Pond Filters: Choosing a Pond Filter for your Koi Pond 0 87

While many coldwater ponds can potentially thrive without supplementary filtration, when keeping koi carp, installing a suitable pond filter is vital!

Koi ponds are generally very large, and will usual contain several fish; which of course, generate a lot of waste! Ensuring that your pond filter is fit to support the health of your fish is really important, and is one of the core elements that you should consider when building your koi pond.

What does filtration do?

Pond filters serves two purposes: They keep the water clear so that you can actually see your fish, and keep the water clean so that your fish will be healthy and thrive.

There are two main types of filtration: One of these is biological filtration, which minimizes the buildup of potentially harmful toxins within the water by effectively cleaning and recycling biological waste, and the other is mechanical filtration, which manually removes particles and dirt from the water. Most koi pond filters utilize both types of filtration within one unit.

Koi pond filter

Different types of koi pond filters

There are various different types of pond filter available. The type you choose will depend on the size of your pond, the layout of the build, access to filters for cleaning and maintenance, and personal choice. Here are the main types of koi pond filters that you might wish to consider:

Pump fed systems

Pump fed filter systems work by mechanically pushing the water around the pond and circulating it through the filter, where biological contaminants and large particles of waste are held for later removal, before the clean, filtered water is re-circulated back into the pond.

Gravity fed systems

Gravity fed systems work by siphoning waste and debris from the bottom of the pond, where they tend to build up, through a pipe that connects to the filtration system, cleaning the water before recirculation. The water level within the filter therefore remains level with that of the pond, and provides an effective cleaning and filtration regime. This style of filtration is the type usually recommended for koi ponds.

Bead filters/swimming pool filters

Bubble bead filters are the type of filters most usually used within swimming pools, but are eminently suitable for use in larger koi ponds too.

These filters also often incorporate a UV sterilizer to keep the water clear and prevent algae buildup which can give your pond a green tinge. Today, bubble bead filters are also produced specifically for the pond industry, and should not be too hard to source!

Biological filtration

Most koi ponds utilize mechanical filtration as described above, which includes an element of biological filtration too. However, it is possible to install biological filtration only within your koi pond, by building an additional sump or filter box containing various media to clean toxins from the water.

In order to successfully use biological filtration only, however, your pond should be well established, stable, and not be likely to undergo any major changes, such as the addition of more fish. Biological-only filtration also requires very regular monitoring, and may be better left to the experts!

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 247

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 374

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.