Four easy steps to successful koi keeping.

Koi keeping is a fun and exciting hobby and if you follow the 4 steps below you can have a clean and algae free pond with very low maintanence.
Step 1. Large Mechanical filtration system
Step 2. Fine Mechanical filtration system
Step 3. Biological filtration system
Step 4. Ultraviolet light.
Over the next two editions of The Fishkeeper I will write on the 4 steps above that can help you with your koi pond.

Step 1 – Large mechanical filtration
Bottom drains collect the dirt and organic matter that then get sucked into the large mechanical filtration system, know as a settlement chamber or dump tank. The settlement chamber consists of an external box that sits at the same level as the pond and traps suspended solids in its filter brushers. The brushers are used to trap or settle down the solids and the box is sloped to one side with a bottom drain for easy flushing and routine maintanence. The settlement chambers job is to trap the large solid particles before they get to the biological filter so that the solids do not block the water flow in the bio filter and shut down the system.
There are different sized settlement chambers available depending on your koi pond size. When you are looking to purchase a settlement chamber make sure you buy the correct size depending on your water volume.

Step 2 – Fine Mechanical filtration
This can be a koi sand filter or a bubble bead filter. If you choose a koi sand filter water from your koi pond will pass into the flter, where it is filtered through sand contained in a pressure cylinder. The sand filter removes fine solid particles from the water and remember only koi sand of around 3-5mm must be used. If swimming pool sand is used it will block up very quickly and clog the system. Koi sand filters are more affordable than bubble bead filters however if you do not want to do to much maintanence then the bubble bead will be your filtration of choice. The bubble bead filter looks very similar to a sand filter with the exception of a Jacuzzi blower attached to it. The internals of the bubble bead work completely opposite to a regular sand filter in that instead of the fingers sitting at the bottom they are on top. This is because the plastic media floats to the top and thus the filter draws clean water through this floating media. There are many benefits to this floating media. Firstly most of your solid waste, which gets trapped in the media, will automatically fall to the bottom of the filter thus reducing clogging. Secondly the plastic media will also give you better polishing of the water than sand with the added benefit of boosting your existing biological filtration. Backwashing and maintaining the bubble bead is where the best benefit comes in as the blower replaces the manual labor.

Angela Beckx

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