Planning on building CO2 reactor tomorrow. Need advice tonight. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2007, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Planning on building CO2 reactor tomorrow. Need advice tonight.

I am going to be setting up pressurized CO2 in the next month. I would like to get a head-start on building the external reactor. I am planning on following Rex's design for the most part, but I have a couple of questions.

1. I am unsure if I have enough tubing to run the output from the canister to the top and still make the line from the bottom reach the top if the tank (I have an XP2 canister). I am thinking I could do two things: a) find more tubing b) rig the reactor with U-shaped return so that I can put the intake and outtake side-by-side. Which do you all would think is the best option. If I should add more tubing what size do I need for the XP2 and how will I link it up together? Will this tubing be available at a Home Depot or Lowes?

2. What size hose barbs do I need to fit the tubing for my XP2? Will these be readily available at Home Depot or Lowes?

3. Can I go shorter than the suggested 15" of tubing on Rex's reactor? I was thinking of going with 12" as this would be the best way to go for me.

Thanks
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-26-2007, 10:49 PM
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1) I'd add some tubing from your preferred hardware giant. Cut half an inch or so of the XP tubing, put it in your back pocket, and when you're in the store, pull it out and compare sizes. Best way to match them.

2) Not sure, but you can take that piece of XP tubing and match it to the right hose barbs as well. I have always just used 1/2" Sched 40 plastic pipe instead of barbs. Fits well, both into the XP tubing, and into various elbows to create turns.

3) I am using a 15" reactor with my XP3. However, the plastic pipe is 2.5" diameter. If you should go 2", 15" length might lead to a few bubbles escaping the reactor. Hard to say.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2007, 12:48 PM
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With an XP2 you can go short with 2" pipe.

The barb size needed is 5/8" and they can be a pain to find.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2007, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Done (well sort of)

Well I finished the reactor this morning! However, I did not fully glue all the connections together as I will be waiting until I get the reactor and proper CO2 tubing so that I can thread the CO2 line through and cement the top portion onto the reactor.

I have attached some pictures of the somewhat finished product. I was not able to find 90 deg. bend 5/8" barbs, but I did find some straight ones. I will probably just stick with those unless you guys really advise against that.

As far as the bottom goes I think I am just going to get tubing and then splice it together with a 2 barbed 5/8" connector I found today. Does that sound okay?

One dumb question I have is in regards to the connection of the 2" coupling and 2" reducer brushing. There is a small gap, maybe 2mm, between the two (you may be able to make it out in the second picture). Will this leak or have any adverse consequences? I can't forsee anything happening to it as it was a real pain to even get it to go down as far as I got it. What do you think?

PS. I know the excess primer doesn't look the best, but I did the best I could. This was the first time I have ever assembled anything out of PVC.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2007, 04:35 PM
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If you used a good amount of glue when you put the 2 pieces together, it should not leak at all.

The excess primer can be sanded away with no worries!

I woke up one morning and realized my living room turned into a fish store!!! HELP!!!!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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I thought of something today while I was at the store... Garden hose is 5/8" thick. Could that be used to connect the XP2 to the input side of my reactor and then use the existing tubing on the output side of the reactor? I would assume so, but maybe someone else has experience that would suggest that I don't
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 03:42 AM
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I too could only get the straight barb fittings in 5/8" for my XP3. It worked out well for me. There is a photo in this thread (page 2) of my reactor that I built based on Rex's advice.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...2-reactor.html


I used the center port for my ph probe. That way I was able to eliminate the adapter I made originally to plumb in my ph probe and keep the things that my filter has to push threw to a minimum.

Also as long as you used enough glue you don't have to push the fittings all the way on. I too somehow manage to get the primer on anything and everything.

Brian

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoJon01 View Post
I thought of something today while I was at the store... Garden hose is 5/8" thick. Could that be used to connect the XP2 to the input side of my reactor and then use the existing tubing on the output side of the reactor? I would assume so, but maybe someone else has experience that would suggest that I don't
I used 5/8" ID clear vinyl hose that I found at Home Depot. Be careful when you get it though. There are 2 kinds. So be sure to get the thinner kind. I believe it is 5/8"ID by 3/4"OD. The thicker kind is very hard to work with because the nut that screws down over the hose will not fit the thicker vinyl hose.

Brian

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Equipment: 55g, 3x 9watt tt uv, 2-xp3's, pressurized co2, inline co2 reactor, 216 watt catalina t5 fixture, milwaukee ph controller, 300 watt hydor inline heater, aqua soil
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoJon01 View Post
I thought of something today while I was at the store... Garden hose is 5/8" thick. Could that be used to connect the XP2 to the input side of my reactor and then use the existing tubing on the output side of the reactor? I would assume so, but maybe someone else has experience that would suggest that I don't
Like Preston said I've also used the clear 5/8th tubing (without the reinforcement) to replace hoses. If you want to use the reinforced type you are going to need to shave down the tips so that the O.D. is small enough to fit.

Some garden hoses are treated with fungicides, no good for our purpose. Try to use something that is drinking water safe. ASAIK, most garden hose is not suitable for drinking water (even though we do), and if that is the case, don't use it to fill your tank with it.

Walter

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