Our little pond goes through it's own little cycle of ecological disaster every year, the algal bloom! And it is a consternation to us cos it makes the whole pond green transforming it into a not so appealing experience to the eyes. This year, the bloom was really intense and didn't seem to let up at all. The warmer than usual weather has something to do with it most definitely. Man's folly and the weather is getting cranky.
We've been getting heat wave after heat wave. And just as you thought, one is over and the water begins to show sign of hope, another wave would hit and the pond becomes greener than before. We tried aerating the pond by fixing a stronger air pump. It didn't help much.
We configured our filtration system to a biological one to remove the nitrates. None seemed to work. The algae, with the 'assistance' from the weather kept winning.
Anyway, after trying the chemical solution to no avail, Other Half finally decided to zap them dead.
Enters the UV light. We didn't trust the China made UV lights. So we got ourselves a JBL. It's made in Germany. These days, can't seem to trust the China brands. Yesterday I read in the papers that 1 in 10 toys from China is unsafe! But anything not China made, they cost you an arm and a leg. This particular UV light that we got cost 3 times more!!! Anyway, after less than a week, our pond began to clear up. We can finally see the bottom again! 8) And that was when we realized that our pond was also teeming with guppies! 8)
This is our filter made up of mainly bamboo and pegaga plants. Both have these really fibrous roots which are excellent for filtering the muck with the bonus of breaking them down. And switching to biological filter has also negated the use of liners, sponges, gravel and ceramic tubes, which means that we don't have to replace the filters, environmentally friendly and save money some more. In fact we've to throw out the roots which grow so fast, which gets buried in the soil and become compost!
I used to have to clean my filters every 2 weeks or it'll overflow. With these, you can leave them untouched for weeks... and probably months. We've only 'cleaned' it twice in the last few months, more of to trim the unwanted growths than to wash away the muck. Anyway, washing is easy cos we just need to lift them the plants from the container and hose it.
These roots are as good if not better than the conventional man made filters. The beauty of these is they break down the wastes. For the combi box, all the plants are in tubes of big round pipes with holes drilled all over. That way, the different plants' roots don't get entangled and if we we didn't like one, it can be easily removed without having to use the scissors much to trim the roots.
Next project is to try a drip system from the pond water for vegetable planting.