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Thread: Filter Maintenance Part II: Skimmers (Savio-type)

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Filter Maintenance Part II: Skimmers (Savio-type)

    Maintaining the Savio-type skimmer is fairly simple. During most of the year my skimmers need only once per week attention. During the summer, the volume of algae glarf may require attention every two or three days. I check the skimmer daily. (I keep a floating thermometer in one skimmer, so it is convenient to check water temperatures each day.)

    For once per week maintenance, I remove the leaf basket and empty into the garden. It will be loaded with algae that must with washed off by a hose with nozzle. When I remove the basket, I reach down to the bottom of the chamber and stir up the bottom. I have found that settlement will build up under the basket otherwise. The next step is cleaning the filter mat and its holder. The hose with nozzle is all that is needed.

    Cleaning the skimmer is the messiest part of my weekly pond maintenance. It takes about 8-12 minutes per skimmer. This is the task I like least. But, the skimmers are the first line of mechanical filtration leading to the Bakki Shower and the bead filter. So, I appreciate that the better they do their job, the more work there is for me.

    When the leaf basket or mat (or both) need attention more frequently than once per week, I do only what is needed so the pump pulling water through the skimmers does not have its water supply interrupted. If I am going to be away for a few days, I will raise the mat so some water goes under it or will raise the water level in the pond so some goes over it. This is to assure flow does not become blocked.

  2. #2
    Nisai bone's Avatar
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    Mike, during the summer, I have to clean my Savio skimmers often. My skimmers also feed a pump and the a bead filter. It's not so much what ends up in the basket but the pads get clogged pretty fast. I think the pads are a pain to clean out. I have pretty high water pressure and it still takes me a while to get the pads really clean with the hose. I am actually considering taking the pads out or coming up with something to replace them with that is easier to clean.

    If I had to do it over again. I would have just used swimming pool type skimmers with a basket then had some other solids separator before the bead.

    Daniel

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Bone: I've heard the same complaint from many others. Some remove the filter mat and fill the mat holder with brushes. The brushes do not clog so readily. However, they allow more glarf get through to the next stage of system. A sieve prior to the bead filter is likely an improvement, but I've no personal experience.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    I only have the swimming pool type skimmers in my pond and give the basket's a quick shake daily. Easy maintenance but they aren't near as good as the savio style for mechanical filtration.

    If I had to point out the biggest shortcoming of my pond, it would be mechanical filtration. My one skimmer feeds a bakki with feather rock. This hasn't been running a year yet so my top layer of rock seems OK so far.

    Grant

  5. #5
    Nisai
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    I have found that a lot of gunk builds-up under the basket. When I do a change and drop the pond level below the skimmer I use a shop-vac to vacuum out the settled solids. It's surprising how much build-up there is on a weekly basis.

  6. #6
    Tosai
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    Bone, I have replaced the original Savio mats with a peice of Matala. Now all I have to do is pull the frame, slap it on the ground a couple of times and I'm done. You would be amazed at the gunk that comes out. It is not sterile clean but keeps the water flowing well and only takes about 2 minutes. later...Gary

  7. #7
    Nisai bone's Avatar
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    Gary, I have heard of others doing this. Which Matala color are you using? I have never used Matala in any of my filtration but I know there are different densities.

    Daniel

  8. #8
    Tosai
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    Bone, I am using the green which I believe is the medium density. I use matala wherever I use filter mats for it's ease of cleaning and the fact that since I don't use my chlorinated water to clean it I get the added nitrifing(sp) bonus. later...Gary

  9. #9
    Sansai
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    New Port Richey, FL
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    Bone I switched over to the black knight brushes many moons ago and love them. I have the same setup as you and the pads were nothing but a pita.
    I have also found that the brushes seem to catch more crap then the pads if you go by what is in my pump basket. I don't know how...but that has been my experience. They also last a long time as I'm still on my first set and it has been around 5 years or so.
    I also tried the blue matala and while it was an improvement I still favor the brushes by a handy margin.

  10. #10
    Tosai
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    Rob, Do you know a source for the brushes? I am always looking for a better mousetrap (or a better filter method) later...Gary

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