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Thread: Do I need a Bakki Shower

  1. #1
    Nisai
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    Do I need a Bakki Shower

    My pond is currently 5400 gallons. Main filtration is Vortex with Homemade easy screen( static K1),followed by 3 square vortexes with moving K1. The vortex is a bit on the small size for flow rate, so with high turn over (aquamax eco16000). What does not get trapped in vortex passes through the biological stage. This is returned to the bottom of the pond where it aids flow to the bottom drain.
    Skimmer 1. supplys water by super fish 20000ltrs per hour to Bubblebead3.then onto Trickle tower with Lava rock. This does a great job of polishing the water.
    Skimmer 2 supplys water to venturi to aid surface flow back to skimmer basket.
    I realise that having the bb3 before the Trickle Tower might be an issue. However after spending many years modifying the pond several times and tweeking this and that.I now think I have just about got it right. I maintain water parameters in the region of p.H 7.2 ORP 370 TDS 75 ppm without RO, tap water TDS is 65.ppm. My question is would I gain much by laying out the expence of fitting a Bakki shower. I do have an issue with nitrate during heavy feeding in summer but manage to keep it to 10 to 15 ppm with constant trickle 24/7. aprox 35% per week minimum. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Hi Dave B....
    Welcome and glad you posted.
    After you get everyone's reterick, just go ahead and install one
    then compare notes with what your other system was able to do without it.
    You'll be surprised what a difference it will make in conjunction with your present system.

    If I've learned anything in the lifetime of being devoted it's this...... the furthur you get in rising to the top, the more effort is expelled and cost involved to make smaller and smaller advances. But even that little bit of advance as you get closer and closer to your goal is worth it.

    as they say in Oregon at Nike....."just do it"
    Dick Benbow

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    "Go as far as you can see; then when you get there, you'll be able to see further" - JR ( by way of JP Morgan )

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Do you 'need' one?.... No.

    Would it be better with one than without?.... Sure.

    If you check around, you will find some DIY versions of shower filters that do not involve much expense. They do involve time to make. I think there is a photo spread on this board of one made by HenryC. If you search for his posts, you may find the thread.

    Just as I like to feed multiple brands of pellets with idea that if one is lacking in something another may have it, I like to have multiple types of filtration. I do not believe a shower filter is any more effective in nitrification than a moving bed kaldnes chamber, but I do believe a shower filter affects the water differently. There is more exposure to the atmosphere, allowing more de-gassing. Depending on design, your trickle tower may give much the same benefit. How much ammonia and other volatiles de-gas is subject to debate, and will vary according to design, water chemistry, water temperature and other factors. But, de-gassing does occur. If it amounts to just 5% of dissolved ammonia, it will result in a measurable lowering of nitrate levels (all things otherwise kept the same).... not because nitrate degasses, but because the ammonia lost to the atmosphere is not converted to nitrate. Some studies have found over 10% of ammonia de-gassing when water is sprayed. (In just the right conditions, it can be nearly 20%, but you are not likely to have that occur in a pond filter setting.) But, it is not just ammonia at issue. Carbon dioxide and other gasses are in pond water. You may not be able to readily measure the degassing impact on these gasses, but I have no doubt that every little bit helps in achieving the best water one can obtain in their circumstances.

  5. #5
    Nisai
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    Hi guys Thanks for some great replies. I forgot to mention. I have the ability to change the water 24/7, up to 50% per week free of charge with purified tap water with undetectable nitrate & a TDS of 65ppm. Would it then be worth the expence of a shower and if so would it be best on a pump of its own or bettr after the BB where fines are removed, but some nitrate will be produced.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    NOTHING beats a water change with good quality water. No filter has yet been devised that can do more for your fish and the water quality in general. JR

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Having a continual flow of fresh water is a great thing to do. Since you can do it without charge, take advantage of it.

    Where to have a shower filter within a system is another of those questions with no single correct answer. My view will vary according to the media used.

    First, a shower filter will collect all sorts of debris in the media. So, it is important to have particulate waste removed first. Mechanical filters seldom catch everything, so some debris capture within the shower media is going to occur. Shower filters are not quick and easy to clean. Most folks do not clean them at all, or do so only a couple of times per year. The more effective the media is in capturing debris, the more of a problem there can be. That favors placing your shower filter after the bead filter, so it receives little debris. However, a bead filter can be quite good at nitrification if properly maintained and preceded by mechanical filtration that captures the larger debris and algae glarf. One of the positives of a shower filter is degassing of ammonia. If the ammonia in the water has been converted to nitrate prior to reaching the shower, the degassing benefit is not as significant.

    My shower filter is fed from a skimmer at a rate of over 5,000 gallons per hour. (It may be around 6500 per hour.) A leaf basket and a filter mat in the skimmer capture most of the visible debris, but not all. Stuff gets through. There is a leaf basket on the pump feeding the shower, which captures larger debris that makes its way through the skimmer. Still, I would find algae filaments build up in a then layer over the media in the top tray (Bacteria House). So, I have a layer of filter mats on the top of the media in the top tray. These I clean about every 3-6 weeks according to how much stuff has gotten collected. Once per year, I take out the media and rinse in a tub of pond water. It always has captured debris in it. BH will capture fines that get through the layers of matting. I keep debating whether to replace the BH with a plastic bio-ball type of media to reduce the debris collected. So far, I have stayed with the BH. Inertia may have more to do with that than anything, plus my concern about changing things that seem to be working well as they are. Except for the debris collection issue, I think the direct feed with a dedicated pump is a good way to use a shower filter.

    BTW, another issue is exposure of the media to sunlight and the open sides of a Bakki-type shower filter. Sunlight will result in great algae growth on the media exposed to the light, which will capture fines, etc. I've seen some folks end up with unpleasant globs of rotting algae tangled in the media. You will also get leaves and such blow into the trays, where they are captured and proceed to rot. These are not good things. So, I have covered my Bakki to minimize exposure to sunlight and the amount of airborne debris. I use a ground cloth. Most anything that it weather resistent will work. But, the benefits of air movement around the trays will be lost if the covering is too well done. It needs to be loose, allowing free flow of air.

  8. #8
    Nisai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Having a continual flow of fresh water is a great thing to do. Since you can do it without charge, take advantage of it.

    Where to have a shower filter within a system is another of those questions with no single correct answer. My view will vary according to the media used.

    First, a shower filter will collect all sorts of debris in the media. So, it is important to have particulate waste removed first. Mechanical filters seldom catch everything, so some debris capture within the shower media is going to occur. Shower filters are not quick and easy to clean. Most folks do not clean them at all, or do so only a couple of times per year. The more effective the media is in capturing debris, the more of a problem there can be. That favors placing your shower filter after the bead filter, so it receives little debris. However, a bead filter can be quite good at nitrification if properly maintained and preceded by mechanical filtration that captures the larger debris and algae glarf. One of the positives of a shower filter is degassing of ammonia. If the ammonia in the water has been converted to nitrate prior to reaching the shower, the degassing benefit is not as significant.

    My shower filter is fed from a skimmer at a rate of over 5,000 gallons per hour. (It may be around 6500 per hour.) A leaf basket and a filter mat in the skimmer capture most of the visible debris, but not all. Stuff gets through. There is a leaf basket on the pump feeding the shower, which captures larger debris that makes its way through the skimmer. Still, I would find algae filaments build up in a then layer over the media in the top tray (Bacteria House). So, I have a layer of filter mats on the top of the media in the top tray. These I clean about every 3-6 weeks according to how much stuff has gotten collected. Once per year, I take out the media and rinse in a tub of pond water. It always has captured debris in it. BH will capture fines that get through the layers of matting. I keep debating whether to replace the BH with a plastic bio-ball type of media to reduce the debris collected. So far, I have stayed with the BH. Inertia may have more to do with that than anything, plus my concern about changing things that seem to be working well as they are. Except for the debris collection issue, I think the direct feed with a dedicated pump is a good way to use a shower filter.

    BTW, another issue is exposure of the media to sunlight and the open sides of a Bakki-type shower filter. Sunlight will result in great algae growth on the media exposed to the light, which will capture fines, etc. I've seen some folks end up with unpleasant globs of rotting algae tangled in the media. You will also get leaves and such blow into the trays, where they are captured and proceed to rot. These are not good things. So, I have covered my Bakki to minimize exposure to sunlight and the amount of airborne debris. I use a ground cloth. Most anything that it weather resistent will work. But, the benefits of air movement around the trays will be lost if the covering is too well done. It needs to be loose, allowing free flow of air.
    Hello Mike and thanks for the interesting reply, which again brings up more questions. If I left my BB before the shower and backflushed on a daily basis would the BB still convert ammonia to nitrate or act more of a mechanical filter. and prevent any Debre getting into the shower. Also I see many showers operating on indoor ponds with little sunlight or airflow. My shower would be in a garden shed alongside my BB and the shed is well insulated from the elements. So would it work as well.Would it be possible to replace my 2 tear Trickle Tower media which is Lava Rock with BHM and save on the expence of the bakki shower trays. Your thoughts are appreciated and Thanks again JR for your input

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    We do not usually discuss how to make a bead filter ineffective as a bio-filter! LOL Nitrification is a good thing, so purposefully interfering with it is generally avoided. Our usual concerns about bead filters is that they need mechanical pre-filtration to avoid becoming a repository for large clumps of rotting algae and gunk, or the person has to backwash so much that the nitrification benefits are lost.

    Backwashing the bead filter daily for an extended period of time will shear away the biofilm. Whether it destroys most of the biofilm layers within the bead filter chamber will depend on the media. The typical round bead can lose the biofilm layer readily. There are beads now with odd shaped surfaces that are not so easily cleansed of the biofilm, and some media is multi-surfaced so that it is very difficult to eliminate the biofilm on the interior surfaces.

    The shower filter will work just fine in a filter room or shed. Humidity will increase, etc. I don't think people would be happy with the potential for mold if the filter room was in their home. In a garden shed, that's not likely as much of an issue. I guess it is theoretically possible that a shed could be so air-tight that it adversely affected the degassing function, but in practical reality that is not going to happen.

    I've pretty much avoided a direct answer to your basic question. Each person has to figure out what is best for their situation. But, you are determined to pull it out of me. So, I'll state my bias toward having each major filtration element stand on its own. I have 4 major elements for my pond... 2 Nexus, a bead filter and a shower filter. Each is preceded by a mechanical stage, like the skimmer leaf basket and matting prior to the shower and settlement chamber prior to the EAzy/Nexus. Each has its own pump, its own intake and its own return lines. It is easier to control things when systems are not interconnected; and if something goes wrong with one, the others are still functioning. So for me, I'd have the shower filter stand on its own, but with some form of pre-filtration to capture debris. Whether that fits for you is something only you can answer.

    BTW, if you go back to the original promotions of the Bakki Shower, you'll see photos of water plants with lush leaves in some of the trays at Momotaro. I understand Momotaro has even more showers in operation, but no more plants. I suspect it was found that the plant roots captured waste, and as the plants grew the jumble of roots became a rotting mass with roots entangled throughout the media. That's what happened to me when I allowed some volunteer ferns to grow out of the edge of a tray. I still get volunteer ferns, but I clear them out when they get to be of any size.

  10. #10
    Nisai
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    When you say each filtration system on its own would that mean Vortex with or without easy screen, sieve etc or something more basic kike skimmer or/and skimmer baskit

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