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Thread: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

  1. #1
    kcress's Avatar
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    kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    Hello Folks!
    In my ongoing effort to nail down a quiet and effective turf scrubber I have built a horizontal unit. It seems to me most people could use a horizontal unit rather than the vertical variety due to the height issues verticals present, for under tank, on-the-sump applications.

    My first vertical incarnation,(viewtopic.php?f=3&t=98), was noisy, splashy, and a pain to clean. I had also used roughed up acrylic as my screen. The acrylic was a problem because, no matter how rough it was, cleaning would invariably strip large sheets of the turf off, right down to bare acrylic. This would make the screen surface very irregular so the falling water would disconnect from the screen and free fall causing much noise and splashing until new turf re-grew from scratch.

    This Horizontal scrubber aims to improve several aspects over my original vertical TS:
    1) No more falling water - so little or no splashing.
    2) Quieter
    3) Easier to clean - as it is basically a tray you pick up - no hooking or unhooking a screen from the header pipe.
    4) Low profile
    5) A more natural effective screen material.

    The first four are pretty much self explanatory.

    After the pain of my acrylic screen I had to stop and think about turf. I live next to the ocean so I went down and looked at the wild turf. It generally grows on exposed rock surfaces. The rock is porous with many tiny holes all over it. How could I simulate this? Turns out a friend is a major figure in ceramics in my town which is known for ceramics. Putting our heads together we came up with a way to to make a ceramic tray that is very porous.

    So we made a tray out of clay with thousands of holes in it and a few hundred grooves down the face. We dried and fired it. It is, of course, unglazed.

    I routed a face out of my original TS and laid it over. It's sitting directly on the tank's plastic surround ledge. I also put a drain pipe out to the tank on the opposite end from the water input side. I have some pendant lights that hang over my fuge. For the moment I have just commandeered them as they happen to be very easy to just swing over and drop into the top of my HZTS. Eventually when I get things working to my satisfaction I will switch to a custom LED light source to avoid the cost of burning thru a bunch of fluorescent bulbs.

    Here is the overall view:


    The ceramic screen: (Note the many little holes!)


    The flow:


    The present temporary lighting:


    It has been running one day.

  2. #2
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    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    Very neat. Ceramics (and cement) do make a great attaching surface!

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    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    After staring at my screen for several days -willing it to start growing- I was starting to get some trepidation about something being wrong. Then overnight the growth has leapt forward!! Kind of amazing. Yesterday there was nothing visible at all. Possibly the feeling that the screen was looking less bright but nothing visible. Then today!

    6th DAY


  4. #4

    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    I like your idea about using ceramic!

    I have been playing with the idea of using cement, maybe a 3/8 underlayment (used when tiling floors). Will see how you progress and possibly follow suite.

    Great job!

    Rainer

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    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    Not a bad idea!
    You could saw the stuff up to whatever dimensions you need.

    A main point here is to leave a place for the turf to hang onto that I can't actually scrap off. The grooves. Could you trowel on some sort of surface with a deep triangular toothed tool?
    Hmmm, what could you trowel on?

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    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    Eighth day.




    The lights are 16 ON 8 OFF, two 19W CFL flood lights, 3" above the screen.

    What do you think? Too slow?

    When should I first clean?

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    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    Looks fine.

  8. #8

    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    Looking at the cement underlayment I had at home, it appears pretty porous. I think it will work as is. Will try this once my current prototype of a vertical is completed.

    I spoke to my sister in law yesterday, who does a little pttery as a hobby, about making a ceramic plate as you are using here, but she was adenmant that it can not be done without glazing which then would defeat the purpose. How did you make your ceramic plate?

    Rainer

  9. #9

    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    I really like your design and how you're doing it. My only question, and this is my question for most that I see, is since you have to pull it out once a week to clean it, how easily does it pull out? With lights right above and it looks like it's almost hooked underneath the plumbing, it just looks like a lot of trouble.

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    Re: kcress's Horizontal Ceramic Turf Scrubber

    Quote Originally Posted by rainerfeyer
    Looking at the cement underlayment I had at home, it appears pretty porous. I think it will work as is. Will try this once my current prototype of a vertical is completed.

    I spoke to my sister in law yesterday, who does a little pttery as a hobby, about making a ceramic plate as you are using here, but she was adenmant that it can not be done without glazing which then would defeat the purpose. How did you make your ceramic plate?

    Rainer
    When you make pottery your first firing is called a bisque firing and essentially makes the pottery. Then you glaze this material and re-fire it. The glaze provides the water proofing.

    In our case we don't care if it's water proof. In fact not being water proof equals being rough, which we want!

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