basic Sticky http://algaescrubber.net/forums/show...cs-The-Summary post #26 and revised the LED section. Used a few of these pics! I did just notice that I poo-pooed whites and I could have changed that per Rygh's suggestion but totally forgot about it. Oh well. I'm sure I'll come up with an LED build summary as SM has now said most of the new version will need to be LED.

  3. #23
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    Remember where the yellow comes from: Dying roots.

  4. #24

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    Interesting timing…

    This weekend I pulled out my old 55gal sump with a rigged CFL scrubber and replaced it with an acrylic sump modified with a built-in LED scrubber. Already this thread has helped me, more on that in the troubleshooting section. I've had good success with CFL since I started about a year ago, but I've pushed it to the point I need more...


    1) LEDs: How many (total and per side), what kind (spectrum), brand, wattage, where did you get it and how much did you pay, lenses, distance from screen, etc

    20 LEDs, 10 per side. 9x 660nm 1x Royal Blue running at 2.4v, 650mA, no lenses. All LEDs are Fedy. The Royal Blue was direct from Fedy, leftover from my display light last year, $2.27 in bulk back then. The 660nm were from ledtoplights on ebay, $49 for 20.

    2) DRIVER: How many, what kind (dimmable/not), brand, capacity, where did you get it and how much did you pay

    Mean Well ELN-30-48 driver, constant current/non dimmable, from onlinecomponents.com, $23.68. All LEDs are wired in series. I'm running it at spec for voltage, and a little above spec for current, but within tolerance. I'll post back if I run into any problems pushing the drive like this. It's been running for two days, too early to tell.

    3) HEATSINK: Type (extruded aluminum, CPU heatsink, etc), dimensions (L x W, fin length, etc), brand, where did you get it and how much did you pay

    HeatsinkUSA - 4x 4.23" x 12", $16.58 each, two on each side, 5 LEDs on each spaced about 2.5" a part. I wanted to be able to change the shape/spacing (somewhat) which is why I went with 4 smaller heatsinks, rather than 2 larger ones. They're oversized so I can add LEDs and for passive cooling in a partially enclosed box. Also, I know how C-channel aluminum can be from my display light build.

    4) SYSTEM INFORMATION: Size of your Algae Scrubber screen, enclosure, fans, distance from screen, on/off cycle, flow rate, how much you feed per day, single/double sided, how often you clean, what kind of growth you're getting, etc

    The screen is 13" x 10". The LEDs are about 2.5" from the screen and I'm going with 12on / 12off light schedule. The screen is fed off a full siphon overflow, the return is supplied by a Mag12 which based on a "head loss calculator" is pushing 900-1000gph. On the overflow, about 2/3 of this goes to the scrubber, the rest goes to the other side of the sump through a UV sterilizer. I'm been feeding a 4" x 4" sheet of nori, and the equivalent of 3 cubes of oyster feast, cyclopeeze, mysis, and reef caviar daily. I'll probably stick with feeding the same until the new screen takes off. I did strap pieces of the old screen to it for a jump start. Prior to the change I was clean every 14 days. With the new build, I'll see what the growth dictates, probably every 7 days.

    5) TROUBLESHOOTING: Please post any problems you experienced along the way, mistakes you make, or things you would do differently if you were going to do it again.

    Some how I got it in my head to put the LEDs as close as possible (1.5" in my case) and run them 6 hours on 6 hours off. Morgan's and Ace's posts helped me straighten it out. They are now 2.5" from the screen and I'm running them 12 on / 12 off. There's no sense experimenting from the start, so I'm going to what seems to be within standards, at least for now.

    Not LED related...
    I started with the screen being taller, about 4" taller than the top of the scrubber box. The plan was to build a shield to block the light and shield the spray from the 4" at the top to keep algae from growing into the slot. I ended up lowering the pipe to the top of the scrubber box because the screen was to large and cumbersome to manipulate, and I could better protect the LEDs this way. Also, I didn't like the way the flow seemed less and uneven as it got lower when the screen was taller.
    I need to find a quick release system that I like to remove the screen from the slot. Until then I'm using zip ties.

    It's too early to tell if I'll have any other changes. For now, I'm sure that its 100x better then my previous setup with the 55 gal for a sump.


    6) PICTURES: post pics of your whole system, build sequence if you have it, and most importantly, pics of your screen growth AND display tank

    I don't have any pics of screen growth yet with LED, but here's a short slide show of where I started a year ago to what I just finished up this weekend. I'll post update as things progress...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmx_lAwvtKQ

  5. #25
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    Cant see your tube vid. Says private.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by kotlec View Post
    Cant see your tube vid. Says private.
    It should be fixed now...late night, long weekend, sorry

  7. #27
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    NO yellow here either, even the FW scrubber water is clear. Even after the switch to LED's
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  8. #28

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    Another website for UK based peeps
    http://www.farnell.com/uk/leds/index.php

  9. #29

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    Thank you, Floyd, for a very interesting thread.
    It was most interesting to find out about the NASA study of 6.5:1 of Red:Blue power, never heard of that before. If you find a link to that, please share.

    I back the idea that it may be better using reds with cool whites instead of pure RB. Because the white has a large peak at 440-460nm plus the full spectrum to some extent as a free bonus.

    Maybe this concerns algae at a lesser degree than higher plants, but I read on some Russian forum that greenhouse plans were stressed when illuminated by pure spectral light (450nm blue + 660nm red). Cabbage produced dark green and bitter leaves and the effect was similar to stress caused by UV. They've got much better results when some full spectrum white light was added. Sure nobody's gonna eat the algae grown on the scrubber but my point is stress: a stressed plat will show stunted growth vs. unstressed plant under same conditions.

    What concerns buying 660nm LEDs, Cree doesn't make them and OSRAMs are probably the best, but at a cost of $5.5. There is a cheaper alternative here: Deep Red - 660nm. The real price difference is not that much however considering that Osrams can stand up to 1A current (this would account for 2.5-2.6W each, thus yielding 0.45W/$) whereas their Chinese alternative is only good up to 0.7A (and the vendor recommends to running it under 0.5A) which is about 1.25-1.75W, yielding 0.62-0.87W/$ but also note the better efficiency of OSRAMs vs no-name Chinese LEDs.

    A better option perhaps is to use the Surexi Led Modules. A friend of mine is using these on a scrubber and reports very good results. The red:blue ratio for these (the F1 spectra is best for our use) is 4:1 however (and this is the usually recommended horticultural ratio as far as I know). These modules run at up to 6.6W each at the cost of $11.95, which yields 0.55W/$ (of course it is best to use these at 0.5A yielding 5W from each unit).

  10. #30
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    May be the best thing about Surexi Modules is that they are made for wet locations. On the other hand being 5wats concentrated in a single spot is not so attractive.

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