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diatom vs Magnum

4911 Views 44 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  styxx
I have a friend looking to run a polisher filter on his tank once a week and his research pointed to the diatom but the LFS stated the Diatom is really old and recommended the Magnum. What do you guys think?
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The Magnum works great as a polisher, throw in some Purigen and the tank will sparkle.
I heard you can use DE powder with the magnum also.

I have never used a diatom filter so I can't really comment on that but I'm sure someone her will chime in.
The store is just trying to sell you the product they have on hand. I have 9 Mag 350's and they are fantastic... and dated... but they are nothing compared to the system 1 diatom. It is well worth the 100 or so dollar investment. You can use DE from the local pool supplier, its about 1.00 a lb. 10 lbs has lasted me about 2 years - I use it almost daily (please note i have well over 100 tanks and adding).

DE all the way :)

That my .02
If I remember correctly the Magnum comes with some kind of DE powder to add in when using the Water-Polishing Micron Cartridge the first time. Worked well but clogged fairly quickly.

Over all when I owned a 350 it was a decent filter but I was never quite thrilled with it I guess.
It just seemed to have more pros than cons for me, but its been around for years and has served many people well.
They both work well. The Vortex brand is like the Eheim classic series of DE filters.
I use a HOT magnum with the micron cartridge, and DE (You need the micron cartridge to use the DE).
In the past I've used old vortex filters, and they are good, but I had problems priming them. The magnum, just press a button.
FWIW, micron cartridge, green water passed through, add a cup of DE no more GW, and the same would have happened with a vortex.
Interestingly enough it took about 3 days for my GW to clear with DE and a HOT magnum.
I have used both of these many times. The hot magnum is easier to use but does not do as good as a job as the Vortex. Depends on how fussy you are. You can use the diatom powder in the magnum but it does not have the suction the vortex has. The vortex really sucks the water through a a good rate. However the Vortex is a little more tricky to use and prime. Nothing that you will not get used to though. I know many hobbyists that use the magnum and are happy with it.

My next purchase will be the Vortex with the hang on the tank feature and recirculating valve. That will make things easier.

Interestingly enough it took about 3 days for my GW to clear with DE and a HOT magnum.

You had a leak somewhere or didn't use enough DE powder. Same thing with my Magnum 350. It took well over a day or two and it was still green.

Took it apart, checked all the valves and gaskets. Primed it, turned it on, added a cup and a half of my DE powder. Tank was SPARKLING after 6 hours.
Yeah, I'm missing one of the donut flanges that fits on top of the micron cartridge. That must be the issue. A cup and a half of DE? I used a half cup on my HOT, maybe i should have been using more. I had a minor freak out this morning though, my red lines were NOT happy, one of them croaked, gasping at the surface, and the only thing that had changed was the addition of the Magnum. Kinda freaked me out. I'm not saying it was definitely the filter, but the timing was very suspect.
My Mag 350 might be bigger than your HOT 250? Not sure...maybe that's why I used a lot more DE powder.

And interesting coincidence with your your fish...I haven't observed anything like that yet. :(
I wonder if the possibility exists that if a cloud of DE puffs out (since mine is apparently leaking) can lead to some kind of either chemical oxygen depletion OR irritates their gills. And the 350's are bigger than the HOT, but they use the same micron cartridge, same surface area, so should be the same amount of DE.
if you read about purigen on seachems web site they say that a filter with it in there will paolish the water better then a diatom filter. something to look into, much cheaper.
Right on the money goodwins: Both filters do use the same micron cart.
I've never had an issue with fish dying, but there are warnings on DE not to inhale and that it is an irritant, if it was leaking I think that could be the issue. Sorry about your red lines.
How much DE is everyone using? I started with 1/3 cup and upped it to a half. Where did you get your 1.5 number epic?
I use 1 cup.
Unless there is a specific need--just skip the diatoms and use purigen. Great Stuff.

I have all 3. Purigen is the simplest and most cost effective....:thumbsup:
I tossed in a cup and felt like if a cup is good, one and a half must be better. :D

It was arbitrary for me and it worked out. Seems like people are using a cup and it's working out well for them. :D
The more powder you use, the faster it will "clog" and require maint.
I use 2 heaping tablespoons DE in my HOT-250. Works well.

However the Vortex is a little more tricky to use and prime. Nothing that you will not get used to though.

This is not the case with the hang on System 1 filter - If you add some water into the jar before installing it on the side of the tank, it will self prime. I never have an issue with it. I have heard that there are priming issues with the floor models.

System 1 - the way to go for that special shine! :thumbsup:
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