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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Reactor build.. "Take 2 :)" NOW WITH PICS

I wanted to post this here in the local forum. I really dont want the thread filled with posts like "looks good" or "Great Job" etc just for post counts. Also there is more than enough knowledge in our group to get me thru this without out have my thread hijacked with argurments about which is better "up flow or down fow" and stuff like that :) Any way....

I few months ago I had the crazy Idea to try and build a Ca reactor. In the end I decided not to. After spending the last two months dosing Ca 2x a day I'm sick of it!

I HAVE ALREADY ORDERED ALL THE MATERIALS So there is no backing out of this one :)

This will be a fairly small/compact reactor but I estimate it would probally handle 150g++ Without a problem.

There will be 2 chambers. One 5" and one 4". I chose 4"&5" economically. If I had used dual 6" like the origional plan I would have had to order at least 14" wide material. With the 5&4 I can use 12" and still be off the edges and have 1" between the chambers. The chambers are 12" tall. Short by most standards but like I said fine for my application and most tanks under 150g.

To be a little different I orderd blue acrylic for the base and the chamber tops. and clear for the chamber and lids. I'll use black nylon screws for the lids.

The acrylic will be here 7/22 I already have the PVC and some hardware.

I ordered a reef fanatic PG controller and will ahve that on 7/22 also.

I still need a Reg, recirc pump and tank (5#) If any one has any of these for sale let me know.

I'm thinking either a MAG 2 or Quite One 1200
I have heard real good thing about the quite ones....

Not sure yet were to mount the PH probe. Probally in the top lid.

Basically this will be a simple build. Most parts will be CNC machined. I have Weld-on 3 for the acrylic joints and 16 for the PVC joints.

Plumbing will be simple:
Enter #1 at the bottom
Exit #1 at lid with union there for dissambely
somewere between the top of #1 and the pump will be the CO2 inlet.
The effluent chamber will be supplied either by a 1/4" JG from the top of #1 to the bottom of #2. Or via 1/2" PVC from top (side) of #1 to the bottom of #2. (probally the later)

I was thinking about the JBJ reg with bubble counter, fine adjust and chack valve.

I'm working on solid models while I wait for the materials. Will post them once I finish....
 

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I wanted to post this here in the local forum. I really dont want the thread filled with posts like "looks good" or "Great Job" etc just for post counts. Also there is more than enough knowledge in our group to get me thru this without out have my thread hijacked with argurments about which is better "up flow or down fow" and stuff like that :) Any way....
No argument here Chris ;). I agree 110%. The Members Only area is more that just a place for buyin/sellin'/tradin' (tho that's what it sez in the header:doh:, not exactly what i told them i/we wanted it to say)
 

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Man, I wish you would have checked with Jaim--he probably has some 6" clear acrylic he would sell you--it's 1/8" though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tried to pm him several times, he never replied and I really did not want 6" then I would have had to make the base bigger

I got the 12" long 4" and 5" tubes for 6$ each!!!
I did the whole thing in $35 worth of acrylic :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok I got everything in UPS this AM and already have it completly machined!!!!!
Whoo Hooo..........

I machined the base, top plate and lid,
drilled and tapped (1/4-20) the top plate grooved the plate to recess the tubes about 1/16"
drilled the lid to accept the screws
grooved the base to recess the tubes 1/16"

I grooved them so there the weld-on would sit in the recess and not be visible at all.

Still need to drill the tubes 1/2" for the PVC fittings....

Pics tonnight....

I also got the PH controller in today. I suspect this will be running the weekend
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK here are some pics. Nothing is glued yey. Tonnight or tomorrow. I want to make absolutly sure all is right before using the weld on :)

Here is the whole reactor. I still need to drill the top for the recirc in and the PH probe holder.


Here is a close up of the top plate and cap


Top down. I have not decided if I will just use a 4" and 5" o-ring to seal it or cut a peice of flat rubber???




At this point this is my only issue. When I drilled and tapped I forgot about the thumb screw diameters. I will have to turn those two screws down a bit but no biggie :)


Here is one of "my" ideas???....
I put a 1/8" (plus a lil) groove in the base and the top for the chamber to seat into. I figure this will make a much tighter and cleaner seal. also there was no worries about the saw cut edges of the tubes. Even thou I polished the ends.... This should make foe one hell of a watertight rigid reactor!!!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK maybe a little overboard on the screws but this thing will be external and I DONOT want any leaks (nor does the wife)

Oh there will be a 1/4" JG fitting on top of the effeluent chamber for return to tank and I still need to cut the media discs that will sit about 3" from the bottom of each chamber and support the media and pads.

Ansl I'm having a real hard time deciding on a recirc pump...
MAG 2? (not that great for external)
Eheim 1048?
Quiet one 1200?
 

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[email protected], you hit this project hard!
One thing to be wary of: make sure that inlet fitting is high enough on the tube to accomodate for the height of the pump.
It might be a good idea to wait for the pump before you glue everything together though.
Looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[email protected], you hit this project hard!
One thing to be wary of: make sure that inlet fitting is high enough on the tube to accomodate for the height of the pump.
It might be a good idea to wait for the pump before you glue everything together though.
Looks great!
Thats my plan...
I'm ordering a pump today. I like the eheim the best because there is a "slide off" mount that I could bolt to the base and make everything rigid.

I do plan to do all the acrylic glueing today and the PVC from chamber to chamber but the recirc plumbing will wait till the pump comes in :)

Actually I made all the parts in less than a hour. :)
CNC machines are GREAT!!
 

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That thing looks great. Looks like a top notch finish. One thing you may want to add is a JG fitting at the top of the first chamber going back into the ricirculation line. The reason for this is to eliminate the buildup of excess co2 the is bound to happen at the top of the first chamber.

Please keep the pics and updates coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ahhh forgot about that :doh: It was origionally going to be upflow and I would not need to worry about that.

I also need to figure out how to add the spray bar...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
GOT IT DONE!!!!

No pics tonnight need to go to bed..

I got everything glued and am going to apply a fre more coats of weld-on 3 to the joints througought the day..

I had some minor crazing on one of the holes where there is a PVC fitting. I thought that since there was such a tight fit between the PVC and acrylic it would be ok to use teh weld-on 3 I guess I should have ordered some 16.. Oh wekk you really cannot see teh craze behind the fitting. as long as it get no worse.


I have decided on the Ehiem or maybe a Panworld 10X will order teh reg, tank and all other accessories from PA tomorrow and should have them in on friday.

One more thing...

I was thinking about using a coarse media in #1 and a fine in #2 thoughs????

I figure the finer media will have more contact with the effluent and might bring the PH up a lil more
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, By tomorrow I will have EVERYTHING I need.

I just places a order at PA for:
#5 CO2 tank
Co2 reg
Co2 tubing
PAN WORLD 10PX-MD10 pump
Ph probe blkhead holder
PH calibration fluid
and other mics crap :)

I will just get the media from MWC and there are two more things I need I cannot find...
I need a 1/2x1/2x3/16 reducing Tee for supply to reactor and I need a flow control valve for output from the reactor..
ANyone know where I might fond these?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I went with the panworld pump because it seemed like a better pump for only $6 more..

Hopefully tomorrow I can get to S&H for the CO2 and MWC for the media....

I will algo have some plumbing to do...

I will plumb everytihing tomorrow and probally let it run overnight in the garage to test the watertightness and hook it too the tank sat afternoon..

WHOO HOOO!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK I got everything in from PA this AM plus a lil bonus :)
Should have everything plumbed and filled tonnight.

No CO2 or media untill a good 24-36 hour water test in the gerage....

I still need to get the reactor media and somthing for a filter pad....
I hope MWC has coarse media....

Oh and I need to go to S&H to get the CO2 tank filled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
IT's DONE!!!!!!

Got it all plumbed lastnight and water tested it all night I actiall put it under a little pressure and when I opened the valve this am the pressure bleed off...
Gonna det the CO2 and media in there this afternoon,...
Here are some pics:

Here I'm just usung tube to close all the JG's off:


Kinda a mess with plumbing but functional and with this one being a prototype I did not care tooo much:


Top of reactor O-rings holding a seal nice. There is 1/2" pece of acrylic in the ph probe holder and I put the holder a lil close to the union oops...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK it's been running with media and co2 for about 5 hours now. :)

Nice steady bubble count about 1/sec same with the flow...

Reactor PH down to 6.88 rigth now should start medting media soon...

Contoller set to 6.65 with the sensitivity set to .05 that will keep ot betweeen 6.6 and 6.7

I'll get some pics later....
I have it alll sitting out for now once it stabalizes I will put it under the tank...
 
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