Well since we are offing vortex products i figured i would share the info on the vortex products in one place
What is a DIATOM?
DIATOM (Greek - cut in two) a mobile plant of microscopic single cell or colonial algae. Among the relatively simple forms of microscopic life are animals that cannot move and plants that can. One class of these mobile plants is known by the name of diatoms. A favorite subject in many general biology or botany classes, the diatoms also occupy the geology students because diatoms have been inhabitants of both fresh and salt waters for at least 15,000,000 possibly over 20,000,000 years.
As living plants they serve as food stuff for animals as small as themselves and for the largest whales.
As fossils their siliceous skeletons form the substance of diatomaceous earth, once less accurately called kieseiguhr, now generally mined, refined and sold as DIATOMITE.
Diatoms reproduce by self-division - as suggested by the name - under ideal conditions each diatom may divide every eight hours. In thirty days a single diatom my produce ten billion descendents.
In the course of growth a diatom extracts silica, the basic ingredient of common sand, from the water and converts it into a sort of external skeleton or frustule. When a diatom dies, it settles to the bottom of the sea or lake and the organic part disintegrates leaving this siliceous skeleton, microscopic in itself and as full of tiny holes and passages as a sponge.
A cubic inch of diatomite contains millions of diatom fistulas, which is one way of dramatizing the fact that phenomenal growth over a period of ages was required to produce the vast deposits of diatomaceous earth. Some layers measure as much as 1500 feet thick and extend over thousands of acres.
The individual diatom come in a great variety of shapes - well over 10,000 have been separately identified. Microscopic to sub-microscopic in size, their forms are as fanciful and delicate as snow flakes. The highest power microscopes reveal each minute particle as a mesh-like structure, a lacework spun for silica, the stuff of sand.
The combination of minute size and frozen-lace particle structure account for the unusual and important properties of diatomite.
Light weight compared to buck,
7 -13 lbs. a cubic foot
Large surface area per pound
3,000 to 30,000 square feet
up to 300% by weight
carried easily by very light or very viscous fluids
Thanks to certain proportion of elongated particles, a layer of diatomite tends to mat like straw or felt. It is curiously both flexible and rigid in practical use - and a thick cake is almost incompressible although minute voids from 75 to 96% of its bulk.
Diatomite is practically inert being essentially the same chemically as common sand. Melting point is 2900°F. It is friable and from from grit
Can I run my Diatom Filter continuously?
The Diatom Filter is designed to operate continuously in salt or fresh water. The main reason we don't recommend it is because most fish will not be able to stand the strain of constantly having to swim against the strong current generated by the Diatom Filter or any other high flow filter for that matter.
Fish needs rest and may very well die if they don't get it. Naturally it is up to the individual to determine how much current his fish can tolerate and how much filtration is necessary, depending on the size of the aquarium and fish. I strongly suggest that all power filtration be turned off for a few hours each day unless it is particularly needed at the time. The Diatom Filter will filter out particles and parasitic life forms down to about one micron in size. We are not particularly after the bacteria. We are after the fish killing parasitic protozoan life forms such Ishthyophtririus Multifiliis (Ich), Chilondonella, Myzobulus Sporozoan, Octonitiasis and other Flagellates, Sporozoa, Leaches, Etc.
It is almost impossible to get rid of all the parasites in an aquarium, but with the proper filtration we can keep the population of parasites low enough so they do not harm healthy fish. Medication sometimes helps, but I am a firm believer that more fish are killed by over treatment with medication than any other cause. Proper filtration is the key.
Oxygen molecules are on the order of 4 Angstroms is size and are unfilterable in the general sense of the word. The Diatom will not filter out the oxygen, in fact it actually reduces carbon dioxide levels in the aquarium because of the speed of the impeller (3,000 R.P.M.). Dissolved gases are liberated and allowed to escape at an accelerated rate.
It is quite alright to medicate (if you feel you must) while the filter is running. The Diatom will not filter out the medicine as long as you are not using Super Char in it with the Diatom Powder. When you feel the medication has done its job, simply add Super Char to the filter and the medicine well be absorbed.
Extend The Life of Diatom Filter Bags
Diatom Filter Bags (model P-4 & XL-4) will wear out around the top port where the solid plastic is bonded to the filter bag material. To extend the life, apply a thin layer of silicone rubber to the top of the fabric extending out from the ridged plastic port 1/4" to 1/2". Make your silicone layer a little thicker next to the black plastic, then taper the silicone down as thin as possible. This will give the fabric a larger flexible area. But remember you are also blocking flow area so don't overdo a distance of 1/2".
Can I backflush and recharge my filter without taking it apart?
Yes. Take filter to kitchen or laundry faucet. Remove U-tubes from hose. Attach exhaust hose to faucet. Run water back through filter to flush out debris, shaking jar several times to loosen dirt.
Remove exhaust tube from faucet and put intake hose on faucet to fill jar 1/2 full. Replace U-tubes. Take filter back to aquarium, put intake and exhaust tubes in tank. Make sure strainers face away from each other. Plug in filter, turn it on and turn the jar upside down for a few seconds to get the prime going, then set upright.
Submerge a plastic container into the aquarium and put the intake and exhaust tubes into the container, such as a tea pitcher. Lift the container with the two tubes inside high enough to get the top above the water's surface. At this point, you will be funning the filter only on the water in the small container. You may add the Diatom powder directly into the container while the filter continues to run. A minimum powder charge for the "XL" Diatom is about 3 cups and for the "D-1" Diatom, 1 cup. Naturally the more powder you add to the system the better the filter will perform.
When all the powder has been absorbed into the filter and the water in the small container is running clear you may carefully lower the container out from under the pickup tubes.
Starting Your DiatomFilter
Back Flushing Your Diatom® Filter Clean
With both the intake and exhaust hoses in the aquarium and having the Diatom® Filter as least half full of water turn the Diatom® Filter upside down, start the motor for a few seconds or until you can see that the intake hose has filled with water. Return the Diatom® Filter to the upright position and turn the motor off. This will force the unit to start a siphon. Hose must run upward toward aquarium.
Clamp the exhaust hose when the water has filled the jar and hoses. Kinking the hose by hand will serve the same purpose. (Fig. 13) During this recirculating phase, with the exhaust blocked off, water is taken from inside the filter bag and forced through the recirculating hole back to the outside of the bag actually creating a filter within a filter. This also collects any small particles of powder that may be inside the bag or might slip through at the time of starting.
Start the motor and allow the Diatom® Filter to run for about two minutes.
After the Diatom® Filter runs about two minutes with the exhaust hose clamped off, the filter bag should be starting to coat with a thin layer of Diatom Filter Powder.
With the Diatom® Filter still running, unclamp the exhaust hose and allow the water to flow freely through the Diatom® Filter.
Note: If you have not allowed sufficient time for the filter bag to coat, some of the Diatom Filter Powder may be seen entering the aquarium. This will not harm the fish or plants, and will soon clear as the Diatom® Filter cleans your aquarium.
Caution: the Diatom® Filter must operate in the upright position with hoses running upwards.
The strainer may be removed from the end of the exhaust downspout and the "jet" action of the exhaust water can be used to "agitate" the gravel to aid in cleaning.
Restarting Your Diatom® Filter
To restart your Diatom® Filter after it has been turned off for any length of time, the Diatom Filter Powder will have fallen off the filter bag and settled to the bottom of the jar. You will have to crimp of the exhaust hose and allow the Diatom® Filter to run for about two minutes to recoat the filter bag before releasing flow. Be sure that all the Diatom powder on the bottom of the jar is shaken loose during the starting period before you release the clamp; the Diatom powder is the filter not the bag.
Filter Maintenance Troubleshooting Guide
Oil your Diatom motor every three to four months of normal use with part P-30 Lubricant
When filter is not in use, clean thoroughly and store in dry condition. (Otherwise entrapped particles will cause bacteria explosion and offensive odor.)
* After each time the unit is disassembled relubricate the rubber "O"-ring part XL-9 with Vaseling or silicone grease for a better seal.
The filter bag and plastic parts can be cleaned with a mild bleach solution of ome part bleach to ten parts water, to remaove any slime deposits collected during use. Rinse with fresh water then allow the parts to completely dry before storing your Diatom® Filter.
Your filter bag should not be scrubbed or machine washed as it will destroy the polyester fabric woven layer that restrains the Diatom powder.
To repair small cracks in plastic parts, use acetone as a solvent glue - allow 12 hours to set.