Biological Pond Filters - Top Tips
Your Koi's health will be largely dependent on the efficiency of your pond's filtration system. Your biological filter utilises bacteria to break down the harmful ammonia in the water and converts it into benign Nitrate.
Whatever your budget when setting up a new pond, filtration is a priority and you should invest in the best pond filters that you can afford at the time, even if that means reducing the number of fish that you plan to purchase at the outset. You cannot over filter your pond and so bigger is best when it comes to biological filters. Choosing the right equipment is essential but this is only the beginning of the story as over time your filters will need to be operated correctly and be regularly maintained.
Running Your Pond Filters
It's important that your biological filter must run for twenty-four hours every day - especially between March and October when your Koi will be most active and feeding.
Going into more detail, ensure that you have a pump that is capable of turning over the volume of water in your pond at least every two hours. It's key that the water pass through the biological pond filter as you will want to match the rate at which ammonia is being produced by your fish stock.
You should regularly check your pump's pre-filter to ensure that the correct water flow is maintained.
When you install your pond filter it will take six weeks for the friendly bacteria to mature and several months before they fully mature. Do not stock your pond too quickly as you will have inadequate filtration.
Clear water does not mean healthy water and so you should test your water quality regularly. You cannot tell if all is well simply by looking at your pond water. Test your water immediately if your Koi show signs of lethargy.
You can kickstart your biological filter and then improve its performance by using a bacterial supplement.
Always clean filter material in pond water and not in tap water. Tap water contains chlorine that will kill your beneficial bacteria. Only clean your media if your water flow is inhibited.
Clean your media only when completely necessary and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Use pond water and do not clean the media in one go. If you stagger your cleaning you will maintain a healthy population of bacteria.
Bacterial supplements can be particularly beneficial after you have cleaned the filter media and will promote rapid growth of friendly bacteria.
If you have a UV clarifier, always isolate the power supply before starting any work on the equipment. Never look directly at a UV bulb and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. The UV bulb will need replacing approximately every six months. When you have to replace the bulb, change the O rings and seals at the same time. Handle the Quartz sleeve carefully and remove any dirt as required.
- Featured image by gporada via Flickr (Public Domain)