with Fuzzy Tech:
We do not know that you will find Fuzzy Tech
described in any book, but it is a throwback from fuzzy logic, which is in text books, and
is a very complicated mathematical theory which allows computers to function with seeming
reactive intelligence. We may have coined a phrase in using the term fuzzy tech, but fuzzy
tech it is the way in which we will describe the complicated fluid dynamics of water flow
in our closed filtration system in a way that most anyone will be able to understand.
Considering that Aquadyne has evidently redesigned and manufactured an existing technology
into an exceptionally functional system, there will be every attempt in the world for
other manufacturers to come up with some reason why we have failed, so that they can still
claim to have the "Best" system. So lets just take a step into the Fuzzy Tech
world of Aquadyne.
The most common comment that you will likely hear
"It looks like a sand filter"
We'll handle the obvious first. Cats are cats and
dogs are dogs, but an Aquadyne system is anything but a sand filter. We do use a specific
sand filter tank body and control head, but that is all. The tank is merely a platform
that we have used to make major modifications to create an entirely new end product. Much
the same way as auto makers use a common chassis to build many different cars. Although,
we are the only company nationwide who has filed a US Patent for using bead technology in
a sand body. But we did not stop there. We have specific rights reserved which protect our
central diffuser column which is the key component and reason for the success of the
Competitors who do not sell or have access to a
bead system will tell you that pressurized filters do not work because the water flows too
fast through the media to be called a biological filter, all in the name of selling you a
messy filter pad (and/or) brush filter system.
We have a ball with this one. This is a classic case
of seemingly very knowledgeable people having brain spasms. This one will take a bit
longer, but we promise that it will not be boring. We will assume for the purposes of
illustration that we are using a 3900 GPH pump on an Aquadyne 2.2 system, which has a 24
inch tank width. Imagine yourself in your backyard with half of Home D's plumbing
department at your fingertips. (At least that's the way it is at my house.) We will first
hook up our 3900 gph pump to a one inch pipe and turn it on. Look out!, because the water
will shoot about 15 feet into the air! You are putting out a lot of water at high
pressure, due to the restriction of the water flow into the 1 inch pipe. Consequently, due
to the friction created by pressure on the inside of the pipe, you have "friction
loss". (More on that later.) Now, lets put a 1 ½ inch pipe on the pump and turn it
on. What Happened? The water came out of the pipe under less pressure due to the increase
in pipe size. Consequently, the water now only shoots 6 feet into the air. Wow, the water
is slowing down! Are you getting it yet? Now lets put a 2 inch pipe on the pump. The water
shoots only 3 feet in the air. How about a 4 inch pipe. The water shoots only one foot
into the air. A 6 inch pipe only spills water out about 4 inches above the rim of the
pipe. Well, how about a 24 inch pipe. That is exactly what you are doing with the Aquadyne
2.2 bead filter system. You are pushing water through a 24 inch tank with the media evenly
spaced within the tanks full circumference. Sure, the water goes into and exits the tank
very fast, but once inside, it is forced to slow down, just by shear volume. the water
only speeds back up just a fraction of a second before it leaves the discharge port of the
control head. If a 24 inch pipe were in the open air supplied by a 3900 gph pump, the
water would only fall over the edge of the tank , without shooting anywhere. Just how slow
do they seem to think the water needs to go? The Aquadyne system is more accurately
described as a closed system rather than a pressurized system, because powered by the
suggested 2 speed pumps, you will not even get a pressure reading on the gage in the
filter cycle. The flow rate inside the entire vertical column of the Aquadyne is just as
slow if not slower than any other high volume filter on the market. They will just not
tell you the truth, because they themselves do not know or won't face the truth.
As for the bead systems not being a biological
filtration system, is is very odd that several renowned major Universities in the United
States have conducted research on Bead Filtration Systems and the data shows that Bead
Filtration is far superior to common pad, mat, or filamentuous fiber filter medias at
consuming all forms of waste products such as Ammonia and Nitrite, even at excessive and
sometimes double loading of aquaculture environments. We actually have a major Koi dealer
here in the State Of Georgia that will still look you in the eye and tell you that they
are lying. I wonder why? :)
How do you like fuzzy tech so far?
Keep in mind the illustration of the water flowing
so slowly through the 24" pipe and we will take you a step further and explain why
sand filters, and lava rock, or gravel filled sand filters are not good alternatives for
pond environments, and sooner or later anyone who installs one will tell you the same.
First of all, the conventional format of a sand filter is a down flow system, meaning that
the water comes in from the top and flows to the bottom of the tank for filtration. This
is the way that gravity works also. Therefore it is only natural for all of the dirt and
debris to fall, by gravity and water flow, into the media bed. But, the drawback is that
gravity keeps it there, allowing the dirt and sludge to accumulate in the bottom of the
tank. Remember the fuzzy tech illustration where the water flow through the 24" pipe
just ran over the edge even though 3900 gph of water was forcing its way up? Well, with
such a slow vertical movement of water, how much heavy dirt and debris do you think will
get washed out of the media on the bottom of the tank? Sure, you will get dirty water out
of the tank on a back wash, but it is only the very fine material that is light enough to
be caught up in the slow moving 24" column of water. The rest of the sludge remains
held in the tank by gravity and continues to accumulate clogging the areas between the
heavy media. Consequently, eventually you will have to physically open the filter and
break up the media almost every time you backwash. Especially once the beneficial bacteria
cycles on the media, which causes an even further sticking together of dirt and debris.
This is what is called channeling. Only very small areas of the filter remain unclogged
during a backwash, that usually re-clog very shortly after restarting the filter. Most
importantly, the clogging of the media causes dead areas which are subject to creating
Hydrogen Sulfide which is lethal to fish and the result of the decomposition of septic
waste products. Hydrogen Sulfide has a rotten egg smell, and is very distinguishable from
the normal odor of a healthy backwash. A healthy backwash will be quite pungent, but it
will have a slightly sweet smell.
On the other hand, through redesign of a proven
technology, Aquadyne reverses the water flow of the original product and creates an up-flow
filter through the use of our patented central diffuser column and a positively buoyant
(floating) bead media, and overcome the problems associated with older filter designs. By
using up-flow, the media is in the top of the filter rather than in the bottom. Water is
first released into the bottom of the filter, and allowed to flow up through the media
against gravity. Gravity holds the heavier solid waste in the sediment settling area in
the bottom of the filter tank for instant removal once the sludge drain valve is actuated.
This design further keeps the filter from clogging because the bulk of the waste never
gets caught in the media at all. Only the finer particulate waste produced by the pond
environment gets caught up in the media itself. From a mechanical standpoint the greatest
feature of our inverted media design is that when you backwash the force of the water
pressure unloads the compacted state of the beads and opens the free spaces between the
media to release the trapped fine sediment particles. But unlike conventional down flow
filters, gravity works in our favor by allowing all of the sediment to fall by gravity
into the settling area of the tank to be discharged to the waste line by either the
backwash waste or the sludge drain. By using the inverted media, and locating a sludge
drain in the bottom of all our filter models, gravity does not have an opportunity to
cause any sludge or other waste to be held inside. As a bonus, the Aquadyne offers as part
of its control head, a complete rinse cycle. No other bead filter on the market today
offers this function as an integrated standard feature. By using the RINSE cycle, you will
rinse all of the micro-fine particles from the top of the bead media as it compacts itself
back into its normal filter state. Most other bead type systems dump a "brown dirt
cloud" back into the pond after their so called "cleaning" cycle, which the
filter is supposed to take back out of the water in a few hours. Wait a minute, the dirt
cloud is going where? Right back into the filter! Remember, sludge (fish waste) and debris
is a breeding ground for pond parasites, especially when the debris builds up for extended
periods of time, bad forms of bacteria begin to form such as Pseodomonads, as well as
fungi such as Branchiomyces, both of which can be lethal. And unlike brush and pad type
filters, the Aquadyne system removes all waste from the filter each time you backwash.
With pad and brush type filters, the sludge is held in the brushes and pads for long
periods of time unless you muck around and clean your pads constantly, which is what most
people want to avoid in the first place.
Questions Most Asked
Over the past year we have been asked a set of
questions that seem to be repeating themselves, so we thought that we would answer them
for you ahead of time. So here they are in advance, with answers that you can sink your
Q: We have a pond that seems to do well, except
that we have to constantly get in the pond and clean the filter pads. It's messy, takes
too long, has to be done at least three times a week, and is the one thing that we hate
about our pond.
A: The Aquadyne system came into existence because
it's designer was tired of the same chore. The Aquadyne's designer first purchased a
Bubble Bead filter system, and it worked so well that he became a dealer for bubble bead.
Soon after, the Bubble Bead clogged, and boy what a nightmare to unclog! The first
reaction was, man, what will ever happen if all those people we sold a bubble bead system
to start having the same problem. Well, never admit the obvious out loud, because ever
since the development of the Aquadyne to solve the pesky clogging of the Bubble Bead
systems, KCA, out of ethical obligation to our customers, offered to replaced every one of
the bubble bead filters with an Aquadyne system at no net cost to the customer. (Do you
know anyone who wants an old bubble bead filter for a quarantine tank, "really
cheap", because that is all the smaller systems are good for. We have all those trade
ins that I can't hardly give away.)
Q: We have clear water, but the fish swimming
around the bottom, keep sediment particles floating around in the pond which cloud the
water and never seem to go away.
A: One of the wonderful benefits of the Aquadyne
systems is that they will remove all of those micro-fine particles from your pond water.
After your Aquadyne filter cycles (when the beneficial bacteria is established), the
bacteria creates a thin bacterial colony on each and every one of the thousands of beads.
This bacteria is Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacteria, which consumes the Ammonia and Nitrite
waste that your fish produce, These bacteria also serve another purpose as well. If you
have ever seen a Sea Anemone, they have small finger like fronds that extend out to grab
particles of food from the ocean. In much the same way by comparison, the bacteria will
trap the very fine particles that are floating around in your pond and cause the particles
to stick to the bacteria coated beads, where it stays until you backwash it off..
Q: How often do you have to clean the Aquadyne
A: The Aquadyne system should typically be
backwashed about once per week. If you have a heavy fish load in your pond, you may need
to backwash twice weekly. Either way, the typical backwash cycle takes less than five
minutes, and you never get your hands wet.
Q: Can you over backwash the Aquadyne system?
A: Yes you can. The
Aquadyne system needs to be
backwashed as little as possible for it to function properly, yet you don't want to wait
weeks between washings. If you backwash the system too often, you can cause excessive
damage to the bacterial colonies that are growing on the beads. During a backwash the
beads rub together as they release the dirt and debris that they have trapped on their
surfaces. If you backwash too often, the dirt and debris will not have a chance to thicken
on the beads surface for optimal filtering. Also, if the filter is left in the backwash
position for longer than is necessary to discharge the waste products, the rolling of the
beads that is going on inside the filter can actually kill or severely stunt the bacteria's
effectiveness to consume waste for a short time. If you need to drain your pond for any
reason, do so with the control handle in the WASTE position. This will drain your pond to
the intake level of your pump or foot valve, without passing the water through the filter
Q: What happens if you do not backwash the
Aquadyne system for up to a month?
A: Due to the design and size of the Central
Diffuser Column, it is virtually impossible for the filter to get so clogged that the
water flow would stop. If the filter system did clog and the media was completely full of
debris, the water would sideslip the central diffuser column and exit the filter,
bypassing the clogged media and avoiding pump damage. All other bead systems on the market
use small transfer and diffuser tubes inside their bodies, which number one, cause flow
restrictions (whether they admit it or not), (remember the fuzzy logic of friction loss in
small piping). The central diffuser column in the Aquadyne is a whopping 6 inches, with no
restricting elbows of any kind in the filter chamber. And number two, many of the other
systems have a maximum operating pressure of only 15 PSI. What good is that if your filter
clogs. Even most weenie pumps that would operate a bead system can pump over 15 PSI. The
result is that you will blow the spin welded fittings out of the ends of other
polyethylene filters. All models of our Aquadyne systems have a whopping 50 PSI pressure
rating from the factory and no "spin welded" fixtures. Even our Sludge Valve
bulkhead is schedule 80 PVC (overkill!) By example of pressure, the flow restriction of
the Aquadyne system is so low that you would have to use a pump of several horsepower to
attain anything close to 50 PSI. If your filter runs for a month without a backwash, you
can with every confidence, perform an advanced backwash to dislodge and discharge the
debris. Only in the case of a severe clog would you have to spend 15 minutes to remove the
control head, stir the beads through the generous 6" opening, reattach the control
head, and backwash.
Q: Do you ever have to replace the bead media
inside an Aquadyne system?
A: No, Under the normal use for which the Aquadyne
system is intended, the beads will last a lifetime. They are made of a very strong
polyethylene material which will not break down.
On occasion, you may notice that you loose a few
beads through the sludge drain, but you would have to loose several pounds of beads before
the systems performance even started to weaken. If for any reason you loose a significant
amount of beads, they are quite cheap to replace.
Q: How much power does the system use?
A: None, the Aquadyne system is totally passive in
its functions. The only power that you will use is the power that it takes to run your
pump which you would have running regardless.
Q: We turn off our pump in the winter. Does this
affect the Aquadyne system?
A: Yes and No. If you turn off your pump for the
winter, you will need to winterize the filter and pump (if external). First you will give
the filter a good backwashing. Then you will drain the filter body and control head by
placing the control handle between any two functions and removing the winterize cap from
the bottom of the filter tank, allowing all of the water to drain. If you leave the water
in the filter, the filter may freeze solid and burst the tank.
Q: Will the beneficial bacteria die in our filter
if we turn the system off?
A: Some of the bacteria will die off if the filter
is left to sit without circulation after a few weeks, because there is no food in the form
of waste coming through the filter to make them thrive. But, even if drained, enough of
the bacteria will survive to re-seed and jump start the filter the following season.
Always perform a backwash and rinse cycle after the filter has been sitting idle, even for
a few days. This will clear any septic waste that has formed while the filter was off.
Q: If we medicate our pond, and use the
RE-CIRCULATE mode to bypass the filter, will the medicine not kill the bacteria in the
filter, once we return the filter to the regular filter position?
A: Most medications biodegrade or evaporate at
different rates during and after treatments. Depending on the medication used, it is
always advisable to make at least a 50% water change after a medical treatment. If it is
not cost prohibitive, due to having to replace thousands of gallons of water, a 80% water
change is ideal. A 50 to 80% water change will greatly reduce any hazardous effect that a
medication might have on your filter, with few exceptions. Even if your filter is exposed
to most medications, it will only suffer a temporary slump for a couple of days.
Beneficial bacteria reproduces by the billions per day, and it doesn't take long to
re-establish a healthy colony.
Q: It seems that it would take quite a bit of
water to backwash the filter.
A: We love this question! Not that we are going to
tell you that it only takes a tea cup full. But rather to illustrate the all important
water change that most people never provide for their fish. By appropriate measure, each
different size of Aquadyne filter requires different amounts of water to perform a
cleaning cycle. We will first say that each system requires less water to backwash than
you should already be draining to give your fish a fresh drink. To put it simply, you
should always change at least 10% of your pond water each week, filter or no filter. Fresh
water is loaded with minerals and elements that are critical for your fishes physical
health. By comparison, we too need the minerals and elements that are in water, so that
our bodies can remain healthy and nourished. If you do not perform periodic water changes
the fish will absorb all of the available minerals and there will be none left to continue
supplementing their health. Remember how our bodies need calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc,
etc. Fish are no different. Typically, you will only loose an inch or two of water from
your during a backwash cycle. That will likely represent only a 5% water change, so it
will not hurt to be a little generous and use a little extra water during a backwash, your
fish will appreciate it.
Thank you for your indulgence, as we are quite aware
that we have taken up more than a few minutes of your time in reading about our "Life
Support Systems" for ponds. Hopefully you can at least appreciate how important
filtration really is, and that if a truly great system is within your budget, you should
at least get what you pay for, and also that just any filter will not do. We cringe at
what we see being sold to consumers on the market today, all in the name of "We have
the best filter that you can buy". That is why you will never see that statement in
any of our advertising or promotions.
Even if you choose not to purchase an Aquadyne
filter at this time, This literature is packed full of information and concepts that are
vital to the success of a healthy pond. Koi Camp Aquariology is a people company and not
focused just on the bottom line. We strive to be concerned for your success in pond
keeping. We are here, and available daily to prove it. Remember, we have stood in your
shoes and scratched our head much as you are doing now, wondering which way to go next. If
you think that we may be able to help you, do not hesitate to drop us a line.