- 22 Mar 2009
Thanks for all the info Ed!Ed Seeley said:Bead filters operate under pressure and that pressure increases the head which then increases the running costs! They also work by filtering out the waste with the beads and then the water flows through that waste breaking it down when you really want to remove it before that happens. The best bet is to get rid of the waste straight away and then use a filter that doesn't operate on pressure for fine filtration.
So the first thing I'd have is a vortex chamber. These swirl the water around and the wastes settle in the centre of the cone where there's a drain. If you plumb this in to the household waste or run it onto a flowerbed or something then this can then simply be opened to do your water changes!
Next chamber I'd have a static K1 chamber. This is a floating media that, when static, filters out even very fine particles of waste. You then have a air ring underneath this and to clean it all you do is close the valves to isolate the chamber, turn the air on, leave for 10-15 minutes so the air boils the media clean and then simply drain the dirty water away. You can easily convert a second vortex chamber to one of these filters by simply fitting a couple of strainers to prevent the K1 media escaping.
The tricky bit is the biological filtration. Koi bio filters are all based upon high oxygen systems to gas off lots of ammonia before it begins to break down, reducing the load on the filters. However in a planted tank this would gas off all the CO2 so wouldn't be a good idea. In koi filters you usually either have 1 or more chambers of fluidised K1 where air is constantly turning the media over (like the cleaning part of the static chamber). This means no waste collects in this chamber fouling the media and also the high amounts of air means that the bacteria are in very high oxygen conditions for best performance. The other option is to use a shower filter which is like a trickle filter on steriods with expensive ceramic media, but they work brilliantly. I might be tempted to have a final chamber with sintered glass or ceramic media in the last section as a compromise.
If you can find them 3 small vortex chambers could be the ideal system. The first will be empty, second with static K1 and the third wioth biological media. Fit a valve between each chamber so you can isolate each one for cleaning and then plumb the drain lines to a waste point somewhere and you'll have agreat filters that's dead easy to clean. After the last chamber you can then dry-mount an Oase Ecomax pump which are very efficient quality pond pumps.