Pond Max pressurized filter with UV and backwash--thoughts


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Hello, I have posted a couple times with issues with koi health and parasites, which I believe all began with water quality issues. I have added bio filtration where I can in my 2 skimmers, and waterfalls filter box. Also have a 4 foot stream with gravel to help. I am looking to improve even more so and got an estimate from our local pond company to install a Pond Max pressurized filter with UV and backwash.

Does anyone have one or similar that can give me opinions of? I know there may be several of you that will advise that I can do a DIY filter much more effectively and easily, but I am not a DIYer for this kind of stuff where you need drill holes in a tub and run pvc and hook to current set up. My husband thinks what we have is sufficient so chances are he's not going to do it.

I am looking to improve the water quality and also have less maintenance to do. This product is suppose to be good for a pond up to 1800 gallons, mine is app. 1200. I am also going from a 1500 gph pump on the main skimmer to a 2400 one. That is the pump/skimmer the Pond Max will be hooked up to. My pond is a figure 8 design and the smaller section has a skimmer with a 1050 gph pump.

Would like people's opinions and thoughts.

Thank you.
 
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John, My pond is 1200 gallons, approximately. It's a figure 8 design with 2 skimmers as mentioned in original post. I have 8 koi, varying in size from largest about 12" to smallest about 3". The larger skimmer/pump goes to waterfall filter box then into a smaller upper pond (less than 50) which then goes down a gravel stream (4 feet) and into main pond. The smaller section of the figure 8 has a skimmer with a 1050 gph pump that pump down a few large rocks in a fast trickle type of falls. I have stuffed bio balls into my skimmer and lava rocks into the upper small pond. I do not have a separate canister type of a bio filter.

This Pond Max would be a canister design that would sit outside my pond and water would go into it from the main pond before going into the waterfall filter and down the stream. It is a pressurized filter (not sure what that means) that has filter media including bioballs and what sounds like a springflo material in it, UV light and backwash. I guess you turn some knob to do that.

I don't get what you mean by take stuff away as I know my water issues have been due to lack of biofiltration. Therefore I stuffed lava rocks, bioballs, etc. where I could find spots (filter boxes, skimmer next to pump, etc.) to get better filtration.

I guess my goal isn't so much less maintenance as I am looking for improved filtration. Although I've been told this product is very little maintenance due to back wash capabilities??
 

koiguy1969

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adding a pressurized filter can reduce maintainence in some situations.but forget about it as a bio filter. and install in line before your waterfall basin filter. it will catch the crud before collecting in the basin, and hitting your bio media in the waterfall. keeping it cleaner, therby more efficient. backflushing is easy and takes a minute or two. you may have to do it often tho if your pond is dirty. and leave it in the backflush mode to remove water for water changes. and why pay someone to do such an easy job? do it yourself. now i am not saying that it is a neccessity or even something recommended. since we dont know your pond, filtration setup, plumbing, pump sizes, fishload,etc... so if its your decision to add one, install the filter, clean the waterfall filter and it could stay considerably cleaner.
 

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You are already using enough pumps and the filters should be working .How much do you feed your fish because if you are over feeding that could be a problem .Canister filters also cannot be left out in the winter and have a tendency to crack .Is it green water as all you may need is a uv with a slow amount of water going through it Koi do produce a lot of waste and over feeding just triples the waste .I have a canister filter on my stock tank but back flushing never cleans it .I have to take it apart to clean it good and it smells bad .
 
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So often I read and see these canisters that people have filled with bioballs, springflo, etc for biofiltration. I only have a small amount of that type of filter where I can fit it. I don't feed the fish more than twice a day when it's warm/hot weather. I don't want to have to feed them less than that.

Sissy, how often do you have to take it apart to clean and is it a big job? Is the backwash a bad idea?

They also recommend that I go from a 1500 gph pump in the main pond to a 2400. He says the bigger the pump the better. I have to say the way my pond is designed it's a bit of a run for it to go to upper pond and I wanted a waterfall that seemed like a stronger flow. Plus I have the other pump in smaller section that is 1050 gph.
 

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Have to clean it every 4 days and it has to be protected from rain .It has a back flush but that is useless it does not clean it and i have to put up with the open sewer smell it gives off the tank is a 300 gallon tank .It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to clean it out .It has a course filter and a fine filter and bio balls .I feed them 4 times a week ..I have an 18 watt uv on my pond but the water gets pumped to the uv and goes right back into the pond and not the filter , there i have 13 fish and now i think i have babies .Well actually 11 after a neighbors dog got 2 of my fish .
 
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Now I guess I'm having 2nd thoughts on this. Any ideas of what I could do instead to increase filtration? Does the larger pump seem like a good idea as it would move the water faster? I don't have a bottom drain. I have had issues with parasites and ulcers this entire summer. Have done a Prazi treatment 4 times. It's been pretty challenging and my concern was that I needed more surface coverage for biofilters as these 2 spots I have them don't seem enough.
 

koiguy1969

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o.k... i see i started my post. had to stop for the phone, and a bathroom call. when i got back you'd posted again.. anyways, my pond is 1200 gals... no skimmers, just a 2150 gph pump with a prefilter and a DIY upflow waterfall filter, and a 9 watt U.V that i run 2 weeks a year. i kept 5, 2" koi, and 150+ 2"-5" koi plus a 20"pieco in. maybe your over thinking things and overreactions are the issue. i dont know what you've done, chemicals added etc.
 

koiguy1969

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parasites? all ponds have parasites, as most all fish do. the U.V is also an aid in their control, along with other free floating pathogens. a slower flow is usually not neccessary for green water algeas, but is more beneficial for parasites and pathogens.
 

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A uv by what I read also helps with parasites .I have no bottom drain in my pond and no skimmer and I have always used 2 pumps this way if 1 goes out you have back up .I had my stock tanks used for sick fish from some people that were given bad advice on a pond liner and they bought 2 uv's while they rebuilt there pond .They bought 2 new ones for there pond and told me to keep the other ones .Maybe you need a slime coat repair stuff for your fish .How clear is your water and do you test it and are you city water and treating it.I bought the uv's off ebay just over 30 dollars for 18 watts and bought extra bulbs also
 

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If what you are asking about is something such as this PondMax Pressurized filter with UV and Backwash, then I am adamantly not a fan.

They do not last. There will eventually be gasket parts or hinges or some other part will be needed after a year of using it.

Also, it is not a good concept for filtration for the small size they are.

These are most often purchased by beginners, which I did the exact same thing. I eventually only used it for the foam pads that were inside of mine so to act as a semi-particulate filter.

Now, I just use it as a trash can in my pond filter room.

You are far better off DIY'n something rather than using these expensive pond filters.
 
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It is a Pond Max brand and according to the pond people who I use it's a new product that is what they call "great". I don't know how to do a DIY bio filter - sorry, just don't want to get into all that plumbing, drilling holes into a canister, etc. Thought this might be the way to go. I feel like I need a bigger canister type of set up where the water will go through after the skimmer, which would be the bio filter that will grow the good bacteria.

I have had ongoing fish health problems all summer, very frustrating. Three weeks ago I did a Prazi Pond, which was the 3rd treatment after doing 2 treatments in early June. One of my koi was sitting on the bottom alone with fins clamped, reddish color (stress related I believe) and spitting out any food. We did a scrape in early June for parasites and found flukes after a lot of flashing. Once I did the 2nd round of Prazi treatment within 2 days it was up swimming and eating and seemed great. Flash forward 2 weeks later (this weekend) same thing sitting, fins clamped and red. So now I have done another treatment which will be 3 in just this 2nd round. Now it's fine again.

I'm afraid I'm going to go through this every summer if I don't get a better filter system and was told this was the way to go. Now I am really unsure what to do. I don't want something that is going to break after spending all this money (which is a lot for this system, a larger pump and labor) and smells bad resulting in constant cleaning.
 
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As unpopular as they are on this forum, I use a pressurized filter with a UV light. I use my 1200 gph pump for it and it splashes back into my pond. I use a 3000 gph pump for my water fall. Both pumps sit inside the skimmer with two sets of filter mats.

I clean my canister filter less often than before I added filtration to my skimmer, may be once a week. It take about 15 minutes .
 

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Thing is it all comes down to the manufacturer of the filter and the ease of getting parts and the expense of the parts .A lot of the plastic these days is recycled and true crs said they can break or leak .Just like pumps look at the cost of some of those parts .RIDICULES .sometimes cheaper to buy new .Look at ink cartridges for printers the cost for the ink refills or just refilling them your self is way to much .These filters can be OK if they are not the only means of filtering .The cost now that is up for debate .free is good :)I would not have bought 1 again .I had 1 on my first preformed
 

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true one winter comes and cooler temps are here it will all resolve itself with the colder water .Just keep anything like leaves and stuff from getting in your pond.I am no expert and never will be but you need to find what works for you
 
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Thanks Tula, I can deal with once a week for about 15 minutes. It's adding more filtration which I know I need. Do you keep the UV going all the time or just certain times such as the spring?
 
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crsublette

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It is a Pond Max brand and according to the pond people who I use it's a new product that is what they call "great". I don't know how to do a DIY bio filter - sorry, just don't want to get into all that plumbing, drilling holes into a canister, etc. Thought this might be the way to go. I feel like I need a bigger canister type of set up where the water will go through after the skimmer, which would be the bio filter that will grow the good bacteria.

I have had ongoing fish health problems all summer, very frustrating. Three weeks ago I did a Prazi Pond, which was the 3rd treatment after doing 2 treatments in early June. One of my koi was sitting on the bottom alone with fins clamped, reddish color (stress related I believe) and spitting out any food. We did a scrape in early June for parasites and found flukes after a lot of flashing. Once I did the 2nd round of Prazi treatment within 2 days it was up swimming and eating and seemed great. Flash forward 2 weeks later (this weekend) same thing sitting, fins clamped and red. So now I have done another treatment which will be 3 in just this 2nd round. Now it's fine again.

I'm afraid I'm going to go through this every summer if I don't get a better filter system and was told this was the way to go. Now I am really unsure what to do. I don't want something that is going to break after spending all this money (which is a lot for this system, a larger pump and labor) and smells bad resulting in constant cleaning.


You should try out the Novak Anoxic filter before doing one of those "all in one" pressure canister filters. The only plumbing involved is a pump, of any size, moving water into the filter. However, it does require a fair amount of construction, that is depending on how you approach it. The cost to build it will amount to be about the same, or a little higher, than the PondMax canister filter and will be much better.

Unfortunately, if you do not want to DIY, that is involved plumbing, possibly drilling holes, etc, then there is no cheap way to go. All of the good quality, craftsman made filters are a "tad" (which means potentially alot) more expensive than a these cheap "all in one" pressure canister filters. If you want anything cheap in this hobby in context of filtration, then DIY is the name of the game.
 
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Thanks Tula, I can deal with once a week for about 15 minutes. It's adding more filtration which I know I need. Do you keep the UV going all the time or just certain times such as the spring?
I run my UV light all the time, at least this summer I have. Mine is an Easy Pro 2500 and I've had it several years. I bring it inside in Nov., as it will crack and freeze in winter weather.
 

fishin4cars

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I am not a fan of all in one pressurized filters at all. I run multiple ponds with each having different filter types. By far the one with the pressurized filter is the biggest PITA, I have to clean it to often, it's not a stable environment for bio filtration, the UV lights for the most part only last a short time and then become quite ineffective. Actually I have a 800 gallon pond with nothing but plants and a airstone and it runs better than the pond with the pressurized filter. That being said, the one with no filter is fairly heavy stocked but not with Koi or goldfish. It has Labyrith fish and a lot of oxygen generating plants and a LOT of surface coverage with lilies and hyacinths so the water is quite shade.
Personally I would look into doing one of the proven DIY filters, Most can be built for less than the cost of the pressurized filter, be far more effective and take less than a weekend if not less than a day to put together.
 
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The general consensus is that they are not good. My question is what could I have installed that is not a pressurized biofilter? I am not a DIY and need some type of filtration system installed other than my two skimmers.

Charles, I am not trying to go cheap with my pond and believe me the cost for labor and this filter and pump isn't cheap. I just would like to hire someone to do this instead of trying to do this myself. Aren't there any kind of filters that can be bought that are similar to the DIY ones that you all seem to make that are not pressurized? The Novak filter looks pretty complicated. I will have to read more about it.

My understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the pressurized system do not have any oxygen and therefore may either not be sufficient in growing bacteria - and could do more harm that good? Is that why everyone is giving them a thumbs down?
 

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