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Thread: Filter System Critique and Possible Upgrades

  1. #1
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Filter System Critique and Possible Upgrades

    I would like to ask the members of this forum their thoughts on my current filter system and some upgrades I am contemplating. Thank you all, in advance, for your expertise, experience and advise.

    Current Pond and System:

    1) 5400 gal shotcrete construction - roughly 'drumstick' shaped pond, sealed with Hecht pond rubber (see attached photos). No water garden, plant shelves, etc.... strictly and purposefully built for koi.

    2) 3/4 of the pond is 5 ft. deep with the rest sloping from 3.5 down to 5 ft. in depth

    3) 2 Sequence 1/2 horse pumps, one driving a pair of bottom drains, feeding into a 10,000 gal capacity AlphaOne bead filter, then running through a UV tube, with water returned through a bowl type fountain and 2 TPRs.

    4) The 2nd Sequence pump feeds a pair of heavy duty skimmers, with water returned through another 'bowl style' fountain and 3 TPRs (lots of circular water movement in the pond)


    Water conditions are what I consider at least acceptable, with near saturation DO, 7.5 steady PH, 0 ammonia, nitrates, etc, with alkalinity at 92 PPM and Hardness at 175 (wish THAT number was a bit lower)

    The water clarity is good, with dime sized objects clearly visible at the bottom.

    Fish load is light, with only 5 koi in the pond at this time, with a maximum of 7 or 8 at the very most when at capacity.

    The Contemplated Upgrades:

    While my clarity is good, my pond is not covered in any way, so every freakin' oak leaf, acorn, catkin and God knows what else, of course, winds up in the water. My skimmers work very well, but upon closer inspection I see more minute suspended detritus floating in the water column than I'd like. Two additions come to mind:

    1) I'm considering adding a Cetus or other sieve component to the skimmer (pre pump or post?)

    2) A Nexus or other bio filter on the bead filter pump system, AFTER the beads, with the idea of upping my biological filtering capacity for my somewhat larger than recommended fish load (stretching the 1,000 gal per large koi guideline just a bit).

    Thoughts, comments, or alternative ideas?

    Thanks to any and all for some input.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Filter System Critique and Possible Upgrades-img_0012.jpg   Filter System Critique and Possible Upgrades-p1010146.jpg   Filter System Critique and Possible Upgrades-p1010160.jpg  

  2. #2
    Jumbo
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    Your development as a child was a bit skewed.

    Build the computer controlled, seasonally optional, screen/polycarbonate/Oakley-shade, multiple choice, NASA linked, pleasure dome and get it over with. We know you want to.

    Pics of the stonkers?

  3. #3
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Gee, Mitt, thanks for the concern about my childhood, and your suggestions concerning my filter system (I think).

    I suppose I should have clarified in my original post that as a 'Nature Boy', any artifical covering is, unfortunately, out of the question. As much crap as falls out of those old oak trees, I still enjoy looking at their cool green shade too much to ever go to that much trouble.

    But hey, if you've got a hand drawn sketch of that Oakeley/NASA sun shade thing-a-ma-bobby you'd like to share, as a 'tinkerer' from way back, I'd love to have a go at it!

    I also see you are just down the road a bit from me and apparently know the old 'Itchy' as well. When I'm not messin' with my pond I can't think of a better way to spend some time than dropping a canoe in that creek and paddling over those gin-clear springs..... now THAT'S some water quality a koi keeper could love!

    Still looking for some ideas from anyone on how I can add to my existing filter system and provide a little bit better home for the 'feeesh'.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    If you're looking at a sieve or two why not go on the pump suction instead of the discharge. Pre-scrub the big stuff and you'll keep the chunks out of your pumps and beads. Going with aerated domes on your B.D. might help to sweep the floor of those "dime size" bits o' flotsom and jetsom too.

    Nice looking landscaping btw. I love a good waterfall

  5. #5
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    Thanks, PapaBear.

    Even though I've seen the video showing how little a pump impeller 'chops up' debris, it still seems to make more since to place any sieve in front of everything else. Never thought about one fronting the bead filter as well, but it might help. I've never thought relying too heavily a bead filter to do the 'heavy lifting' of my mechanical filtration was the best way to go, and that would make it a bit more efficient, perhaps.

    In studying this and other websites as I did for the couple of years it took for me to design up my pond, I still missed more than a few things. I suppose like everyone else, I'd certainly do a couple of things over if I could (like adding the additional filtration I'm considering). Having air stones in the BD's as you suggested falls into that category. I believe I've read somewhere where one could retro-fit that option if you can snake an air tube through your drain lines. Sounds tricky, but think I'll try it. I know it improves the vertical circulation of 'floater's in the water column and gets that stuff to the BDs all the quicker.

    As for the water fall, thanks for the compliment. They do add a very important esthetic quality to a pond, don't they? And who can resist the sound of falling water on a hot summer day. Helping release some of your more harmful gasses as well as breaking the water surface to enable more oxygen intake, what more could you ask for?

    Thanks, again, for the ideas.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    I must've said it wrong because I was encouraging the sieve on the pump suction, not between the pump and the bead or any other filter. I'm not always as clear as I think I am

  7. #7
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    A nice waterfall is a beautiful thing. So many different ways to build one and each has its own flair, but the sound of water cascading down the rocks and into the pond is a very soothing thing. There is a lady not far from me whose waterfall is a 25'-30' long wall of mortar stacked flagstone with water cascading down the entire length It's a beautiful thing

  8. #8
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    Good ideas and I won't be pushing the KoiDome if you're not ready.

    That Itchnitucknee water is in my ponds, yep, and my tap and my belly. Ponce De Leone is no myth if you ask this old quack.

    Though it is a feature that saves many koi in garden ponds from certain death, perhaps considering a way to "stream bed" the waterfalls would add a punch to the filtration. Shallow/deep, rapid/slow, splashing and still. Hard big sharp sands would be tough to add without mussy inconvenience, but would be wonderful. Do you believe in (own) any bacteria house? It works submerged as wel as in a shower and it is pretty dang sharp. Feather rock half submerged maybe? Don't want to add to the maintenance, but...

    Shame about no diffusers on the bottom drains. Though there are undesirable aspects to their use, they are still a must. (kinda) (mostly) (without a doubt) (maybe)(I LOVE waffles, why do you ask?)

    See you soon. My ponds are the ruffian yin yang counterpart of your tidy bits. And we're back to the childhood issues again, aren't we?
    Mickey the windowman, the world is a very big place.

    Aquitori says Keokoi says "even sun shines on dogs ass..." so I say... Buy Ugly Early.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    YAY, Mickey's back!

    Since you're a tinkerer, you could always build a sand/gravel filter off of your skimmers. They work great and are very inexpensive to build.

    I don't know much about sieves, except that I want one, but I wouldn't think you'd need more than one on the BD circuit.

  10. #10
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almostgeorgia View Post
    <snip>

    3) 2 Sequence 1/2 horse pumps, one driving a pair of bottom drains, feeding into a 10,000 gal capacity AlphaOne bead filter, then running through a UV tube, with water returned through a bowl type fountain and 2 TPRs.

    <snip>
    Question: Is the UV needed to keep the pond clear?
    If you turn the UV off will the water look green?

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