My DIY Inline CO2 Reactor
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Old 07-17-2004, 08:04 PM   #1
osCon
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My DIY Inline CO2 Reactor


I decided to make my inline CO2 reactor today after rushing to the welding supply store to find out they decided to close 15min early…

Here is all the pieces and what it looks like. I looked at a few articles and took some ideas from them all and came up with this. For the most pat it is based on this design with a few improvements (I hope anyway ).

Maybe someone can get some use out of it, and I am always up to hearing suggestions/criticism. This is the first CO2 reactor I have ever made so if you do use my design, do so at your own risk .

Parts: (I don't know the names of some of the pieces so if the description seems a bit off, click the link to see the picture)
1 x 1ft 1 1/2" PVC Pipe
1 x 1 1/2" PVC Pipe Coupler
2 x 1 1/2" to 1/2" Threaded PVC Pipe Reducer (???)
1 x 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" by 1/2" PVC Pipe "T"
1 x 1 1/2" Female PVC to Male Threaded Coupler (???)
1 x 1 1/2" Male PVC to Female Threaded Coupler (???)
1 x 1/2" to 1/4" Male Pipe to FIP Bushing
1 x 1/8" to 1/4" I.D. Hose Barb to MIP Adapter
2 x 5/8" to 1/2" I.D. Hose Barb to MIP Adapter
1 x Box of Bio-Balls
2 x Hose Clamps

What I like about this design is that for one, the CO2 intake is by a barb connected to a "T". This way I did not have to drill a hole in the PVC pipe and try to seal in an air hose connecter. Also, one of the ends can be unscrewed if I ever need to clean anything on the inside of the tube.







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Old 07-17-2004, 09:01 PM   #2
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I think it's a great design. I don't know too much about the interaction of the brass & water, but I don't think it's going to effect anything to a large degree, if any. Nice job
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Old 07-17-2004, 09:09 PM   #3
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Ya I was going to try to keep with nylon but the Home Depot I went to only had 5/8" stuff in brass.

From what I read when I was watercooling my PC was that brass is fine for water, just as long as you don't mix metals (ex. Al topped waterblock with brass fittings). And seeing has how this brass will be the only thing metal I don't think there will be an issue.
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Old 07-18-2004, 02:00 AM   #4
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A couple of ways you could save a few steps and money in the process would be to eliminate the "T" and reducer for the hose barb and drill the PVC where the coupler is joined to the inlet reducer, tap it with a 1/8 MNPT tap and use a 1/8" MNPT X 1/8" hose barb, a wrap or two of teflon tape or just a thin coat of silicone on the threads and it's sealed.

I love the threaded coupler idea, that's rather clever, the ones I'm going to be making use a threaded nipple for the body but I'll have to see if your way can reduce the cost by letting me use straight pipe.
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Old 07-18-2004, 02:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass-gardens.com
A couple of ways you could save a few steps and money in the process would be to eliminate the "T" and reducer for the hose barb and drill the PVC where the coupler is joined to the inlet reducer, tap it with a 1/8 MNPT tap and use a 1/8" MNPT X 1/8" hose barb.
That is a good idea! Though it would have been fun trying to drill that hole with my Dremel. Guess I should pick up a real electric screwdriver/drill set someday.
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Old 07-18-2004, 05:58 PM   #6
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Great design!

Do you think it'd work for a HOB filter? Probably not. I don't really like the idea of something being in my tank, so an inline diffuser would be nice, but I've got no canister to plumb it with. Hmm...

Any ideas as to what an option could be for me?
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Old 07-18-2004, 07:08 PM   #7
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better yet, go to one of those cheapo imported tool places, you can usually get a reasonably good benchtop drill press for arond $30-40
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Old 07-18-2004, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbarone
Do you think it'd work for a HOB filter? Probably not. I don't really like the idea of something being in my tank, so an inline diffuser would be nice, but I've got no canister to plumb it with. Hmm...

Any ideas as to what an option could be for me?
Perhaps you could just feed the CO2 into the inlet tube of your HOB, let the impeller smash it up, and hopefully dissolve most of it inside the filter? Works pretty well with smaller AquaClears...
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Old 07-19-2004, 01:35 PM   #9
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i agree that the 5/8 inch barbs are hard to find. i used 3/4 inch nylon barbs. it actually didn't take too long to fit my 5/8 inch inside diameter filstar hose over these barbs (of course i had to use boiling water for about a minute).
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:34 PM   #10
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The only problem with that is that it's noisy. My tank is in my room
(where we sleep) and when I route bubbles through there is sounds
like my Aquaclear is choking.

The only thing I can think of is to wire the Co2 under my sponge+amonia+biomax and let is rise through there---but wouldn't the
disturbance in the chamber cause a lot of Co2 loss?
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Old 07-20-2004, 04:34 AM   #11
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I also used 5/8" brass barbs in my DIY reactor. It's been running for about 6 months without issue. There is some light corrosion on the brass but nothing serious.

I would put teflon tape on the brass threads though.

Also I think you could cut the length of the reactor quite a bit. Mine is 8 inches I think I could have dropped it to 6 inches without issue.

Here is a shot of my equipment where you can see the reactor.

Equipment
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Old 07-23-2004, 11:42 AM   #12
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I really like the idea of keeping yet one more piece of equipment out of the tank so I'm really interested in the inline reactors. This is a very nice, clean, design osCon. But would it be possible for you to post a pic of it connected up so this newbie can see exactly how it fits into the scheme of things as it were?
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Old 07-23-2004, 12:42 PM   #13
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Here you go RoseHawke. I have mine attached to the intake of my Fluval. Some say it is better if it is placed on the return of your filter.

I want to find a better way to mount it, but I am going to wait till after I get my new filter for that.

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Old 07-23-2004, 12:50 PM   #14
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Brass contains copper. But I would imagine as long as one does regular water changes it should not be a problem. 5/8" fitting are hard to find. But even here in little old Portland I have at least three sources within a 45 minute drive or less. One has to get out of the BORG rut and learn to use the Yellow Pages.
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Old 07-24-2004, 11:25 AM   #15
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Thanks much, osCon ! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words!
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55 gallon - Hi-Res — 2wpg CF lighting; pressurized CO2; 18 watt Turbo-twist UVS; Eheim Pro II 2028; eco-complete; 2 Pearl Gouramis; 7 Harlequin Rasboras; 3 Otocinclus catfish
10 gallon — lo-tech; 1.8 wpg DIY CF light; no CO2; Aquaclear mini; Schultz substrate; java fern; java moss; 7 Neon Tetras; 1 flame dwarf gourami
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