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Thread: Acrylic

  1. #1
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    Acrylic

    [re-post of earlier post]


    It's Time For The Santa Monica 120 Acrylic!

    Ok it's time to move my screen from the ugly bucket by the sink (with hoses, wires, timers, etc) to under the tank where it can sit on the sump. The idea for this design came from all the readers who tried to install their screens over their sumps. Low profile is important for me, as it is to anyone without a fish room, so I picked 6" as the max height. That would give me room to lift out the screen and pull it out of the stand, with room to spare. And at 6" height, the pvc pipe will take up 1", leaving 5" for the screen. So the screen will be 5 X 24 = 120 sq in. This is good for a decently-stocked 90 like mine, or a lightly stocked 200 with no real nutrient problems. Here is the initial layout that I gave to the acrylic shop:




    Wide screens like this are more efficient and powerful (with the same light) than tall narrow screens, but require more flow. My screen will need 24" X 35(gph/in) = 840 gph. However the same 120 sq in screen placed vertically would only need 5" X 35(gph/in) = 175 gph. The vertical placement has a disadvantage in that the water at the top gets filtered by the top of the screen, but then has to travel over the lower parts of the screen. Since it's already been filtered at the top, not much happens on the bottom part of the screen. This problem is eliminated with a horizontal screen since all the water that passes over the 5 inches of screen needs filtering.

    Another good use for a low-profile screen like this would be for on-top of tank, when you want the pods to drain directly down into the display. Or, if you don't have a sump, the on-top placement would work great if you put the pump in the display.

    The acrylic box came back from the acrylic shop, finished beautifully. They still have the plans, so if anyone wants the same box, call Hastings Plastics at 310-829-3449 and say you want the "aquarium algae filter screen box". The only change would be the "U" cutouts for the pipe: Tell them to make them a little larger round, and a little deeper, since the pipe was hard to push into them (and it stuck out a bit which made the lid not close all the way. ). I did a little grinding, and now it's perfect. The cost was about $100, without shipping. Here's how is arrived:




    Unwrapped. Notice the bottom and ends are mirrored acrylic, with the mirror facing inwards:










    The lid fits mirror-side down:




    The pipe fits snug so that little light will escape. I had to grind the "U" cutouts a little bigger and deeper so the pipe would not block the lid:




    The lid fit perfectly after the pipe cutouts were enlarged:




    Here are the lights. They come with a combo of 10K and actinic:

    www.petstore.com/ps_viewItem-idProduct- ... tab-4.html


    I removed the bulbs, and got 6500K and 3000K from here:

    www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/ge-t5- ... 3_623.html


    I'm going to set it up with 6500K on one side and 3000K on the other. Nobody recommednds 10K for macros, except for one person: The guy at Inland Aquatics that has been growing turf screens for 10 years. So, I'll try 10K soon, but not to start. Maybe you can start with 10K on yours and let us know how it works

    Then I placed the lights on the acrylic and marked off where the the bulbs will be shining through:




    Some method has to be used to mount the lights to the sides. I'm using acrylic blocks and acrylic glue:




    The light-mounting is a bit tricky, because the lights need to be removeable, yet be pressed up against the acrylic to minimize light leakage (which would be important for an above-the-tank placement in plain view). The lights are then placed in the mounts:




    The overall size ended up being 6.5" high X 6" deep X 24" long:






    Here's a size comparison; the inside of the stand was once filled with filtration devices, and now it's just water:




    Taped and ready for spray painting:




    First coat was a metallic silver, so that the inside would reflect more:




    After painting with black primer, and putting lights on:




    End view:




    Side view:




    Lid off, ready to use:




    The long, low-profile pipe and screen:




    Lights on:




    Setting on sump:




    Running, with front light removed to see flow:




    So, I rubbed algae from my original bucket into the new screen, then installed the screen and turned it on. I'm starting with the flow and lights on 24 hours, in order to speed up the growth. I'll decide later if I'm going to pulse the flow, and I'll wait for the algae to grow a bit before putting the lights on a timer. Also, there is no fan, because I wanted to make it as simple as possible for folks who wanted to try it themselves. I may try a fan later, but for now let's see how it does without one. Also also, I'm leaving my original bucket running, for safety, but of course this will slow down growth on the new screen.

  2. #2
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    Re: Acrylic

    [re-post of earlier post]


    Growth Sequence of New Acrylic Screen

    The new acrylic scrubber is up and kicking. These pics were taken while the original bucket was still operating, so the growth is slower than it would have been otherwise. I'm running 3000K on one side, and 6500K on the other, as a test. It probably won't make much difference until the holes in the screen are sealed off, but here are the daily pics. The T5 light on the front has been removed so you can see the screen:


    Day 1


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay01.jpg


    Day 2


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay02.jpg


    Day 3


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay03.jpg


    Day 4


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay04.jpg


    Day 5


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay05.jpg


    Day 6


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay06.jpg


    Day 7


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay07.jpg


    Day 8


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay08.jpg


    Day 9


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay09.jpg


    Day 10


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay10.jpg


    Day 11 (a huge growth increase):


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11.jpg


    Notice that it takes several days before you can see any growth at all. And yes, I did seed the screen. Going back one day to Day 10, here are some closeups:


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Acrylic ... 1Day10.jpg



    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Acrylic ... 2Day10.jpg



    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Acrylic ... 3Day10.jpg



    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Acrylic ... 4Day10.jpg



    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Acrylic ... 5Day10.jpg


    And here is a closeup from Day 11:


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11closeup.jpg


    And what it looks like out of the stand. Note the algae coming out of drain; it was almost 2 feet long before I pulled it out for this pic:


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/AcrylicDay11heldup.jpg


    Here's the growth on the 3000K side:


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Acrylic ... t3000K.jpg


    And the 6500K side:


    Hi-Res: http://www.radio-media.com/fish/Acrylic ... t6500K.jpg


    Instead of following the rule of cleaning only one side at a time, I had to do both in order to measure the algae of the 3000K side versus the 6500K side. Here is what was pulled off, like pulling a rope:




    Here are the algae amounts removed, after a cleaning:




    And here's the screen after cleaning; this is why you don't clean both sides, becuase it leaves left nothing on the screen for filtering:




    A few notes:

    o The screen is only 1.5 inches from the acrylic wall, and thus some water does get on the wall. But this unit is currently not setup for airflow with a fan, and it has a lid, so the water never gets a chance to evaporate. As a result very little saltcreep forms. I think I wiped it twice during the 11 days; however it did not do anything, just redistributed the droplets. On day 11 there was a small amount of creep; when I pulled the screen out I just reached in an splashed some water on it and it came off.

    o There was a great increase in algae between day 10 and 11. I've seen this many times: once the hair algae gets to a certain point, the next day it covers everything.

    o When the screen get covered, algae start flowing down the scrubber and out the drain. Not a little, but a lot. It easily reached the botton of the sump 18" below. I just grabbed it and pulled it off. This might be a way to feed tangs, if the unit were placed on the hood of the tank.

  3. #3

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    Acrylic Dimensions

    Hi, i love the idea and design so much im interested and determined to build one my self, the whole idea makes sense for filtration of marine tanks, and the design concept is very appealing as well. Even though the forums here say its not new "Algae scrubbers" i believe its a very a innovative design you've achieved, especially if it works as well as you state. The only trouble is im in England and can not access the phone number you have given for the plans of the acrylic design. Can you help with this ? and do you think i could water seal the box"quick release access for maintenance" in case of back siphoning, its a design idea i have. Thanks all the same, Claire.

  4. #4
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    Re: Acrylic

    Here is the scrubber builder directory... there is a UK person, and a person by me that built mine:

    viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25

    do you think i could water seal the box"quick release access for maintenance" in case of back siphoning
    Not sure I understand what you mean; maybe you can describe a situation where it would happen.

  5. #5

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    Re: Acrylic

    Hi am am looking for some to build one for me and where did you get the t5 fittings as that's the ones i would like i am from the UK i phoned the builder that is in the link he told me to email him and i did that but no reply :idea:

  6. #6
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    Re: Acrylic

    Here are the lighting units:

    http://www.marineandreef.com/Nova_Extre ... u01127.htm

    And here are the replacement bulbs:

    http://www.marineandreef.com/ProductDet ... 8&CartID=1

    The reason you need the replacement bulbs is that the unit comes with two bulbs: 10K and Actinic. But you don't want the actinic, since we are not lighting corals, and even the 10K are too blue. So you replace them with "plant-grow" bulbs.

    You could just post on any forum, that you are looking for an acrylic builder.

  7. #7

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    Re: Acrylic

    Had a look at the link its USA i am in the UK saw a site that will ship to UK but its $177.00 for shipping plus the price of fitting
    if i do 2 fitting it says $254.00 for shipping :evil:

  8. #8
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    Re: Acrylic

    That's not too bad. They are good, complete units. I have 2.

  9. #9

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    Re: Acrylic

    Hey again ShanGo!
    I called the same guy too, very nice chap, but doesn't seem to reply to emails
    I've seen similar lighting units on ebay in the UK for pretty cheap, I'll get my girlfriend to dig them up, she trawls ebay the most =D

  10. #10

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    Re: Acrylic

    thanks worley

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