Build a Diatom filter from scratch

I am doing a test on my reef. So far no leaks and it seems to be working perfectly. But this model is to small for my 125 gallon tank because I only have a 250 GPH pump on it. My larger model has a 500 GPH pump on it. I think this would work best on a 75 gallon or less tank.

I stirred up my gravel here t see how long it takes to clear it and see how easy it is to clean. The things starts instantly with no problems. Just stick the inlet hose in the tank and suck a little on the other hose. Plug it in and you are good to go.

The big problem with the manufactured diatom filters was the motor, or pump was on top ad the slightest air inside the unit will stop it. That problem is eliminated here.

New Diatom on tank.JPG
Vinny, that "white Bracket is a 1 1/4" PVC piece of moulding. Very cheap. I sliced it down to 1" on my radial arm saw and using a heat gun, wrapped it around a tin can the same diameter.

I was going to add another piece of acrylic under the canister but found the white band holds it securely and I don't need it. In the first picture you can see I cut out the back piece for it but I don't think I will add it. I will see if I need it.
Test is over. I ran it on my 125 with the gravel stirred up and in an hour the water disappeared. The cartridge used was one micron. I think it would be better if I could find a pleated cartridge that I could use with powder. The thing comes right apart for cleaning, all you have to do is loosen up the union and the entire housing comes out.

Then just twist it open and rinse the cartridge. :)

Something like this would be excellent for anyone to build especially if you are concerned about parasites because it will remove them especially if you use a quarantine tank (which I don't)

When I collect NSW I can just submerge these units in the tub of sea water without using the tubing because the pumps are submersible.
Now that I know the "Proof of Concept" and prototype works I designed a much simpler design that anyone can build quickly using the bracket that you can buy for these canisters. I will take these prototypes apart and build them using the new design. 😁
Those old diatom bags are not easy to repair and I always felt they were a horrible design to begin with. But in the 60s thats all we had as the technology was not there yet.

Those diatom filters had a surface area of about two feed. The new design, the larger one I built has an area of I think 6' so it should be 3 times as efficient and much easier to clean. The filter cartridges can easily be replaced if need be but should last for many years with powder.

The entire unit is submersible.

I feel this design fixes the main problems of the old Diatoms. These won't rust, no seals to replace, starting is simple because that tiny bit of air left in the unit during starting goes right out. They don't over heat and won't electrocute you if they get wet.

They should be much cheaper than the original design in todays money. If a manufacturer decided to build there, they would go for the cheapest materials and you would have cheap garbage which is all that is out there now. Building these is simple but a few tools are required.

I designed a much simpler unit and if I get time will post it with materials. I want people to have these if they want without going broke because I have always felt that if it were not for Diatom Filters, I would not be in this hobby.

I also have always said that if my last diatom filter croaks, I will build a new one.
How would you make one 5-10x larger? 2500 gph or so.

I have been looking.
Hydro-Mag pumps of this size.
Model 18 with Venturi ITEM# 40138
Maximum Flow Rate 1800 GPH
Watts/Amps 145/1.55
3/4” FPT Inlet and MPT Outlet
Model 24 ITEM# 40140
Maximum Flow Rate 2400 GPH
Watts/Amps 237/2.2
1” FPT Inlet and MPT Outlet
Dimensions: 7.25" x 4.0" x 6"

I used diatom filters, both the Vortex and the Marineland hang on with my tanks when they were small. I think the flow rate through the filter needs to be about 4 times the tank size per hour.

McMaster-Carr has a 20 inch clear filter with 1 inch ports and a pressure relief valve that could break the siphon. I would like something slightly larger with a wide mouth but haven't found anything yet.
A stand that sits on the floor to hold it.

The trick will be to get a bag or element in it that lives over time. I am looking at heat fusible filter material to make my own.
Swimming pool diatom powder.

perhaps a project to make for the new year

I would just buy a small pool Diatom filter. 😁
I have looked at them. I want something in a clear container. I have been looking at wide mouth fermenters with a lid I can put bulkheads in.
Something 2-5 gallons.
Then you can get a whole house filter canister. They make them 24" long and look almost exactly like the unit I just built. Then you can put any pump on it that you like.