HOW TO: DIY Aquarium reactor TUTORIAL
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Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so in today’s video I want to show you guys how to build a cheap yet effective reactor [I] want to not only show you how to build one But how it works and I’ll also show [you] it in action before we get started though some of you might not even know what? a reactor even is Vaguely speaking a reactor is basically a container that allows you to pass aquarium water through a specific media of your choice Typically speaking they perform a specific duty now some examples of reactors would be carbon reactors, phosphate reactors Bio pellet reactor, Nitrate reactors, Gfo reactors, calcium reactors and many more all performing specific duties for your aquarium water now We won’t have time to cover every type of reactor and break down what each one does But feel free to do some research and see if one might be right for you now before we get started with the build I Also, want to state that this design may not be the best solution for every type of reactor however It will serve to give you a good start or even simply to inspire some ideas of your own So let’s cover materials first for this build we will need a container [I] went with a glass container that I picked up at my local dollar store now I got it for $2 and it almost holds two liters [I] picked this due to its shape and the fact that it had a twist top the stainless steel rim [that] you see on the Cap wasn’t something I was looking for but since it’s only on the outside and the top is Actually plastic this doesn’t matter I did find that the container was waterproof And if it leaked I can simply pick up a cheap Gasket and add it to the lid if you’re looking for a container that is similar to this one a good start is to look for spaghetti, or others types of pasta Holders now the one I’m using is actually made out of glass, but whether yours is glass or plastic won’t matter [I] also use some [si] PVC pipe I use UPC. Because it’s a thinner pipe than regular PVC, and it’s cheaper I only used a few dollars worth for this reactor [for] some connections I picked up three couplings and an end cap for $2 then some spare sponge a head which was about $1 worth Also, a small amount of knitting mesh. I only used about $1 worth of this as well I also picked up a couple of half inch conduit fittings now These are basically tiny bulkheads on average I see the for around $3 each I’ll also leave a list to everything I used in the description below so you can get some more information on it So in total this reactor cost me about $13 Which isn’t bad seeing is how one this size would generally cost me about $100 But we still need a pump so we’ll discuss that later on so to get started I drilled two holes in the top of the lid to the container these holes will serve as the Location for the Bulkheads now one houl does need to be Perfectly centred or centred as you can get it well the other one can go anywhere on the top as long as the Lid will actually close I Used a step drill to do this as the plastic was very thin on the lid from there You slid to trace out a rough the idea of the container size onto the knitting mesh I did this for the sponge as well I still had to cut the mesh and the sponge down a bit But this gave me a good start then I installed the bulkheads into the Lid From there I used the pipe to trace out cuts for the centers of both the sponge and the mesh as well then cut those Out now [I] was ready to begin building the input for the reactor I started by drilling holes in the end cap Then installed the cap on a two inch piece of pipe [that] also had matching holes in the bottom some sponge and mesh was slid over that and then a coupling I then inserted a long piece of pipe into that coupling the length will depend on the size of your container But the longer the better after that was another coupling and then another 2-inch piece of pipe again Then some mesh and some sponge followed by the last coupling and some more pipe We’re now ready to insert it all into the container now if you cut everything just right The top pipe should slide Snugly into the base [of] the bulkhead now this is why the bulkhead gets centered so we can easily screw on and off the cap while still connecting to the pipe and not pulling everything out if the pipe is too big for the bulkhead some heating of the bulkhead to stretch it out slightly or some sanding of the inside of The bulkhead [and] on the outside of the pipe can be done so how does this work well water is pumped into the center bulkhead water flows down the center of the pipe and Exits the holes at the bottom of the end cap since we drilled holes on each side We have a better chance of the water being distributed evenly The water flows up through the mesh and the sponge that is being held in place by the couplings the mesh is a must It will help contain the media while the sponge is actually optional but the sponge does actually [mechanical] filter the water before it hits your media top sponge helps to prevent fine media from being pumped into your [aquarium] So use what you feel is best for your situation [once] water passes through your media It will pass through the top mesh and the sponge and then out [through] the side bulkhead and be returned to your aquarium [so] let’s take a look at this in action then we’ll talk about pumps and sizing this to your aquarium so as mentioned water enters the Center bulkhead and flows down [the] pipe and exits at the bottom water will flow through the container and enter the side bulkhead so obviously leaving this running with or without media still doesn’t show much so I decided [to] run some colored water through it to give you a better illustration sizing the filter and pump for your aquarium will depend entirely on what you’re intending to use it for there was no real rule of Thumb based on the vast purposes that this is used for with that said I think you’d really enjoy doing some further research on this piece of equipment So I encourage you to do so as for [a] pump for the most part reactors don’t need a ton of flow so you can use something as simple as a power head or a Small pump or even divert a little bit of flow from your main pump to it while controlling the flow to it with a ball Valve as for placement. These are most commonly set up right beside your sump if you don’t have a sump [I’m] sure you’re able to come up with a creative way to have one on your aquarium anyways ultimately I just wanted to cover a basic idea on how to build a reactor the rest is up to you anyways I hope you guys enjoyed the video I also wanted to thank you for watching and we’ll see you guys next week for a new project

100 thoughts on “HOW TO: DIY Aquarium reactor TUTORIAL

  1. Hey Joe, don't know if you still check this vid, but on the off chance you do i was wondering where you got the O ring from? Im in Ontario, so i checked Home Depo and no luck. Thanks if you do happen to see this and respond bud.

  2. if you're planning on running biopellets in one, the pellets need plenty of circulation, otherwise they'll clump up, and you'll have a big goopy mess, sooner or later not allowing much flow back into the aquarium. you also need to have a control valve on the otlet hose, to insure slower outtake. you also need some kind of circulatory hose and valve coming from the pump into the reactor chamber, to compensate for extra pressure buildup inside the chamber, that's if you want to control the amount of water you want to escape back into the aquarium.

  3. Why people want to waste their money on commercial reactors makes my head spin. This is a great video. Its just foolish to spend money one a reactor at the store when its just a simple thing.

  4. very nice idea. I got better one now from you. thankyou. would it be effective in removing nitrates from the aquarium? if yes then what media should I use? my nitrates are 50ml/Ltr in my saltwater aquarium and its a pain in my ass because water changes is not helping too. after two or 4 days nitrates get back up

  5. One of the best videos referencing the subject. This is a great way to increase filtration and do it on a budget. Thank you for the video!!!👍🏽👏🏽

  6. hey Joey, thank you for all the good informative videos! I wanted to ask you, can you modify or make a hybrid skimmer/k1 reactor?

  7. Hm, looks like this might work with Purigen too, tho I'll have to go for a much finer sponge. I only have a tiny little corner filter in my nano tank with no room left in it to place the Purigen Bag in it, so this might actually be the (cheap) solution I was looking for.

    Cheers mate!

  8. What if you put bio cylinders between those two sponges? That way you will have completed water filter… Do not criticize me if I am wrong because I am not aquarium holder but I like DIY projects… thanks for video…

  9. Great work ., build my first stand watching your DYI. wanted to know if I could use a old Ro unit tank for a reactor. and just put a carbon cartridge in it. it's spare parts I had felt off the walk a d membrane and one tank broke. so I got a new one now I have 2 spare canisters

  10. Has anyone found any containers on Amazon that work for this? I can't seem to find any with a plastic screw-on lid locally or on the internet.

  11. Thinking of a Mason jar + BPA free plastic screw lid. Make a set, fluidized sand, calcium reactor for live rock culturing.

  12. I cannot find a container like that anywhere!?!?! I'm going crazy looking for it. Anyone have a link to some place selling something suitable ?

  13. Any reason you wouldn't used this same design idea for a canister filter? I was thinking about making one like this using 4" pvc for the "pasta jar." This is basically the design of my existing small canister filter now…

  14. Hey joey I made a sump haha after watching one of your vid's on gow to do it 😛

  15. I really appreciate your DIY videos! I like that you start out with all the materials and approximate cost of them. You also break it down to very simple terms for those who may not be DIY inclined… I'm going to start designing the setup for my upgrade… need to start COLLECTING all the parts and pieces… AND, I will definitely come back to your pages to get some more great ideas! Yes, I did subscribe!!!

  16. Cool man thank you for this I'm going to make this right away. Also going to make that 375 gallon tank as well good stuff man keep it up

  17. Can you use reactors to increase/improve tank parameters such as increasing iron, potassium or phosphate for a planted tank? Your video is leaving me wondering if this would be possible. BTW, great video. Been following you for about 9-10 months cause of the DIY vid's. Thank you for doing them.

  18. I made something like this for a pre filter. Didn’t know what I was doing but it worked just had no way to clean it. I will make one like yours. Thanks

  19. Sorry to comment on such a old video, but I cannot seem to find information on making a freshwater algae reactor , does no one do that? If they do, what are they using for media?

  20. You are the man, not really talking about this video but all of them!!! You hit on all points of a process for people that don't usually diy but go fast enough so that I don't get frustrated when your explaning things that are obvious to me. Thanks man and keep it up.

  21. I saw your video about feeding your peacock bass feeder fish ( no judgement I was forced into doing the same) but there is a video on here that helped me out and could help you out as well ( possibly alot of your fanbase as well) look up pellet training peacock bass… There is a person who attached pvc to a t connector on a powerhead so he drops in the food down the PVC and it shoots by them fast and there instinct to eat is teased by it and eat out of reaction…. Anyways hope this comment finds you well! Have a great day keep inspiring

  22. My build will be a side sump, with some reactors rigged up so I can circulate the tank, or do a salt water rinsereset without removing anything or contaminating the water

  23. 3:23 Is it true that on August tenth, twenty fourteen, the defendant stated: “I then inserted a long piece of pipe into that cupling.”?

  24. I still do not understand the usenof this. No co2 so only water runing to me this is like a small version of a cannister filter

  25. Is it possible to miniaturize this to use with a 5 gal nano planted aquarium? I'm having issues with my glass bell diffusers clogging or simply not producing a fine enough bubble to defuse into the water before it breaks the surface. I did try to attach my CO2 line out of my DIY reactor into my outline for my filter return, and… it 'sorta' works but again, I'm seeing too many bubbles going right on up to the surface just outside of the filter return. I have a Fluval V with a modified filter system to cope with some of the 'fun' issues with the tanks design.

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