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Thread: Pond Skimmers

  1. #11
    Tosai berkokid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Russell View Post
    Hi all,

    You are exactly right: "Never compromise on Koi safety". That is the cornerstone of HydroClean pond skimmers. Their design started with Koi safety as Job #1. "Swim in, and swim out".
    John -

    I certainly appreciate your passion for your product. I guess it's difficult for me to envision quite *why* the lack of a weir door solves the entire problem, it would seem to me that it only solves the problem if the koi can swim out against the current (which smaller fish may not be able to do).

    That said, since I'm no where near your store, I can't check it out in person.

    Best of luck with it, if it truly does what you claim it does, I'm sure others on the board will validate over time and I for one, would be super excited to know that 'next time' there's a "right" one to purchase.

  2. #12
    Nisai
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    Hi Berkokid,

    Where are you located?

    Also, water current speed for small fish safety can be addressed by varying the inlet pipe diameter - and the number of them attached to the skimmer - as I stated in an earlier post on this thread (#5 answer #2a).

    Lets look at the brand of skimmer you have. For one, it can't be moved away from the pond - so you have that unattractive black lid with the name of the manufacturer on it right next to your pond and Koi. To hide that lid, you have to either purchase an additional faux stone lid - or place real stone (which can be heavy) over the top of it. Both of which ad cost.

    Next, when intalling it - you had to install well over a dozen screws through the liner - each with its own potential for failure and leak. Not to mention the time it took and the carpel tunnel on your wrist required to screw them all in.

    Once you attached the your liner - you then had to cut a hole on the side of the skimmer for your pipe - then run your pipe through that hole. This required a hole saw and a drill. The hole is not "soil tight" around your pipe. So when you backfill with soil around the skimmer - soil, mulch, and/or other debris can get inside the skimmer through the opening around your pipe. Also, there is no over flow port, and there is no pre-plumbed port for an automatic water fill valve - unless you modify the unit.

    After all that, you have very little room in the pump area - for either submersible pumps or multiple centrifugual pump suction lines. So you're pretty limited on what you can do with this unit in terms of multiple pumping sources. You also have 4 holes behind the leaf basket (two on each side) for water to flow around the unit into the vertical filter pad that is in the back of the unit. Leaves stick to the skimmer basket over these 4 holes fairly quickly. This results in the pump pumping water out of the pump area faster than water can pass through the four holes that are blocked by the leaves in the basket. This is especially problematic when trees with large leaves are near a pond with that brand of skimmer.

    The vertical pad traps debris near its upper edge first as most of the debris at this stage of the skimmer is floating. This causes the pad to clog unevenly - from the top down. The result is water on the pump's side of the pad is lower than the water on the outside of the filter pad. If you've modified the skimmer to have an autofill valve - the low water in the pump area (the only place for the autofill valve) causes the autofill valve to run constantly untill the pad is cleaned.

    All this, plus the weir door that locks Koi inside the pond skimmer makes me wonder why so many Koi-Bito'ers use that brand of pond skimmer on their Koi ponds.

    Skimmers with weir doors can be more harmful for Koi than rocks in the pond. Everyone here will tell everyone that rocks are hazzardous for Koi .....but they seem to selectively forget about the hazzards of weir door based pond skimmers.


    Compare your skimmer brand to HydroClean pond skimmers.
    Liner attaches to HydroClean pond skimmers with one rubber collar and one stainless steel nut that is above water line. They are adaptable to concrete, gunite, and polyura as well. All outlets are preplumbed and threaded for soil-tight connections. Each unit is pre-plumbed for multiple pumps and/or suction lines, along with overflow and automatic water fill valves. Atrtactive, strong, yet light weight faux stone lids are included.
    Each unit is available with your choice of one or more bottom drain/mid water intakes - or none at all. The skimming inlet is daptable to standard PVC pipe for placement away from the pond's edge. "Swim in & swim out" inlet design for Koi safety. Rugged Stainless Steel framed, reinforced nylon leaf sock for large debris capture. The industry's highest quality BlackKnight filter brushes for fine particulate capture.

    I am a manufacturer. I am here, I see the questions and concerns that all of you have. I participate. I manufacture products that address issues that arise from the real people here. What other manufacturer does that?

    Clearly, the design of HydroClean pond skimmers should at least garner a second look by all of you here. Look at the pond skimmer on your pond - what ever brand it is - and ask yourself: "Is this skimmer as safe for my Koi as HydroClean pond skimmers - without additional devices?", "Does this skimmer give me all the design and plumbing options of a HydroClean pond skimmer without modification?", "Would my pond look nicer if the skimmer was installed away from the pond's edge like a HydroClean pond skimmer?", and simply, "Does this skimmer look as nice as HydroClean pond skimmers?".

    Again, compare features of HydroClean pond skimmers to any brand on the market.

    Thanks so much.
    Sincerely,
    John Russell
    www.russellwatergardens.com

  3. #13
    Honmei
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    Berkokid,
    There are many posters here and on other boards, each with their own motives. You'll learn (probably the hard way) about claims made by those that post.

    John is a manufacturer and as such has a vested interest in the products he sells. There are a few comparisons and claims he makes that I feel need to be addressed. First of all don't be scared away by the thought of carpal tunnel screwing in screws on a face plate of a skimmer. That is what electric screw drivers are for...that and two hands and an occasion rest. The method of utilizing a stainless steel hose clamp on the back side of a liner has some issues of its own. Although I have never seen a face plate, gasket,m and screws leak, I have seen hose clamp style instalations loosen over time and they are next to impossible to get to after the fact. My advice is to avoid this style of connection.

    Next to pond or remote installation options is insignificant in my book. Pondisde installatyions are easily hidden and in a number of ways. I personally think skimmers should be for skimming the upper layer of a pond. Its simply a method of collection of a targeted water type and what it carries with it (floating solids). A wier, floating or fix is a must for this purpose. An open 6" pipe at the surface is in my opinion a far cry from an optimal method of achieving that goal.

    The part about soil getting into the skimmer from around the pipe? Goblty goop. Now keep in mind, my choice of skimmer is not the standard pond skimmer that incorporates pads, UVs or other secondary functions. Remember, a skimmer's function is to skim and like most products that attempt to do multi functions end up doing some or all in less than an optimal method. Pads and baskets that trap solids is just another maintenance item that can get messy. I prefer gravity fed skimmer systems that deliver the solids to a seperation chamber design for minimal and easy maintenance.

    Room in a skimmer for pumps and lines in the skimmer? No need for either concern in a gravity fed skimmer system. The auto fill sytem described could lead to overfilling on the pond to the point of fish chlorination if the pads are not cleaned. So the autofill may say the pump but could put the fish at greater rish when there is a chlorinated water source.

    I don't use the brand you have but a simple grate at the skimmer mouth handles the concern about koi getting into the skimmer. I find it a tad strange John didn't mention the ability of koi to get into his 6" skimmer line and have the same problem?

    John is correct, skimmer doors and wiers can be harmful to koi. Thus the grate I mentioned above.

    The rest of Johns post is the sales pitch for his brand. Berkokid, always question and verify answers you get. By the way, I am simply a hobbyists without a vested monetary interest. Persoanlly I don't care what claims manufacturers/dealers make in their advertising. I do get a tad riled up when they come to a hobbyists forum and pitch their wares with what I would call, in this case, some questionable claims.

    Steve
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  4. #14
    Tosai berkokid's Avatar
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    Steve -

    Thanks for your thoughts. In this case, I've made my decision, purchased my skimmer and the pond is operating. My pond is poured gunite, i have no liner issues. My filter top is covered with stone, I can lift it off, it doesn't bother me. I tend to agree with you wrt. the value of the weir door. And as for the skimmer being far away from the pond ... that doesn't have tremendous value to me.

    My interest in the Hydro is purely academic, I simply didn't (still don't quite) buy the logic ...

    Something you did bring up which I've been thinking a lot about is that, for the time being I am letting the Savio perform multiple functions ... (skimming, filtering, UV) and I don't believe that's my permanent answer. I have not yet decided on my strategy for specialization however and I wanted to live with the pond for a while before making that decision.

  5. #15
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
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    Dear Steve,

    Would you expect anything less from John? Every post that he makes is an advertising and marketing approach. I remember a while back another thread were John stated he would not do marketing on. Steve, I don't think John can help himself, he is a salesman and a manufacture of his own products, so he has to work double time in order to try and sell his "water garden equipment", and trying to sell it to the Koi hobby, is a much harder sell than I think he anticipated. As we question every product and there functionality in our "real" koi ponds.

    Berkokid,
    Please research any product you buy, prior to buying it.. There are a lot of unscrupulous business men out there, that claim there products are koi pond products, and that they are the answer to all hobbyist needs. Most of these people are just blowing smoke up your arse.



    Quote Originally Posted by schildkoi View Post
    Berkokid,
    There are many posters here and on other boards, each with their own motives. You'll learn (probably the hard way) about claims made by those that post.

    John is a manufacturer and as such has a vested interest in the products he sells. There are a few comparisons and claims he makes that I feel need to be addressed. First of all don't be scared away by the thought of carpal tunnel screwing in screws on a face plate of a skimmer. That is what electric screw drivers are for...that and two hands and an occasion rest. The method of utilizing a stainless steel hose clamp on the back side of a liner has some issues of its own. Although I have never seen a face plate, gasket,m and screws leak, I have seen hose clamp style instalations loosen over time and they are next to impossible to get to after the fact. My advice is to avoid this style of connection.

    Next to pond or remote installation options is insignificant in my book. Pondisde installatyions are easily hidden and in a number of ways. I personally think skimmers should be for skimming the upper layer of a pond. Its simply a method of collection of a targeted water type and what it carries with it (floating solids). A wier, floating or fix is a must for this purpose. An open 6" pipe at the surface is in my opinion a far cry from an optimal method of achieving that goal.

    The part about soil getting into the skimmer from around the pipe? Goblty goop. Now keep in mind, my choice of skimmer is not the standard pond skimmer that incorporates pads, UVs or other secondary functions. Remember, a skimmer's function is to skim and like most products that attempt to do multi functions end up doing some or all in less than an optimal method. Pads and baskets that trap solids is just another maintenance item that can get messy. I prefer gravity fed skimmer systems that deliver the solids to a seperation chamber design for minimal and easy maintenance.

    Room in a skimmer for pumps and lines in the skimmer? No need for either concern in a gravity fed skimmer system. The auto fill sytem described could lead to overfilling on the pond to the point of fish chlorination if the pads are not cleaned. So the autofill may say the pump but could put the fish at greater rish when there is a chlorinated water source.

    I don't use the brand you have but a simple grate at the skimmer mouth handles the concern about koi getting into the skimmer. I find it a tad strange John didn't mention the ability of koi to get into his 6" skimmer line and have the same problem?

    John is correct, skimmer doors and wiers can be harmful to koi. Thus the grate I mentioned above.

    The rest of Johns post is the sales pitch for his brand. Berkokid, always question and verify answers you get. By the way, I am simply a hobbyists without a vested monetary interest. Persoanlly I don't care what claims manufacturers/dealers make in their advertising. I do get a tad riled up when they come to a hobbyists forum and pitch their wares with what I would call, in this case, some questionable claims.

    Steve

  6. #16
    Nisai
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    Hi Steve,

    Nice to hear from you. You're right, I'm a manufacture - I make no bones about it. My point is that as a manufacture - we design products to solve issues that real people have. Koi getting caught in skimmers is a very real problem. Placing grates in front of a skimmer inlet reduces the skimmer's efficiency at removing debris from the pond - that's another issue that needs to be addressed.

    As far as gravity vs. skimmers - that is not the topic here. Both systems have their place. I'd be happy to discuss with you their applications on another thread. Since the majority of ponds have pond skimmers - that what this thread is about. How our skimmers perform against other popular brands of skimmers.

    As far as a rubber collar and stainless steel clamp - that type of connection uses silicone and rubber liner as its gasket. The rubber collar holds the liner water tight against the pipe - any pipe for that matter - not just a skimmer inlet pipe. The stainless steel nut is tightened above water line. I've personally never seen a nut come loose - but in the unlikely event it does - it is easily accessable as it is above the water line.

    Remote installation is cosmetic. If a pond owner doesn't want to disrupt the edge of their pond with a pond skimmer - remotely installing the pond skimmer is the answer. It is purely optional and not required. There is no question that a pond with no visible filtration system is far prettier than a pond with a visible filtration systems - but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people like to look at equipment, and that is OK. But for those that don't, our skimmers can be remotely installed like no others on the market.

    As far a weir door and variable pipe size - water velocity and skimmer suction - I've explained it as clearly as I can. If you still don't understand, then I apologize for not being more clear. The best answer would be to just see it for yourself.

    All I'm asking is for people to compare our skimmers with any other brand on the market prior to making a purchase. Berkokid's Koi would still be alive today if he'd installed a HydroClean pond skimmer instead of the brand he purchased.

    Hobby site or not, I'm here, I'm a sponsor, and I participate.

    Thanks Steve, I enjoyed meeting you in Post Falls.
    Sincerely,
    John Russell
    www.russellwatergardens.com

  7. #17
    Nisai
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    Nancy,

    "Water gardening equipment"

    Pond skimmers are used on Koi ponds too. Berkokid has a skimmer on his Koi pond that killed one of his Koi. Many people here have that same brand of skimmer, or others like it on their pond. Our skimmers feature a unique design that solves the problem of killing Koi. Is that a bad thing?

    That other thread you spoke of wasn't of a commercial nature - this one is. People that use pond skimmers on their Koi ponds need to know that there is a manufacture that understands the problems associated with the mass marketed pond skimmer brands - and that there is an alternative.

    Yes, I wear many hats in my business. We don't have a multi-million dollar advertising budget like so many of our larger manufacturing competitors do. So we use sites like this to get our message out. Grass-roots style. Once we're large enough to have a multi-million dollar advertising campaign like our competitors - you'll probably miss hearing from me.

    I'm simply pointing out the design and benefits of our pond skimmer compared to others on the market here - and you're trying to belittle it by calling it "water gardening equipment". Well, following that line of thought, every Koi-Bito'er that has a pond skimmer on their pond has "water gardening equipment" on their pond. Heaven forbid.

    Always fun to spar with you Nancy.
    Sincerely,
    John Russell
    www.russellwatergardens.com

  8. #18
    Honmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Russell View Post
    Hi Steve,

    Nice to hear from you. You're right, I'm a manufacture - I make no bones about it. My point is that as a manufacture - we design products to solve issues that real people have. Koi getting caught in skimmers is a very real problem. Placing grates in front of a skimmer inlet reduces the skimmer's efficiency at removing debris from the pond - that's another issue that needs to be addressed.

    Hog wash John, not if the grate is done correctly.

    As far as gravity vs. skimmers - that is not the topic here. Both systems have their place. I'd be happy to discuss with you their applications on another thread. Since the majority of ponds have pond skimmers - that what this thread is about. How our skimmers perform against other popular brands of skimmers.

    John, you fail to understand. It's not gravity verses skimmer, its called a gavity feed skimmer (verses direct suction). Niether yours nor other typical "pond" brand skimmers perform as well as a gravity feed skimmer system.

    As far as a rubber collar and stainless steel clamp - that type of connection uses silicone and rubber liner as its gasket. The rubber collar holds the liner water tight against the pipe - any pipe for that matter - not just a skimmer inlet pipe. The stainless steel nut is tightened above water line. I've personally never seen a nut come loose - but in the unlikely event it does - it is easily accessable as it is above the water line.

    Above water line, behind a liner and typically buried. Not an easy acess John anyway you cut it and clamps can and do fail and/or loosen with time.

    Remote installation is cosmetic. If a pond owner doesn't want to disrupt the edge of their pond with a pond skimmer - remotely installing the pond skimmer is the answer. It is purely optional and not required. There is no question that a pond with no visible filtration system is far prettier than a pond with a visible filtration systems - but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people like to look at equipment, and that is OK. But for those that don't, our skimmers can be remotely installed like no others on the market.

    A Gravity fed skimmer system is also remote and the skimmer body itself much smaller at pond side with a better method of filtration doen remotely. But, based on your earlier comments you don't seem to understand the concept.

    As far a weir door and variable pipe size - water velocity and skimmer suction - I've explained it as clearly as I can. If you still don't understand, then I apologize for not being more clear. The best answer would be to just see it for yourself.

    LOL Now that is funny John that you would attempt to deflect the facts with insinuating that I do not understand. Rest assured, I fully understand. As a matter of fact I would venture a guess that I understand pipe sizing and volume verses velocity rates much better than the average person and or "pond proffesional."

    All I'm asking is for people to compare our skimmers with any other brand on the market prior to making a purchase. Berkokid's Koi would still be alive today if he'd installed a HydroClean pond skimmer instead of the brand he purchased.

    Perhaps so or perhaps not, but his koi would also be alive today with the methods I mentioned earlier.

    Hobby site or not, I'm here, I'm a sponsor, and I participate.

    Post Falls? I think you have me confused with someone else John. I think you failed to do your research again. Just because you are a sponsor does not preclude others from questioning your statements or motives.

    Thanks Steve, I enjoyed meeting you in Post Falls.
    Sincerely,
    John Russell
    www.russellwatergardens.com
    Have a great evening John

    Steve
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  9. #19
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Russell View Post
    Nancy,

    "Water gardening equipment"

    Pond skimmers are used on Koi ponds too. Berkokid has a skimmer on his Koi pond that killed one of his Koi. Many people here have that same brand of skimmer, or others like it on their pond. Our skimmers feature a unique design that solves the problem of killing Koi. Is that a bad thing?

    John, your is not the only skimmer that does not "kill koi"...

    That other thread you spoke of wasn't of a commercial nature - this one is. People that use pond skimmers on their Koi ponds need to know that there is a manufacture that understands the problems associated with the mass marketed pond skimmer brands - and that there is an alternative.

    There are many alternatives, gravity feed skimmers.

    Yes, I wear many hats in my business. We don't have a multi-million dollar advertising budget like so many of our larger manufacturing competitors do. So we use sites like this to get our message out. Grass-roots style. Once we're large enough to have a multi-million dollar advertising campaign like our competitors - you'll probably miss hearing from me.

    John, please don't count your chickens before the eggs hatch

    I'm simply pointing out the design and benefits of our pond skimmer compared to others on the market here - and you're trying to belittle it by calling it "water gardening equipment". Well, following that line of thought, every Koi-Bito'er that has a pond skimmer on their pond has "water gardening equipment" on their pond. Heaven forbid.

    LMAO, you have got to be kidding me, Please name any real koi bito member, that uses any of your pond equipment, on a true koi pond....

    Hell even my watergarden, has a bottom drain, filter and pump, and it is gunite, sorry to say that it does not have any of your equipment on it either.

    Always fun to spar with you Nancy.
    Sincerely,
    John Russell
    www.russellwatergardens.com
    John, you just don't understand that your approach, will never work here.

    Nancy

  10. #20
    Nisai
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    Hi Steve,

    The clamp is not behing the liner, or under soil. Look at the photo - you can clearly see the clamp and the stainless steel nut. It is completely accesable.

    Gravity vs. suction. Again, not the topic of this thread. This thread is skimmer brand to skimmer brand. You may be right that your gravity system is better than all suction skimmers - but we're discussing skimmers vs. skimmers. Apples to apples.

    Any grate in front a skimmer inlet that prevents Koi from entering the skimmer can, will, and does prevent leaves on other debris from entering the skimmer too. Thus, reducing the efficiency of the skimmer. If it blocks out a fish, it'll block out a leaf. If you're happy with reducing the skimmer's efficiency in order to improve Koi safety - that's OK by me. Our skimmer design simply lets Koi swim into and out of the skimmer without reducing its skimming efficiency. For those that want an efficient skimmer, that is safe for Koi without modification, that hides in the landscape without piling rocks and wood over it - then HydroClean ponds skimmers are the best choice.

    If a person wants a cheaply priced, mass marketed, Koi killing, weir door based pond skimmer - then that's the perogotive. We have an alternative that is not cheaply priced, that is not mass marketed, doesn't kill Koi, and doesn't need a weir door or any homemade mechanical pre-strainer. HydroClean.

    Thanks again Steve.
    Sincerely,
    John Russell

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