Filtration is the single most important aspect of pond ownership, since it is responsible for the overall health and clarity of the pond. With many filtration choices available to new and experienced pondkeepers, it is important to understand how filters work and how to select the best filter for your situation.
As a general rule, we recommend a filter that offers both mechanical and biological filtration. Following is a definition of each:
A mechanical filter removes fine particulate and debris from the pond. The pump forces water through media such as foam or matting, where particles are trapped and can be removed by periodic rinsing. This type of filtration also helps to remove clumped, dead algae.
A biological filter converts harmful ammonia into relatively harmless nitrates by way of the nitrogen cycle. Filters of this type contain media such as plastic balls, rings or open-profile bio-media that have massive surface areas for beneficial bacteria to adhere to and colonize. First, water containing impurities comes in contact with these beneficial bacteria. Next, the beneficial bacteria consume the impurities and release relatively harmless nitrates back into the water. Lastly, these nitrates can be absorbed by plants, helping to meet their nutritional requirements necessary for growth. Pressure filters have a back flush feature to allow for easy cleaning. So that the beneficial bacteria can continue to do their job, however, the media should never be scrubbed totally clean.
When choosing a filter, select one that provides mechanical and biological filtration. Also, to make your pond maintenance trouble-free, there are new filters available that are even easier and faster to clean, while they preserve clear and healthy water.
Wondering if your pond equipment is working properly? Not sure why your fish look listless?
Test the water. Testing your water makes it easier and faster to monitor the health of your pond and protect your fish. In addition, testing your water once a month helps you to make necessary water adjustments before your fish are in danger. The most common levels to test for are Nitrates, Nitrites, General Hardness (GH), Alkalinity (KH), ammonia and pH.