Using a river as a biofilter?


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I manage a concrete pond system for a mini golf course, there are two large ponds connected by a concrete riverbed with a fast flow. The bottom pond is about 15,000 gallons and the top is probably about half that. The plumbing is all underground, and there was never a filter or a place to put one. The last manager just kept the ponds lifeless and cleaned them out once a month. I would like to fill them with waterplants and maybe some fish eventually. I was thinking that I could fill the riverbed, which is about 40 feet long, with lava rocks and weigh them down with a layer of larger rocks to prevent them from washing away. Assuming that I can keep the rocks in place, I think that they will become encrusted with bacteria and serve as a very long biofilter. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of system, or is there some reason this won't work? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 
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DrCase

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It will work when you first get it going..
After that there is no way to clean it out and it will just end up like a septic tank
 

DrDave

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A good upflow bio filter will trap all the solids and return clear water back to the pond. The particles that are trapped into the bottom of the bio filter are then flushed periodically by opening a 2" or larger dump valve.

If you don't trap it by some means, DrCase is right, it will go septic at some point over time.
 
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How big of a filter will I need? There aren't many options for where to put it, the pump sits underwater and its discharge pipe runs through the concrete, underground, and up through the waterfall. The only place I can think of to put a filter is on top of the waterfall. It's about 5 feet wide and anything more than a foot and a half tall will be visible.
 

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DrCase

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You should start looking at stock tanks and find the largest one that would fit in your spot. i am looking out the window at mine it is close to 24" tall ..you just have to hide it . and it does need to be a little taller than the water fall so it can spill out over it...
you can have water plants ,at the top of the filter
if you can find a tank larger than 150 gal it will be a good start
 
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DrDave

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Mine was a sump pump with a float switch. Worked great until rust got it. The oil is mineral oil. My next one will be all 300 series SS.
 
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DrCase

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I have a little giant pump that seeps a oil film ..
I still use it for non pond use

exodus........ do you have a few more pics of the stream it self ?
 

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