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Knowdafish

DIY Koi Pond Filter

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Knowdafish

1) One thing I must say though..Is that thing really a fish pond or a birthday cake? 2) Or what?

3) What is that strange figure on top?? 

 

1) I agree. Thankfully the colors have faded and are now toned down a bit but now they want to repaint it.   :notallthere:

 It is supposed to resemble a lotus plant and I think the bottom basin does resemble one.  

2) Get's my vote

3) Taoist Chinese "god"It's made from solid granite and was imported from China at considerable expense

 

I was given most of the pics (100+) of the fountains building process and it took a decent sized crane to get that statue up there

 

post-14759-0-82386300-1407686242_thumb.jpg

Edited by Knowdafish
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Knowdafish

The filter build is almost complete and now the testing and fine tuning phase begins. Pics and details to follow.  

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Knowdafish

Rain, rain, go away. Please come back some other day!

 

post-14759-0-34487000-1412424692_thumb.jpg

 

I worked under a tarp all day today while working on the system and washing gravel for the sand filter. I added a connection to the system to hook up a pool vac that we borrowed. It works great at vacuuming the pond bottom and pumping the debris to the river. The locals think the pond must be a wishing well though as we keep sucking up coins while vacuuming the pond! 

 

The latest addition is 8 large pots to root water hyacinths and lotus plants in. They will be setting on CHBs (concrete hollow blocks) around the circular center every 45 degrees or so. The way the middle basin is tapered they will sit under it and miss the overflow from it by a few inches. They should make a cool addition. 

Edited by Knowdafish

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Knowdafish

The latest is that we have begun (finally!) to add the 8 pots. The quality of the concrete hollow blocks we have are questionable so we epoxied (Pioneer 2-part, "no-sag", epoxy) 2 concrete pavers sitting upright to both sides of each supporting hollow block. They form an "H" and it is what each large pot will sit on. There will be 4 pots with rooted water hyacinths and 4 pots with rooted lotus plants. All will add much needed shading to the pond to help reduce algae growth while at the same time reducing nitrates. 

 

 

The barrel filters "work", but it has been difficult to fine tune the flow to match the pump. #1 eventually overflows while #4 gets sucked dry. If I was to do this over I would use much larger PVC pipe, such as 4", for the gravity feed part of the piping. We haven't given up, but the flow rate through the system (by gravity) to the pump leaves much to be desired at this point. 

 

The pond bowls (both upper) and the lower basin have all been vacuumed clean using a pool vac hose and head. We implemented a quick connect in the piping for a pool vac hose that we obtained locally. 

 

More to follow, including much needed pics. Stay tuned.......

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fred42

Sounds like it might be easier just to fit that 4" pipe from 2 to 3 and be done with it.. 

Another thing Ive found is filter media can block the flow rate tremendously.. I had to place a large plastic sieve over the chamber outlets to improve the flow..

That worked for me at least. 

My sumps submersible pump has a float valve attached so if ever the flow rate slows,the pump goes off automatically until the float valve returns to the correct level.

Edited by fred42

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Knowdafish

Sounds like it might be easier just to fit that 4" pipe from 2 to 3 and be done with it.. 

Another thing Ive found is filter media can block the flow rate tremendously.. I had to place a large plastic sieve over the chamber outlets to improve the flow..

That worked for me at least. 

My sumps submersible pump has a float valve attached so if ever the flow rate slows,the pump goes off automatically until the float valve returns to the correct level.

 

Thanks for the input. Fitting 4" pipe from 1-2, 2-3, and 3-4 would help except...... the drain line from the pond is only 2" (O.D.) so the design is basically screwed with a few exceptions. 

 

There are two pumps two work with:

 

1) 1/4 H.P

2) 3/4 H.P.

 

With 2 separate lines of 2" O.D. (1-1/2" I.D.) the 3/4 H.P. eventually sucks #4 dry before the rest can catch up. I haven't tried the 1/4 H.P. yet, but will likely have the pond full enough (again) to the point where I can try it. 

 

We did put a float valve wired to both pumps to keep them from running dry and it is in #4. It is one of the reasons for #4 barrel along with using it as a reserve of water if things "uphill" get too slow. 

 

I think I might be able to throttle the 3/4 H.P. by either slowing the water down a bit with valving or create a bypass line that allows some of the water to bypass the filter drums (which I don't want to do).

 

The other option is to use the 1/4 H.P. for the filter and the 3/4 H.P. to run the fountain. Both can't run at the same time though. 

 

My partner on the project (who is affiliated with the church and has the $$$) doesn't want to give up on our design, but if need be will go with a swimming pool/pond sand filter which we can obtain locally. It will work, as it is designed to suck directly from the pond (not gravity fed like the drums) and pump back to the pond. 

 

Our design was an attempt to save $ and be lower maintenance than a sand filter (frequent back-flushing of a sand filter is needed) as our design incorporates two pre-filters before the our sand filter to reduce back-flushing. 

 

"The never-ending-project" continues.....   :wheel:

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fred42

It seems that your inlet is far too small for your pump output!!

Why not increase the size and have too much water going to #4 which overflows  back to the pond?

Is the pump drying up with or without media?

I wouldn't worry about it too much...There is always a solution to these problems I have found..

Still annoying though!

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Knowdafish

 

 

It seems that your inlet is far too small for your pump output!!

 

You got that right, but only if it is a gravity flow system (the drum filters) and not a "suck through" system as before (no filter - just a quick return to the pond and fountain). It seems as though water gets sucked quite efficiently through the limited 2" piping, but does not gravity drain through the same size pipe fast enough. 

 

The problem is the pond has a fixed in cemented outlet that provides the flow. If it was my pond that would be remedied, but as it stands now the powers that be do not have the will to enlarge it and cannot fathom how a 2" (O.D.) pipe was "working fine before" and not now.  :notallthere:

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fred42

Sorry..I just reread..

A 2" inlet eh!! Ouch..

Hopefully the smaller pump will not drain #4!

Of course then you have a problem with flow rates to run the bio filter efficiently..

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Knowdafish

Latest update.....

 

We got the system going as is with some fine tuning (throttling) the input valve to the 1/2 H.P. pump. The best flow to drum #1 is 7 gallons a minute or so and the best flow to drum #4 is 4 gallons a minute, so.....the system is running with a reduced flow rate of 240 gallons per hour. The water is clear of sediment and smells MUCH better due to the filtration and aeration that we have added. The filter/pump combo only runs 8-10 hours a day to save on electricity, but after a week of running it in this fashion it doesn't seem to hurt the bio-filter (sand filter) at all.

 

We have added 8 large terra-cotta pots to the pond that are raised up off the bottom with concrete hollow blocks and pavers. They will house water hyacinths and water lilies. The pond did reasonably well before the filter was added when its surface was covered with water lettuce and water hyacinth, but you couldn't see any of the koi.

 

The plants will now be contained in 2 foot diameter floating hoops made from 1/2" (I.D.) plastic water line that will be anchored over each pot (kind of like floating hula hoops).This will keep the plants from drifting all over the pond and keep them in the center. This will allow for better viewing of the fish. 

 

Side notes:

 

1) The water in the pond is still green but not as bad as before. Hopefully the addition of the plants will allow them to out-compete the algae for nutrients and clear up the water further. If not we will add a U.V. sterilizer (yes, they are available in the Philippines!  :shocked: )

 

2) How green is green? When I submerge my long arm up to the elbow in the water of the pond I can barely see my wriggling fingers on my hand. While tolerable and completely safe for the fish, clearer water would be better to view them. 

 

3) A friend, who is helping with the project and funding it, came up with a novel idea (per Google) that adding corn grits will reduce algae by absorbing excess phosphate in the water and starving the algae. :notallthere: The ratio is supposed to be 1 pound per 5000 gallons or so, so he added 4 mesh bags (women's nylon ankle-length stockings) that contain 1/2 kilo of corn grits. They have been in the pond for 5 days or so and the water is staying about the same tint of medium green, but that may be due to the cloudy days we have had for the last week or so and all the rain we have had. Time will tell. Supposedly the corn grit treatment takes a month or so to do its "thing". I have my doubts but time will tell. There's always U.V. .......

 

4) The 15 "adult" 8-10" koi are doing very well in the pond and breeding. There are a dozen or so baby koi that are obviously from the same gene pool as the adults in the pond. They are approaching 1-1.5 inches and there is a second batch also that are about .75 inches long. Supposedly koi do not breed at this size or this age (less than 2 years old)  :scratch_head: , but like a lot of the info found on the internet, it is not true. 

 

:animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:

 

Pics (hopefully) and further updates to follow.

 

Stay tuned......

Edited by Knowdafish
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Paul

 

 

Pics (hopefully) and further updates to follow.

 

Definitely post photos! 

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Bonjon

DIY Koi Pond Filter

 

I thought that was a local boy with a fine mesh net. 

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Knowdafish

My associate broke the one phone we have been using for pictures. Hopefully he will buy another one as the one he broke is not worth fixing.

 

We installed a UV sterilizer to combat the algae problem. It is rated at 40 watts @ 220 volts and is of decent quality, but it is limited in that it only has a 1-1/2" inlet and two 1-1/2" outlets. It is also rated for a max design pressure of .3 bar, which is very low. Supposedly the weak point is the quartz sleeve that surrounds the u.v. tube. The unit was procured from a vendor that sells them on Luzon. It took 2 days to show up via LBC, which wasn't bad at all. 

 

Because of the limited pressure we can only use the 1/2 H.P. pump we have been using and not the 3/4 H.P. pump that runs the fountain. We had problems with the install as it is because of the short barbed fittings that came with the unit. The 1-1/2" reinforced vinyl hose we used kept blowing off. After double clamping everything with good quality stainless steel hose clamps they seem to be holding well now. 

 

The 1/2 H.P. pump impeller has been cavitating and inducing an extraordinary amount of air into the system. The air was ending up in the U.V. sterilizer limiting its effectiveness and also slowing the whole system down. Our system has many redundancies built in which allows water to be directed to where it is needed, slowed down, or even allow it to bypass the filter altogether. One of the bypass lines has a valve that we have slightly opened to burp the air out of the system with no ill effects to flow or efficiency. The air and a small trickle of water ends up in drum #1, so any water that goes this route gets filtered again. 

 

There is one "safety" in place should a hose blow off, break, or another large leak show up -  drum #4 has a float switch that will turn the pump off in case that drum runs low, which would eventually happen if a hose blew off, ruptured, or any other major leak occurred. 

 

The pond is getting slowly clearer by the day and will hopefully be free from all green water in a week or so. If the U.V. filter could handle a faster flow and greater pressure the time frame could be dramatically reduced, but it is what it is and we are working with what's available and what we have. 

 

We removed the mesh bags containing corn grits/meal today (see post #55 above about the corn grits/meal) as they are only 1/2 full now. We can't figure out where the corn meal went though as there are no holes in the bags and corn meal should not just dissolve or disappear! The jury is still out as to whether the corn meal did any good to reduce algae growth. I think the cloudy weather we have had for the last 3 weeks or so; adding a few plants to the pond; increasing the time the pond is filtered; changing 100 gallons or so water a week; and installing a U.V. sterilizer have all done more than adding a 1/2 kilo of corn meal! 

 

We back-flushed the sand filter and after running the filter for a little over a month - man was it dirty! As a side note the sand filter has been working extremely well. It's beneficial bacteria have really done the trick of reducing any and all bad odors that the pond had. The water now usually either has no odor at all or a slightly "earthy" smell and the level of fine particulate matter in the water has been greatly reduced. 

 

Drums #1 and #2 have been doing a great job or settling out sediment and fish waste and each had 1" ++ of muck in the bottom. It was easy to drain them as there is a bottom drain in each. We used the pump to drain each and pumped the wasted filled water to the PVC line that drains to the river. Alternatively, we have it set up where that water can be pumped through a garden hose and used to water and fertilize plants. We will do this next time we clean out the system and when we have more time. 

 

Either way the koi that are in the pond are doing extremely well and growing. The are extremely active and know when someone shows up to feed them. As like most koi, they almost beg for food constantly and are real pigs! The longest is pushing a foot in length. The babies we had previously discovered are almost 2" long now from the 1st batch and the younger ones are pushing an inch or so already. 

 

Stay tuned.....

 

:animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:

 

Next up is (hopefully!) Gin-clear water and getting all the pots and plants in the pond. 

Edited by Knowdafish
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Knowdafish

Water is clearer, but not "gin-clear". We can see the bottom now at 50 or so inches deep. 

 

We have been running the small filter with limited flow and the UV  filter for a couple weeks now and have had to back-flush the sand filter twice. We will be running the small pump at full flow along with the UV until early next week in order to kill off the remaining algae. After that we will go "swimming" and install the pots and plants after we thoroughly vacuum both upper bowls and the lower bowl and pump out 600 gallons of water or so. We have 100 gallons of rain water stored if needed, but the pond is actually overfull now so in all likelihood it won't be needed.

 

Hopefully we will be "almost" done after that.

 

As a side note we had 3 guys come (2 helpers and 1 mason) and put in 4 rows of CHB's around the 4 drums. The footing along with the vertical rebar was installed previously. We need one more course laid and then the outer face rendered. We will also have a steel gate fabricated and make a roof over the drums. 

 

Getting there, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y......

 

:animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:  :animal0028:

 

Stay tuned! 

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Paul

<cough> photos </cough> 

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