Pond vacuum needed - koi keeping to the bottom
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Recently noticed some kois are keeping to the bottom. Read what a few koi sifu said about excess nitrates, etc... and realized my contractor did a poor job. There's nothing much I can do about the concrete chambers as it was badly designed. Can only improve a few things.
    More importantly am looking for a pond vacuum to clear the dirt and waste matters. Does anyone have a pond vacuum for sale? My pond is only about 5 tons.

    Whatsapp 016 2126769 or PM me. Thanks.
  • ChengAunChengAun December 2013
    Posts: 925
    Just a bit of advice, do remember that basic water changes is the most important to keep nitrates at okay levels. Perhaps you can share your pond design? I'm sure some of the sifus here can help with some improvements :)
    Be updated in the world of koi. Jangankan seperti "Koi di bawah bottom drain"
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Bro ChengAun, thanks for the advice. Am uploading photo for your further advice. Have taken the filters out for wash so you wont see any in middle chamber.
    Definitely appreciate other sifus help.
    How do I upload the pics?
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Have problem uploading 3 pics (2.0Mb to 2.19Mb.)
  • niveknivek December 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Maybe you can build a bakki shower?
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Am really new to this so will look up on "building a bakki shower". Thanks Bro Nivek.
  • niveknivek December 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Here's mine


  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Got it. :)>- Will look into this. Does it provide better aeration for the kois as well?
  • niveknivek December 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Yes it does and very efficient :)
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Bro ChengAun, here's the pond design (didn't manage to upload pics). Its rectangle measuring 18.0ft(L) by 3.5ft (B) by 3.0ft (H). Has 3 concrete chambers at the side where first chamber is the inlet from the pond water, flows into second chamber (filter) and flows into third chamber that pumps back as a waterfall into pond.
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Tks Bro Nivek. (Y)
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Bro Nivek, noticed there are 5 chambers all together. What is the sequence and what material?
  • niveknivek December 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Mine has only 4 chambers, the last is just a bigger container to keep the water from spilling out. Mine has bioballs on 1st and 3rd and bio rings on 2nd and 4th.
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Noted. Thanks a lot.
  • ChengAunChengAun December 2013
    Posts: 925
    If I may suggest, IMHO, I think the first chamber you should put brushes or a homemade sieve, will definitely do good for mechanical separation. Then, in the second chamber, the biological chamber, with either crystal bio, bio rings, bio balls etc, and finally, in the last chamber, which is the pump chamber, a few bags of oyster shells to maintain pH levels. (Optional, a UV light, submerged type)

    Bakki shower? That's the way to go! Benefits are plentiful 8-)
    Post edited by ChengAun at 2013-12-11 10:31:57 pm
    Be updated in the world of koi. Jangankan seperti "Koi di bawah bottom drain"
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Am mighty glad there are lots of koi sifus like you and Nivek to help out.

    Do you think I still need to buy the pond vacuum even after building a bakki shower?
  • ChengAunChengAun December 2013
    Posts: 925
    The main purpose of the pond vacuum, is to suck up debris and scum from the pond floor, while obviously at the same time changing water. The main purpose of the bakki shower on the other hand, is in the most basic way to put it : Aeration and filtration.
    So what does adding a bakki shower have to do with the effectiveness of removal of solids from the pond floor? Simply put, nothing. UNLESS, the bakki shower is put in such a way where the flow of the water in the pond is altered to create better flow in pushing the waste to the bottom drain more effectively.
    Now back to the point, if the main purpose here is the reduction of nitrates, then personally I don't feel the need of a pond vacuum. Of course, there's no harm whatsoever in getting one, but I feel that it's not a must have. (If, the purpose is to solely reduce nitrates) If however you find that solids are not being removed off the pond floor adequately, then yes, you could get a vacuum, but you also must make some improvements to improve the removal of waste to the bottom drain, off the ponds floor.
    Ammonia to nitrite to nitrate. Ammonia is the by product of fish waste, this is then converted into nitrite, slightly less harmful, but still dangerous to fish. This is then converted by good bacteria into nitrate, which in low amounts is harmless to fish but should be wary of because in the higher range, can still be dangerous. How to keep nitrate in safe levels? Well, one way is the vegetable filter method (Although not too popular in our koi keeping culture). The more practical and effective way is of course, regular small water changes. Good, adequate and effective filtration also play an important role in this. An addition of a bakki shower will definitely do good, especially in a smaller, more stocked pond. It will also much increase the effectiveness of the filtration system, even in the case like yours, where it is not so well built. Furthermore, it will add good amounts of oxygen and can help cool the water as well, which is a benefit to kois, being coldwater fish.
    There are a few threads in the forum about DIY bakki showers, including my own one.
    This is just my two cents, may not be 100% accurate either, but this is based on my experience :)
    By the way, does your concrete chamber filter have individual bottom drains on the bottom of each chamber?

    Ps. I'm no sifu at all :p Uncle Kevin (@nivek) on the other hand is the Penang sifu ^:)^
    Cheers
    Post edited by ChengAun at 2013-12-12 12:17:58 am
    Be updated in the world of koi. Jangankan seperti "Koi di bawah bottom drain"
  • HWONGHWONG December 2013
    Posts: 286
    Bill forgot to mention that his contractor did not construct bottom drains in his filter chambers. So he has no way to discharge the shit that accumulates in there. That is why he is looking for a vacuum.
  • niveknivek December 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Not sifu lah and if no bottom drain like bro Hwong mentioned then need pond vac.
  • ChengAunChengAun December 2013
    Posts: 925
    Ah then yeah, a pond vac is then needed so insure that waste at the bottom of each chamber can be removed frequently
    Be updated in the world of koi. Jangankan seperti "Koi di bawah bottom drain"
  • BillBill December 2013
    Posts: 55
    Thanks bro Wong, ChengAun and Nivek. Much appreciated. ^:)^ ^:)^ ^:)^

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