Filters And Skimmer Systems

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FILTRATION

The ultimate goal for a water gardener is a clear, clean pond. Clearwater is only part of the falters job. Toxic chemicals that are invisible, but harmful to fish can be present. A good filter system will remove solid particles and algae, but it also controls these toxic chemicals produced by the fish in waste matter. The nitrogen cycle of your pond converts this debris into harmful ammonia and nitrite. Your filter system provides filter media to collect debris and provide a cozy home for the good bacteria to enhance the filtering process.

WHAT SIZE FILTER?

The pond’s filter is usually figured on the volume or gallonage of your pond. There are a few other factors to take into consideration. These would include plant types and quantity, number of aquatic life and how often they are feed.
In comparison, a pool filter are much smaller, as they are not filtering the organic waste matter. So, as you can see, the filter system for a pond is larger and must do a lot more than one designed for a pool.

DO THE MATH!
You just thought you were out of school! It’s time to teach you how to figure your pond’s volume which will tell you which size filter system you will need to do the job.
For most ponds you can use this formula:
LENGTH X WIDTH X DEPTH X 7.48=G.P.C.F. or gallons per cubic foot.
For a round pond use this formula:
R2 X 3.14 X DEPTH X 7.48=G.P.C.F. or gallons per cubic foot. Confused? Convert all measurements into feet, multiply the radius (which is half the diameter) by itself, and then multiply that by 3.14. Multiply that figure by the average depth to determine the pond’s volume in cubic feet.
Finally multiply the volume by 7.48 to determine the number of gallons in the pond.
Oh yes, if you have an attached holding pond, waterfalls or a stream, be sure to add that volume also.
You want to be sure that your filter is a little oversized in most cases. Better safe than sorry. Example: Let. s say your pond volume is 1895 gallons. You would think a filter system for a 2000 gallon pond would be adequate, right? Well not necessarily. There are many factors that enter into the equation like total hours of sunlight, bio-load, plant coverage and others. You don. t need a degree to figure it out, but in this scenario, we would advise you to go with a 3000 gallon system for sure. Ok, I hear someone saying, . You just want to sell me a larger filter system that costs more.. NO, that. s not what we are doing, we are offering you decades of experience in filtering systems, and we know what works. The sceptics always go with the smaller filter and guess who calls back wanting to know if they can exchange it for a larger model. Yep! You guessed it! ;+)

TAKE THE LOW ROAD!

Next, we need to discuss the low-pressure bio-filter system. That’s right there are the gravity-feed and the gravity return systems that rely on movement of water to collect the waste matter. Because these systems have slow-moving water, they are called low pressure.
A good rule of thumb with this filter system is to be sure the total volume of your water is filtered every hour. Hence, if your pond is 1000 gallons, you want a pump that will carry the water through your filter once per hour.
Some of our colleagues, however, do not agree. We can tell you that none of our customers have ever complained that their ponds were to clean. Move the water volume, it just makes sense.
Low-pressure bio-filters use filter media to trap particles that can be cleaned later by watching the filter media. This media comes in different forms but we recommend filter media bags and pad combination and the bags breed the good bacteria and the pads collect the bad and can be washed out occasionally.
A note here:
Don’t make the mistake of cleaning the bags of media all the time as you are defeating the purpose of them. This is where your “Good” bacteria culture and multiply. Usually, once or twice a season should suffice. Depending on the amount of debris collected on the filter pads, you may need to clean them every couple weeks, and sometimes more often.

YOUR OPTIONS

Please remember that every pond is different and many factors determine which is the best system to use. What works for one person may not work for another. That is why we stress getting educated and learn all you can so you can best determine what will work for you. Please remember we are here for you. If you have a question go to the Q & A page to see if it’s answered. If not e-mail us and we will be happy to help you out.
We feel that the old adage of “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” still rings true today!
So go on jump in…the water’s fine.

SKIMMER SYSTEMS

There are really two types of skimmer systems and both work the same and perform the same. Skimmers do what they say, skim the debris off the surface of the pond so it doesn’t end up at the bottom of the pond to decay and foul the water. It also feeds the bad algae so there is another reason to have one.

Type 1 is the thru the liner system, like the Pond Sweep Skimmers. This one is best installed during initial pond construction, but many have used them after the fact, just extra work. There are many options for the thru the liner systems like auto-fills that keep your pond filled, pump shut-offs and a lot more.

Type 2 is the in pond systems like the Pond Tech. Poor Man. s Skimmer System. This uses either your existing pump with an attachable skimmer kit or comes complete with it. s own pump. They are very inexpensive and work great.