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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.
Thanks
 

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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.
Thanks
Pros-
*Cleans water exceptionally well down to 1 micron, honestly the water looks as clear as air.
*Removes algae spores, debris, and pathogens.

Cons-
*My Vortex diatom filter is based on ancient technology. It's loud, the motor gets hot, PITA to prime with diatom powder and the quick-disconnects are a joke.
 

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Agreed with Raul-7^^

To me the Pro's out weigh the cons. Once you have been using this thing for a number of years it gets easy to set up and use.
With that said, it really not in tended for 24/7 use. I use them when cleaning tanks, removing plants etc...

-O
 

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I got my first one back in the seventies and always used it to polish the water during cleaning. That one was retired two years ago and my new one is not much different apart from the impeller design and a plastic bottle. Never had any problems with either one. As stated previously it is not a full time filter.
 

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You can't beat a diatom filter for polishing the water. Almost all on the market are made for limited time (hours - not days) use. That said, good plant growth and decent filtration usually make water polishing moot.

Vortex is the "gold standard" and I have two of them that I got at great prices, used. When I bother to use one, I prime it with a jar of diatom powder and water which I open under water next to the intake tube. Very little mess that way. I clean mine by back flushing. Once properly setup the only time you should have to open the bottle is to replace the bag. In ten to twenty years.

If I were to purchase a brand new diatom filter, I'd go with a System 1. There are zero priming issues and no hoses to deal with. Take the O ring out and clean it after each use and it will last a long time.
 

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I use a HOT Magnum with DE occasionally whenever I stir up a bunch of mulm during a trim or if I uproot a lot of plants for a rescape. Get's the water back to crystal clear in no time. Other dedicated diatom filters seemed to either have bad reviews or seemed a bit pricey. HOT Magnum was less than $50 and simple to use. Of course a big bag of DE at the pool supply store was $25.
 

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dbosman you say you back flush and put away. When you forget about it how long between uses? Does the water in the jar ever foul or grow other life forms? I aways open mine up after use and let it dry once every week or so. Leaving it closed would save some head aches
 

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Some LFS will rent them out for a day - you could try one out and see if you want to buy one - or just rent one every couple of months as you feel you need it.
 

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dbosman you say you back flush and put away. When you forget about it how long between uses? Does the water in the jar ever foul or grow other life forms? I aways open mine up after use and let it dry once every week or so. Leaving it closed would save some head aches
Ah, I could have been more specific.
I back flush to remove the crud and old diatom powder, then I empty the water out. What small amount of water that remains hasn't been an issue.

The simplest way I've found to back flush is free. Pull off the screen on the end of the tube and hold the tube up to the faucet. There is some splashing, but I do this in the laundry tub sink in the basement so it doesn't hurt anything.
 

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Thanks, It's running right know I may try that because I've always been concerned about the extra ware and tear on the filter bag neck and housing.
 

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What has happened to diatom filters in the market. I had a Diatomagic 10 years ago and it has been discontinued. Aquarium Products had the System 1 filter and the Vortex seems to be in limbo right now. Anyone no if one is available and a quality product?
 

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What has happened to diatom filters in the market. I had a Diatomagic 10 years ago and it has been discontinued. Aquarium Products had the System 1 filter and the Vortex seems to be in limbo right now. Anyone no if one is available and a quality product?
Both Magnum filters will work with their included micro filter and DE. I like the H.O.T. Magnum myself and they can be had for around $50. Buy a 25lb box of DE at any pool supply center for about $20 and it will last you 2 lifetimes.
 

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What has happened to diatom filters in the market. I had a Diatomagic 10 years ago and it has been discontinued. Aquarium Products had the System 1 filter and the Vortex seems to be in limbo right now. Anyone no if one is available and a quality product?

They are still around. http://www.diatomfilter.com/
Nice people,great service..Give them a call Im sure they can help you. I just called them last week for parts for a customer and had no issues. :)
 

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Both Magnum filters will work with their included micro filter and DE. I like the H.O.T. Magnum myself and they can be had for around $50. Buy a 25lb box of DE at any pool supply center for about $20 and it will last you 2 lifetimes.
I agree the H.O.T. magnum work great with DE (diatomaceous earth) powder. I also use it as a gravel vacuum. I connect my gravel vac tube to the inlet and use the mico polish filter. The gravel vac apparatus creates enough of a flow restriction that is does not suck up the gravel, just all the nasties.
 

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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.
Thanks

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.
 
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