Trying to improve flow through filters


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I hope someone can help me with a filter and water flor rate question. I am pumping water from a pond into two 6 gallon barrel filters (radial flow and one filled with filter material), from there the water is fed by gravity back into the pond. The issue...gravity cannot keep up with the input. I would like to ideally place some form of pump into the second filter - which drains back to the pond - to increase flow back to the pond. As a band aid I am throttling the input pipe to reduce flow but with some VERY cold nights coming up I would like to ramp up flow to prevent freezing. The question I guess is...what is the best solution here? I suspect the pump would need to have some ability to reduce flow to match the input to the filters? or, a low water cut off switch inbuilt? Or is there some solution I just haven't thought of?

Any suggestions welcome

Paul
 
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mrsclem

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So your filters are overflowing? What size pipe do you have for input and outflow? The outflow needs to be larger than the inflow side, preferably twice the size.
 
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@mrsclem said I what I would have - increase the outflow and you'll be fine. Gravity has no limiting factor here. Although your filter material could be slowing down flow as well.

Could you post some photos of your set up? That may help with some solutions.
 
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Agree. Output pipe should be larger than input pipe. But...if your filter is backing up due to clogging filter media, then the pipe sizes won't matter.

You'll need to create some type of overflow method that will force the overflow water to return to the pond instead of backing up. Some of the home designed filter setups have an overflow pipe built in. If you can describe your filter in detail and maybe add some pictures, maybe someone here can suggest a fix. It might just need a pipe exiting out towards the top that will send the excess water back to the pond. But it might be more complicated than that. I'm no expert. Just throwing some ideas out there. Maybe your filter material is too fine causing premature backup.

I dont use filter material anymore. No store bought or homemade filters for me anymore. Too much work and they never clean the water good enough. I use a wetland bog. No maintenance and crystal clear water.
 

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@wex65 In addition, agree that it might be helpful if you posted pictures of your set-up, and gave us a little more information regarding how you have it plumbed. How big is your pond? Just curious, because 2-6 gallon filters aren’t a lot of filtration. I’m very curious about the radial flow filter. I researched this many years ago and if I recall, this type of filter works best with very large containers, rather than small ones.
 
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Just curious, when you say want more water flow because of very cold winter nights. I've turned my pumps off for winter apart from 1 small pump on the surface to keep the pond from 100% freezing over (it doesnt get very cold here). I am probably wrong but could someone clarify. If the pump is at the bottom of the pond wouldnt a lot of water circulation make the pond very cold / make it freeze even more depending size/shape of pond and on how cold it gets where you live? Just worried wex65 might be trying to solve the issue with something that might make it worse. (or am I barking up the wrong tree?)
 
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Just curious, when you say want more water flow because of very cold winter nights. I've turned my pumps off for winter apart from 1 small pump on the surface to keep the pond from 100% freezing over (it doesnt get very cold here). I am probably wrong but could someone clarify. If the pump is at the bottom of the pond wouldnt a lot of water circulation make the pond very cold / make it freeze even more depending size/shape of pond and on how cold it gets where you live? Just worried wex65 might be trying to solve the issue with something that might make it worse. (or am I barking up the wrong tree?)
Generally, for the winter, I try not to disturb the deeper water where the fish are hanging out. I raise my air stones up to one of the shallow shelves. If I kept them on the bottom, I think the cold air from the aerator would cool the deep water too much.
I also raise my pump.
The pump and the air stones have strings tied to them. This way I can pull them up or out easily. The strings are tied off on the shoreline to keep them in place.
 

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@wex and good advice given w/all of the above posts!
 
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I do REALLY appreciate all of the input above. I am in the eastern panhandle of WV, close to the MD/PA state lines. The next 2-3 nights are supposed to be down around 20 and I am trying to ensure things don't freeze over/burst filters/pipes.

I will take some photos but in the interim I guess I should clarify... the "two 6 gallon filters" was a typo and should have read two 65-gallon filters. Also, the pond is used only for ducks right now, no fish. I do plan to introduce fish this spring.

I figured (rightly or wrongly) that keeping the water on the move would prevent it freezing in the filters. We have had nights down to as low as 18 and the water kept flowing just fine. The one night I turned off the pump (we hit 27 degrees) the two filters were nearly frozen solid. I am wary that they could split so want to keep the water moving to prevent a freeze. I do have two airstones in the pond to prevent it freezing there also.

Reading the comments above I can totally see how doubling the drain pipe would alleviate the issue. I have a 3" uniseal arriving tomorrow and will do a quick temporary fix to hook up a 3" pipe and run it directly to the pond. My input is a 1.5" pipe. I will bury the 3" once the weather warms up a little. This should prevent my overflowing issue.

Again, thanks for the input. It has been very helpful in determining my next steps. I will report back once the 3" drain is in situ.

Paul
 
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Always nice when the OP comes back with a response @wex65 ! You are correct in assuming, for the most part, moving water is less likely to freeze. But there are lots of caveats, like how cold, how much water, how fast it's moving, etc that can affect the outcome. I mean, even Niagara Falls has frozen over a few times!
 
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I'm interested in the results after doubling the output pipe size. Hope it works out.
Keep us posted.

Thanks, will do. Just grabbed 3" pipe which I will hook up this PM when the 3" uniseal arrives. Gonna be some cold nights so I am hopeful this does the trick.

As I say, I have had down to @18 degrees without the pond freezing over, just by keeping the water moving. I know that much below there and I will be fighting a losing battle...just trying to avoid the filters freezing/bursting.
 

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