Happy Koi Koi Pond Filtration
How to filter your Koi pond from start to finish - what you need to know.
Successful Koi keeping is easy. Watch what successful people do, and do that!
When it comes to Koi pond filters, the philosophy is no different.
If you think about your Koi pond there are several critical success factors that make or break filtration systems. They also make or break your ability to enjoy your Koi pond!
In our minds, based on many years of experience and observations of thousands of filter systems, the best filtration for a Koi pond is a system that absolutely has to:
1. be easily flushed of solids in two to three seconds, preferably daily.
2. provide massive biological performance
3. use as little power as possible
4. be as flexible as possible so that you can upgrade or change at any time
There are many systems that claim to achieve all this and we can count on the fingers of one hand the number that can actually deliver it.
In order to achieve all of the above, an open filtration system is the only design that can work. By 'open' we mean low pressure - i.e. filters that you can access whilst they are running. These are very different to closed box sand filter/bead filter/black box bio filters that cannot be opened when running without you getting very wet indeed!
Think of your Koi pond filter as a black box. Water from the Koi pond enters this black box, is filtered and cleaned, and returned back to the Koi pond, using as little effort as possible.
A Koi pond filter system is NOT a sand filter followed by a bio filter followed by a U/V light all powered by an energy guzzling swimming pool pump despite what anyone may be telling you. Be wary of such claims - these systems will come to represent colossal costs to you in the future - we guarantee it!
The trouble with them is that they are easy to install and to walk away from. This makes them popular amongst Koi pond builders who really have only the next project on the horizon as their interest. There is no thinking involved: simply cut, glue and walk away.
In a Koi pond, your Koi basically live in an open toilet. It's not pleasant to think about, but that's the cold hard truth of the matter. In a Koi pond, solid waste material and dissolved waste material are your constant battle and the forefront of what your filter system should be dealing with.
Solid waste material comprises of obvious things such as Koi poop and dead algae but there is plenty more. Mulm and sludge build up come from dead bacteria, insect larvae, leaves, dust - you name it. In a Koi pond there is a lot of it and it is your mechanical filters that deal with this waste load.
Dissolved wastes are primarily the ammonia that Koi excrete directly into the water from their gills. It is your biological filters that deal with this waste material.
1. Easy flushing of solids, preferably daily.
Solids build up in a Koi pond should be removed as often as possible, preferably at least daily. Solid debris in a Koi pond if left within the environment (and this includes your mechanical filters of course) it rots and breaks down into all sorts of nasty substances. In short, solids go rotten rapidly and they are not a good thing to have floating around in either your pond, or the filters.
Any good mechanical filter will be able to collect all the solids together in one convenient place to allow them to be easily flushed, quickly and daily. No sand filter or bead filter can do this for you as these require a full back wash cycle to achieve any solids removal which can take anything up to 20 minutes.
The gULP filter system answers all the needs of a Koi pond filter
We've dealt with this issue in gULP - our filter system designed to specifically give you the best in Koi pond filtration. gULP when fitted with brushes as a mechanical filter allows the accumulation of solid waste material into the square sump located at the bottom of the filter.
All that is required is to open a flushing valve for a few seconds once a day to purge all the solid wastes from your Koi pond. Note that if you miss a few days (or weeks), gULP will not fall over and suddenly cease to operate. Solid material will continue to accumulate of course, but the filter will continue to work.
Interior of gULP showing brush pole support slots and sump at bottom of filter
gULP with brushes installed
You can see that gULP ensures that the brushes are packed equidistantly apart with the correct brush density to ensure sufficient overlap.
Once installed the brushes need only be removed on special occasions. They can be easily cleaned from above by simply hosing them down and do not need to be removed and hosed down individually.
gULP allows you to flush all the solids from your system quickly and easily in a manner of seconds.