Bog Filter


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Wow! I must be in the minority surrounding water changes. Before adding the bog filter we consulted with our local nursery which installs ponds as well. They recommended weekly water changes for optimal health and pump maintenance. A few of our neighbors does this as well. We built the pond ourselves with the bog filter above ground if that could be the difference.

If anyone could share your bog filter experience, I would definitely appreciate it.
NOT ALL WATER SOURCES ARE THE SAME. SO it maybe needed in your area hard saying not knowing
 
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It seems like one of those preference issues - much like whether or not to rock the interior of a pond.
I don't do water changes or big clean-outs. But I net the front yard pond in the fall to reduce leaf debris and I also have a skimmer in that one. The new backyard pond is filtered solely by a bog and it has only been running a few months. I don't feel like I have enough experience with this one yet. But so far, the bog seems to be working GREAT!
I have an intake bay that pulls debris into it, much like a skimmer. I am hoping that this will help prolong the life of the pump and serve as a sort of pre-filter, keeping some of the solids from making their way into the bog.
I did build the bog with kind of a hybrid clean-out set up. It has a homemade centipede and snorkel, as well as a standing clean-out pipe. In a year or so, I will see how it all works.
 

mrsclem

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Over the 25 years I've had koi ponds so many things have changed. Used to feed 4-5 times a day, .15% salt maintained, water changes. I used to do a large water change in the spring to clean out the leaves, etc on the pond bottom. Now it's no water changes, no salt and twice a week feedings! I meant ponds in the fall and spring to keep leaves, etc out.
Whatever works for you- go with it!
 
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I'm in the camp of I don't need to change water due to my bog unless there is an infection or contaminant. Before the bog the water was greener. This the job of the bog, consume nitrogen. My job, feed the fish and cut off the dead plants in the winter. Maybe trim the crazy irises.
 

cas

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our local nursery which installs ponds as well. They recommended weekly water changes
The two pond stores around here also recommend water changes. And total cleanouts each spring. I was glad I found this site and to read that others did not do this.
My pond is 18 years old and all I have ever done is vacuum the bottom of the pond in the spring to get any debris out. In the beginning I took more water out when than necessary (20%) when vacuuming because I believed, like you do, that I was removing bad water that had developed over winter. Once I improved circulation at the bottom of the pond I stopped excess water removal. And now that I have a better net, less leaves are getting into the pond. I very rarely vacuum now. Any water that is added to the pond is due to water evaporation. I have very little filtration - just a biofalls box, and I have fish that are 17 years old. Just wanted to share to give you another option.
 
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I think a lot of pondkeeping “wisdom” came over from aquarium keeping. In a small volume of water, a water change might make sense. But in a large pond that’s outdoors I don’t believe it improves anything and in fact may keep your pond in a state of constantly seeking balance.

When we first built our pond an old time pond guy told us “aged pond water is like fine wine. Treat it like gold. It’ll take you about three years to get there, but then leave it be.” So that’s what we did and it seems to be working great 12 years later.

We did get a nice “water change” on Sunday - 4 inches of rain! The only “water change” our pond gets!
 
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The two pond stores around here also recommend water changes. And total cleanouts each spring. I was glad I found this site and to read that others did not do this.
My pond is 18 years old and all I have ever done is vacuum the bottom of the pond in the spring to get any debris out. In the beginning I took more water out when than necessary (20%) when vacuuming because I believed, like you do, that I was removing bad water that had developed over winter. Once I improved circulation at the bottom of the pond I stopped excess water removal. And now that I have a better net, less leaves are getting into the pond. I very rarely vacuum now. Any water that is added to the pond is due to water evaporation. I have very little filtration - just a biofalls box, and I have fish that are 17 years old. Just wanted to share to give you another option.
Thanks
 
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Bog filter is the only filter I will use. I do feel water changes are needed. If you google "growth inhibiting hormone in fish" you can dive deep into the science. I found this page that is short and sweet. https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/

My preferred method of water changes is " trickle in trickle out". I just set a small flow in to the pond just more the what evaporates and the over flow goes to waste. I have started a rebuild and will put the waste to marginal plants.
 
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I just set a small flow in to the pond just more the what evaporates and the over flow goes to waste
if you follow the science, famous words today.... that method would take a very very very long time to actually make a dent in water quality
 
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if you follow the science, famous words today.... that method would take a very very very long time to actually make a dent in water quality


Water quality is controlled by a good filter like a bog.

Water changes are not only about what you take out but what you put back in or replace

Rain water has little to no TDS and plants and snails in the pond use calcium and other nutrients lowering you KH and GH. Getting to low in water hardness can lead to PH swings. So to keep the desired level of hardness something has to be added back this can be done many ways. With my water I don't have chlorine or chloramines but it dose have about 10DH. just adding a trickle of water keeps me from buying oyster shell or having to dose all micronutrients.

Water testing sets the speed of the trickle from off in the winter, up to what is needed.
 

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Water quality is controlled by a good filter like a bog.

Water changes are not only about what you take out but what you put back in or replace

Rain water has little to no TDS and plants and snails in the pond use calcium and other nutrients lowering you KH and GH. Getting to low in water hardness can lead to PH swings. So to keep the desired level of hardness something has to be added back this can be done many ways. With my water I don't have chlorine or chloramines but it dose have about 10DH. just adding a trickle of water keeps me from buying oyster shell or having to dose all micronutrients.

Water testing sets the speed of the trickle from off in the winter, up to what is needed.
There is much more to water quality than a good filter that is just part of it. What defines a good filter at one point in time, may not be the case later. Understanding your ponds inhabitants and their needs throughout their life cycle is also abother big part of it.

We can agree water changes are not just about what you are taking out but what you are putting in. Your water not having chlorine or chloramines is only one of many deleterious (@combatwombat used it again) substances that can come in through source water. If you are going to do water changes the method you use is the best trickle in/trickle out, as with everything people need to find out what works best for their pond. For me and my style ponds doing zero water changes has always worked for me unless a pollution event occurs, water changes for the sake of doing water changes and not understanding why you are doing them can do more harm than good, especially as most will have no true idea of what is exactly in their source water.

The topic of doing water changes/growth “hormone” has been discussed before on here, but….doing water changes to stop a purported “growth inhibiting hormone”, there is no hard science to back this up, the article you linked to is just anecdotal. First off a hormone is created internally inside an animal, so it can’t effect change on another. Second, if there was a substance that was emitted by a fish that could stunt growth in an closed environment, it would also stunt the growth of the fish producing it, as well. Why would an animal produce something that would be harmful to itself. A big contributing factor to stunted growth in an overcrowded pond/tank is going to be the water quality in said tank, then there is also genetics of the fish, which play a part in fish growth.
 
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