Intro To Diatom Filters


This manual was compiled for the purpose of instructing you on the operation and care of your Diatom® Filter. Follow the operating instructions for the longest and best possible service from your filter. Thank you for your purchase.

     The "Diatom®" is a high-speed auxiliary filter designed to filter aquarium water to an extremely pure state. It can replace "outside" or "under-gravel" filters. Used properly, your Diatom will eliminate the need to "tear down" or disassemble your aquarium to clean it.
     The Diatom® Filter is extremely fast and will filter out particles as small as one micron (one millionth of a meter). It, therefore, is a tremendous aid in the treatment and prevention of aquarium diseases caused from microorganisms such as "Ick," velvet, tail and fin rot, fungus, flukes, fish lice, etc. Since almost all aquarium disease parasites are larger that one micron, they are easily entrapped by the filter powders and thus eliminated from the aquarium.
     IT MUST BE UNDERSTOOD that while the Diatom is an effective treatment and cure for parasite diseases such as Ichtheoptrisis, proven under controlled experiments by constant filtration of the aquarium through the life cycle of the parasite, it must also be understood that many diseases are caused from parasites that live and reproduce on or in the fish itself and does not become "free swimming," and, therefore, do not allow themselves to be filtered out. These type of diseased may best be treated by removing the fish from the aquarium, treating with the proper medication, and then returning it to the aquarium. This usually causes the parasites to drop from the fish or otherwise seek a better host on which to feed. Once they are loose in the water they may be quickly entrapped by the filter. Usually two or three treatments of this type and your aquarium if free of the disease. When using the Diatom as a treatment on "sick" tanks it is advisable to back-flush with hot water before moving to another tank.
     Most diseased "show-up" or strike hardest on new fish that are introduced into an aquarium before the fish has a chance to adapt itself to the change in the water. Often the disease is brought in with new fish. Sometimes a rapid change in temperature or a change in the chemistry of the water may weaken the fish and they become easy prey to protozoa parasites. Remember, where there are no protozoa parasite, there can be no protozoa diseases! Run you Diatom a few hours each day for several days after any one of these conditions have occurred, and you will eliminate these outbreaks of fish-killing parasite diseases.
     Follow the directions closely on the operation of your "Diatom®" system and it will be invaluable in keeping a parasite-free, clean, well-balanced and healthy aquarium.
     The castings are constructed of Cycolac plastic and are braced at all points of stress. The motor and main castings are assembled in the factory so that the motor shaft and the shaft seal are in perfect alignment and locked in position with great care. The impeller is installed with a clearance of 1/16 inch between the shaft seal and the top of the filter bag insert. If for any reason you must take these components apart, great care must be taken in putting them back together to prevent leakage or damage to the Double Lip shaft seal. Be sure to lubricate inside the seal with a good grade of grease before reassembling. The flat side of the impeller is recessed to allow clearance for the seal.
     Diatom Filter Powder will not change the pH of water or remove medicines. This fact allows you to treat your fish while running your filter. While the unit will filter out undissolved minerals it will not remove dissolved salts or medicines in solution.
     We must caution you to use only Diatom Filter Powder in your Diatom® Filter. While it is true that some grades of diatomaceous swimming pool powders would operate in the Diatom® Filter, some contain amounts of chlorine and could spell instant death or permanent gill damage to tropical fish.
     We are sure you will find the Diatom® Filter to be a very valuable and veratile tool once you mastered its operating principles. For instance: a small bag water softening material placed inside the jar will aid you in controlling water hardness; or to correct yellow water we suggest you use our SUPER-CHAR, a highly activated carbon for use in your Diatom® Filter.

 Because the "Diatom®" is an entirely new concept in aquarium filtration you will probably have many questions which we will attempt to answer for you on this site: We have tried to include enough hose and connections to fit most popular aquariums. For those of you who have exceptionally large tanks or tanks of odd dimensions, some of the parts may need adaptation. We have tried also to include everything necessary to get the unit operating without having to buy anything extra. When you have the unit assembled and operating for the first time the flow from the filter should be about 200 gallons per hour. If your aquarium has been set up for some time, however, the flow will quickly diminish as the filter collects microscopic particles of plant and animal life forms from the water. But remember: if it were not collecting these particles it would not be plugging. At first glance it may appear that the filter bag has compresses against the plastic woven material inside of it and restricted the flow. This, however, is not the case as this material has been tested under many times the pressure involved without restriction. Therefore, any restriction is in the "Diatom®" powder or the filter bag itself. Once you have filtered the water to micron purity the unit will run much longer without having to be back flushed.
     Each grain of the Diatom powder, if view through a powerful microscope, looks very much like one half of a coconut shell with very tiny holes in it. Most of the holes in these tiny particles are less than one micron (one millionth of a meter) in size. When the filter is running properly with a full charge of powder, water is being forced through a layer of many thousands of these Diatom skeletons. This is why the unit is so effective in filtering out microscopic parasites and algae. As the flow dwindles to a trickle you may notice that small bubbles of air start coming from the unit, or a small amount of air may collect in the pump housing. This is partly due to the speed of the impeller (3,000 revolutions per minute) and to the fact that the unit is drawing a partial vacuum of about 13 inches of mercury on the water as it passes through the filter powder. These conditions actually cause dissolved gases to be liberated from the water as it passes through the high speed impeller.