Have you ever used a brass fitting instead of drilling a hole in the PVC plug? I built my reactor a while back using 1.5" PVC and instead using a plug and having to worry about the possiblity of leaking, I used a 1.5" to 1/2" PVC reducing plug and screwed in a 1/2" NPT to 1/8" brass compression fitting.
I know this does not allow for you to put tubing up into the reactor, but I never had an issue with this because I used Bio Balls in the reactor.
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46g bowfront. Flourite. 192w CF lighting. Pressurized C02. DIY reactor. Eheim 2215. titanium heater.