[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Diatom Filters -Vortex vs System 1 vs H2O Changes

First let me say in all sincerity that I am honored to be corrected by,
much less in the same thread as, the likes of Neil Frank.  So I should
probably just clam up now.

If I was you and I had what Neil said on the one hand [ "I still say
it is one of the best aquarium devices I have ever purchased. Of
course, I may have a different motor than the one currently used."] and
what Scott H. said on the other hand -- no doubt, I'd go with Neil.  So
note that I am only offering my one experience for consideration and ad
the following thoughts.

Neil said he was unaware of the 40-hour warning.  I was too until I
read the instructions -- I thought there should have been some prior
notice.  Now, I don't mean to imply that Neil didn't read the
instructions with his unit -- I don't know what was printed at another
time or if the same motor was used or if AP was the manufacturer. 
Maybe the maker didn't think it was an issue when Neil bought his.  I'd
be happy to learn it's not really an issue now except for possibly
voiding the warranty.

If Neil's edition has the same motor, I'd be happy that it (and thus,
mine) will withstand the rigors of a blocked waterflow without harm.  I
would normally expect that of almost any centrifugal pump that might be
subject to blockage in normal use -- or at least a thermal cutout for
protection (a klixon device for example).

Neil Frank said, in part:

> Because the system I
> is much more efficient than the Vortex, 
> however, I find that I rarely
> run it more than a few hours. 

No doubt a few hours is long enough.  My own dissatisfaction is not the
cleaning time but that I have to hang around to shut it down or use a
timer or whatever.  I can't set it and run it overnight or turn it on
in the morning and run it while I am away at work.

> By this time, the System I diatom
> powder is
> coated with suspended algae or other crud and the flow has stopped to
> a
> trickle. If the tank is not too cloudy, then it can do its job in
> less than
> an hour. Is it possible that is what AP meant? 

I'm quite sure not.  I spoke (email) to the factory about the running
time and it seemed to me that they were flat out adamant about it.  I
didn't save the email for proof in court, but if anyone gets a
different email from them saying, go ahead, run it on and on, I'd be
glad to know about it.  I asked them if I could run it over night even
though it would have cleaned the tank in less time than that and they
said it should not be run for more than four, that running it for more
than "six" hours would be operating it beyond its design limits, I
couldn't expect something to hold up that was operated beyond its
design limits, and if I did do it, the warranty would be voided.  I am
paraphrasing but I believe I am doing so accurately.  I thought they
understood my question and were very clear in their answer.

> When the filter outflow comes to a hault, I either recharge the
> filter with
> new powder or merely stop and restart after the powder drops off the
> cartridge to provide a new coating of the old powder. This allows me
> to
> keep it going a couple extra times without emptying the jar.  [These
> steps
> are almost always needed when there is green water]. After the water
> is
> reasonably clear, I can leave the System One on for longer periods
> (sometimes more than 4 hours) to do the final polishing. 

My System 1 instructions actually describe shutting down then
restarting with the same DE -- except for the part about running for
more than 4 hours.

> In order for
> my
> Vortex to remove the same amount of suspended algae or other
> material, I
> invariably have to let it run 24+ hours. 

Indeed my experience here is roughly the same -- I believe the actual
water flow is much lower with the Vortex and the surface area that
holds the DE is somewhat larger.   To compensate for that, I suppose
one could get faster results with larger amounts of DE in the Vortex. 
I haven't tried it -- has anyone else.  I actully had been more
interested in slower (longer) cleaning -- over night, while at work . .

> I dont think the DE filters are substitutes for water changes. Diatom
> filters are used to primarily remove SUSPENDED particulate or
> suspended
> algae. With added carbon, they can also remove dissolved organics [
> but
> this can also remove desirable nutrients, so carbon can be
> problematic in a
> plant tank without appropriate replenishment. IMO, water changes are
> different: intended to primarily remove DISSOLVED built-up chemicals
> and to
> replenish stuff, including trace elements and other nutrients.

I'm at a loss on this point -- won't water changes remove what's
suspended as well as what's dissolved in the replaced water?  I do note
that a DE filter can clean up the suspended stuff much quicker -- less
than 4 -24 hours depending on (at least) the filter.   

If I ever get a fix for the noise problem, maybe I'll resurrect that
System One and not be afraid to run it four, I mean for, hours on end
without a problem.  Warranty swarranty.

Scott H.

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Sports - Coverage of the 2002 Olympic Games