My Latest Creation


Moved On
DIY Calcium Reactor
I did have a lot of problems with the extruded acrylic tubing and I will need to do it all over again. Live and learn I guess. Right now its working as expected with no drop in my tank PH what so ever. The only problem is I have to run it in the sump due to the tubing cracking and crazing.




looks good Rich! That's some serious plumbing going chamber to chamber though! most Ca Reactors use John Guest fittings and RO/DI line considering the throughput..

Looks really sweet though
Basically, the two chambers hooked together like that make it one long chamber (36" total). The thing holds almost 16lb of ARM. The 3rd chamber is the one that has the JG fittings and only the effluent flows through that. The object of the 3rd chamber is to try to burn off any remaining CO2 before it leaves the reactor. So far, it's been running almost a week with no effect on my PH, Ca is at 480 and DKh is a bit high at 12.8. Flow is at 80 cm and bubble count is around 90 per minute. I'm gonna let it go a couple more days and start backing down on the bubble count. Gonna be great not to have to dose every-night.
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6920095#post6920095 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by chuckdickson
It looks great, where did you get your acrylic from?

Acrylic came from Aquatic Eco Systems.

Warning, it is extruded, and very brittle. It doesn't drill or bond like cell cast. Basically, every hole eventually cracked, Especially the ones that I tapped. You can bond it into 4" PVC fittings and drill and tap though. I'll be spending the extra $ on the cell cast when I make the next one. The one in the pictures has frag epoxy all over it now. :lol:
looks good rich.
i had no problem with the extruded tube i used, but then again i dint tap in to it i just cut the hole & put some weldon around it.
why dint use weldon for the cracks?
I did use weldon on what I could. It then started popping more cracks once in service. I got it down to just a drip (finally). Hope it stays that way.

After installing one of the 3/4" uni-seals and inserting the pipe, the next morning I awoke to find a crack that started at the hole and twisted around the tube and 2/3rds the way up. By the time I was done, every hole had cracks, especially the ones that were tapped. There was even bad crazing where I dripped a little solvent here or there. Then when I applied more solvent to fix the cracks it got only worse. And believe me, I was careful. Weird thing was, some of the cracks didn't show up for a couple of days. I'm thinking temperature had something to do with it. Anyway, it's working now in a sump, and barley leaking. Lesson learned. Get the good stuff.
The hole's for the uni-seals were drilled with a whole saw.
The tube has an 1/8" wall, 4-1/2" od.
Nice Rich,

You've got skillz. I've been thinking of ways to put either a sump or Ca reactor under the small cabinet of my tank and reading up on working with acrylic. How tall is this reactor? I've been looking at plans to build a more compact unit without cell cast or extruded acrylic. Maybe you've seen the plans:

I've seen this type of unit used on a 200 gallon system and the owner said he's had it running for a year without any problems. It seems like it would save money by not having to buy the cell cast acrylic.

Anyways, nice work. Keep us updated on how it functions.
Not really sure on the total costs. I know it is way less than a commercially produced one with the same features. But with the inferior acrylic tubing and the aggravation it has caused me has greatly increased the cost IMO. So, get the cell cast or some better extruded (if there is such a thing) and do it once. Then again, practice make perfect. :D
Nice job Rich.

How about the DIY crew from the last meeting, any reports?

I might actually consider one for the LPS tank down the road.
Ours is up and running. We're having an issue with the hand-tite plug leaking. I've contacted some of the others in the thread and nobody else is having this problem. We're trying to resolve it. In the mean time it is running in-sump (grrrrrrrrrrr). I can't tell where it is leaking from, but it looks like the gasket isn't getting a tight enough seal around the inside of the PVC pipe inside of the collar.