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    Thread: Anoxic filtration update

    1. #1
      CharlieQ is offline Senior Member
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      Anoxic filtration update

      I recently installed 15 bio cenosis planters in a self contained water trough teed off from my skimmer pump. I noticed within 2 weeks that all the algae in the pond has been killed off and has inundated the vortex sieve I use.
      Water parameters were very good to begin with except for nitrates which were around 60.
      My nitrate levels have dropped down to 20 ppm. So yesterday I eliminated my bio barrel from the equation.
      I ll keep an eye on parameters daily so I don't get any ammonia spikes.
      I'm putting a lot of faith in Dr. Novack. Have a large amount of fish 🐟to look after. Wish me luck

    2. #2
      batman's Avatar
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      Are these planted baskets?
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    3. #3
      CharlieQ is offline Senior Member
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      3 of 15 are planted n thriving

    4. #4
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      I'll be watching for updates with interest!

    5. #5
      cvostmyer is online now Member
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      I've noticed each time I've added new baskets to my pond that I get drop in algae right away (before the baskets could be colonized). I think there is a sponge effect that absorbs their food for a short period of time. If the baskets are your primary bio, you may see it return before the baskets are colonized. What is your fish load?

    6. #6
      CharlieQ is offline Senior Member
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      I have 5 or 6 adults n about 80 or so 1 to 6 inch in 4800 g
      My 12 original baskets have been in for 6 weeks.the other 3 planted only 2 weeks
      My bio barrel is disconnected going on 48hrs.
      I will post all water parameters when I get home from work today. Glad I have someone else to collaborate with.
      How many planters do u have. Do u hav a pic of ur anoxic setup.?

    7. #7
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      I have had an anoxic chamber with 60 baskets connected to my 5k gallon concrete pond for over 2 years as my only bio filter. I have string algae in the pond now and still get greenwater algae blooms in the pond this time of year, but the greenwater outbreaks are brief and handled with a UV in a couple of days, the string algae are ongoing as is a "slime" algae mainly in the anoxic chamber now and it hasn't wanted to quite.

      The parameters (drop tests) have been good with no nitrates since really I started, but with only a light fish load (now with a dozen 6-8" goldfish & one koi). Perhaps the temperature of your pond water has direct correlation to how long it takes for the baskets to "mature". Perhaps for a few days in late summer my pond reaches 70, so it ranges from the mid 40's in winter to the mid 60's most of the summer months. About a dozen baskets are planted, those in the top layer and the plant growth is every good, and the anoxic chamber is 5' deep. Frankly, I have no idea if those baskets are actually working, but the hanging plants in the pond live while those in the baskets thrive, but I don't know if it is just the plants that keep the numbers correct.

      Only time will tell with me, as I gain a larger fish load slowly.

    8. #8
      cvostmyer is online now Member
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      I just finished one year of Koi keeping, so I'm no expert. I had five 10 to 15 inch koi in a 3600 gal pond. Last year the filter was from the bottom drain to pump, a small sieve, to the anoxic chamber then back to the pond. The chamber was 2.5' x 5.5' x 3' with 8 baskets. It took 2-3 months for the baskets to cycle. I used Safe/Salt/Water Changes to keep the fish safe. By fall the water numbers were all good.

      As I'm up north, we shut down everything over the winter and covered the pond in late fall/early winter. The pond was ice free all winter, but for a week the cover was frozen shut by frost forming around the hatch used to check on the fish.

      Come spring, we uncovered the pond. Without any active filtration, there was ammonia, no nitrites, and higher than normal nitrates, temp was in the high 40s. The anoxic chamber was frozen solid, so again used Safe/Water Changes to protect the fish while I stuck a heater in the anoxic chamber to speed up the melting.

      Over the winter I had decided that I didn't like the anoxic setup. Not that I didn't like anoxic filters, but the chamber was too big and stuck out in the yard. So I had decided to change up the system to something I could make it look better in the yard. The plan is to create an insulated filter pit that I could keep running all winter. I'm still working on everything so system is still in flux.

      Once the anoxic chamber was melted, I took out four of the baskets and created a new "canister" anoxic filter based off of some of Novack's designs for discus. I was thinking that using the contents of the old baskets would jumpstart the new filter. The canister is made out of a 14 gal drum with a core of an anoxic filter that holds about 35lb of Oil-Dri (1 1/2 bags). Once it was added to the pond, the ammonia dropped to zero with no cycling to nitrite (next day) and there was a dieback of the string algae that grew during the winter (within the week). We lost one fish as the water warmed up (dropsy for unknown reason).

      Now late spring, the string algae has returned but the water numbers are still good. I'm in the process of adding the second canister and an RDF to the system. Currently the skimmer is feeding the anoxic canister and the bottom drain is running to the sieve. The plan for this year is to have the skimmer and bottom drain feeding the RDF to 2 or 3 anoxic chamber, all incased in an insulated cover so it can run all winter.

      The second container is still in progress, so I'll take a few pictures. I think the benefits of this design is that it forces the water into close contact with the anoxic filter. My chamber was too big for the number of baskets (I had planned to add many more over time) and the water flow seemed to go over the top not down to the baskets. My plans for the number of fish has decreased as well. I'm thinking of doing an additional purchase of 4-5 fish next year. That may be it for the pond.

    9. #9
      CharlieQ is offline Senior Member
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      I very seen the cannister setup dr Novak used for his discus tank. I think ur idea is innovative and should work based on my readings. i also think ur deep pit was successful as well perhaps a little difficult to maintain n keep clean. What did u use for ur iron content?

    10. #10
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      A few years back the extreme negative posts were so frequent you couldn't even discuss Anoxic filtration on this and other forums. Always thought this was ironic with the many successful Euro Anoxic filtration ponds posted on non-US forums.
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    11. #11
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      When Anoxic filtration was first being discussed it had several strikes against it.

      People interchanged the terms anoxic and anaerobic and were saying it would create Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and put that into the pond.
      The lack of water changes goes against most of the recommendations in koi keeping.
      People equated the biocenosis basket chamber as a bog (especially without it being cleaned but twice a year) when some of the baskets can be planted.
      Putting Iron (rust) into a koi pond is totally taboo. So adding Laterite or Ironite (Ironite 1-0-1) is totally against the preachings or known koi doctrine.
      AND it was new. Many people could not even listen to the entire concept. Few people actually read Dr. Novack's original paper/article (39 pages).

      With all those strikes against it, I can see why Anoxic filtration was not well received.

      Then in practice, most people, tried a few baskets or what they thought was anoxic filtration and had some success or none at all.

      But that would be another post and only my personnel observations if anyone was interested.

    12. #12
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      Syd Mitchell of the UK has been a good source on anoxic filter for along time and has written many item on it, a google search will provide many hits.

      Have faith in the system, it is a low cost and low energy bio converter, but it isn't the quickest to colonize as Novak originally warned. I attempted a "fish-less" colonization first, and it failed because I bought the cheapest ammonia!!

      Good Luck and please keep us posted.

    13. #13
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      One of my favorite Anoxic Filter pond photos (from Dr Novack's blog).
      Attached Images Attached Images  
      Last edited by batman; 05-24-2021 at 11:24 PM.
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    14. #14
      montwila's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
      Syd Mitchell of the UK has been a good source on anoxic filter for along time and has written many item on it, a google search will provide many hits.
      Yes, Syd Mitchell (from England) has written a course for K.O.I. on Anoxic Filtration (KOI #503 is about 42 pages). It is much easier to read and understand than Dr. Novak's original article. Syd also added much more information surrounding the topic and made the chemistry easier for us none scientists. Syd was also the anchor speaker at the PNKCA's convention on this topic, I believe in 2018 (Portland OR.) and had a short class on this at the convention in 2016 (Spokane WA.) so he is well versed. His web site www.mankysanke.co.uk as a short article that gives a good overview without a lot of science.

    15. #15
      TSCampbell is offline Junior Member
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      How happy I am to see this thread! I enlarged my tiny 1k pond in Feb 2020 to about 6,500k (to accommodate a couple of $20 koi I bought a few years back ). I decided to give anoxic filtration a whirl. I have a bottom drain going to a Zakki sieve, and a skimmer, both going through UV and emptying into the top pond where my baskets are. There are sixteen 11" baskets. I have one adult and eleven 2-year old koi. I test once or twice a month with the API drops (primarily testing kH, though I do them all). I've never seen anything over a 0 for ammonia or nitrite. I purchased a separate nitrate test, since it didn't come in the kit, and have never seen any measurable nitrate either. The pond gets full sun and I did have a horrendous battle with string algae last year. I started to again this year, but I seem to be winning the battle. I've been vacuuming every week, added 4 new baskets, and just gave it a 2nd dose of barley straw extract. So far, I'm happy with how the system is working. (More Photos) Name:  191338171_309495154103999_8825121028912652852_n-X3.jpg
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    16. #16
      Grumpy's Avatar
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      Glad to see these anoxic treated ponds. TSCampbell yours is very nice.

    17. #17
      CharlieQ is offline Senior Member
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      Happy to hear about your positive water parameters using anoxic method. What did u use for ur iron source? Did u plant any baskets?
      Any pictires?

    18. #18
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      Dr. Novak has youtube videos as well as an interview on youtube. What he suggested instead of laterite (which I couldn't find in the US) was Ironite that you can purchase from Home Depot quite reasonably, or Red Fluorite that Amazon carries. The ironite quantity for biocenosis baskets is detailed in this: https://www.iewgks.org/pdfs/filtration-2.pdf

      I can't recall if the red fluorite is used at the same rate as laterite or not... Hope this helps you.

      We've had 3 anoxic filters up and running for about 5 years now and very pleased with them.

    19. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kathy View Post
      Dr. Novak has youtube videos as well as an interview on youtube. What he suggested instead of laterite (which I couldn't find in the US) was Ironite that you can purchase from Home Depot quite reasonably, or Red Fluorite that Amazon carries. The ironite quantity for biocenosis baskets is detailed in this: https://www.iewgks.org/pdfs/filtration-2.pdf

      I can't recall if the red fluorite is used at the same rate as laterite or not... Hope this helps you.

      We've had 3 anoxic filters up and running for about 5 years now and very pleased with them.
      How long does it take to see results from anoxic filtration? Interested in the clear water and algae control TIA

    20. #20
      Kathy is offline Member
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      From what I can recall, we saw results fairly quickly. I recall having a horrendous string algae bloom that died off after about 6 weeks. We do get string algae periodically in the anoxic filter, but not in the ponds. We haven't changed the UV bulbs in the rdf on the 5000g pond since the end of 2018 and we're able to see the bottom drains clearly, although there is a tint of green. The pond is home to about 32 peninsula cooters and red bellied sliders that range in size from 7 to 12" and lots of mosquito fish. The anoxic filter houses a new water lily and a potted rush. We did have 2 waterlilies that covered most of the anoxic filter and prevented any algal issues but the water lilies died off during the volcanic eruption and acid rain episodes. The pond is not planted and is in full sun. Our temps have been very pleasant so far this summer. We live in Hawaii.

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