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     Pond Q&A

-------------------
In this issue:
Pond Q&A - Pond Filtration
- Central Florida Koi Show
-------------------

Question>

First of all, let me thank you for all of the pond information you have made available over the years. It has been extremely useful.

Now to my problem. I am a novice "ponder" having only had a real pond for going on 4 years. Of course, as you have said many times, when you build your first pond, you wonder why you didn't make it larger. This is exactly my case.

My first pond was an 8' x 12' rectangular pond with skimmer, bio-filter, and waterfall. This was a wonderful addition to our back yard. I used a "kit" pond consisting of the skimmer, bio-filter (with lava rocks), pump (1200 gal), liner, etc., etc. This served as my "training" pond and was very successful. HOWEVER, as I mentioned above, one pond was not enough. A year later, I added an additional 12' x 16' pond at a lower level with small stream and waterfall connecting both ponds. I reconfigured the skimmer and bio-filter to pump water from the new location of the skimmer in the lower pond to the bio-filter in the upper pond.

I soon realized that my pump and filtration system was totally inadequate for the amount of water it was trying to process (approx. 4000 gals). All last year I struggled to keep my water clear knowing that I would soon need to upgrade my filtration system. Now, with spring approaching, I need to take a serious look at a new filtration system. We (the fish and I) have survived our South Dakota winters and it's sub-zero temperatures (-30) for 3 years and I would not want to loose them to an inadequate filter.

Now to my question? After looking at a number of different filter systems, I am still confused as to how I can adapt my existing "plumbing" to a new type of filter system. How do I connect (or bypass) my existing skimmer and bio-filter? I know I will need a new, higher volume pump. Should it be a replacement submersible, or external?

How do I winterize an external bio/bead filter? What are the power requirements of a bead filter and pump? Etc., etc., etc.

HELP!!!!!

Roger Solum
Watertown, SD

==

Answer

Hi Roger,

Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying our emails and information! We always like to hear that ;-)

On to your questions:

"I am a novice "ponder" having only had a real pond for going on 4 years"

This hardly makes you a 'novice' but there is always more to learn with ponds..

You are not alone, and are in good company by coming down with 'I want a BIGGER pond' fever.
Fortunately, there's nothing wrong with that (although it is incurable)...

Sounds like you were off to a good start, but your existing filtration system just couldn't handle the additional volume of the second pond additions, as you have noted.

Although part of the problem with 'lava rock' filters is that because these rocks are so porous, they eventually clog up and must be replaced. The beneficial bacteria that initially find refuge here will in time, be displaced by sludge...

For your new size pond, let me recommend (you guessed it...) an Aquabead filter. We really like these filters because they are easy to use, easy to clean, and very low maintenance. They are also excellent biological and mechanical filters, providing crystal clear water.

Your best solution would be the Aquabead Plus 2.5 system, complete with an energy efficient external pump, high intensity UV sterilizer, and Aquabead filter with blower.

Here is some more information you might find useful:

Aquabead Filters:
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Aquabead/AQ/1.htm

Complete Systems
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Aquabead/AQ/2.htm

And some pictures of my pond using an Aquabead:
http://www.macarthurwatergardens.com/Aquabead/my-Aquabead.shtml

To answer your other questions, I prefer external pumps over submersible pumps in ponds this size. The reason is because external pumps are so much more energy efficient, and easy to maintain.

For example, a 4000 GPH submersible pump would generally run around 12-16 amps, whereas a comparably sized external pump would only run around 3-4 amps, a 75% reduction in energy usage. If you're in California where energy costs are sky-high, this will pay for itself in the first of usage alone..

Winterizing bead filters is easy, just open the winterizing drain plug and turn off you pump. The pump, UV, and blower are all regular 120V, and plug into regular outdoor outlets.

Any other questions, feel free to call.

Hope this helps,

Brett

Orlando Koi Show << Out of Office Update >>

By the time you receive this, we'll be up in Orlando at the biggest Koi show in the Southeastern states. (yes, this message was written a couple days ago).

Here is their website for more information about the show:
http://www.cfks.org/Main.htm

If you're in the area, stop by and see us at the show!

Happy Pondkeeping!

Brett Fogle

 
 
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