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Re: [APD] Vortex Diatom Filters

How do you want to use it?  As an occassionaly thing to get
the water very clear?  To remove a temporary problem with
tubidity?  As a continuously running filter to provide
extra mechanical filtration? As the only mechanical
filtration on the planted tank?

The Vortex can be used to do any of those although it
requires maintenance quite often.  That is, the
diatomaceous media must be change frequently -- measure in
hurs or a day or possbily two depending on thank conditons.

Generally, they are well suited to occassional use for
mechanically filtering down to an exceptinally fine degree.
 Folks often refer to its effect as "polishing" the water. 
But you might not find them as useful for continuous use.

If you want it for occassional uses, the D1 and it's bigger
sibling the XL work very well. It takes a bit of practice
to get the routine for loading the media, or replacing the
media. If I haven't used one in a long time, it takes about
10 or 15 minutes to get everything set up. The gets down to
about 5 minutes for the D1 and about 10 minutes for the XL
after doing it a couple of times. The XL takes longer only
because, at least for me, it takes a few minutes longer
than the D1 until the media well loaded on the bag that
holds the media.

The Vortex filters are quite capable of withstanding the
wear and tear of running 24/7 for days, weeks, or months,
longer so long you apply a couple of drops of oil to the
motor as described in the instructions that come with the

But diatomaceous media becomes clogged relatively quickly.
Thin in terms of hours or a day or so versus, as one
example, a canister filter than can got several months
without needing the media to be rinsed or replaced. With a
canister filter, for one example, you might be able to go
3-6 months without needing to change media.

In a healthy tank, you probably won't find it necessary to
polish the water continuously. So the extra maintenance
might not seem worthwhile.

There are lots of stories of folks having Vortex filters
for years, even decades, although most folks use them only
occassionally.  Innerspace, which makes the Vortex line,
recently changed the motor on the XL.  It ws a good motor
before and the new one very good.

Note that the motors are ventilated, fan cooled.  so they
make more noise than comparably size motors in canisters
and powerheads that are totally enclosed. That might be
important to you or other members of the household.

Aquarium Products makes a nice filter called the System One
that is designed for diatomaceous media.  It is much easier
to use than the Vortex -- no tubing to bother with and when
you put in the diatomaceous media, you don't have to run
the filter and wait for the media to load onto the media
holder before running the filter on the aquarium. I tend to
prefer the Vortex models but you will find folks that
wouldn't give up their System One for love nor money.

Hope that helps,
Scott H.
--- xicotenco <xicotenco at yahoo_com> wrote:
> Did anybody have experince or comments to share with
> us about using a Vortex Diatom Filter in plnted tank.

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