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
compressed 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 viewed 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.