My DIY Algae Scrubber for my SW Reef Tank

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Oil_Fan

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I decided to try making an algae scrubber. As you can see here, I have a nice little problem on my sand.

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Ok...so it's real bad. After going through the main thread on this, twice…it was time to do some shopping. I ordered a 40 watt, 5000k full spectrum florescent light bulb online (equivalent of 175 watts) for $10. $17.50 in cpvc piping. $6.50 for lamp fixture. $6.90 for cpvc cleaner and cement. And a whole dollar for the screen. Total cost $41.90. I already had some hose and a pump so no cost there.

The biggest deal was coming up with a design that would work in my sump. I’m just waiting on the bulb to arrive which should be here tomorrow. But for now I have a flood light that I use in my kitchen.

This was what it looked liked during the build which took about 3 days to complete. And yes, that's my basement bathroom. Which is currently named my workshop!! heh

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And this it in operation...day 1:

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And on the plus side, it gave me an excuse to buy Dremel set!! +1 for the Man Card!!!
 

capekate

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I would love to be the ripe ole age of 42 again! it was a great time in my life.. a good age to be!
 

Oil_Fan

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An update. I had to move my algae scrubber to the middle section of my sump. I was starting to get micro-bubbles because of the flow. Now all looks good though it meant moving a lot of stuff around.

I also got the new bulb in there. Man, talk about bright!! But I figure that should help kick it off and get algae growing in there.
 

Oil_Fan

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We have algae growing!! Or at least something related to it!! Not bad for the first week if I do say so.

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Oil_Fan

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We now have serious algae growing. These were taken today while I was doing my water change. Diatoms are all but gone from the tank.

The only thing really left inside the main tank is the cynobacteria. And that is real bad but that most likely had more to do with with my filters needed to be replaced on my RO/DI unit (TDS out of the unit were 23 - now 0). I'm currently doing twice a week water changes to get that under control.

A few updated pics of the unit:

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Here it is in a bucket just before I clean it off:

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Oil_Fan

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I haven't taken any but will when I get home from work. It definitely looks a lot better but the cynobateria is still a problem.
 

Oil_Fan

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As promised, here are a couple of pics of my tank taken today. As you can see, it's a lot better now. The first pic is where I stirred the sand on Sunday when I did my last water change.

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Oil_Fan

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It's been a few weeks since I last gave an update. Things continue to improve though at a much slower rate. Diatoms are all but gone. I went from cleaning the glass from just about every day to about once a week. No more green algae in the tank. And the amount of cynobacteria that I have is slowly dropping.

My readings for phosphates have always been 0 and nitrates are just over 5 but that's been pretty steady for months.

The first 2 are from 6 weeks ago. Then the next one is today and a week since my last water change without manually removing the cyno.

The last 2 are just as I'm about to clean the scrubber. You can see here that algae is growing right where the water pours out. The last couple of days it's been so thick, it was causing water flow problems. But after a good cleaning, it's back to working properly:
 

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agsansoo

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What did you use for the screen ? How often do you clean the screen ?
 
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