Unable to get my SURF2 algae scrubber from Santa Monica Filtration to produce algae growth, I’ve decided to try an L2 algae scrubber from Turbo’s Aquatics. The purpose of an algae scrubber is to create an environment that out competes the rest of the system for growing algae. As algae is grown and harvested (removed for the system) phosphates and nitrates are also removed from the system as that’s what the algae is feeding on. In this thread I will show you how I installed the Turbo HF/Rev 3 – L2 (two cubes of food per day) algae scrubber on my system. I hope to have far better results with this scrubber than my SURF2.
It’s always fun to get packages in the mail! Especially when it’s good stuff.
I hate peanuts…
Finally, the package inside of the package is an algae scrubber.
Goodies and useful accessories.
Pop the top…
More goodies and useful accessories.
It’s pretty evident at this point that this is a very well made unit. Lots of thought and energy put into this algae scrubber.
I really like the MakersLED heatsink. It’s the same one I used for my LED build.
The LED board inside of the MakersLED heatsink.
These wiring connector clips work really well. A good solid connection.
Since the scrubber is made out of quality materials it’s kind of heavy. I had a difficult time trying to figure out how to incorporate the scrubber into my system. My first thought was to use a 2X6 piece of lumber over my sump and to place the scrubber on top of it. But, I didn’t think wood would hold up very long.
After a quick trip to Home Depot I found exactly what I needed. A piece of PVC that could span the Rubbermaid sump, be drilled, and still retain structural integrity. This NDS Spee-D PVC Channel Drain was exactly what I needed! 🙂
A few modifications to the PVC bracket via chop saw…
Drill a couple holes. Measure PVC drain length and whittle down.
Finely tune the bracket’s position.
In case of leaks I decided to use some silicone and a couple pieces of hose to add a drip rail. This way if the scrubber springs a leak it will run into the sump and not onto the floor.
I used the return line from my chiller/UV sterilizer to feed the algae scrubber.
One last look before I plumb this baby in.
While installing the feed side of the algae scrubber I ran into a little issue. The spray bar is held in place between the right and left supports. Unfortunately, the feed side support hole was tapped too wide which meant I had to bottom out the support’s threads. When the support was snug it left too much thread inside the box to allow the spray bar to fit in. So I cut the thread back a bit, maybe a little too much. Luckily the extra rubber o-ring included in the order doubled up on the spay bar’s feed end made a good seal.
Fit the scrubber into place.
Firmly connect feed line. I also use electrical tape to cover each hose clamp. I find it doesn’t take long for those clamps to start rusting and looking bad.
Time to twist in the drain pipes and zip tie the filter sock. Both drain pipes run to about 1 inch from the sump’s water level to ensure consistent flow.
Making sure the spray bar was tight I crossed my fingers and turned to water on. After no leaks I increased that flow until the water almost ran down the overflow.
I must confess, this is the first time I had to look up the instructions. I just wanted to make sure I hooked up the LEDs correctly. I would have felt pretty stupid if I blew them up! Turns out they’re fool proof and I just needed to daisy chain them together. A quick text message to, and quick reply from, Bud Carlson (Owner @ Turbo Aquatic’s) confirmed I was headed in the right direction.
Add lights and you have a functioning algae scrubber. 🙂
Update – Week 2:
Update – Week 4:
Update – Week 9:
Update – Week 13:
Update – Week 17:
Update – Week 20:
Update – Week 26:
Update – Week 43:
I will post update videos below so if you are interested please check or visit my YouTube channel.