There was also plastic hair curlers said to be of use and also Alfa-Grog became popular with some enthusiasts.
The only other thing in that decade I considered to be of importance regarding ‘filtration’ was my firm belief that it was impossible to run multiple bottom drain lines into a common box and expect them all to enter the common box with equal flow rate.
In 1992, I designed my own Koi pond with this in mind and ran each of the four bottom drains into four individual filters each powered by an identical pump.
The first new filter came around 2001 when Nick Jackson announced ‘The Answer’ after I had put it through it’s paces for six weeks and was delighted with the results, I also christened it with the name.
This was a mechanical stage that surpassed all other mechanical stages of the day. A farmer named James Hosford, had invented the principle after finding a way of keeping his submersible pumps free from blockage when pumping slurry.
Nick Jackson, (later to launch his Koi accessory business to be known as Evolution Aqua), bought the rights for this, when used in fishpond applications, from James Hosford.
The Answer became the only ‘outside product’ I have ever endorsed, it truly was a remarkable invention.
Nick Jackson also had no doubts about the units and to endorse this, he sold all units with a five-year warranty.
I had seen many shower systems used on indoor ponds by several smaller breeders, some were ‘zig-zag trays’ where water passed down the sloping tray to fall into the next tray and so on. The Igarashi Koi farm near Nagaoka uses thousands of used drinks cans as media for his indoor shower system.
I can’t recall exactly when Mike Snaden of Yume Koi introduced the Micheo Maeda (Momotaro) stainless steel ‘Bakki Shower’ systems complete with Maeda’s ‘Bacteria House Media’ (BHM) to the UK but I think it may have been around 2000?
These have proved to be very popular with many enthusiasts and, as expected, many others have tried to copy them and use a cheaper form of media inside the showers.
(It has never ceased to amaze me that the parasites copying other filter systems never make more expensive and more efficient versions of the originals; instead they always produce cheaper and less efficient versions of the originals.)
I think it was around late 2002 when Evolution Aqua announced their new Nexus biological filtration system that was specifically designed to have their popular ‘Answer’ system incorporated as the mechanical stage.
The Nexus unit itself was a simple round upward-flow box, but the biological media inside was new to the UK, although it had been used on the Continent for some time before.
The media itself was invented in Norway and given the name ‘Kaldnes’, it is a semi-buoyant plastic media that Evolution Aqua were given sole distribution rights for use in fishponds and renamed it as ‘K1’.
The expensive advertising surrounding the Nexus units produced the desired results and it became very popular with many owners around the world.
Sadly, around 2003, ‘The Answer’ was discontinued due to the high cost of failed units being sent back for repair. These units employed many moving parts and the Oase pump driving them was only supplied with a two-year warranty, which meant Evolution Aqua had to supply replacement pumps at their own cost in order to honour their five-year warranty.
By removing ‘The Answer’ from the Nexus, all that remained was a circular plastic box. Initially circular sponges were supplied in an attempt to replace The Answer but unless they were washed out thoroughly on a daily basis they simply clogged and starved the biological stage.
Eventually static K1 inside a stainless-steel colander was employed to trap the mechanical debris, this became known as ‘The Eazy’ and was backwashed by air.
Still it was many times cheaper than the withdrawn Answer unit.
By 2003, Estrosieves used since 2001 as mechanical stages in Holland, were also introduced into the UK as a mechanical filter stage. Evolution Aqua made their own version of these under the name of Cetus and strangely recommended Nexus owners to buy this and install it before their Nexus units?
The mid 2000’s then saw hosts of other filter units known under the collective term of ‘Bead Filters’.
I’d rather say no more about these units as they look suspiciously – much like my sand filter that I sold way back in 1976!
I believe it was 2002, also at the Holland Koi show, I saw my first drum filter – but more on these later.
In order to summarise part one of this article properly. It was I, in 1981, who first designed and produced upward-flow boxes, either as single units or multi-chamber units. The reasons for doing so are that I firmly believed water levels rise equally by gravity and they do.
By placing a media barrier submerged half-way up these chambers, then this would ensure ALL water entering the chamber would give equal water supply to ALL media surfaces before exiting the chamber, thus ensuring that perfect biological filtration would take place.
My beliefs were also reinforced after personally watching many of these units filled for the very first time when watching the water rise equally through the media.
And I believed this to be the case for some 15 years or so before I had any serious doubts as to the validity of my firm beliefs.
From 1986 at Infiltration, all my filters consisted exclusively of upward-flow chambers with heavily aerated filter mat cartridges as the biological media. Each chamber had a 4” bottom drain to waste stopped by a 4” standpipe for daily discharge. Timber planks to serve as walkways for customers wishing to view the Koi in the ponds always covered these chambers.