Building a DIY Pond Filter

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Hi All -

I have a close friend who just purchased a house on Long Island with an existing pond. The size is 23' x 11' x 18" depth averaging about 15" ... Tough to estimate but probably 1700 - 2000 gallons.

So it has one of the tiny clogged Tetra filters with a worthless Tetra UV low voltage. The pond is soup and the fish are thriving. Testing the water, all parameters are amazing good with no pH buffer.

SOOO - She can't afford to do my setup with GcTek Alpha One bio filter, pre-fillter, maindrain and so on ... So I told her I build something more cost effective. I'm using a poly 55 gallon drum with a removable cover, 3 bulkheads, 1-1/2" input with a gravity fed 2" return. All the piping, various media and 2 Matala cut filters are no brainers but here's the QUESTION:

She wants to spend $'s on a good UV so I am using an Aqua UV 50 watt with 2" input and output. I run the same on my system. I swear by them.

Being the UV naturally always goes at the end return to the pond and this is gravity fed, can the UV go before the 55 gallon drum or do you think being it's 2" going back to the pond, it will easily gravity feed through the UV at the end ???

T H A N K S SO M U C H !!!! :) >>>
 
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sissy

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drums if they overflow it could be a disaster in the making .I went with lava rock and stock tank and tank adapter and my tank is inside the liner and used sump pump hose on my pumps .Much easier and somewhat worry free
 
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drums if they overflow it could be a disaster in the making .I went with lava rock and stock tank and tank adapter and my tank is inside the liner and used sump pump hose on my pumps .Much easier and somewhat worry free
I was going to put an overflow line at the top from another bulkhead back to the pond ... There will be a ball valve on the intake to adjust the flow. I was also thinking of a layer of lava rock as one of my 3 layers and the 2 matala's up top.

BUT BASICALLY, I'm looking for answer to the UV and if it will gravity feed being it is a 2" line.
 

sissy

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thing is water must go through the uv slow to be effective .Gravity flow not sure how fast the water would move through it
 
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We use aqua UV too and love them. You need to make the UV last to the pond AND set up a bypass and only radiate a portion of your water. It will work just fine. We have done this for years. The problem with a U V is that the flow rate past the tube must be something like 440 gph in order to be effective. If you need more flow to run your pond for turnover, then you will either overflow your filter (not good) or run water so fast past your bulb that it doesn’t do anything. The UV needs both time and proximity to penetrate the algae nucleus and kill the cell.
 
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We use aqua UV too and love them. You need to make the UV last to the pond AND set up a bypass and only radiate a portion of your water. It will work just fine. We have done this for years. The problem with a U V is that the flow rate past the tube must be something like 440 gph in order to be effective. If you need more flow to run your pond for turnover, then you will either overflow your filter (not good) or run water so fast past your bulb that it doesn’t do anything. The UV needs both time and proximity to penetrate the algae nucleus and kill the cell.
Thanks as I'm aware of that. Been ponding 27 years and this is setup for a friend who can't currently spend big $'s. As long as the UV accepts the water flow, I'm good. I could do a bypass ( good idea ) to divide flow and slow it down. Thx ... Question: I wanted to attach the Aqua UV to the canister and do a neat job. Wondering if the UV can mount vertical on 55 gallon canister and still fill via gravity?
 
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And make sure the electrical converter is elevated above the bulb chamber. I made that mistake.
Thanks as I'll keep it horizontal. In my Alpha One bio from GcTek, vertical or horizontal isn't a problem as it fills right up being a pressure filter but gravity as this one I'm making is could be a problem vertical as you said. Thanks much!
 
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Thanks as I'll keep it horizontal. In my Alpha One bio from GcTek, vertical or horizontal isn't a problem as it fills right up being a pressure filter but gravity as this one I'm making is could be a problem vertical as you said. Thanks much!
Welcome. Could you tell us a little about your gctek filter’s performance. I tried to research it and can’t get the company to answer the phone listed on their website. I ve called four times to no answer or callback. I’m specifically interested in the cleaning rate for maintenance and fines removal. They aren’t using beads. Our ultima II may not be delivering the performance we expect.
 
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Welcome. Could you tell us a little about your gctek filter’s performance. I tried to research it and can’t get the company to answer the phone listed on their website. I ve called four times to no answer or callback. I’m specifically interested in the cleaning rate for maintenance and fines removal. They aren’t using beads. Our ultima II may not be delivering the performance we expect.
Hi - Gary Cryer owns GcTek and he's hard to reach ... Use this email ( (e-mail address removed) ) and you'll probably have better luck. I did a few modifications to the Alpha One 2.5 but I've been using it since 2012 on a 2000 gallon dedicated koi pond pond and I love it. I also have the gray pre-filter on their site, a main drain and a Savio skimmer with a Uvinex aside from the 50 watt Aqua so I'm running on overkill. I'm a bit unclear when you say fine removal ??? As far as ammonia and nitrites, I've never had a problem except last year when I had a triple spawn within 2 weeks. Ammonia took about 2-3 weeks to get under control again. I backwash it with the blower usually every 10 days. I was away for 2 weeks in June and my wife fed the koi, did no maintenance and just had her swap out Savio filters for me. Water is quite clear but again, I'm running many extras. https://aquabead.com/alphaone-250-filter/alphaone-250-filter-from-gctek .... Can't understand why he doesn't call back though. (405) 258-5551
The media I've used is the Alpha Bio 1 since 2012. I asked him about changing it last year and he insists there's no reason to.

I had left the blower on all summer and the inside became rusted from condensation and humidity. I asked Gary what the story was on that and he sent a new blower free of charge. I took it apart and cleaned it up. Now I have 2. I just pop the blower on when I use it every 10 days or so. I also put a Jandy valve below the blower. This way, there's a failsafe if the spring check valve should go. I use a 2" cap pvc when the blower isn't being used. Hope that helped ... Tried uploading a video but for some reason, the site didn't accept it.

All in all, it works quite well ....
 

sissy

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my new filter.no more splashing water for the wind that always blows here to splash the water all over the outside of the pond
100_4342.JPG
the hose coming out is for a pump in the bottom to pump it out when cleaning
 
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my new filter.no more splashing water for the wind that always blows here to splash the water all over the outside of the pond View attachment 113820the hose coming out is for a pump in the bottom to pump it out when cleaning
I'm using a black 55 gallon covered poly drum modified version of the pic with an aqua 57 watt UV attached to side... there will be a 4th port on top for a failsafe overflow back to pond.
FILTER SCHEMATIC.png
 
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Hi - Gary Cryer owns GcTek and he's hard to reach ... Use this email ( (e-mail address removed) ) and you'll probably have better luck. I did a few modifications to the Alpha One 2.5 but I've been using it since 2012 on a 2000 gallon dedicated koi pond pond and I love it. I also have the gray pre-filter on their site, a main drain and a Savio skimmer with a Uvinex aside from the 50 watt Aqua so I'm running on overkill. I'm a bit unclear when you say fine removal ??? As far as ammonia and nitrites, I've never had a problem except last year when I had a triple spawn within 2 weeks. Ammonia took about 2-3 weeks to get under control again. I backwash it with the blower usually every 10 days. I was away for 2 weeks in June and my wife fed the koi, did no maintenance and just had her swap out Savio filters for me. Water is quite clear but again, I'm running many extras. https://aquabead.com/alphaone-250-filter/alphaone-250-filter-from-gctek .... Can't understand why he doesn't call back though. (405) 258-5551
The media I've used is the Alpha Bio 1 since 2012. I asked him about changing it last year and he insists there's no reason to.

I had left the blower on all summer and the inside became rusted from condensation and humidity. I asked Gary what the story was on that and he sent a new blower free of charge. I took it apart and cleaned it up. Now I have 2. I just pop the blower on when I use it every 10 days or so. I also put a Jandy valve below the blower. This way, there's a failsafe if the spring check valve should go. I use a 2" cap pvc when the blower isn't being used. Hope that helped ... Tried uploading a video but for some reason, the site didn't accept it.

All in all, it works quite well ....
fines are those annoying small negatively buoyant brown waste products that can cause cloudiness in the water and decrease visibility. they can start to accumulate at the output into a waterfall and on the bottom. the plastic biofilm filter tubes just don't suppress them like glass bead filters do. my plant sumps help but we still have occluded water to a degree, and i'd like to clean it up. i'm installing some northern tool oil drum sieves in my plant sumps and hopefully that will suppress the fines in the water but there is also the possibility of using a gctek unit in addition. our ultima filters have the chemical waste issue covered as well as solids discharge. its the little stuff that is a problem.
 
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fines are those annoying small negatively buoyant brown waste products that can cause cloudiness in the water and decrease visibility. they can start to accumulate at the output into a waterfall and on the bottom. the plastic biofilm filter tubes just don't suppress them like glass bead filters do. my plant sumps help but we still have occluded water to a degree, and i'd like to clean it up. i'm installing some northern tool oil drum sieves in my plant sumps and hopefully that will suppress the fines in the water but there is also the possibility of using a gctek unit in addition. our ultima filters have the chemical waste issue covered as well as solids discharge. its the little stuff that is a problem.
I hear ya! I have that off and on, more so this year for some reason. I have zero algae as my phosphates are nil and I could use plants like I had years ago but when I rebuilt in 2012, I made it dedicated koi without shelves. Then I'll backwash and hose the savio filter and it clears. Should have made shelves. Koi are too big to even float hyacinth in baskets anymore as they pull them out and make a mess. Life's a bi_ch, hey! Should be the worst of our problems. I'd have to say, after defining the fines, the Alpha One doesn't remove it all.
 
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...

Being the UV naturally always goes at the end return to the pond and this is gravity fed, can the UV go before the 55 gallon drum or do you think being it's 2" going back to the pond, it will easily gravity feed through the UV at the end ???

...>
If you place the UV before the mechanical filtration, won't that create problems of lower UV light penetration, requiring a lower than spec flow rate plus more frequent quartz sleeve cleaning?
I would try to supply the UV with filtered water.
 
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If you place the UV before the mechanical filtration, won't that create problems of lower UV light penetration, requiring a lower than spec flow rate plus more frequent quartz sleeve cleaning?
I would try to supply the UV with filtered water.
Hi Mitch - You're referring to the one I'm building for the friend. Yes, you're right. I was concerned that being it's gravity fed, the 2" UV inlet and outlet might hold the water back from flowing strong enough. I'll have a ball valve on the input just in case. When I thought about it, it was ridiculous as this is a costly UV I got for her and would defeat the purpose if it wasn't at the end.
 
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I hear ya! I have that off and on, more so this year for some reason. I have zero algae as my phosphates are nil and I could use plants like I had years ago but when I rebuilt in 2012, I made it dedicated koi without shelves. Then I'll backwash and hose the savio filter and it clears. Should have made shelves. Koi are too big to even float hyacinth in baskets anymore as they pull them out and make a mess. Life's a bi_ch, hey! Should be the worst of our problems. I'd have to say, after defining the fines, the Alpha One doesn't remove it all.
Hey C Guy - Here are some pics. The koi are 4 feet down while I was standing there so the clarity isn't great. Also, there's a slight cloud in the water ....
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Don’t go vertically. I don’t remember the problem but it breaks them somehow.
The orientation of a UV clarifier depends on the design.
I have a Lifeguard UV unit that is designed to operate vertically and a Laguna unit that is designed to operate horizontally.
 
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The orientation of a UV clarifier depends on the design.
I have a Lifeguard UV unit that is designed to operate vertically and a Laguna unit that is designed to operate horizontally.
The Aqua 57W uv say either vertically or horizontally. On a pressure filter, it would be fine either way such as mine. On the gravity one I'm doing for a friend, I'd be afraid vertically it might not fill up. We'll see I guess once finished....
 
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