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Thread: Waterfall: version 2

  1. #1
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    Waterfall: version 2

    Subscribe to this new waterfall Here



    Coming in 2016:
    Waterfall algae scrubber
    Version 2
    Last edited by SantaMonica; 10-13-2015 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    After I invented the waterfall scrubber in 2008, it's great that so many people got to DIY it, and it's also great that lots of builders/sellers used it as their design up until the current day. It's had over 7 years to gather hobbyists.

    2012 was a good year though, when I introduced the upflow scrubber. It's only had 3 years to gather hobbyists, but offers them what they did not have before: a compact place where they can put a scrubber that does not spill over when it fills up.

    Now that the upflows are established, it's time to do some more work on the waterfalls. They've been unchanged since 2008, and almost every part of them can be improved. So over the next year or two I'll post up the improvements piece by piece. Hopefully the improvements will be useful to all.

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    First waterfall improvement to be available: Green-Grabber® plastic screens, which not only will be used in the new waterfall scrubbers, but can also be bought separately and used in DIY units, upflows, and horizontal rivers.

    These screens are ultra rough and porous, and are optimized to allow slime to attach so that the filtering can start sooner instead of the algae being washed away.

    And guess what? They are low cost too.

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    The first improvement to the waterfall design is the screen. Since I designed it in 2008, the screen has just been made by hand by scraping knitting screen with a wood saw blade. It worked, but was fragile because of the soft knitting material. It also would wear out after several months of cleaning it, and sometimes it would pull away and rip from it's tie points. And even after hours of scraping, it was still very hard to get the insides of the little square holes rough enough (you want all the surfaces to be very rough, to hold on to the growth). Well, it's 2016 now, and 3D printers are here to stay, so let's use them to make the screens!

    Green Grabber® screens use a patent-pending 3D printing method called Rough 3D to make exactly what works the best for algae attachment, and the screens use a type of plastic that is more sturdy than the softer plastic used for knitting screens. The material is also U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved for contact with food, to make sure that the fish and corals don't get any residual plasticizers from other types of plastics. Also there is no mortar to detach from the screen which might be ingested by fish. Instead the screen stays rough, all the time.

    Lastly, since you can 3D print several different things into one piece, the mounting holes (for putting zip-ties / tie-wraps through the screen) are molded in, and are covered in rough surfaces so even they add to the algae attachment area:















    Last edited by SantaMonica; 02-24-2016 at 12:22 PM.

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    The next improvement is: The lighting! Not only will this new lighting solve many problems, but (like the Green Grabber screens) it will be available separately for your own DIY scrubbers. These are the first ever lights designed exclusively for scrubbers; look at what they solve:

    o No metal: All the grow lights currently available are designed for hanging over plants, so being made of metal is not a problem for them. But put them in your sump and after a while the aluminum may corrode, and some corrosion could fall into the water. The new Santa Monica lights have absolutely no exposed metal at all. Instead of metal these lights will be made of a high tech material that seals out water and also conducts heat away from the LED at the same time.

    o Completely waterproof, and submersible: Having no metal, and being made with a completely sealed high tech material, means that the light can operate under water. This is a big deal for fuge's and upflow scrubbers where the light is best placed under water, but it also means you can put the light very, very near to a waterfall scrubber, even if the light gets wet. No divider/protector clear wall is needed, so you same time, money, and space.

    o Optional tank heater: Since the light can operate under water, it can also be used as a heater! So you can save money, equipment, and space by having your scrubber lights be your heater too. If you don't want the heat, just put the light above the water instead.

    o Compact: With no metal case, and no aluminum heat sink, the light is very compact; about 1/4 the size of the same wattage grow light. It's almost all LED, and no frame.

    o Distributed illumination: Instead of concentrating all the light into pinpoint sources (discrete LEDs) like all current grow lights do, the new Santa Monica lights will use the new COB (chip on board) emitters, which distribute the light across a large area. This is perfect for allowing the light to be much nearer to the waterfall screen without over-illuminating spots on it when very near. Again this saves space and materials, and for production scrubbers it makes them more low cost.

    o The Santa Monica scrubber lights will be rated in Real Watts, not equivalent. So 5 watts will be... 5 LED watts. The power supply will use more of course, but the actual wattage (volts x amps) stated will be what the LED uses.

    o Scalable: These lights will be expandable, using the same power supply, so that you can start off with just one light if you need to. Later, you can expand to 2, 3 or 4 lights by just plugging them into the same power supply.

    o Low Cost: The removal of metal/aluminum, and the usage of new COB technology, allows the light to be low cost per (real) watt used. This is a big reason why the new Santa Monica 2-cube size waterfall scrubber will be able to sell for only $199

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