I really had no idea if it would work, but if it did work I could produce this FAR more cheaply than my existing range of upward-flow units!
I must point out here and now that I didn’t look into the design as closely as I did my other units because the only thing that mattered to me back then was to make it as cheaply as possible.
The prototype turned out to be an 18” wide x 20” deep x 108” long, simple, flat-bottomed box made from glass fibre, and to stop flexing there was a 3” x 3” timber frame glassed into the outside walls.
The running water depth was 18” and the two 4” sockets were in PVC.
The divider wall from the brush part into the bio part was a solid sheet with a 4” socket set in the middle and this only allowed me to drain half of the bio stage unless I wished take time to siphon the remainder out.
The central wall socket allowed me to insert a pipe stop in the socket to then allow the entire brush stage to be flushed to waste. Brushes were suspended on dowel rods and a few air stones provided the aeration between blocks.
I trialled the prototype at Infiltration before launching it under the name of ‘The Budget Filter’, which thankfully became the only design I’d made that no one else copied.
I can’t recall exactly how many units were sold between late ’86 and ’99 but I do know there wasn’t one single complaint from those who bought them.
But then, people only voice complaints if the product doesn’t do what it’s advertised to do?
Here’s an illustration of my very basic ‘Budget Filter’ system.
In 1995 I gave my Budget Filter system valuable page space in ‘Koi Kichi’, simply to let others know that these horizontal-flow designs were an ideal option for those who could make their own Budget Filter on a DIY basis.
I think it was the beginning of the ‘80’s when Koi started to take off in the USA and around the late ‘80’s when we first started to see enthusiasts from Germany, Holland and Belgium.
From late 1989 to 2000, the Koi hobby in the UK had more enthusiasts and Koi dealers than were ever even dreamed of in the early days.
Filtration wise in the UK, things stagnated from around 1989 to around 2000 apart from several new forms of biological media launched.
In this period we saw Andrew Worthington’s ‘Springflo’ media that was really just reels of plastic banding tape used to band parcels.
Another new media was a sintered-glass product name ‘Siporax’ used in aquarium applications but far too costly to filter large fishponds. (An alternative was found later for this free of charge as a waste product given off by the ovens around the Potteries area).