Pumps, Skimmers, Filters and UV Sterilizers - ARTICLE
The heart of your water garden is the pump. Without it, the sound and visual effect of moving water is impossible. Please read the article Choosing a Pump for tips on selection of the pump for your water garden needs. We have energy efficient, magnetic drive pumps for low electrical usage. For high volume but low waterfall, a magnetic drive pump is the best and most cost effective choice. For longer distance or high waterfalls, a more powerful type may be needed. We can help you with this important choice.
Skimmers are a must-have option for most water gardens made with a rubber liner. A skimmer is a box that is attached to outside of the pond liner. It houses the pump, keeping it out of sight and easily accessed for servicing. A skimmer eliminates the need for a heavy intake filter in the pond. Water flows into the skimmer opening when the pump is on, creating a surface vacuum. Skimming removes surface debris such as leaves, grass clippings or fish food, trapping them in an easily removable basket. The water then passes through a pre-filter mat, which protects the pump from clogging, and then on it's way to the waterfall. In cold weather you can temporarily close off the skimmer door where the water enters and pump the water out allowing you to service the pump without getting your hands in cold water.
Filters come in various forms. While not really a full filter, a skimmer is the best starting point of any filter system. For smaller ponds and one made of rigid materials a more compact form of filtration may be desired. An intake filter is the effective choice. This filter is attached to the intake of the pump, pulling water through filter media before it passes through the pump. Since they are heavy when filled with water and debris, they must be lifted from the bottom of the pond by hand, slowly. A biological filter is a type of filter that is installed as part of the waterfall. This filter is a container filled with polyester or foam filter media that the water is pushed through. The water flows back out of the filter over a spillway or through a pipe. Filter media creates a biological filter that utilizes beneficial bacteria which populates the all wet surfaces. As the oxygen-rich water flows through, the bacteria process pollutants and convert them to harmless by-products in the ponds' eco-system. A pressure filter is also located outside of the pond, but is a sealed container that can be positioned out of sight. The water remains under pressure as it passes through the filter chamber and back to the pond. These feature an easy to use water flow system that allows for easy cleaning with the twist of the valve, redirecting dirty water out of the pond and clean water in.
UV Sterilizers or clarifiers (UltraViolet) are another way to ensure clear water, especially where there are fewer plants than normal, or where you have large fish, or a high population of fish. The UV System is attached to the tubing leading away from the pump, but before the biological filter (if one is used). Some skimmers can have a UV system installed directly in the skimmer box where the pump is housed. An intake filter is absolutely necessary to keep the water clean of suspended particles that would make the glass inside the UV light dirty. As the pre-filtered water is moved through the UV light, it is irradiated with UV rays that destroy the ability of the algae to reproduce. The UV System is only effective against green water, or single cell algae that actually passes through the light. It does not work against algae that is filamentous, or that which is attached to the pond walls.
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