Trickle Tower

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Trickle Tower

Postby Billyboy10 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:27 pm

Am in the process of building myself a trickle tower.Got a 5000 gallon pond,running a nexus 210,bad advice there when i bought it.2x hailea 450 air pumps,110 uv,one mini vortex and three connected black boxes.First box,black night brushes,second box,alfagrog,third box flocor and jap matting.My water is spot on.Since installing the vortex/black boxes late summer,my nexus has needed less maintenance.What i am doing now is building a trickle tower,want more fish basically.Tower consisting of brick enclosure,6 tier, basket sizes 750mmx455mmx175mm.Am intending putting alfagrog in the top two tiers,next 3 tiers bio balls,the bottom basket was thinking of putting in a load of K1 which i have left over.Will the K1 be a waste of time?Just trying to use it up thats all. Any comments would be welcome.
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby Gazza » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:02 pm

Hi Billyboy,

Are yup saying the Nexus was bad advice :?:

Are you looking at removing the Nexus :?:

Before you start ripping to much out it may be an idea to give us an idea on your set up and how it all works with pump sizes and stocking levels.

Hopefully someone will be able to help as it sounds like it may just be a et up problem.
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby Manky Sanke » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:15 pm

Billy,

Yes and no. One of the selling points of a Bakki Shower is that it reduces nitrate. It does this to some extent by thrashing water around as it tumbles over the media. This drives some ammonia out of the water and less ammonia going into the nitrogen cycle means that less nitrate is produced as a result.

But the greatest reduction in nitrate is due to the denitrifying nature of the media, especially if BHM is used. I can describe the process in detail if you want (and suffer from insomnia) but basically, denitrifying media has special bugs living in tiny holes inside it. These can't get oxygen in sufficient quantities in their caves inside the media so they do a clever trick and steal oxygen from any nitrate in the water. This turns it into harmless nitrogen gas which just escapes to atmosphere at the first chance it gets.

Crudely put; nitrate goes into (over) a Bakki shower and the bugs inside the media get rid of it.

This can only happen if the Bakki has denitrifying media in the tiers such as BHM, biopore, or similar.

K1 is an excellent media but it isn't a denitrifier because it isn't honeycombed with holes inside it.

So, "yes" K1 will work well in a Bakki as a normal nitrogen cycle media but "no" it won't work if you want the Bakki to work as a filter that reduces nitrate levels.
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby eds » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:25 pm

I put K1 in a DIY shower at first and it trapped so much waste that I needed to regularly dump the whole lot in a tub of water and clean it all, messy and not very effective as I only cleaned it once or so a week. The BHM I replaced it with has only needed cleaning once and that's only because I completely overstocked the QT pond and didn't have a good enough flow rate! Alfagrog is a good second choice if the water's clear IME.
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby carlejo » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:40 pm

Manky, in your opinion is there anything as good as BHM but without the price tag ?
Or even anything that's just as comparable enough to make a difference to nitrate
Thanks
Thanks, all the best
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby Manky Sanke » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:54 pm

Carl,

That's a difficult question to answer because, in order to reduce nitrate in the pond water you need what is called denitrifying media i.e. a porous media where facultative bugs can live and reduce nitrate and phosphate in order to obtain their oxygen. Manufacturers of ordinary, non-porous media can work out the surface area that is exposed to water and give a figure known as specific surface area (SSA) which is the area available for bugs to form their biofilms. Obviously the higher the SSA for any given volume of media, the more bugs that can live in that volume and you can compare the SSAs of different media types and work out which will support the greatest number of bugs per cubic foot or cubic meter or whatever volume you're interested in.

Unfortunately, manufacturers of porous media don't give the surface area of the "caves" inside their media so we cannot compare one media with another and we have to go on the recommendations of those who have used the various types. Obviously, those who have spent a small fortune on BHM are keen to say how well it performs but there are also good reports from others who have used the cheaper types of media.

Sorry that isn't an answer to which media represents the best value for money but, if it's any help, I ran a home made shower using Lytag as the media. Lytag, when it was available, was cheap as chips and it performed brilliantly but it's no longer available so my next experiment will be to build a bigger shower using pumice.

I'm not too tight to spend money on a genuine Bakki Shower and BHM, I just love doing things myself and get pleasure in achieving the same results (and sometimes better) as ready made systems. I give club talks and the themes are often based on the overall title "koi keeping isn't complicated, nor is it a rich man's hobby" where, apart from showing that water parameters aren't complicated, I also discuss the concept that there is nothing wrong with buying ready made expensive filter systems and other pond equipment but the cost of such an initial outlay often deters new entrants into the hobby. I give examples where DIY systems can be built as entry level systems and those who choose to go on to upgrade to more expensive system can do so when their budget allows. My new home made shower will be something I can talk about and give performance information.
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby carlejo » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:35 am

Thanks for the reply
The reason I ask is that there's a media ( you already probably know this) that's virtually identical in looks etc to BHM and it's called Sakura media. It's half the price

I'm going to build a shower out of MDF
Basically it's going to be a totally enclosed box(to cut down on noise and chilling) and all internal surfaces will be fibreglassed before construction with the internal shelves built in. It'll then be fibreglassed outside with 700mm wide Shute leading back to pond
It will be based on the proper towers (measurement wise) drops between trays etc
Only difference will be that it's enclosed

Do you see the enclosed part as a issue or not ?

Pond is 4300 g so I intend to put 2/3 spray bars into it and pump approx 6000 gph over it
Thanks, all the best
Carl
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby Manky Sanke » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:27 am

Carl,

Stating the obvious, one of the features of a shower type filter is that the water tumbles down over the media which strongly aerates it and helps gas off unwanted dissolved gasses, chiefly carbon dioxide and ammonia. If you hermetically sealed your shower in a box then, after a short time, there would be a build up of these gasses in the box and also the oxygen content of the air inside it would be depleted with the result that no more gassing off or oxygenation of the water could take place.

You won't need a great deal of ventilation in the box but there must be some in order for the unwanted gasses to disperse and the air in it to be kept fresh. So, provided you have a few ventilation holes, top and bottom, I don't see a problem with boxing it in.
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Re: Trickle Tower

Postby carlejo » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Brilliant
Thankyou very much
Thanks, all the best
Carl
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