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Thread: How often to backwash the filter in the summer?

  1. #11
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Hi Peppy,

    By virtue of their shape the K1 and similar media protect the bacteria matrix. The inside of the media is of course safe from mechanical removal, and with all the little ridges on the outside it does a fairly good job of protecting that as well.

    Bead filters use... well.... beads. Smooth little beads that can be stripped of bacteria through mechanical agitation.

    And I totally agree with Mike. The numbers are your guide here.

    Grant

  2. #12
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Hello Peppy . . .

    We've had two Ultima 6K filters on our 6,600 gallon pond for many years now. They're alternatively backwashed every four days -- with sump dumps on the intervening days.

    As Mike and Grant have pointed out, the media they use is quite different from 'traditional' bead filters so don't worry about damaging your beneficial bio.

    Best wishes,

  3. #13
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    MCA, I'm not sure what a flow-through pond is. Does that mean flowing 100% new water in every day? Right now I have a 24/7 trickle of 5% daily. This year I put an overflow on the pond so after the trickle replaces the backwash water the overflow kicks in, skimming water off the top until the next backwash. Before the 2008 pond redo I mostly did yearly water changes!

    Ricshaw, thanks. I do have the manual but don't blindly follow manufacturer's instructions since I believe they generally over-rate filters and pumps, who knows what other information might be a little off. I've called manufacturers with questions and some of the people don't seem like they know what they're talking about. I think you people here generally do know what you're talking about.

    Yes, Mike, the numbers always give the picture. But I feed to maintain the numbers so if overbackwashing is limiting the system, and by cutting back on backwashing I could feed more, then I'd backwash less often.

    Gcuss, thanks for the low-down on beads vs. my media. I did not know that!

    KoiCop, do you have (and I'm already guessing the answer is yes) other filtration besides the Ultimas?

    Here's what happened. I had a 1,700 US gllns pond and bought an Ultima II 4000 thinking that would be double filtration. Then I dug the pond deeper thinking I'd probably get about 4,000 US gllns so bought the Tagelus (Tarpon--same as Ultima) to get that desired double filtration. Then I did the salt method and found out I have 5,500 US gallons so I still don't have double filtration! Arrrrrrrrrgh!!!
    ...enjoy your day!
    5500 gllns, Ultima II 4000, Tarpon 6000, 1 Multi-Cyclone Prefilter, 2 - 5500 gph pumps, 1 Retro BD, 1 skimmer, max depth 4', 5% trickle 24/7 weather permitting

  4. #14
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Frequency of backwashing will depend on stocking rate, feeding, water temperature, and many other factors. I believe the nose test is the best method. When you backwash if the waste smells like sewage you have waited too long. Waste should smell more like freshly tilled garden soil if it is being removed frequently enough.

  5. #15
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peppy View Post
    KoiCop, do you have (and I'm already guessing the answer is yes) other filtration besides the Ultimas?
    Hello Peppy . . .

    Yup.

    Main Circuit: Bottom Drains, Sump, Cetus Sieve, UV, Ultima 6K, J-Mat
    Side Circuit: Skimmer, Ultima 6K, Clarity FF/PS (large)

    Since neither Ultima is taking water directly from bottom drains, I don't worry about a backwashing frequency of every four days; if they were, I would.

    Best wishes,

  6. #16
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    Ray is right, do it by sight (and smell). I have an Ultima II 6000 with a fairly heavy fish load. The way you tell how often to backflush is based upon experience. Once a week is OK if when you backflush the flush water is not particularly dirty and goes completely to clear in about a minute. For me this is in January, in the summer every other day is required. If the water is brown and takes a couple of minutes to clear then you need to backflush more often. You will probably need to empty your leaf basket before the pump at least twice as often as you backflush. Don’t let any part (pads etc) of the system get to clogged and reduce the flow to the bead filter. The pressure gauge on the Ultima II probably doesn’t tell you much. If it rains you may need to backflush. If they spawn you may need several flushes. If your 4000 is in direct sun you may want to shade or bury it.

  7. #17
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    KoiCop, I knew it! I remember you talking about that stuff.

    The Ultima comes from the retro BD and the backwash water is dirty every day. The first minute long backwash is dirty -- tannish brown -- but the second minute-long backwash is usually pretty clean. I can't smell it since it goes down a pipe and 100 feet into the woods. I'll bet there's a mud pond down there!

    Oh! If they spawn, do more backwashing! That makes sense.

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