Bio Balls? Dechlorinating water?

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Hi all,

Spring is here and I'm starting up the filter in my small pond (5 ft diamter, 2 ft deep). I have 2 questions so any help is appreciated.

1. Water changes and chlorine removal. Last season I would do water changes by pumping out pond water into my surrounding plants and then refilling the pond w/ a 5 gallon bucket, treating the water (tap water) before I poured it into the pond. This is always alot of work and I read somewhere that the chemical chlorine removal works instantly or pretty close to it. Could I just fill the pond directly from the hose line, measuring gallons w/ an attached water gauge and then immediately follow w/ chlorine removal? how harmful to my fish? I've never asked how most people actually do it so I'm just looking for an easier way if there is one.

2. Bio-balls. I just bought some and they are quite large (1 1/2 ") in diameter and filled w/ tiny ceramic balls for bio filtration. Anyone using these? Any good? The instructions call for them to be placed under the filter in my filter setup. I have a fishmate 1000 and its set up like this :
a.filter
b.uv exposure
c. media tray

I had porous rock media before in the media tray and was planning on replacing these w/ bio balls. The bio balls are quite large and may not fit well in my media tray. Was considering placing the ceramic balls w/out the plastic shell in my media tray and still keeping it above the filter. Any thoughts? Thanks for any replies.
 
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Trickplay461 said:
Hi all,

Spring is here and I'm starting up the filter in my small pond (5 ft diamter, 2 ft deep). I have 2 questions so any help is appreciated.

1. Water changes and chlorine removal. Last season I would do water changes by pumping out pond water into my surrounding plants and then refilling the pond w/ a 5 gallon bucket, treating the water (tap water) before I poured it into the pond. This is always alot of work and I read somewhere that the chemical chlorine removal works instantly or pretty close to it. Could I just fill the pond directly from the hose line, measuring gallons w/ an attached water gauge and then immediately follow w/ chlorine removal? how harmful to my fish? I've never asked how most people actually do it so I'm just looking for an easier way if there is one.

2. Bio-balls. I just bought some and they are quite large (1 1/2 ") in diameter and filled w/ tiny ceramic balls for bio filtration. Anyone using these? Any good? The instructions call for them to be placed under the filter in my filter setup. I have a fishmate 1000 and its set up like this :
a.filter
b.uv exposure
c. media tray

I had porous rock media before in the media tray and was planning on replacing these w/ bio balls. The bio balls are quite large and may not fit well in my media tray. Was considering placing the ceramic balls w/out the plastic shell in my media tray and still keeping it above the filter. Any thoughts? Thanks for any replies.

1. we do this all the time at work...i work at a fish store...i dont see any problems with it...its jsut better to add it before...the way we do it is hook a hose to the tap and periodically squirt some dechlorinator in

2. i use the normal bioballs...i think that the ceramic filled adds more surface area...but im not sure how well the water will trickle through in a wet dry or submerged the holes look kinda small...
if i doesnt fit you could take the ceramic out like you said but i would put them in a fine mesh bag so that you can rinse them in the used water from a water change if they get a little dirty
 

Camper Man

Pond Curator
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I would figure out a way to keep the ceramic rocks, as they are a highly effective biological media. Fishmate uses this media, known as Supra (or in England, where it is made, as Alfagrog) with some models of its filters. Here is what Tony Roocroft, author of "The Complete Pond Solver," says about Supra:

"Until very recently I was not aware that Alfagrog was used in any American pond filter and was very pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across the Fish Mate pond filters...The secret to this compact filter's success is the Alfagrog. It is a highly porous ceramic filter media specially created for bio filters in the fish farming industries. Depending upon the size of the Alfagrog particles the area for bacteria colonization can be up 100 times that for most types of plastic filter media ... whether they be tubes, balls, or other fancy shapes."

That's some good stuff you have there. Macarthurswatergardens.com sells Supra / Alfagrog for $6 a bag.
 
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I use the hose method to fill my pond also. Here with the Texas heat, I have to add water about once a week. I put in a little dechlorinator and then start the hose and every once in a while add some more dechloringator right next to where the hose is pouring into the pond. I also set the hose on the rocks next the the pond so that the water drops in instead of putting the hose into the water. My fish love it and think it is play time. They dart in and out of the water the whole time and I have never lost a fish because of this yet!
 
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I've got a 5 cubic foot plastic wheel barrow that i fill with water, add pond-start (has decholrinator in it), let it settle to around the temp of the pond and then pump it in via a craftsman submersible pump. takes a little while, but i feel safer than adding water from the hose. i'm not comfortable enough yet with this pond stuff to do it any other way!

-James
 

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