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Thread: What's wrong with my koi toilet drain?

  1. #1
    Fry
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    May 2012
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    What's wrong with my koi toilet drain?

    I have two koi toilet drains in my 25' x 24' koi pond. They have 4" PVC running to there own separate sieve, that then goes into a skimmer where the pump returns the water to their own nexus easy filter.
    Problem is , after a week they constantly get clogged. I clean the sieves at least twice daily. If I don't, the small particles will slow down the suction .
    Both toilets are no longer then 10' feet in length, they each have there own 1" PVC pipe for air diffuser. As of now , I am going into the pond weekly to empty out the toilet. The toilet is always full.
    Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated, thanks

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    If a bottom drain's sump or the 4" pipe to the filter pipe is holding detritus, very likely the flow rate is not fast enough. You would want at least 3000gph through each BD/pipe to minimize the chance that the BD sump or pipe becomes a settling chamber.

    I am a bit lost at the description of your filter sequence. My BDs each feed a Cetus sieve. The collected detritus simply rolls down the screen to the bottom and can not block incoming water. I can leave my sieves uncleaned for weeks if need be. What brand/model of sieve are you using?
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  3. #3
    Nisai MikeS's Avatar
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    Curious as to How you can have only 10 feet of pipe in a 24 foot wide pond. Anyway as mentioned you most likely need to up your flow. Dunno what sieve you have but take the Cetus for example it has a max flow of 4800 gph I would try to get closer to this number on flow. Secondly where is all this detritus coming from in just one week, do you have a planted pond?

  4. #4
    Daihonmei
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    Mike you nailed it. Many systems have a nice design on paper. But if the filters can only handle the a certain flow ( transfer pipes between filter sections are the NOTORIOUS bottlenecks) the 'pull' in the pipes is slowed down to accommodate the level problems in the rest of the filter design. I've seen that many times. The drains become the 'first settlement chamber' accidently. JR

  5. #5
    Fry
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    Here's more of my info

    Thanks for all replays,
    I have 2. Hydro sieves from Russell water gardens . specs say flow rate of 4700gph filters down to 300 microns.
    2 tsurumi 1/3 hp pumps 50pu2 ( 220v) flow rate 3480 gph @5'
    So that's the problem ! They are undersized , and with a couple 90's in each run it's probably a lot less.
    I have one drain in one corner 12'. From sieve, The other 14' from other sieve.
    So Next problem is going to be when I purchase new pumps , my nexus can't handle the rate of this pump (3480) now what?
    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shula View Post
    Thanks for all replays,
    I have 2. Hydro sieves from Russell water gardens . specs say flow rate of 4700gph filters down to 300 microns.
    2 tsurumi 1/3 hp pumps 50pu2 ( 220v) flow rate 3480 gph @5'
    So that's the problem ! They are undersized , and with a couple 90's in each run it's probably a lot less.
    I have one drain in one corner 12'. From sieve, The other 14' from other sieve.
    So Next problem is going to be when I purchase new pumps , my nexus can't handle the rate of this pump (3480) now what?
    Thanks again
    maybe you can do a simple bypass on some of the water that is now going to the strainers? You could route that extra water to another filter circuit if you have the room. This is a much better way to manage water and filter design-- that is, different circuits and runs of filters rather than one LONG run of every filter concept available ( those always bring that old kid's board game - mousetrap, to mind when I see them. ) JR

  7. #7
    Nisai MikeS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shula View Post
    Thanks for all replays,
    I have 2. Hydro sieves from Russell water gardens . specs say flow rate of 4700gph filters down to 300 microns.
    2 tsurumi 1/3 hp pumps 50pu2 ( 220v) flow rate 3480 gph @5'
    So that's the problem ! They are undersized , and with a couple 90's in each run it's probably a lot less.
    I have one drain in one corner 12'. From sieve, The other 14' from other sieve.
    So Next problem is going to be when I purchase new pumps , my nexus can't handle the rate of this pump (3480) now what?
    Thanks again
    The problem isn't your pumps it's your sieves, as they begin to clog it takes more and more head to move water through them. The Cetus and Aquaforte sieves are a different animal all together as water continues to flow at the same rate as they remove solids from the water column.

  8. #8
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    IMHO those inline "sieves" are a bad joke. I would either remove them or better yet, replace them with Cetus or Aquaforte sieves...if budget permits. I had Cetrus sieves, then pumps, then Nexus. You should be able to get around 4000gph through each set.

    But depending on the pond volume in gallons, two Nexus may be no where need enough filtration. Even with only a 3' depth (which is too shallow for koi), a 24x25 pond is over 13000 gallons. This is too much for only two Nexus. To help them out you want one or more skimmers feeding about set of filters.

    So give use the average depth so we can calculate total water volume and think about the best way forward.

  9. #9
    Fry
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    Here's dimensions good luck !

    The best way to describe pond dimensions.
    Dug rectangle 12 x 15' 40" deep. Around that rectangle dug 5' in front and back of that rectangle 18"
    Left and right of center rectangle 6'. On each side 12" deep.
    Center rectangle is just liner, but everything outside of that is stone and plants.
    That's where all the debris is coming from. As koi got larger , the more damage they do to all plants. I expect that, and that's-a trade off for having water Lillie's , picker rush, etc....
    before I buy anything new, I'm going to rip out of my sieve, the inner stainless steel liner, that's I think is causing some of the problems. As I talk to you guys the 3 problems I think I'm having: 1. Undersized pump, 2. Bad sieve design, 3 too many 90s in my pipe work that. I did.
    Thanks for all help .

  10. #10
    MCA
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    I think you are seeing that it is very hard to have one pond system that is a good koi pond...and a good water garden. Many of us have both....but not in the same pond system. For a water garden with some goldfish you can have relatively shallow depth, slower moving water..etc. But with koi (riverine carp) you want serious depths, currents, filtration and aeration. Water gardens and koi ponds are two very different approaches to having a pond system.

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