Combo DIY CO2 Reactor/In-line heater Build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 08-09-2013, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Combo DIY CO2 Reactor/In-line heater Build

I've used, and been a big fan of Maxmix reactors and Hydor inline heaters, but for my new tank, which will be running an FX5, with 1" tubing, the only way to get them in was to use split the flow and use reducers to get the tubing to 5/8". I'm not sure how that will do in the long run with slime buildup, so I decided to go the DIY route. Furthermore, it allows me to fully replace the ribbed tubing (which is a PITA to seal against a hose barb) with a short length of vinyl tubing and plumb the rest. The whole contraption will go behind my tank, so there is a bit of a height limitation when it comes to the reactor

Here's my preliminary parts list from McMaster Carr:

5x 4880K23 Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 1 Pipe Size, 90 Degree Elbow

2x 4880K303 Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 1 Pipe Size, Union, Socket Female x Socket Female

1x 4880K583 Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 3 x 1 x 3 Pipe Size, Reducing Tee

1x 4880K229 Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 3 Pipe End Male x 2 NPT Female, Hex Bushing

1x 4880K83 Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 1 Pipe Size, Female Adapter, Socket Female x NPT Female

2x 48315K93 Barbed Dark Gray PVC Pipe Fitting 1 Pipe Size, 1.08" OD, Male Adapter

1x 4880K517 Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 3 Pipe End Male x 1 Socket Female, Hex Bushing

1x 4880K27 Standard-Wall White PVC Pipe Fitting 3 Pipe Size, 90 Degree Elbow

Total cost about $40 so far (minus pvc tubing, heater, pvc cement, misc items). The cost if you were just doing the reactor/heater part, without couplings or any of the hard plumbing bits would be a bit lower, probably around $20-25

Here's a picture of what I have in mind. The cordgrip will go into the NPT socket in the bottom endcap for the heater. The CO2 input will be a small brass hose barb that is drilled and cemented to the side of the 3" main chamber. Note that I will need 4 ball valves above and below the green couplings, but McMaster Carr did not have reasonably priced ones, so I didn't pull their CAD files


Green - Detachable Couplings
White - PVC tubing
Black - Hose barb
Red - End caps
Teal - T fitting
Light blue - Couplings and elbows

Thoughts and input on design are welcome! Surely someone else must have done this in the past. Would a straight connection at the top of the reactor be better for mixing?

Last edited by Chronados; 08-09-2013 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Update
Chronados is offline  


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