Chamber #1 - Brush
  • khongkhong July 2011
    Posts: 144
    Hi All,

    I would like to request for your advice.

    The depth of my filtering chamber is 3.5'. The maximum height of water level is about 2' 8".
    I plan to put brush in Chamber #1. May I know it is better to use the 2' brush or the 3' one?

    Thank you,
  • JoshuaChinJoshuaChin July 2011
    Posts: 371
    Hi Khong,

    Why you wanna put brush in your 1st chamber? brush is good but very hard to maintain.
    This what i do, 1st n 2nd chamber fill with j matt, 3rd chamber will be crystal bio, 4th chamber will be oyster shell then pump to another set to bakki shower fill with bacteria house (china)

    just my 2 cent opinion....
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    If you wnat to use brush use one that goes as deep as possible to the bottom. Why would you want to have it bypass at the bottom that is least resistance when it has no brush?

    Leave some space for a sieve to filter large particles. It will leave your J matt cleaner than ever that you do not need to clean the J matt for a longer time. When you have a sieve it does not matter how you arrange the order of filter medias for your 2nd and 3rd chambers. Since you have a larger 3rd chamber you should fill it with Jmatt and the 2nd chamber with osyter shell and/or crystal bio or any other media. Try this out first before you venture into other form of external filters like bakki shower, sand filter, protein skimmer, etc and get confused which is working and which is not effective.

    As far as filtration is concerned you got to know what you wnat to achieve at the end of the day. Are you preparing for the best for the koi and the fish is the only major thing you want and going for contest and be a proud owner if not winner, talk koi, eat koi, sleep koi or is your pond is only a part of your garden, a decoration just like the pergola you have/intend to build, the flowers and plants arrangement, grass, sand and stone and garden table and chair, swing, etc? At the end of the day are you going to spend 80-90% of your free time at home for the koi? If you do than get the best of all the filter, chiller, top quality food, custom made food, prized koi, QT, test kits, generator, spare pump and prepare to change 10-20% of water everyday, reading up koi diseases, sign, symptoms, and treatment? Maybe not, maybe later as it has not bite you hard as yet. So go for one at a time from a simple filtration system and progress as the koi hobby bites you harder.

  • khongkhong July 2011
    Posts: 144

    For a start, obviously I don't target to have a perfect pond with winner koi. I guess I have not that much of time to "talk koi, eat koi and sleep koi" :-D :-D

    The pond is part of the garden and should allow me to relax by hearing the sound of water flowing down from feature wall and watching the fish to swim happily, with good quality of water, but needs not be perfect water ;-)
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    So as said Joshua do not use brush. The purpose of the brush is to break the flow and hope that debris will sink to the bottom. This is hard to achieve with high turnover even with big vortex where water spin round in circle.

    The better way is to have a sieve next to the BDs. If there is space avialable after the sieve you can put the Jmatt to maximize use of space. Unfortunately you have to make the sieve, nowhere to buy. want to know how?
  • khongkhong July 2011
    Posts: 144
    Please share how to make the sieve. Thanks.

    Since my 3 BD is right at the center of the chamber, I am still thinking where is the better position to put the sieve.

    May be I can connect an elbow to the each of the BD to point to the opposite direction of the water flow and make a sieve to trap the waste. Then some J-mat to further trap the waste before the water flow into chamber #2.

    All feedback are welcome.
    Post edited by khong at 2011-07-19 11:14:01 pm
  • WilganWilgan July 2011
    Posts: 245
    Use 3' brush as it can be bended.
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    Back flow is a good idea.

    To make a sieve need more info:

    1. Dimension of the chamber W,L,D. This is to see if you need to cross tie the sieve if it is too big. Of course bigger area is better but need to cross tie to strengthen it so that it will not collape or pregnant under water flow pressure. Also to know if it is big enough to put any other things/media there like Jmatt or brushes before and after the sieve. Please also give the height of the upflow. It means you have two Ds. One D is the height of the chamber, the other is the overflow height. Not need to be exact to every inch. Just want to have a rough idea its shape and size.

    2. How the bottom/floor is constructed? V or cone? If it is V it is easier to make the sieve. Again got to know the "D" at the centre at the BDs and the D at all the 4 walls to knwo the degree of slope. Refers to drawing: best place to have the sieve is at point A, next best is between A and B. If it is a cone bottom alamak it has to be closer to point B and re-concrete where possible and complicated. 1 .bmp
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323 1 .bmp
  • khongkhong July 2011
    Posts: 144
    Stevie: Please see attached the drawing of my chamber #1
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    Great, it is flat making job so much easy.

    The ideal place for the sieve can be across between the pond 3 inlets and BD.


    What you need is to make a rectangular sieve measuring a little less than 36" (eg. 35.5") X few inches higher than 31" and a channel on both side of the wall to hold the sieve upright.

    Why less than 36"?
    A smaller width allows you to easily slide in the sieve to the channels on both sides of the walls. See drawing.

    Why few inches higher than overflow?
    If the sieve is equal height as overflow water will bypass the sieve and overflow the sieve height. If the sieve is as high as the chamber wall's height when the sieve clogged your pump will run dry and you poorer by RMXXX. The sieve height therefore has to be between the height of the wall and the overflow. To determine the ideal height is to fill your pond to the desire height and run the pump then measure the height of water at this chamber. That is the ideal height and add half inch to it. let say the water height is 35.5 inch, make the sieve to 36 inches high.
    sieve.jpg 14K
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    What do you need?

    For the channel:

    1. Two pieces of aluminum "n"channel 40 inch long each. Size? the depth of the channel betwen 1 to 2 inches. The width/gap depends on the thickness of the sieve. Always safer to have it a little bigger. When it is too big the gap can be fill with double sided tape. So make the sieve first before buying the aluminum channel. But make sure your have seen it and know where and what to buy and the thickness of the aluminum. If you can't get a "n" channel you have to use 2 pieces of "L" to make one channel and then the measurement of the sieve is out! i.e. too small.
    2. Neutral silicone glue (Xtraseal brand. Get it from TC Aluminiun Accessories Enterprise. 52, Jalan bp7/14, bandar bukit puchong.) Do not use acid base silicone. It will not hold for long as the concrete and aluminum give way to the corrosiveness of the acid.
    3. Silicone glue gun to dispense the silicone. Few RM only from hardware shop. Get the cheapest.
    4. Metal saw. Few dollar only buy from hardware shop, also get the cheapest.
    5. Spirit level.

    For the be continue
    Post edited by Stevie at 2011-07-20 07:48:10 pm
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    If you cannot find the right size of channel and the gap too big use Aluminium Angle the L shape
    angle.jpg 14K
  • khongkhong July 2011
    Posts: 144
    Just a weird idea, how about making a sieve in the shape of retancle box and just put the sieve to cover all the 3 inlets and all the shit will be contained in site the box shape sieve? Take my chamber #1 for example, the size of the box shape sieve could be 35.5" (L) * 10" (W) and say 30" (D)
    sieve-1.png 12K
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323

    I think you already got the idea and how to make the channel. Here some instruction.

    1. To mark and draw a line on the floor for the first channel location.

    With a ruler measure from the middle of the overflow wall to few inches after the bottom drain where you like the sieve to be between the BD and 3 BDs inlet from ponds. and mark the floor let say 7 inch. Do the same on the two other sides. Now you have 3 marks and join the marks and you have a line across.

    2. To draw a vertical lines on both side of the walls

    Use a spirit level draw to draw a true vertical line on the wall from the line drawn on the floor up to the brim of the wall.

    3. Cut the first L shape alluminium panel with metal saw to the height of the wall less one inch or 2 inches. Cut another for the other side equal length

    4. Now you got to check if the walls are true vertical and straight. Use the spirit level. If it is straight and level, fine. If it is not you have to use the spirit level again during applying the silicone to make it level and straight.

    5. Sticking the panel to wall

    Gun the silicone to the L shape panel. Make sure you confirm and apply on the correct side you want to glue on. If the wall is not straight use more silicone. Stick the panel to the line but do not press on it as yet. Use the spirit level to check if it is level or perpendicula to the wall where the spirit level is hold at 90 degree angle to the penal/wall. Not 180 degree flat on the wall/penal. Like this:
    With light force press the panel to the wall with the spirit level and check it is level. Tidy up the excess silicone between the wall and the penal run with your finger make sure you do not distrub the panel. Check level with spirit level again and leave it for 3 hrs. Meanwhile do the same for the other side of the wall.

    6. Re-inforce silicone glue. After 3 hrs apply more silicone glue to the side between the panel of the outside (not the channel) and the wall and run with your finger. You only apply to the inside when you stick the other piece so that both pieces of aluminium are somehow join together with the silicone.

    You should only stick the other pieces after you made the sieve so that you get a good gap/channel where it is a little (some 3 to 5 mm) wider than the sieve.

    Next the SIEVE
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    Hi Khong,

    Great idea but how are you going to hold the box, taking out to wash and put back? With bricks, brackets?

    Keeping the shape of the box is one big question. Besides cleaning it is a little challenge because you got to clean it every day or every other day. Might as well just clean a flat sieve is 3, 4 times easy, just spray with garden hose.

    Making 3 holes to the 3 BDs inlets? if not the 3 BDs is going to clog before the whole box sieve. If you extend pipe to the 3 BDs you may have problem putting it back to the holes, maybe. The 3 holes on the sieve bottom have to be reinforeced with steel cable? Maybe just leave the bottom empty can also work.

    Making the box itself is a headache. You see all things seemed easy to make but when you do it you know there are many pitfalls and need lot of common sense. You will never know what is going to hit you until you made the mistakes. This is DIY. DIY is not Just Do It. It needs lots of thinking. It is not how to do it but what will fail and not what will work which you already know becasue we want to do it correct the first time if not the 2nd time, never 3, 4 times that you will give up.

    But the idea is great. There are other ideas. You can extend the pond 3 BD up a foot and wrape it with sieve up to the water surface. That is very easy to make but you have problem to put it back as you have to drain the water and go down to the chamber to put it back. Washing is difficult too like the box as you have to spray from all directions. What you spray on one direction will fall and stick to the other side especially large debris like small leave. Then you have to spray from the other direction and it stick back again to the original sides. Taking it out flat you got extra work to put it into shape.

    I also did this actually. I extended a pipe to each of the BDs like pullpipes. I cut the pipe with few square holes from bottom to top into 2 sections for water flow out of these holes and the pull pipe is still stand as one whole piece. But I cannot use it because of the problem cleaning it. See pix on pullpipe.jpg
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    That is why Khong I stick to the flat sieve, easy to clean. Just off the pump, take out the sieve, spray with garden hose on one side then the other and put back, on the pump. All in less than 5 minutes. Dont want to be slave to my pond and koi.
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    Now the Flate Sieve:

    You need:

    1. Flat Aluminium panel
    2. Silicone glue
    3. Plastic netting with fine hole as sieve
    4. Plastic netting with big hole to hold the fine hole sieve x 2
    5. Masking tape
    6. Old newspaper and pencil

    EZ Step by Step;

    1. Making the frame. (see pix)

    Cut out the aluminium flat bar/penel into 18 pieces like the pix. 9 on one side as 'A", 9 on the other side as 'B'.

    2. Place paper on the floor and join them together with masking tape large enough for the sieve. This is to prevent silicone glue stuck to the floor.

    3. Place frame A on the paper and stick the joint on its underside with masking tape so that it will hold to its shape when accidentally move it.

    4. Mark the outline of Frame A on the (old newspaper) or paper. This is for you to adjust back if you accidentally move one piece out of shape even though it has masking tape holding it.

    5. Press and gun a thin layer of silicone glue on frame A and spread it with a scraper.

    6. Lay the big hole netting over Frame A (no need to cut to exact shape, cut later). Press it to the frame so as it stick to the silicon.

    7. Apply more silicone to the frame now with big hole netting and spread it.

    8. Put the fine hole sieve/netting over it, press it to lightly to big netting/frame.

    9. Spread more silicone if necessary

    10. Place the other big hole netting and more silicone and see that the silicone is above all the 3 nettings.

    11. Take one piece at a time from Frame B and press it on its location.

    12. Wowla !!! A sieve ! Leave it over 12 hours for silicone to cure

    13. Now cut excess netting from the frame

    From here continue with the channel.

    1. Place the sieve to the channel and mark with a line as to the width of the sieve. Take the sieve away, draw another line 3mm to 5mm (your choice) from it.

    2. Glue the other piece to the wall as you did for the first piece.

    3. At the middle of the channel apply a thick layer of silicone so that both are physically joint togeter stronger.


    1. The silicone is very strong you need no screw to the wall to hold it.

    2. If you think you need stronger bond between Frame A and Frame B of your sieve you can rivert them with riverter which is mainly for aluminium. see pix
  • StevieStevie July 2011
    Posts: 323
    If you riverted them together the channel has to be wider. To rivert you need to drill holes on the frame. You need a power drill. It is better to rivert them as the sieve is flimsy.

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