Reactor: To Buy or To Build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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Question Reactor: To Buy or To Build

Hey all,

I have recently decided to move from a traditional glass diffuser to something inline. My question is, for a 60P, would it be more cost effective/efficient to build a Rex Griggs (or similar style reactor) or buy one like the ista turbo? If the answer is the latter, do you have one in particular that you recommend? Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 04:13 AM
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I've heard terrible reviews about the Ista. Noisy and leaks everywhere. Most guys I know using it are using clamps to stop it leaking


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 04:34 AM
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I just made a second Cerges last night, cost me about $50. A PVC reactor like the Grigg's would probably be less than half that (if you can find all the parts, I couldn't). A reactor off Ebay will run from $25 to $50 but I've found the Ista to be noisy. Mine doesn't leak but it's noisier than anything I've made myself.

If you aren't very DIY minded then an Ebay reactor might be the answer, but building a Cerges is pretty simple.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to both of you. That was my concern with buying a reactor, Joachimbates, that it would break or not work as effectively as one I could build. And MysticalBeast, I've been eyeballing the Cerge, but don't know where to get the fitting he references in post #6.

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I've heard terrible reviews about the Ista. Noisy and leaks everywhere. Most guys I know using it are using clamps to stop it leaking


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Originally Posted by MysticalBeast5623 View Post
few month back i had the same problem deciding which to buy. you are better off with a cerge reactor, wont reduce the flow as much as a rex grigg will and more reliable than those cheap ista. bullding the cerge will cost you alilttle more, but its worth the money and time.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks to both of you. That was my concern with buying a reactor, Joachimbates, that it would break or not work as effectively as one I could build. And MysticalBeast, I've been eyeballing the Cerge, but don't know where to get the fitting he references in post #6.

Great stuff.

I know that's my worry. I know the Up Aqua 2 is pretty decent.

With regards to your problem for parts, I would get the main parts and the just hit your local hardware and they can brainstorm with you


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Fortunately, I love DIY. Just finished building myself a 60P raw industrial style stand today! So I will probably go with the Cerges. Thanks for the cost estimate, btw (:

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I just made a second Cerges last night, cost me about $50. A PVC reactor like the Grigg's would probably be less than half that (if you can find all the parts, I couldn't). A reactor off Ebay will run from $25 to $50 but I've found the Ista to be noisy. Mine doesn't leak but it's noisier than anything I've made myself.

If you aren't very DIY minded then an Ebay reactor might be the answer, but building a Cerges is pretty simple.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 04:42 AM
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I just built this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...ml#post6987650. Very easy to build and is working great.

They have everything at Lowes (I got the water filter off Amazon rather than HD). You just punch in the part number into the Lowes app and it will tell you the aisle and bay the part is in.

The only thing I did differently was to use pipe dope instead of tape to better prevent leaks.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, very handy. I'll certainly check out that app. I spend way too much time trying find things in those huge hardware stores!

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I just built this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...ml#post6987650. Very easy to build and is working great.

They have everything at Lowes (I got the water filter off Amazon rather than HD). You just punch in the part number into the Lowes app and it will tell you the aisle and bay the part is in.

The only thing I did differently was to use pipe dope instead of tape to better prevent leaks.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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How is it that you got your filter housing for so cheap? Aren't they like $20+?

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i built my cerge reactor for less than 12 dollars. take one of your cannister tubbing, go to the hardware store and show them want you really want to do, any employee in the plumbing section can help you. thats what i did, the guy got me the filter housing and 2 brass barb connector.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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Perfect, just ordered on Amazon. Thank you Prime, I'll have this thing tomorrow!

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maybe its because i dont live in the US and got a generic version of it. XD


EDIT:i just did a google search, this is the one that i bought, amazon price ~16 and google search result ~12. dont know if i can post links.

http://www.amazon . com/Pentek-158117-Clear-Filter-Housing/dp/B003VT79VA

https://www.google . com/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=C4t7VquwOsGN-way9oeADw#q=filter+housing+home+depot&tbm=shop&spd =10547596940668263796

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 05:28 AM
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 05:43 AM Thread Starter
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Man, this thread is working out so great for me! I have been scouting all around for a good diy reactor/heator combo, but was about to give up since I didn't like what I was seeing/reading. How do you feel about your design? Do you feel the heater is safe? (as in not exposed to air pockets?) That's my primary concern and also that it does not affect my Eheim 2215's priming.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 06:05 AM
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How do you feel about your design?
Do you feel the heater is safe? (as in not exposed to air pockets?)
1. I thought for sure NASA would contact me after seeing the design...
But they haven't, probably because it's the holidays. I expect to hear from them in the new year though.

2. I feel it's safe, it's simple to bleed the air by just loosening the Heyco grip. I have tried this twice since setup and no air came out, just water.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2015, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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hahah, funny And that's good to hear, I'll give it a try. Just trying to track down a Heyco right now!

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Originally Posted by The Big Buddha View Post
1. I thought for sure NASA would contact me after seeing the design...
But they haven't, probably because it's the holidays. I expect to hear from them in the new year though.

2. I feel it's safe, it's simple to bleed the air by just loosening the Heyco grip. I have tried this twice since setup and no air came out, just water.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Thanks to both of you. That was my concern with buying a reactor, Joachimbates, that it would break or not work as effectively as one I could build. And MysticalBeast, I've been eyeballing the Cerge, but don't know where to get the fitting he references in post #6.
If built right, a rex grigg reactor will be the last thing you will have problems with. I have built many of them and have never had an issue. Also I have not had them be noisy at all assuming the are built the correct size for your flow and amount of co2 being injected.

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Perfect, just ordered on Amazon. Thank you Prime, I'll have this thing tomorrow!
I would be careful with that housing, it only has 1/4" ports which will slow flow a lot.
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