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Old 10-25-2010, 02:24 PM   #31
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I think i am 3 days into my the algae scrubber, and no real algae to speak of yet. I have had the light on 24 hours a day since Friday when it was installed. If i had to guess i would say my flow rate is bellow 200gph. I have only had one light on since Friday, i have a second light, i just haven't installed it yet. I am thinking about installing it today. I haven't seen a change in my tank numbers at all, this is hooked up to a 55 g FOWLR.

Who new that a fish tank would make you so handy. Here is the overflow box i had to make to install the algae turf scrubber.

Inside the tank.


Outside the tank. Only 1 hose is actually running water across, when i hook up both i really don't see an that much of an increase in flow of water.



Here is the return to my tank.


And the finally the ATS, showing only 1 light. I am planning on hooking up the second tonight. I only ran 1 light all this week just testing out the system and checking my flow an such, i was a little paranoid of leeks, or over flow n such.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:15 PM   #32
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I would say from looking at the last pic that your flow is very low. This can be a big problem, because you have to design the thing so that you get 35 GPH per inch of screen width. With what looks like a 10" screen, you need 350 GPH minimum.

Second, your light is too far away. When using a CFL, you need to use a reflector to focus the light, because 1) too much of it will get concentrated at the center and 2) you lose all the power of the light going out sideways.

Third, you need a second light on the other side.

If properly designed, you wouldn't get much growth in the first few days, but from what I've seen from your pics, you won't get that much at all because of the above factors.

Also, I can't tell from the pic, but did you rough up the screen? It looks pretty smooth, and you will get very little algae growth on that, and what you do get will detach because it doesn't have something rough to adhere to. I did it by the book, roughed that screen up until I got about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of shavings off each side of each half of the screen. It was almost to the point of falling apart at the edges when I was done it had become so flimsy, but that's what you want. Leave the upper inch alone so the algae doesn't attach there.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:30 PM   #33
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PS I am running into the flow problem also. I now understand that there is no need for the emergency spillway that I designed in, because it does not allow pressure to build up, which will force water through the slot and won't allow it to clog with algae growth. The cross-cuts I added contribute to the clogging issue, which I am now starting to see - the FAQ on SM's site was outdated (I brought it to his attention).

Also I ran into a strange problem, the pump in this tank is a Mag12 and the vertical head is only 4.5 feet, so I should be getting well over the needed 700 GPH (35 GPH/in x 20 in) I need, but I'm getting less than half of that. I'm going to have to post in the hardware section to figure out why that is.

Anyways, here was the screen on Thursday 10/21



here's the screen this afternoon, I'll be cleaning it tonight:



And the emergency spillway that is flowing rather strongly, even with a low sump level:



so I've definitely got some tweaks to make.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:00 PM   #34
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Thanks for the tips! I put the reflectors back on, and now have both lights hooked up. And you were right, the screens were still new and pristine, so i roughed them up with some sand paper. As far as the flow rate goes, i know it's under 296gph, because that is my return pumps speed, and it keeps up. The pump does not run dry because i can lower the rate via a dial in the front. I can increase the flow a bit by adding a second line in the over flow system until i see about getting a second pump. I also opened the valve all the way on the screen line which eliminated the dry spots. I would like to see this bad boy do some work first though with what i have before i sink some more cash into it.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:42 PM   #35
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The trick to roughing up the screen is exactly as he shows it on this FAQ

Algae Scrubbers • View topic - Bulbs, screens, flow, skimmers, roughness, etc

Take a core drill (one for drilling a door lock set without the bit attached) and scrape it across the screen randomly, back and forth and in circles, until it is REALLY, REALLY prickly. He has a video on there of dropping a washcloth on it and it sticks. I did this with mine and a microfiber cloth and it sticks like velcro. If needs to be really really rough.

Also remember that pump GPH is a function of head pressure and the diameter of the return hose you are using. The only true way to know exactly what your pump output is running at is to put a pitcher under your overflow into the sump and time how long it takes to fill, then extrapolate that into GPH. For instance, this system I'm working on puts out 1/2 gallon in about 5 seconds, or 10 sec/gal, which works out to 6 gal/min or 360 GPH. I'm working on why that is so low, but I've narrowed it down to the return pump hose size being 3/4" ID not 1", so that's a start. What to do about it is the next problem.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:36 PM   #36
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2 week growth point, time for 2nd cleaning. Here's what the screen looked like before cleaning:

Front





Back





After




I'm thinking I'll remove the pre-grown screens pretty soon. It's coming along nicely.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:13 PM   #37
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Get this. Less than 2 days of growth!



I also capped off the spillway and opened the pump valve full. I bought a new union, cap, and pipe and will be remaking the slotted pipe w/o crosscuts.

Still working on pump output....
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:20 PM   #38
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Nice i wish mine looked like that. I need a different screen, like one of the knitting screens to rough up more. Mine is a flimsy aquarium divider, i am afraid to rough it up with more than sand paper, it's so flimsy. I moved my lights closer, so this is like 1 day on a timed light schedule, roughed up screen, and full open flow.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:22 PM   #39
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Yep - $0.49 at any fabric store for 8x10 #7 mesh, then rough it up with a hole saw
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Old 10-28-2010, 02:50 AM   #40
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Wow Floyd, that's impressive. Looks really cool!

So we know you can grow algae How are your water readings since adding?
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