The Rex Reactor - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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The Rex Reactor

Ok, since I promised to show how to build a very simple and inexpensive reactor here is the article.



Parts List:

A - 1.75" PVC T
B - 1.75" PVC T with one 1.5" outlet
C - 1.75" PVC pipe about 18" long
D - 3/4" hose barbs
E - 1.5" PVC plug
F - 1.75 " PVC threaded plug with 3/4" thread
G - Same as F
H - 1.75" PVC cap.

Note I picked up these parts in about five minutes at the local Home Depot.

Both T parts can be straight 1.75" with no problem. If they are then E needs to be 1.75"

If you need 1/2" hose barbs then get parts F and G with 1/2" threads.

Part E is simply drilled with a small drill bit and the CO2 feed line is fed though the hole.

Here is the reactor fitted together. Note I have NOT glued anything together. If someone wants to purchase this reactor then contact me via my web site. I can put any size hose barbs you need within reason.

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post #2 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 03:23 AM
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Nice design Rex. Looks similar to mine, although I could not find the plastic barbs in my area.
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post #3 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 03:55 AM
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Rex, about how long should part "C" be? Great write-up. It's not as overwhelming as the parts list for other DIY CO2 Reactors.

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post #4 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Anywhere between 12-18" long seems to work for me. I like them a bit longer so I always go about 16-20".

Those plastic barbs are over with some of the irrigation stuff.

If anyone has a problem finding barbs contact me though my web site and I can get most any size you need/want.
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post #5 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 05:09 AM
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it seems really long. most inline reactors I see are no longer than 12". does any kind of media like bio-balls go inside?
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post #6 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Do you see any media in the picture?

Nope.

There is no media in the reactor. Media in the reactor slows down flow rate. Also it can clog the reactor. I have had this happen before. I took the media out of all my reactors and they work just fine.

I have never built a shorter reactor. I have no doubt they would work just as well.
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post #7 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 02:46 PM
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One thing I'd like to note...
as with any slip couplings, you are not limited to the inlet, outlet, and CO2 being in line. You can rotate the T's any direction you want to get the combination that best fits your setup.

An example for my tank would be to have this mounted on the edge of the opening of my stand (Standard corner tank stand with the backs fairly open). The CO2 and inlet would be facing into the stand and the outlet would be on the outside edge pointing directly up the back side of the tank.

Also, Rex, is the outlet end a T to create turbulence? Otherwise, wouldn't a regular elbow work just as well?

--Mike
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post #8 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 02:47 PM
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I just got the parts to make one of these, and I encountered a few simple problems: Lowes and another LHS (Local Hardware Store ) , both do not have anything with 1.75 inch PVC or CPVC pipes. Not the pipes itself or the other fittings. No big deal, just used 1.5 inch and scaled it down likewise. Also it is extreamly hard to find anything with 5/8 inch barbed fittings. I tried almost everything to make it work, and finally the LHS had one 5/8 inch barb and I used a few adapters to get it to fit right. I still can't figure anything out for the other side.

Anyways my real question is, is there any problem with using PVC cement on the connections?

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post #9 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Also, Rex, is the outlet end a T to create turbulence? Otherwise, wouldn't a regular elbow work just as well?
I use a T so I can use a flat plug so it sits level. I would guess it also creates a bit more turbulence.

If you need 5/8" barbed fittings contact me soonest. I will be headed out to a store today that in the past has always carried a good supply of 5/8" fittings. Do you want straight or elbows? What size thread do you want?

Let me know.
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post #10 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
If you need 5/8" barbed fittings contact me soonest. I will be headed out to a store today that in the past has always carried a good supply of 5/8" fittings. Do you want straight or elbows? What size thread do you want?
I actually just contacted someone at my LHS and they are ordering the piece for Thursday. But thanks for the great offer. BTW, do you know about the PVC cement? (See other post)

Quote:
Anyways my real question is, is there any problem with using PVC cement on the connections?

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post #11 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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AS long as your PVC cement is drinking water safe you are fine.

I build a reactor and let it sit for about 48 hours. Then I just flush water though it to remove the odor.
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post #12 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 05:29 PM
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Nice writeup Rex, thanks once again for a straight forward, simplisitic, NO BS design and documentation.

I was planning on building a similar one today from home depot/lowes parts before reading this thread, and now it looks like it'll be even easier than I thought.

Robert
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post #13 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
There is no media in the reactor. Media in the reactor slows down flow rate. Also it can clog the reactor. I have had this happen before. I took the media out of all my reactors and they work just fine.
That in itself is a great tip! Thanks Rex.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #14 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-22-2005, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
AS long as your PVC cement is drinking water safe you are fine.
Sorry for all the questions, but just one more and I'll be done for good: Is the PVC Cement nessacary, or can it be alright and stay leak-free without it?

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post #15 of 225 (permalink) Old 10-23-2005, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fosty
Sorry for all the questions, but just one more and I'll be done for good: Is the PVC Cement nessacary, or can it be alright and stay leak-free without it?
wouldn't try it! potential for nightmare right there!
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