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How to Build Your Own Koi Pond Filter – That Really Works Great – Guaranteed
Here is an article on How to Build Your Koi Pond Filter and the reason I am an authority is because I built my own 6 years ago and it is still going strong!
What exactly is a Koi pond filtration system? What is a fish pond?
They are also known as Koi ponds. Here’s an overview of how it works. The marsh is usually built at the end of your pond, directly behind your waterfall. It is fed from the pond pump at the other (long) end of your pond through 2 to 2 1/2 inch pipes. And, once the water has filtered up from the bottom of your swamp, through all the lava rock, it flows over your waterfalls back into your pond, to circulate again.
Why not buy a filter to install as it would be much easier?
Yes, it’s easy enough to just go out and buy a fish pond filter that fits your needs. But, why would you want to when you can build your own Koi Pond Filter? This is a filtration system, and if built correctly it will give you years of carefree maintenance.
This article will explain in detail how I built and designed my own Soft Pond and its accompanying filter. But, first, let’s cover some facts about these filters.
Reasons to Build Your Own Koi Pond Filter:
If you build it right, this should be the last time you need a Koi pond filter. The reason I say this is because once you build and install your own pond filter it immediately begins to set up a biological process that keeps the fish yours healthy and keeps your pond water nice and sparkling clean.
Once you build your own (marsh) pond filter, there is no need for additional filters. This will save you a lot of money over the life of your pond. You may need to add small pond filters if you decide to add water features. However, these water features use very small and inexpensive filters to keep the water flowing through them smoothly.
Even though clearing the swamp to get to your filter would be a dirty job if your pond had problems, the chances of this happening are slim. For example, my pond’s swamp and filter have now been in place, running continuously 24 hours a day – 7 days a week and 365 days a year for over 6 years now, without problem! And, my pond is about 32 feet by 12 feet by 3 feet. It holds about 3,000 gallons of water and was once home to about 150 Koi. These swamp filtration systems work! And, they work well.
The real beauty of the swamp filtration system is that the longer it runs, the more biological balance is built for the fish in your pond. What actually happens in the swamp is because the water is filtered through the media, and I use lava rock, it does a very nice job or makes it remove the waste product from the pond itself. The process by which it does this is through nitrification. This means that the nitrifying bacteria (good bacteria) attach themselves to the inside of this swamp and regularly, these bacteria eat too much nutrients such as organic matter and fish waste. This will help create the perfect ecological pond water balance for your fish as well.
The typical pond marsh, like mine, is built at the end of the pond or just behind the falls. The water is pumped from the other end of your pond through pipes and comes out from under the lava rock that has been placed in your pond. Here it is filtered before going over the waterfall back to your pond.
My swamp filtration system: My swamp is about 6 feet wide X 4 feet high X 5 feet deep. It is made of cinder blocks or concrete blocks. Although brick, stone or any other durable building medium suitable for underwater use is acceptable. After you put these blocks together to build your swamp, you need to coat the inside and outside of these blocks with fiberglass mortar and then paint with exterior latex paint. WE DON’T WANT TO MAKE THIS SOFTWARE! After building my swamp as above, I lined it inside with an EPDM liner that has a life expectancy of about 20 years.
I will also extend a large section of this EPDM liner from the marsh to above the head of the falls. I then placed my large flat stone on top of this liner to give me my falls.
Here’s how the water is circulated through the swamp: A 2 inch pipe is run from a pump at the far end of the pond, on the bottom of the pond (out of sight), up to the back and behind the swamp. From the back of the swamp the pipe is led up and over the top and down to the bottom of the swamp. It is at this time that the water is filtered. Water from the pump is distributed at the bottom of the swamp and comes up through about 3-4 feet of lava rock. This does a great filtration job and keeps the pond water clean keeping the fish happy and you happy because your workload and filtration problems are now virtually eliminated.
How is the water evenly distributed through the lava rock filtration system of the swamp? Well, at the end of the hose, a pre-made piece of equipment is installed.
This is just a 2 inch length of PVC attached to the end of the nozzle that extends to the bottom of the pond, under the lava rocks.
At the end of this PVC extension is another piece that was already built before you covered it with lava rock. This piece attached to the long straight PVC pipe is joined and glued together to form a U at the end. Now, here’s the important part….. You have to be sure to cap the ends of the U PVC pipe so that all the water doesn’t come out in a solid stream. You will now drill as many 1/4 inch holes as you can into the U-shaped PVC. It is through these holes that you have just drilled that the water from your pump will exit under bed of lava rock.
As you can imagine, water will be forced out under pressure through all the holes in your PVC pipe and filter up through that lava rock you put down on top of it. It is very simple to build and is one of the best pond filtration systems you can have.
The size you will want to build this piece of PVC will be determined by the width of the bottom of your swamp. Alternatively, if the bottom of your pond is 4 feet, your U-shaped piece of PVC at the end should be at least 3 feet across to allow as much water to flow through the drill holes as possible. . filter up through the lava rock.
We are not allowed to include pictures with our articles so it is quite difficult to explain everything and try to get the point across. However, if you want to get a mental image of the shape of the PVC piece, a close-up picture of its shape could be compared to a 2 prong pitchfork. (With the holes drilled in the prongs.)
Of course, you don’t have to follow my design exactly either. You can build this piece to set your own taste as well. For example, you might want 3 or 4 pins instead of just 2 and that’s fine too. There is no wrong way to build it as the water comes out of the holes and filters up through your lava rock to filter it, before re-entering the pond through your falls.
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