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Old 10-22-2005, 03:17 AM   #1
Rex Grigg
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Default 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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Old 10-22-2005, 03:23 AM   #2
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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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Old 10-22-2005, 03:55 AM   #3
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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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Old 10-22-2005, 04:33 AM   #4
Rex Grigg
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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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Old 10-22-2005, 05:09 AM   #5
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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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Old 10-22-2005, 01:26 PM   #6
Rex Grigg
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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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Old 10-22-2005, 02:46 PM   #7
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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?
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Old 12-08-2005, 05:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg

Part E is simply drilled with a small drill bit and the CO2 feed line is fed though the hole.
would it make any diffant if you put an airstone on end of the co2 tube??? or am i thinking stuid thing ?
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Old 12-08-2005, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitromad
would it make any diffant if you put an airstone on end of the co2 tube??? or am i thinking stuid thing ?

It would be fine for a while, but it wouldn't really help all that much and it would get clogged up eventually creating problems (especially if its glued shut and you cannot take apart the reactor to clean it). It really isn't nessacary for any reason that I can see.
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Old 12-09-2005, 02:02 PM   #10
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Hiya all again ...

i wasn't quite sure of this post is totally appropriate to this thread .... if not please PM me and i will "relocate" it ... (or mods .. please feel free to move it ... and apologies in advance)

i'm still working on trying to get all the "bugs" ironed out of my Rexx DIY CO2 reactor ...

by way of background i made my rexx reactor out of 2" diameter PVC .... cause that's all that i could get at the time .... its also a little on the long side at about 24" ..

after making it i discovered that it was just a tad too long and wouldn't quite fit under the cabinet ... ... so i had to put it under the cabinet on a slight slope .. rather than vertically as recommended by Rex ...

a slight problem has arisen and i am wondering if anyone else has experienced this issue with inline DIY reactors and if so ... how did you solve it?

i had a real tough time getting my canister filter (i have a fluval 304 on a 32 US gallon tank - heaps of flow ... almost too much i think) to start or prime after installing the reactor for the first time a few weeks ago .... it seemed to badly airlock or something ... it took ages to get it going and i'm not real sure exactly how i did it now ... but i just thought that it was due to the fact that it was all new ....

tonight i decided to cleaned the fluval again after installing an inline heater (hydro) ....and struck the same problem ...but even more difficult to get it going ... it took nearly 2 hours, and i ended up snapping the little gizmo that you use to prime the canister by pumping it up and down ... now i know why people buy an eheim!

is this a common problem with the inline reactor .. or have i just got an error in the way that i am doing it ... how have others that had this issue fixed it? ...
i remember once on a big swimming pool filter (a kind of cartridge thing that was about waist high) that there was a little knob or screw up at the top that was used to "bleed" all the air out of the system after cleaning the cartridge ... could this be applicable here ... or is it a bit too complex for DIY ? ..


DIY can be sooo frustrating sometimes .... but i am determined to keep at it and keep learning and improving ... altho i have to confess that i feel a little discouraged right now ... hopefully tommorrow will be a brighter day

any help or ideas are greatly appreciated ...

thanks again
aussietanker
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Old 12-09-2005, 02:08 PM   #11
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I had a very similar problem when I installed my RR(tm).
I think that air in the reactor was keeping the filter from running af full capacity.
The bleed valve would work for my problem but in keeping with the KISS methodology, and avoid anything that could cause a leak, I found an easier fix:
Tip the reactor to bleed it. I tilted the reactor so that the output higher than the input and lot of air shot out of my spray bar, and everything worked great after that. (fingers crossed)

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-09-2005, 02:31 PM   #12
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Hi and thanks for the quick response ...

i presume that you mean that you tilted it so that the bottom of the reactor was higher than the top of the reactor ...

or did you mean that you lifted the whole reactor gizmo up so that the bottom of the reactor was higher than the top of the spraybar or water outlet ... sorry to ask ... but i'm just trying to make sure that i understand it fully ...

i did try tilting the bottom of the reactor so that it was above the top of the reactor several times .... many times in fact ... but that didn't seem to fix it ... it just seemed to be totally locked up ... do you need to do this lifting repeatedly?

is there another way? ...


or could it just be a particular problem with my design ... or cause my canister is too "powerful" for the tank and is causing too much pressure build up ... aaarg ... so confusing!

anyway ... anymore feedback is greatly appreciated ...
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:10 PM   #13
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I've got a few questions about my almost finished rex reactor. I'm going to be using about 14-16" of 2" PVC with the elbows, caps, etc, just as shown in the first post (with the obvious exception of larger pipe diameter, and also no reducing tee, everything is fitting the 2" pipe.)

Questions:

#1 I'm using Flexible PVC from the irrigation section at Lowe's for my current CO2 setup (it's black, which is nice for my internal reactor since my bg is black). It's not as flexible as say vinyl or silicone. Would it be advisable to just remove the flexible pvc from the setup and use something easier to seal the drilled hole with (ie vinyl), or does anyone think that the flexible pvc will have enough elasticity to seal off the tiny hole? FYI, the run from the CO2 cylinder to the reactor will be less than 2ft.

#2 I've gathered that this reactor is meant to be vertical, but I wonder... does this unit stand on it's own? no wiggling? I'd LOVE to just set it in the bottom of the tank stand, but fear that a gurgle in the filter might give it enough of a rattle to tip it over. Strapping it to the inside of the stand isn't really a problem, I'm just lazy and tired of convincing my wife that I need to go to Lowe's/HD *again*.

#3 I see the mention of 3/4", 1/2", and 5/8" barbs for filter tubing. I'm going to be using this reactor with a 2217. This is my first Eheim, and I'm not sure of the tubing size that comes with the filter. I got the 1/2" barbs on a hunch from threads searched here for "eheim hose" and "eheim tubing", but never saw a direct measurement in inches, only mm. Should the 1/2" barbs work, or should I return them for another size?

I think that's all for now.

Thanks,
Oqsy
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Old 12-09-2005, 02:49 PM   #14
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Could it be that your CO2 is causing the airlock? All that gas buildup with no place to go may be just enough to cause your fluval to cavitate. Just a WAG. If it is, try disconnecting the CO2 line whenever the pump is off.
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Old 01-23-2006, 01:05 AM   #15
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Rex, I built one and hooked it up.. now my Co2 tank isn't even turned on right now but everything is plumbed and the cannister filter is running. All I would have to do is turn on the Co2..

So why am I seeing lots of little bubbles coming out of my spray bar? I thought maybe it was just air from inside the PVC and maybe it is but it has been over two hours since I hooked it up and turned in the cannister and little bubbles are still coming out.. but where are they coming from? They are not Co2, the Co2 isn't turned on!

Help!

I put my reactor at 30 degrees past vertical so the inlet is at the top left and the outlet is at the bottom right..

BTW, the reactor was constructed from 1.25" PVC, and is 18" long. Also I had to use PVC 90 degree street elbows instead of the elbowed hose barbs because they only had straight hose barbs.. but it built fine and looks slick.

Thanks!!!

Edit: Problem solved, the air was all gone this morning. I think I could have turned the reactor upside down so the output was above the input to "burp" it right away but either way no more little bubbles.. Now tonight I'll turn on the CO2 and hopefully no MORE little bubbles!
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