Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Anoxic Filtration Story As told by: Manky Sanke in the UK.

The Anoxic Filtration Story
As told by: Manky Sanke

 This is a reprint from a UK Koi forum, from a member called Manky.

Kevin Novak, a limnologist (a researcher in freshwater science), designed and developed the idea amidst a lot of ill informed criticism over about twenty years (1). The criticism that it was nothing but a bog filter came from those who, when asked a direct question, admitted they had never read Kevin's CD book and therefore didn't understand how it worked but were opposed to it anyway.

In 2009 Koi magazine asked me to write an article on nitrate reduction. I was aware of anoxic filtration but hadn't read much about how it worked so I contacted Kevin and asked if I could buy a copy of his CD. At that time Kevin was posting copies FOC (free of charge) to anyone anywhere in the world so he refused my offer of payment and sent me a copy FOC. He wouldn't even accept reimbursement of the Trans-Atlantic postage

I spent a few weeks reading and understanding all about the dimorphic metabolism of facultative anaerobic chemo-litho-autotrophic bacteria (love that expression) and was able to include, in my article, the first brief description of the system (that I'm aware of) in a UK magazine. It's now on my website here:

In appreciation of how Kevin had helped and because I was impressed by the beautiful simplicity of the idea (even if the science is mind numbing) I offered to put Kevin's book on my website. That allowed him to just email a link to my site rather than having to pay for the CDs, copy the book onto them and then posts them to anywhere. My site gets a lot of visitors and so Kevin's idea came too much wider attention.

Then the Editor at Koi Carp saw the book and the article and she asked me to write a comprehensive two-part article, specifically on anoxic filtration. I used that platform to write the simplest description possible about how it worked while challenging the mistaken criticism that it was a nasty anaerobic bog filter.

That then attracted a lot of interest and questions to me, nearly all of which I could answer because my career had made it possible for me understand the science behind the system. In the early days I had to forward a few questions to Kevin but he copied me in to the replies which filled in any holes in my understanding. I also followed everything that he put into forums. I soon took on, on his behalf, answering forum posts that my original magazine articles had provoked plus the growing interest in the system. Since then more hobbyists are trying it and consequently there's a lot of chatter about it on forum threads such as this one.

That brings the story up to date (nearly).

Since being asked to become an instructor for Koi Organization International, they also asked me to write a short eBook about anoxic filtration for them. As soon as that's finished, it will be on their website and I'll also put it on mine. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I keep promising that it'll be finished soon but I'm very busy with a sudden influx of new students who must take priority over finishing the book but I promise, it's nearly complete). When it is complete, it'll go on my site here.

PS. I've just re-read this and, in case it comes across that I think I've single handedly provoked all the interest in Kevin's system, I don't want to claim all the credit.

I was the first person in the UK to write magazine articles about and I certainly was the first person to put Kevin's CD on a website. I also spent a lot of time in those days answering questions about it on forums but Kevin and a few others in the US have been promoting it and it became quite popular in Australia. Kevin has put a massive amount on the Internet and now on his blog. He also has a free download of his CD on iTunes.

I'm probably guilty of starting the ball rolling in the UK and putting the book on my website helped raise the anoxic profile and get it onto Google but, since then, posts appear about it on a great many forums and there have been more and more hobbyists who have tried it and added their experiences onto forums threads such as this.

[Ed: (1) The Anoxic Filtration System was introduced to the public the same time as the Nexus filter was introduced to the U.S.A. hobbyists in about 1989. I wouldn’t say a filter that has been used by the public far 25–years now would be classified as in its infancy stage any longer as some would like others to believe.]

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