Maintaining Old Reef tank with a Diatom Filter

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Paul B, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    Doing a little maintenance with a diatom filter. Sucking out some Cyano and general tidying up. Using a reverse UG filter requires that I do this occasionally so nothing clogs. This is the beginning. In a minute or two, you can't see anything in the tank but the copperband loves it and looks forward to this.


    I don't know how people run tanks without a diatom filter. It boggles my mind and it doesn't take much to boggle it. upload_2019-8-15_9-34-53.gif


     
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  2. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    How about a vid of your diatom filter / equipment / setup / model make / sure some would like to buy and try similar. :cheers:
     
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  3. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    I have a few of them in various degrees of rustification and degradation. These are all made by Vortex
    The one I am using has a new powerhead on it but I am not sure if they are made any more.
    I use swimming pool diatom powder.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I just got lost....
    As you, I am one of those who uses a UG filter system. It’s a 1” open water, then a plate, a screen, 2” substrate, screen again, followed by another 2” substrate. Been that way since 1990.

    What is a diatom filter?
    Why do you blow your sand?

    Would appreciate any comments or guidance you will give.
     
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  5. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    I use a diatom filter mainly to blow around the "gravel". If I didn't do this semi yearly I think the gravel would clog in places causing the "Reverse" UG filter to not do what I want it to do.

    The diatom filter removes anything bigger than a micron but I am not looking for such fine filtration, just a strong flow to stir up everything. I don't use it to long because it would remove all the pods and all other food for the micro fauna.
     
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  6. Uncle99

    Uncle99 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you PaulB for your quick response.
    Learn something new every day!

    Cheers
     
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  7. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    You can still purchase Vortex Diatom Filters new, Here is there home page (offsite) - https://www.vortexinnerspaceproducts.com/

    If your going to get one, the XL is the only serious model to consider. Here is the link (offsite) - https://www.mcssl.com/store/vortexinnerspaceproductsinc/xl-a-diatom-filter-usa

    Note that the filter currently costs $215.95. It's not exactly cheep. I would consider getting one only after you have all your other basic filtration and lighting gear up to par. A diatom filter is very nice to have, but it's not absolutely critical. I figure I use it on my tanks only once or twice a year to clean the gravel.

    One good thing about diatom filters is that the design hasn't changed much in about 35 years, and parts are available for just about everything.

    You use a diatom filter when you want to "muck out" the tank. It's not a constant use filter. The filter clogs fairly quickly, so if you want to vacuum the entire bottom of a larger tank, expect to need to recharge the diatom filter about 4 to 6 times.
     
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  8. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    You can get them on E Bay used.
     
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  9. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    You can, but I'd not recommend that route unless you are sure that the motor and main casting are good. A problem with either of those and you might as well get a new unit, as they are very expensive to replace. I've had my diatom XL for years and over time have replaced a lot of parts, The motor is original, and I think I replaced the main casting once.

    The upside is that you can get parts for them. Try doing that with most other aquarium products today, and you find you can't.
     
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