The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

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The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Fri May 04, 2012 4:35 am

This new test version of the algae scrubber is much easier to build than the waterfall version (the Mega Powerful one), and is perfect for nano's. This new scrubber has never been posted before May 2012. It works in both freshwater and saltwater. I'll be posting more complex versions later, but here are some pics of the most basic design that you can use for testing:

(will be updated periodically)
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A little over a year ago in April 2011, another idea came along: Instead of letting the water flow down a screen like a waterfall, how about you let the water flow up the screen using air bubbles? Why? Because as good as waterfall algae scrubbers are, they still need a place for the water to drain "down" to. This means that you need to have a sump below the aquarium, or you need to have the scrubber up above the aquarium. This is not easy, and is very difficult for a nano aquarium which usually has no sump below it, and no room above it. Also, the waterfall version requires it to be out of the water (in the air), which takes up extra space. The new "upflow" version, however, can be placed inside the aquarium, so that it takes up no extra space at all, and it needs no external plumbing or water pumps at all. Only air bubbles.

The Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS) provides the best growing conditions for algae in your tank: Air bubbles provide rapid turbulent flow; Strong lighting provides the light; and the nutrients that are already in your water provide the nitrate and phosphate. All that's needed is a place for the algae to attach to, and that is provided by the roughed-up plastic screen. Thus the algae start growing on the screen because the flow and lighting are stronger there than they are in the rest of your aquarium; nitrate and phosphate are consumed in the process. This causes algae to start disappearing from your aquarium and start re-appearing on the scrubber screen, so that you can throw the algae away every week or two.

The most basic way to set up an Upflow Algae Scrubber, especially in small aquariums, is just to put some air bubbles beneath a vertical screen. If inside an aquarium, you just put a light on the outside of the glass, so that it shines inside to the screen. And if you want better performance (which means better filtering), just add a reflector to give the screen some light on both sides. The screen is best made with 7-mesh cross stitch plastic canvas that you get at sewing or craft stores, or online. Also, don't forget to rough up the screen with a sharp object like a hole saw; the screen should be so rough that the screen holes are almost filled in with all the little pieces of plastic that you roughed up.

Watch out for your fish or snails eating your filter! There's nothing tastier than live green algae, so your fish or snails may keep your screen from getting very thick. The simple solution is to just put some mesh or netting around it.

The following updated picture has size guidelines:

(will be updated periodically)
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And the following updated picture has examples:

(will be updated periodically)
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So build a UAS and post your pictures!
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby Monching » Fri May 04, 2012 5:49 am

Wow! Very nice :D
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby Alfalfameister » Fri May 04, 2012 11:16 am

Couldn't find 7-count plastic canvas locally (though I just ordered a few sheets from Ebay -- but not for me, for my daughter's cross stitching). So, instead, I just got one of those kitchen cutting boards na white (on sale -- got one about 10" wide, maybe 14-15" long). Scratched it up "real good" with a hole saw and whatever stuff I could scratch it with.

Came up very rough, and I'd say it would be a good substitute (since it's hard to find that plastic canvas). Plus, of course, it's stiff, so it stays put.

Put it online yesterday, May 3 (airstone from BioResearch, P70 for 12" one).

Going away for the weekend, so I'll look at it when I get back Sunday afternoon to see if there would be any growth (though I really should wait at least a week or two). Will post pics of the setup when I get back.
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Fri May 04, 2012 11:26 am

People have tried those in the past, and there is nowhere for the algae to loop around. So when you are back, try a crafts/sewing store, or EverythingPlasticCanvas.com
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby daffodil1003 » Mon May 07, 2012 5:32 pm

Thank you so much for the post.

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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby bebangs » Mon May 14, 2012 9:13 am

please post pics of working UAS.
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Mon May 14, 2012 9:48 am

Will be doing that soon.
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Thu May 17, 2012 4:31 am

OK some growth pics...

Floyd R Turbo on the GIRS site:
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Rkyrickstr on the TF site:
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Ruddybop on the MFK site:
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Fishuntbike on the scrubber site:
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And mine...
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby bebangs » Thu May 17, 2012 4:14 pm

hmm... this should be a fun project to experiment.
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby Devicore16 » Mon May 28, 2012 2:10 pm

HI SM. can u please also post pictures showing light installations for uas? thanks...
i love Salt!
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Tue May 29, 2012 9:46 am

The lights in this example are just CFL bulbs, or LEDs. Next week I'll be posting an LED example.
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:54 pm

The new Hang-On-Glass UAS with bubble remover:

Image
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:21 am

Everybody loves growth pictures:

Day 1:
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Day 2:
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Day 3:
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Day 4:
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Day 5:
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Day 6:
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Day 7:
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Day 8:
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Day 9:
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7 Days of growth after first cleaning:
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Video of first cleaning after 9 days of growth from a new screen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0K4UCp9_aA

Video of 7 days of growth after the first cleaning:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o14culabk7k


Time to eat more TV dinners and save those trays :)
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby thurrmac » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:36 am

your a genius SM... nice nice :D
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Re: The new Upflow Algae Scrubber (UAS)

Postby SantaMonica » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:58 pm

I just like clean water :)
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