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  • bakki with bio balls

    Well my experiment is over with my filtration 3 stacker bakki tower filled with bioballs. It's been two months and the bacteria is established. I had to add a UV light to get clarity. 3 adult koi over 24" and three under 12 " is the bio "load" in 4,000 U.S. Gals.
    I could never get the nitrite readings where I wanted by itself. I have since added a BB filter which i backwash weekly and use a bacteria
    (bio-lift) to keep water quality exactly where I want it.

    My conclusion is this combination does not work. my inside pond I have a three stacker with bacteria house media with conventional jap mat/vortexes on it as well, water is clear no need for UV and parameters are perfect.( 3-koi over 24 " and a 14", in 2,000 gals) I feed heavier because one of my asagi's is a growing 2 year old.


    what nitrite says to me is that my pond was underfiltered or over
    stocked, neither of which is the case. I feed Hikari staple and wheatgerm mix and am not a heavy feeder.

    What I learned was that substituting media may make a difference as to performance. since I discount any contributiuon of( biological) filtration other than physical to the Bubblebead, I like the idea of a different bio filter in combination with the bakki tower.

    filtration to me, whether you use k-1, blue j-mat, is heightened with the use of a trickle tower or bakki tower because of the oxygenation and degassing effect that it contributes in addition to biological filtration.

    My recommendation is to combine types of filtration and to strive for more filtartion than could ever be expected to be needed.

    hope this info and opinion may help some readers who are struggling with
    their current system or planning a new pond. Just remember for cool/cold climates unprotected bakki towers and trickle towers are water chillers and will rapidly cool your water as temps fall. You will need a heater or means of protecting or insulation ( without affecting the degassing effect)
    with these two forms of bio filtration.

    I do know of one dealer in S. california that I repect who has heavy stocked Ponds with a 4 stacker with bio balls and is perfectly happy with the results, hence my repeat of the word opinion.
    Dick Benbow
  • #2

    Thnx for the honest reply Dick. I have a BS type filter as an addition to vortex's and nexus both. Having been only on for a few weeks, I can't say much about it as a stand alone filter, but since the addition two things have happened.

    One: within a few days, the koi stopped gulping at the surface and "breaching". I think this behavior has much to do with gas supersaturation via diffuser drains ala Maurice's opinion which has been remedied by the degassing effect of the BS.

    Two: I had ALOT of DOC's for this past few weeks. No other changes were made in this 4 year old pond other than the addition of the BS. It is getting better now, but wasnt sure what to make of that.
    Best regards,

    Bob Winkler

    My opinions are my best interpretation of my experiences. They are not set in stone as I intend to always be a student of life. And Koi.

    sigpic

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    • #3

      Dick,

      Really interested to see your results. My Bakki is a 3-tier version and it had 10 litres of BHM in each tier. Not having a lot of cash to splash at the moment, I moved the 10 litres from the bottom tier and put into the top two tiers. I filled the bottom tier with bac balls!

      This was only a month or so ago and the DOC is still on the pond. Thought the 'extra' bio filtration may have helped here.

      As this Bakki is only part of my filtration, perhaps not an idea test using the Bac balls. I'll have to dig deep, or try something else - Lava Rock???
      Regards, Bob
      ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
      <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><

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      • #4

        Hi Bob

        There must be something else than can work in the Bakki systems has anybody tried k1 this like plenty of air.

        Just a questions for you geniuses.

        Gazza
        Regards

        Gazza

        Comment

        • #5

          Hi Gaz,

          There are plenty of TT's out there for years with other media than BH, including K1 in them that work well. Any media will work. It is just which is best? Tough to measure that one. :shock:
          Best regards,

          Bob Winkler

          My opinions are my best interpretation of my experiences. They are not set in stone as I intend to always be a student of life. And Koi.

          sigpic

          Comment

          • #6

            BHM seems to be the one Bob.

            Cheers

            Gazza
            Regards

            Gazza

            Comment

            • #7

              hi guys

              tewa here in australia. i want to firstly say that I have never been to momotaro farm and have not seen the showers in action yet. I am planning on going sometime this year, this is purely because in Australia we can't import kois so there is not much reason for visiting the koi farm besides learning more about the hobby from the best.

              i first started with a small bakki shower setup with bioballs for about 6 weeks whilst waiting for my bacteria house to arrive. This setup was indoors and the amount of bioload should have easily handled the bioload. I could never get the nitrite to zero as well. Maybe bioballs take a lot longer to fully cycle. When I added the bacteria house just 15kg the kois were much more active after only two days this is evident by their feeding and how much they wim around besides being in even colder temperature than when the bioballs were in.

              After three weeks I had no more docs on the surface but still had nitrite in the water by the fourth week there was no nitrite left. I do a water change of about 20% every three days. I probably wouldn't have to do as much if I didn't feed as much. I was trying to figure out the digestive rate of the new momotaro all season koi food. I continued to feed various amounts even when the temperature got to 11 degrees these feeds ranged from 1 to 3% of body weight. At 11 degrees I was feeding 1% body weight and found that there was very little to no waste at all. And feeding at 1.2% pushed the limits of the digestive system and undigested solid waste became evident.

              I use to have very dark brown algae growing on the walls of the pond (when there was a bio ball shower) but after two weeks of using the bakki showers I begin to see very bright green algae growing just on the walls. Now they have totally replaced the dark brown algae.

              I will post pics of my other setup when it is finished probably in a month's time

              tewa
              There is no such thing as a zero maintenance pond but the closer you get the more time to enjoy your koi. Soft low TDS water is the perfect pond water.
              http://www.tewakoi.com

              Comment

              • #8

                Good Stuff, thank you for sharing your information with us! This kind of feed back helps us to get a handle on things and confirms much of what i had suspected. Pls do keep us informed!
                Dick Benbow

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                • #9

                  Great post Tewa, as Dick says, this is just the info we all need.

                  If you have any other ponds, could you try the Bio balls for longer and see if it would reduce the Nitrites eventually?

                  It does seem though, that BHM kicks in quickly.
                  Regards, Bob
                  ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
                  <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    I wonder how good the bac balls would be in a trickle tower on a skimmer circuit obviously not as good as BHM but still is some kind of filtration.

                    I do think it is good to have some different types of media to help out all the goody bacteria and gives it a choice what do you all think?

                    Gazza
                    Regards

                    Gazza

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Dick

                      No prolem will let you guys know how its going probably the most exciting bit is to see whether we can find similar growth rates here in Australia when using exactly the same kind of water, food and filtration.

                      Bob
                      Right now I don't have a spare pond but I might later on, one thing I did discover about the bioballs when I took it out was that there were a lot of fish waste, large chunks stuck inside the bioball and if you put it in submerged water they would come out. This was evident in every shelf, which could be a reason for why the nitrites were still hanging around as the fish waste just wasn't broken down into smaller pieces fast enough for the bacteria to consume.

                      I took out the bacteria house yesterday to have a look at whether the same thing was occuring. There were only large pieces on the very top of the first layer of bacteria house in the first shelf, there was no large chunks in the other shelves. This leads me to believe that the type of surface is very important, if no settlement was to be used and fed from bottom drain the media that must be used has to have a very rough and rugged surface.

                      those who have bacteria house will all attest that if the skin was to graze the media very lightly that you would feel the sharpness of the coral like media. This along with fish waste being soft and the shearing forces of large water volume flow would grind the fish waste to smaller pieces.

                      This is why i strongly believe that if to be used in an outdoor system that leaves and other debri must be taken out by something before dirty water is pumped over the showers. Fish waste is the same whether indoor or outdoor pond. I also believe that this is where the system can be abused and seen as a fraud and that it does not work. When the hobbyist overfeeds beyond the shower capacity (bottom drain fed pond) then they are bound to hit a boundary where the digestive system of the koi cannot digest the amount of food consume. This leads to a lot of fish waste in the actual water itself before it even gets to the showers. At this point onlookers will only see that the water clarity is bad and that there is a lot of fish waste and thus the system doesn't work. At this point one thing to do is to increase the turnover rate so that the fish waste does get to the shower and not stay in the pond that long but there is only so much filtration whether it be biofiltration or mechanical (which I consider in bacteria house instance to be the breaking down of fish waste to smaller particles at the top shelf) if people overfeed pass the filtration capacity with inadequate turnover rates then the unbroken down fish waste would travel back into the pond as small particles and effect water clarity.

                      That is why daisuke told me that they would turnover their pond volume 2 to 3 times and use 300kg of bacteria house for their ten tonne pond. Simply because of the extreme stocking rate and also feeding rate.

                      tewa
                      There is no such thing as a zero maintenance pond but the closer you get the more time to enjoy your koi. Soft low TDS water is the perfect pond water.
                      http://www.tewakoi.com

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Hi Tewa

                        I find your posts very interesting in how you seem to be trying and documenting how you are testing your system.

                        I think you are correct about the turnover rate as i have read about how the turnover rate can be increased i think it is just down to koi keepers forgetting some of the old rules and trying new stuff with new technology and see where it takes us.

                        I am currently building a new pond but unfortunately will not have bakki shower but will be using some BHM. The new system will have the provision to actually pull the water through the system much faster than normal so i can see what happens.

                        Keep up the good posts and thanks.

                        Gazza.
                        Regards

                        Gazza

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          hey guys!!!! exactly!! before you part with your cash, what is the difference between a plastic bioball with good surface area and a BH.
                          is it made of something else???? i dont understand the science being used just yet.
                          if it is made of something else other than something for the bacterias to cling to then what is it and what is its surface area.
                          are these experiments done in the same conditions under the same loads? there are so many variables it is not funny and as such hard to draw hard conclusions on comparisons.
                          where is the proven product information? apart from beautiful big fish from big ponds.

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            The most important factor in this kind of filtration is known as void space or where water oxygen, food and bacteria can mix. I'm partial to the drip rod style of bio balls. encased in a tower with air pushing up from the bottom and rising up out the vent holes in the top under the drip tray, i don't think there is a better system. That said I'm running a BH/3 tray and have for awhile now.
                            When i move the koi outside this spring in about 3 months I will turn off my Bakki
                            and run the blue j-mat in 3 vortexes only.I erected the system only for the knowledge and the ability to comment on it from personal experience in my classes. I believe that it works well but honestly feel there are other ways to get the same results with less expense.

                            to me filtration is like an old car. if part of the ownership is the fun of tinkering with it, then a do it yourself filter system is great. If however you want a turn key system and not have to mess with it as much, it may cost you more but
                            maybe time is money and worth it to you. one thing i have learned over the years is that you're furthur ahead to be over filtered and i like to run several different syles and media types in a filter system than to have all my eggs in one basket ( so to speak ).

                            I wish my koi kichi Bill would post here and honestly comment on me and my system. It'd be more believeable to hear it from him but he'd say I underfeed my koi, keep 1000 gallons for each one I have, have 3x more filtration than I need and run a trickle 24/7 while draining the collection vortexes once or twice a day. I am also working on RO water to bring my hardness down as well as my PH. I think he would use words like fanatical, over the edge etc.
                            ( then ask him what he thinks of my koi's condition )< insert grin>

                            hope some of my ramblings may help
                            Dick Benbow

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              a good point about the less expense for an as good a system.
                              ive seen a lot of biofilters, most of them are clogged with big food particles rotting away inside. its the dissolving water soluble stuff that the bacteria should be exposed to, so much expensive media gone to a waste as a mechanical filter and not biological..
                              my old teacher told me that some balls where not so good and showed me why. mostly had to do with usable surface combines with water flow over it.
                              then he showed me a blocked submerged system that rquired a back flush to remove all the crap.. this meant that it blocked up and got sick right up till servicing. sand, fluidised bed, towers are my favourate too, rotating drum bios are allright too.
                              check out the 40 micron rotating drum filter screens, thatll fix that problem or you can make one yourself. they are good and care free but cost a lot.
                              try out a small muckmover solids pump on the bottom of your vortex on a minute timer, alternatively use one of those automatic gate valves that open and close.
                              have it so it opens and the pressure in the tank pushes a quick shot up a pipe and out to your garden or a bucket, the hose end is equal or slightly higher than your running tank level and then theres no worry of a complete drain out. they really work beautifully coupled with a small float valve for replenishment.

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