Turbo's Aquatics
Top Quality Algae Scrubbers

Want a cheap scrubber?  Look no further!

No, really.  Stop looking here.  Just being honest!  I'm not saying that I am out to rip people off.  That's obviously not a good business model!!

It's quite the opposite - you might pay more, but you get what you pay for.

My goal has always been to make the best Algae Scrubber I possibly can - the highest overall quality, the most features, the best components, the highest level of optimization, and the best customer service.

That all sounds great.  Kinda like when some big wig corporate exec stands in front of a room and throws up a fancy PowerPoint "mission statement" slide full of fancy buzzwords, such as "Transcend the Mundane to Expand the Possibilities."  I am seriously not lying to you when I say that was actually a mission statement for one of the companies I used to work for.

But my point is, why does any of that quality shiznit matter?!?  Allow me to explain...

  • LED Lighting
  • LEDs
  • Driver
  • Heat Sink
  • Power Supply
LED Lighting

Powerful & Adjustable

Intense spectrum-specific light is the backbone of a powerful Algae Scrubber.  However, not everyone needs (or necessarily wants) to run their Algae Scrubber with the pedal to the floor.  In fact, that can cause problems, especially when starting one up from scratch.  My light fixtures are extremely intense when you need them to be, but they can be tuned to match the specific needs of your system.

Heat Sink
Power Supply
  • Slot Pipe
  • SquarePipe
  • Skirt
  • Locking Ends
Slot Pipe

Looks simple...look closer

The Slot Pipe is one of the core components of an Algae Scrubber.

The slot allows water to be distributed in an even sheet across both sides of the screen.  There have been several attempts to make something else work as well as the Slot Pipe, but none of them have proven (to me, at least) to be truly as effective.

The Slot Pipe is really very efficient, it's just kind of a pain in the arse to make just right, so everyone tries to come up with an easier or different way.  Instead, I just designed a part that perfected it so that I wouldn't have to make them by hand.

And by perfecting it, I mean, adding in features that you didn't even know you needed.

Locking Ends
  • Mortar Screen
  • Why?
Mortar Screen

Not just for brick and tile anymore!!

The Mortar Screen allows for your Algae Scrubber to mature in 2 stages: a fast initial stage, followed by a more gradual secondary stage.

The Mortar Screen is #7 Plastic Canvas (knitting canvas) that has been roughed up and then coated with mortar.  The mortar has been allowed to cure (not dry) for 2-3 days, then the screen has been soaked in RODI water for 3-5 days.  The result is a microscopically rough screen that is still flexible.

The mortar is a sacrificial layer that allows algae to start growing in days instead of weeks.  Algae will typically coat 50-75% of the screen within 7-10 days.  During the first few cleanings, the mortar will start to release from the screen (and go in the trash or down the sink, along with the algae harvested).

As the canvas screen is exposed more and more with each subsequent cleaning, these areas of the screen will mature until the whole screen is covered with a more permanent base layer of algae (this usually takes 4-6 weeks).  Eventually, most of the mortar will release from the screen.

  • Drain System
  • False Bottom
  • Tuned Siphon
  • Secondary Drain
  • Bubble Blocker
Drain System

Silent, Failsafe, and Bubble Free

The drain system incorporated into my Algae Scrubbers is something that I definitely can't take 100% credit for, but I worked to perfect it through the 4 revisions to my product.

Everything works together:

The False Bottom prevents algae growth from filling up the drain pipe in the bottom of the box, and is a key component in promoting 3D growth

The Primary Drain comes with an in-line valve which may be adjusted so that the drain operates as a siphon, and nearly silent

The Secondary Drain is a full-volume failsafe in case of any type of blockage to the Primary Drain occurs

The Bubble Blocker assembly helps keep the effluent bubbles under control (mainly during the first few weeks or months)

See the tabs for additional information!

False Bottom
Tuned Siphon
Secondary Drain
Bubble Blocker
  • Removable Growth Chamber
  • Material
  • Seals
  • Slope
Removable Growth Chamber

Tight Space Design

I didn't invent the removable growth chamber, but I took it to the next level towards perfection - and that was no small feat.  There was a ton of engineering that went into this one little part of the Turbo Algae Scrubbers.

One of the most common feature requests I received over the years has been to either increase the width of the growth chamber (for those with "big hands") or make it more easy to do things like remove the false bottom, or make it easier to clean out the growth chamber after removing the screen.  Being able to remove the growth chamber solves these, but that's not all I did.  I engineered the @#$^ out of the idea.  See the additional tabs for more

My Algae Scrubber can be installed and maintained in as little as 8.4 inches of vertical space - even less if the base is dropped below the rim of the sump*

* Algae Scrubber must never be installed such that the bottom edge of the Heat Sinks are below the rim of the sump/tank, or the below maximum power-fail water level in the sump.  Such an installation will result in my telling you that you are very silly to tempt fate in such a reckless manner.

  • Lid
  • Detail

It's...um...a lid

Yeah pretty simple thing.  Not a ton to explain!

It does have a double lip: one around the edge to lock it on to the top, and an inner lip that lines up with the inside perimeter of the Growth Chamber.  This ensures that any condensation that forms on the inside of the lid doesn't escape the Growth Chamber.

So...it's a pretty dang cool lid!  Ok that's a stretch, it's a lid....

  • Removable End Cover Plates
Removable End Cover Plates


It might not be immediately obvious why I did this.  But be prepared to be astounded!  Ok maybe not.

2 reasons for this design:

  1. If you want to be able to install my Algae Scrubber into a tight vertical space, you have to be able to slide the growth chamber out sideways instead of lifting it completely up and clear of the body of the scrubber.
  2. One very common request was to have a "portal" so one could easily view the growth progress without completely removing the LED fixture.

Having the ability to remove the End Cover Plate makes both of these possible.  So, that's why I did it.

Astounded?  I bet!

  • Accessories

Everything you need

Every Turbo Algae Scrubber comes complete with the following:

  • Plastic scraper - "My Favorite Scraper" brand, which is a really nice scraper as far as scrapers go
  • Denture Toothbrush - GUM brand, has soft but stuff bristles to avoid scratching the Growth Chamber, great for "grabbing" loose algae
  • Grout Brush - ultra-stiff bristled scrub brush for cleaning off things like the False Bottom, Slot Pipe Skirt, and the top edge of the Algae Screen
  • Silicone Grease - Danco brand, for keeping the o-rings lubricated (probably enough for a year or more of use)
  • Slip-to-Thread adapters: Straight and Elbow
  • Thread-to-Hose-Bard adapters: Straight and Elbow
  • Thread/Thread Union (a very specific brand, which has a wide inner diameter for minimal flow restriction) <- little detail!
  • 24" of 3/4" ID Vinyl Hose for pump connection (Watts brand, clear)
  • (6) zip-ties for securing hose to fittings
  • 3/4" Two Little Fishies shutoff valve for flow control (note: quality valve, not cheap junk!)
  • (2) 2" to 1.5" reducing couplers (for Primary and Secondary drain plumbing)
  • 12" of 1.5" PVC pipe for Secondary Drain
  • 12" of 1.5" PVC pipe with Inline Valve for Primary Drain
  • 2" coupler with thumbscrews & 4" round x 8" long drawstring filter bag (bubble blocker)
  • LED Fixtures & Power Supply
  • Base/Frame
  • Growth Chamber
  • False Bottom
  • End Cover Plates
  • Lid
  • Slot Pipe
  • Mortar Screen
  • Base (Frame)
  • Rigid
  • Support
Base (Frame)

Set it & forget it

The Frame is composed of a few parts that are either bonded or snapped together.

The first part is the Base, which contains several grooves and protrusions that perform this or that...see the tabs for more detail

The second (and third) parts are the J-channels, named so because they look like the letter "J" from one end.  The J-channels are bonded or snapped into the Base to form the rail structure that the LED lights slide into.