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Vortex Diatom D-1 Filter Review


Peterlock

VORTEXD1.jpg

For decades I've used a Diatom filter for water polishing. In a past review I did a bit of complaining regarding how temperamental they can be - as well as difficult to set up and break down.

That said, I realized the Diatom - which hasn't changed since 1970 is really a piece of aquatic care history and there's no other supplementary filter on the planet that can deliver the results a Diatom can.

They're still made my hand, in the USA - which in itself is unheard of these days.

I've since bought the large XL system and the smaller D-1 - This review is about the D-1 Diatom Filter by Vortex.

For those not familiar with the Diatom it uses diatomaceous earth as a filter media. Diatomaceous earth or DE are tiny fossilized organisms called diatoms which are crushed to an extremely fine powder.

DE has the ability to filter out particulate matter, pathogens and parasites as small as one micron - it's the only material of it's kind and the Vortex Diatom filter is the only filter on the planet that can rid a tank of parasites like ich.

That said, they deliver unrivaled results when it comes to crystal clear water, but they are cumbersome to use.

For the larger XL model set up alone is a bit of a challenge, it's time consuming and finicky. You need to be able to open the motor casing, replace bearings, oil certain parts, put silicone on gaskets and fittings and so on. it's not rocket science, I think anyone can do it but this is one filter that does need a little extra TLC.

The D1 is much easier to deal with and handle and a great choice for up to a 55 gallon aquarium. You can go larger say, 75 Gallons by letting the filter run longer but chances are you'll need to replace the charge of DE.

The XL for instance takes 3 cups of DE - the D1 only one cup and remember, the more it clears the water the more the DE coating on the filter bag will clog and that means lower performance. So you might have to clean the filter and recharge with new DE for a larger tank.

But any effort invested with Vortex Diatom pays you back in spades.

It's a one of a kind specialty filter that does something many products today don't - it does exactly what it promises to do.

And that's to leave you water so pristine and clear it'll knock you out. Turn off your aeration and you'll think your fish are floating in air - the results are that good and that dazzling.

As a primary filter for your aquarium I can't recommend it. It's limited to mechanical filtration only. You can use activated charcoal Vortex Super - Char is quite good.

But in opinion I think charcoal should be used sparingly and only to remove mediations and tank treatments.

Activated charcoal can become toxic quite quickly and should never be used in aquarium water on an on going basis.

Many of the problems hobbyists encounter, lethargic fish, fish loss, slow growing plants, dying plants in many cases can all be traced back to using activated charcoal.

Quick Specs

* Certified Flow Rate of 250 GPH

* No water bypass

* Good for tanks up to 55 gallons

* Only filter that can remove anything down to one micron in size - including ich

* 2 year manufacturer's warranty

For any one who wants that icy clear water that's so pristine it's almost surreal - is going to love this filter.

Once you get the knack of using it - it becomes second nature. They're a little quirky but they are built like iron and should last you a lifetime. You'll end up tweaking it from time, mostly adding a drop or two of oil into the two oil ports from time to mine.

Like a good friend - treat it well and the benefits far outweigh any minor inconvenience.

Own a piece of aquarium history and get yourself a Diatom - you're guaranteed to love the results.

5 FINS UP!

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Thanks, Peter, for another well-written review! :)

I have a question. Coincidentally, my little cousin is doing a science fair project involving different filter materials and their ability to soften hard water. Not surprisingly, DE is the best at doing this. Have you looked into how this might affect the aquarium? My cousin was looking specifically at general hardness, but now I'm wondering if it has any effect on the alkalinity.

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Thanks, Peter, for another well-written review! :)I have a question. Coincidentally, my little cousin is doing a science fair project involving different filter materials and their ability to soften hard water. Not surprisingly, DE is the best at doing this. Have you looked into how this might affect the aquarium? My cousin was looking specifically at general hardness, but now I'm wondering if it has any effect on the alkalinity.

Hey Alex,

Thanks for the compliment - this only proves you have lousy taste in reviews.

Excellent question though but I can only give you the following info.

Vortex has always claimed that the Diatom won't disturb any water parameters hat so ever. Ph remains exactly the same the same after treatment. I've never come across a post or review claiming that alkalinity rose. This doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

I recently used the XL to get rid of a pea soup algae bloom for a clinet in a 90G which it did in less than an hour - the water was left crystal clear.

PH was tested with a meter before and after and there was no change.

It couldn't hurt to shoot of an email to Vortex and get an answer - they usually back up their responses with independent test results. They're closed on weekends.

I'll look into that myself and see what I can come up with.

PS: DE is also a safe and effective flea repellent for dogs, so it's great at protecting the pooches from feas without all those dangerous chemicals.

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LOL. That reminded me a friend of mine just wrote to me about fleas in a cat. DE is the perfect choice. I'll tell her.

I didn't know about the diatomaceous earth and algal blooms. This is fantastic info, and will be useful for the future.

Thank you.

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So,could you use this in place of a UV?

I wish it was true but DE can't destroy microscopic pathogens/baceteria like U.V lighting ssytems can. I have UV in most of my tanks except cycling or newly established. Polishing the water with DE is a nice "extra" though - the two compliment each other well. But one can't replace the other.

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