Monday, June 10, 2013

Lets get on the same page please!


             Conventional filters:
                  When I use the word “conventional “ filtration systems that means a filter and/or filters that basically rely on high-oxygenated water, the higher the impregnation of the water with oxygen the more bacteria you will have if surface and the availability of foodstuff is present. These filters must keep oxygen levels high on their substrates in order to work their most efficient. As oxygen levels drop these bacteria decrees in numbers and/or die altogether, leaving the hobbyist with no nitrogen cycle. These bacteria falls under chemoautrophic, that is, they do not require an organic source of food.
               Heterotrophic – The most common type of bacteria that consumes complex hydrocarbons (organic waste) and produce very toxic ammonia.

                 Nitrosomonas – Bacteria, which consumes ammonia as their sole energy source and produces toxic nitrite. Actually Nitrosomonas spp., Nitrosospira spp., and Nitrospira spp. converts toxic ammonia and/or ammonium to nitrites.

                 Nitrobacter – Bacteria, which consumes nitrite and produces relatively harmless, in small quantity that is, nitrates.

                 The bottom two bacteria’s, they are the ones conventional filters are most dependent on and have very slow reproductive rates compared to most Heterotrophic bacteria, generally 24 to 36 hours to double under ideal conditions. Any serious oxygen deprivation can quickly allow for the growth of anaerobic bacteria. They also will not survive in anoxic conditions.

                Nonconventional filters: Not your status quo in filtration.

                Anoxic Filtration System differs from conventional filtration system because it uses not only the above bacteria but is less dependent on such. It uses what natural system use. 

          Facultative Anaerobic Heterotrophs – These are a dimorphic bacterium, capable of converting ammonia into nitrites and then nitrates and in turn, turn it into a gas element, Dinitrogen, N2, a harmless nitrogen gas that is then released into the atmosphere. Facultative anaerobes use nitrates as a thermal electron acceptor. They use denitrification because nitrates, like oxygen, have a low reduction potential. Also denitrifying bacteria will use ferric iron (Fe3+) “ a trace element found in Laterite, and some organic electron acceptors. Their oxygen requirements are extremely low (2-ppm-.5-ppm) and therefore they live in Anoxic conditions.

          Unlike oxygen loving heterotrophic bacteria, that consumes hydrocarbons and in turn produces ammonia. They also have the ability to steal their oxygen from other sources and can take the three molecules  of oxygen from NO3 and use it for their oxygen requirements when oxygen is depleted; this is what makes them dimorphic because they can now live in anaerobic conditions, too.

                  So when I say conventional filters, don’t think I’m badmouthing these filters, I’m not. However, only the Anoxic Filter is design to live through power outages and cold weather. These bacteria are present everywhere and reproduce at astonishing rates, with trillions of cells in just 24-hours.

The photos above are of a conventional filtration system costing as much as a new car would.

          Vegetative Filtration Systems - as it’s called is another one that falls into this category. One of the significant advantage of vegetative filtration over other methods of filtration is its managing nitrogen waste in our ponds, is the fact that it removes offending substances from the water, instead of just breaking down ammonia to nitrite to nitrates, which are still undesirable compounds. In other words, the chemolithotrophic bacteria are bypassed completely in a vegetative filter. The three major elements to consider in using a vegetative filtration systems in our ornamental ponds are: 

           A: You need to match the ammonia assimilation capacity of the mass of plants to the ammonia production capacity of the fish load. 

           B: You have to ensure that the ammonia absorbing structures of the plants (the roots and root hairs) have unregulated access through the water body proper. 

          C: You have to regulate a constant flow of ammonia-laden pond water over the root structures some way.

                    By matching the ammonia assimilation capacity of a vegetative filtration system to the fish load, you would need 3.2-kilograms (7 lbs.) of emergent plants to every 12-inch (304.8mm) Koi that you have in your pond. By estimating the present fish load and, keeping in mind that pond fish (koi) grow very rapidly, estimate the likely load in a few years not by the size the fish are at present. This means that if you had 10, 12-inch (304.8mm) Koi, you would need over 70-pounds (31.74k) of emergent plants to start with. More than likely, you would want to be at least double this estimate; 140-pounds (63.5k) of emergent plants would be more in the realm of reality. Now all these plants have to have a medium and/or substrate of some kind. This is where it seems everybody parts ways on what type of medium and/or substrate to use for their plants in a vegetative filtration system. So many different mediums and/or substrates are recommended for this kind of filter that I will not go into listing all of them here. You will find everything from gravel to clay, topsoil, to special potting mixes sold at nurseries and everything else in-between. It seems that everyone has a superior anecdotal way to plant up the plants than the next person does.

          Bog filters - also fall into this category. Bog gardens/ ponders/ hobbyist mainly think only in lilies and iris. However, bogs can feature pitcher plants, bog blueberries, bog rosemary, Venus flytraps, sundews, bog violet, heather, cranberries, hatpin flowers, and several kind of orchids,too. These plants are all hardy and can live in the Northern US.

          Bogs and Bog Filters can be as simple or as complex as the hobbyist wants them to be, but a true Bog/filter must have acidic water only so only rain water or distilled water will do. So what hobbyist make are really not true Bog filters at all, because a Bog is a mire, and they accumulate peat, and are made up of a deposit of dead plant material and is a wetland in classification. 

   What they really are is an under-gravel filter used 100-years ago in ponds and call it a new name like "Bog Filter". However, they are not true Bogs or Bog filters at all. So why do hobbyist misrepresent their filters by calling them Bog Filters? They are not in anyway a bog are even a facsimile to a bog of any kind.

         The trouble is with bogs filters is they clog and become a ticking time bomb. If you don't believe me, then set up an Aquarium with an under-gravel filter, then add fish and wait six- month and then see how dirty that under-gravel filter is with matter. It doesn't make any difference if the waters is being pulled through the filter or revers-flow through the filter, it will still  become a chemical sink for all kinds of unwanted goodies if not cleaned every year. Yes, I do understand that some will have a "Bog filter" and say they've done nothing to it for 5-years and all their fish are fine and water is crystal clear. However, there is no science behind what they are saying.

              I just wanted everyone to get on the same page as me, thank 

Anoxic Filtration Book... Still free on Apple's iBook store

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