Filter Issues.


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I have a Blagdon 400 litre free standing pond housing four large goldfish (they started out small) but I'm obliged to do a major water change every week as the Nitrate levels rise very quickly. I've been advised to get a new filter - one that can handle at least twice the volume of water ie 1,000 litres. I also understand that some filter media can house microorganisms that can consume Nitrates. So, I need help with brand names. Can anyone suggest a filter brand/model that will do the job plus the name and type of filter media that I could add to or replace the medium/media that the filter comes with. I'll need a pump to drive the filter so any ideas about that would be gratefully received. Many thanks, Brian Montague
 
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Welcome @Brian Montague !

I can't help with filters - my pond uses wetland filtration and I can't recommend it highly enough - however I will say that your fish may have overgrown your pond. At 100 gallons, you may be right at the tipping point if your fish are large enough.

But yes - your pond should turn over at least 1.5 times per hour, preferably 2. Brands probably are a matter of preference. Since you are from across that "other pond" it may be more a matter of looking for features that others recommend and finding brands available to you that meet those requirements.

Do you have any plants in this pond? Plants are an integral component to a well-balanced system - hence the value of the bog or wetland filtration.
 
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I suggest you read through this forum extensively to educate yourself on the nitrogen cycle, beneficial bacteria, how to properly clean a filter without killing off that beneficial bacteria, the need for plants in that cycle and much more.

You will read that a lot of us don't use store bought filters, instead we use a bog filter. The water gets pumped under 12 inches of pea gravel, rises up through the gravel and returns to the pond. Plants, which thrive on the excess nutrients, are grown directly in the gravel. The bog filter can be small or large. In your case it won't need to be very big since your pond is only 100 gallons. A wooden box with a liner or a long window planter would probably work for you. You won't be wasting money on an inadequate store bought filter and the bog will keep your water crystal clear with no maintenance. No cleaning of any filter pads at all.
 
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Many thanks Lisak1 and Poconojo for your advice. I know a lot about the nitrogen cycle, beneficial bacteria et al. I have plants in my pond, mainly Pothos growing hydroponically to little effect, as well as Elodea for extra oxygenation. As the pond is more or less a tub with no shallow areas it is quite a fiddle to try and grow plants as there is no way to grow marginals and any plants that need shallow water would have to be supported on columns of some kind which would take up valuable swimming space. Regarding building a bog filter I'd need detailed instructions. Are they easily available, are some better than others? I know nothing about bog filters at all. Presumably it would take months for the bog filter to become active and what happens in the winter?
 
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j.w

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@Brian Montague What response? I just was welcoming you. Maybe you are referring to my Live and let live quote? That is just a signature that is on all my posts.
 
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@Brian Montague What response? I just was welcoming you. Maybe you are referring to my Live and let live quote? That is just a signature that is on all my posts.
I'm confused - what I don't understand is the description of your pump, I'm unfamiliar with the abbreviation.
 

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I'm confused - what I don't understand is the description of your pump, I'm unfamiliar with the abbreviation.
Oh you mean the description of my pond. I forgot all about that the kind of pump I have is in there.
I use this prefilter attached to my pump and then the water goes to my waterfall and back into the pond.
My pump is a Laguna submersible pump that pumps 4280 gallons per hour. That statement I have about in there is a 2400gph is my old pump. I need to fix that statement on my posts.
Here is my new one:

IMG_9262.JPG


IMG_9261.JPG


The pump came w/a cage around it like this one but I took that off so I could attach the prefilter to it.

Laguna 4280 GPH pump.jpg




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and the something like this:

Prefilter diagram.jpg

I have to have a rope tied to the pump and prefilter to pull it out to clean tho. It is super easy to clean tho but kind of a hassle to pull out. I also made a pot filter that sits on the top edge of my pond.

IMG_9446.JPG
 
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Dear J.W. Thanks for that, I feel a tad less bewildered than before. All the best, Brian
 
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Dear Turtle Mummy, That's what I thought but despite a number of Pothos that grow hydroponically in the pond. the Nitrate levels seem unaffected. Regards, Brian
 

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If I were to do things all over again I would do a bog. Way less work in the long run and your pond will be sparkling clean from seeing the ones on here that have them.
 
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That is undoubtedly good advice j.w. but a bog filter will, I assume, take a few months to get going. I'll have a Goggle re bog filters and see what I can see. Many thanks, Brian
 
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Hallo j.w, Turtle Mummy , Poconojo, So, as I understand it, I get a container (I already have 90 litre tubs I use for water changes so maybe I could use one of these) and partially fill it with pea gravel and maybe other materials , I plant it with marginal plants. I then pump water from my pond into this container via a system of plastic pipes so that the water circulates properly through the gravel planted marginals and then providing the rate of the water flow is appropriate, it can be gravity fed back into my pond having been thoroughly cleaned by the marginal plants. Is this right - am I getting the idea? Please advise. Many thanks, Brian
 

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I don't have a bog but others on here do. Maybe do a search and put in "Bog Filter" and I'm sure lots of posts will show up on bogs.
 
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You're almost there! You want the plumbing to be in the bottom of the tub (or whatever you decide to use) and completely filled with pea gravel (or even slightly larger gravel if you prefer). Then you plant the top of the vessel with some plants which will help filter the water.

Remember this is strictly biological filtration, so you want to pump "clean" water free of debris into the bog. So either a skimmer or other mechanical filtration before the water gets to the bog is needed.
 
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Dear Lisak1, I'm feeling more hopeful and informed. So far it seems that a long window box shaped vessel might do the trick. I was thinking of using a submersible pump (fitted with sponges to trap debris) to pump the water from the pond and into the bottom of the "window box" bog filter. The "in flow" plumbing I imagine would be a T shaped pipe drilled with holes. I thought that the "window box" could be on a slight slope so that the water would flow naturally to the other end where it would trickle back into the pond via a pipe that I would fit into the end of the window box. Should this pipe be fitted into the window box low down or high up on the end panel? Any ideas?

Many thanks, Brian
 
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The plumbing can either enter at the bottom of the box (you'd probably need some sort of bulkhead fitting) or, an easier method, use a 90 degree elbow and drop it down the inside of the box to the bottom.
 
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That sounds straightforward. The next issue is that I'd like a container that has "window box" proportions and is made from fish friendly material such as HDTPE 2 or 5. A quick Google at window boxes doesn't show up any of these. Maybe I could line the window box with pond liner. What do you think?
 

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