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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so a few weeks ago I built the typical co2 reactor and all went well. Know I want to do and in line heater as well. I do now want to have them separate making the pump work harder. So my idea is to put and adapter at the top part of the upper "t" to accept the hayco fitting.



Inlet at the top, outlet at the bottom and co2 at the top in the rear. I will put a few bio balls at the bottom that will fit for a little media. I plan to drill ant tap the co2 line, did this on my last reactor and it worked fine. I don't think the heater will interfere with the co2 as long as I use a 2" pipe. Ideas, opinions?
 

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i've seen this design before but made the Up side down. The way you want to do it will get the co2 bubbles stay on top and no water pushing them down and break them apart. So that being said, u might have some air pocket that will build up on top of that reactor, that might cause the heater to not work properly? put the heater in the bottom and your inlet should be above your co2 and you're good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I grew up with a machine shop in the backyard so the tap thing is no big deal. I bought a 1/8 npt to 3/16 barb fitting at the hardware store. And just drilled and taped it with an 1/8 npt tap. You can use any tap that you want the fitting really decides what tap you need. 1/8 npt is the size on most co2 fittings.
 

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When i built my DIY reactor for my 55 gallon tank i used a brass Air "bung" idk how else to describe it.

Anyways i drilled a hole that was slightly too small, and used teflon tape on the threads and a pair of channel locks and sure shootin, it works and dosent leak.
 

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Use a heater with over-temperature protection so if the reactor gets filled with air or CO2 somehow, the heater won't explode in your reactor, leave water on the floor, electrocute your fish, your dog, your family, and then burn down your house.

A heater with over-temperature protection (Visi-Therm, Ebo Jager)will shut off in air. A heater without over-temperature protection will crack, or even shatter. Most submersible heaters have protection these days, but you still need to check.

Over-temperature protection is also called "low-water protection". A heater that is "Unbreakable", just has housing that wont shatter on impact. "Unbreakable" may not protect against over-temperature conditions.

Try this at home (please don't, this is a mental exercise): Take your heater out of the water and let it run for an 30 minutes or so. Drop the hot, running heater into the nice, cold aquarium. This will show what can happen inside your reactor, plus test your GFCI circuit breaker.
 

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I have the parts to make mine, similar to what you have in the pic. I'm just still waiting on some 5/8" plastic barbs. I dont plan to use bio balls as mine will be permanently sealed from glue, except i can remove the heater and use a brush to clean it some when needed.

I'm using 2" dia also. I plan to make it a little longer than just a CO2 reactor as the heater will take up ~1" dia of the reactor. I'm still not sure on total length, 24-25" total length would have a volume close to what normal reactors use w/o the heater.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I decided to with separate reactor and heater. I was thinking about the air bubble thing and more space will give the co2 more time to dissolve. I looked at the heater in the bottom setups and they looked questionable. So I did this



The towel is there cleaning up some water that I spilled when I was hooking it up. So far all is fine and I love getting the reactor and heater out of the tank.
 
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