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Thread: It appears these LEDs work

  1. #1

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    It appears these LEDs work

    I figured I make a separate thread regarding the results I've obtained so far using the LED pucks I posted in my build thread. I think, for those who would like to use LEDs but do not either have the ability or inclination to do the soldering and wiring, these 4 diode pucks do the job. All one needs to do is mount them and connect them to an appropriate power supply. It was very easy to do. The pucks are also very thin and may be beneficial for those that have a tight space to work with. They come wired on a string like holiday lights and you order what you need. I purchased all red, but they do come in other colors and can be combined, though that would take splicing them together.

    This is the second cleaning and the results do appear to be very successful. It's 13 days after the first cleaning was performed. As of now my tank does not have much of a bioload. It's just a week or so past a full cycle and the only tank inhabitants are a cleanup crew of 8 hermits and quite a number of various small snails. I have not been feeding the tank. I wanted to see the levels stabilize before proceeding. The tank was established with live sand and recycled live rock from my prior build that I basically turned to dead rock via the standard "cooking" practices. The rock was infested with all sorts of baddies and I wanted to start over.

    It appears the ATS is working and doing the job of pulling nutrients as PO4 is reading zero and NO3 is at 3ppm. The tests used were Red Sea Pro and a low range Hanna Checker for a confirmation of the PO4 reading.


    The following pics exhibit the results to date.

    First cleaning




    Second cleaning





  2. #2
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    I see the link on your other thread to the pucks, but I don't see any pics of them in your build, at least not clearly showing them and how you arranged them.

    Next time you clean, can you take a few pics that show how you put it together?

    I think the spectrum doesn't look perfect, 620-625 which is red-orange instead of deep red 660, but I think that the issue with 630nm (3W, at least) is that they are much more intense than 660s, and this means they need to be placed further away and then diffused in order to get the coverage proper and not too intense. The advantage these pucks might have is that they are NOT as intense because they are just smaller/cheaper LEDs, and then you use more of them to get coverage.

    I think time will tell on these however. The true power of LED scrubbers is that once a screen is established/mature, you can crank up the intensity and flow and your growth gets really thick as the algae grows towards the ultra-intense light. I just don't see these pucks as having enough intensity to promote the thick, 3D growth, and the intensity doesn't seem like it's enough to drive that light deep down in the mat, which is what you need to keep the root alive when the growth gets that thick.

  3. #3

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    Will do on the pic. I can tell you there are 6 pucks on each side configured in a grid that is 5" wide by 4" top to bottom and that screen is 6"x9". The growth doesn't look too bad from my perspective, especially considering the small bioload. I don't know if there was a higher biload and more nutrients via feeding that the growth wouldn't be more as well. Time will tell.

    The pucks are approximately 1.5" from the screen and the light does look intense enough to actually produce growth beyond the confines of the enclosure.

    I just realized that the link to the pucks I used isn't the one in my build thread LOL I was going to use them but then found these. The concept of having modular LEDs that can be configured for a scrubber of any size was what I thought was a good idea. No heat sink required and as stated, no real mechanical know how of soldering and the rest of the skills needed for the other type of build. I also feel that using LEDs that are capable of illuminating a tank to the depths of 24" or so aren't necessary to illuminate a surface that is less than 2" away.

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    Oh I also want to add, there is no diffuser. The pucks can be used in a wet environment. They're generally used for exterior signage.

  5. #5
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    Seems like a good overall package.

  6. #6

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    I used a 50w LED floodlight for mine. The algae grew thick like a carpet. Check out the growth from it in my thread

  7. #7

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    This is the third cleaning of the screen. It's 14 days since the last. Clearly the growth has increased exponentially from the prior. NO3=02 and PO4=.04 (need to reduce this further). Been running the ATO with kalkwasser (not a saturated solution) and it is pumped to the overflow box so the increased PH of the effluent hits the screen first as the ATS is fed directly from the overflow. PH has been pretty stable, ranging from a low of 8.28 to a high of 8.38. Alk is running at 7.75dkh. The scrubber runs from 10pm when the light on the tank go off, until 2pm - a total of 16hrs. I may reduce this to 14 hours and see if that changes anything.

    Bud here's the pics you requested along with pics of the screen cleaning. Didn't weigh the alga, but it's considerably more than the last cleaning provided.









    Again, I see these LED as viable for a scrubber. For my application they server the purpose. They are compact, allowing a smaller footprint scrubber, water-resistant so they don't require a diffuser and easy to apply without a lot of hardware, tools or electronic experience. They've provided pretty good growth and as you can see, and though they're set in a matrix of 4"x5", the growth on a screen of 6"x9" is well beyond the focal plane of the diodes.

  8. #8
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    Low power LEDs will grow algae, there is no doubt. And with the properly sized screen matched to the feeding and tank needs, this can work well. But you just can't get the same amount of intensity for really thick growth (capacity) out of low power LEDs.

    Here is the screen harvest from the L2 I run on the 144, this is a 4 x 6 screen with 6x660 and 1x445 on each side







    squeezed



    Edit - my no means was I meaning to 'slam' on your scrubber - after re reading I think it came off that way! I just wanted to point out that when building a scrubber, you just need to be aware of limitations. I think your scrubber is a great build and shows that the use of a different light source can indeed work well, it grows a nice carpet of green algae. I think the limitation is that you can't drive the light deep into the algae mat without high-power LEDs, so once you start getting thick growth, you start to have roots die and detach.

    To make up for this, making the screen a little larger than you normally would, or at least not exceeding the feeding rating, would probably be best.

  9. #9
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    Also, are you using the #10 mesh or #7? It looks like #10

  10. #10

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    Im using the small mesh. Not sure which that is Does it make a difference in the growth, type of algae or anything else? Maybe get more flow through the larger mesh? I chose the smaller mesh for more surface area. It was also easier to rough up the surface.

    My tank is a 50 with a net water volume of 46g including the sump. The flow over the scrubber is about 200g/hr. I have an oversized skimmer for the tank - a Tunze 6011, and the system has 3 small fish that were just added two days ago, so there's been no feeding. I don't think I'd even see that type of growth no matter what lighting I utilized and I'm not sure I would want to. LOL I'm not interested in growing alga. I'm interested in growing corals and keeping the alga out of the display

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