Aquascape biofalls into a small bog filter


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I use 2 black matalas over pump and Vertical one behind skimmer basket in skimmer and a black, 2 greens and a blue with another black on top In waterfall. Last year water was green soup all year and cleared up over winter. Water stayed clear all year as bog is slam full of plants with hornwort, redluigia, pickerel rush, spider lilies, and water lilies in the pond.
 
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you have a pump in your skimmer, right? It would be interesting to put a mechanical mat/mesh filter around it and see how much solids actually get into your pump and then into your bioballs. I know from my experience with a pre-bog filter that more than I thought was going through. I believe it contributed to my bog1 getting clogged and therefore, dug up. But, it was small, only 4x4 surface area and 40" deep. I think that was a main factor in what happened. When I expanded, I still used the pre-bog filter (but only for a few months as I re-thought the whole issue) and I'd clean my version of a 'filter mat' every other day, depending on what micron mesh level I was using. Typically, that was 300 (the larger the number, the smaller the particle that can pass). Using 200, I didn't change it even once a week, but always wondered exactly what was happening to my newly enlarged bog. I decided to test everything out this past August (eliminating the pre-filters) and so far, water is still just as clear and no discernable clogging of the new bog. Next couple of years will be the real test but I'll be more diligent re removing plants more often, which could have also been a factor.

But the idea is bioballs are for bacteria, not stopping solids. No doubt they accumulate as they're IN the water being pumped, unless you're prefiltering as I was above, and over time, will clog up the system a bit. I think if you're rinsing the bioballs often, the system is being overun. Seems you should be able to get at least a month or more out of just leaving them alone, but I'm sure this is all contingent on total bio area and if there's any pre-filtering plus how fast the flow is.

See, I think for a skimmer to be most effective, the solids from the pond HAVE to drop off into the sump of the skimmer and NOT be passed to your biofiltration. If you have the right size or not, I cannot say, other than to try the test I outlined above. If you get a lot of debris on a mat between pump and it's housing, you'll know. I always assumed skimmers HAD such feature to allow solids to drop out, but as you can tell, I don't use one so am passing on what I've gleaned from reading. Were it my system, I'd definitely insure adequate bioarea that was pre-filtered, or as I've done, a really large bio area (my bog) in which miniscule particles get their chance to decay naturally without me having to wash rinse repeat.

Hope I'm not making this more confusing!
There is nothing solid in fish poop. It just passes right through the pump and on to the waterfall or bog.
 

Jhn

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@brokensword Solids don’t settle out in the skimmer box there is too much flow in there. The larger debris and solids should be caught by the net and filter pads, but any fines get through it, unless there is a finer filter mat. When these fines get to the larger waterfall box they settle out and build up in and under the matting which is under the media eventually getting into the media. Then it needs to be rinsed off.

Personally, I run my waterfall box empty for the very reason being discussed, got tired of cleaning the mats out and fine silt would accumulate in the bio media. Now my pond has a large bog and plenty of SSA in the pond as well, so the SSA provided by the bio media In the waterfall box was minimal.
 
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you have a pump in your skimmer, right? It would be interesting to put a mechanical mat/mesh filter around it and see how much solids actually get into your pump and then into your bioballs.
Yes, I have a pump in the skimmer, along with a net and 2 different pads.
I do not have bio-balls in the bio-fall, but I will try your suggestion
 

brokensword

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@brokensword Solids don’t settle out in the skimmer box there is too much flow in there. The larger debris and solids should be caught by the net and filter pads, but any fines get through it, unless there is a finer filter mat. When these fines get to the larger waterfall box they settle out and build up in and under the matting which is under the media eventually getting into the media. Then it needs to be rinsed off.

Personally, I run my waterfall box empty for the very reason being discussed, got tired of cleaning the mats out and fine silt would accumulate in the bio media. Now my pond has a large bog and plenty of SSA in the pond as well, so the SSA provided by the bio media In the waterfall box was minimal.
do they build such a skimmer that can separate the fines via vortex/centrifigal flow? Thought I saw/read about one once...in any event, my prefilter barrels used to act as your wfall filter boxes, but with a lot more filtering area. They worked but thought I'd go back to directly feeding the bog, now that mine is a lot larger.
 

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Yes, I have a pump in the skimmer, along with a net and 2 different pads.
I do not have bio-balls in the bio-fall, but I will try your suggestion
before my expansion, I used to have the wfall box full of lava rock. Didn't plan on ever really cleaning as my wfall is a pita to access. When I expanded, it was a mess for sure to clean and re-use, so I abandoned this upon reconstruction. I can't imagine cleaning wfall pads all the time. Just another reason to depend on a bog, hey?
 
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before my expansion, I used to have the wfall box full of lava rock. Didn't plan on ever really cleaning as my wfall is a pita to access. When I expanded, it was a mess for sure to clean and re-use, so I abandoned this upon reconstruction. I can't imagine cleaning wfall pads all the time. Just another reason to depend on a bog, hey?
I did the lava rocks for years before the Matala pads, they were in bags so not too bad lift and rinse once a year.
I hear ya on the bog, but unfortunately it is not an option with my settings.
My system in both ponds work great right now, I'm only questioning if the filter in my second pond will be adequate as the 12 koi grow I'm thinking I could add additional filtration utilizing the UV return, but I'm not sure what would be the best choice.
which is more efficient between a trickle shower and a sand and gravel barrel?
 

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I think I remember (vaguely) what your pond looks like, but how about creating an 'overhanging' bog? It would shade part of the pond's perimeter but might provide more value than not? Maybe on one side, something like that? Otherwise, others will have to chime in as I'm truly a bog convert (the little maintenance part sucked me in).
 

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do they build such a skimmer that can separate the fines via vortex/centrifigal flow? Thought I saw/read about one once...in any event, my prefilter barrels used to act as your wfall filter boxes, but with a lot more filtering area. They worked but thought I'd go back to directly feeding the bog, now that mine is a lot larger.
That is a good question, idk I think you are right they do make one that does that....my skimmers don’t separate anything out of them. Either way, probably going to abandon the main skimmer and make a pond addition with a large intake bay in the near future. The one works too well sometimes making me clean it more than I want. Like most on here, I like minimal maintenance in my pond.
 
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Sorry if this was already spoke about but i thought i saw you say you have a bio falls dumping into a bog . A bog as we describe here is where the water is pumped to the bottom of the bog and is forced up through the gravel and plant roots can you have water run over a marshy area/ bog sure but it's not doing the max as it could i too have an area thats more a natural bog there is now water forced through the area but it seeps its way through just on it's own.
 

Jhn

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Sorry if this was already spoke about but i thought i saw you say you have a bio falls dumping into a bog . A bog as we describe here is where the water is pumped to the bottom of the bog and is forced up through the gravel and plant roots can you have water run over a marshy area/ bog sure but it's not doing the max as it could i too have an area thats more a natural bog there is now water forced through the area but it seeps its way through just on it's own.
Think OP means converting the biofalls into a mini bog filter.

Mine pretty much is a plant filter at this point, it’s empty other than having parrots feather and water forgetmenot growing out of it. Just pinned them down with rocks and let them grow.
 
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I think I remember (vaguely) what your pond looks like, but how about creating an 'overhanging' bog? It would shade part of the pond's perimeter but might provide more value than not? Maybe on one side, something like that? Otherwise, others will have to chime in as I'm truly a bog convert (the little maintenance part sucked me in).
I apologize @brokensword , I don't know how I missed this post
At this point I'm not even sure I need to add more filtration, but better safe than sorry right?

Here's why I'm exploring the possibility of adding more filtration....my 3,800 gl pond has 2 bio-falls that are equal (if not grater) than the single bio-fall in the 5,400 (or 5,391.5), it has 11 fish, two of which are Shubunkins, and one is a dwarf. The 5,400gls pond has 12 fish, all koi.
So once I realized that the filtration system in both ponds is pretty much the same size, other than the pomp size, I started thinking I should add some more to the larger pond...a bog would be ideal, but I don't know how I could build one in my setting, so that's why I wondered if filling up the waterfall tub with gravel and putting plants on top would work better than having pads or bio-balls in there?

Here is a pic of the pond.
The UV light is attached to the deck railing, and the return hose you can see it over the plant pool wall, next to the waterfall. I could direct the return of the UV light into a bio-chamber of some sort, before dumping back into the pond, but I don't know what kind to add. All I know for sure is that I only have the room along the concrete wall behind the waterfall to work with...what would you do if it was your pond?
Anyone else has any ideas?
newpond.jpg
 
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Not sure if it would be better but as it will function as a mini-bog, it should work well. I have put planter baskets of water celery in the tops of my barrel filters. The roots filled half the barrels!
 

brokensword

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Gemma; I'd do as MrsC suggests--I'd add planters along your left side on the stone perimeter (as per your last picture) and make that your bog. Even if I had to build them myselves, something 12" deep, as wide as possible. I'd build an over flow from these planter(s) so you create another waterfall sheet into your upper pond. The water mixes, top to bottom pond, right? So I'd send a feed into such a flower box planter from the lower pond. Not sure the dimensions, but I bet you could get a lot of surface area from such a system.
 
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Gemma; I'd do as MrsC suggests--I'd add planters along your left side on the stone perimeter (as per your last picture) and make that your bog. Even if I had to build them myselves, something 12" deep, as wide as possible. I'd build an over flow from these planter(s) so you create another waterfall sheet into your upper pond. The water mixes, top to bottom pond, right? So I'd send a feed into such a flower box planter from the lower pond. Not sure the dimensions, but I bet you could get a lot of surface area from such a system.
We figured this would be by far the easiest, and cheapest way to go, to add filtration, but first we wanted to be sure that we cannot build a bog in any other way....and that's too bad cause we'd have the room, we just can't figure out the water return to the pond part

Yes, the UV pump is in the lower section, by the steps (see pic) would I need to get a larger pump if I add a tub?

20190831_122545.jpg
 
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Not sure if it would be better but as it will function as a mini-bog, it should work well. I have put planter baskets of water celery in the tops of my barrel filters. The roots filled half the barrels!
What media did you have in your planters? Do you have pics?
 

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