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Re: Diatom madness

> From: Penny Crowley <pcrowley at snet_net>
> Subject: Diatom madness
> About the diatom filters:
> Thanks everybody, for all your input. But hmmm...I'm still up in the air. I
> have ruled out the Magnum (lots of complaints on that one). I will get
> either a Vortex (many good comments, a few complaints on it's cheesy
> construction these days), a System One (a few comments, but all good), or
> the Whisper Diatomagic (only a few comments, but good ones).
> I realize it's hard to compare because most people only have one! Anybody
> else out there have either a System One or a Diatomagic?
> thanks,
> penny in chilly CT

I have a System  1,  for  which I bought the upgraded large jar & fiber filter for.
For ease of use, convenience, etc, the system one can't be beat. If you only plan to use a diatom every once in a while, on only a tank or 2, this unit would be a good choice.

I have also owned the Vortex units for many years. I used them while working in a LFS back in the early 70's, and the units are still basically exactly the same now as they were then.
The Vortex is a little more tricky to use, but once you get the hang of it, I think you will find it to be the best of all brands. I prefer the XL model.
This filter has a dramatically larger surface area than any other brand, therefore can run for extended amounts of time before requireing cleaning & rechargeing. It is ideal for hobbyist's with large and/or numerous tanks. The motor lasts darn near forever if you give it a few drops
of oil every now & again. There are only 2 things you every need to replace. The bags will usually last about 6 months, (with proper care); and the motor shaft seal may last as long as 2 years. When the motor shaft seal is begining to go bad, you will get a little bit of water
dribbling out of the housing. For this reason, I always keep mine in a bucket.

What I don't like about the system 1:
The oversize o-ring drive belt. The unit is somewhat loud by design. The bearings on the impellor shaft are low quality, IMHO, & expensive & difficult to replace.
If this filter had been designed differently, so that the motor was a direct drive to the impellor, like the Vortex, I think it would be an excellent all-around unit.

If you have 100 gallons or less of aquaria go for the System 1.
Any more than that, it's got to be Vortex, again IMHO
My Vortex XL is over 10 years old now, so I'm not sure about references to the new ones having 'cheesy construction' now. Maybe things have changed.

David Modine