Have A 31 Year Old Vortex D-1 Still Working Fine
Was wondering if any one uses a diatom filter? Just found out about them and just wanted some info. I have no problems with my tanks but it seems like these filters would be nice just to clean the water every so often. Any advice would be nice. Both good and bad points.
I use my Vortex D-1 to polish the water on my aquariums at least once a week. They are quirky to use , however, once you get used to their ideosyncracies these filters do a better job of fine filtering aquarium water than any other filter on the market. The Vortex electric motors are also built like a tank. Oil them a few times a year and they last forever.
Mine is 31 years old and still going strong. After each use I remove the motor housing from the mason jar and the fabric bag, soak the bag (it's good if you have several that you can use on a rotational basis), dump the water and remainder of the diatom earth which has settled at the bottom of the mason jar in the sink or toilet.
Then, fill the mason jar about three quarters full of filtered water, and install a clean fabric bag and then refit the motor.
The most difficult part of this is removing the motor assembly from the top of the mason jar, which is why you should always use a light coating of vaseline to lubricate the outer threads of the jar.
Many owners of the Vortex filters complain that they don't seal properly.
This is because the threads are not coated with a lubricant.
Moreover, in order to ensure that the motor is installed properly and that the jar does not leak, use a monkey wrench and a rubber band adjustable wrench to tighten the cap to the point where it is snug. Fit the rubber band wrench around the mason jar and the monkey wrench around the Vortex's ridged cap.
Once you have done so, you should have no problem with the Vortex jar leaking, or opening the Vortex. The real danger was with the glass mason jars and not properly lubricating their threads before opening them. If you
placed too much pressure on these jars they would crack.
For this reason the plastic jars are much better. Especially the ones glued into the base, since this prevented the jars from tipping over; something they were prone to do without the base.
The best way to prime the Vortex D-1 and XL is to place a small (a gallon or so) bucket of filtered water on top of a piece of furniture or a speaker; hang the intake and output hoses from this bucket and then secure the other end of these hoses to the intake and output of the Vortex.
Turn the unit upside down for about a minute, and then gradually turn the Vortex right side up again, doing a slight back and forth rocking motion to expel any remaining air. This should keep the water moving through the intake and exhaust hoses.
Once you have the Vortex primed, put on a mask, and add about 8 ounces of diatom earth to the bucket. Wait for the fabric bag to charge and then you can move the diatom filter along with your foot ( I leave mine in a 2 gallon bucket ) and lift the upper bucket to the aquarium that you want to clean.
Also remember to reinstall the two screens for the Vortex before you put it in your aquarium, to ensure that any small fish you have don't get sucked up into the filter's intake tube.
Take the top bucket and place it into your aquarium, while gently sliding it
out from under the intake and exhaust tubes - once again, make sure to reinstall the screens for these tubes so that your fish don't get sucked up into the Vortex.
Now you can diatom your aquarium without concern for the de powder getting blown all over your tank. And if you plan to diatom another aquarium, instead of turning the Vortex off, just slide the smaller bucket underneath it and then move it to the next tank, and start the procedure over again.
It sounds a bit involved, however, once you get used to it, it's easy to do, and cheap insurance in protecting your fish from dangerous pathogens.