I've been asked a question about anoxic filtration that I'm afraid I can't answer. The person who asked the question has always praised water parameters produced by his anoxic system even though he is overstocked and feeding as much as he can for maximum growth. His question is about whether the anoxic filtration system can reduce pheromones, in particular, growth suppressant pheromones associated with overcrowded ponds. He says he has sixty biocenosis clarification baskets for 40 koi, 20 of which are 65+ cm but he still gets good growth even though his pond isn't really large enough for that level of stock. I'm sure that bacteria would break down these compounds but I can't say for sure if they would be drawn into the baskets.
Can you shed any light on the situation?
Hi Syd, I wrote this little article up to try and explain to you why this Koi growth phenomenon is happening with the AFS.
A chemical substance produced and released into the environment by an animal, especially a mammal or an insect, affecting the behavior or physiology of others of its species.
It eats ammonia for breakfast. Lunch is a simple bit-size snack of Nitrites. And for dinner it's Phosphates, Nitrates and many other ions that most hobbyists wouldn’t think of as real food for bacteria. This has been the routine these pasts 30-years now for the Biocenosis Clarification Baskets (BCB’s) inside the Anoxic Filtration System (AFS).
In that time I have reviewed and analyzed over 60 different filters ranging in price from $40 to over $45,000 in cost. Have written over 350 articles and publications with over 250,000 words spilled on this subject about Facultative bacteria and the Anoxic Filter. You’d think by now my pen would be running dry-especially if you feel, as some do, that all pond filters are pretty much the same. If that were the case, I could have written just one simple paper, for that very first filter I analyzed, then cut and pasted it for all the rest of the articles I have written on the subject of the Anoxic Filter. What was I thinking?
Of course, all pond filtration systems are not the same in their ability to clean water. One good reason for their differences is that the filters themselves are not the same in their ability to take ions out of the water body. Some hobbyists like to think that all filters contain, say, a working anoxic zone and will more or less work alike, yet this could not be further from the truth, and for the simple reason: Anoxic zones do exist but not in significant numbers to really make an impact of the Eco-system they are trying to clean.
One of the more fascinating facts about pond filters or aquarium filters is revealed when you talk to their designers. It's fair to say that each filter are the topology du jour, some filtration designers depart from this crowd in search of what they feel is a better way.
The Anoxic Filtration Systems handles foodstuffs and the pond insults progressively different and more inline with Natural Systems and how they utilize ions in their open systems. Rather than using the same reconstructive filters provided like other filters do, others, like Nexus, implement their own filter medium in a churning sump. Then there’s the motionless filter medium school of filters in which ions are converted to harmless or at lest in some conversions, to ions that are non-toxic to our animals but are limited in this process too by making more byproducts than we started with.
Among all these ways, are any right or wrong? It depends on whom you ask. Objectivity is not to be found among designers, and if it were, what a monotonous world it would be, don’t you think? As hobbyist we want our filtration systems designers to be passionate, searching the Holy Grail, driven by a near-mad desire to give us the cleanest water possible and all its glory…at least that’s what I did with the AFS.
We can look to measurements for better bacteria to foodstuff insults. But, as we all know, measurements can’t tell us how something is working if we can’t measure it simply and perceptively. More important, no set of measurements can tell us how something will affect the animals if elements are missing from those measurements.
Hobbyist test kits will only go so far in their class and then something like pheromones, in particularly, growth suppressant pheromones associated with overcrowded ponds comes up, that we can’t explain why they do or do not exists in a given system. Distressingly, this short-coming also applies, more or less, to subjective hobbyist reviews of what their ponds are doing with a particular filtration system like the Anoxic Filter, that other systems can’t do without serious intervention. While I do my best to communicate to readers how something works with the AFS, all I can ever really tell you that it works and its been working now for over 30-years. I have written so much about fish growth in the past years, that the AFS seems to accelerate Koi growth to the point that even my smallish pond can grow them to 24" (60.96 cm) with no problems. In my pond if you have more than two Koi you are already pushing it to its limits on fish to water capacity. Yet, this accelerated Koi growth is noticeable with all those that practice good husbandry with the AFS and the same results are consistently repeatable.
As I age, money and time seem to be my enemies and testing the AFS will have to be left to those that are willing to experiment with the system and find out why these hidden secrets exist. Do they exist because the BCB’s take in these particular growth suppressant pheromones with other growth inhibitors or does the system trick the fish in believing that they are not in any danger and therefore the secretion of the same are lessen to a greater degree than with other system? But, however, with time, more and more hobbyists are realizing the same results as the AFS becomes more popular in the Pond and aquarium hobby.