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Vortex vs. System 1.

>Although I have not personally used a System 1 filter, I can say that a
>Vortex, properly primed, will clean any aquarium up to 75g in an hour, not
>4hrs.  It may take 4hrs to clear a larger tank such as a 125g or 150.  This
>is before even adding any of their special 'superchar' carbon, in which
>case, the tank would clear even faster.  Vortex filters will also last you
>at least a decade.  And, for $58 bucks for the smaller one from that fish
>place, if you have green water, this is the filter to get.  You can purchase
>diatom powder from a local pool retailer store for about $7 for a 10lb bag.
>The 'superchar' carbon you must purchase from the company, but the small
>container they sell will last you easily 10 years.  

I also use a Vortex diatom filter which I've had for many years.  It does
do an _excellent_ job.  The problems are that it's hard to start up, is
tippy and made of glass (a bad combination!<g>) and not easy to move from
one tank to another.  That said, it has been a real work horse through the

I've seen the System 1 filter in action, and it is easy to start, hangs on
the edge of the tank, works at least as well as the Vortex and can be moved
easily between tanks.  It's more expensive, but at least to me, the utility
justifies the added expense.  My only problem is that the danged Vortex
just keeps working (I use it very infrequently) and I can't justify the
expense of a replacement.  When it _does_ go, I will definitely replace it
with a System 1.

BTW, I also own, use and like a HOT Magnum.  But I use it as a small
canister filter which drives a CO2 reactor.  Used in this capacity I have
no complaints.  I probably would not buy another, just because I like the
Magnum 350's so much and have mostly larger tanks.  I don't think I'd
bother "wasting" either of the Magnums as an intermittent polishing device.
 Knowing me, It would be put into service as a full time filter on some
tank or other, and that would be the end of it.<g>  I'm kind of surprised
how many people feel they need a polishing filter with any regularity.
It's probably been 2 years since mine saw any service, and I could probably
count the number of time I've used it in total on both hands.  Do many
people really need to use a polishing filter with any regularity?  I find
that my tanks stay crystal clear (let's not get into blue bucket debates
again... they look very clear when viewed through the tank the long way)
without any heroic measures.<g>  Even after a water change, glass cleaning,
mulm removal session, any residual cloudiness will be gone within an hour,
and this is with minimal filtration on the tanks.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association