Home: KOI Talk: Pond Construction & Water Filtering System:
Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system



keithkoi
User

Dec 20, 2002, 8:54 AM


Views: 83396
Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Anyone out there with experience in this unique but simple mechanical filter system?
http://photos.yahoo.com/keithkan8

Read a lot of good reviews.
Is there a sole agent in S'pore or Malaysia for it?


(This post was edited by keithkoi on Dec 20, 2002, 9:24 AM)


cby
Novice

Dec 20, 2002, 10:51 AM


Views: 83319
Re: [keithkoi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi Keith,

I'm Boonyong, as koikichi as all these great guys in this forum, and also always facinated with technology. I am presently building my new house and was thus investigating filtration systems for the new pond.

I went to Singapore to look at The Answer and was so convinced by the product and the distributor that I decided to bring it to Malaysia, hopefully to help subsidise a bit my future koi purchases!

Back in August, my friend bought over a bungalow with 12 2ft koi and 26 1ft+ koi which he did not want so I bought them over. I put them in two 8*4ft fiberglass tanks, each with a pump feeding into a prime tank containing The Answer. The bio-filter is the standard 4*1*2ft ones that sit on top of the main tank, one with jap mat and oystershell and zeolite, and the other with K1 media instead of japmat.

Dr Tan and a few others in this forum visited in Sept but the water was green and I had been struggling with getting it consistently clear all this while till last couple of weeks. All the while that the water was green, ph was running at 7.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0.1, nitrate 5 (I'm suspecting the nitrate test is "off" given the low reading but still green water) and KH 20, GH 60. So the water was not so bad and because I was very busy with work, I couldn't do much tweeking to the system.

As you can imagine, the capacity of water relative to fish means that the tanks are really overstocked and I only got round to selling two of them. Sensing that I needed additional filtration capacity, I did add another barrel containing bioballs but that didn't help.

Getting fedup of the green water, I started to think what would be the best course of action. Seeing that the 24 smaller koi in the K1 media tank were more active, I decided first to get more K1 for all the bio chambers. When I had The Answer brought in, there wasn't enough K1 in stock so I made do with whatever was available.

Leaving at least one japmat at the bottom of the biofilter to "transfer" the bacteria, I repalced all the media with K1 and added heavy airation to the bio chambers. That was last Sunday and in 3 days, the water cleared with all the fish now highly active and increasingly fed to "make up" for the times when I had to feed very little in order to try clearing the water.

My conclusion is that the K1 definately has a much larger surface area for bacteria to grow than jap mat (quite clever the shape of it as you get exterior and interior surface of the volume!). Add to this efficient biological filtration The Answer for mechanical filtration, you have a system that really works very well.

Looking at the overstocked condition and the water measurements that I was experiencing even without the K1, I think The Answer must have helped to reduce the load in the bio stage substantially. Afterall, it is designed to let nothing larger than 100 microns through to the biostage.

In January, I will have the all in one Nexus unit which houses The Answer and K1 bio stage in a cylindrical tank that is around 1m in height and diameter; this unit can handle a pond capacity for up to 13 tons for our tropical climate. A smaller Answer can be fitted for pond up to 9 tons.

The set-up is in my house in Bangsar where you, or anyone in the forum is more than welcome to see it so you can understand it better. I am reachable at 012-2099030 and after Xmas would be a good time as I taking a few days off to look at my fish!Smile

Just for your info, The Answer comes in 3 sizes and the limiting factor is the flow rate that you need to consider, where the water turnover rate is recommended at once per hour.

Model 250 - 6 ton pond - 250 micron screen - RM3800

Model 325 - 10 ton pond - 150 micron screen - RM5000

Model 410 - 13 ton pond - 100 micron screen - RM6800

For larger ponds, any combination of additional Answers will need to be fitted to get a water turnover rate of once per hour.

If you need more information, please see www.evolutionaqua.com or give me a call.

Regards,

boonyong



keithkoi
User

Dec 20, 2002, 12:44 PM


Views: 83308
Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi boonyong,
Thanks for sharing the filter experience, will give you a tingle should I be in this part of the region.Wink
BTW is there a dealer in S'pore?

FYI, I'm in the midst of designing my new pond will need advice on pond bottom drain pipe sizing.

Question for all experts out there: For a 3 inch main pond bottom drain pipe to my gravity fed filters, what flowrate (mtr/sec) should I achieve in order to avoid debris settling in my pipes? And what pump flowrate? My pond size is 10ftx5ftx4ft.
Thanks in advance.


(This post was edited by keithkoi on Dec 20, 2002, 1:05 PM)


an148
Novice

Dec 20, 2002, 6:52 PM


Views: 83290
Re: [keithkoi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi Keith

I have just recently modified my filter system to the Answer + K1 media. I am now running 2 Answers which flows into the biological K1 media chamber which is about 180 litres and heavily aerated. Previously, I was running the Jap Mat system but that has now all been taken out. With The Answer, the Jap Mat is no longer a necessity. I feel that this is better as Jap Mats can get really really dirty and it also contributed to a Midge problem.

My system has been in place for about 2 months now, and the water is really much much improved. Its crystal clear, you can see right to the bottom drain. And my pond depth is 6.5ft, which says a lot about the improvement to the water condition. Still, at this point in time, my K1 media has not become 'brown' yet. It will eventually become brown when the system fully matures, so I think the water condition will probably be able to improve still.

However, I still have a yellow tinge to the water and the algae in my pond is quite a lot. This is in part contributed to the location of my pond which is exposed to sunlight. The DOC level of my pond should also be above average as there are white foams around the edges of the pond still. The Answer and K1 probably cannot address the issue of DOC in a pond, which is why I am in the process of installing a turbo cleaner to minimise the DOC level, which hopefully, will get rid of that yellow tinge.

The Answer and K1 media is a very good combination, I am one pretty satisfied customer. However, the cost of this 2 are not cheap. It is actually on the expensive side. There is a dealer in Singapore who I believe is the exclusive agent for the Answer and K1 media in Singapore. You can look for Max Koi for further information.

Alan


keithkoi
User

Dec 21, 2002, 7:16 PM


Views: 83267
Re: [an148] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Thanks Alan, will seriously consider the proposed option (Answer & K1 combo). If I finally settle on this option is there a possibility of seeing the Answer & K1 in action? I'm currently putting up in Bukit Timah and do travel a lot, need to plan my scheduleWink
As I'm still in the midst of designing my first above ground pond (no digging for now) and filter system will need to clarify a few more queries before plunging in ... hope you can helpSmile
1) What Bottom drain flow rate to prevent settling in the 3" pipe leading to the 1st settlement chamber.
2) Any experience on using pond liner over concrete or FG? Dealer in S'pore?
Thanks again!


an148
Novice

Dec 22, 2002, 11:49 AM


Views: 83252
Re: [keithkoi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Keith

I'm didnt use any pond liner for my pond so cant advise you on that. Plus, I'm not certain I can answer your first question either as I'm not quite a koi expert. But if you dont mind spending on your filter, then I would agree that the Answer and K1 system is the way to go.

Alan


dttk
Veteran

Dec 23, 2002, 4:54 AM


Views: 83237
Re: [keithkoi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi Keithkoi, there is no fixed answer to your question. The flow rate via the bottom drain to your filter will have to be such that the entire pond volume gets filtered once every 1-2 hours. This is assuming that the bottom drains are the only feeds to the filter, that is, no midwater feeds. If the waste settles in the horizontal piping, that is absolutely alright for as soon as you flush it, the waste collected in the piping will be carried into the dry sump. If the piping slopes towards the 1st chamber, the waste will probably roll down and settle there. Hope you understand what I mean. Smile
Always friendly :)


keithkoi
User

Dec 23, 2002, 5:28 AM


Views: 83233
Re: [dttk] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Thanks guys, appreciate you views and inputs, sure gave me the assurance that I'm at least heading the right way in my very first pond adventure.
I must also admit that I have been too caught up in the venture for the best pond hardware and know hows that I've lose sight of the fundamentals of koi keeping, is to enjoy the beauty and the company of healthy kois.
Then again to have healthy kois one must...how ironical it seems, that's what been keeping us going in this hobby!


(This post was edited by keithkoi on Dec 23, 2002, 5:58 AM)


patrick123
Veteran


Dec 23, 2002, 2:13 PM


Views: 83203
Re: [an148] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Dear All,

Sorry to sound like I'm singing an opposite tune and it is not like I'm completely disguised with The Answer and K1, but I have encountered numerous problems with this setup and I would like to share with all of you. May be you need to consider these fine points and then decide for yourself if it is the right setup for you.

I'm using 1 x "The Answer" model 410 and it is supposed to be able to handle up to 13,000L/hr. However, my design is such that there are two bottom drains going into a pump sump, and the water in the pump sump is pump fed to an overhead filter that consist of the answer (chamber 1), oyster shells and some bio rings/mat (chamber 2), K1 200Liters (chamber 3) and 2600xbio balls (chamber 4). The whole system is about 10 ton of water.

My problem is this:

1. The pump I’m using to pump the water to the overhead filter box runs at 13,000L/hr. However, the answer model 410 does not seems to be able to handle this flow rate. The water keep raising to a level that it automatically overflow to the next chamber (bypass the answer). This is a safety feature so that if the answer is clog, the water will still circulate through the filter. After talking to Max koi, they advised me to install a valve to regulate the flow, and I believe I’m only running at about 7000-8000L/hr now.

2. Even with that, the answer is always clog with algae….within a few days, the screen of the answer is so clog up that I have to either physically remove the algae, or have to flush the whole chamber and wash down the answer. Otherwise, the overflow kicks in again.

3. Eventually, I have to install a fish net at the input of the water from the pump to catch the string algae before they get stuck on the answer's screen.

4. The K1 seems to take forever to mature. According to Max Koi, some owner only run the K1 for 2 weeks and it is already turning dark brown. Mine…..after 3 months of running, is light yellow color. And you guess it, the surface has a lot of bubble even though I’m using a turbo cleaner. I’m not sure what is so different about the other owner setup that I’m not doing.

5. Recently, I have increased the aeration in the K1 chamber (almost ½ of my hiblow 80 output go to the k1). The water has been crystal clear even before I adjusted the aeration. However, whenever I do heavy feeding, the bubble still comes back.

6. I guess eventually the material and the answer will work around themselves with the ego-system…until then, I have not experience any wowing performance or accerated maturity on the materials that some people claimed.

7. Another friend of mine is using the answer also have the same headache with the answer on string algae.

Any comments or help will be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Patrick


crazoo
User

Dec 23, 2002, 4:58 PM


Views: 83197
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

probably it was not designed to suit our wheather condition.
if u heavy feed your kois its not fair to say the otherwise as probably the filter is working fine but when over feading occurs naturally equals to more pooh and the filter capacity is tested to the max probably.

just a piece of thought..
dont worry it will one day mature for sure.. certainly this is a point to ponder since its one of the few groans ive heard so far.


patrick123
Veteran


Dec 24, 2002, 6:12 AM


Views: 83181
Re: [crazoo] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

crazoo,

You are right on the point. But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the answer and k1 is anymore inferior than the conventional filteration system. It is just that I'm a little disappointed that it didn't "knock my sock off".

Cheers,
Patrick


cby
Novice

Dec 24, 2002, 10:34 AM


Views: 83165
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Patrick,

Thanks for sharing your experience... it is only with honest feedback that we can all learn and that this forum serves its purpose.

Firstly, the flow rate is affected by the resistance that the water has to flow through in the bio stages. The manufacturer's claimed flow rates are the maximum which I would expect is when the water merely goes through the mesh to an empty container. When the water has to flow through the biological media, there is resistance which will affect the flow rate.

Of course the the string algae getting stuck on the mesh doesn't help. I am wondering how the water is coming into chamber 1 as it is imperative for the water coming into the Answer's chamber to be around the mid point of the mesh height so that there is a downward flow. This helps the solids and algae settle to the bottom.

String algae can be problematic as it tends to hook onto the mesh (like velcro) and difficult to dislodge by the backwash water jet, thus cloging up the filter. I have found that it is important to let all the air out of The Answer for the backwash jet to be at its best. I do this by putting the cover on after the water has risen above the mesh (close valve to bio chamber first to let the water level rise).

Solutions to a lot of string algae is a) like you have done by having a net to capture the algae prior to The Answer, or b) install a UV to kill the algae. It is also good to clean the mesh with soda solution to rid it of the film of grime from time to time (pls refer to product instructions).

Out of curiosity, is the nitrate high and is that the cause of the algae growth? If it is, then I suggest you increase the efficiency of the biological stage and get the nitrate down so the algae would not grow.

The manufacturer's claim is that the K1 has 4 times the surface area of Japanese mats. My personal experience is that by substituting the mats for K1 while all else remained the same, it brought the nitrate down and got rid of the green water. What I did do was also to leave a mat at the bottom of the chamber to facilitate colonisation and also add some dry bacteria to help the K1 mature faster. The K1 does like heavy airation so that the media is churning round and round. Watch a particular piece of K1 and ensure that it is getting churned downwards as it moves to the sidewalls.

I'm curious as to why the shells are in chamber 2 as opposed to the last one where it is normally recommended. Might it make a difference to swap chamber 2 and 4 around? (can someone answer that?) If nitrate is present, I suggest you substitue the bioballs with K1.

As for surface scum and bubbles, after substituting Japmat with K1, the bubbles has been reduced.

Hope that helps.

regards,

boonyong


patrick123
Veteran


Dec 24, 2002, 12:54 PM


Views: 83151
Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Boonyong,

Thanks for your posting and constructive suggestions. Here are some answers to your questions.

1. The water enters the mech chamber at the top and above the answer. It enters the chamber off centered instead of in the middle of the chamber, so as to generate a spiral effect for the particles to settle at the bottom of the vortex.

2. There is no problem for solid to settle at the bottom. The problem is with algae, they just like to float around and stuck to the mesh.

3. I do make sure that all the air are out of the answer by releasing the “bleed screw” on top to let the air escape.

4. For the nitrate level, the last I checked 2 weeks ago before I went overseas was 40mg/l. I have an 18W UV light running 24/7. You might be wondering why I have such algae problem. This is because my pond is totally expose to 100% direct sunlight for 8 hours a day (9am – 5pm). The temperature of water is around 29 degrees celcius. I know is not very good for the koi.

5. For 40mg/l of nitrate, I believe this is acceptable level. I suspect this is due to the k1 and the 2600 bio balls I have in the TT (chamber 4).

6. Many people ask me why the shells are in Chamber 2 instead of last chamber. The actual reason is that the K1 chamber need to have water flowing from the top and leaving from the bottom…so that the K1 does not float away. Since the outflow of water from the answer is at the bottom, I cannot have K1 at the 2nd chamber. Also, I cannot take out the bio balls from the 4th chamber as this is the dry chamber for my TT. If I put the bioballs in the 2nd chamber, they will no longer be dry (submerse in water).

7. You won’t believe how much liquid and dry bacteria I have used so far since I started the pond. It is at least 4 liters of liquid bacteria and 1 big container of dry bacteria.


Questions:

1. Any idea how long does it take the K1 to turn from white to dark brown? And is dark brown the desired condition that we want the K1 to be?

2. For a pond of 8 ton with 2 ton of water for filter, is 200L of K1 enough? If not, I don’t know where else to put more as I’m running out of space in my chambers.

Any more ideas or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Patrick


cby
Novice

Dec 28, 2002, 11:39 AM


Views: 83103
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Patrick,

1. You need to stop the spinning water in the vortex by putting a barrier so that the water flow up and then down to create a downward current that encourages the solids to fall to the bottom, or to fix a pipe as show in diagram of www.evolutionaqua.com "operation" page. The problem with spinning water is that you are forcing all the solids to the middle where The Answer is, i.e. you are constantly pushing the string algae towards the mesh and hence it is getting stuck there!

2. The bleed screw only works for removing air if the unit is installed upside down. Because the mesh is so fine, in the upright installation, the "safest" ways to ensure that all the air is out is by putting on the lid after the water has risen above the lid level. Do check always that the water jet is working by feeling the mesh for pulses created by the water jet.

3. I use a simple solution of using my "redundent" jap mats as blockades to prevent the K1 from moving to another chamber. I just cut them to fit firmly as water passable vertical extensions of the chamber wall, be it upflow or downflow. You may want to use this method to split your K1 chamber into 2 so that the movement and churning of the K1 is easier as it is not one big mass. BTW, what are the dimensions of the K1 chamber? You can fill it with K1 only to a max of 67% to ensure there is freedom of movement, minimum is 50%. Key here is that the K1 needs to be turning over like mixing dough so arrange the airstone positions so that the churning happens. It should look like the water is boiling and not just simmering where the media stays stationary.

4. My experience is that the K1 turned brown in 3 months and yes that is the indication that it is covered with bacteria.

5. My two 8x4 FG tanks, the filters and the prime tank that holds The Answer totals around 5 tons and I have used 100liters of K1. My tanks are also exposed to sun all day though I have cover nets that prevent the fish from jumping out and also add some shade by attaching shade nets that they use for growing plants. If you think the sun is causing the algae, maybe you can add some shade nets but that's still not killing the root problem bringing the nitrate down further to starve off the algae.

My suggested course of action would be as follows:
  1. stop the spinning in the vortex. Hopefully this should help your Answer stay clean and the flow rate can be increased.
  2. increase airation to K1 so that churning is happening.
  3. add shade nets if desired.
  4. all else failing, dump the bioballs and TT and use that chamber for more K1 which is stipulated to also remove nitrate.


Hope that helps.

Regards,

boonyong


cby
Novice

Dec 28, 2002, 12:20 PM


Views: 83101
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Patrick,

Just found this article from the www.ACKA.org site.

GREEN WATER

Although it is sometimes called an algae bloom, normally the names it is called are unprintable. For some, it seems to happen every Spring (also sometimes in the Fall). For others, it is almost a way of life.

A limited number of pond keepers have never or rarely experienced this "wonder" of nature. It is said that the Koi thrive in it, but you cannot see them to tell if they are thriving or not. You have heard many reasons why your water turns green and tried assorted mechanical wizardry and various chemical concoctions to clear it, (which may or may not have been harmful to your Koi), but it is still green.

There is a lot of "snake oil" out on the market to clear green water.

Green water is caused by an excessively large number of tiny organisms in the water. Called phytoplankton, these minute plants are part of the algae family that has thousands of distinct species found in water (and ice) throughout the world. These organisms are very small, with the most common ones found in our ponds being around 15 microns (0.0006 inches) in diameter. All pond water contains large numbers of different kinds of these plants and other microorganisms. Water that appears to be crystal clear just doesn't have as many.

Some of the statements that follow are somewhat controversial, but they are based on several years of research and experimentation dealing with the subject. From this research, I have concluded that within our biologic converters, a third group of bacteria exist. When these heterotroph bacteria consume dead algae in an aerobic environment, they release an enzyme, possibly used to help them digest the dead algae. The flow of water through the media carries surplus amounts of this enzyme back into the pond where it kills off the other algae.

This enzyme appears to be effective against many species of string algae as well as the bloom algae. It does not seem to have as much effect on the string algae which is only partially submerged or within a high flow area, i.e. in a splashing brook or around a waterfall. This may have to do with contact time requirements. The short blackish-green mat algae found on the walls of a "healthy" pond is composed primarily of dead string algae which is also believed to be a result of control by the antibiotic. Further, this mat area may also be providing a portion of the enzyme as it is being broken down by the heterotroph bacteria.

This seems to explain what we see in our ponds much better than many of the traditional myths which I believe arise from invalid extrapolations and application of true scientific findings based on studies of large lakes and oceans. Most of these findings just simply do not apply to the essentially closed environment of an established, circulating Koi pond. We will discuss only two of the myths here. For more and a detailed description of the experiments leading to these conclusions, see my article in the

Mar-Apr 1998 issue of KOI USA.

MYTH: Pond algae blooms are primarily related to various nutrient concentrations in the water such as nitrate and/or phosphate.

FACT: There is no evidence to substantiate any relationship between nutrient levels and the inception or termination of the common algae blooms in most Koi ponds. Quite to the contrary, the measurable nutrient levels are normally so high, most questions should be why the algae bloom is not continuous.

Commercial laboratory analysis consistently show very high concentrations of all required nutrients.

These concentrations are much higher than could be expected to prevent such an event. Further, most of these levels actually show a slight increase after a heavy bloom subsides.

MYTH: Providing shade over the pond will prevent an algae bloom.

FACT: It is true that algae needs light to grow and reproduce. But what is interesting is the small amount of light that is actually required. Controlled experiments using reduction in sun light of 90% still show significant algae growth. There are many examples of ponds that are heavily shaded but quite green and just as many others with direct sun exposure that have no algae bloom problems at all. There have been positive results reported of completely covering a pond suffering from green water with an opaque plastic cover for 5-10 days. I'm not too sure what the Koi think about this but it is obviously not an acceptable permanent solution. I do recommend providing shade over a pond, but more for temperature stability than for algae control.

So, what is the solution? It seems to be simply a properly sized biologic converter and a proper flow rate of oxygenated water through it. The bio-converter must be large enough to support the heterotroph bacteria colonies which need considerably more space than just the nitrification bacterial colonies. This has led to two rules of thumb. The first is that the amount of water in the pond and filter system should be circulated through the bio-converter at least once per hour.

Second is that a flow rate of approximately 150 gallons per hour per square foot of media should be used. As an example of a 1500 gallon pond, we should be moving 1500 gallons of water through the bio-converter each hour and the bio-converter cross sectional area exposed to water flow should be 10 square feet. The thickness of the media is determined by the media selection.

Bubble bead or similar type pressurized filters do not generally have sufficient internal surface area to support the heterotroph colonies necessary for the enzyme production although they can provide the area necessary for the smaller nitrification colonies. They do an excellent job of capturing the dead algae and other solids. During the frequent backwashing processes, however, the dead algae and much of the heterotroph bacterial colonies are removed from the system giving insufficient time for the enzyme to be produced. This is why ponds using these type filters almost always require an ultraviolet system to handle the green water problem. A properly sized UV system will do a good job on eradicating the bloom algae. It will not affect the string algae, only the phytoplankton that actually pass through the unit. There are also some indications that the UV radiation may destroy or at least weaken any enzyme action.




dttk
Veteran

Dec 29, 2002, 4:51 AM


Views: 83088
Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Sounds familiar Smile. I think I've posted the same before Wink.

www.koi.com.my/cgi-bin/koiforum/gforum.cgi?post=16204;search_string=Norm%20Meck;#16204

It's a very interesting article. Thanks anyway. Sly
Always friendly :)


patrick123
Veteran


Dec 30, 2002, 3:58 PM


Views: 83056
Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Boon Yong,

You have been extremely helpful...how I wish the dealer I bought the equipment from is as helpful as you.

In any case, most of the suggestion you mentioned have been tried.

1. There is not much spinning in the vortex. The debris does settle at the bottom. Only the algae clog the answer screen.
2. The aeration to the K1 is already at the highest. It looks like the chamber is boiling rather than churning.
3. I'm planning to install a pergola...at this moment, it is 100% expose to sunlight.
4. I am losing confidence on K1...it has been three months and the color is still light yellow. If situation does not improve, i may buy more jap met to put in my oyster shell chamber.

In any case, I may have found a solution for the algae problem. I put in 3 layers of jap mat in the answer chamber on top of the answer so that water flowing into the mech chamber has to go through the jap mat first. For the first day, the answer screen did not clog with in a few hours...this is good news. I will continue to monitor and let you guys know.

Cheers,
Patrick


cby
Novice

Dec 30, 2002, 5:55 PM


Views: 83055
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Patrick,

I get a lot out of this forum so it is just my way of giving back... so you are very welcome. I am still very puzzled that the algae should clog the screen in a few hours. Please confirm that when you put your hand on the screen that you can feel the water jet pulse that backflushes the screen every couple of seconds or so.

In any case, the japmat solution is good because it will help to reduce any spin in the vortex. Any amount of spin will push solids towards the screen so it is very important to have NO spin at all and only top flowing down. Keep me posted. I am in Spore quite often for business so would be glad to pop by and see if I can be of any help when I'm down.

I sincerely suggest you stick with the K1 for a while yet cos the water parameters are fine. While the newly added K1 in my filters are still white, the water parameters that have resulted since adding the K1 suggests that they are doing their job regardless of color.

Regards,

boonyong


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 3, 2003, 6:17 PM


Views: 83018
Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Boonyong,

Just to give you guys an update. I did a water parameter test today.... these are the readings:

Ammonia = 0mg/l
Nitrite = 0mg/l
Nitrate = 10mg/l

Yes, that's right, it drop from 40mg/l the last time I tested until now 10mg/l. I don't know if I should thank the bioballs in the TT or the K1..... but don't ask me to take out one of them to experiment....I'm not that brave. Cool

For the jap mat on top of the answer, it solve the problem of having the screen blocked in a few hours...however, it only lasted for a few days...yesterday I checked, it overflow again.....in any case, I have also put in jap mat at the overflow....so may be 60% of the water is going through the answer, and 40% of the water is just going through jap mat as mech filter right now.

The water condition seems to be good...water is crystal clear...have not seen this kind of sparkle for a while....but the surface is still having some fine bubbles.....when I went to visit a few koi farm, I found that their fully matured pond also have the same type of fine bubble floating...so I guess this is normal.

Any comments is appreciated.

Thanks,
Patrick


SMW1
Veteran

Jan 3, 2003, 9:08 PM


Views: 83011
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

There are three main elements that will cause foaming or bubbles.

Nitrate, DOC or Protien.


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 5, 2003, 5:52 AM


Views: 82994
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Stuart,

Good to hear from you again. Hope everything is fine with yourself and your family.
Also, happy new year to you.

For the three things you mentioned: Nitrate, DOC and protein, for Nitrate, my reading is around 10mg/l, for DOC and protein, I have a turbo cleaner running 24/7. I guess things may improve further if I wait for another few weeks.

Will keep you guys informed.

Thanks,
Patrick


cwnchong
Koi Kichi

Jan 6, 2003, 3:32 AM


Views: 82980
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Patrick,
Just to share with you about my experience on the subj of bubble in the pond. I notice bubbles when I use Neutrofin Di-Chro (spelling?) on salted pond. The bubbles will remain there for weeks.
Cheers


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 6, 2003, 11:58 AM


Views: 82953
Re: [cwnchong] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Cwnchong,

I have not experience the product you mentioned but I have once tried to apply KLEAR, Nutripak and Sludgebuster in my pond and I realized that there were a lot of bubbles for 2 days until the turbo cleaner removed them out. The bubbles were transparant and colored...kind of like detergent bubble. CrazyCrazyCrazy

Cheers,
Patrick


SMW1
Veteran

Jan 6, 2003, 1:25 PM


Views: 82948
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi Patrick Happy New year to yo and your family also Wink.

So many chemicals Shocked. Did you put this lot in at the same time ?.


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 6, 2003, 1:35 PM


Views: 82945
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Stuart,

Good to hear from you again. To answer your question, unfortunately Yes.....The KLEAR is a liquid bacteria. They suggest to top up on weekly basis. The nutripak is the nutrients for the bacteria and the sludgebuster....is again bacteria for sludge.

Anyway, I have learned not to put in too much chemical anymore.

Did you finally get your $50 prize from the magazine? Saw your picture on the magazine LaughLaughLaugh....was that your pond in the back ground?

Cheers,
Patrick


SMW1
Veteran

Jan 9, 2003, 2:09 AM


Views: 38667
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi Patrick, Organic liquids are ok, however too many chemicals could get a little dangerous. I was not aware of the liquids that you were adding that's why I was a little cautious. If they are all natural bacterias you shouldn't have any problems mixing them.

Yes that was my pond in the background. I have also added a few pond pictures to the picture gallery as requested by Andyng (Snow pond pic's Laugh).

However as soon as the sun comes out and the earth softens up I will carry on work with my new pond. Which hpefully you can't see in the picture (I want to keep it a surprise Wink).


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 9, 2003, 6:07 AM


Views: 38658
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Stuart,

Do you think after a pond is matured, do we still have to top up the bacteria powder or liquid periodically? That's what recommended on the instruction of the product.

Your pond looks a little bit like mine. I will take a look at the pictures that you posted.

BTW, I thought you are putting the construction of the new pond on hold??? Did you change your mind again? Smile Can't resist the temptation of a new pond right? LaughLaugh


SMW1
Veteran

Jan 10, 2003, 2:39 AM


Views: 38630
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi,

Our ponds can never replace the natural ponds in the world. These ponds, lakes and rivers not only take care of the nitrofiying cycle they also are home to many more creatures other than koi. This suppies the kois habbitat with natural minerals, most of which we would never find in our home made ponds.

If you can afford it I would continue to add but maybe at half or a quarter of the dose.

Yes, the pond was on hold until we move house but we have decided that the pond we currently have is too close to the house and we want to extend the back of the house also, so I started digging in October when I had a few spare hours. Once the pond is finished and it has fully matured (may leave it a year to be on the safe side). We will be knocking down the old pond. :( All those hard hours of labour. But on the bright side. The new pond will be about 9,000 gals and have a glass viewing area.Sly


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 10, 2003, 6:42 AM


Views: 38619
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Stuart,

So you finally cannot resist the temptation on starting a new pond. LaughLaugh

Wow...9000 gallon, that's like 40 ton of water....with a glass viewing area...this will be a magnificent view.

I'm sure there are a lot of hard work but been through one myself, it is a very enjoyable way to spend the leisure time. I'm sure you will have a lot of fun doing it.

Don't forget to keep us posted and show us the pictures of project in progress. Smile

Best Regards,
Patrick


cby
Novice

Jan 10, 2003, 7:17 AM


Views: 38616
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Stuart,

Can you elaborate on the glass viewing area? Do you mean window to see the pond or glass floor? I've been pondering about glass floors but the condensation on the glass would mean constant cleaning required to rid the algae that would inevitable grow on the glass. Do share your thoughts.

Regards,

boonyong


crazoo
User

Jan 10, 2003, 10:29 PM


Views: 38600
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

wow 9k gallon, certainly look forward to see it .. Smile


SMW1
Veteran

Jan 11, 2003, 4:17 PM


Views: 38589
Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi Boonyoung,

A glass floor would be too much of a pain and would only really give benieft for the first few weeks. Like the you said it would be very hard to keep clean and if you wanted to stand on it then you would be looking at quite a thick penel of glass which would not be easy to lift when it came to cleaning.

The design I will be using is as follows:

My pond will be a raised pond. It will be 4' below gound and 3' above ground giving a 7' deep pond. Above ground there will be a 2 glass sections incorperated in the front wall of the pond. They will be in the region of 2.5' length x 2' width.


cwnchong
Koi Kichi

Jan 13, 2003, 5:13 AM


Views: 38579
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi Stuart,

Interesting. Can you share your idea & design a little more with us all; like what type of glass sheet that u intended to use. Is it a single layer tempered glass or multiple sheet screen? Considering its thickness required to take the pressure. I can imagine your 9K pond surface & the pressure fuatuates quite a fair bit, considering the external abuse etc.

Have a nice day.


SMW1
Veteran

Jan 16, 2003, 10:42 PM


Views: 38541
Re: [cwnchong] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Yes the water pressure is a big thing to consider that is why I have to have two seperate glass windows rather than one big one. Frown.

I don't have the design at the moment I'm getting it laminated so I can't change it anymore LOL. You should be able to see my old design if you search the forum. It's pretty much the same with a few extras


crazoo
User

Jan 17, 2003, 2:59 AM


Views: 38538
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

dear stuart, can a hydrometer check for oxygen level??


cwnchong
Koi Kichi

Jan 17, 2003, 7:01 AM


Views: 38532
Re: [SMW1] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Stuart,

Tkx for the info. I 'll search for for the post later when I have more time.

Cheers.


SMW1
Veteran

Jan 18, 2003, 12:07 PM


Views: 38517
Re: [crazoo] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Most hydrometers are made to meassure the salinity of your pond i.e they test Salt levels.

Tetra make an Oxygen test it. Not sure what price it will be over there Unsure.


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 20, 2003, 2:01 PM


Views: 38501
Re: [crazoo] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Crazoo,

Stuart is right. Hydrometer is to measure the salt level in term of specific gravity. However, they are designed to be used for marine fish and not koi pond.


crazoo
User

Jan 20, 2003, 7:25 PM


Views: 38493
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

so you r sayin cant be used for ponds ?


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 21, 2003, 5:02 AM


Views: 38489
Re: [crazoo] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Crazoo,

As far as I know, there is no hydrometer designed for fresh water aquarium/pond. If I remember correctly, the measurement from a hydrometer is 1.022 specific gravity which is equivalent to 3% salinity. With this level of salt, your koi will pass out in no time.

On the other hand, if you are willing to take the trouble to use a measuring container to dose the salt to 3%, and then dilute the water in the container with 9 more cup of water, this could convert it to 0.3%. But this is just too much trouble. It is not worth the time and effort to save the money for a digital salt meter.


koifun
Veteran


Jan 21, 2003, 5:43 AM


Views: 38483
Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

Hi, Patrick

While u may not be able to get hydrometer from the pet shop the range u want, you can actually tried procuring from Lab equipment company which normally sell a wider range of hydrometer for laboratory use. The difference is the reading is not translated into salt concentrations.

The thing you may have to do is to made a few cylinders of 0.0 - 0.4% salt solutions with fresh water ( saltless ) best from your own pond and measure their gravities accordingly with the hydrometer. With those pct and respective gravities, plot a graph joining all the points into a straightline with extrapolation. The graph then allows you to read off salt concentration when reading on the hydrometer is taken.

Wink




  • "Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish. - Euripides"
  • CoolSmileTongueSmile


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Jan 21, 2003, 6:52 AM


    Views: 38478
    Re: [Koifun] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Koifun,

    You obviously have come from a science background. LaughLaughLaugh And I don't disagree at all. Smile

    The question is, why so troublesome, a digital salt meter only cost S$80. All you have to do is to dip it in to the pond and you can have the reading instantly.

    Cheers,
    Patrick


    crazoo
    User

    Jan 22, 2003, 1:38 PM


    Views: 38457
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    thanks, nearly confused . my cousin is a marine fish hobyist.. Smile


    cby
    Novice

    Mar 2, 2003, 7:05 PM


    Views: 38416
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Patrick,

    Hope u are well. Found out some things that I'd like to share with you on The Answer. My Answer started to clog every 3-4 days recently so I dipped the screen in caustic soda for 15 minutes as prescribed in the instructions to clean off the "biofilm" today.

    The flowrate was immediately improved as I had to adjust the pump valve to allow more water in to keep the Answer submerged. This was not the case when I just did the regular flushing of the screen with a water jet.

    I was also informed that the earlier versions of the 410 was running a weaker pump for the backflush system. Is your model the one with the cross shaped central release knob?


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Mar 2, 2003, 8:00 PM


    Views: 38414
    Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    cby,

    I think I'm going to need a lot of advise from you. I'm at the stage where I'm actually thinking of "SWAPPING OUT" the answer. May be sell it in 2nd hand market. PiratePiratePirate

    I don't know which model that I have, but mine does not have any cross shape central release knob. As a matter of fact, there is nothing to allow you to remove the cover. I was told by the dealer that in order to remove the cover, I have to unscrew the 8 screws using an alan key. That is not an easy thing to do. Took me 1/2 an hour to remove all 8 screws and guess what, there is a rubber seal that tightly keeps the cover in place. By that time, my filter already stop running for 45 mins (since I have to turn of the pump to do maintenance for the answer) and I was ready to ply a screw driver into the screen of the answer (mind you that I'm still a very hot tempered person MadMad). Then out a sudden, with the final attempt and force, I was able to remove the top cover....after several cuts on my hands PiratePiratePiratePirate. Then I realized that the version of the answer that I have is not designed for user maintenance....since all the parts inside the answer are razer sharp....there you go again...another few cuts on my hands.....now my hands start to look like someone who work in the construction site.

    Even with that, I was not able to remove the screen completely and soak it in any solution as the bottom of the screen was sucked into the base of the answer just like the top cover, and will take a hell lot of work to remove. Also, you are right that the backflush system seems to be weak. After I put everything back...by now is 1 1/2 hour (dead worry that my good bacteria will die). I can feel the movement of the backflush arm by touching the screen but there is no wind of any kind if you know what I mean....I was even thinking of modifying or change out the back flush pump to put in a turbo charger.....

    From my tone, you probably have guess what a satisfied customer I am. May be I bought into the technology a little too soon and bought the first generation unit.....may be the new systems are much better now.

    If you have any advise for me, I will really appreciate.....or if you know someone who want to buy the unit.......


    cby
    Novice

    Mar 2, 2003, 8:46 PM


    Views: 38413
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Patrick,

    hmmm, ok, i get the picture and now understand why you are having all the frustrations! Specially at this time of the night! Tell you what, I'll see if there is a retro kit that allows the lid to be opened without going through the 8 screws! The single cross knob is really easy to open the Answer. Will keep you informed. By the way, take a look at the help section in www.evolutionaqua.com and run through the faqs. there is a lot of info there.

    I can understand your desire to give up on the Answer at the moment but I suggest you hang in there as I still don't see anything better in terms of mechanical filtration. Frank Chong's article which concludes with allowing only 10% of the waste through the bio-stage as the key concept is in inline with what The Answer is about and that's why an Answer based system should technically be very efficient as only a small part of the wastes needs to be handled by the bio stage.

    Have a good sleep and tomorrow will be better. Will keep you posted. Life can always be worse so do cheer up. At the very least, you get the water pulse now. There will be no hiss; all you will feel is the water pulse.

    Regards,

    boonyong


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Mar 3, 2003, 9:27 AM


    Views: 38391
    Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Boonyong,

    Thanks so much for your help and console. It makes me feel much better. BTW, what is a caustic soda and where can you get it? In my case, since it is not easy to remove the screen, I'm thinking of just buying the caustic soda and just spray it on the external part of the screen, and then jet wash the unit. Do you think this is good enough? Also, is caustic soda harmful to koi if expose to in small quantity?

    Also, where did you find Frank Chong's article?

    Thanks again,
    Patrick


    keithkoi
    User

    Mar 3, 2003, 10:08 AM


    Views: 38388
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Hi Patrick,
    Just my 2 cents worth, I've had the Answer installed in my 1 mth old FG tank (8 X 5) and using K1 for bio filtering, IMHO:
    1) The slide valve between the Answer and the next chamber - Bio filter is the most critical for maintenance, ie. for any flushing of the Answer settlement chamber where water level of the chamber will be LOWER than the bio-filter chamber, the slide valve need to be closed to prevent back flow of water from the bio filter and worst of all K1 materials flowing into the inside of the Answer jamming or choking the Answer backflush OSAE pump.
    2) Using caustic soda and spraying externally onto the Answer screen will not remove the debris already trapped within the Answer and caustic soda will also get into your bio-filter, my suggestion is to perform a thorough maintenance of your Answer removing the top cover and screen to expose the backflush arms for inspection and cleaning.
    3) Depending on how your Answer system is installed, generally the entire Answer could be lifted out from the settlement chamber (as mine is slotted into a 4" pipe joint that connects to an 90deg. elbow leading to the bio-filter chamber) and enough slag in the Answer wiring. You could then easily work on the Answer out of the chamber.
    Best of luck! Cheers, Keith


    (This post was edited by keithkoi on Mar 3, 2003, 11:03 AM)


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Mar 3, 2003, 12:34 PM


    Views: 38379
    Re: [keithkoi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Keith,

    Thanks for the input and advise. May I know where you buy the caustic soda and how much is it?

    I think I can remove the answer and clean it. The problem is that it is very damp heavy and bulky.

    Cheers,
    Patrick


    cby
    Novice

    Mar 3, 2003, 1:15 PM


    Views: 38375
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Caustic soda is a cleaning agent and needs to be bought from chemical supplier. There may be restrictions on availability. I got the stuff from a friend who's in the chemical business.

    There is a whole lot of stuff on the evolutionaqua web that gives you the full run down on maintainence and spraying on is not recommended.

    Franks article is on the koiforum home page.


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Mar 4, 2003, 7:42 AM


    Views: 39683
    Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Boonyong,

    Thanks for the help again. In any case, I have contacted Evolution Aqua on the answer that I got. Guess what, they told me that the one I got is the model 400, not the model 410 which is what I supposed to receive. So I'm still waiting for a final confirmation from them before I go back to the dealer who sold me the unit. You mentioned that some of the older unit have weaker pump. Could this be one of them?

    Any advise from you what I should do next?

    Regards,
    Patrick


    cby
    Novice

    Mar 5, 2003, 2:13 PM


    Views: 39662
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Patrick,

    The model you have is one of those with a weaker backflush pump. I suggest you see what the dealer is willing to do for you and I am investigating if there is an upgrade kit for you.


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Mar 5, 2003, 2:29 PM


    Views: 39660
    Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Boonyong,

    Thanks for your help.

    Best Regards,
    Patrick


    cby
    Novice

    Apr 2, 2003, 8:18 PM


    Views: 39597
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Pat,

    did you get the caustic soda by the way? it really made such a big difference that now my water is super clear.

    More interestingly however, I had the opportunity to test a water management system that self regulates the PH and dissolved oxygen, based on the continuous monitoring of various parameters including ORP or REDOX.

    During the time that I had the system, opr readings varied from high 100s at the warmest time (around 3-4pm) to 270s at dawn. The Ph also varied between 7.5-8 over a 24 hour cycle. Oxygen was pretty constant around 12.5 - 13.5 as I run 3 hiblows and also 3 venturis. I believe the heavy airation helps significantly in the high ORP readings.

    Shame I don't have the system since i cleaned the mesh and thinking about buying a orp meter to see what a properly functioning Answer does to the water quality.

    Just wanted to share the above with you so you know the potential of The Answer.

    Can't remember if I informed you of the lack of an upgrade kit for the 400 to 410 presently.

    If you need some caustic, let me know and I'll get some to you as have staff going to spore.

    Regards,

    boonyong


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Apr 3, 2003, 5:26 AM


    Views: 39580
    Re: [cby] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Boonyong,

    Thanks for the posting. Yes, I managed to get a small quantity of caustic soda from Max Koi, and a friend promise to sell me some powder type of sodium hydroxide. So will wait for that and if I still need more, I will contact you directly. Thanks so much and you have been a great help.

    As to the effect of applying the caustic soda, you are right that it works wonderfully. The stuff is really lethal and when I sprayed it on both sides of the screen, I could hear the hissing sound. After 15 mins, the water blockage was completely gone. The answer was running smoothly for 1.5 weeks and then the blockage started again....mainly due to the heavy infestation of string algae in my pond. I throw in 3 sucker fish into the pond and now the algae is getting under control.

    I got this feeling that the biofilm on the screen is growing very fast. I think I have to use the caustic soda every 2 weeks. Unfortunately, due to SARS (corona virus), I'm stuck in Thailand and cannot go back to Singapore. I have to ask my maid to physically clean the screen with a sponge 2 times a day to prevent blockage. I heard that now she has to clean 3 times a day.

    That's the downside of having all the high tech equipment and you are not home.

    As for the ORP reading, I'm very interested in it. However, the cost of the system is very high. Don't think is justifiable in my case since my fish are not the expensive type.

    Over the last 2 days, I was told that the pond water temperature was around 31-32 degrees. I'm also thinking of adding a chiller. Do you think it is silly to add a chiller for outdoor pond of 10 ton? I don't know what will be the electricity bill like. In any case, building a pergola is out of the question since my garden is already very congested.

    Cheers,
    Patrick


    micky
    User

    Apr 4, 2003, 3:56 AM


    Views: 39551
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Hi Patrick
    Regards, Micky


    micky
    User

    Apr 4, 2003, 4:38 AM


    Views: 39548
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Hi Patrick
    When I read your threads about having problems with the Answer and how easily it clogs up, I wonder if such a system is worth the money??. I know someone who installed the Answer and is about to junk it, "cutting losses" he says.

    Although my koi keeping experiences is limited to pump-fed filtration, which I agree has its drawbacks, the problem of clogging at the pump, the pipes and filter has never occurred. Of course it may still clog if one neglect to maintain it properly! I just use plenty of J-mats and bags of corals to balance the pH, no other fancy stuff.

    Perhaps there is an advantage for the debris to be broken up by the pump before it enter the filters or screens. In this way the fine debris has a lesser chance to clog up the medias/screen. The fine debris settles down to the bottom and those on the J-mats get pulled along when the chambers are flushed. About once a month, I remove the J-mats and give it a quick spray but never do this for all chambers in one go.

    Many people are sceptical about pump-fed filters because they are afraid the fine particles will travel its way back to the pond. However, if you install a four or more chamber system, the fine particles in the last chamber is actually very minimal. For the last chamber, I just give it a quick flush once every 6 months.

    Also, may I know why your pond has such high amount of string algae?. Is the pond exposed to the sun whole day? Is it possible for you to solve your filter problem by first taking a hold on the algae? Just "kay poh" and a little curious lah! Sorry to be so long-winded.Smile
    Regards, Micky


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Apr 4, 2003, 5:44 PM


    Views: 39517
    Re: [micky] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Micky,

    Sorry for the late reply. To tell you the truth, it was not a "wow" experience for me at the first place. However, the idea is great....just don't expect it to be something that you can install and forget about. You need to maintain it at least once every 2 weeks (and I'm talking about serious maintenance). Also, it is not so forgiving like Jap mat. If you have mech chamber with jap mat, it is virtually impossible to clog the mat no matter how infrequent you wash the mat. In the case of the Answer, it is not very forgiving.....since it blocks all solid that is larger than 100 micron. If you don't maintain or keep an eye on it, you may run into situation where your pump runs dry (gravity fed), or your mech overflow (pump fed).

    As to the point that many people are sceptical about pump fed system, they have their point. It is not as simple as you think...that the solid are being broken up into fine particle and can be flush out later. The action of pumping the solid has a mincing effect and will increase the chance of fine particle desolving into the water and increase the DOC (dissolved organic carbon). However, if you have a good foam fractionator, you can reduce this possibility. The idea of gravity fed system is actually to remove the solid waste before they get into the filter. The more you can do this, the better is your water quality.

    If you already have a pump fed system, you just have to live with it....it is not the end of the world. If you can install a foam fractionator to remove the DOC, it will be much better.

    You are right about my algae problem. I believe it is partly due to the 100% exposure of sunlight, and also mineral buildup from the sludge in the bio chamber. Since my bio chambers do not have a very effective bottom drain (not steep enough for the debris to be flushed out by normal flushing), I need to physically remove the bio mech and do a complete wash down once every 3-6 months. It is high time to do it now. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in Bangkok not able to go back to Singapore because of the SARS virus.

    Sorry for being so long-winded too. Thanks for your advise and concern about my system. Let's keep in touch and we can exchange more ideas.

    Thanks,
    Patrick


    Aussie Koi
    User


    Apr 26, 2003, 9:25 AM


    Views: 39463
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    HI Patrick

    Sorry to hear you are stuck away from your home (it's better to be safe)

    If I may ask some questions to try and understand and help you.

    The settlement chamber that contains your answer how often do you back flush it? If you do back flush it does this remove all the string algae from this chamber? How many Ltrs is this chamber?

    The caustic soda will remove a thin oils residue that Koi excrete. If you feel around the inside of your pond does the residue on your hands feel oily? I have the same problem with a sand filter. The oil clumps the sand together then algae grows (its another story). Check with EA but I am sure you could use other products to remove this film if it is difficult to obtain (be very careful with it also)

    Did you have any luck with the dealer you bought the unit from? I hope so.

    Has your K1 media matured yet? I am assuming so.

    Your UV is running 24/7 but how long has it been since you changed your globe. I live in Australia and most companies recommend replacing every 6 - 12 months. The light emitted from the tube might still be blue but that does not mean it still working. I fell for this with my first pond and bought a cheap UV but when I had the problems you seem to be having this suggestion was made to me and it worked. Is your UV big enough for your pond?? Perhaps you could verify these details and i will check for you. How my Ltrs per hour passes through your UV?

    The best product I have found to kill Algee is from Waterlife Amalagisn A (excuse the spelling). It is very effective and good value for money. Do not use it if you have plants in your pond though.

    I am going to convert to an EA system shortly as I believe there product is good. I think you have been let down by your dealer though.

    Please reply and I will try and assist further.

    Regards

    Aussie Koi




    Aussie Koi

    http://www.aussiekoi.com
    I am a water keeper.
    I look after the water and the Koi look after them selves!!!

    (This post was edited by Aussie Koi on Apr 26, 2003, 9:29 AM)


    cwnchong
    Koi Kichi

    Apr 28, 2003, 9:02 AM


    Views: 39439
    Re: [Aussie Koi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Aussie Koi,

    I am interested to know how you overcome the string algae problem in your unit(The Answer). I have heard quite a fair bit of this problem. Although I do not own one, but I have been doing the study & research on different kind of vertex.

    If I am not mistaken, the Answer was initially designed as a vortex filter. Later its inlet pot was relocated to point slightly upward to stop the vortex generation due to some customer feedback. This modification did not overcome the problem, the latest mod I believe is the model Patrick has has a shroud added to prevent the inlet from discharging directly onto the gauze so that the waste including the string algae will tip over the shroud and settle, this design does work for a certain flow rate but most user do not know how to overcome it. There may be another modification after this which I am not aware yet.

    The other area that can be improved is the gauze material woven too thickly. The gauze is quite similar to the renowned K&N auto filter which is more difficult to jet through and wash. This cud be the reason that the soft silky algae cling to the mesh so firmly. You may be right about using certain chemical to wash.

    I hope you can share your experience regarding this topic.

    Tks/Rgds


    (This post was edited by cwnchong on Apr 28, 2003, 9:14 AM)


    Aussie Koi
    User


    Apr 28, 2003, 9:56 AM


    Views: 39436
    Re: [cwnchong] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Hi Chwchong

    In My opinion. The whole idea of he answer is to stop large particles (100 microns for the 410 so lets deal with that as it is relavent) from passing into your filters. These particles get trapped in the settlement chamber normally a vortex type chamber and settle in the bottom of the chamber where they can be back washed out of your system all together, great concept (as I am sure everyone will agree). From what I can gather with Patricks unit he might have the one with a small pump that was insuficent in cleaning this screen. (By the way without this screen the whole this is a waste of time) Since this version another pump has been used and these problems do not seem to be occouring from what I have read and heard.

    String algae will be a problem with any filter system allbeit the answer, jap mat or even pressurised systems such as swimming pool type sand filters or bubble bead types.

    The fix needed has nothing to do with the answer or any other type of filter. The solution is to fix your string algae problem. This needs to be done to stop the string algae or blanket weed taking over your pond and making your water not good. String algee problems can be dealt with via chemical means ( I use amalagisin A from waterlife sorry about the spelling) and / or the use of a UV unit that is large enough for you pond.

    The problem which is common is a oily residue that coats the answer screen that the internal answer pump cannot remove. This residue can be removed with caustic soda (20min bath). In most cases this problem only occours once or twice after the initial set up (WORST CASE). I have personally spoken with ponders (KOi Keepers) from the USA and UK who love the clarity of the water after the initial setup. All of them experience great water clarity after only a short period of time. The gunk the answer will filter from your water initially need to be removed from the system and trust me when I say there will be heaps of it.

    I just hope we can try and fix Patrick123's problem.

    I am not a professional just a guy with a pond and some fish...

    Hope this helps and nice chatting with you

    Regards

    Aussie Koi




    Aussie Koi

    http://www.aussiekoi.com
    I am a water keeper.
    I look after the water and the Koi look after them selves!!!


    cwnchong
    Koi Kichi

    Apr 28, 2003, 12:20 PM


    Views: 39425
    Re: [Aussie Koi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Aussie Koi,

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I fully agreed with you that we should tackle the algae management part first.

    I always feel that The Answer is the best designed mechanical filter so far. I am still having the feeling that it is, compared with the others currently in the market.

    The only drawback with the answer is my earlier expectation of it. When I first came across this filter I thought that this gadget in self-cleaning & 100% maintenance free which is my own prejudice & it's my mistake for over rating it & nobody else to blame but myself.

    For a beginner like me, sharing with someone who has the experience is a priviledge, I am keen to know how you manage to overcome algae with The Answer. Maybe it is already a thing of a past for you. I believe Patrick would not be too disappointed if he can overcome this situation with his unit.

    According to our local supplier, The Answer should be able to cope with the algae if the correct pump is fitted, what is your commend.

    Cheers


    Aussie Koi
    User


    Apr 28, 2003, 12:47 PM


    Views: 39424
    Re: [cwnchong] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Evening Cwnchong

    Have you contacted EA? Talk to these people they are very prompt and helpfull. I would like to know how Patrick123 also got on with them.

    http://www.evolutionaqua.com/

    If you are not aware that is there web address. There is an Email link to contact them.

    How much string Algae do you have? What is your nitrAte reading? How much direct sunlight does you pond get (I know that there is not meant to be a corellation between sunlight and algae but I have never seen string algae inside my tank at home !!!). Please let me know and I will try and help you. Do you have an UV and/or Trickle Tower also? What type of filter do you have(Please also send picture for my benefit). How often do you flush or back wash your system? How much water do you change every week / month? Do you have mains water filters? DO, GH, PH, KH and buffer used will also help.

    I use waterlife Algasin A to rid my pond of Algae (I get a little despite my oversized UV filter). Along with cleaning the pond of all debris and checking my Jap mat for any string algae. I have a vacum cleaner that works via a garden hose to remove any mulm or crust (sort of a venturi system) & clean the left over around my bottom drain. I also do a decent back wash / flush.

    http://www.waterlife.co.uk/

    You can buy it from Aquarium and fish shops. Perhaps it could work for you also. If you do use it make sure you have heaps of Air going into the pond and your filters and NO PLANTS !

    It kills everything that even looks like Algae but will not harm your filter bacteria. I use a presurised sand filter that clogs with algae but after using this product I have less trouble for 3-4 months.

    I hope this helps you and i agree with you as i previously stated I think the Answer is fantastic.

    Get back to me with your pond parameters and lets see what we can do to help you.

    Regards

    Aussie Koi

    Wink




    Aussie Koi

    http://www.aussiekoi.com
    I am a water keeper.
    I look after the water and the Koi look after them selves!!!

    (This post was edited by Aussie Koi on Apr 28, 2003, 12:54 PM)


    dttk
    Veteran

    Apr 28, 2003, 6:19 PM


    Views: 39409
    Re: [Aussie Koi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Hi, it's me again Laugh. Eventhough we started chatting just a few days ago, it seemed like we have known each other for sometime! Cool It must be the magic of koi-keeping...Angelic. I have one question for you. It seems that UV rays only kills phytoplanktons that causes green water and not string algae. What do you think abt this? Any comment will be appreciated. Smile Cheers!
    Always friendly :)


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Apr 28, 2003, 8:36 PM


    Views: 39406
    Re: [dttk] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Dr Tan,

    You are absolutely right. At least that's what I have experience. Even with my UV light on 24/7, the string algae kept coming.

    Cheers,
    Patrick


    patrick123
    Veteran


    Apr 28, 2003, 8:50 PM


    Views: 39406
    Re: [Aussie Koi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Aussie Koi,

    Sorry for the late reply. I was stuck doing something else.

    Anyway, I guess my problem is now a little under controlled. You are right that we need to solve the string algae problem first. Otherwise, having the answer will be a nightmare.

    The problem with the answer is that even though it is a very innovative product, it is not a very forgiving equipment. If you have jap mat instead of the answer, you will not risk running the pump dry like the case of the answer. When it is clogged, it is dead clog...nothing goes through.

    The way I got rid of the string algae is to introduce sucker fish into the pond. This way, the string algae will be eaten even before they have a chance to grow. I don't quite like the idea of using chemical as I believe this will not solve the rootcause and is adding stress to the koi.

    As for the screen, you still need to use caustic soda to spray wash it at least once a month. That's how long the screen can last before it clogs. If you are the lazy type who tend to put off your maintenance work...you are in deep trouble. Once the answer clogs, no water will pass through and your last chamber will run dry if you are using gravity fed system or your answer chamber will overflow or flooded if you are using pump fed system.

    The added problem of my unit is not that the pump is not powerful, but this unit does not allow the screen to be detached from the unit...so guess what, you need to remove the whole answer from the chamber when you want to apply caustic soda. Imagine, the answer is around 20kg when wet. An extra bonus for the koi hobbyist who are also body builder. Not in my case anyway.

    Cheers,
    Patrick


    KevKoi
    Koi Kichi


    Apr 29, 2003, 2:48 AM


    Views: 39399
    Re: [patrick123] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Patrick, only problem is that the 'sucker fish' we talk about (plecostomus) cost a fortune here in Australia! They're illegal fish and they cost something like $30-$50 for a 3inch long fish! Plus, these fish being tropical would not survive in a temperate climate outdoors. Frown

    (Aussie, the pleco in Malaysia and Singapore cost something like $0.50 in those 2 countries so.... unlike in this great Southern land.)

    There's no cold water fish I know (other than large koi) that will eat this string algae in te temperate climate like Australia. Unsure

    kev


    Aussie Koi
    User


    Apr 29, 2003, 6:18 PM


    Views: 39378
    Re: [KevKoi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Okay to all the greenies!

    How to control blanket week (string algae) with out using Alagasin A from waterlife (why not use it I will never know but here goes - it will not effect ph or destroy beneficial bacteria). String algae seems to be more prevelant when PH is over 7.5 and there is lots of nitrATE in a pond system. Some Gurus also suggest it is prevelant when there are excess phosphates also (tend to agree with them)

    The funny thing about string algae is it consumes nitrATEs and phosphates and the fish love the stuff. Koi keepers hate it because it binds to everything including pump impellers and filters.

    The key to correction is to remove every bit possible from you pond and filters. then using a floculant (or again for the greenies some form of Koi clay) to seperate / sink out any water suspended particles. Flush everything possible, dont be tight here people 30% or what ever is needed to remove everything.

    Use Barley straw either in a matt or liquid form (personally I would go for the liquid - if its okay to hurt the poor Barley!) The jury is still out on wheather the barley straw bales / liquid fixes or just prevents blanked weed. If Barley is out of the question there are electrical units (but I have a problem with putting 240v into a pond and I have seen one covered in weed whilst it was meant to be working)

    Blanket weed is a big problem in UK ponds and the poms have made a number of great products to fix this problem. Check infilitration / BKKS for further reading.

    I would suggest that everyone who has this porblem checks the last time they replaced their UV tube (bulb). The UV tube for the want of a better term breaks down from the moment you turn them on. In Asian / Australian conditions you really should thinnk about replacing them every 12 months. The blue hume seen from inspection ports in your UV dulls and evidently the tube can still glow blue but the UV is not working.

    When you have blanket weed it is tricky to naturally get rid off, its natures way to tell you your water chemistry is crook (Australian for sick).

    When killing algae you must Air rate as it consumes oxygen in mass quantities when it is breaking down.

    I know all about illegal fish KevKoi I live in QLD Koi are illegal here.

    Hope this appeases all the greenies amongst us JUST USE THE BLESSED WATERLIFE product (or similar).

    Regards

    Aussie Koi




    Aussie Koi

    http://www.aussiekoi.com
    I am a water keeper.
    I look after the water and the Koi look after them selves!!!


    Aussie Koi
    User


    Apr 29, 2003, 6:27 PM


    Views: 39377
    Re: [dttk] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Oh wise one (formly known as DTTK AKA 'Dr Tan')

    I feel UV will kill string algae but it first must pass though the UV it must (ever heard of Yoda? or Dude where is my car?). The nature of the stuff is it binds to everything and grows and grows. Correct me if you think I am wrong here.

    I think the key is nitrATE / phosphate control associated with removing every bit of muck from your filter / pond using a floculant or clay. String algae feeds on nitrATE / Phosphates, control excess food and usually you control the beast.

    What do you think Dr Tan? What to you think about Barley Straw bales / liquid?

    Regards

    Aussie Koi




    Aussie Koi

    http://www.aussiekoi.com
    I am a water keeper.
    I look after the water and the Koi look after them selves!!!

    (This post was edited by Aussie Koi on Apr 29, 2003, 6:28 PM)


    dttk
    Veteran

    Apr 30, 2003, 6:11 AM


    Views: 39363
    Re: [Aussie Koi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Aussie Koi, thanks for all these wonderful info Sly. I have yet to find any article that confirms the effectiveness of UV on string algae. Most of them however swears by it's effectiveness in combating green water which we already know. However, if it's based on your personal experience, I'd respect that. As mentioned by Patrick, the Pleco does remove string algae but there are a few disadvantages. Yes, I've heard of Barley straw bales and it's extract and it's effectiveness but no personal experience. It's not easily available in this region too. Perhaps you would like to read this article by Doc Johnson from Koivet,

    http://www.koivet.com/..._term=String%20algae

    Salt does prevent string algae to a certain extent. I must agree with you that high nitrates, phosphates, and debris accumulation are the main causes of string algae bloom. Can we call you AK in future? It sounds better since we're a familiar bunch now LaughSly .
    Always friendly :)

    (This post was edited by dttk on Apr 30, 2003, 6:14 AM)


    Aussie Koi
    User


    Apr 30, 2003, 6:42 AM


    Views: 39357
    Re: [dttk] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    Hail oh wise one!

    Dr Tan my Email is brojac@bigpond.com. Please put your name in the subject line and I will send you my personl Email address (I get heaps on brojac and most is spam.I delete most of it (9/10) without even looking at it. It would be a pleasure to hear and learn from you.

    I am suprised about the barley. I know people in the UK that swear by it. I think they use the liquid version if that makes any difference. Personally I again use Alagasin A with clay as a floculant and have little trouble.

    From what I understand the problem is with string algae once it gets hold will not pass through the UV and hence will not kill it, however the tinny released particles will go thorugh a UV and die.

    Looking forward to your Email

    Regards

    Aussie Koi




    Aussie Koi

    http://www.aussiekoi.com
    I am a water keeper.
    I look after the water and the Koi look after them selves!!!


    dttk
    Veteran

    Apr 30, 2003, 7:28 AM


    Views: 39352
    Re: [Aussie Koi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    AK, one email on the way Sly. I do encounter string algae in the waterway where there are vegetation. The pond itself is free from it. They also get stuck on the waterfall. I brush them off about once a fortnight and the koi are just waiting beneath the falls for it. Perhaps it's a good dietary supplement for the koi as well. Besides that, there are some tiny whitish snails too that appear harmless. Sly
    Always friendly :)

    (This post was edited by dttk on Apr 30, 2003, 7:30 AM)


    backslang
    User

    Jul 17, 2006, 4:04 PM


    Views: 32229
    Re: [Aussie Koi] Effective mechanical Pond Filter - ''The Answer'' system

    sorry to bump this old thread but i have some questions about an answer unit.
    i have recently aquired a nexus 200 with an answer 325 installed.
    it was previously used gravity fed but the design of my pond forces me to have a pump fed system.
    i have been told that the only change i need to make to the filter is to install a standpipe.
    I rang EA to ask them and they said that they would not recommend using my answer unit pump fed as i will struggle with water clarity.
    is this true? if so what can i do about it?
    many thanks
    james