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Yes I too think that this is truly weird. First off the DE should have a hard time accumulating. Second if the DE accumulates anyway the pump should have a hard time moving water through the dense layer of DE. Third even if both A and B somehow work anyway very quickly the layer of DE will get plugged by the tiny visible organic particles floating in the water and become impenetrable.

That it all worked is very strange.

But even if it works for a few days it should have problems in the long run. The sludge/bacteria accumulating over the DE over the period of a few days should completely plug up the DE.

On another note - if anyone must use a Diatom filter to keep their water clean then they are doing things wrong. Their biofilter is not working well. The tank is off ballance and mechanical filtration just keeps things looking acceptable but they are not right anyway. A seldom discussed fact is that optimal biological filtration actually polishes the water as good as a Diatom filter. The water looks like in that first picture - as if it's missing. Most people seldom achieve that because they don't pay enough attention to the biofiltration. Most filters and filter materials sold for aquariums are crap and perform as such. In an established planted tank the plants play a bigger role in the biofiltration than the canister filter. Such tanks can exist with just water movement from a powerhead, no canister filter. Usually most of us try mechanical filtration to keep the water clean and seldom get the best results.

In any case - the results of that experiment are both weird and very interesting. Naja, can you replicate it over and over?

--Nikolay
 

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Yes I too think that this is truly weird. First off the DE should have a hard time accumulating. Second if the DE accumulates anyway the pump should have a hard time moving water through the dense layer of DE. Third even if both A and B somehow work anyway very quickly the layer of DE will get plugged by the tiny visible organic particles floating in the water and become impenetrable.

That it all worked is very strange.

But even if it works for a few days it should have problems in the long run. The sludge/bacteria accumulating over the DE over the period of a few days should completely plug up the DE.
I would not run this long term. It's just a one time use things like an actual diatom filter. Do it and then clean the filter. That is why I would highly recommend having a filter to specifically do this with...

On another note - if anyone must use a Diatom filter to keep their water clean then they are doing things wrong. Their biofilter is not working well. The tank is off ballance and mechanical filtration just keeps things looking acceptable but they are not right anyway. A seldom discussed fact is that optimal biological filtration actually polishes the water as good as a Diatom filter. The water looks like in that first picture - as if it's missing. Most people seldom achieve that because they don't pay enough attention to the biofiltration. Most filters and filter materials sold for aquariums are crap and perform as such. In an established planted tank the plants play a bigger role in the biofiltration than the canister filter. Such tanks can exist with just water movement from a powerhead, no canister filter. Usually most of us try mechanical filtration to keep the water clean and seldom get the best results.
Agreed. I have have a D1. I did this as an experiment. I have rarely used the D1, because A) I don't have much use for it, and B) I find that purigen does a wonderful job.

In any case - the results of that experiment are both weird and very interesting. Naja, can you replicate it over and over?

--Nikolay
I've never tried. I just did it that one time. Again, I would not and do not recommend doing this and then walking away. The filter will need to be cleaned within a couple-3 days. It will bog down the flow, etc. But it's nice to know that it works.
 
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