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How to build a bio-filter?

 




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SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 1, 2001, 9:59 PM

Post #1 of 22 (79036 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? Can't Post

Hi,
I have been a koi lover for sometime but only manage to start rearing them recently. My friend has given me a fiberglass pond (with mountain type) size about 2mx1mx.5m.

I am currently using a external filter (Ehiem pump, model 2241 and a submerge pump 800ghp to draw water into the filter). I have told by a vendor to use volcano rock and sponge in the filter. Currently I am using the filter output for the mountain.

I wonder if these is ok and do I need to built a bio-filter and how do I do it.

thanks in advance for all advice.


Mark
Veteran

Feb 2, 2001, 5:08 PM

Post #2 of 22 (78962 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Sam
Welcome into the koi hobby. Many of us are new in this hobby just like you. Lets learn together.

I am not sure of the model you mentioned. A general rule of thumb which I adopt is "Ensure that the water parameters are within the acceptable level." Irregardless of what filter media you use (be it volcano rock or otherwise) all the tell-tale signs are found in the water parameters. You already have that in the Ehiem (wet filter). The question is whether this filter is sufficient to maintain the pond. Also if the water fall is high enough coupled with the fall(flow) running thro' some man-made stones before reaching the pond, then you also have the trickle system.

Having said so much and if the water parameters are alright, then there is no need to build another filter.

Last of all, please have these test kits - pH, ammonia, nitrites. Nitrates test kit and baking soda are also good to have them around. For further info please read here.

Good luck.

(This post was edited by Mark Richman on Feb 2, 2001, 9:00 AM)



SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 2, 2001, 7:40 PM

Post #3 of 22 (78955 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Mark.

But can you tell me more about trickle system. Currently I am using a submerge pump to draw water into the Ehiem cannister. Is that ok.

Is my current setup a bio-filter with only volcano rock as the media.



Mark
Veteran

Feb 3, 2001, 5:36 AM

Post #4 of 22 (78955 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you should not worry to much about what filter system to use. What you should do now is to ensure that the water quality is in good order.

If you carry out the recommended tests, we can narrow down a no. of things. For e.g.
1. Is the filter working properly?
2. Is the filter 'BIG' enough to handle the no. of fish in your pond?
3. Are there rooms for improvement?

So, please conduct tests immediately for pH, ammonia and nitrites, and come back with the test results.



SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 6, 2001, 6:50 AM

Post #5 of 22 (78955 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Mark,

I have done a test for both ammonia and nitrite using a test kit from A&E (liquid) and the reading is ammonia 5,0 and nitrite 1,0

I think both the reading is very high. Pls advise. By the way I am using a Ehiem 2215 cannister as a filter and I have some plant, lilies on the mountain fountain.



Khoobg
Webmaster


Feb 6, 2001, 6:57 AM

Post #6 of 22 (78955 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Running an Ehiem Cannister filter is definitely not sufficient for your koi pond. Koi eat a lot and you definitely need a bigger filter for your 1 ton pond. Invest on fiberglass filter with four compartments which you should be able to get from many koi dealers around the town.



SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 7, 2001, 5:24 PM

Post #7 of 22 (78955 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Mark & Khoo,
Thanks for the advice. Can I know what should I put in the fibre glass filter. As I am currently using the outlet from the Ehiem cannister for my fountain, how can I achieve that with the fibre glass filter.

I visited a koi dealer yesterday and he advice me to change 10-20% of the water to reduce the nitrate level. He also ask me to but AquaMed Bacteria for the pond and gave me some PH buffer (can someone tell me more about this).

After the water change, I did a test on the PH and it read as below 7.9. Does the water change help.

My pond detail is as follows:

Size : 2m x 1m x 0.5m (approx)
Water level : 2m x 1m x 0.3m (approx)
mountain : 2m tall
koi : 5 (avg 10 - 15 cm)
filter media : 1st layer = volcano rock
2nd layer = green sponge
3rd layer = plastic mat

Thanks. I have only start rearing koi about 2 weeks ago so I need lots of guidance.

Does anyone know where can I seek guidance in Singapore on rearing koi?


(This post was edited by SamuelTan on Aug 2, 2001, 8:00 AM)


Khoobg
Webmaster


Feb 7, 2001, 8:02 PM

Post #8 of 22 (78955 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Place the fibreglass filter besides your pond. Install a pump to pump water from the pond to filter and water will flow back to pond via gravity.

Read this thread on pH buffer
http://www.koi.com.my/...um3/HTML/000034.html

You can use the Search facilities to search the whole forum base on keywords to find out more. While search, please search all open forum so that you can get more search results.


ekwan
Novice

Feb 7, 2001, 11:37 PM

Post #9 of 22 (78955 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you use a fibre filter as KhooBG suggests, it is imperative to buy some PVC piping and extend the outlet so that the water is returned parallel to the water surface of the pond rather than vertically (better circulation). The difference is stark !!!


SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 8, 2001, 8:12 PM

Post #10 of 22 (78954 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Mr Khoo,

Thanks but how can use the outlet flow of water for my mountain/fountain. Will the flow back of water to the pond be strong even.

Do I need to have the filter higher than the pond?

I have done a test using aquamed test kit this morning and here is the reading, pls advice.

PH below 7.9 (yellowish color)
Ammonia 3.0 (drop from 5.0 after water change and adding of biobecta)
Nitrate 1.0

How would I know if the bacteria in the pond is working?

Thanks


Khoobg
Webmaster


Feb 8, 2001, 8:36 PM

Post #11 of 22 (78954 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you do not wish to add additional pump, then it seem that the only way is to channel the water from the outlet of your cannister filter to the inlet of the fibre glass filter. Channel the outlet from the fibre glass filter back to your water fall. In this manner, if you will need to put your fibre glass filter at a level almost as high as top of your small mountain.

One way to know whether the bacteria is working is to constantly check for your water parameter. The ammonia value should be dropping to almost zero. If they works well and matured, there shouldn't be any ammonia and nitrite there.



SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 9, 2001, 5:21 PM

Post #12 of 22 (78954 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have measured my pond yesterday and the dimension is 4 ft x 3 ft x 1 ft. Water filled 4ft x 3ft x 0.5 ft I am currently rearing 5 koi (avg 10 cm long), is it overcrowded? How do I calculate how much ton of water do I have?

Do I need to add salt whenever I change the pond water, how much should it be and what type of salt do we used (is it the same as those we use for cooking?)

I will be looking for the fibre glass filter this Sunday, does anyone knows where can I get one in Singapore (reasonable price) and what else must I buy for the filter chamber? For my pond size what should be the size of my filter?

I have tried feeding the koi with my hand yesterday, one of them actually ate from my hand and the feeling is so nice.

Thanks for the help and advice. This is a very good forum for all koi lover especially people like me who are beginner.


SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 13, 2001, 5:13 PM

Post #13 of 22 (78957 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Mr Khoo,

I have just bought a new fibre glass filter which has 3 compartment (each stack above one another type, as recommended by the Ong Seng Seng Aquarium)

The first layer as the manual stated is mechanical, second layer is for sponge, third layer is for bio.

I have also bought some bioball from them. Can you tell me what should I put in the first layer and do I need anything else in the 3rd layer beside the bioballs.

How can I jump start the filter?

Thanks


choo
Novice

Feb 13, 2001, 7:36 PM

Post #14 of 22 (78956 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

To jump start your filter, you would probably need to add some bacteria into your pond. However, it will still take about 2 weeks to stabalise. Watch out for your pH as the bacteria convert NH4 to NO2 and NO3, acid are produced which will bring your pH down. That is where the coral chips comes into the picture. But based on my experience, coral chips can only buffer the pH to a level. If the pH drops fast, you would want to add Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) to bring the pH up. I would adivse that pH be brought up to 7.8 to 8.0 as this is the level the bacteria would cultivate best.

As for the chambers layout, I would use green matt and cotton in the 1st chamber. There is where the heavy waste would be trap. The 2nd chamber would green mat and the last chamber is where you would put the coral chips since you do not want the heavy waste to get stuck on them and this is where the water is likely to be the cleanest.

Hope this helps.


SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 13, 2001, 9:59 PM

Post #15 of 22 (78954 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Choo,

Does that tell why my PH is low now and my ammonia and nitrite seems to be high?

Is there any device that can test the bacteria in my pond now?

Thanks


Mark
Veteran

Feb 13, 2001, 11:36 PM

Post #16 of 22 (78954 views)
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Nope! Good Bact. can only be tested in a lab. There is ready product or test kit for this. However, base on most of our experience, if the readind for ammonia and nitrites are zero, coupled with a small amount of nitrates, the tell-tale sign is "YOUR FILTER BOX IS WORKING." If that is the case, then the conclusion is "THE GOOD BACT. ARE GROWING AND/OR ALIVE."

Hope this helps.


SamuelTan
Novice

Feb 14, 2001, 1:38 AM

Post #17 of 22 (78956 views)
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How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Mark,

Thanks for the info. I guess my bacteria is not alive cos' my ammonia and nitrite is still very high but my PH is lower than 7.9.



Ben
User

Feb 14, 2001, 7:49 AM

Post #18 of 22 (78957 views)
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Hi ,

When you filter is still not matured, please control feeding and you may wish add some zeolite as temporary measure to absorb those ammonia. Like many has said, add some bacteria to jump start your filter and it should mature after a period of a month or two.


disaksen
New User

Mar 4, 2004, 1:36 PM

Post #19 of 22 (75878 views)
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Re: [SamuelTan] How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi SamuelTan,
I'm very new to this forum, but have been raising koi for over 20 years. Can you tell me what the cost of the filter you bought was? I'm just curious, and would like to compare the cost of your purchased filter to the cost of making a filter system that I've been using successfully for over 12 years.
I've been using 32 and 55 gal. plastic drums that I purchase for about $5-8.00 US, and either ABS or PVC plastic components for the plumbing. I have tried numerous types of media in the filters, but have found that a course 2 inch thick, polyester batting material (very similar to the Japanese matting) performs the best for me.

My filter systems are made up of:

(1) 55 gal drum used as a combination vortex/brush up-flow filter. It's only purpose is to clean/settle the heavier water born particulate matter from the pond water, so it can be drained off. It does that task very well. Water from the pond free-flows into this first filter stage through 2 inch PVC. There is a 90 degree fitting inside the drum to get the water spinning

(2) 55 gal drums used as up-flow bio filters. Each 55 gal drum contains two 10 inch wide rolls of the above mentioned polyester media stacked on top of one another. When cleaning, the bottom roll is removed and cleaned, ... the top roll now becomes the bottom roll, ... and the newly cleaned roll now becomes the top roll. Using that method, at least half of the filters benificial bacteria are always thriving and working to clean the water. AND ... By placing the newly cleaned roll on top, ... it's benificial bacteria will recolonize much faster (a matter of a few days). Water from the vortex/brush drum is pumped into these two barrels via a 3800 GPH pump. Only 2/3 of the pumped water goes into these two filters.

(1) 32 gal drum used as a trickle filter. I use the same 2 inch rolled polyester media in the trickle filter. The trickle filter is fed with the remaining 1/3 of the pumped water. It's fed into the filter via a $2.00 plastic rotating sprinkler that I modified to get full filter media coverage.

Each 55 gal filters cost about $50-60.00 to make, and they're setup and use is very flexible.

I hadn't read anything about a filter setup like I have in this forum, so just thought I'd add something a little different to this topic.

Don
keepkoi


mrxclnc
Novice

Mar 14, 2004, 8:38 AM

Post #20 of 22 (75740 views)
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Re: [disaksen] How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Disaksen,
I just wanted to know where you purchase these 32 or 55 gallon drums from. Can they be mail ordered?
And is it ok to use that expanding foam on the bottom of the drums to create the "V" shaped vortex?

Thanks...
-----------------------------------------
Deepak's Pond


disaksen
New User

Mar 15, 2004, 1:55 AM

Post #21 of 22 (75716 views)
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Re: [mrxclnc] How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

mrxclnc,
I purchase my 55 & 32 gal drums/barrels from a recycle business located nearby. They usually sell the 55 gal size for $12-15.00 each, or $$8-10.00 each if you buy four or more. The 32 gal size are usually $8-10.00 each, or $4-6.00 each respectively.
One other source where you can usually get the barrels FREE, is at car wash facilities. All of there liquid soap and polish come in 32 & 55 gal plastic barrels. If you talk to the managment, they are usually glad to have you take the empty barrels off their hands. They usually have to pay a recycler to pick the barrels up, so are happy to get rid of them for free. You can also contact various beverage companies that use concentrated syrups to manufacture their products (Coke, Pepsi, etc). If you should buy plastic barrels from ANY source, be sure to carefully and thoroughly clean them to remove and phospates and other chemical residues that may be harmful to your koi.
I know you can have plastic barrels mail ordered, but new barrels cost more than the whole filter I make, and the shipping would be very expensive.
Using the new Fish Safe, Pond/Waterfall expanding foams would probably work work great to shape the bottom V, but is not really necessary. The V-shaped bottom of vortex filters is mainly to settle the waters heavier particulates at the mouth of the bottom drain, to allow complete flushing of the settled mulm. I just used a large, old plastic Tupperware salad bowl (cost $.10 at Goodwill Industries) to accomplish what the V-shape does. I cut several two inch diameter, half circles into the upper edge of the bowl (evenly spaced), then mounted the bowl upside down on the bottom of the barrel (centered over the drain hole). The settling particulates will generally settle on the flat area around the outside of the bowl. When the drain is opened, water is first forced outward, ... cleaning mulm from the bowl, ... then is forced back through the holes in the bowl, into the drain to be flushed. For me, it does a very good job of getting rid of the settled mulm. Ideally, vortex settling chambers work more efficiently with larger diameter tanks, but For the price (about $45.00 including the filter brushes and plumbing), ya can't beat the way this one's working for me.
Hope this was of wome use to you.
Best wishes,
disaksen
keepkoi


mrxclnc
Novice

Apr 3, 2004, 2:36 AM

Post #22 of 22 (74563 views)
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Re: [disaksen] How to build a bio-filter? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, I finally got two 55Gal drums from a local carwash for FREE!!! Now, I need to clean them. Has anyone gone through this process of cleaning drums that originally contained soap or some other chemical polish?? If so, what methods did you use to clean them and how many times did you clean them. And after you actually installed them as a filter, did they have any adverse effects on your Koi or on the pond as a whole. Any foam from leftover soap??

Thanks...
-----------------------------------------
Deepak's Pond

 
 
 



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