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RE: [APD] EHEIM diatom Filter -- or - Scratching the Semantic Surfacewith Silicates

I currently have six tanks of my own set up, all of them
planted. I've set up planted tanks for others as well. I've
had aquariums for the better part of 4 decades. However, I
do not consider myself a serious aquatic gardener for more
than about the last 5 years, ever since I first read Erik
Olson's "That Darn Plant Tank" and other gems on

Okay. Let's agree that we mean different things by "diatom"
and "diatomaceous earth."  Just so I may be clear, what I
mean is the crystalline silica remains of one-celled
critters called diatoms.  When mined, various "impurities"
are present in differening amounts depending on where the
material is mined. Other materials can include the remains
of other microscopic critters and quartz and other
minerals. The longer version is this:

 Approximately 300 million years ago, countless trillions
of minute one celled plants called diatoms existed in the
oceans. They constructed tiny shells about themselves out
of the silica they extracted from waters. When the diatom
died, its microscopic shell was deposited on the floor of
those ancient seas. Through the centuries, these shells
eventually collected into deposits, sometimes thousands of
feet thick. When the waters receded, the deposits were
eventually covered and the shells fossilized and compressed
into a soft chalk-like rock called diatomaceous earth. "

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is the best way, imo,
to find out just what's in a particular vendor's
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) or diatom filter media product. 
Examples of such products for aquarium filters are this:


and Preemo-clean, which is Aquarium Product's "super-fine
diatomaceous earth medium" for its System One Filter:


I personally, if you don't mind my getting personal for a
moment, prefer to use a product called Aqua-Cell by World
Minerals.  Aqua-Cell is sold in large bags for use with
swimming pool filters that are designed for use with DE. It
works very well in the System One, the D1, and the XL and
is much cheaper. Just because I have it handy, here's a
link for the the MSDS for Aqua-Cell:


I believe the most common examples of diatom filters
intended for Aquarium hobbyists are the Vortex Models D1
and XL, the Aquarium Products System One, and the Whisper
Diatomagic.  The Vortex D1 is one of the original canister
filters designed for aquarium use and it's basic design is
largely unchanged over several decades, although many
improvements have been made over that time to the filter
and its accessories.

I am not familiar with the term "Diatom" or "DE" being used
to mean merely "Silt meaning very very very very very fine"
but there's no law against using the term that way.

Just for fun, here are some nice pics of diatoms, which are
extraordianrily beautiful:


Scott H.

--- Sharon Frey <sharonfrey at earthlink_net> wrote:
> You didn't address my core concern.  Do you have keep
> cultivate aquatic
> plants?
> If you have in the past,  that and your knowledge is
> important.  If you
> haven't?  Well then shut up?
> For the record because I did the research.  Diatom filter
> refers not to
> diatomaceous earth but to the filters particle would be
> filtered size.

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