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Unread 03/22/2015, 11:48 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 24
DIY Calcium reactor

So I've become addicted on making quality equipment for pennies on the dollar and ending in a usually better product. With that said, I've started my quest to find and design a quality CR that I can rely on. I recently owned a Koraline CR and Aquamax premium regulator that torched my system.(240+)
So needles to say I had some choice words with my LFS owner and returned the P'sOS and started my DIY JOURNEY!!
I first found a DIY regulator thread and have since purchased 2 SS regs and 1 Brass reg. and parts on the way. Actually, one has arrived and holds pressures like a BOSS!!!!! So now, after looking at this BEAUTY I can't justifyably put a commercially built overpriced POS behind my new regulator.
So the hunt was on again for a DIY CR plan this time. I've found a few on you tube but this one looks like it is a fine design short of a few up to date mods. (like quick connect fittings) Here is what I found.
The couple mods I'm thinking would work (one of which is Koraline inpired)
1) a self filling bubble counter. If you look at this picture. and place a quick "T" before the pvc and "T" it into the top of the BC. I think it would fill it with water ater the system fills.
Thoughts from you all on my idea?
2) a PH probe. I'm thinking if I use a "T" as the supply fitting and hang a tube below that is capped off with a quick connect fitting and valve for controlling efluent and a probe mount on the top. In this manner I think it will have all the features of the BIG$$$$ CR's for a VERY REASONABLE PRICE.
Another thing, and it's not much of a mod. But I will be using another slip union connection between the pump and the reactor where he used a piece of tubing. When I'm done I'll put together a better parts list and some added pictures I feel may be handy. While I built an airstone skimmer some years ago, it was NOTHING PRETTY but it performed flawlessly!!
For now, what I'm hoping to hear about is, what you think about the design of this reactor. And what you think of my mods to improve this unit? Would you do anything different? Better design? I'm a big boy. Let me know what you honestly think.

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Unread 03/23/2015, 11:35 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Swartz Creek
Posts: 728
I made a DIY reactor using plans by DJ88, it was a square design that made it much easier to DIY.

Just say no to CRABS!

Current Tank Info: 85 Gallon mixed Reef. Halide/LED combo lighting.
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Unread 03/23/2015, 02:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 24
I just picked up the tubes and sheet goods from our local plastic place. I'm thinking it will be done by this weekend. Hoping all goes well. Got enough plexi to make like 3 units for 150.00 the plumbing to make a couple. I'll put costs and parts later when it is complete.

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Unread 03/23/2015, 05:07 PM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Portland,OR
Posts: 769
Here's my DIY CR, it's a 12" cast tube and holds about 3 1/2 tubs of the Caribsea coarse media, feed by a manifold off the UV and using a mag 5 for recirc

This is my industrial CO2 regulator modified for CO2 use with new internals and gauges. I have a Apex controlling all of this for me

And to avoid having to count bubbles I'm using this effluent cup that is attached to the sump with the 2nd PH probe- so the Apex turns off the CO2 when the PH get to the level I set

Attached Images
File Type: jpg CR.jpg (65.8 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg cr1.jpg (62.0 KB, 134 views)
I'm out of my mind, Please leave a message

Current Tank Info: 225gal diy 60"x36"x24"

Last edited by 1234; 03/23/2015 at 05:17 PM.
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Unread 03/24/2015, 01:43 AM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Posts: 24
Portland? Where at in portland? You guys still getting together for PNWAS? I've been out for a few years now but am back in the swing of it.

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Unread 10/24/2015, 08:58 PM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Louisville,Ky
Posts: 49
Also looking into diy CA Reactor. How did your version turn out? What mods I'd you incorporate.


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Unread 12/08/2018, 08:23 PM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1
I am really interested in this build and was wondering if you had made or thought of any modifications since its been in use?

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