Santa Monica Filtration

Santa Monica Filtration DROP1.4x Algae Scrubber


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The DROP1.4x will fit into any size aquarium, sump, and almost all back compartments of all-in-one aquariums. Nano and pico tanks, with sumps on the back side, normally have compartments at least 3" (15 cm) wide; and the DROP1.4x only need 3.5" width.. And of course it can fit into the display (the main part of the tank). The DROP1.4x has a special plate under it which allows it to sit on the bottom of your aquarium or sump, including sitting on sand; the plate not only keeps sand from getting into the filter, but also blocks most of the red light from coming out.

The DROP1.4x has water inlets and outlets at the bottom of the growth compartment, where internal upflowing air bubbles inside the unit (from an air pump which you provide) flow up into the growth compartment and bring aquarium water inside it. As the water enters the growth compartment, it mixes with the air bubbles, and rubs the algae-attachment strings and Green Grabber textures, and gets blasted by the super-red 660nm LED light. This rubbing of bubbles causes algae to start growing on the rock hard (and heavy) Green Grabber textures; saltwater grows thicker, dense algae. The air then goes out of the top of the unit, and the water goes down and out the bottom, without many air bubbles remaining. If you position the top 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the DROP above the water, it is very quiet and all bubbles are removed.

The Green Grabber algal growth attachment surface is so rough and prickly that it might be the roughest thing you`ve ever felt. A cactus might be sharper, but that`s about it. Rough surfaces are critical for allowing algae to attach and grow and thus provide strong absorption of nutrients. The rock-hard protrusions stick straight out 1 to 3 mm. Previous algae scrubber screens were made from "slippery" plastic canvas that is used for sewing and knitting; algae take a long time to attach to it. Green Grabber growth surfaces are not plastic at all; instead they are rock hard and have jagged rough edges and points (don`t let children play with them). And the white color of the Green-Grabber surface reflects as much light as possible, allowing lots of light to reflect back to the algae. Light = photosynthesis = filtering.

The main advantage of the DROP1.4x or any algae scrubber is that if you size and operate it properly (based on how much you feed), it can be the only filter for your tank, even replacing waterchanges. It can, however, also be used with other filters. Some other filters such as carbon dosing (Zeo, pellets, etc) may slow down the scrubber, but nothing will really "hurt" the scrubber except possibly large amounts of algaecide or copper medications. The DROP1.4x is also dry-out proof, since it`s always under water. Power outages will not affect it. And very important - it cannot overflow onto your floor!

The DROP1.4x will run on both 120V and 240V, and comes with two power supplies, each with a 10 ft (300 cm) UL and CE approved power adapter cord with a U.S. plug. If you require a different plugs you can get two adapters at any local hardware or travel store, or online, or you can cut off the U.S. plugs and install your own plugs from a hardware store. They are simple 2-wire plugs, which are also the same as laptop power supply cords. The power cords are actually the same as laptop computer cords with C7 connectors (look like a figure eight), so you can swap your laptop cords with your DROP cords if you want to.

The DROP1.4x uses a low voltage that is perfectly safe. The LEDs are sealed in a double waterproofed manner; this prevents corrosion from fresh and saltwater. The UL and CE approved power supplies work on both 120 or 220 volts, it converts (and isolates) the 120 or 220 volt mains to the safe low voltage which is isolated from the water, meaning that even if the LEDs were not sealed at all you could put the LEDs into the water and they would continue to work and nothing would happen. It is recommended that you use GFCI safely plugs, available at any aquarium, hardware, electrical or home improvement store, or online.

Comes with 3 ft (90 cm) of vinyl airline, but requires an air pump. A larger pump with two outlets combined into a single outlet is preferred, however an even larger pump with four outlets combined into a single outlet will work well. It is the air bubbles which move water into the growth compartment and up the growth surfaces, and also supply carbon dioxide (CO2 in the air) to the surfaces, which allow algae to grow in the filter. If you don`t have a proper pump, you can use what you do have in the mean time. One pump which works well is the Fusion 700 from JW Pet, which we sell here: Fusion 700 Air Pump from JW Pet (for 120 volt only)

The LEDs are six red (660 nm) 3-watt LEDs, which are double sealed in epoxy. Two of the LEDs are the Low Power mode, which is one power supply, and four of the LEDs are on the other power supply. When plugged in at the same time, it is at the highest power.

Some red light does come out of the bottom holes, but most of the light is blocked by the special plate underneath the filter; so it will not make little red dots on the bottom of the aquarium or sump. You will need to get a timer so you can run the LEDs for up to 22 hours per day (not 24), although you can start off without a timer if you`d like to. The LEDs never needs replacing.

The DROP1.4x will need to be cleaned ("harvested") every 7 to 14 days or when thick with growth. Just lift up the DROP1.4x out of the water, open the hinged lid, and pull the algae out (new installations will usually require taking the filter to your sink and cleaning with a toothbrush). You can even feed some of the algae to your fish, and there will probably some some pods inside that you can feed too.


  • Dimensions: 3.25" wide x 6" tall x 2.75" thick front-to-back (8 cm wide x 15 cm tall x 7 cm thick)
  • Recommended Water Level: ~5" (13 cm) of water to operate in
  • LEDs: Six red (660 nm) 3-watt LEDs, which are double sealed in epoxy.
  • Requires a standard air pump, however a larger pump with two outlets combined into a single outlet is preferred
1 - 5 Gallons 5 - 10 Gallons 10 - 40 Gallons 55 - 120 Gallons 180 - 300 Gallons 450+ Gallons
RAIN2 x2 x3 x5
DROP.2 x2
Saltwater only
HOG.5 x2
x2 x4
HOG1.3 x2 x4
HOG2 x2 x3 x5
Saltwater only
x2 x3 x4
Saltwater only
x2 x3 x5
Saltwater only
x2 x4
Saltwater only

Product Manuals & Documentation

Santa Monica Filtration DROP1.4x Algae Scrubber

Owner's Manual available for download in Adobe PDF file format
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9 Questions
Displaying questions 1-9
So if a 1.4 handles 1.4 cubes of frozen food then I would need What size if I feed my seahorses 5 cubes a day?
Asked : Jul 02, 2019
By : Sandee, Portland
Am I to believe the chart indicates that for a 120 gallon salt tank, I need 2 of these scrubbers at $300 each?
120 gallon tank needs TWO scrubbers at $300 each?
Asked : Oct 25, 2017
By : Jack, FL
Another answer, is that it's really based on feeding. Each 1.4x handles 1.4 frozen cubes of food per day.
Answered : Aug 11, 2018
By : SantaMonicaFiltration, Santa Monica, California, USA

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