Co2 reactor and ABS? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Co2 reactor and ABS?

I am looking to make a co2 reactor but have been having a hard time finding pvc 2" fittings that will work. I did buy what I needed out of 2" abs but wanted to see if that would be fine. I could not really find any info for or against using abs.

I am making the reactor for a 25 gallon tank and have room for a 18" reactor. If I could use 1.5" pvc then I can find the parts I need.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 01:06 PM
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ABS is fine.... Go larger than 1 1/2" though... 2" likely suitable.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 01:52 PM
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Using clear PVC is more fun because you can see the reactor working. I bought a 24" length on Amazon. 2 " fittings are readily available, keep looking.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 01:53 PM
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I've never found any clear PVC in Canada. ABS = cheapest and easiest to find. Carry on with ABS.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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I've never found any clear PVC in Canada. ABS = cheapest and easiest to find. Carry on with ABS.

Thanks, so even thought it is not rated for pressure abs should be fine.

I think it is just because abs is just glued with the yellow abs cement not welded like pvc. Just don't want it to leak. I noticed you have a abs reactor in your tank journal so it must be fine.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 02:51 PM
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I've never found any clear PVC in Canada. ABS = cheapest and easiest to find. Carry on with ABS.
Amazon isn't available in Canada? Go with clear, you'll want to see it working.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 03:30 PM
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Amazon isn't available in Canada? Go with clear, you'll want to see it working.
Amazon.com and Amazon.ca have very different vendors and stock, clear PVC is not that easy to find in Canada and when you do it's price point will make you think twice. White PVC fittings arn't even common at the big box stores in the sizes we use. ABS will work just fine but I agree clear PVC is the best if you can find it. Seeing the bubbles will help dial in the flow of the reactor.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 04:11 PM
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I bought several fittings for my 4" reactor from here. Not sure how the shipping for CA works, but worth a shot to check out. https://www.pvcfittingsonline.com/

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advise, I have the abs so I will just go with that. It can be hard to find the pvc fittings in Canada without find a specialty store, way more stuff available in the US.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 06:37 PM
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Amazon isn't available in Canada? Go with clear, you'll want to see it working.
Amazon . com and Amazon . ca are completely different animals... I've spent hours looking for clear pvc. I was even going to buy a new python siphon kit just to use the 2" clear pipe from it... but I couldn't find any PVC fitting to use, so ABS it was.

You can use your ears and eyes to judge CO2 diffusion using black ABS... :

Don't hear any sloshing but you are injecting bubbles = dissolving.

Seeing tiny bubbles make it into the tank, that's too much... so either increase back pressure, or build a larger reactor

etc. etc. lots of ways to fine tune a reactor without seeing the bubbles.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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How long do you let the abs glue dry? is 24hrs long enough before adding it to the tank.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 12:19 PM
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How long do you let the abs glue dry? is 24hrs long enough before adding it to the tank.
Yep, I always set it up the day after i build them...
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BeastlyFern View Post
Thanks, so even thought it is not rated for pressure abs should be fine.

I think it is just because abs is just glued with the yellow abs cement not welded like pvc. Just don't want it to leak. I noticed you have a abs reactor in your tank journal so it must be fine.
I'm used to using black ABS cement. Welds the fittings together just like PVC. I've seen plumbers patch holes in pipes with shavings and cement. It melts the shavings into a patch. I've never seen the yellow stuff.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, I always set it up the day after i build them...
Thanks, one more question. I could not find his answer online but what pressure do you run your co2 at into the reactor? I assume you can go lower that what is needed with a ceramic diffuser (30-40 psi)

Last edited by BeastlyFern; 07-10-2019 at 02:53 PM. Reason: edit
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 02:53 PM
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ABS or PVC? Two different items , so they require two different solvents to do the joint. It is not a glue joint but a solvent weld, which does mean that the top layers of the pipe are dissolved and melt together, rather than a simple joint where the adhesive lays on top of the material. We sometimes confuse ourselves as we get sloppy about what the say about things like glue versus solvent.
You can get a joint using super glue but you will get a much better/stronger joint with a solvent weld much like gluing metal versus welding it.
The various colors of the different solvents is often used to let you know what "strength" or thickness as each has special qualities we need to know about. Some are thin, which makes them fast, while others are thicker to make them easier to get where you want them and others are blue which means they are better for use when working under less than ideal conditions like in a muddy pit where everything is wet!
For tank use, most of our joints are under very little pressure and small pipes, so which color to use is more a decision on what we want to deal with, more than how well the solvent will work.
It is important to use the correct solvent for the material as some ABS will not do as well on PVC, etc.
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