filters that use diatomaceous earth?
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filters that use diatomaceous earth?

This is a discussion on filters that use diatomaceous earth? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Went to the feed store and the guy has a 150gal tank with huge oscars plecos and jack d's As well as the biggest ...

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filters that use diatomaceous earth?
Old 01-07-2010, 11:54 PM   #1
 
filters that use diatomaceous earth?

Went to the feed store and the guy has a 150gal tank with huge oscars plecos and jack d's As well as the biggest upside down catfish I've ever seen. He has a diatomaceous earth filter that he uses to clean the water as it gets cloudy from food and waste. Does anyone use this kind of filter?
He also has 2 of the emperor filters as well. But, he says he hasn't changed the water in 2 yrs! The fish are real healthy and the water looks great! Is it because the bigger fish are more forgiving? I would think that the nitrate levels would be off the chart. He says every so offten he gets somthing and stirs up the gravel real good and turns on the DE filter and within minutes the water is crystal clear again.
Funny thing is this guy that bought my 55 gal sevral yrs ago (the one i have listed in the profile) and that was his first tank, now he has at least 5! Funny. Guess he's got it pretty bad.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:35 AM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by rsheets View Post
Went to the feed store and the guy has a 150gal tank with huge oscars plecos and jack d's As well as the biggest upside down catfish I've ever seen. He has a diatomaceous earth filter that he uses to clean the water as it gets cloudy from food and waste. Does anyone use this kind of filter?
He also has 2 of the emperor filters as well. But, he says he hasn't changed the water in 2 yrs! The fish are real healthy and the water looks great! Is it because the bigger fish are more forgiving? I would think that the nitrate levels would be off the chart. He says every so offten he gets somthing and stirs up the gravel real good and turns on the DE filter and within minutes the water is crystal clear again.
Funny thing is this guy that bought my 55 gal sevral yrs ago (the one i have listed in the profile) and that was his first tank, now he has at least 5! Funny. Guess he's got it pretty bad.
I do not know if there are any cons to that kind of filtration, but I used to have one and I did like it. However, I still did water changes and syphoned the gravel when needed. I am not sure what is known today about them. Does he have any live plants in there? I never had live plants and not sure if it would take too much out of the water that live plants may need. I was looking at one of these the other day online and was wondering if I sould get one again, and thought about asking on here for opinions regarding them in general and for live plants. I don't think I have it anywhere packed away. I think it started to have problems anyway. I am interested in getting a really good power gravel vac. I have always wanted one of those. They now have one that is much more affordable compared to around 7 to 8 years ago of what was available to home fish hobbyist.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:12 PM   #3
 
He has no plants. I do not recommend not doing WC but the fish looked real good, so did the water. Kind of hard to argue about that kind of thing.
As I was reading about these filters I see that they filter out bacteria too. That's pretty fine! I would like to use one intermittently, like right now to filter out the planarians that are in my tank. They are everywhere and just look like little specks until you look very close and you can see them wiggling. I don't think it is really all that necessary to polish the water like that, but it would be nice to have.
Where did you see them for sale?
Nice Horse BTW.

As far as the power cleaner, it recycles the water in the tank while cleaning out the bigger particles that are in the gravel? It that how it works?
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:37 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by rsheets View Post
He has no plants. I do not recommend not doing WC but the fish looked real good, so did the water. Kind of hard to argue about that kind of thing.
As I was reading about these filters I see that they filter out bacteria too. That's pretty fine! I would like to use one intermittently, like right now to filter out the planarians that are in my tank. They are everywhere and just look like little specks until you look very close and you can see them wiggling. I don't think it is really all that necessary to polish the water like that, but it would be nice to have.
Where did you see them for sale?
Nice Horse BTW.

As far as the power cleaner, it recycles the water in the tank while cleaning out the bigger particles that are in the gravel? It that how it works?

Real quick before I leave. Here is a site that I saw them. Aquarium Diatom Filters at AquariumGuys.com I think they have them other places as well. The Vortex one (first one showing) looks just about how it looked when I had it. I did not use it too often but it did a nice job when I felt I needed to use it. It was a little bit of a pain to use but can't remember why I remember this. I think it was adding the powder of something.

Regarding the power gravel cleaner, it does filter and then put the filtered water back in the tank. It is still good to do a gravel cleaning at times when doing water changes but I find in the smaller tanks especially that I cannot get a good enough gravel clean because of the smaller amount of water that needs to be taken out....needed water to be taken out siphons out too fast even with the small gravel siphon. I remember seeing the fish stores use their big power gravel cleaners. I always wanted one but at that time I could not afford what was available. They have one at Dr. Smith's online. It is over $100 but that is better than what was available before. I did read some negatives I believe on setting it up, or something like that but the reviews basically did say that it works.

Gotta go. Oh, thanks for the compliment regarding my Cyde. I know it really does not fit this board but it is a big part of me (horses in my life) and who I am, and I don't have any pictures of fish yet.

~Holly
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:52 PM   #5
 
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Some rather strange concepts in this thread.

I've never used diatomaceous earth filtration (they put this in kitty litter, same reason--absorbs stuff) nor known anyone who has. I can't imagine having a situation in an aquarium requiring it, if one has regular maintenance and a balanced aquarium. And in a planted tank the plants are doing the filtration anyway.

I would suggest for smaller tanks one of the manual water changers, I used this on 10 and 20g tanks. You don't want to clean the substrate too thoroughly you know, esp in a planted tank, the detrius is part of the biological process that makes the aquarium healthier. A water changer that "filters" and uses the same water won't be useful as a water changer, since the whole object is to remove the polluted water and replace it with fresh, not the same pollut3ed water. I've explained elsewhere about filters not cleaning water.

B.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:55 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Some rather strange concepts in this thread.

I've never used diatomaceous earth filtration (they put this in kitty litter, same reason--absorbs stuff) nor known anyone who has. I can't imagine having a situation in an aquarium requiring it, if one has regular maintenance and a balanced aquarium. And in a planted tank the plants are doing the filtration anyway.

I would suggest for smaller tanks one of the manual water changers, I used this on 10 and 20g tanks. You don't want to clean the substrate too thoroughly you know, esp in a planted tank, the detrius is part of the biological process that makes the aquarium healthier. A water changer that "filters" and uses the same water won't be useful as a water changer, since the whole object is to remove the polluted water and replace it with fresh, not the same pollut3ed water. I've explained elsewhere about filters not cleaning water.

B.
Hi Byron,

Thanks for your input. :) I am not saying that a Diatom is necessary and did not buy it back then because my tanks "needed" it. It was something I tried back when to learn what different filtrations can do, and used it once in awhile and it work fine. I did not have live plants at the time. I do not know any particular cons to it in tanks without plants other than common sense that it should not be over used.

Regarding the power gravel cleaner, I do know that it does not remove polluted water and water changes are a must for a healthy tank. I also understand that I should not clean the substrate too thorougly (known this for a long time), especially in planted tanks as I have learned recently that they help filter this. I have found though with small tanks, it is hard to even work fast enough to even get a decent enough gravel clean (non planted tanks), especially if you are tyring to be careful to work around certain things. It would have been or be something that I would do once in awhile to clean the gravel and not to replace my regular water changes. I am no longer gong to use undergravel filters (from reading the lastest on these) so not sure if this will be even a bigger problem....how it will affect gravel debris differently.

The live plant world is all new to me, but in the past I have had many successful tanks with the maintenance that I have use.....water changes, gravel cleaning (to the right extent), proper filter maintenance, etc. I hope this will be the case again! :)

~Holly

Last edited by HollyinWA; 01-09-2010 at 07:59 PM..
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:03 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by HollyinWA View Post
Hi Byron,

Thanks for your input. :) I am not saying that a Diatom is necessary and did not buy it back then because my tanks "needed" it. It was something I tried back when to learn what different filtrations can do, and used it once in awhile and it work fine. I did not have live plants at the time. I do not know any particular cons to it in tanks without plants other than common sense that it should not be over used.

Regarding the power gravel cleaner, I do know that it does not remove polluted water and water changes are a must for a healthy tank. I also understand that I should not clean the substrate in small tanks too thorougly (known this for a long time), especially in planted tanks as I have learned recently that they help filter this. I have found though with small tanks, it is hard to even work fast enough to even get a decent enough gravel clean (non planted tanks), especially if you are tyring to be careful to work around certain things. It would have been or be something that I would do once in awhile to clean the gravel and not to replace my regular water changes. I am no longer gong to use undergravel filters (from reading the lastest on these) so not sure if this will be even a bigger problem....how it will affect gravel debris differently.

The live plant world is all new to me, but in the past I have had many successful tanks with the maintenance that I have use.....water changes, gravel cleaning (to the right extent), proper filter maintenance, etc. I hope this will be the case again! :)

~Holly
Yes, you'll be fine.

Remember that when I see things like this in a thread I am somewhat bound to respond because while you and I and Ron may know what we are saying (or implying), others not familiar with all this may get the wrong end of the stick, and I don't like to see new aquarists being discouraged by thinking they need this or that at great expense when they don't.

Heading off for supper now, have a good evening. B.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:12 PM   #8
 
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He has no plants. I do not recommend not doing WC but the fish looked real good, so did the water. Kind of hard to argue about that kind of thing.
Honestly, I have no problem at all disagreeing with a guy like this. The funny thing is that they are trying to "beat" science. Bottom line, chemistry is a constant. It behaves exactly the same in every tank. Some fish may be more durable over the short term. There are factors involved in his tank that he does not understand, and clearly does not test his water for, but eventually this guy is going to wake up with a tank full of dead fish. It isn't a maybe. It has to happen. There is nothing happening to prevent it.

I have talked to dozens and dozens of people over the years who told stories of how they went years without water changes. They would brag about it, like they had something figured out that we didn't. It is very sad, because it is the fish that suffer with a shorten lifespan.

This is really no different than the guy next store who claims he hasn't changed the oil in his car for 17,000 miles, and brags about it.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:23 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Yes, you'll be fine.

Remember that when I see things like this in a thread I am somewhat bound to respond because while you and I and Ron may know what we are saying (or implying), others not familiar with all this may get the wrong end of the stick, and I don't like to see new aquarists being discouraged by thinking they need this or that at great expense when they don't.

Heading off for supper now, have a good evening. B.

Thanks, Byron. That makes a lot of sense. You are right, and I agree. Sometimes, I think some can forget about what impression things will give others on forums and others need to remind us folks of that. :)

Have a good supper. I am going to go eat too.

~Holly
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:30 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Pasfur View Post
Honestly, I have no problem at all disagreeing with a guy like this. The funny thing is that they are trying to "beat" science. Bottom line, chemistry is a constant. It behaves exactly the same in every tank. Some fish may be more durable over the short term. There are factors involved in his tank that he does not understand, and clearly does not test his water for, but eventually this guy is going to wake up with a tank full of dead fish. It isn't a maybe. It has to happen. There is nothing happening to prevent it.

I have talked to dozens and dozens of people over the years who told stories of how they went years without water changes. They would brag about it, like they had something figured out that we didn't. It is very sad, because it is the fish that suffer with a shorten lifespan.

This is really no different than the guy next store who claims he hasn't changed the oil in his car for 17,000 miles, and brags about it.
I totally agree with this. Many try to find an easy way out but when it comes right down to it, even though things can be used, you can't get around certain maintenance (WATER CHANGES, ETC.) in the long run. That is a good comparison that you gave regarding people and their cars. It is the same thing in the horse world......horse owners are very quick to trying to find a quick fix for their horses, or the latest device because they do not want to deal with the hard work of doing it the right way that actually helps the horse in what is causing the issue(s), etc.

There is nothing wrong with trying out different filtrations, but you cannot forget the the main and most important needs for a tank and fish.
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