Birdman's sand and gravel

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I am going to add a sand and gravel filter to my pond to help clear it more then my 2 bogs will. Was going to add a sand and gravel filter filter and return to the pond. I was wondering if a 2" return line and a 2" flush drain is big enough. I know the original build post I found calls for 3" but I dont plan to runn 2000 gpm, maybe 1000 at max as I still want most of the water to the 2 bogs. Biggest concern is will the 2" flush be enough.
 
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So you have 2 bogs and it's not clearing up your water? If I remember correctly, you have been experiencing fine particles clouding your water. Was that you?
I'm just wondering because I've been procrastinating on building a bog.
Your idea of a sand/gravel filter is interesting. How exactly will you contruct it?
I read many opinions against using sand in fear that it will clog easily and ruts may form and create an easier path for the water. But maybe you can prevent this by combining sand with gravel.
Details on your build would be appreciated.
 
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I have a Birdman S & G filter ad love it. I run a 2000 GPH pump to it, which is the max it calls for....and I would not describe it as gushing....not sure how a 1000 GPH flow would do. Call Steve ( Birdman ) and ask him, he's a good guy. I called him a couple weeks ago when mine wasn't flowing properly.......that's when it turned out to be that pesky little "O" ring in the connecter - ha ha!
 
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I have a s&g filter running up to 2000gph and like Tula says... it’s all that much water. I just added an 10” spillway as the outlet on mine and the water just fills it.

In regards to piping.... I would error on the side of caution and pipe it with the 2” inlet and 3” out. That way you can always increase to flow to the max later. Taking apart a s&g to re-pipe it would be a horrible task.

My bottom waste line is 2” and works just fine for me. For cleaning, i keep the pump running the whole time .... drain the barrel from the bottom first.... close that line .... then I run the air in like normal. Works great.

Poconojie.... the name actually should be either a “ very course sand and gravel and stone filter” or a “chicken grit and gravel and stone filter”. They don’t use what your typically think of for sand.

My s&g filter cleared my once pea soup 1k pond within a few hours... getting the fine particulates. They are amazing. The stone media act just like course to fine media pads.... except for the cleaning ... air is pushed up through it... actually fluidizing the top layer releasing all the caught junk. Then when the air is shut off... it settles back to becoming a filter pad again.
 
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@Nevermore44 is right, it's not really sand but rather granite chicken grit . The directions tell you the sizes of stones to use and we got them at Lowes, the chicken grit we got at Tractor Supply.

We actually purchased the "kit" from Birdman for $150.....it's certainly cheaper to make it yourself, but at the time, it was more convenient. I LOVE this filter , but agree, taking it apart to replumb would be a horrible job!
 
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Thanks for explaining the larger grit size of the sand. I get it now.
So, to those of you that run these s&g filters...are you using them strictly or in conjunction with other style filters? And on what size pond (in gallons)?
I have been procrastinating for quite some time now on building a bog filter for my 1500+ gallon pond. But now you have me thinking about s&g filters.
I currently run two pressure filters, one which has an internal 9 watt UV light and my water is only clear through the top foot or so. I see the fish down at 3 feet, but it's blurry. Basically green due to overpopulation, even with lots of plants.
Should I get rid if my pressure filters and go bog or s&g?
 
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So you have 2 bogs and it's not clearing up your water? If I remember correctly, you have been experiencing fine particles clouding your water. Was that you?
I'm just wondering because I've been procrastinating on building a bog.
Your idea of a sand/gravel filter is interesting. How exactly will you contruct it?
I read many opinions against using sand in fear that it will clog easily and ruts may form and create an easier path for the water. But maybe you can prevent this by combining sand with gravel.
Details on your build would be appreciated.
I have 1 bog that is 1.5 times the size of the pond surface and also a 24" pond that has 12" of pea gravel in it and trying to grow lillys and hopefully bloom.The gravel is aprox 3/8 and just started it. I have over 3000 gallons combined and now with the 10 koi is tends to be cloudy. Plan now to add a S&G filter.Google search " Birdmans sand and gravel filter" for build.
 
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I have a 1k pond that formerly had wakin goldfish until a few heron strikes clear most out. So I changed to koi and then built a netting cover. I am and will be overstocked as they grow... but right now I’m at 9 koi. Two 10” and the rest are 6”ish. I feed two times a day. My water parameters are on spec and is clear.

I use to use the one pressure filters which marginally work with the goldies.... but once the koi arrived I got pea soup most of the year. It has s Uc if some sort. Cleaning the filters was never fun so I took it off line.

The higher end koi folk would have a prefilter of some sort and an above ground pump before the s&g filter...... but I’m not high end. So I just have a submersible pump in a mesh bag that’s covered in an egg crate ...feeding directly to my s&g filter. I typically clean the s&g filter around once a week or two but it could go for quite a bit longer.... but it’s kinda cathartic to watch all the brown muck got flushed away. How often you run your will depend on your fish load and feeding. After the s&g filter.... I have a second 35g barrel with feather rock (kinda like lava rock ... just lighter and more porous.). So the water showers down through the rock before returning to the pond. The rock holds the beneficial bacteria to help clean the water even more so.

Here’s a link to my diagram of my s&g filter. This was all gathered from the “official “ bird man forum though.

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/attachments/sand-gravel_filter-pdf.120207/
 
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I currently only run the S & G filter for my 1700 gallon pond with 4 adult koi. I had a nice shower filter, but it was crushed when a tree fell on it. I want to build a small bog because I love water plants and it will provide supplemental filtration.

My pond is clear, I can see the bottom at 3 1/2 feet.
 
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The s&g filter sounds good, but requires a huge hidious barrel that must somehow be hidden. A bog seems more pleasing to the eye, but some are saying it doesn't filter out the fine particles.

I was thinking about a bog/s&g hybrid where you build the bog normally, but add a layer of that chicken grit sand at some level. Or maybe it should be mixed throughout the pea gravel? Would that clog things up? How would you flush it? With the s&g, the flushed matter is directed away through a pipe, but a bog will just flush up and into the pond. Unless I'm not grasping the concept of the air flush. Is there a way to do this?
 
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True about the barrel... a bog is much nicer looking .... though keep in mind you can place that barrel quite a bit of distance from the pond in order to hide it. Just keep in mind the head pressure for you pump. I use a sub $100 submersible pump from harbor freight, run about 25ish feet of pipe before hitting the barrel. And I still have to choke it down a bit to reduce the flow. If I ever redo anything, I am going to move the filter setup another 10 feet around the corner of my home to be completely out of sight. I also hunted down black plastic barrels so that they don’t scream out like the blue ones can.

For combining the two ideas... i think the shallower nature of a bog filter wouldn't allow the media layering needed to do the air flushing like a s&g. I thought i've read about people adding bottom drains on bogs to allow some flushing that way. Could look into that.
 
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I can add a S&G to my system with only 7' of pipe and it would hide right by the pump. I will run both bog and S&G and see if it improves. The water will just be diverted from my main line and returned to the end of the bog so the water fall wont look any different.
 
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One advantage to a bog filter...
I'm thinking that with any external filter, or pump for that matter, you'll have more plumbing outside of the pond. If any part of the plumbing fails, you risk emptying your pond. With a bog, you can pretty much have all the plumbing within the pond or bog, which prevents a catastrophe if there's a leak.
This is also why I keep my submerged pump off the bottom. It happened to me once. The pump was close to the bottom. Closer than I normally would keep it. I had a mishap in the plumbing which drained 1500 gallons out of my pond. The fish were left with very little water and one huge koi died.
 
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The 55 gallon barrel is HIDEOUS !! I had hubby build a structure for it and painted it forest green, it blends in well with our box woods. We do have one problem, he left the back open as he didn't have enough room to enclose it, but it faces garage wall. If we ever have to move it, I'll make sure it can be fully enclosed.
 
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To me this is totally clear water..................just the bog working, but it is a big bog. View attachment 123609
Wow! That's unbelievably clear! I'm envious!
When you say the bog is big, what percentage of your pond surface is the surface of your bog?
I'm just trying to get an idea, since 30% is recommended when keeping koi.
You dont have koi, but have a lot of shubunkin and that bog is really doing a great job.
 

addy1

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I would say around 1/3 the size of the pond. The bog is 26ft or so and 4 feet wide. The pond is 27 feet or so and up to 20 feet wide. Not as wide close to the shallow end. So the average would equal around 1/3 the size, around.

I built it after reading a lot of big pond builders sites, back in 2010. Some were koi keepers, talking about bogs and how to build and use for filtering a big pond.
 
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I would say around 1/3 the size of the pond. The bog is 26ft or so and 4 feet wide. The pond is 27 feet or so and up to 20 feet wide. Not as wide close to the shallow end. So the average would equal around 1/3 the size, around.

I built it after reading a lot of big pond builders sites, back in 2010. Some were koi keepers, talking about bogs and how to build and use for filtering a big pond.
In my youth, i was great at math, but it's been quite a few years:sneaky:...but I'm thinking 1/3 is about 33%?
Before retirement, my job required more of figuring out angles and sides of triangles, mainly the hypotenuse using pythagorean theorem, but not much with percentages.
 
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I pondered and did a lot of homework before i build my pond and seeing as this is still " bogs" a fairly new idea to pond keeping it is doing nothing that mother nature hasn't done fore ever. I have also kept reef and planted aquaria and one thing i am a firm believer in is over sized filtration. The sand filters the weirs and screens can do a fantastic job but they all require maintenance. Where i travel a lot i don't have the ability to always be here when things clog or go wrong. so i tried to build it where i can walk away. and it just so happens the bog principal is just that set it and for get it . I am beyond happy with the results my pond is 5 feet deep and i can watch the baby koi swim and feed from the bottom. i can and have turned the pond so turbid you couldn't see 6" into the water. but by morning the water is crystal clear again . again my bog is over sized i have a 18x10x7 foot deep bog with a snorkel and aqua blox and a second standard 2" pvc pipe wth gravel a foot deep it's like 8'x6'. the later is so easy to build .
 
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