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Thread: 6 Inch By 8 Inch 1 Sided Scrubber

  1. #1

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    6 Inch By 8 Inch 1 Sided Scrubber

    Love the site , I thought I would give this a try yesterday and build my first scrubber !

    Well I think I figured out based off the new sizing guidelines that I am not feeding more than 2 cubes a day ( I believe I also saw a post where Floyd had mentioned most people actually do not feed more than 2 cubes per day ) , so I decided to build a 6 by 8 inch waterfall scrubber that works off my overflow , I have a dual overflow 180 gallon tank so I just plumbed the scrubber off one of the overflows instead of using a pump.

    I read that for each cube you need 12 watts of actual light and if you double the wattage you can cut the time down,

    I am thinking that a 1 sided 6 by 8 ( 48 Square inches ) needs 24 watts of light 18 hrs a day if I am understanding the new guidelines.

    I did find a 40 watt ( Actual 40 watts ) CFL . It is 8 watts less than double to reduce the time , but I am thinking I can reduce the time its on somewhat, does anyone have any suggestions.

    Also I will try and get some pics up once I get back home .

  2. #2
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    On the one-sided issue, this was a recent item that went back and forth for discussion but essentially the guideline was changed so that a single-sided scrubber needed to conform to the "high intensity" guideline / level in order to be comparable in capacity to a 2-sided scrubber.

    In other words, your 48 sq in single-sided screen need to have 48W of CFL on it to be able to achieve 2 cube/day capacity. two 23W CFLs should do the trick. With a screen that size though, it gets a little tricky to make reflectors work, so two floodlight CFLs would work better.

    If you really want to confuse yourself about the need for the higher wattage, read this thread: http://algaescrubber.net/forums/show...-about-wattage that's where I evaluate the screen sizing vs lighting guideline change.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply Floyd, good to know .

    I am not partial at all to CFL so is there something on the market that I could order online (perhaps led ) that you know of , that would be good for my application, rather than running out to the hardware store and getting another few bulbs and one more light socket , just let me know.

    I was looking at this (link below ) but was unsure if it was too much or too little etc and I admit I havent studied up that much on LED's and Algae Scrubbers. Perhaps over the weekend I can dive into learning about that a bit lol !

    http://www.reefsupplycanada.com/s2-refugium-light/

  4. #4
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    Nice fixture, but all you need is the 660s and the 450s, the rest is really unneccesary IMO. I think that is meant for hanging over a fuge and driving the light down through water. They group the white and blues in the center and that'll just end up leaving a bare spot on your screen.

    If you want to go LED, the best way to do it is DIY. I know how hard it is to find anything in Canada though. PM on the way

  5. #5
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    Check in the FAQ's for the LED light.

  6. #6

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    Thanks Floyd & SantaMonica , the more I think about going LED though the more I think the DIY LED thing is a bit much for me honestly, as I had some LED's that were DIY for over the tank I bought from another local reefer and I always had trouble with them.

    I found 1 led would go out and then the whole string would go out as a result , I was also terrible at soldering lol , so on second thought at least for now maybe I will just stick it out with the cfl's.

    Perhaps once this gets going and my phosphates and nitrates get reduced and I know it works for sure I will invest a bit more time into learning all about how to work with LED's as obviously this seems like a better route to take for several reasons .


    For the time being though I could though do another lamp on this 6 by 8 screen with a reflector on the other side to make the algae scrubber dual sided, as my sump is in a back room and I am not limited on space.

    Do you believe (1) 23 watt bulb on each side of a 6 by 8 inch screen would be ok ?


    I was away all weekend and I just got home today so I thought I would check on the scrubbers progress , running at 18 hours a day the one sided 6 by 8 scrubber with a 40 watt cfl on one side doesnt seem to be producing a whole lot but maybe i should give it a few more days before making any changes . It has really only been 4 days or so


    Once again thanks for your time !

  7. #7
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    yeah, 4 days isn't enough time to notice much of anything happening. If you are not limited on space then I would definitely configure it for 2-sided operation. The light penetrating from the other side will keep the base alive loner, allowing you to let it grow for extra days, and the longer you can allow the algae mat to grow, the stronger your scrubber will be.

    For 6x8 that's 48 sq in, with 46W total light (23W per side) that will do nicely. You can use standard "dome" style reflectors (get the 10" or 12" diameter ones) and position the lights perpendicular to the screen as best possible.

  8. #8

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    Thx Floyd for the confirmation on the double sided cfl idea.

    I took a picture of the scrubber coming off the overflow and thought I would attach it to this thread ( I know ,I know, not the best plumbing job haha ) but at least you can see the setup in my back room , Ill just place another reflector and cfl on the other side with another acrylic splash screen .

    Now that its built though I kind of have some questions in the back of my mind though ....

    I had purchased the tank and live rock all off another reefer last year and just let it sit dry for about 6 months as I couldnt put it all together at that point , later I then setup the tank in my basement and put the rocks back in and the sand back in and filled it up with rodi water ,salt, and then a bacteria from Dr Tims Aquatics to try and reseed all the rocks , that was about 6 months ago and I only added a couple of fish to the tank 2 months ago when the api tests showed no ammonia no nitrate after they had their spike.

    I guess my thoughts are that when i do tests for phosphates and nitrates , they are through the roof . Phosphates are like 1.5 on a hanna checker and nitrates are up about 80 ppm (API) so Im thinking this is because I didnt really not rewash or (cook) the rock or sand ( total newbie move for sure ) , so I proably have a ton of phosphates constantly coming off this rock .

    Maybe I should have went with a bigger screen ? , Maybe I should repull all the rock and give it scrub and reseed it.

    If i take out all the rock instead of rebuilding the whole scrubber , during this time of cycling again I could house the fish I have in a hospital tank for a month or two , but last time I had the hippo tang (very small still ) in the hospital tank ( 40 Gal) getting quarantined it developed hlle and i have nursed it back with good nutrition and selcon (seems to be working) .

    Anyone have any thoughts on if I should just leave the screen as is with the new double sided light , or build a bigger ats or just bite the bullet and take out all the rock and give it a wash rinse etc.

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  9. #9

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    If you don't have a way to remove nitrates and phosphates from your system they will build up.

    My experience with algae turf scrubbers is that once you get one running and start harvesting algae from it your nitrates will drop fairly quickly as you will take them out of the system.

    The phosphates may take longer, depending on the set up. Re- scrubbing the rocks and so on will just force your tank to go through another cycle which may cause problems with the inhabitants.

    My recommendation is to set up the scrubber and see what happens.

  10. #10

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    Thx , that not only is alot less work but definetly is alot less stressfull on my fish!

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