Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Well here in the U.S.A. it’s that time of the year to start thinking about autumn and getting the pond ready for the cold days of winter.

Well here in the U.S.A. it’s that time of the year to start thinking about autumn and getting the pond ready for the cold days of winter. If you live in the upper Midwest like I do the winters can get exceptionally cold some times -30º F below zero (-34.33ºC) and with the right foresight things will go a lot easier for you if you planned ahead.

One thing I started doing about four years ago is covering my pond with a Quonset hut of 6-mil plastic to help keep the heat in. Every year prior to that I always would let the Anoxic Filter just freeze-up and keep my prefilter running in the main pond agitating the waters surface. This would add oxygen to the pond and gas off any CO2 from the bottom of the pond.

The construction of my Anoxic Filter was strong enough that the ice would not burst it apart. When it comes to the Anoxic Filter and the bacteria it uses you don’t have to worry about: Will there be a die-off of your filters valuable bacteria for the next year. Since this filter is more like that of a natural system, the bacteria are able to go dormant when foodstuff is limited or gone altogether. Please read my post on cold weather and the Anoxic Filter below.

This will give you an insight on how bacteria works in cold weather and why you don’t have to inoculate in springtime with new bacteria with the Anoxic Filter like you do with conventional filtration systems. Because of forgoing the inoculating process like other filters need you save money in the long run! Take a conventional filter and let it freeze up solid and you no longer have a biological filter, you just have a frozen filter!

Nowadays I cover my pond and filter and let it run all year long and it has never gotten colder than 35ºF (1.67ºC), that’s cold but not cold enough to freeze any of the ponds water; that’s only refrigerator cold! The only downside to this is in early springtime when I do my filter cleanout it seems like I get more cyanobacteria in the Anoxic filter afterwards than I did when I let the whole Anoxic filter freeze up solid. However, the main pond remains clear of the annoying cyanobacteria…I guess if I had the lesser of the two evils I would prefer the easy to cleanout Anoxic filter to get full of the cyanobacteria than the main pond. A stick or net will do the trick taking excess cyanobacteria out until the Anoxic filter kicks in and starts eradicating the bacteria on its own.

This year was a different story because my goldfish spawned and I did not want too disturbed the eggs. I only cleanout the main pond in early springtime and not the Anoxic filter and still all things considered everything went fine [Ed: A frog gobbled up most of my fry!]. That means the filter has not been cleaned now in a year. Next month in October sometime I will do the cleanout as planned and a water change to both main pond and filter. Now, imagine if you didn’t cleanout a conventional filter for over a year: Would you still have as high of a redox or as low of a TDS and CE as my pond?

The links above will show you my test of an uncleaned Anoxic filter and how well it will still perform if you forsaken the cleanout because of unforeseen reasons. Like what if you fractured your arm for example; the Anoxic Filter would be okay until you could get around to it at a latter date. There are lots of reasons why someone could not get to their filter cleanout and the Anoxic filter since it will not clog, gives you that leeway you wouldn’t have with other filters.

You see this filter gives you some leeway in maintenance but don’t let laziness get in the way with bad pond husbandry.  This was a onetime event and hopefully next year my goldfish will not spawn because of the mandatory classes they took in sex education and planned parenting…I sent them all to school!

 One thing I started doing about four years ago is covering my pond with a Quonset hut of 6-mil plastic to help keep the heat in.

This photo above shows the dry cat litter still in its bag. As you can notice there are no colored crystals are perfume additives just plain old baked and dried clay.

It will be autumn soon so now is the time to be thinking about replanting up the Biocenosis Baskets and adding some cat litter and Laterite. If your Biocenosis Baskets are more than seven years old it may be time to add more Laterite to them to aid the bacteria’s growth far next year.

The above photo shows just how the cat litter will keep its integrity even after years of being submerged in water.

The thin wall PVC is easy to bend and will be held in place with plastic 8" cable-ties that you can buy at any hardware store in lots of 100 for only a few dollars.

Empting and refilling the Anoxic filter is not hard work. As the water is drained down below the Biocenosis baskets I then cut down the water lilies and then hose down the detritus, vegetation and crab apples off the Biocenosis baskets and all that is in-between the baskets, too.  I do all this with a hot cup of java in my hands. Even us ichthyologist sometimes have to work hard cleaning our pond filters. But life must go on!

Anoxic Filtration System ®
February 02-2005-2013
New Updated Version

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