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Snazzy 10-09-2006 11:03 PM

DIY External Heater (56k!)
Created by: Snazzy

DIY External Heater

Please do not post this anywhere else without my permission!


1. 1- 1½” Elbow
2. 1- 1½” Tee
3. 2- 1½” to ¾” (You can reduce to any size threaded or slip, depending on your application)
4. 1- 1½” to 1” threaded
5. 1- Heyco Product #8437 (Watertight Cordgrip) (Can be order FREE at )
6. 1- 7” Long 1½” Pipe (As long as the heater doesn’t sickout of the pipe when you hook up everything but the elbow at the end)
7. Pipe Cleaner/Primer (Not necessary but recommended)
8. Pipe Glue
9. Teflon Tape
10. Eheim Jager 150W Heater

1. After you obtain the materials and cut the pipe you ready to assemble.

2. Put Pipe Cleaner on all the slip joints, and put Teflon Tape onto all male ended threads.
3. Tighten the threaded joints before you glue, or after the glue is COMPLETELY dried so you don’t weaken joints.
4. After cleaner dries, one joint at a time use the Pipe Glue to attach each fitting.
*Picture not glued, or primed*

5. Attach the heater to the Cordgrip. (Hand tighten ONLY)

Download as .Doc 4meg: External Heater.doc

TAF CAF 10-09-2006 11:13 PM

Interesting... I take it this will be in-line with a pump of some kind?

Snazzy 10-09-2006 11:22 PM

Yep! ill pipe it into my new 40br tank for my turtle once i finish the stand for it

Nightshop 10-10-2006 03:51 AM

Wow, this is very inovative! I love it!

I'm sure you could tweak this deisgn to double it as a C02 reactor . . .

Hoppy 10-10-2006 04:20 AM

A few others have tried this, but I haven't heard lately how well they are working. For example:
If anyone has done this, how about an update?

TAF CAF 10-10-2006 06:12 PM

I like your ideas Snazzy.

I am soon to be setting up a 70 gallon hex as kind of a show tank, and am very interested in keeping as little in equipment in the tank as possible.

You have inspired me to try it.

briandmiles 10-10-2006 06:33 PM

Yeah, that's my thread. I did it and it works great. Some disadvantages to what I did versus this. 1) My heater is siliconed in and so cannot be easily replaced or serviced. 2)That's pretty much it. My biggest concern with using the watertight fitting is that I use one to keep my pH probe inline and it has a tendency to not be all that water tight. Especially if it gets bumped at all.

As far as performance goes I think having an inline heater housing is the best. I love not having to see it in the tank.


Snazzy 10-10-2006 08:31 PM

i forgot to say 1)that if you order the free samples you can order as many as you want...i ordered 10 of them so that if 1 fails i can swap it out 2)im wondering but is silicon greese ok for aquariums? if so you can put it around the little rubber seal inside the cordgrip

madman280 10-24-2006 03:09 AM

I built a heater into my DIY CO2 reactor top. The reactor itself is made from scrap 4" PVC about 18" long I had left over from another job. The large diameter reduces the water flow inside and increases the dwell time at the heater. Plus its what I had ;)

The bottom of the reactor is a 4" PVC cap the top is a 4" PVC cleanout that has a threaded cap for internal access. Everything was glued with PVC solvent cement. All glued joints were cleaned with PVC joint primer.

I drilled a hole in the center of the cleanout cap, threaded it and glued in the rubber compresion fitting that holds the glass heater. I sealed the glass heater into the compresion fitting with some silicone (not grease) sealant as extra insurance, before I carefully tightened it.

The inlet and outlet are electrical PVC 5/8 hose barbs (used for flexable plastic electrical conduit).

The inlet is glued into a drilled and threaded hole in the side of the cleanout fitting where it is thickest. The outlet is in the side of the cap in the bottom.

The CO2 inlet is a small lawn 1/8" sprinkler head and extention siliconed into a smaller rubber compression fitting. The compresion fitting is glued into a drilled and tapped hole in the cleanout 90 degrees from the inlet.

I filled the lower 1/2 of the reactor with 1" sections of 3/4 PVC electrical conduit left over from another job. (I figured the might help mix everything. It was free and cut up easily on my chop saw.) I picked everything I didn't already have on one trip to Home Depot.

I let it all dry for a week outside and flushed it with water with a garden hose for a 1/2 hour before I hooked it up.

It works great, no leaks, the tank stays warm and the plants are pearling. I unfortunatly don't have any pictures since its impossible to photograph under my show tank. I'll will be making another soon and will take some and post some then.


Snazzy 04-22-2007 02:53 AM

:biggrin: welp still its been a little while like to say no leaks and it still is working great! im thinking about using this tech to make a uv sterilizer? any ideas?

epicfish 04-22-2007 02:58 AM


Originally Posted by Snazzy (Post 407310)
:biggrin: welp still its been a little while like to say no leaks and it still is working great! im thinking about using this tech to make a uv sterilizer? any ideas?

I don't have a UV sterilizer myself, but aren't they designed to be plumbed in-line anyways? If I'm wrong, please forgive this dumb comment. :D

slickwillislim 04-22-2007 06:46 AM

I think he means DIY sterilizer. I am not sure about the effects of UV on certain plastics but I assume it would be fine. I haven't heard of one being created but that doesn't mean it couldn't be done...

FelixAvery 05-15-2007 10:32 PM

the uv filter at my work is basically just 8 60w uv tubes plumbed inline into the massive filter

fishymatty 06-03-2007 07:48 PM

So I made this heater yesterday and when I put my nose up to the pvc I can still smell the glue. Does anybody know what the solubility of the glue is, if any?
Is there any other prep I need to take before I can run it inline with the tank. This is going in my discus tank so I will be very upset if something happens.

boasist 06-03-2007 08:28 PM

Its smell fades, there is normally a "safe" 24 hour cure time, then flush it out with some water and hook it up!

Other than that, you are good to go.

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