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Thread: Following the trail----

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    Following the trail----

    so we know that our koi are placed in our ponds to experience the conditions for the rest of their natural lives.

    In these closed systems they produce waste from gill and anal vent- constantly and continually. And this builds in ponds and is only collected by sections in our ponds ( such as sumps and prefilters, and also by dilution from our water changes.

    Once collected in a sump, a rather easy method with todays technology and advise from your ZNA chapter, how long do you think it is apart from the general system?

    1) once it is collected and separated?
    2) once it is broken down by bacteria?
    3) once it is flushed away?

    Think about this one before you answer--- JR

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Since I use a sieve on the two BD circuits, particles that stay on the sieve surface slide down and then out of the water column. So those larger particles should not longer contribute to water quality decline. But the smaller particles hit the pump and get slammed into bead fitlers. They capture down in the 50mm range. While that is good not to send those back to the pond, that means they can start decomposing and continue for X days until the next backwash. And at the next backwash...I will not be able to get 100% of the detritus out of the bead filter. I think that is a problem faced with static media such as matting stacks/cartridges. Once debris hangs....it can be there for a while.

    But not all physical debris will be captured even the best mechanical stages. So some (your milage will vary) of the detrius will be send back to the pond where it likely starts to decomposes. That is part of why even the best of pond systems will face water quality decline without careful active management.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    A+ bud, JR

  4. #4
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
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    Except my pond...it always gets a fresh drink.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    The right answer is that collected organic ( in a sump, on a pad or in a container) is organic STILL in the pond.
    If one approaches a pond as being good because the water is clear and because the dirt is captured away from the viewing area, one is setting themselves up for a fall. Out of sight does not mean out of the system. And that means that organic material will continue to be broken down by certain bacteria species. These species will grow and the organics will release ammonia, gases and dissolved organic content to the water. In addition this action will consume oxygen. And there can only be much oxygen in water at specific temperatures. This creates a dangerous dynamic of falling pH, lower oxygen, lots of pathogenic bacteria and harmful gases.
    You can do water changes to dilute this problem and that is a good thing. But addressing the concentrations is best done by spot actions. Meaning the areas where organics tend to accumulate. Sumps, pads and bases of filters. These should all have designs that allow for easy maintenance and those flushes and rinses need to be done as a rountine.

    JR

  6. #6
    Sansai
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    Interesting thread. Following our recent discussions on DOC etc I've changed the management of one of my ponds. This is small and ridiculously overstocked with a seive and bead filter. I normally do twice weekly water changes and backflushes. the water for the first 100 litres or so is pretty tea coloured.

    As you say, this water is actually part of the pond. So for the past two weeks I've tried flushing it everyday with just 200L of water. The washings are now only very slightly dirty, and I still do daily washes of the seive. The filter still seems to keep up with the nitrification side and it will be interesting to see if doing daily but smaller flushes and water changes is better than every 4 days as before but with more water.

    People talk of disturbing the bacterial coating but I suspect that with a big capacity filter there is much more problem with stored fish crap than with inability to break down ammonia/nitrite.

  7. #7
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pondlife View Post
    Interesting thread. Following our recent discussions on DOC etc I've changed the management of one of my ponds. This is small and ridiculously overstocked with a serve and bead filter. I normally do twice weekly water changes and back-flushes. the water for the first 100 litres or so is pretty tea coloured.

    As you say, this water is actually part of the pond. So for the past two weeks I've tried flushing it everyday with just 200L of water. The washings are now only very slightly dirty, and I still do daily washes of the sieve. The filter still seems to keep up with the nitrification side and it will be interesting to see if doing daily but smaller flushes and water changes is better than every 4 days as before but with more water.

    People talk of disturbing the bacterial coating but I suspect that with a big capacity filter there is much more problem with stored fish crap than with inability to break down ammonia/nitrite.
    Expanding on the above theme for just a moment if I might, I checked with the manufacturer of my bead filter awhile back and asked just how often I could backwash and rinse my system without disturbing the beneficial bacteria colony on the filter media. Now I know bead systems have both their admirers and detractors here, but that's not the point of this post. And I think the answer I received, however 'simplistic' it might be to some, has applications for EVERY type of filter system we all might use.

    I might add his 'answer' may have been somewhat biased as the maker of said system, but I still thought it was interesting, and credible given that he has far more experience with these systems than a simple hobbyist like myself could hope to gain. He stated that from their considerable testing, almost daily rinsing of the filter did not materially harm the bacteria 'slime' that coats every available surface. But as the beads function as a mechanical filter as well, it is far better to 'flush' as many particles/contaminants out of the pond as often as possible. If the contaminant is NOT present in the enclosed water system of your pond (filter, sump, water column, SOMEWHERE) then it cannot deteriorate and add toxins to the water in general.

    It sounds very basic, doesn't it? But I think too many of us, starting with myself, become complacent and over confident in the ability of our filter systems, especially when they seem so amazingly efficient in breaking down and 'sieving out' visible waste particles. ('Just look how crystal CLEAR my pond water is!') It becomes a case of 'out-of-sight, ergo out-of-mind'. But we all know that 'hidden detritus' can be a time bomb for our water quality and frequent flushing and water changes are the best defense against water quality problems.

    OK, now I've just convinced myself. I'm switching from my weekly water changes/flushes of 25% to three times weekly at 10%. Oh, and by-the-way, based on my manufacturer's suggestion, I seldom use the 'waste' water setting on my bead filter valve. I flush ALL the water out of my system on the 'rinse' and 'backwash' settings. Might as well put all that water to good use as it's leaving the pond and get that filter media as squeaky clean as possible.

  8. #8
    Sansai
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    Good to hear your experience. The other thing I've been experimenting is how to get the maximum flush for your water volume!

    If you do the standard turn off pump, put on rinse and blow air, then about 30L of water is blown out and the beads are broken up with all the crap into the water below. Say there is 120L left in the filter. Backwashing will wash through the beads but still leaves 120L of dirty water in the bottom.

    So I've changed to rinsing with air, then turning the bottom drain open and draining all the water out. So for 150L of water total, I can break up the beads and get rid of all dirty water. I then refill with "clean" pond water. If I'm doing a big change then I repeat it, but for the daily or alternate day wash, this gives a very clean filter for only 150L of water.

    What do you do?

  9. #9
    MCA
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    With my 4.4 BBs, before I backwash, I open the bottom drain to blow out water from the bottom along with anything that might have settled out. The I rinse with the blower for around 2-3 minutes. Next is backwashing with the water pump and follow that with rinse via the water pump. Using the Cetus as a prefilter keeps so much of the larger solids out....not all....but lots. Our BBs have the blower ported on the bottom of the tanks; they do not use the input from the multiport valve. Trust me, no blower on an intake port moves the bead pack like a spa blower that had a dedicated port on the bottom of the tank that splits cause two currents...one clockwise and one counter clockwise. Those currents really break up a bead pack.

    I had a 2.2 BB on our pond back in TX. It did not have a blower from the maker and did not have a decent prefilter. It was slammed very week. I first had a two speed water pump. That was a sad joke trying to backwash a slammed bead pack. Later I did put a spa blower on the input port of the valve. That was an improvement....but nothing to compared to the blower having a port on the bottom of the tank.

    For me it is the combo of having sieve prefilters plus a blower doing a good bead pack breakup that brought me back to using bead filters and not having them for 9 years.

  10. #10
    Jumbo DavidSoon's Avatar
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    Bayfilteration

    5 botton drains ( 4 inch ) and a surface skimmer that fill up the settlement chamber via gravity fed . In the settlement chamber I have a set of DIY Sieve work were set across the whole settlement chamber , followed by a set of J-mat that runs parallel to the Sieve and followed by a row of compact brushes that run parallel to these 2 frontal gimmicks . The DIY Sieve comes with bottom pocket and trap the bigger debris / waste , while the J-Mat will further trap those that slipped past , and the row of brushes will ensure that little is passed through .

    This is the mechanical set-up for all my ponds . The Frontal set-up ensured little can pass through beside the dissolved organic . The frontal set-up is removed, rinsed and thoroughly cleaned twice a day to ensure little go to the actual filteration mat in the next chamber .

    In the filteration bay ( 4 chambers that followed ) , each chamber was designed with a flushing drain , with floor tappered to the flushing drain .
    Each day , about 10 pct of the pond water is flushed out through these flushing drains , minimising settlement within each chambers before the new water is added to replace what's skimmed and flushed out . The whole filteration is thoroughly cleared , cleaned fortnitely without fail the last few years .

    With this , I managed to maintain an enclosed pond with low bacteria count and a healthy school of fishes , and none had any incident of ulcerations , skin diseases or bacteria infection the last few years . Even wounds inflicted from pipe bumping recovers by itself .

    This practice , leave little to settle , accumulate or further decomposed within the system .

    Oxygenation level - above saturation at any one time , using Oyxgen Concentrator
    Water temperature - set between 22-25 deg celsius , using Pond Chillers .

    David
    Last edited by DavidSoon; 03-06-2012 at 04:01 AM.

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