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Thread: Anyone know if this has been tried?

  1. #1
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    Anyone know if this has been tried?

    Rather than having a pipe with a slot to provide water flow across the screen, has anyone created a waterfall effect which uses a chamber (acrylic or plastic box), into which water is fed or pumped and which would overflow over one (slightly lowered) side of the chamber upon which the screen material would be fastened?

    The water would then flow into a sump to be pumped back to the display tank or directly into the display if the scrubber were to be placed above the tank.

    This could only be one sided but might eliminate issues with the slot clogging, uneven flow across the screen, and spraying & splashing.

    Depending how the screen was fastened it might make removing the screen for cleaning quicker and easier too.

    Thoughts?

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    That is a horizontal scrubber.

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    No, it would be vertical, kind of like this...



    The water is fed into the box, and when it reaches the level of the lower side, it spills over, creating a curtain of water over the screen (shown in green)

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    That looks like a really good idea. You could have the bottom of the screen just touching the water to prevent splashing and it would be great as a hang on side or back. You could even use the water in the box as a little refugium. Only thing is is if was a hang on side fixture you would have to make sure light fixture was really secured as it would not be far from water surface of display tank, unless is course you lit it from external side.

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    I mocked up a small semi-running model this morning to see if I could find any pitfalls

    Used an old sump box, and little pump and a bit of old screen held on with a bulldog clip

    Here's a short video of it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajAevR853Tw

    The pump is only running at about 130 gallons per hour (it's the only spare pump I have) and the screen is 14 inches long so it would need 3 or 4 times this flow according to Santamonicas 35gallon/hour/inch guideline, but you can see from the vid that it does cover the screen evenly and cleanly, there is no splashing or spraying and no slot to clog up.

    Obviously the bulldog clip would be no use so it'd need some method of holding the screen in place/ I thought perhaps a length of plastic channel (kind of U-shaped in profile), fixed along the top edge of the screen that could just hang on the acylic edge with the water pouring over it. Maybe it could be fixed to the screen by welding or by some form of adhesive?

    The only potential problem I can see so far is that the "curtain" of water is very smooth, with no turbulence or air bubbles in it as it falls. This makes it quiet but I wonder if it might have a detrimental effect on algae growth (I'm assuming that having air bubbles in the water will increase the CO2 available to the algae cells).

    On the other hand, having a smooth bubble-less curtain of water flowing over the screen may mean that more light penetrates to the algae surface? (I'm guessing that bubbles in the water will reflect some of the light away from the screen)

    I think I'm going to build one of these and see how it runs in practice.

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    It could be a good workable solution for an in-sump design , but you would only be using one side of the screen so it wouldnt be as effective as other designs...
    reef addict by night

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    Don't think the smooth flow is an issue, all the co2 used would come from the water. If all the co2 is used up the algae uses bicarbonate which is why you need to keep an eye on your dkh level. Similarly I don't think bubbles/nobubbles is an issue, just make sure the screen is nice and rough. I used to have a hang on refugium with chaetomorpha, this addition would be brilliant.

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    Quote Originally Posted by DesignsOnline
    It could be a good workable solution for an in-sump design , but you would only be using one side of the screen so it wouldnt be as effective as other designs...
    I'm not convinced that's true.

    The advantage of a double sided screen is that you can fit the same screen width into half the linear space (although you need more space in the other direction to accommodate two sets of lights). I have seen it claimed that some of the light from each side penetrates through to the other side but I don't really see how that can be. Maybe when the thing is brand new but once it has a good covering of algae on it, any light penetration through the screen is going to be very minimal I would have thought.

    Both one sided and two sided designs have their pro's and con's, I guess it depends on what space you have available and what your preferences are as to which is "the best".

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    Quote Originally Posted by dtyharry
    Don't think the smooth flow is an issue, all the co2 used would come from the water. If all the co2 is used up the algae uses bicarbonate which is why you need to keep an eye on your dkh level. Similarly I don't think bubbles/nobubbles is an issue, just make sure the screen is nice and rough. I used to have a hang on refugium with chaetomorpha, this addition would be brilliant.
    Cheers.

    I'm going to build a false glass back into a 3 ft long spare tank I have next week. It will have a 22 inch long "lowered" section in the middle onto which a 22inch long screen (which I have laying about) will hang.

    The lighting I will have to have a think about.

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    Re: Anyone know if this has been tried?

    Seems like a pretty good idea.
    Only one sided, so half the surface area, so needs to be twice as big.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when algae grows on the lip.
    Since there is no pressure, it might build up, and flow could become uneven quickly.
    On the other hand, the overall flow will not drop off like a clogged slot.

    You might end up with a bit of dead crud on the dark side of the screen.
    That was a minor annoyance with my old semi-horizontal.
    Although amusingly, you can end up growing coralline algae there.

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