Simple DIY Scrubber

RiaanP

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Really Simple

All the water from the overflow goes to the scrubber. With a safety devise build in, incase the scrubber blocks up.
Ok this is in a really small space. Sump is a standard 60cm tank. Skimmer and return pump in last chamber with max space for DSB to the right.
Note the scrubber and skimmer are both switched of in this photo. Skimmer still doing a lot of work, so I will not switch it off yet. Water enters the scrunbber from the left, the blue flexible pipe.
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Scrubber front view. The water that did not exit the scrubber overflows on the right down into a 2L milk bottle with its top cut off. The milk bottle is in the DSB in the corner. Downpipe bottom is cut at a angle to prevent a blockage.
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The screen before the cleaning process. Left side with no growth is behind the skimmer. Scrubber is 3 weeks old and this will be its second cleaning.
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1 week junk, from a 90L display. On its second week. Not to bad...
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Components.
Shade cloth
15mm conduit pipe. With slots cut into it, so that water that enters the conduit pipe can exit.
Cable ties - to hold the shade cloth to the conduit pipe.
50 mm pipe, cut with an angle grinder. The slot the blade cuts is wide enough. No need for cross slots or widening it.
A 90 degree elbow and a straight connector or 45 degree elbow (inlet side)
And the downpipe with the 90degree elbow looking up.
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Special Notes
Check the halfmoon piese of plastic. This piece will keep the water above the screen until you get a blokage. Then it will overflow into the downpipe. If you can hear the water falling, you have to clean the scrubber.
Must use an connector at inlet side, else the downpipe from DT will force the top pipe open, increasing the gap size.
 

viper357

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Nice work Riaan, keep us posted on how it grows.
 

RiaanP

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This is only the second time I cleaned it. Scrubber is only 3 weeks running. First clean I did after 2 weeks, To get it properly growing.
This clean is 1 week growth.
Also it is only a 90L display.
My Nitrates are already down by half as well as the phosphates. Both was always on the max of my test kit (Sera) but now both in the middle of the scale. Will update this Saturday when I do my next clean-up.
 

RiaanP

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Scrubber running now for four weeks.
NO3 0mg/l (first time EVER:thumbup:)
PO4 between .025 and 0.5 mg/l

4 weeks ago NO3 was over 100 mg/l and PO4 was over 2 mg/l

So a scrubber really works.
Only one problem, it cools my tank so much that my heater is running, in a hot February :(. No need for a chiller.
 

Neil H

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Hi Riaan,

Any updates on this??

Have you noticed a decrease in algae growth in your DT on the glass???
 

RiaanP

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Yes, I must admit it works.
NO3 is down to zero, and PO4 down to .25mg/l
They were always at the max of the scale. Even with 10% water changes every week.

I started again feeding "normally" and the skimmer is on a 12 hour timmer duruing the day. Screen starting to be more green than brown.

And the algea in the tank stopped and are dying off. Every afternoon I had to clean the front glass because it gets like a green layer growth on it. That is gone.

And the design is so simple,
I use gravity and it got a safety build in for blockage.

I can recomend this.
 
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One thing that has worried me about this. Do you have snails ?

If so, where do they get food, if all the algae is dying in the display tank ?
 

RiaanP

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Yes , 7. But they were never able to eat all the algae. There is still enough, especially the bac glass. But I will keep this in mind. The algae is certainly not growing as fast as it used to in the DT. And the snails do not prefer the long algae strands.
And I doubt if you will ever get a 100% algae free display tank.
But I will keep this in mind.
 
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Great job Riaan.

As you say, its very unlikely that you will ever have a 100% algae free tank. Otherwise you would also have no algae on the screen.

Be great to monitor this for a while and then if you like, try to very slowly reduce your skimmer use, while checking the results.
 

RiaanP

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Thanks Bob.
The skimmer is on a 12 hour timer since Saturday. Runing during the day where the light for the scrubber do go off for about 6 hours in middle of the day. So there is a 3 hour overlap in the morning and afternoon.
Will check results this Saturday, with pic of skimmer soup.
 
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Hi Riaan
I`ve seen your tank and it looks great man.
Just one question, Why do you switch the skimmer of during the night and not during the day?
the reason for my question and please correct me if I am wrong is the there is more proteins during night than in the day or did I understood wrong?
 

RiaanP

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I do not know???

My reasoning was that the skimmer must run in reverse to the sump light. So when the scrubber "grows" the skimmer is mostly off. Then during the day when sump lights off, and scrubber "rest" then the skimmer works. Does that make sense? I actually do not have any scientific proof.

Experts please.
 
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riaan you always have interesting threads man i like the way you think very logically;)

shaun but most corals close up at night,unles you refering to sps?my lps seems to close at night
 

Neil H

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Guys,

I read on the forum somewhere that pulsing the water would get the best results.....

I am using a small pump on my scrubber... (only 2 days old, pics will follow when there is something to show).... and was wondering if there would be any benefit in running the entire scrubber system on a timer..... only prob is that the shortest period this could be off for is 15mins.... is this too long, would the algea dry out too much, or would 15 mins of off time every say 3 hours benefit the system at all ??????
 

RiaanP

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Neil, I do not pulse mine, but I got good growth. And I lot of the designs do not pulse anyway.
Also will the pump handle the switching?
The scrubber certainly can go 15 to 30 minutes without water. The algae on it will not die. But what about Copepod babies and other stuff living on the screen eating the algae. The other "benefit" is these small liveforms that go back to the tank that becomes food for the corals. So I do not think it is good to let the sceen dry repetitively.

And I have mostly softies. No SPS yet. So actually for now I must stop the skimmer at daytime, when the softies are expanded.
 
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Riaan
Thanks man, I understand what you are saying. I just wanted to know if I understood it wrong.
 

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