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 Adding water plants to my filter system(s)

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albie

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PostSubject: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeMon May 05, 2008 11:40 am

I have quite a complicated system, that works relatively well. The system has two components, a high pressure and a low pressure system.

The low pressure system works like this: It has a submersible pump, pumping water to a filter box
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0866
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0867
and back into the pond.
(to the left of the picture)
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0864
I thought of adding a container with hyacynths that I got at a dam yesterday.
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0868
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0869

The water will enter the container, flow through and out into the sump.

The outflow from the container, I suppose need to be a few centimeters from the bottom. I thought to put the container to the left of the sump.

My questions, will it make any difference? I sometimes do get a low nitrite reading.
2. Should it be a top to bottom flow
3. If I clean the plants with PP, will that be enough
4. Is it best to let the water go back into the sump, or directly in the pond (an extra bit of water in the sump will actually help, as the water level in the second chamber sometimes dips)
5. What about the plants either in the second chamber or directly in the pond?

I attach a drawing of my high pressure system:
From pond: Top drain to bottom of sump, through filter media, through swimming pool filter, through sand filter through UV light through high pressure biofilter, back into pond via venturi and waterfall. There is also a bottom pipe draining directly to the sand filter...Complicated!!

My high pressure system:
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Scan0001
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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeMon May 05, 2008 11:58 am

It is quite a nice system you are running. Adding water plants will definately help with the filtration, especially with your Nitrates.

In respect of your questions:

1. You should always get a low nitrite reading and should actually be zero.

2. The best is to have a bottom to top flow as your outlet water is cleaner in this way.

3. PP will not kill leaches, anchor worm, lice and some snails/snail eggs. Use PP and Dipterex or Dimilin.

4. It would not make a big difference whether the water flows into the sump or directly into the pond. In your case it will be more practical to let it flow into your sump, because your sump is right there, and you will reduce the changes of running your sump dry.

5. I would not put plants in the second chamber/sump. It will block the inlet and restrict flow. A second plant chamber next to your sump will be a good idea and can be fed either from your high or low pressure system and then into your sump(first chamber)

6. I would not put the plants directly into the pond. It will block plumbing and dirty the pond and Hyacyths normally takes over. They are difficult to manage inside your pond.

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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeMon May 05, 2008 12:35 pm

BTW, I have noticed that you are using a swimming pool sand filter. The holes on the plastic arms inside are much smaller than on a Koi filter and is designed for sand. On Koi ponds, you should never use sand as you restrict your flowrate dramatically and it gets clogged very often and can create bad bacteria because of the low oxygen levels inside the filter. You should use gravel to maintain a good flow rate.

On this filter, it is also a mission to open the lid because you have to unscrew the lid. Koi pond filters have a lever to easlily open the filter to enable you to break the crust everytime when you do a backwash.

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albie

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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeMon May 05, 2008 12:53 pm

Hi Paul

The sand filter has always been an issue!

It is aswimming pool filter, with the coarse (koi) sand in it. Would you suggest to remove the sand and replace it with gravel? If so, what size and where can I get it? At this stage, I open the filter weekly and backwash- this is a major schlep.

Money isnt there now to replace the whole filter- so any suggestions?

I'm not gonna be online for the next few days, but please respond!

Thanks
Albie
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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeMon May 05, 2008 1:29 pm

At least you are using the coarse koi sand and not the Pool sandfilter sand. The typical sand/gravel that are being used in Koi filters are the gravel between 3 and 5 mm. I found that it is much cheaper to use the black stone (10 mm) which you can get at building material suppliers, which I mix with the 5 mm koi gravel. You might consider this option. It makes a big difference in price and flow rate. Just replace half of your course sand with gravel/stone 10mm and you will create a far better flow rate.

The problem will still be the fact that the holes on the arms are too small. You might consider drilling the holes a bit bigger(in accordance with the koi filters) ??

Maybe you can also find a way to install a koi filter lid on your pool filter for easy access?? The lids are separately available at most Builders Warehouse's and you might be able to covert it to fit?

The Koi sandfilters (two bags) are going for about R 1100.00 in our area and you might consider replacing it.

A friend of mine installed a Koi filter (maily for the mechanical filtration) but kept his old pool filter on the same system, but filled it with hair curlers(for more biological filtration as apposed to mechanical filtration, although the curlers also filter quite a lot of solids).

On one of my temporary ponds where I do not have biological filtration, I am running a koi sand/gravel filter filled with haircurlers temporary. It acts a mechanical and biological filtration in the interim until I have completed the system.

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albie

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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeWed May 07, 2008 10:55 pm

I'm back in the country. Thanks for your answers. I will comment on some

Quote :
1. You should always get a low nitrite reading and should actually be zero.
What I meant was that I seldom get a zero!

Quote :
2. The best is to have a bottom to top flow as your outlet water is cleaner in this way.
Something like this? (without the gravel and stuff?)
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Veggiefilter


Quote :
3. PP will not kill leaches, anchor worm, lice and some snails/snail eggs. Use PP and Dipterex or Dimilin.
What do you prefer and dosage so that some don't eventually land in the pond? I want to install it this weekend-in Bloem until Friday

Quote :
Just replace half of your course sand with gravel/stone 10mm and you will create a far better flow rate.
So I just buy normal builders gravel and mix it? My filter is 2/3 full. Should I have less than that in total? What about removing most of the sand, or is that too drastic?

Thanks!!
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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeThu May 08, 2008 11:16 am

That is quite a fancy veggie filter your are planning and I am sure that it will work quite well.

These fancy filters are normally being used on systems that do not have a lot of other biological filtration. I dont think it is really neccesary for the lava rock and I feel that there are too much gravel. It will probably clog up underneath your plants and will be difficult to clean. I would rather use the lava rock in my low pressure filter together with the existing matting where I can clean it more easily.

Lava that can't be cleaned from time to time is not very effective as all the small holes where the bacteria are supposed to grow, cloggs up.

I would put the plants in individual containers inside the veggie filter to enable me to take them out from time to time and also to ensure that the the water flow around the plants are good.

The botom drain is absolutely essential.

In respect of your question about treatment of the plants, use 20ppm Potassium overnight together with either Diperex (5 grams / 50 liters) or Dimmilin (5 grams / 50 liters).

In respect of your question about the gravel, if you use only builders gravel, too many solid will go passed. If you use only the fine sand/koi gravel, your flow rate will not be good enough. That is why I suggested to mix the two.

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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeThu May 08, 2008 8:40 pm

Quote :
That is quite a fancy veggie filter your are planning and I am sure that it will work quite well.

These fancy filters are normally being used on systems that do not have a lot of other biological filtration. I dont think it is really neccesary for the lava rock and I feel that there are too much gravel. It will probably clog up underneath your plants and will be difficult to clean. I would rather use the lava rock in my low pressure filter together with the existing matting where I can clean it more easily.

Lava that can't be cleaned from time to time is not very effective as all the small holes where the bacteria are supposed to grow, cloggs up.

I got the picture from the internet, not planning to put rocks and other detail in- just thought the bottom pipe with the holes looked good, as well as the bottom drain.

Quote :
I would put the plants in individual containers inside the veggie filter to enable me to take them out from time to time and also to ensure that the the water flow around the plants are good.

And that will also prevent the outflow pipe(s) to block.

Thanks for all your advice, will post a picture at some stage as well as a picture of the fish that recovered from the hikui
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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeSat May 10, 2008 2:42 pm

Hi Paul and everyone

Just need quick advice on the sand filter- hope you are on line. The filter is currentlly 1/4 full- should I remove more sand and add the gravel? If so, to what level and then I suppose I need to mix it.

Sand filter from inside:
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0873
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0874


This is how far I am with my plant filter. Want to add a basket to prevent the plants from blocking the outflow;
Box( low pressure filter) from where water will flow to plant filter
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0872
To add plants and "basket" to block plants from blocking outlet:
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0870
New filter in relation to sump:
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0871
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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeSat May 10, 2008 2:56 pm

Forgot to say- any additional comments will be useful. Thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeSun May 11, 2008 5:03 pm

I have added the plants. The system is working well. As a start, I did not add the bottom drain, as I think it will be relatively easy to clean.
Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0875

Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0876

Adding water plants to my filter system(s) IMGA0877

Any recommendations?

Paul, you'll remember to tell me about the gravel (how much to add and how much sand to remove)
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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeSun May 11, 2008 6:50 pm

I think it is very practical and will make quite a difference in your Nitrate readings and will also influence your Nitrites and Ammonia positively. The hyancinth grows quite well without any gravel or soil and you can consider to leave it as it is, or add crushed shells to increase your Calsium and hardness and increase the PH buffer. The bucket will soon be filled with the root system.

You should check your Nitrate level now and compare it a month later as a matter of interest, bearing in mind that we are entering winter and the reading will drop anyway due to the colder weather.

I see you have the typical koi gravel in your filter. Because you use a pool filter, I will consider removing 50% of the gravel and replace it with bigger gravel. The mix should fill the filter approximately 80%.

Good luck!

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PostSubject: Re: Adding water plants to my filter system(s)   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeMon May 12, 2008 7:15 am

Practical and cheap I like that, well done.
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PostSubject: Looks like a nice setup   Adding water plants to my filter system(s) Icon_minitimeWed May 14, 2008 9:37 am

Hi,

It looks like a very nice system & pond.

Would you mind posting pictures of your pond & A brief description of its construction etc. Very Happy

Please?
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