Saturday, October 13, 2012

CDMills IAS 1.1 Algae Scrubber Design

Currently I am working on my prototype which is my concept of an inflow algae scrubber design (IAS 1.0). But I have modified it slightly and so this current design will now be called IAS 1.1. I am not posting any pictures of the scrubber as of yet because I am waiting for my DIY free license from Santa-Monica Filtrations so I can get an ID# to be included under his patent-pending Upflow Algae Scrubber (tm) technology. My license# will be AB-1272.

Like I've said I'm not posting any actual build pictures yet but I can tell you some of the changes I have in store for this scrubber.

In my original IAS 1.0 design, I was going to use a pond basket. As of right now though, I've dumped the idea of using it. Instead, I am just going to use my algae scrubber screen. I will cut the screen to the length and height that I want and then bring the ends together to form a cylinder. I will then attach the ends to each other. I will probably attach a bottom to it using a round piece of scrubber screen. This will simplify the design a lot. Then all I have to do is set my acrylic or glass cylinder that will house my light(s) down through the middle of the scrubber screen and this will hold the entire algae scrubber down into the water.

I'm also thinking about making the water flow rate in my sump adjustable from slower to faster using 3 pumps. So that means I will have 4 pumps total in my sump. The main pump will pump water from the sump into my display tank at a variable rate, and the other 3 pumps will be different sizes and set on timers and flow water from one end of the sump to the other. Each one will flow at different times and different rates to mimic (very, very, very generically I must add) ocean currents and tides. It was discovered that different flow rates can affect net photosynthesis and so I want to see the affects different flow rates have on algae growth.

So check back soon to see my progression on this particular algae scrubbing filtration system.


Sunday, October 07, 2012

A New Unique Algae Scrubber Design (CDMills IAS 1.0)

I'm currently a big fan of algae turf scrubbers. There are 3 general kinds. One is a horizontal scrubber, another is a waterfall scrubber, and finally there is an upflow algae scrubber. In my present aquarium I have incorporated an upflow (UAS) design and a miniature horizontal one.

But I am getting ready to upgrade my fish tank from a 29 gallon tank to a 55 gallon. I will take the 29 gallon tank and use it as an algae scrubber sump underneath the 55 gallon. My plan is to make an in-flow scrubber (IAS 1.0) that will be round in shape. It will have a light or lights in the middle and it will light an algae screen on one side but 100% of the light will illuminate inside the basket. Here is a generic picture I made to give a general idea of this type of algae scrubber.

In-flow Algae Scrubber (IAS)
In-flow Algae Scrubber (IAS) Design

Hopefully you can see from the picture above that I will be using a pond plant basket. This basket has holes all in it that will allow water to flow through it. A tall cylinder glass or acrylic container will sit in the middle of the plant basket, holding it down under the water so it won't float. I will then hang a light down into the cylinder. No water will be able to get into the cylinder. This will allow me to illuminate the algae screen under the water from all around. The glass or acrylic container will not get hot because it will be cooled off by the water flowing around it. Here are some pictures as examples of what I will be using:

Items to make in-flow algae scrubber
Along the inside walls of the pond plant basket I will be attaching plastic cross-stitch canvas that will be roughed up using a saw blade so hair algae can attach itself to it and grow. I will hang a spiral light bulb down the middle of the glass or acrylic container. This will serve as the light source to grow the algae.

This in-flow algae scrubber will be put into my 29 gallon sump with baffles on each side of it. Water will come in from an overflow from my 55 gallon tank and then flow through the sump across the algae scrubber and then be pumped back into the display tank. I will also have another pump that will flow some of the water to the beginning of the sump again. The main pump will be set on a timer that will only turn on once every hour for only 15 minutes. The 2nd pump will run constantly re-circulating the water numerous times in the sump so the algae scrubber will have a chance to really work at removing nutrients.

The in-flow algae scrubber will also be sitting on top of plastic egg-crate grating that will have air-line tubing running through it with holes poked in it. A powerful air pump will force air into the tube and make micro-bubbles that will fill the basket. The air pump will only run when the lights are off.

The light will be a 23-watt spiral soft white cfl and the light appearance will be 2700k. I may have to up the wattage if growth of algae is slow. I may also add a blue spectrum compact fluorescent bulb later to see what kind of growth I get with that. But for now it will only be the cfl. I plan on running the light 8 hours on and then 8 hours off. I will adjust based on algae growth.

So that's it. This is my first CDMills Design project and I hope it works. Will update with actual build pictures soon and I will also post growth pictures as well. (This build has already changed slightly. Please read about the changes: IAS 1.1)