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Re: [APD] Vortex

The are not the easiest diatom filters to use but they are
an elegant and durable design. You can plug one in and run
it for years nonstop (except for changing the diatom powder
and a rare but occassionaly oiling) and it will not give a
single complaint. But definitely get the 
"recharge" valve if you have any of the models (all but
one) that don't come with it included. Once you get the
hang of it, you can purge and recharge in about 5 minutes
without spilling a drop.

Just fyi, if the Vortex's old-fashioned start-up and
recharge demands are more than you care to put up with,
trying selling it on Ebay and getting a System 1.

The System 1 Diatom filter, although not without it's own
weak points (a tad noisier ime, lots of surface turbulence,
and not intended to be run for more than a few hours at a
time), requires no recharge process other than putting the
powder in the jar.  It's filter medium (core) doesn't allow
diatom powder to pass through even when it isn't coated
with diatoms and it is entirely self priming even when the
jar has *no* water in it. Just put the powder in the jar;
put the jar on the filter; hang the filter on the aquarium
and plug it in. To clean, just unplug; unscrew the jar;
pour out the diatoms and rinse off the medium and you're
done. It's the easiest to use diatom filter on the market,
imo; it doesn't get any easier than that.

The Whisper diatom filter is also very easy to use but is
much smaller than the System 1 or the Vortex. IF you have
only small tanks, the Whisper Diatom is probably your best
bet. Tanks of 40g or larger, get a System 1 or Vortex
depending on your preferences :-)

good luck, good fun,
--- Joanna Curtis <joanna_curtis at shaw.ca> wrote:

> Thanks Scott for your advice.  I'm happy to report that I
> have retrieved the
> rasboras and so far they seem fine, so my fingers are
> crossed.
> Coming back to the vortex.  I am no where near as
> experienced as most of
> your guys out there, but I have been at this for a few
> years now.  I have to
> say that every experience with the damn machine has not
> been without
> incident.  Mostly I end up getting soaked, occasionally I
> have blasted water
> over the electrics and I have coated everything I own
> (including the poor
> fish) with wet and dry diatomaceous earth more times than
> I can shake a
> stick at.  I have now resorted to attaching the hoses
> with galvanized metal
> hose clips (jubilee clips to my fellow brits), so I have
> cut down somewhat
> on the dousing.  Over the years on this list I have seen
> some big names on
> this list disparage of similar experiences, so I know
> it's not the easiest
> piece of equipment to deal with.  Is there a better
> alternative these days.

Christel Kasselmann, 
author of the best current authoritative text on aquatic plants 
will be a featured speaker at 
The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies 30th Annual Convention.
March 18-20, 2005 at the Marriott Hotel, Farmington, CT
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