Looking After Your
Some people are under the misapprehension that fishpond filters start working the moment they are turned on and that they only need a little attention. This is not the case at all as a biological filter will not become fully operational for about 8- 10 to weeks after it is initially turned on.
Admittedly it will start to physically filter the pond. That is to say it will remove the larger particulate matter by way of the water passing through the foam, or filter brushes. The biological action takes longer as the colony of bacteria build up. This process can be speeded up, by adding bacteria in solution to the new filter. If the filter is turned off for any length of time, such as for winter, this process should be repeated, as the filter will die just like any other living thing without its nutrient rich supply of water from the pond. If the good aerobic bacteria are allowed to die after a long period of operation then the filter should be washed out thoroughly to remove the anaerobic bacteria that will have built up in the sludge that will have accumulated in the filter. This is the only time the filter should be cleaned out thoroughly.
In normal maintenance only single sheets of foam, or filter brushes should be cleaned and then only lightly as the cleaning will wash away some of the filters bacteria. If at all possible, rainwater out of a tub is better for washing the filter foams than tap-water. It is easy to tell when the filter needs a little bit of a clean because the water level will start to rise towards the overflow pipe as the foam blocks up with muck slowing down the free flow through it.
Ideally, when any filter is installed, a facility should be made to allow the filter to be backwashed. This is by far the best way of washing, or flushing the Filter through because natural pool water is used instead of harsh chlorinated tap water that will kill many of the bacteria. If the filter is small it may become totally overloaded with sediment and then it will be necessary to dismantle it and clean it, but again it should be treated as a new filter and fed with a bacterial solution.
If the filter is not doing its job properly and is not removing the ammonia and chemical waste from the water this will often react with oxygen to make a white solid that shows itself as scum on the water at the outlet into the pond. In this case the filter may need cleaning, and or the capacity of the filter should be questioned, and or the flow rate for the size of the pond needs adjusting.