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Thread: Bead Filters, an American curse?

  1. #41
    Oyagoi bekko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    I did not know the Aquabead had an agitator. Is it air-driven? What does it look like?


  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii
    Morning Steve:

    Welcome home from the wars at Koiphen.... If you go to:

    you'll see the agitator on the first picture of the filter system, it's the can in the highest position... It's air driven... Aquadyne has same set up but you have to open and close a valve to use and shut down, not really a big deal, but the Aquabead's agitator is mounted on a check valve so all you have to do is turn the switch on and off...A simple but nice feature, especially for old foggies like me who sometimes forget to open or close the valve... In fact the Aquabead has a lot of simple but nice features to make life easier...

    Aloha! Mike

  3. #43
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    San Antonio, Texas
    Excellent quality water is a combination of:

    Proper pond/filter system size and design
    Maintaining 90% or higher oxygen saturation - 24/7/365
    Rapid solids removal
    Proper stocking and feeding
    Proper pond/filter system maintainance
    Significant water changes

    The type/brand of filtration is only one piece of this system/process

    I have seen crude very old technology filters that perform very well in the right hands with proper maintainance.

    I have seen the latest high tech filter systems fail miserably without the rest of the stuff listed above. Sometimes having the latest high tech stuff leads to complanciency or just as bad too much tinkering and over compicating the technology to it's disadvantage.

    I saw one bead system that the owner complained was worthless that was actually plumbed backwards and the beads had formed a solid mass.

    Pretty much everything filterwise is adapted from either the aquarium or sewage treatment technology. Instead of switching to a new filter everytime one is marketed learn to use the system you have to it's maximum advantage. If it has weaknesses figure out how to compensate for them. I promise that every new filter also has weaknesses.

  4. #44
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    seattle, wa

    excellent response Ray

    Part of the problem with Bead filters is how they are marketed and people's perception as to the part they actually play in a system. I use mine as part of the rapid removal of wastes. I do not consider it to contribute to the bio-filtration as it is constantly backwashed, knocking back and upsetting the bacteria. But for a biofilter to be able to be the best it can be, it needs not to have to deal with things a good mechanical filter can provide. I really like bio filters that are designed for maximum air exposure, like TT's, Bakki and heavily oxygenated J-mat.

    In life I have watched lots of situations where an item is marketed as the "be all end all" for that given situatioin. My life experience has been what you gain in convenience you give up in performance. I'd rather have a excellent mechanical system, and a great bio system as two separate items as opposed to something that does a decent job at both.

    Now in my inside pond I have not used a bead filter because the leaves, dirt and needles are not the concern, and my settling vortexes do a masterful job of eliminating wastes.

    My learning experience is, if I was charting water quality on a graph, I'd want the line to be consistantly flat for the health of the koi as opposed to the rise and fall of water that because of cleaning and water replacement tended to spike up and down.
    Dick Benbow

  5. #45
    Nisai estanque_koi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Cordoba, Spain
    [quote=Mike T;17797]David:

    Just remember one thing about most bead filters, they’re modified swimming pool filter and/or are designed around them…

    that is pretty obvious, what is less obviuos is the huge difference in price , i.e.
    -Advantage 10, 60 cm diameter 1795 $
    -Ultrabead 60, 61 cm diameter 1295 euro = 1848.5 $
    -Swimming pool filter 65 cm diameter, good quality 318 euro = 453.9 $
    (1 euro = 1,4274 U.S $)

    ¿is it just because of the additional cost of the beads plus the blower?

    I'm using static K1 for mechanic filtration followed by dynamic (aerated) K1 for biological. I'm happy with the results, but I agree that different systems may work allright with adequate maintenance .
    Diego Jordano
    Cordoba, Spain
    A.E.K. web site http://www.elkoi.com
    pers. web site http://es.geocities.com/estanqueskois/

  6. #46
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Well since I have some time, let me weigh in on this subject.

    First, the major producers of bead filtration do not push their filter as the end all to do all, it is the shops that sell them, or builders that install them. They will tell you that with the dirty water that comes into the bottom drain, your filter will constantly stay clogged.

    The simple remedy for this is a settlement chamber, preferably round, without any matting, deep, and allowing the incoming water to spin.

    Here at the shop, we have all our tanks with bottom drains. The crap (and there is a lot of crap as we feed an average of 2 tons of feed a year to the fish for sale) is gravity fed to a 1500 gallon settlement chamber. Water is pulled from the middle of the settlement chamber (within 6 inches of the surface) and run through two large multistory trickle style filters. The water is then picked up on the side and is drawn to the pumps, then to the bead filters. I have both, Aquadyne and Aquabead. I have a leaning to the Aquabead, but the dyne is a great filter as well.

    Anyway, the bead filter catches the fines just well, and the water in the display tanks is always crystal clear without the use of any UV lights. The water parameters are always great with nitrates always below 30.

    The key is the settlement chamber. We clean it out once a week, and it averages 8-14 inches of sludge at the bottom. I also believe that one fo the reasons my bead filter works so well is that the trickle filters(running with 8000 gallons an hour between the two) keeps the water going into the filters well oxygenated, more so than most other applications.

    Now, as far as streambeds and water falls go, I have a DIY display pond that I built for those on a budget. It consists of a 1800 gallon pond, 4 feet deep, 4 water falls, several streambeds, and a DIY settlement chamber that cleans the water before it gets to the external pump. The settlement chambers do have 1 section of the green mattala matting in each one to form a barrier between where the water runs in, and the pump picks it up.

    In this pond, with only this for filtration, resides several large fish, most in the 24-28 inch range, and 9 smaller fish to grow out. They have grown from 6 inches in may to well over a foot long now in this setting.

    I open two knife valves once a week to drain the settlement chambers, and that is it. Once a month, I do pull out the mattala matting and give it a rinse.

    What is different aboutt this system is that it is a retro fit on a concrete pond without tearing the pond appart to install it. And everything except the knife valves and the mattala matting was either purchased at lowes or Home depot. Except the 55 gallon drums.

    The long and short of this post is the removal of all solids before it ever gets to the pump. The minute you send anything solid through the pump, it becomes a liquid, and much harder to remove and deal with.

    As for dealing with the debris ladden streambed issue, if you pre-clean the water going into the streambed, there is very little that will accumulate. And if you mortar the stones into place, there is very little room for any debris to stay in the streambed. Yeah it takes a bit more work to mortar the rocks into place, but over the next few years, you will see the benifit long term.

    As for the difference in price, there are differences in the plumbing of a bead filter. They are not the same as a sand filter for your pool. The housing, yes, the internal plumbing, no. Swimming pool filters are also mass produced, not so for bead filters.

    As for the proper backwashing of the bead filter, the air blower does a great job of breaking up any clogging going on, if not you are not backwashing enough (I had one guy only do it once every 6 months, no wonder it clogged) And has been stated, aquabead is much more end user friendly, and Gary is only a phone call away, cant say that about most of the other builders.


  7. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Space and time

    Hello all,

    Most every breeder I visited in Niigata along with Mamoru Kodama had traditional large gravity sytems - I visited 12 or so farms and only say two that used bead filters. The large settlement systems work great. But as Mike T. pointed out - you have to add the cost of space to any filtration system - and space doesn't come cheap.

    Thats what leads us manufacturers to try and reproduce what large systems do in small spaces. Like all good manufacturers - improvement and refining is a never ending thing.

    Mr. Benbow is right, mechanical and biological are two independant systems. But, however, there is a little overlap.

    No question that settlement tanks, and/or other mechanical devices should always be infront of what ever you choose as your main bio filter. But lets look at the little area of overlap.

    Fine particulates that don't sink in settlement tanks, and/or passes through brushes, pads, and other open cell media. The stuff that slightly alters the clarity of water. Bead filters do a good job of sifting these fine particulates out of the water. Some beads, and some filters do it better than others. Some get clogged easily and are harder to fully backwash.

    This is where we come in. We use Food Grade Styrofoam floating beads in our upflow designed HydroBead Vortex filters. They do their job like other media - providing surface area for biofilm - but they do an outstanding job of the additional job of sifting out fine particulates - pollishing the water. They are extremely bouyant - so when the filter is backwashed and water is forced downward inside the filter tank - the beads are always trying to float upwards. The result is a "shaking off" of the loose detritus efficiently and gently without harming the biofilm. Since the beads are not hollow, they don't hold onto debris inside themselves. So backwashing can be performed without air blowers or high speed pumps.

    We are a corporate sponsor of this board, and I encourage all of you that own bead filters, or those of you that are contemplating purchasing one - to look at our HydroBead Vortex filters and compare them with other brands.

    Our bead filters are not designed to replace settlement tanks or other forms of mechanical filtration - they are designed to function in the "overlap" area more efficiently than other brands of bead filters. If any of you are in the Seattle area, stop by and we'll give you a demonstation. For the rest of you - you can see photos of our Koi ponds and our Koi retailing systems on our web site. All our Koi ponds and Koi retailing systems are filtered with our HydroBead Vortex filters.

    Thank you so much for your time.
    John Russell
    Last edited by Brian; 11-05-2008 at 04:57 AM.

  8. #48
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Consider developing a sieve product line that can be used with your bead filters ..etc. Design two sizes....one that can handle up to 4000gph for less that $850 and a larger one that does up to 8000gph that would sell for $1000.

    With such a product line you might have greater penetration in the tough koi market. After all, we should not have to import sieves.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Hi MCA,

    Thanks for the reply. Funny you brought that up, we've been working on a prototype for a couple of months now. Our process is to work and tweak our prototypes untill all bugs are worked out prior to a national release. We get them "in the ground" and see how they perform. We then make any necessary improvements - then re-test and so on. Since we are in both markets - we design our products to perform in both applications - and those in the middle.

    When we get a couple of working prototypes - I'll send you one for field testing. (Cash flow slows in the winter months - so we're looking into next spring)

    Thanks so much.
    John Russell

  10. #50
    Sansai MysticKoi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    After all, we should not have to import sieves.
    Seeing as you are a big supporter of Wal Mart, I'm suprised to find this is an issue to you?


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