Help with pump and lava rock as bio-filter for pond - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:32 PM   #1
Karen00
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Default Help with pump and lava rock as bio-filter for pond

Hello folks,

Well I'm finally get around to getting my pond put in (it's a preformed plastic liner type). I'm at the point of adding my pump and filter. I bought a used Little Giant stream and waterfall pump from a guy for a good price. He was using lava rock for his filter. The lava rock is just sitting in a bucket and it has some sponge that sits on the top. I asked him how the pump fit into the whole scenario and I think he said he removed the lava rock then put the pump in and then filled it back up with the lava rock (I think). I should've written it down because now after a couple months I can't quite remember what the guy told me.

Does this sound right? I'm assuming the water gets drawn down through the lava rock then into the pump then back out again. I just realized I forgot to ask him how often he clean the pump. I can't imagine lifting that bucket out full of water and rocks. Any suggestions on this as well?

I tried googling it and found a couple posts but the buckets in those posts had pipes running through them which is not the same setup as this. Does someone have a similar setup to mine or has seen this setup and can tell me what to do? I have posted a couple pics of the bucket full of lava rock and the pump.

I was thinking of switching the lava rock to bio-balls because I head the performance and cleaning is better and of course it's lighter. Regardless of whether I use the rock or bio-balls I'm assuming the positioning of the pump would be the same.

Geez, I can't believe I'm stuck on this part of the process! LOL!

Thanks for any help with this!


Karen
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:53 PM   #2
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It would still need an outfeed from the pump up to the waterfall, but yes it will work in that configuration, sponge pad, lava rock/bio balls with the pump nestled at the bottom, though you can arrange it in an array of manners with some additional materials.

Although I don't have any pumps configured this way, what you have is still ideal and I could only suggest a way of separating the pump from the media for ease of use, as though the filter may only need to be cleaned maybe once to twice a season, if that; the pump may require attention outside of standard maintenance but that would also involve either more space for a reservoir or such or chambering the existing bucket.
It takes up far more space but I usually have several separately contained stages of filtration, swirl filter, anaerobic chamber, mechanical and bio the main composition being lava rock and poly baton; with my pumps in an entirely separate reservoir, pumping back up into towers to feed back down over the growbeds and back into the ponds. I'm not an amazing horticulturist or aquaculturist, but if I can be of any help situating, modifying or redesigning, just give a shout.


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Old 07-14-2019, 09:23 PM   #3
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Wow, awesome Jeepcarpenter! Thanks so much and thanks for the speedy reply! I figure the configuration I currently have is probably the minimal and I read some posts that sounded like they had more advanced (and probably better) configurations like yours so I appreciate your offer to help because I would like to get to that!

I forgot to mention I have the hose for the output of the filter that will go to my waterfall. That was the only part I could figure out. LOL!!

So will the lava rock/bio balls work properly if I put them in mesh bags and stack the bags around the pump so I can get the pump out easily for cleaning/maintenance or will that leave too much open space between the bags? A setup like this would probably be my first iteration as I work toward a setup like yours. That would be a work in progress. :-)

I'm already two years behind with this project. The previous two years were too hot and humid to attempt this. Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and might actually see it operational this year (although I'm still about a month behind schedule for where I hoped to be by now)! LOL

Thanks again!


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Old 07-17-2019, 02:51 PM   #4
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Media bags are about the best upgrade you can do without changing too many things for your current setup, and will make ease of cleaning/access far easier.. but above that.. the only other simple improvement I could suggest would be if the head height of your pump allows, doing a wet/dry column atop your waterfall for additional colony and filtration. Maybe someone else might chime in with some other simplicities, but if not; give a shout when your wanting to upgrade! Lol.
And don't worry about the 2yrs thing.. often a lot of things sit on the drawings by board for that length before they come to fruition in this hobby.. my ponds took about the same length, and have been torn down and redesigned many times since... I'm confident once I am ready to setup in full again, it will only take another 2... make that 3; builds.


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Old 07-17-2019, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeepcarpenter View Post
Media bags are about the best upgrade you can do without changing too many things for your current setup, and will make ease of cleaning/access far easier.. but above that.. the only other simple improvement I could suggest would be if the head height of your pump allows, doing a wet/dry column atop your waterfall for additional colony and filtration. Maybe someone else might chime in with some other simplicities, but if not; give a shout when your wanting to upgrade! Lol.
And don't worry about the 2yrs thing.. often a lot of things sit on the drawings by board for that length before they come to fruition in this hobby.. my ponds took about the same length, and have been torn down and redesigned many times since... I'm confident once I am ready to setup in full again, it will only take another 2... make that 3; builds.


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LOL!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one with 2-yr plans on the table. :-D

I have another question about electrical but will ask it in a separate post.

Cheers.


Karen
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