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Useful articles about ponds and water gardens.

Pond Filters

There are very significant differences between pond filters and pond bio filters and a basic understanding of the difference is important. After selecting correct pond pumps, the challenge of making pond water clean, clear and healthy is the most important aspect of selecting equipment for garden ponds or any water garden environment for that matter. Much of this challenge is accomplished by using the principles of biofiltration to build fish pond filters to suit the conditions.

In a swimming pool water is normally pumped through a sand filter. This filter does the job of removing solids and particles that remain suspended in the water, and if there is an automatic pool cleaner it also removes those solids that settle on the bottom. This is classical filtration namely the removal of solids from liquids.

However the filter in a swimming pool does not purify or clean the water. This job is done by the use of chlorine-based chemicals. In this way the water remains perfectly safe to swim in because the chlorine kills all the harmful bacteria and sanitises the water.
Consider what happens in garden ponds where no chlorine can be used to understand what fish pond filters must do. UV filters for ponds or UV pond filters are not bio filters - they are designed to kill algae in garden ponds. UV filters for water gardens are however essential ingredients to ensure crystal clear pond water.

Food is thrown into the water, some of which is eaten and the rest remains behind. That which is eaten by the fish is partly digested and partly expressed as a waste product, which sinks to the bottom garden ponds. The fish needs to urinate and this passes into the water also. Fish also express impurities (nitrogen based chemicals) from their system out of their gills. Fish pond filters as you can see are different and they require biomedia to work well.

Here is an ideal opportunity for pathogenic bacteria to develop and toxic chemicals to build up. This is exactly what happens, all day every day! The need for fish pond filters to purify the water in garden ponds can be seen to be essential.

If there were no means of purifying the water the fish would quickly poison themselves. Every kid has had a goldfish bowl and cried when a week or two later the goldfish suddenly died. The poor fish poisoned itself to death because there was no equivalent to fish pond filters in the bowl.

In nature all sorts of factors combine to keep natural waterways healthy - these do not have fish pond filters designed for them.

In a garden pond however things are different. There are too many fish for the volume of water, the fish are overfed, there are few natural surfaces and plants to help clarify and purify the water.

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