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Old 06-22-2009, 01:05 AM   #1
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Used diatom filter?

Hi -

I was offered a good deal to buy a used diatom filter.

I have a couple of questions:

(1) What should i be cautious about when buying a used diatom filter? I did some research and it looks like it relies of a culture of diatoms - I would have to guess that the device needs maintenance to keep the culture alive?

(2) Is there anyway I can test and see if the device actually works on the spot?

(3) It catches particles down to 1 micron, some claim that this may reduce CO2 concentration in the water - if this is true, will this effect my planted tank? I am sure it wont be on all the time - prob several hours a week if I am to buy it - so will this matter at all if CO2 will be removed? I am currently using Yeast reactor method.

Thanks - I will try to figure out what model they are trying to sell me.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:14 AM   #2
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The diatoms are dead material. You buy them from your LFS.
They are the shells from microscopic critters and are fine like baby powder.
One word of caution, don't let it get into your tank. A very small amount won't hurt but 1/2 tsp. is too much. It's sharp and will cut your fish and snails.

What brand is the unit? Depending on the brand, the motor is the only thing that can wear out.
How old is it? How often was it used? The motor will last a long time if it's not over heated by running too long at a time.
One brand has a filter cartridge that needs replacing after a couple of years of steady use, the other has a bag ( I believe) that the powder goes in. That bag might get holes in it from the diatoms, they are very sharp.

The only way to test it is to run it. Have them set it up on their tank with 1/2 cup of powder and watch it run.
You shouldn't see any "dust" or particals coming out after the initial start up.
You can only run it 4 hrs at a time and you don't need to do it more than a couple of times a month, if that.
It's a very fine filter and is not used for primary filtering. Basically you are filtering "clean water" to make it extra clean.
It does not effect CO2.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:27 PM   #3
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Its a Vortex Diatom Filter Model D-1 - they ask for $25 and I can take a look tonight and run a test.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:32 AM   #4
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Ok it seems to work great - a lil bit of an accident tho - hte filter bag has a small hole on it so some of the diatom powder got in the tank.

Until I get a new filter bag - is there anyway to alleviate this? the fish seem o do fine in the slightly white water.

Fluorite dust out, diatom filter in, Ouch.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:47 PM   #5
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Good deal!!

I don't think I would try to jury rig it. A new bag is only a few days away by mail.
You should go to the Vortex web site and see if they have a manual for that filter.
Like I said, it's not made for primary filtering.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:18 PM   #6
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yeah i orderd a new bag online - it starts to settle a bit but will def wont be clear til i get a new bag.

Right now i just run my primary filter with some carbon added.
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