Will a homemade pond filter work??
I am asked all the time if a homemade pond filter will work. With some reservation I would have to say yes. Some people have a good amount of success making biological filters. They start out to be a bit cheaper but in many cases do not work or last quite as well. Having a good design is very important.
Important elements of homemade pond filters
The most important element of the homemade filter or even a commercial pond filter is to provide a nice surface to support a bacteria bed. A homemade filter can take many forms. I have seen Box filters, 55 gallon drum filters, waterfall box filters, or even a in pond short wall partition filter. The container or shell of them may look quite a bit different but the processes inside are virtually the same.
All filters work pretty much the same with one or a combination of filter media. Some of the more common filter media are sand, gravel, non- decomposing fabric, or pieces of plastic. Really anything that has a surface that the bacteria can grow on. Bacteria is what makes the filter work and is the most important element of any filter.
Designing the Home make filter
It is a good ideas to use what is called a up flow filter design. This means that the water is fed into the bottom of the filter and percolates up through the filter media and falls back into the pond. It is recommended to have an empty chamber in the bottom with different layers of media above. In order to make it easy to clean put a large valve (2” or bigger) that can be opened so the dirty bottom debris of the filter water can come out. Then you can take a hose to the top of the filter and flush everything out the valve.
Don’t forget the bacteria!
As I stated it is the bacteria that makes all filters work commercial or homemade. So don’t forget to add it to the pond. Remember whenever you clean your pond filter or add water to always add your water conditioner AND more bacteria. Many chemical pond treatment can damage the health of your bacteria as well. Bacteria comes in a liquid as well as a powder. Both work equally well to seed your pond.
The most important element of a filter of any kinds is how well it is maintained. Matching up the correct pond pump and leaving it on 24/7. And of course just like when you choose a commercial pond filter you have to make sure to use the correct sized filter for your pond. If you do all these things correctly and responsibly you will have a happy and healthy pond! Enjoy your pond!
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