How to clean a FGT filter properly ?
  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    Hi, all.

    Can anyone share with me your ways of cleaning the FGT filter ? How do we know that the water is mature and do not need any bacteria additive ?

    Mabel :)
  • boykoiboykoi May 2011
    Posts: 186
    hlo chico.i too have an FGT set-up.as to how to clean the filter,it depends on what type of filter you do have. If you have a FG filter also, clean the pads, specially the brushes if you have or all the mechanical media with pond water. do it about 3 months or depening on how your filter can hold the dirt without affecting water. I use a DIY barrel system with crushed gravel, pads and coral which i plan to clean every 3 months since i do maximum feeding. dont clean your filter too early and too frequently if its a new one, you may kill all the bacteria that hasnt colonised as yet.

    to have a mature filter, check your test kit.salt your pond at 0.3% when its newto protect your kois from any spike. test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate..the key is, that nitrite and nitrate levels will drop from a peak to almost 0. when the nitrobacter converts ammonia to nitite, and nitrosomonas to nitrate at 0 levels at normal scenario, then the filter has matured...these is my case right now with my 1 month old FG tank. if you could have a bakki or TT, these should speed up the process. use a bacteria starter at your forst week also to jump start it.moderate feed on the first week, then feed the maximum thereafter so bacteria can thrive by eating the waste.
  • boykoiboykoi May 2011
    Posts: 186
    mature water?when its sparkling clean with no tinge. with a new set-up, expect a blurry water for several weeks but dont worry, patience is the key, i havent seen my kois on the first 2 weeks believe me. if your set up and water parameters are ok, the water wil clear up, trust me. i am currently having these, and with daily 10pct water change, the water turn out ok.now i can see them already at 2 feet below and the water is gradually clearer now even without UV
  • StevieStevie May 2011
    Posts: 323
    Waste no money buying bacteria. The bacteria you buy may be dead. Just get some filter materials like pad, brush, BH, bio ball, etc from an established or matured pond/aquarium. A piece of Jap mat is enough. The bacteria you imported with the old filter media will multiply in no time and those are good bacteria. To cut down the time taken maturing your pond water is to feed them heavy or as usual. The pond will be clouldy, blurry (sign of bacteria growing in big number) or green, if the pond is exposed to sunlight, within a month. Do not worry it will not kill your fish.

    Do not clean all your filter all at once. You kill them en masse. Clean one filter at a time. For example when you are cleaning the BS filter media do not clean your Jap mat at the filter chamber at the same time and vice versa.

    During maturing do not switch on the UV. UV light kills all bacteria in circulation. It will take you longer time.

    When your water is green your pond water could have also about to mature. Green floating algae grows at the same time together with bacteria. To check if the water has indeed matured swtich on the UV for 1 to 3 days is enough to see the water getting clearer. The UV light is to kill the green floating algea. There is no other way to remove/destroy the floating algae unless you also have carpet algae that stick to the pond wall to compete for food. Once the water is clearer swtich off the UV. In one or two days time the water will clear itself when it is indeed matured. The green algea is too tiny to be removed by filter. You got to kill them so that they will not multiply. UV light not only kill them but also glue the dead algae together to larger pieces and they either sink or filtered. The floating algae will come back if you do not have enough of the carpet algae to compete for food especially new pond as carpet algae takes longer time to estabilshed. It makes worse when you have floating algae where sunlight cannot penetrate into the pond wall for carpet algae to take hold. The trick is to swtich on the UV for 1 days to clear the floating algae and again a week later so that your carpet algae can grow. Do not on the UV all the time that you kill all floating bacteria. Likewise when you on the UV all the time, when you switch it off you will see your pond water cloudy as the bateria booming indicating there are just too much "food" for the bacteria.

    Hope this helps
  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    Hi, boykoi & Stevie.

    Wow, thanks for giving me such a detail elaboration about cleaning the FGT filter. It does help so much.

    I actually have done so many wrong steps in cleaning my new filter which I have just set up about two weeks ago. I have actually cleaned up all the medias of all chambers in the filter few days ago and I have switched on the UV light since set up.


    Thanks...

    Mabel :)
  • StevieStevie May 2011
    Posts: 323
    Mabel,

    Most of us learn from mistakes, me same all the times. Things that we learned from mistakes will be remembered for a long time if not forever.

    The key to it is patient. Some takes 6-9 months to have it matured, some 3 months. If yours is less than 3 months just wait. I have not heard anyone with less than 3 months to have its pond fully matured. The time will come soon. Nature will take its cause so do not waste time and effort testing your water every now and then. The readings you have today will be more or less the same as yesterday. Things don't change within few days. When you have proper setup and the pumps are runing with all filter media in place your fish won't die. Why? There is enough air and water and the fish will survive. If you still worry that your fish will die just change 5% to 10% of the pond water daily. Changing too much water is no good either. You wash away the bacteria at the same time not retaining enough fish pooh for the bacteria. How you can have your pond mature when it is so clean!

    So when you see your pond is cloudy or green just leave it as it is. Change only 5%-10% water. Not making the mistake like me changing 80% of the water and wasting time, effort and money paying heavy water bill. Switch on the UV if you have to but just for a day is enough to kill all the floating algae in the water when the green is light. But if the green is thick or dense close to dark green or black you may have to swtich on the UV on alternate day or few days. Though the water cycles many times over a day and because the algae is so thick and dense they blocked the UV light from killing them all and many still survive and keep reproduce. No need to buy a more powerful UV. It is the time you got to change 20% -30% of water daily to wash away the deads and floating algae. When it gets clearer back to 5%-10%. Therefore be patient. 3 to 6 months it is.
  • StevieStevie May 2011
    Posts: 323
    One more thing Mabel,

    It takes a few seconds for UV light to destroy the cell of the algae. Like sunlight, you do not get blind having a quick look at the bright sun. But staring at the bright sun for a few seconds you will have to walk with a stick. The best UV is the one that submerged in water and not the enclosed one so that the exposer is longer. Having said that do not stare and look at the beautiful blue light. It destroy your eyes and vision. The light may not look strong but believe me it is very intense and strong because we cannot see the ultra blue light we do not feel it is strong. That is why it is called "ultra" something we cannot really see, beyond our view of vision. What I want to say is if you have kids around make very sure it is properly covered and the kids have no access to open it up by themselves. Also let them be warned. Switch it off and unplug when not in used. Matured pond need no UV to be swtich on.
  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    Hi, Stevie.

    When you mentioned it would take 3 to 6 months to have a matured pond, are you saying I do not clean the filter at all for 3 to 6 months ? or I should clean partially as you have commented ?
    Yes, I am having the submerged type of UV and was being warned by the shop owner. Thanks for reminding me how dangerous it is.
    After cleaning 100% of my filter, now there are lots of fine particals floating in the water. :-S
    Well, learn from mistakes...
  • StevieStevie May 2011
    Posts: 323
    Depend. If it is not clogged leave it. But I would advise to clean it after 3 months. 6 months is a bit too long. The idea is not to distrub too much for thilngs to settle down. And yes, clean only a part of it.
  • StevieStevie May 2011
    Posts: 323
    To be more precise though cleaning a part of it, do not super clean it to be like new. Just clean it with the pond water. "Cincai" clean is better, if you know what I mean, "half clean".
  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    Yes, do understand clean the filter "cincai"ly... :)
    Thanks, Stevie.
  • PH8PH8 May 2011
    Posts: 683
    Wow, looks like I have been doing everything wrongly.

    1. I use bacterial culture, as do most of the advanced hobbyists in pond start up situations. Leaving everything to nature 3 years ago was a terrible experience I will never repeat again.
    2. I clean all my filter chambers at one go.
    3. I use tap water to clean my filter media.
    4. My UV lights were on during pond start up.
  • farikfarik May 2011
    Posts: 317
    Bro Paul,
    u and me same also....I believe fgt for me is my Qt whenever that i have a new recruit.I don't have a uv light for my fgt as i believe in frequent water change to eliminate all the bad stuff before the bacteria kicks in.
  • PH8PH8 May 2011
    Posts: 683
    Water changes are very important for a pond. But HUGE water changes (say 50% or more) are also not recommended unless in an emergency. Even if the water change is for the better, the change may be too sudden and cause stress. I think anywhere between 5-20% daily is alright. For FGTs, it is very tempting to change too much water. Change more only if the water is really bad.

    If I am not mistaken, the bacteria colonization start up process takes only about 6 weeks to cycle and stabilize, if done carefully.
  • nocturnalnocturnal May 2011
    Posts: 376
    "Wow, looks like I have been doing everything wrongly"

    same here Abang Paul :O :O :O
  • farikfarik May 2011
    Posts: 317
    for fgt i only change 5-10% daily, that also looking at the no of kois and size will be taken into account. so far so good during the qt process...
  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    I was having a totally wrong idea thinking the more water I change every day and the more frequent I clean up the filter will be better for the water quality... (sweat). I have just set up the new filter just about 10 days ago and I have cleaned my filter after a week...all gone the good bacteria in my filter...
  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    Hi, Paul.

    "If I am not mistaken, the bacteria colonization start up process takes only about 6 weeks to cycle and stabilize, if done carefully. "

    Can you please tell me more about "done carefully" ? Would like to know more.

    Thank you.

  • PH8PH8 May 2011
    Posts: 683
    Mabel, have you watched this? The steps were carefully guided by Brother David.

  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    Hi, Paul.

    Thanks for showing me the video. :)
  • ChicoChico May 2011
    Posts: 65
    Hi, Paul.

    So, it is alright to on the Uv light ?

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