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Thread: How did Bead Filters get such a Bum Rap

  1. #1
    Tategoi
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    Question How did Bead Filters get such a Bum Rap

    This thread could also be titled "How much clearer can crystal clear be???"

    Had an interesting conversation with my mentor Ken H this afternoon re: Bead Filters… I told him that from my experience, a bead filter hooked up to a DIY bakki shower using Bac House Media, is all I seemed to need to keep our water crystal clear year round, with temps of 74-80 degrees in the pond… Ran the pond without the UV this summer and water is still Crystal clear…

    As it turns out he uses the same BF as I, and gets the same results of great growth and color with Zero (0) readings on all tests for the bad stuff except Nitrates which comes in at 14-20 in our ponds…In addition our ORP readings hover in the 350-412 range…

    We have 6, 24+" koi in our 900 gallon pond which get fed 8 times a day via an auto feeder, so I would guess that we’re on the edge of overload, yet I only agitate and back flush the pond on Wednesdays and Sundays, a practice which takes less that 4 minutes each day…Could get away with flushing once a week but feel that twice gives us better water quality…

    So, after three years of use, my question becomes how much clearer than crystal clear can water be, and how did Bead Filters get such a bum rap???

    Aloha! Mike T

  2. #2
    Honmei keokoi's Avatar
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    MikeT , I believe it all started because people thought that was the cure all filter to their garden/koi pond. So when systems were sold as pump,bead,uv setup and that is it then you can see the probem with that. Add a few rocks in the crater and now we got a recipe for bad rap dead filters. As always all ponds are differetn. You and Horimoto san live in Paradise with soft water and that water temp of 75 and over.

    By the Way Horimoto San runs settlement-matala-J-mat then bead I believe then split to Bakki if I remember correctly..

    Joe
    It's a living creature (chit happens)

  3. #3
    Nisai
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    I think most folks use the bead filter as their sole filtration system per manufacture specs, I also have a bead filter but like you, I only use it as mechanical filter after the vortex, my main filter is the DIY nexus fed by the bead filter and the water is always clear without the use of UV and water parameters are always excellent. Personally I don't think running bead filter as the only filter is a good idea, it clogs easily and and all of the bad stuff will end upin your pond not to mention the flow will reduce one it start to clog up, a friend of my just purchase a $3000.00 system from a local dealer, he was sold by the ease of cleaning but did not aware of he has to do it everyday even with after fitted with an air blower.

  4. #4
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    Joe:

    You're right he uses a settlement before bead...I've found that I don't need it yet... might be a different story once the 10 koi in the 1500 gallon pond reach 27-30 inches...You remember the 6-7" koi I got from you and Ken...they're about 10-12+" today...The showa is the most aggressive eater and is the largest might even be 14"... Our koi are like our women, we grow um big except for shir of course...

    Aloha! Mike

  5. #5
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    AndrewN:

    The clogging issue you mentioned is the problem I've read about the most... Before I purchase our second Bead last year I spoke to Gary Cryer of G Tec and he also recommended a vortex before the bead...But because of space constraints, I elected to go without it and still haven't had a problem...

    I will say that both our B filters are rated for double the pond size...went that route because the cost difference was negligible and I've always felt that you can't have too much filtration...

    Getting back to your friend...what kind of fish load does he have...I've always wondered if the clogging was do to overloading the pond and therefore the filter... Is this the case here...

    Thanks for your input...

    Aloha! Mike

  6. #6
    Sansai koiloco's Avatar
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    Interesting info!

    I don't use bead filter, but instead small gravel in my 2 filters (1 or 2 mm). One is 36" and the other is 24". Both with gravel.

    I do have settling tank before the 2 two gravel filters.
    I normal backflush every 5 or 6 days.

    Flow does reduce after the third day. I am still looking for way to filter more stuff out before the 2 tanks but besides this setback, I couldn't complain about anything else.
    My water quality is excellent, my koi are all healthy and growing well.

    Is it just my luck? and yes, my fish load is pretty up there.

  7. #7
    Sansai marco's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    I would like to install an Bed Filter for next year, but I've heard that there are big difference between different manufacturer, wich one are you using ?
    Thanks
    Marco

  8. #8
    Sansai
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    I, along with several customers have found that the matting that occurs with bead filters is caused by not having a settlement chamber before the bead. Even without a vortex, matting can be eliminated by more frequent backwashing and the use of the air blower until you hear the beads slapping the sides of the filter.

    Problably the most impressive was the filter system with twin pumps. Pond is 7-8000 gallons and has close to 70 fish in the 18-20 inch and over 100 smaller ones. Pond went from 2-3 inches of visibility to four feet in two days. it has stayed crystal clear since, with all the water parameters testing near or zero excepting the nitrates which are less than 20-25. We placed a 750 gallon vortex right off the pond that catches unbelievable amounts of crap and plant debris. Then after the bead filter we tapped back into his up flow system and replace the pads with mattala matting. He used to have to clean the filter matting every week, a 4-5 hour deal. Now only has to enjoy his pond, cleanout is 15 minutes or less every 5 days.

    d

  9. #9
    Honmei keokoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koiloco
    Interesting info!

    I don't use bead filter, but instead small gravel in my 2 filters (1 or 2 mm). One is 36" and the other is 24". Both with gravel.

    I do have settling tank before the 2 two gravel filters.
    I normal backflush every 5 or 6 days.

    Flow does reduce after the third day. I am still looking for way to filter more stuff out before the 2 tanks but besides this setback, I couldn't complain about anything else.
    My water quality is excellent, my koi are all healthy and growing well.

    Is it just my luck? and yes, my fish load is pretty up there.
    Binh, I think maybe adding some brushes in your settlement will help you keep more solids out of your next chamber. They are easy to clean as well..

  10. #10
    Honmei
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    Histroy of the "Bad Rap"

    It basically starts and ends witrh "Trapping the crap". The use of sand/gravel/bead filters goes back a ways. The methodologiy is simply "trapping the crap" inside the filter. The initial problem was the inability to thoroughly clean them and of clogging. The introduction of the blower improved this tremendously. Bead filters have come a long way, but are still a concern as a stand alone filter due to the propensity to go anerobic due to lack of O2 and high concentrations of waste. Don't get me wrong, the are a GREAT polisher to "trap" what can't be "seperated" such as the "fines". Bead filters coupled with solids seperation systems prior to them can be very effective systems.

    But remember, clear water does not necessarily in and of itself make for good water.

    Steve

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