Sunday, 4 July 2010

Filtration system tuning

Thursday 1 July I worked on the filtration system. This is how it now looks, after a full day of tuning:

Some background:
When I initially installed it, I only had the bead filter EB-40, a 1 KW Koi Pro heater, and the Red Dragon 12.000 liter pump.
The first improvement was to add a circulation pump inside the tank (Eheim 5500 liter), as the 4 outflows connected to the Red Dragon weren't sufficient. This was mainly due to the fact that the outflow tubes have a rather large diameter.
Then I added the trickle filter (50 liters of syporax + 3500 liter Ocean Runner pump) to get more biofiltration + oxygen in the tank. This seems to work really well, as I hardly have any nitrate in the tank.
As the tank still wasn't crystal clear I extended the beadfilter setup with a pressure filter with filter foam (75 liter Velda clear control). This final step made a big difference: the water was completely clear!

Due to the original lay out of the system I could only place the pressure filter after the beadfilter. As I think it's best to have the the filter material with the widest granularity first, and the material with the finest granularity last, I had to take the system apart and build it up again. So, pressure filter first and then bead filter. After the bead filter I split the outflow to go to 1. the Koi Pro 1KW heater, 2. the Koi Pro 40W UV filter (new). Both outflows split again before they return to the tank. In the original setup I tried several UV systems, but they all couldn't handle the pressure of the 12.000 liter pump. In this setup the pressure is split in half, and I used a heavy duty UV filter. It's my intention to run the UV filter only for 4 hours each day as this should be sufficient for a 3600 liter tank. This would also imply that I don't have to change the tube once a year, by once every 6 years.

Another bottleneck in the previous setup was the small leaks that occurred now and again. A system that is normally used (and designed) for garden ponds, and operates under heavy pressure (12.000 liter pump) will sometimes leak a bit. I originally placed the beadfilter in a aquarium, and the pressure filter in a large plastic bin, but unfortunately couldn't drain both of them as they were placed on the ground.

So I designed a new setup, consisting of an aquarium table with adjustable legs, and a HDPE leakage tray. The tray just fits in the storage room, and can hold the pump, the bead filter and the pressure filter. The UV filter and heater have been connected to the wall. The leakage tray is connected to sewer, so any excess water will flow away without causing any damage. I had help from Verloop Vijver speciaalzaak who delivered the leakage tray, aquarium table and UV filter, and send a specialist who put everything together. I am always surprised to see how much new PVC materials you need... luckily most parts could be reused. Today, 4 July, the tank looks pristine, and there is absolutely no noise, no leaks etc. Hopefully it stays that way!

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