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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I love this filter. It fits in place of the regular 'diatom bag'. It cleans so fast, almost to the clean level of my diatom bag. You can move it from tank to tank and it keeps cleaning without needing to be taken out and washed off. So it's really like a cannister filter on steroids.
P.S. I should say of course it needs cleaning, but it will clean many tanks in a row before the flow slows down. Unlike the diatom filter insert w/powder.
 

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Pixel Prestidigitator
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I love this filter. It fits in place of the regular 'diatom bag'. It cleans so fast, almost to the clean level of my diatom bag. You can move it from tank to tank and it keeps cleaning without needing to be taken out and washed off. So it's really like a cannister filter on steroids.
P.S. I should say of course it needs cleaning, but it will clean many tanks in a row before the flow slows down. Unlike the diatom filter insert w/powder.
If you have to take it down after X amount of tanks you're not using it right.
When I ran my Vortex I rarely ever had to clean it during a run. With a bypass valve you turn it off, shake it up, and use the bypass to reload the bag. Using the same charge. The bag itself does not filter anything. It's all the DE. I've done 30 tanks without tearing mine down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you have to take it down after X amount of tanks you're not using it right.
When I ran my Vortex I rarely ever had to clean it during a run. With a bypass valve you turn it off, shake it up, and use the bypass to reload the bag. Using the same charge. The bag itself does not filter anything. It's all the DE. I've done 30 tanks without tearing mine down.
I use it on 7 dirty tanks, full of pieces of junk at the bottom, for 20 or 30 hours straight. That qualifies I think to a good run before cleaning.
 

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Pixel Prestidigitator
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I use it on 7 dirty tanks, full of pieces of junk at the bottom, for 20 or 30 hours straight. That qualifies I think to a good run before cleaning.
Two things I used to do with mine if flow slowed too much.
First I'd use the h valve to run it in bypass. Unplug and shake it up. Restart in bypass until powder coated the bag.
If the powder was just too far gone I used to backwash it and recharge with new powder. Only time I ever took it apart was when I was done polishing.
 

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I love this filter. It fits in place of the regular 'diatom bag'. It cleans so fast, almost to the clean level of my diatom bag. You can move it from tank to tank and it keeps cleaning without needing to be taken out and washed off. So it's really like a cannister filter on steroids.
P.S. I should say of course it needs cleaning, but it will clean many tanks in a row before the flow slows down. Unlike the diatom filter insert w/powder.
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Thanks for posting this. I've been using Vortex Diatom filters for years, but want unaware of this product.

It would seem to solve one of the biggest problems I have when using the filter to muck out a tank. The normal diatom powder just clogs too fast.

Needless to say I ordered ordered one. Vortex web pages can be a bit hard to navigate, so here is a link to the product (offsite) - STR-4 Star Filter
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It would seem to solve one of the biggest problems I have when using the filter to muck out a tank. The normal diatom powder just clogs too fast.
It really does the work. Since I don't keep filters on my tanks, they accumulate crud. I'm using coir mat as a quasi substrate right now in a couple of tanks and it leaves trash too. I try to net the big stuff out, but my arm wears out after the second tank, and I just start swirling the water once every 30 min.s when I walk by...:laugh2: It' does a remarkable job. Can't say enough good. I will say that there's the same old learning curve to get it primed and flowing. Those sponges have so much air from drying out, that I am re-priming often for the first few minutes until it clears out. I keep them in a vinegar bath when not in use so I don't have so much air.
 

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It really does the work. Since I don't keep filters on my tanks, they accumulate crud. I'm using coir mat as a quasi substrate right now in a couple of tanks and it leaves trash too. I try to net the big stuff out, but my arm wears out after the second tank, and I just start swirling the water once every 30 min.s when I walk by...:laugh2: It' does a remarkable job. Can't say enough good. I will say that there's the same old learning curve to get it primed and flowing. Those sponges have so much air from drying out, that I am re-priming often for the first few minutes until it clears out. I keep them in a vinegar bath when not in use so I don't have so much air.
You doing about what I do. I drag out the Diatom filter about once or twice a year to muck out the tank. In my planted tank, I usually want to pick up all the loose mulm that's accumulated on the surface. It's a 90 gal tank, and conventional diatom powder clogs in about 10 min of use, and I need 4 or 5 recharges to do the entire tank.

It's going to be a real blessing to be able to do the tank in one setup.
 

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I run a few ordinary foam filters, and I have to say those tanks have never had anything but the clearest water, and when I want to clean them, I just put them in a bucket, and give a few squeezes and back it goes, no new filter material required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I run a few ordinary foam filters, and I have to say those tanks have never had anything but the clearest water, and when I want to clean them, I just put them in a bucket, and give a few squeezes and back it goes, no new filter material required.
Sometimes I think that having filters constantly running on a tank would be a nice change. But I would want to do it on at least 7 tanks. I will only buy cannister filters from now on. (I want the best.) And that is quite a bit of electricity, etc. every month. So running a filter once or twice a month works better for me. Plus, I think having a 24/7 filter can lead to a certain laziness about cleaning your tank. (Or maybe it's just me.)
 

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I run high stock numbers, so light cleaning of all filters is compulsory with water changes. I throw about 1/3 of the floss I use in each filter away each time.
I find it is most economical to use 1 large air pump, than a lot of small pumps, also much quieter. I have 12 tanks up in the house now, I would be bankrupt buying that many canisters.
 
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