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  • Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
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    Thread: Suggestions for better mechanical fines filtration

    1. #21
      rdm757's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiFan84 View Post
      Get a retro fit bottom drain plumbed to Zakki Sieve. Go to website Deepwater Koi Innovations. Zac makes a pressurized sieve filter and a great retro fit bottom drain to avoid having to cut into your liner for a regular bottom drain. If you want to get rid of particles you need to suck them away from bottom of pond. Unless you have a super tight budget, it’s worth paying the money. Not easy to make DIY mechanical filtration that will work perfectly and for a long time.
      I’m really glad you mentioned that. A sieve was always something I thought would be a great addition, but I wasn’t familiar with this particular type. I actually think I could incorporate one of these pretty easily with a minimum of digging and disruption to existing landscaping.

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    2. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by rdm757 View Post
      Thatís interesting. I didnít think a pressurized filter was a realistic option for a DIY project. I wonder if anyone has ever created a pressurized sand and gravel filter? Seems like it would work the same way, but youíd have to open it to clean it.
      It's possible. I think the challenge is the vessel. I think I'm going to try a sand and gravel filter under pressure on my redo because I do want better particulate filtration. Just not sure if I want to scrap my current media or just add another drum and have 3 chambers.

    3. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by Enrgizerbunny View Post
      It's possible. I think the challenge is the vessel. I think I'm going to try a sand and gravel filter under pressure on my redo because I do want better particulate filtration. Just not sure if I want to scrap my current media or just add another drum and have 3 chambers.
      I’d always seen typical 55 gallon drums used and once you cut the top off, there’d be no easy way to seal it again. Now the pickle barrel idea, that does open up some possibilities…

    4. #24
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      Here’s how I’m leaning currently. Not totally committed to this plan yet, but at least a plan. I’ve long been a fan of sieves. In fact, with my previous pond I added a VMS that I built myself and it made a huge difference. It was in a barrel on the bottom drain circuit prior to the pump. When it worked, it worked great, amazing how much gunk it removed from the water column that otherwise would have ended up in the filters. The problem was that mine was very temperamental - sometimes it would get stuck, then rapidly clog and float up. Then the pump would start sucking air. At the time I remember thinking a sieve would be soooo much better.

      With my current pond a typical sieve such as a Cetus wouldn’t be possible due to the need to have it level with the top of the pond. However the flexibility in vertical placement of a Zakki sieve changes that. Also, I’ve never liked the submersible pump. So I’m thinking I’d remove the submersible, then install a Zakki with an external pump after it. This could all be accomplished with a minimum of digging. I’d no longer need the coarse filter pad in the skimmer box and 100% of the water flow would pass thru the sieve.

      Very possibly this alone could achieve what I’m hoping to do. If not, I could always add the S&G later. The dashed line on the drawing shows where the S&G would need to be placed for gravity flow back to the pond. If I were able to build a pressurized S&G, it could actually go right in line with the Zakki, external pump, then S&G with a minimum of digging.

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    5. #25
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      And then the other direction I’d consider going would be to simply add a pressurized filter in-line between the submersible pump and the bio falls. Something like an Ultima II. The main thing to consider is that I’m not looking to do anything huge here, just some improvement in fines filtration. It is also worth noting that, as is, the pond is actually very low maintenance. Empty the skimmer every week or so and hose off the coarse filter pad in the skimmer box a couple of times a month. When the filter pad in the skimmer starts to clog, the flow will decrease somewhat (or the water just manages to bypass around it). In any case, I’ve been away for as much as 2 weeks with no issues at all. So whatever I choose to do I don’t want to make things more difficult on myself. And finally the less digging up of the yard the better! It was pretty tough during initial construction with our dog always coming back from the yard with muddy paws.

    6. #26
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      I don't think you were the only one with a temperamental VMS.

      As for the Zakki sieve, I'd try and contact Zac asap for a projected wait time. They have been notoriously hard to
      get and I've seen customers waiting about a year for theirs.

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...e-Alternatives

      It sounds like you (and your wife) would be happiest living with the debris and maybe waiting for the Zakki no matter
      how long it takes. I know most that have them, love them. A s/g filter is about the easiest filter to build and only needs
      to be 12" or less above pond level to work. "Pressurizing" one won't allow you to flow more since the sand will fluidize
      if it's under pressure or not.
      --Steve



      Koiphen 2021 Koi Person of the Year!

    7. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      I don't think you were the only one with a temperamental VMS.

      As for the Zakki sieve, I'd try and contact Zac asap for a projected wait time. They have been notoriously hard to
      get and I've seen customers waiting about a year for theirs.

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...e-Alternatives

      It sounds like you (and your wife) would be happiest living with the debris and maybe waiting for the Zakki no matter
      how long it takes. I know most that have them, love them. A s/g filter is about the easiest filter to build and only needs
      to be 12" or less above pond level to work. "Pressurizing" one won't allow you to flow more since the sand will fluidize
      if it's under pressure or not.
      Wow, one year wait! I read that thread, it sounds like Zac is hard to get ahold of too, but that was all last year. Maybe he’s getting caught up. Sounds like an incredible product, probably better than the other gravity flow sieves even if you can place it at pond level. I’ll start making some calls tomorrow and see what the wait time is currently.

      Regarding pressurizing the S&G, I’d only do that to be able to place it below the level of the waterfall which would avoid that long run of pipe to and from that area next to the house (behind the lattice.) I do understand that even pressurized, you wouldn’t want to increase the flow as it would channel. Frankly at this point I think it’s down to either a Zakki sieve if I can get one or an off the shelf filter like the Ultima II. I used to be all over a good DIY project, but currently I just don’t have the time.

    8. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by rdm757 View Post
      Wow, one year wait! I read that thread, it sounds like Zac is hard to get ahold of too, but that was all last year. Maybe heís getting caught up. Sounds like an incredible product, probably better than the other gravity flow sieves even if you can place it at pond level. Iíll start making some calls tomorrow and see what the wait time is currently.

      Regarding pressurizing the S&G, Iíd only do that to be able to place it below the level of the waterfall which would avoid that long run of pipe to and from that area next to the house (behind the lattice.) I do understand that even pressurized, you wouldnít want to increase the flow as it would channel. Frankly at this point I think itís down to either a Zakki sieve if I can get one or an off the shelf filter like the Ultima II. I used to be all over a good DIY project, but currently I just donít have the time.
      I remember! Your VMS was excellent.



      --Steve



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    9. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by icu2 View Post
      I remember! Your VMS was excellent.



      Ahhh, that brings back some memories! I really enjoyed building that VMS and wow what a difference it made. The biggest problem was that the barrel was more than 50’ from the pond and fed with only 2” PVC. As you can imagine the water level in the barrel normally ran 6-8” lower than pond level but was inconsistent do to any variation in flow rate. If the water level in the barrel got too high or too low, the VMS would reach its limits of vertical travel and stop rotating. Once it stopped rotating, it rapidly clogged and that was that until I could get it going again.

      I feel like it was only in use for a year or two. When we were getting ready to sell the house, I knew any potential buyer could never deal with all that. I removed the VMS, gave away all the koi and the new owners did keep it with some goldfish for many years after we moved. Funny thing is, I still have the VMS in my garage and the small aquarium pump that drove it came with us and runs to this day powering a pondless fountain in front of the house!

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    10. #30
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      I did a bunch more reading (and learning) here yesterday as well as really thinking about the different options I have. Here’s what I’ve come up with. I basically have three ways I could go:

      1. Build a Birdman’s S&G filter.

      Pros:
      • excellent fines filtration, probably the best of any of my options,
      • least expensive option by far,
      • low maintenance.

      Cons:
      • most time consuming to build and install,
      • would involve digging almost 100’ of trench in rocky soil with a ton of tree roots. If I try to do it by hand it’ll be a long slow process. If I bring in a trencher, the resulting damage to existing landscaping will make my wife want to kill me (and frankly even if she didn’t care, I don’t want to do that damage either),
      • even though building a S&G is very well documented here, I’ve found in the past that every DIY build like this involves a learning curve, modifications/changes/improvements, etc. In other words, even when it’s done, it won’t really be done.

      For all of these reasons, but especially all the trenching required, I think this option needs to be the first to be crossed off. I wish I’d incorporated one from the beginning. It would have been easy to add when the yard was all torn up. As a retrofit, it simply isn’t an attractive option in my situation.


      2. Install a Zakki sieve.

      Pros:
      • good fines filtration,
      • very low and easy maintenance,
      • 100% of water would pass thru the sieve,
      • fairly easy install

      Cons:
      • most expensive option by far because in addition to the cost of the sieve, I’d also replace the current submersible pump with an external pump after the sieve,
      • may end up not being a complete solution. I know it would do an excellent job removing a lot of floating debris from the water column, but it is intended to be a pre filter. To get the results I’d like to see, I may end up needing to add something else after the pump to polish the water. I’d only know after installing it,
      • looks like there could be a really long delay in acquiring one, possibly as long as a year.


      3. Install a pressurized filter such as an Ultima II.

      Pros:
      • easiest install of all with minimal disruption to existing landscaping,
      • very good fines filtration,
      • fairly easy to maintain. Probably a weekly backwash would be all that would be needed which will help with water exchanges,
      • reasonable cost.

      Cons:
      • this type of filter would almost certainly work better if used along with a good pre filter like a sieve. It is entirely possible that without a pre filter, it will require twice a week (or more frequent) backflushing. I won’t know until after I install.
      • from what I’ve been reading these do not offer the best bio filtration. Of course in my case bio hasn’t been an issue at all.


      Anyway, a lot to think about. I really would like to get this going this spring. That right there may eliminate option 2.

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    11. #31
      Doug G is offline Junior Member
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      I realize I'm late to the discussion (I'm new to the forum) and I'm no expert, but your concern is floating fine debris in the pond. Is it inadequate filtration of the water you circulate thru your filters or inadequate removal of the fines from the pond? If you upgraded the filtration and solved the problem was it just better filtration or a combination of better filtration and better removal of the fines from the pond. Did you ever look at the water returning to the pond to see if it was clean?

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