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Re: Vortex XL problem

Dan wrote -
"Has anyone used or is currently using a Vortex XL Diatom filter?  I
recently purchased one that is driving me crazy(ier).  No matter what I
do, I cannot prevent it from sending out some DE into my aquarium after
a recharge."
"I've installed a real cutoff valve on the output side of the
Vortex to aid in priming the pump and to allow the DE to coat the filter.  '

I also tried the valve option at one time and had the same problem with a
regular Vortex - same as XL with a smaller jar.  The solution is using a
"pitcher" to charge the filter.  Mine is an old plastic juice container
with about 4" diameter and about 12" tall.  Using a pitcher with larger
diameter would be better because I inevitably have some spillage into the
tank.  Set up your filter with the inlet and outlet tubes next to each other
in the tank and turn it on.  Any air in the line will then discharge.  Then
slip the juice pitcher (or whatever) into the tank and insert both tubes
into it.  Raise the pitcher top above the water level and secure.  Mine has
a little lip that catches on the edge of the tank or you could use a small
clamp (woodworkers spring type), or use a pitcher with a handle.  Leave the
water level in the pitcher below the top of the pitcher or the water will
overflow as you add powder.  Using a measuring cup then start adding the
powder to the pitcher.  Adding about a 1/3 of total amount at a time will
help to get even coverage.  After the filter has run for a few minutes and
everything clears up remove the pitcher and put the hoses where you want
them.  Make sure to slide the pitcher in and out without raising the hoses
above the water line or you could end up air in the system.

I was reminded recently by a LFS that the DE powder is nasty stuff if you
breath it.  Take proper precautions such as a dust mask and rinse any dried
powder off of filter after using.  Also, someone on this list mentioned that
diatom powder is available from swimming pool suppliers at very reasonable
prices.  Mine is getting low so will be checking that out soon.

Jay Reeves