Koi & Pond Tip of the Day
February 27th, 2015
Two essential test kits are pH and nitrite. A pH between 7.0 (neutral) and 8.5 is ideal. Nitrite is a toxic by-product of fish waste and its presence is an indication as to whether the bacteria in the filter are breaking down the waste.
Three Stages of Pond Filtration
The filter is of key importance in keeping your Koi pond water crystal-clear and free of chemical pollutants. Our line of filters are designed to meet a wide range of needs, for both large and small ponds. Our line of filters provide one or more of three types of Pond Filters and filtration are:
- Biological Filtration
- Mechanical Filtration
- Chemical Filtration
Mechanical Pond Filtration: Refers to the physical removal of debris from water by materials that trap large and small particles. Matala Filter Pads last longer and filter better than other pre-filtration products and it lasts for years. The black and green densities of Matala will trap a large to medium solid without clogging, and the cleaning process is very quick and easy.
A mechanical filter is solely designed to separate large particles and debris from the water passing through it. This is particularly advantageous when protecting a pump. Use our EZ Bio prefilters to protect your pumps from clogging. A prefilter also has the important role of keeping the solids out of your biological filter. Very small particles and dissolved wastes will pass through a mechanical prefilter. As such, mechanical filters are not recommended as the only source of filtration for a pond containing fish or aquatic wildlife.
Skimmers, canister filters, and prefilters are common examples of filters that mainly rely on mechanical filtration. these can all be fitted with Matala media to improve performance and reduce maintenance.
Chemical Pond Filtration: Removes pesticides, colors, odors, organic waste, excess nutrients and other harmful chemicals from your pond. Ultraviolet Clarifiers, carbon and zeolite are examples of products to be used in your filter for chemical filtration.
Biological Pond Filtration: This is where your pond filter provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow on special media. These bacteria remove harmful dissolved pollutants and nutrients from pond water. Known as the "Biological Filter" these beneficial bacteria convert poisonous compounds such as ammonia and nitrite, into less toxic nitrate. The end by-product, nitrate, is used as a food source by aquatic plants. This continuous process is called the nitrogen cycle. Our BioSteps and Koi Clear Filter have very large available surface area for bacteria growth.
Biological Pond Filtration relies on specific bacteria to break down toxic waste products to less harmful substances. There are two stages in the breakdown of ammonia, each stage involving different types of bacteria. The first stage is the breakdown of ammonia to nitrite by nitrifying bacteria. The second stage is the conversion of nitrite to nitrate by different species of nitrifying bacteria. Our BioSteps filter for medium size ponds and the Koi Clear filter for large ponds are both very efficient and versatile bioifilters.
Both of these groups of bacteria are aerobic (needing oxygen to live). Sediment building up in the filter will deplete the oxygen levels so it is important to keep sediment to a minimum by having a prefilter like the EZ Bio or settlement chamber like the Koi Clear first. Be gentle when you clean the biofilter out. If you overclean the biofilter you will wash away the bacteria. Do not use tap water to clean your biofilter because the chlorine will kill the bacteria. Matala media is very easy to clean. Simply shake the dirt out of the pads or gently pour a bucket of pond water over the pads to dislodge excess waste without losing the bacteria. The BioSteps Filter and the Koi Clear both have bottom drain valves for purging the waste.
Matala filter media is an exceptional media for biofilters due to it's high available surface area. The structure of Matala media allows for non-restrictive water flow and full contact with the surface area of the media. This gives you a high efficiency filter. The four different densities of Matala media can be used progressively to provide even distribution of your water flow throughout the entire filter chamber.
The biological filter will take weeks or months to mature, cultures of nitrifying bacteria are widely available and will speed up the process.