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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this type of filter. I was given a 90 gal tank and this filter came with it. I personally have never heard of this filter; so I don't have a clue on whether it is good or bad. Will be doing some research!
 

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Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with this type of filter. I was given a 90 gal tank and this filter came with it. I personally have never heard of this filter; so I don't have a clue on whether it is good or bad. Will be doing some research!


If it is the Vortex Diatom filter, they have been around forever. (since the '80s at least).


Sold by mail order and they do clean up a tank very quickly. They advertise a 10g tank is 15 minutes or so and I believe it. My 55g tanks fw and marine basically cleared up in 3 hours or so.


That said they are inconvenient to setup and get running. You have to, for instance, make sure the power unit is fully seated on the glass jar or all the water will run out when you invert the jar. To get the pump working you have to fill the jar, setup, then invert to prime the pump and evacuate the air.


After a couple of times it does seem to be easier.


To prime the filter with the powder you use a 1g picture with the powder in it. Put the picture in the tank with water, then add the intake and outlet, and start the pump. In a few minutes the water in the picture with be clear and the powder is then oi the filter. Then put the intake and outlet in the tank and wait a few hours.


hopefully this is the one:
Vortex Innerspace Products, Inc.


my .02
 

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People often unload their junk with tanks they are getting rid of :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your quick reply. It appears mine is this one. "DIATOM Model "D-1 Filter"
Filters over 250 gallons per hour - MICRON CLEAR" I set it up and tried it. It is
running now. In order to start it; I just Placed the filter below the tank; placed
the output hose in the tank; and manually sucked on the intake hose; once the
jar was filled; it ran on its own. I do not have any Diatom filter powder; so I
can't try it with that. It appears to be cleaning up my 20 gal tank just fine.
As it should; if it is putting out 250 gals per hour. I may try some carbon in
it until such time as I can get my hands on the powder!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, they do; and I got a bit of junk with this one; but I also got some pretty good stuff. Free; means it didn't cost me anything and now I have some new/old equipment to experiment with.
 

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Thanks for your quick reply. It appears mine is this one. "DIATOM Model "D-1 Filter"
Filters over 250 gallons per hour - MICRON CLEAR" I set it up and tried it. It is
running now. In order to start it; I just Placed the filter below the tank; placed
the output hose in the tank; and manually sucked on the intake hose; once the
jar was filled; it ran on its own. I do not have any Diatom filter powder; so I
can't try it with that. It appears to be cleaning up my 20 gal tank just fine.
As it should; if it is putting out 250 gals per hour. I may try some carbon in
it until such time as I can get my hands on the powder!

that's one way to get it to work.


The manual states you fill the jar, put both tubes in the picture, invert filter, and start the motor. that primes it. Then placing the filter upright on the floor gets it going. You then turn it off to let the air escape. turn in on and you're off an running.


(the doesn't work to well if the motor/cap is not seated. you turn it upside down and water runs from the filter to your floor. the wife gets upset, and I say 'awe shucks'. LOL)


I have the xl. the d-1 is listed $122.


5 pounds of powder is $16 or so.


Two things to check.
(edit well three things. LOL)

1) the bag. check for no holes/tears. Especially around the edges. Mine had a couple of 1" "unglueings" and the powder could get through. I think some super]glue with a clamp will fix those.


2) the motor. You need to oil on the oil spots or it will seize up. couple of drops of oil and a shake and it's off and running again.


3) there is also supposed to be a white plastic tube from the pump to the bottom of the jar. It's called a turbulator. I cracked mine on installation and later ordered a replacement. So I guess there is a chance someone (like fumble fingers me) did the same thing only tossed the tube instead of ordering a replacement. LOL


safety: if it still has the inline (in power cable) thumb wheel, replace that immediately. Water on that will short 120v to you. This is a very bad safety mistake. remove that switch, reconnect the 120v line, insulate with heat shrink, electrical tape and so on, then use a switched power distribution source to control the motor. I keep that distribution thing with the filter. And you should keep that above the water level of the tank.

(I mentioned this to them and they stated that the older motors had the switch in the motor. So they probably added the in line switch. Hopefully they have changed that.)


The filtering is actually done by the powder. I guess the bag will do some filtering but the awesome water polishing comes from the powder coating the bag. That removes the haze/suspended algae in hours. And the bag turns green almost immediately.


Hopefully you got the gravel clearer also. It is a tube what used a soda bottle to take the water from just above the gravel. It does a fairly good job but does plug up quickly in my tanks. But then my tanks have a 1" loam over the substrate. LOL



another down side is the instructions look like they are still from the '80's and need updating, editing , and proof reading. They are a small company in Pounce De Leon, Florida. When I called them the same person answered, and even remembered me. LOL. They seem to be doing well and keeping busy. But a little time spend on the instructions would help their reputation.


All that said and with the switch replacement, it does what it was designed to do very well. There must be some reason they have been in business, mail order only, since the '70's-'80's. If you setup at tank at a show, this will clear it up before the show starts. But I only use mine a few times a year. and our marine tank stays so clear we don't use this on it now. But if something happens, the tank clouds up, company is coming tomorrow, they will be fired up.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your informative reply. I let the filter run over night and I was greeted with a crystal clear tank. The water was originally clear; now it is definitely crystal clear. The filter I have did not have any of the accessories that you mentioned. I'm assuming that it did at one time; but they have probably been lost. My filter does not have a on/of switch. Just have to plug it in directly. I can see myself only using this filter occasionally; however, I may look at converting it to us on my water changes and to clean. A project in the works!
 
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