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The architecture of the koi pond can have a great effect on the health and wellbeing of the koi. The practice of keeping koi often revolves around "finishing" a koi at the right time. The concept of finishing means that the fish has reached its highest potential. Koi clubs hold shows where koi keepers bring their fish for judging.
The skimmer allows water to be drawn from the surface of the pond. It collects leaves, pollen, twigs, uneaten food and all other kinds of floating debris. The skimmer usually has a clean out basket that can be quickly emptied on a regular basis to allow the skimmer to run properly. Most floating skimmers will also have a foam that sits underneath the basket to filter out the finer particles.
Bottom drains are not required in water gardens but are very beneficial for Koi Ponds. When used in a pond that does not have rocks on the bottom, a bottom drain allows the heavy solids to be carried to the mechanical filter.
Mechanical filtration can be accomplished in many different ways. The job of this filter is to trap solids, preventing them from clogging the Biological filter. The mechanical filter should be backwashed or cleaned out often. Types of mechanical filters include Vortex, brushes, matting, sand and gravel, sieve screen, and settlement chamber.
Biological filters convert the nitrogenous wastes from the fish. This cycle is called the nitrogen cycle. A biofilter can be constructed in many different ways. It is important for the koi keeper to understand how the filter is to be cleaned before they install one. Proper and regular cleaning of the mechanical and biological filters is critical for the health and quality of the koi. Bio-filters are sometimes divided into sub groups such as aerated or non-aerated. Types of bio-filters include:
- Moving bed filter - aerated
- Bakki shower or Trickle filter - aerated
- Sand filter - not aerated
- Cross-flow filter - typically not aerated
- Bead filter
Water and air pumps
Water pumps move water through the filter system and back to the pond in a recirculating manner. The important thing to understand about pumps is that they be sized to the pond and the filter system. When the total back pressure in the system is considered, a pump should be circulating the total volume of water at least once per hour for proper water quality. An air pump can be used to increase dissolved oxygen.