I cut a piece of mesh screen and attached it to some rigid tubing using zip ties, then mounted that to the in-tank portion of the scrubber by drilling a hole at either end of the housing. I cut the tubing 2in wider than the housing so that it will stay in place without permanently attaching it. That'll make it easy to remove the screen when it comes time to harvest some algae. I'm thinking about saving the algae I harvest and drying so it can be used for feeding my critters.
Next I took out the DIY LED portion of the scrubber that I had finished back in Oct of 2017 and tested them to make sure they still worked. (It's been that long since I finished that?) Then attached suction cups using zip ties.
Awesome! They still work!
Now it's time to set up a 10 gallon to be used to test the scrubber and fill it with tap water. It better not leak. I'm doing all this in my apartment.
Tank is filled (No leaks) and the screen side of the scrubber is installed ready for testing.
The air pump is plugged in and I can tell already that I'm going to need a much bigger pump to get enough flow across the screen surface to affectively grow algae. But at least I know the idea works. I think I'll go with a pump that's at least 4 times the size of the one I'm using for this test and attach a restrictor valve so I can make adjustments as needed.
I've mounted the LED side of the scrubber and flipped the switch. Not too shabby. The first picture is on the lowest setting and the second picture is on the highest setting. There doesn't look like much difference because the two halves are close enough to each other on the glass that not much light escapes.
Here are a couple of pictures of the LED side when it's not mounted so you can tell the difference between the low and high setting.
Well, that's it for my DIY up-flow algae scrubber. There's two things I noticed that I need to improve on right off the bat.
1- I need to increase the size of the pump by at least four times for better flow.
2- I need better quality suction cups. A couple of them keep letting go and I'm afraid that once I install the scrubber in the sump it'll cause problems down the road. Maybe there's a way I can use magnets instead? I'll have to research that.
All in all I'm pretty happy with the results. Any comments, suggestions or ideas on improving this concept feel free to let me know.
My next project is to cut a 2x4 eggcrate to fit the top of the tank.
I'm going to get as much pre-work done as I can before I buy a house so that when I move all I have to do is set the whole tank system up and get the cycle going. I can't wait.
I'm still planning on keeping the tank an invert tank with just a few corals and a couple of fish to help keep a bio-load going.