Algae Scrubbers from Turbo's Aquatics

Discussion in 'Turbo's Aquatics' started by Turbo's Aquatics, Jun 16, 2014.

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  1. Turbo's Aquatics

    Turbo's Aquatics 3reef Sponsor

    Aug 4, 2011
    West Des Moines, IA
    Here is a video overview of my Turbo HF (Rev 3) Algae Scrubber.

    I've been manufacturing waterfall-type Algae Scrubbers since about mid-2012, so about 2 years as of this post. The Turbo HF series is the 3rd revision, so you will also hear me refer to it as the "Rev 3".

    All of my Algae Scrubbers come with everything you need to start scrubbing, except the pump. I carry a variety of Rio pumps, and can make recommendations if you prefer other brands.

    Some of the main features of the units are:
    • Main body is made entirely of cell-cast Plexiglas brand acrylic, all parts are CNC routed
    • Assembly process follows the same techniques used to build full-size acrylic aquariums. No shortcuts.
    • Slot pipe is made from Schedule-80 PVC and is precision router-cut using a double-pass to ensure the slot is perfectly straight and even width
    • Slot pipe is fully enclosed inside the box and is easy to clean, inside and out
    • Slot pipe is indirectly connected to pump, so that the pump will not cause lifting or rotating of the slot pipe. Pump does not have to be supported, though it is not recommended to 'hang' the pump from the scrubber
    • Removable extruded ABS light/spray blockers prevent growth at the slot/screen junction, resulting in better flow for a longer period of time. The blockers also eliminate "streamers", or sideways water spray
    • 2 stage screen roughing process ensures plastic canvas is rough, deep into the screen
    • Dual-material lid is warp free
    • No bulkheads - all box penetrations are tapped for threaded PVC fittings
    • Large side and bottom drains allow for very high flow, safely
    • Removable false bottom prevents algae from being in direct contact with drain (prevents clogging)
    • Fully submersible PVC drain control valve for level control and drain silencing
    • Custom made metal core printed circuit boards (MCPCBs) are intensity-adjustable and contain both 660nm Deep Red and 440nm Royal Blue Philips Luxeon ES LEDs of specific bins for maximum useable spectral output
    • LED boards are mounted on anodized aluminum MakersLED Heat Sinks. The combination of the large MCPCB and heat sink mean that no cooling fans are required. (If scrubber is housed in space with no passive air movement, then fans may be needed)
    • Cleaning kit included (2 brushes and a scraper)
    • Inlet plumbing kit included (vinyl hose and an inline shutoff valve)
    • Drain kit included (lengths of PVC pipe and a large, easily adjustable ball valve)
    So after reading all of this, you might be wondering how you get yours hands on one of these, after you wipe the drool off your keyboard or phone or tablet. Well, that's the sucky part. I've got a waiting list right now, and I also have a pretty decent full time "real" job and a family taking up a big chunk of my time. So I don't take orders anymore unless I can ship within 7-10 days.

    So if you are interested, or even if you just want to chit chat about building your own, start a Conversation with me and I'll see what I can do to help you out! You can also post in the Algae Scrubber Basics Thread if you want any advice or wish to brag about your awesome scrubbing system.

    Thanks for reading!

    Bud Carlson
    Turbo's Aquatics
    zesty and Billme like this.
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  3. Pny

    Pny Astrea Snail

    May 7, 2012
    Looks very refined and well thought.
    Turbo's Aquatics likes this.
  4. tonyreefer

    tonyreefer Plankton

    Oct 5, 2014
    Interested in purchasing a scrubber from you .
    Turbo's Aquatics likes this.
  5. Turbo's Aquatics

    Turbo's Aquatics 3reef Sponsor

    Aug 4, 2011
    West Des Moines, IA
    Thanks for getting a hold of me!

    For anyone interested in purchasing a scrubber, these are in production but I have quite a backlog at the moment. I don't do this on a full-time basis, I have a regular job (I am part owner of an engineering firm) and have a full-time family on top of that (Wife, 4 kids, 2 dogs, oh and 2 reef tanks :D) and this past year has been quite busy!

    I am keeping a waiting list and working towards whittling that down. Right now, it's looking to be about a 1-2 month wait.

    I do not have a shopping cart site, because I don't take payment until a unit is ready to ship within 1 week of payment. I invoice via my PayPal business account.

    I also offer a few "a la carte" items, usually in combination with my scrubbers, but not necessarily.

    Light & Spray Blockers

    These snap over any 3/4" diameter PVC pipe, are durable, made of ABS plastic, and are easily removable. I sell these for $10/foot, cut to any custom length.



    I have a lot of these.


    Custom cut slot pipes

    These are made from Schedule-80 PVC, and are double-pass router-cut. I can cut to just about any length under 14" with my current jig, anything longer would be multiple slots in the same pipe. Slot Pipe can include end cap and/or threaded adapter, or just rough-cut so you can customize it. You can see an example in the pic above (that is for a Turbo L4 scrubber).

    Generally, the slot pipe comes with a rotatable ring or two, and light blockers.

    Contact me for pricing.

    Roughed-up Plastic Canvas

    I rough up my screens very thoroughly. I've made over 200 screens, so I've pretty much got this process down pat. The issue is that roughing up the screens is probably my least favorite parts of building these scrubbers. The screen may only be $0.59 but roughing up a 12" x 4" screen takes at least 30 minutes. But if you really want one, I can do it. :oops:

    Contact me for pricing.

    LED Light Fixtures

    I designed an LED board specifically for use with my scrubbers, but I sell these separately as well. Be warned, they are not cheap - but you get what you pay for. They have 6x 660nm Deep Red Philips Luxeon LEDs and 2x 445nm Royal Blue Philips Luxeon LEDs mounted in pairs, each pair has a 4-pin jumper block between them so you can run each pair in series (full current) or in parallel (half current). Essentially, each board has 4 levels of intensity, and you can also do things like bypassing a individual LED or a pair, with the right jumper. Board has a sharkbite quick-connect terminal power block for easy connection. LEDs and mounting are by Steve's LEDs.

    I have limited availability of these boards, and I'm going to be re-designing it soon since I'm almost through my first run of the PCB.

    Boards can be purchased with or without a heat sink, I carry MakersLED heat sinks and I am an authorized reseller of their products. They live 30 miles north of me, how convenient!

    Contact me for pricing
    Matt Rogers likes this.
  6. hart24601

    hart24601 Flamingo Tongue

    Dec 18, 2012
    These are really top notch pieces of equipment. I have seen a few in action and they work wonders.
    Turbo's Aquatics likes this.