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Milk Crate Filter?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by drsogr, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    I have a customer that is wanting to add a waterfall to their existing pond. They were displeased with their last filter and pump. So I did some research and I went to a place in town that specializes in ponds and waterfalls. I have a 7' dia. pond and he was telling me that they take filtermedia and put it in a milk crate. This is their filter. It surrounds the pump. In the smaller pond feeding the pond they also have the same thing. Has anyone done this? I am thinking I could make something that looks more professional. But I like the idea. Looking at the aquascape filters, its basically the same principal.

    Also I was thinking of using a 1500 gph pump for this 900 gallon pond. The waterfall will be up 4 ft. Will this pump be suffecient to make a gushing waterfall?
  2. dmcoburn

    dmcoburn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Filter in a crate with pump in the middle sounds like a bad idea, not enough filter media, no skimmer in the system, have to swim/get wet to maintain it.

    Check out the aquascape system, it is mostly propaganda and marketing and it does cost more than if you do your own stuff, but it is a solid system, and the tech department can be helpful. They have a book they will sell you called the Pond Builders Bible. Lots of info about sizing pumps, etc. They ship things fairly quick when I compare it to other vendors that use truck shipping too.

    To get a good flowing waterfall you will need about 1500gph for each foot in width on the waterfall (spots wider will have less flow, spots narrower will really rage). The trick is the Total Dynamic Head (TDH), you said your fall was to be 4' in elevation, so you need to make sure the pump you use can deliver the gallonage at 4' and with what ever size pipe you may be using (bigger is better, or at least more fail proof) buy a pump with a graph or a table on the packaging or in the manual so you can be sure how it will perform at whatever height you are trying to achieve.

    Good luck, ponds and waterfalls are fun, as with everything though, the details are best worked out before hand if possible, that way when you are on the site putting it in you can deal with the unforseen details in a professional manner.

  3. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Hey thanks for chiming in. I agree that skimmer is still needed. But this would be used for the top pond that is feeding the waterfall. I took a look at the microfalls filter by aquascape and it seams like a joke to me. It had maybe two filters in it. The lady selling it told me that I should put the micro falls filter inside my top pond, that feed the waterfall. I looked in theirs top pond and all they had was filter media in a big bag. I was thinking of using this to eliminate the skimmer, but it is still a good idea to have.

    On a side note aquascape must be making a fortune off of their supplies. What they are selling just seams to be too simple for the prices they are asking.
  4. fishinman22487

    fishinman22487 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    It always amazes me how people always have to base the product on the PRICE. Why not the value you are getting when you install an Aquascape system, I mean your paying for the luxury of coming home to your OWN paradise in your backyard everyday!!!
    I would go with the microfalls, it will perform much better than a milk grate:p
  5. dmcoburn

    dmcoburn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I guess I didn't fully understand and might not still understand the pond system you are retrofitting. Now my understanding is that you actually have two ponds, a bottom (presumably larger)pond that is connected to the top pond by a moving waterfall. I guess my question would be: where is your pump? I would expect the pump is in the bottom pond feeding the upper pond. The aquascape system as well as some others I have encountered utilizes a skimmer vault that houses the pump on the margin of the bottom/lower pond. The skimmer vault handles most of the details... it controls the water level, it houses an auto refill valve if you use one, it houses the pump, it also has a net or basket that collects the biggest debris and takes it out of the system so it doesn't accumulate on the pond bottom and rot, it will sometimes have some filter brushes or media sheets to pre-filter and to some extent probably hold a colony of bacteria, it also is where you place the ponds overflow. Does your skimmer work like this or is it just drawing water through a remote pump (like a pool system). The aquascape system also in theory is used with the biofalls, in your case they are saying you could use the microfalls and just set it flush or slightly above flush with the upper ponds overflow (the beginning of the waterfall so it basically goes unnoticed. In the Microfalls is where there is a combination of filter mats and bags of filter "media" are and the water being pumped from below is forced to travel through. This is where the real bacteria colonies reside and "Filter".

    I think normally you don't necessarily have the upper "pond" and this is where your system is different. Where was the filter on the old pond and how did it work? sounds like the pond you are adding is the upper pond, and maybe the question should be asked, does there need to be an upper pond? are your clients specifically asking for that?
  6. dmcoburn

    dmcoburn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    True True fshinman, I believe that it is worth the price just for the fact that I am a Landscaper that needs someone else to come up with these components, I dont have the time. Aquascapes provides it and makes it easy to do, I can just focus on creating interesting things with thier components. Check out some of thier new large feature components--just modified Centipedes in that you can use it as a bog, wetland filter, wet well, retention pond filter, etc. you just keep adding sections to take care of huge parking lots or use the mini centipede for the back yard pondless waterfall. If you believe in the biological filter and you want to make money seems like anyone ought to take a look at the filters offered by aquascapes
  7. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    if you go the cheap way put lava rock in the basket to helps filter
  8. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Common guys...I am just trying to come up with cheaper ways to do things. This is method is used by a local nursery that has over 10 ponds. This is what they do! Now when I go inside they try to sell me the aquascape method. It doesn't make sense! I can understand what you are talking about when using aquascape products. You can make a lot more profit by using their overpriced equipment. You can show them the value. Have you seen their biofalls? In the future I will be using the same methods as you guys. So that I can make the money. But I was intigued by this simple idea.
  9. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Thanks for the idea. Has anyone seen charcoal used in pond filters?
  10. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Why did you buy a dakota? You should have bought a dodge ram with a hemi and 22" rims. It always amazes me how people base the product on price, you should be thinking about the value. I mean you could be sitting in leather seats with more power than you could ever handle. You could be driving in your own oasis everyday!!

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