Thursday, January 26, 2006

Now is the time to clean out your pond bio-filter

So we are well into 2006, and coming to the end of January when you should be thinking right now about cleaning your pond bio-filter, because in winter here in England the temperatures are still low enough that any bacteria on the media in the bio filter will still either be dead, or very low activity. Therefore you won't be disrupting the filter too much if you decide to take your bio-filter apart and give it a good clean out. You should still really only clean the filter media in a bucket of pond water, so as to leave at least some bacterial residue on it. Don't use tap water on the filter media because the chlorine will kill off everything.

For my homemade design of bio-filter I usually give it a once-a-year cleanout, at the very start of the year, by totally dismantling it, removing all filter media and giving a good clean, fixing any problems and making good any pipe connections which look as though they might cause problems and so forth. Because I start to do this very early in the year it means the bio-filter can build up the bacteria again as the warmer weather comes, and so it is ready for the summer months. This is much better than leaving it until later in the year after it has built up the important bacteria because cleaning it then may kill-off the bacteria and that might lead to problems with green water in the pond.

Once this big clean up has been done I then resort back to the usual cleaning and maintenance cycle as detailed on my pond bio-filter website.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Build a Trickle Tower Filter for your Pond

Well as promised in my last post I have now created my web page detailing the construction of my own trickle-tower filter which you can find at the following link:

>> How to Build a Trickle Tower Filter for your Pond

A few months ago I had been doing some research into the effectiveness of trickle tower filters, and also while looking through my web site stats I noticed that a lot of people were coming to my web site in search of information on building a trickle filter themselves. So I decided to have a go at researching and then making one using some spare parts I had lying around in my garage. In other words this cost me very little to make!

What is a Trickle Tower Filter?

A trickle tower filter can be a very efficient method of reducing ammonia levels in a fish pond, and is particularly useful if you have larger fish varieties such as Koi which produce large amounts of fish waste which if un-checked could produce danegrous levels of ammonia in the pond. It works well because it makes efficient use of high exposure to air (and hence oxygen) to help aerobic bacteria in their life-cycle of converting ammonia into nitrites, and then nitrites into nitrates.

The prime function of a trickle filter is to remove the invisible toxins from the pond water.

It is not intended to remove solids particles from the water, that is the purpose of the pre-filter, and the earlier sections of the bio-filter. However, a trickle filter can have the side-effect that it will help rid the pond of green-water. As well as converting ammonia to nitrates, which can encourage phytoplankton to grow (phytoplankton is the minute water-borne algae that cause green water), the bacteria also produces a certain phytoplankton-killing enzyme. As algae starts to grow in the bio-filter, or on the walls of the pond, the bacteria loves to feed on this algae, and as it does so it releases the enzyme (like an antibiotic) into the water. (Fascinating source article can be found here:

For the full details get on down to my web site Tower Trickle Filter page where you will find tons of photos detailing how I constructed it, which should give you some ideas for building your own homemade DIY tower trickle-filter.

Hope you find it useful !

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Best wishes for the New Year

Happy New Year to you!

Whether you are a frequent visitor to my "ponding" web site or a newcomer I wish you the very best for 2006, and success in all your pond construction projects. Your fish will be eternally grateful! ;-)

I am currently working on a new page in my web site which details the contruction of a simple and easy to build trickle-tower filter, so keep an eye out - I hope to have it completed in the next week or two, and in my usual style I provide plenty of photos so you can see clearly how I went about constructing it, along with various thoughts during the design process.

I'll be back soon with the details!