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Thread: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

  1. #1

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    Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    Hi Guys,

    I have a video to follow up with these pix which I will post shortly. (need to get firewire hooked up).

    I used 3/4" PVC threaded pipe, 3/4" PVC threaded CAP. I got 2 sheets of very fine #10 Plastic canvass mesh which I roughed up using hole saw techinque and sandwitched them in a frame top, bottom and sides. I found some very easy to intall borders in the the plastic MOLDING Department of my local home depot store wich worked PERFECTLY for the borders. To glue them I used 5min epoxy injected into the borders and slipped them over the mesh. I preferred to have a frame around my mesh as I think it makes for a more solid design and more uniform for the water to flow over, without it, the mesh will bend, buckle slightly making high points in the flow as it drops. I found that the epoxy glue was about the only thing that would bond to this stuff. (superglue/silicone are worthless)

    Basically this design is a simple slot design on each side of the plastic canvas mesh material (or whatever you want to use) which allows you to slide the mesh into the PVC slotted tube and hold it securely WITHOUT the need for zip ties. The material slots hang over uncut pipe on one side, and then the screw off cap holds the other side. I feed my scrubber with the split flow from one of my Standpipes http://www.nautilusreef.com/html/cjstandpipes.html I figured why add another pump, why not use flow that is ALREADY there? I plan on 86ing my skimmer shortly and using the other side of the flow to feed another larger permanent scrubber, once this one is up and running.

    10x12" Mesh screen with dual slots for supporting





    In a nutshell the slot allows for some of the mesh material to rest INSIDE of the pipe where there is no slot cut. It holds the mesh in place this way. ON one side I have installed a threaded cap onto the portion of the PVC threaded pipe I used. On this side the CAP actually holds the mesh in place since the slot is cut all the way to the end where the cap is, to allow the screen to be removed. The cap allows me to unscrew and remove the mesh very quickly and easily, and there is no need for ties of any kind.

  2. #2

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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    Here are some photos of the completed design after being installed a week..

    Full install up and running, notice no zip ties of any kind, mesh is solid and firm


    #10 very fine mesh unroughed just to show you what I used (finished scrubber uses roughed up mesh)


    Full screen assembled


    screen with slots on each side


    slots up close, plus can see "cactus" roughing that SM talks about on mesh


    threaded end close up, mesh frame easily slides out to the right once cap is removed!

  3. #3
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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    That's the roughness I'm talking about... you can see it even in a pic.

  4. #4

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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    ya In my vid I really show the difference.. it does feel like cactus! haha..

    I demonstrate how to use the hole saw on video, though its pretty basic, gota grind
    until you get those little hairs you talked about which can allow the algae fibers
    to "grab" and hold. Try not to leave any smooth spots, thats what I figure is key
    and that takes some concentration and time.

  5. #5
    kcress's Avatar
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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    Nice slot scheme. Worked well.

    You need to come up with something equally nice to shade your slot, as once the turf gets going it's gonna fill in the slot pretty relentlessly.

  6. #6

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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    thanks kkress,

    Yea the slot in the mesh is working perfectly so far... need to fix some flow issues on the screen by tweaking the slot in the pipe a bit more...

    As for clogging, If you notice in picture 5 close up of the top of the screen, I left the top portion of the mesh UN-roughed in hopes that the algae will have a tougher time adhering here. Its smooth inside the pipe and down just below the level of the pipe outside. Time will tell as with everything what will work and what will not.

    Main thing is just wanted to get going on it! Just want to get Algae growing, any potential clogging will be a GOOD problem to deal with!

  7. #7
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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    Also, when cleaning, you can get all the algae of of the top inch by using a toothbrush. I still don't use a light guard, and this works for me.

  8. #8

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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    I guess time will tell, thats encouraging that you dont get clogged mesh up by the slot in the spray bar.

    Prolly be easy to clean using toothbrush like you say esp. since that area is glass smooth.

    Im starting to get some growth about ready for my first cleaning this week. Some greens/browns.. not sure
    how much is algae and how much is my PHOSBAN dust as my reactor spewed brown much into my system
    when I first started it in my reactor.

    Sounds like I wont need the phosban reactor once the scrubber gets going, so one less item to worry about.

  9. #9

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    Re: Simple new Zip Tie Free Mesh Scrubber design

    getting some good growth already about 10 days in, got some green turf like algae already showing up, replacing the dark brown original early stuff, and even some circular areas where PODs are eating it I can see, Havent washed it yet planning on it shortly, For some reason I feel like I want to run my scrubber a bit longer before the first cleaning to let it get established a bit more before i lightly scrape it an rinse with fresh water. I dont see any dark algae and apart from pods dont see a need to harass it quite yet I know this isnt following the recipe.. (maybe im wrong here) I figure another week before I scrub or clean it so that means a 2week between start and first cleaning for me.

    I Have decided to dump skimmer completely at this point, to really allow the nutrient levels to grow in the system, which should increase the growth of the scrubber as well.

    One thing I was thinking was pods like to come out at night, If I were a betting man, I would bet they feed when the scrubber is resting and lights are off. Either way to me PODS are a good thing, and help support the various life forms in the tank, so the more the merrier as far as fat pods go... let them FEED!

    Will post some pix tomorrow, so far so good...

  10. #10
    kcress's Avatar
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    I would not dump your skimmer yet!

    As far as my pods go they patently don't give a flying &@%# about the lights being on or off. They don't change anything with bright verses dark. I'd almost bet they're completely blind.

    You are following the standard developmental time line. Thinking that washing the precious first growth off is defeating the start up effort. That is not true. You should wash it off the instant you start getting pods on it. They can eat a tremendous amount if they are eating your turf.

    The first wash can be very light and amount to only a rinse really but you should do it, NOW! BTW turf does NOT wash off at all. So anything that does wash off is not turf anyway.

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