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Thread: Ultima II Opinions?

  1. #41
    Sansai
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    Sep 2005
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    195
    Peppy, think carefully before you aerate a skimmer before a pump. You will cause the pump to cavitate to some degree with air bubbles and lower it's efficiency. You will also be sending air bubbles to the bead filter which will keep it agitated. If your intent is for the bead filter to trap any solids this will act against that. Bead filtration and pressurized filtration in general have a tendancy to starve for oxygen but it's dissolved oxygen and not bubbles that they need if the intent is for trapping of any kind.

  2. #42
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Well that's why I come to this forum with my ideas! Thanks!

    What the heck is cavitate?

    So, nix the air in the skimmer. I actually read to do that somewhere on some forum some time ago.

    My pressure filters have mats and bioballs in them. The mats capture debris and there is a very small cavity of bioballs for biological filtration. I think maybe a cu ft or slightly more. I added more than what came with them after calling the company to make sure that was okay.

    I have a larger biofalls sitting here that I never installed. I have been trying to improve this dang pond ever since they installed it!

    Anyway, I think it might hold 3-4 cu ft of media. Might as well change that while everything's apart too.

    As for the falls, what about cementing flat rock as a stream bed? Would that help buffer the ph? How long would it have to cure before the water could run over it?

  3. #43
    Tategoi
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    Jul 2005
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    Fremont, CA
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    Excerps pulled from the Mcnally site:
    Cavitation means that cavities or bubbles are forming in the liquid that we're pumping. These cavities form at the low pressure or suction side of the pump, causing several things to happen all at once:
    • The cavities or bubbles will collapse when they pass into the higher regions of pressure, causing noise, vibration, and damage to many of the components.
    • We experience a loss in capacity.
    • The pump can no longer build the same head (pressure)
    • The pump's efficiency drops.
    The cavities form for differing reasons
    • Vaporization
    • Air ingestion (Not really cavitation, but has similar symptoms)
    • Flow turbulence

    Iím not familiar with the biofalls products but donít lean toward pressurized components if something else is available, mostly because the water must be fully oxygenated before entering the component.

    ďI have been trying to improve this dang pond ever since they installed it!Ē

    Thatís good to see. These boards are where lots of us collect and you will have access to more experienced people than in the average club. People like Kent & MCA keep me coming back to the various boards. Looking for a way to improve our ponds is an obsession here.

  4. #44
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Attached is a picture of a biofalls--in fact the brand I got.

    The water goes through the skimmer to the bottom of the biofalls, up through the mat and media, over the edge, into a stream and back to the pond.

    You put a flat rock on the lip and TRY to disguise the rest with plants, etc.

    They call it a 'bio' falls because of the media in it--in my case, the installer put pieces of sponge in it that I replaced with alpha grog and this year the Ultra Bio media.

    I knew the pond wasn't working but didn't know why. I thought the answer was an additional biofalls and skimmer! So I bought both. Also bought the 2 pressure filters thinking that would help which I'm sure they did.

    Then came the Koi forums that I happened onto by mistake (didn't even know they existed) and that prompted the TT, removal of gravel, more digging, Ultima II...oh my, what a summer this has been with my poor fish in a swimming pool.

    Cavitation definitely sounds like something to avoid!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ultima II Opinions?-bio-falls.jpg  

  5. #45
    Tategoi
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    mostly, you can avoid cavitation by keeping suction runs short or with larger size pipe. When you do plumbing changes run your plans through these boards and you will avouid most mistakes.

  6. #46
    Sansai
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    Sep 2005
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    The biggest drawback to most biofalls systems is, the weir size is generally way too wide for the small volume of the container. The flow rate needed to make the falls "look good" is way more than the flow rate the small size of the biofilter itself can handle so they are regularly "overflowed". It also depends on what a biofilter is designed to do also. This is just a small static filter. The other additions you've employed are great but don't expect much overall performance from these types of filters.

  7. #47
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Kent, by 'overflowed' do you mean too much flow for the media in them?

    I'm not sure how many cu ft of media can fit in there.


    Is there some kind of formula for flow vs. media?

    I like the falls and stream and already have the darn thing so might as well put media in it for whatever good it might do but any suggestions to improve the design are appreciated.

    You can't clean them either--not really. If you hose them out, the water just goes back down into the skimmer and, of course, the pond! I put a shutoff on mine last year so when I turn the pump off, the falls (and everything in them) don't drain into the skimmer and then into the pond. Wouldn't you think the installer would have done that?

    Now I'm going to put a tee in the pipe entering the bio falls with shutoffs so I can wash the thing out occasionally (attachment).


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ultima II Opinions?-falls.jpg  

  8. #48
    Sansai
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    Sep 2005
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    The tee is a good idea. What I mean by overflowed is yes too fast for the diameter of the tank. Speed, within reason, isn't an issue if all you're attempting is bio conversion but for any type of trapping the diameter becomes a limiting factor. If you push the water past the media too fast it lower the trapping ability and in some of those biofalls systems forces water around the media instead of through it.

  9. #49
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Yes! That's exactly what happens! I had rocks on it trying to keep the media spread out to the edges so the water didn't flow around it.

    I switched from 5000 gph to 3500 gph and it looked just fine--couldn't see a noticable difference.

    This time, I'm using some type of screen to keep the media down flat and spread out.

  10. #50
    Fry
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    SoCal
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    Pond Size

    Hi Peppy,
    How big is your pond? How many gallons?
    I'm thinking about getting the same bead filter for my 3500 gal pond and been told that I should get Ultima II 6000. Now I'm in a dilemma, should I get the 4000 or 6000.

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