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Cheap Easy Ca reactor

215 Views 7 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  Stoney Reef
Everyone does not have the acrylic skills to make all that fancy acrylic stuff, so this is an easy Calcium reactor that almost anyone can do. It incorporates all of the high end designs.

I have rated this one for around a 180gallon tank.

Materials list.

2ft of 3.5"OD acrylic

3" PVC knock out closet flange
3"to 1/2" bushing

3" PVC union

(2) 1/2" 90 degree street EL
1/2" PVC threaded T
(5) 1" of 1/2" PVC pipe
1/2" PVC cross
(3) 1/2" PVC threaded coupler
(2)1/2" MNPT to 1/2"straight hose barb
1/2" MNPT to 1/4" straight hose barb
(2)1/2" MNPT to 1/2" 90 degree el hose barb
1/2" FNPT to 1/2" 90 degree el hose barb
(2)3.25" acrylic circle
(2)3.25" fiberglass window screen.

10 lbs #5 tideline crushed coral from petco
Mag 3 pump
CO2 equipment
total of all PVC and hose barbs $22 (includes cement)
Acrylic tube $14
3/8" ID tubing and 1/4" tubing $5
mag 3 pump $40
maxijet to feed it $15

Grand total
$96 less CO2 equipment

Time to build, 45minutes


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next pic


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Grey hose barbs were temporary until harware store opens tomorrow, then they will all be nice and white and polypropelene!


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This incorporates a re-circ loops that goes from bottom to top, with all the excess CO2 collecting at the top of the reactor and being sucked back into the reactor through the intake. With this kind of re-circl loop, the media will not get compacted and you should be able to run it practically out of media! Additionally, it is very easy to build. I build similar ones out of acrylic, but they are obviously more work. Thus if your stoney reef is like my stoney reef, where it is about how beautiful the tank is and the equipment is functional, not neccessarily beautiful, then here is a simple cost effective calcium reactor! I will have more pics tomorrow once it is up and running!
More detailed break down


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Naaah, if you think that is cool, wait til I unveil Buzz's combo reactor! We traded a combo reactor for him professionally redoing my website! Finished most of his reactor up today. My tongue was hanging out of my mouth drooling. I am so in love with his reactor, I am actually going to take it to mailboxes etc, and have them package and ship it. It is going to cost me a small fortune to ship it that way, but it is like a lady, have to treat her right! Firing it up tomorrow after noon, as soon as I get some more mnptXhose barb fittings! I dose a gallon of kalk a day right now and with the montis growing 1/8" per day, it cannot keep up! So it is time to fire a CA reactor up and get the best of both worlds. But I really did not have time to do a "nice" reactor, so I built this one quick, pretty much the same design, except less acrylic!
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OK design flaw, going to increase the price by $12!

Instead of the 2" union, and the 3"to2" reducer, get a 3" union.

This way you can put a fluval foam and a acrylic backing disk on top of the media so it does not get sucked into the pump in a reverse flow situation!

So I am just going to cut the top of this reactor, and glue in the 3" union since the rest of it is already in place.
OK now after a brain fart, some logical thinking comes into play. Must be too hot here or something!

I cut a two inch disk of fluval foam like is normally used for reactors, and shoved it into the Union tight against the 2" to 1/2" reducting bushing. VOILA! Working the way it is supposed to! Now if I just do not take the torch to my needle valve! **** THING! AHHHH, the joys of building a CA reactor out of miscellaneous parts you have lying around the workshop!
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