Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Evolving a sub-standard filtration design

  1. #1
    Tosai berkokid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    29

    Evolving a sub-standard filtration design

    All -

    I disclaim this email by conceding that I love koi, but am not raising koi for show, but rather trying to build a very koi friendly environment that I can keep 3 - 5 koi in happily and healthy.

    I recently built ~3000 gallon pond. There is a large waterfall on one end (water drops about 20 - 24" and fall width is about 4 feet) and opposing the waterfall is a savio skimmerfilter with a 3600 GPH pump in the skimmer feeding the waterfall.

    So ... the filtration sucks, it isn't near enough. While the water measurements are all fine (ph, nitrates, etc.) and the fish are happy, eating normally, swimming normally ... the water isn't clear enough for my tastes and I believe I can improve the water quality for both my tastes and more importantly for the koi's sake.

    My pond is poured gunite, herein lies my questions. I have a couple of thoughts i would like feedback on.

    1. The pump in the skimmfilter ... there's no way this is doing a good job of circulating the deep water beneath the falls (on the other side of the pond) ... I feel like I have to introduce aeration or another pump, something to move that deeper water around. (No, i don't have a bottom drain, yes, huge mistake because that would clearly be a great addition). Anyone have thoughts on what I can do here? Another pump up tot he water fall? Some other aeration strategy?

    2. The skimmer filter doesn't do a good job of polishing the water ... it's not designed to do that at a high level and sure enough, it doesn't. I'm thinking of putting additional filtration just before the waterfall ... (after the pump in the skimmerfilter). Any thoughts / suggestions here? Type of filtration, etc.

    Final thought ... I am open to putting in a bottom drain, and may do so, but I want to create the "best possible non-bottom drain" plan to compare against.

    Thanks in advance.

    - Jonathan

  2. #2
    MCA
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,574
    I disclaim this email by conceding that I love koi, but am not raising koi for show, but rather trying to build a very koi friendly environment that I can keep 3 - 5 koi in happily and healthy.
    First...good on you for loving koi and wanting to give koi a proper home!!! Remember, pond mutts and top show koi have the same environmental needs. One set of fish just has better genetic potential (and correspondingly higher purchase prices).

    I recently built ~3000 gallon pond. There is a large waterfall on one end (water drops about 20 - 24" and fall width is about 4 feet) and opposing the waterfall is a savio skimmerfilter with a 3600 GPH pump in the skimmer feeding the waterfall.

    So ... the filtration sucks, it isn't near enough. While the water measurements are all fine (ph, nitrates, etc.) and the fish are happy, eating normally, swimming normally ... the water isn't clear enough for my tastes and I believe I can improve the water quality for both my tastes and more importantly for the koi's sake.
    Water clarity is not directly a koi health issue. Remember that koi probably do best in highly turbid water (such as a mud pond). That is why many folks will put a pergola over their pond to hold down the direct sunlight that hits their fish. Is the lack of clarity the result of green water...algae in the water column?



    My pond is poured gunite, herein lies my questions. I have a couple of thoughts i would like feedback on.

    1. The pump in the skimmfilter ... there's no way this is doing a good job of circulating the deep water beneath the falls (on the other side of the pond) ... I feel like I have to introduce aeration or another pump, something to move that deeper water around. (No, i don't have a bottom drain, yes, huge mistake because that would clearly be a great addition). Anyone have thoughts on what I can do here? Another pump up tot he water fall? Some other aeration strategy?
    Not the fault of the pump. By the way, a centrificial external pump will likely have lower operaitonal costs for the same waterflow rate. So when that pump dies...go external if possible. From what you are writing, I would not put another submerged pump into the system (in this case under the waterfall. More on this below.


    2. The skimmer filter doesn't do a good job of polishing the water ... it's not designed to do that at a high level and sure enough, it doesn't. I'm thinking of putting additional filtration just before the waterfall ... (after the pump in the skimmerfilter). Any thoughts / suggestions here? Type of filtration, etc.
    Not surprising. Skimmers baskets only capture very large floating debris like leaves and twigs. I added to our Savio skimmer abilitites by replacing the matting in the cage in the back, with two pieces of fiberglass screening. Still that is only down to the 1000 micron level....maybe.


    Final thought ... I am open to putting in a bottom drain, and may do so, but I want to create the "best possible non-bottom drain" plan to compare against.
    You can do a suction bottom drain that sits just above the pond floor. Tetra makes one and perhaps other companies. I know of at least one person who had their own with trash can lids.

    If you install a retroBD, what does it feed? I would suggest that it feeds an external pump that feeds a bead filter. I am only guessing that you only need something like a 2 cubic feet sized bead filter. The output from the bead filter could be piped below the waterfall to create a current that helps move sinking debris to the retroBD.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  3. #3
    Tosai berkokid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    You can do a suction bottom drain that sits just above the pond floor. Tetra makes one and perhaps other companies. I know of at least one person who had their own with trash can lids.

    If you install a retroBD, what does it feed? I would suggest that it feeds an external pump that feeds a bead filter. I am only guessing that you only need something like a 2 cubic feet sized bead filter. The output from the bead filter could be piped below the waterfall to create a current that helps move sinking debris to the retroBD.
    This seems interesting to me ... I want to make sure I understand your suggestion. I took a look and found the suction bottom drain you mentioned. If I understand, your suggestion is to:

    1. Add a suction bottom drain (completely solves my poured gunite concern).
    2. Purchase an external pump and filter (your suggestion is bead)
    3. Run the bottom drain up out of the pond and then back beneath the waterfall to create additional current.

    So in this design, the current skimmer filter / internal pump go unchanged and unaffected, correct?

    Also, can you tell me a bit more about the fiberglass replacement sheets you used in your Savio? Just a bulk store purchase?

  4. #4
    Jumbo
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Crooked River Ranch, OR.
    Posts
    998
    Aqua Art makes a nice retro bottom drain. It just sits on the bottom and you run the piping up over the side to your pump. You would need an external pump with a priming pot for this kind of application, and a swing check valve in the line underwater to hold a prime. Use white PVC piping and paint it black. White PVC sinks where as black ABS floats.
    Then as suggested run this to additional filtration, bead filters work good, but if your handy, there are several good filters that can be made from 55 gallon poly barrels.

  5. #5
    MCA
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,574
    I suggested a bead filter as few things can capture fine debris as well as a mature bead filter. Easily down to the 50 micron and smaller level. Static K1, or matting will not work as well. Foam can work as well...but good luck cleaning a big wet slab of foam.

    I tried to put a PDF attachment on this post about the skimmer screen modification. No error message from the server...and yet it does not appear. very strange. maybe the elfs are into the glog (mulled wine) already.

  6. #6
    Jumbo
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Crooked River Ranch, OR.
    Posts
    998
    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    I suggested a bead filter as few things can capture fine debris as well as a mature bead filter. Easily down to the 50 micron and smaller level. Static K1, or matting will not work as well. Foam can work as well...but good luck cleaning a big wet slab of foam.
    Whole hardily agree, for mech/fines filtration it's hard to beat a bead filter. I DIY sand/gravel filters that work well also, like you, hate static foam, mats, and K-1.
    If it's not easy to clean, it won't get done.

  7. #7
    Tosai berkokid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    I suggested a bead filter as few things can capture fine debris as well as a mature bead filter. Easily down to the 50 micron and smaller level. Static K1, or matting will not work as well. Foam can work as well...but good luck cleaning a big wet slab of foam.

    I tried to put a PDF attachment on this post about the skimmer screen modification. No error message from the server...and yet it does not appear. very strange. maybe the elfs are into the glog (mulled wine) already.
    Any chance you could email me the PDF?

  8. #8
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    Posts
    6,726
    A Malaysian ponder made some very nice DIY bead filters using 55 gallon blue barrels a few years back that seemed to work very well. Easy to backflush and maintain. He was even able to find a local source for poly beads dirt cheap. I'll see if I can find some pics of them.

  9. #9
    MCA
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,574
    I have no idea why that PDF document would not attach and display here.

    You can find the document and brief discussion about it here: A Pond Screening - KoiShack

  10. #10
    Tosai berkokid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    29
    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    I have no idea why that PDF document would not attach and display here.

    You can find the document and brief discussion about it here: A Pond Screening - KoiShack

    Cool .... good idea, I'll probably steal it!

    I think, to enhance my filtration, what I'll end up doing is using the aqua art bottom drain with an external pump that pulls water into either a Nexus or Aquabead ...

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 116
    Last Post: 08-29-, 10:10 AM
  2. Towards An Objective Grading Standard
    By MikeM in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 10-14-2012, 09:02 AM
  3. Standard for a Koi's body?
    By KoiBui in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 12-17-2010, 06:59 PM
  4. Replies: 22
    Last Post: 04-30-2009, 10:12 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com