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 Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought

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Chris Neaves



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PostSubject: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeSun Jan 31, 2010 5:11 pm

I noticed in another posting someone mentioned that trickle filters needed a turnover of 4 times an hour. (I think I got that right). This is not correct. Will go into trickle filters in detail in another post.

Something to think about regarding koi pond filters.

There are only two types of koi pond filters.
1) Open Filters
2) Closed or pressurised filters

All koi pond filters are derivatives of these two basic classifications.

There are three basic things common to all koi pond filters:
1) An enclosed area - the filter chamber
2) A media - either used for biological or mechanical filtration
3) A method of moving the pond water to and from the chamber /chambers

Chris
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wayneb

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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeSun Jan 31, 2010 8:42 pm

Chris Neaves wrote:
There are only two types of koi pond filters.
Correct, Or a hybrid of the two but i guess that is more todo with the implementation of the filters than with the design.

Quote :
There are three basic things common to all koi pond filters.
4) a method to remove waste.

Chris Neaves wrote:
I noticed in another posting someone mentioned that trickle filters needed a turnover of 4 times an hour

wayneb wrote:
Bakki showers are great but you need to use ceramic media to really get the full benefit of the bakkie shower then. There have been huge discussion about this topic on koi bito. Another thing to keep in mind is that bakkie showers require very high turn over rates. So you need to cycle your water 3 or 4 times per hour with a bakkie shower....Some crazy people suggested to push that up to even 10 times per hour....A bakki shower also helps with oxygenating the water.

https://koionline.forumotion.com/all-your-questions-about-filtration-answered-f16/filtration-questions-t1202-15.htm

According to what i have read on koi-bito and other forums, a trickle tower is different animal from a shower in that the water flow speed is slow and not fast. Its a slow trickle of water over the media in a enclosed enviroment with all the media stacked on one another. An example of a trickle towers is the black filters sold by Ultra Zap, they are trickle filter in design but most of us implement them in pressure system which means that they are constanly submerged and not used as trickle filters.

What's the basic difference between a trickle tower and a Bakki Shower? www.koiphen.com wrote:
Because of the differing flow rates, there appears to be a design/setup different between the two. Many TT seem to be built with 55g or larger barrels/tanks and because of the lower flow rates, you don't see or maybe need as much layering of media for good air movement. Many showers on the other hand,seem to use the stackable container or tray design that allow for better air movement because of the increased flows.

http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?t=101546

The fast turn over rates needed for bakki showers are because they are installed without mechanical filtration. Water is pumped from the bottom drain or skimmer and dumped straight onto the media in the bakki shower. This is done to maintain clarity.

From dealer pamphlet - www.Yumekoi.co.uk wrote:
"The general rule for running a Bakki Showered pond (without any settlement or additional filtration), is to have a turn over rate of at least 150% per hour. When the flow rate per set of 3000gph is taken into account, it becomes easy to calculate how to build a Bakki Showered pond. Basically, a 2000 gallon pond will need one set, a 4000 gallon pond will need two sets, and so on. The faster you turn the pond over, the better however. 200% is the optimum. Biologically, you could easily run a pond at 50% per hour, but such a turnover rate will leave the pond suffering with very fine suspended debris. Turnover is the key. Despite the recommended turnover rate, most of the
ponds in the UK have been built with less that 150% turnover, and are running just fine. The clarity limitations of 'underrunning' the showers will only be seen if a pond becomes overstocked."

Something i should also point out is that not every "bakkie shower" is a "bakki shower". The true bakki shower refers to a 3/4 stailess steel tray system marketed by Momotaro with a specific media (Bakki house media) inside. We koi keepers use the word in general but it does not refer to the same system. To mimic a "bakki shower" people use simular 3/4 stainless steel trays with a no-name ceramic media to achieve the same result.

According to the experts on koi-bito the trick to the showers is the media used. There are threads on bito where some guy did a test with 2 virgin ponds, he placed a shower on each. The one with plastic media and the other with ceramic media. The ceramic media was matured mutch faster than the plastic media and was able to "process solids".

Bobby and myself did alot research last year regarding showers and the medias used inside. The "research" was only reading what other people found and not doing our own practical investigations.

At the end of our "reseach" bobby had a stainless steel shower made for him and he filled it with ceramic rings.

I had Eugen make me some fibreglass bakkies that could be stack on one another and that could be used as a bakki shower but in the end the economy and rising electrical cost put a stop to that plan as it would have required me to add another pump to my system.

PS - Ceramics are very expensive if you take into account that you have to fill 3 or 4 trays with it. If i remember correctly my last investigation placed the price of ceramics at R 1200 to 1/4 fill a tray of 100cm x 30cm x 30cm with ceramics.
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Chris Neaves



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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeTue Feb 02, 2010 5:01 am

Hi Wayne,

There are only two classifications for koi pond filters. Open or pressurised. Everything we use on koi ponds is derived from these two forms of filters. Different principles apply to each and some principles are common to each.

The three common things on all koi ponds the chamber, media and method of moving the water is basically correct. The removal of wastes becomes a design parameter under the chamber sub heading. By the way this a parameter which is badly neglected in many designs and a cause of many problems later on in the ponds life.

When it comes to turnover times or flow rates through bakki showers or trickle filters I have a big problem with claims on the koibito forum.
It’s simple – flow rate or turnover times are determined by the capacity of your pump relative to the volume of you pond. The speed or velocity which the water moves through the chamber – whether a trickle filter, bakki shower or up flow submerged media design is determined by the design and/or gravity.

Let’s back track a moment. The only difference between a baki shower and a trickle filter is that a bakki shower has more than one level. A trickle filter basically has one level of media.

Both bakki showers and trickle filters have water pumped up to a high point and then sprayed or poured out of the pipe. The water then cascades down over the media. The turn over time (of the pond water) is determined by the amount of water the pump is pumping and the design of the pipes etc. Not by the design of the filter. The flow rate or velocity of the water moving through the media in the bakkie shower or trickle filter is determined by gravity or in the case of an up-flow submerged filter design by the surface area of the chamber.

The advantage of a tickle filter and a bakkie shower is that the media (any media) is open and as the water cascades down-wards it is smashed against the next piece of media. This helps to introduce more oxygen into the falling water than we would normally get in an up flow submerged filter (of any design).

The process of nitrification takes place instantaneously on contact with the relevant bacteria. Therefore the velocity of the water moving through a filter is not critical. Getting the pond water to the media and back to the pond with solids removed and purified of waste products is the name of the game. This is where your design parameters come into play.

To see the effect of flow rates/velocity of water through a bakkie shower/trickle filter take a sieve and fill it with any media, now whilst holding it in the air pour a glass of water over the media. What happens? – the water exits the bottom of the media as fast as gravity will pull it downwards. That’s the speed at which any volume of water moves through a trickle filter/bakkie shower.

In order to increase the “cycle” of water through a bakki shower/trickle filter you can only do this by increasing the capacity of your glass or your pump.

So if your bakki shower or trickle filter is large enough you do not need more water turnover from the pond than is sufficient to get rid of the waste products quickly enough so you get a zero reading on an ammonia test kit.
With regards the bakki shower being a different animal from the trickle filter the only difference the levels or containers make is to hold the media. The trays are open at the bottom so the water won’t collect and be submerged it will flow through everything as fast as a trickle filter. If the holes in the tray are small enough that it causes the water to build up inside the trays then it defeats the design purpose of a bakkie shower / trickle filter and the system then becomes a submerged down flow filter. The old Barry boxes (remember the green filter boxes with plastic rings and sponges) were an example of this design. This design has severe flow rate limitation and can only be used on ponds and pumps of certain capacity.

The ultra zap filter is not a trickle filter if it is closed. It becomes another pressurised filter and must be categorised under that heading. It does not matter if the water moves upwards or down wards inside a chamber it is still a closed or pressurised chamber. A true trickle filter is exactly the same as a bakkie shower. It is a container – anything where the media is open and suspended. The water is trickled or poured over the media from the top.
I suspect the word trickle is misleading many people.

Back to the Ultra Zap filter – if you want it as a trickle filter you need to open the outlet at the bottom and restrict the amount of water flowing into it (from the top) for the media to remain open or not submerged. Then it will become a trickle filter.

The point made on koiphen about the design set up is wrong as it presumes there are differing flow rates. They also looked at the restriction of the 55g barrel/tank. These are simply containers koi keepers have purchased over the counter and adapted to be used on ponds. It’s just one way of making a trickle filter and the inlets and out lets become the restricting factors. If you take these barrels and place an open grid on the bottom to prevent the media falling out and you cut off the floor or bottom. Then you move as much water through the media (with the open floor) as you want – that is a trickle filter. If you place inlet pipes at the top and some outlet pipes at the bottom – the whole design would depend on the size of the outlets at the bottom. Too few and the in-coming water will be greater than the out-going water and the barrel will fill with water. It no longer is a trickle filter.
If you take your barrels and stack them one on top of each other then you have a bakkie shower. Bothe will have the same flow rates as determined by the pull of gravity.

Your quote:
“The fast turnover rates needed for bakki showers are because they are installed without mechanical filtration. Water is pumped from the bottom drain or skimmer and dumped straight onto the media in the bakki shower. This is done to maintain clarity.”

I simple cannot agree with this. Are these guys saying that you can run a pond without any mechanical filtration what-so-ever. I can understand the bacteria in the filters consuming the organics but where will the dust and sand etc end up? I must contact Mike at Yume koi about this. By the way certain bacteria in all filters consume organics not just trickle filters or bakkie showers.

Your other point:
“Something i should also point out is that not every "bakkie shower" is a "bakki shower". The true bakki shower refers to a 3/4 stailess steel tray system marketed by Momotaro with a specific media (Bakki house media) inside. We koi keepers use the word in general but it does not refer to the same system. To mimic a "bakki shower" people use simular 3/4 stainless steel trays with a no-name ceramic media to achieve the same result.”

I have to disagree. The key to understanding koi pond filtration is not to get locked into any particular commercial design. If Momotaro builds exactly the same thing as Beula Pukes in Blikkiesdorp how can his be better or only his design be a true bakkie shower and not Beulas or yours and Bobbies for that matter?

You points on the media are very interesting. The guys selling Kaldness can’t be too happy with the fact that ceramic matured much faster! Media in a filter system is another whole debate on its own. It makes one wonder if using natural things like ceramics, stone, etc are not better than plastic. I would imagine bacteria have over billions of years become genetically familiar with naturally form things like clay, ceramics (fires clay) stone, etc. Plastic has only been around for a few years. Interesting.

One question - how did the media used by the experts on koi-bito process the solids? The organics I can understand, but the solids? These have to be trapped and removed from the system to get clear water.

Ceramics come in many different forms as do plastics. You can use bricks chips, lava rock, fired clay balls (used in hydroponics) etc. I have seen bamboo used as a media successfully. Preformed ceramic rings come from the Siporax used in aquarium filters. (used those on my old pond for a number of years). With plastic you can use anything or you can purchase expensive preformed plastic.

The bottom line is that the bacteria we grow in our filters form biofilms and these adhere to anything.

Wayne you always rise interesting points of discussion – thank you.

Chris

P.S. is it bakie shower or bakki shower?
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wayneb

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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeTue Feb 02, 2010 9:17 am

Uncle Chris and wayne is debating again. Very Happy

Quote :
Let’s back track a moment. The only difference between a baki shower and a trickle filter is that a bakki shower has more than one level. A trickle filter basically has one level of media.
Quote :
In order to increase the “cycle” of water through a bakki shower/trickle filter you can only do this by increasing the capacity of your glass or your pump.
Quote :
The ultra zap filter is not a trickle filter if it is closed. It becomes another pressurised filter and must be categorised under that heading
Quote :
Back to the Ultra Zap filter – if you want it as a trickle filter you need to open the outlet at the bottom and restrict the amount of water flowing into it (from the top) for the media to remain open or not submerged. Then it will become a trickle filter.

The previouse statement is exactly my point that it can be used as a trickle tower if its implemented like it by reducing the water flow through it but to be fair Ultra zap does not market it as one so i was wrong of me to bring it up.

Quote :
One question - how did the media used by the experts on koi-bito process the solids? The organics I can understand, but the solids? These have to be trapped and removed from the system to get clear water.

Quote :
I simple cannot agree with this. Are these guys saying that you can run a pond without any mechanical filtration what-so-ever. I can understand the bacteria in the filters consuming the organics but where will the dust and sand etc end up? I must contact Mike at Yume koi about this.

That is a very good question and to be honest i cant answer that, I can just refer you to what i read and to what is being advertised. The owners of these "bakki showers" reported themselfs that the media suddenly changed from black to white after 3 weeks as "bacteria" started to eat it.

Before you say "Media hyp" or "False advertising" I assume it must work as the real "bakki shower" is marketed like that otherwise people in the very high end of the hobby will be very upset...and if you look at the concrete pond of Momotaro you will only see "bakki showers" no mechanical filtration anywhere. I do however have some doubt to how the "bakki shower" will be able to prcess all the leaves and twiggs that fall into my pond from the brazillian pepper that gorws next to and over my pond.

http://www.makc.com/bakki.pdf wrote:
Q: I am concerned that putting fish waste over the showers will discolour the water.Will this happen?
A: No. Many filter media, even submerged, will turn the water slightly brown. A properly designed Bakki Shower pond will result in water that is remarkably 'color-free',and 'fresh'.

Q: How does a Bakki Shower differ from a trickle filter?
A: A Bakki Shower isn't just a trickle filter. It is a complete 'stand-alone' filtration system that deals with the entire biological and mechanical filtration process, including nitrates, and fine water polishing. In a properly designed pond, there is no need for any other filtration, or settlement.

Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Bakkishower_backdrop
Look at the crystal clear water.


Quote :
The guys selling Kaldness can’t be too happy with the fact that ceramic matured much faster! Media in a filter system is another whole debate on its own. It makes one wonder if using natural things like ceramics, stone, etc are not better than plastic. I

You are missing the application of the media....it is going to be a bit difficult making stones boyant. I am 100% sure that natural stone is better for bacteria and that it grows faster on it BUT It is the actual fluadised bed of the kaldness that outperforms static media like stones and bricks. Remember a few weeks ago we debated the use of medias? It was the aspect of cleaning that makes the Kaldness a better product for me.


Quote :
“Something i should also point out is that not every "bakkie shower" is a "bakki shower". The true bakki shower refers to a 3/4 stailess steel tray system marketed by Momotaro with a specific media (Bakki house media) inside. We koi keepers use the word in general but it does not refer to the same system. To mimic a "bakki shower" people use simular 3/4 stainless steel trays with a no-name ceramic media to achieve the same result.


Quote :
I have to disagree. The key to understanding koi pond filtration is not to get locked into any particular commercial design.
Quote :
P.S. is it bakie shower or bakki shower?

Chris, i might be wrong but i dont think there is no such thing as a bakie shower. The word bakie or bakkie is afrikaans and that is why we South Africans misuse the word and get it confused with "bakki shower". In the rest of the world if you say "bakki shower" you refer to a specific filter system with a specific media inside, the same as when i say "Nexus".

The correct word for the method of filtratoin seems to be just "shower" or a "fluidised bed with kaldness media" if you want to mimic the nexus.




I also like our little debates, you have a 20+ year advantage over me. Shocked So with all your experience you can say 'Hey this is not something new, its 15years old design with a new name'. But please give proof of this if something like this happens.

Something like that has happened lately on koi-bito where Mr Waddy has rebranded a racecourse filter as the ERIC and is selling it as the end all of all filter but luckily the older members on the forum is not that easily fooled and recongnised the 20 year old filter that Mr. Waddy was selling in 1985 which he has now given a new name. The newer koi hobbists are so impressed with the new filter but the older members say, nah that things has its problems, been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

I do try and read alot regarding every koi topic and i wont sommer write or try and debate something it if i have not done some reading about the topic. If you dont mind me saying; I think the longer one has been in the hobby the more difficult it gets to keep an open mind aswell that there might be newer ideas and devices out there that work. I forone is sold on the kaldness media and the moving bed concept....its going to be tough for me to accept that something else is better and easier.

Something intresting...after writing this repley i seem to have been banned from www.yumekoi.co.uk! Shocked I guess its a coincidence only.

Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Yumekoi_Banned
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wayneb

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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 7:58 pm

Quote :
I can understand the bacteria in the filters consuming the organics but where will the dust and sand etc end up? I must contact Mike at Yume koi about this.

Any feedback on this yet chris?
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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 9:04 pm

Wayne.
Thanks I atarted this whole discussion with my "dirty sandfilter" and I can only but agree, yes sandfilters will clean your pond excellently but to a point and with severe maintenance and cost.
I added one in November and that was a mistake. I would have done better adding one more vortex (i have three) but my flow rate is just a bit slow. After this whole debate I am going to change mt mechanical setup to 4 Vortexes and instead of the 2 x .75Kw pumps, I will try a 1.1Kw and see how that will do. Will let you all know.
Yes I was at Pieter's place and his setup is unreal but he has "in my opinion" installed so many sand filters that they dont clogg up as easily as mine.
For the short term solution I will replace my sand tomorrow as I just cannot get it clean anymore.
Thank you all for your input on this I think it gave some of us a lot of valuable food for thought.
Many thanks will start a new topic soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 9:07 pm

Hi Neville, wrong topic Wink but thanks. You are looking for Dirty sand filter I will answer you under that topic.

I would still like chris to give us some feed back from mike snaden as i am intrested to know how it all works.
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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeWed Feb 10, 2010 9:37 pm

Hi Neville
With 3 vortex drums, one could use an SF as a polishing filter, you will then be able to use a smaller pump. I prefer to create more than one line and therefore more smaller pumps. There is lots of keepers using vortex chambers very successful in Cape Town.
Maybe you should consider opening a new post providing all your pond vitals in detail and get a keeper like Drikus to comment. If I am not mistaken he has x 3 suction lines and using 5 or 6 vortex drums with Easy x 2. I promise you although the pond is only 6months old the water quality is superb.
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PostSubject: Re: Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought   Koi Pond Filtration - Food for Thought Icon_minitimeThu Feb 11, 2010 9:13 am

Thanks Bobby I will do that. I will take some pictures and place it in a new topic shortly.
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