Vortex Biological Filtration
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Biological Filtration: The Main Process

How the Vortex Bio-filtration System Works

The cone shape of the filter design aids in the settling of debris and ensuring gentle action of the dissolved waste throughout the filter process. We give an example here of a three chamber method. Each chamber serves a distinct purpose in the overall efficiency of the design:

  Exit the pond: The water should exit the pond (drain) from its deepest point, where most of the heavy debris will have settled. Obviously, the best thing to do is get rid of the heavy debris before transferring the remaining waste to the useful bacteria, in the biofilter. The water should be gravity-fed to the filter chambers. The flow rate should be low enough to allow the heavier solids to settle within the chamber and great enough to allow a complete water turnover every 2 hours or so. (The efficient match between pond design, pump selection and filtration system is essential.)

  The first chamber: The water enters the settling chamber, which is shaped something like a cone, on a tangent to the cone and therefore begins to swirl in a vortex. This gentle swirling action encourages the heavy debris to sink to the bottom of the cone, where you can simply open the drain for ease of removal. The water then proceeds from the lower portion of the cone, wells up and exits through a port in the uppermost portion of the chamber.
  The second chamber: The water then enters the second chamber, a prefilter. The prefilter contains filter media - such as filter brushes, which filters out some of the finer debris which gets by the first chamber. Now this filter media is likely to get rather mucky, in time, so it is beneficial that this filter brush media is light and easy to clean.
  The third chamber: The water then proceeds in the same low to high path, past the baffle into the third chamber, the main biofilter. The main biofilter contains filter media which millions of bacteria call home. Here's where the dissolved waste products, primarily ammonia, meet the bacteria. The main portion of the nitrogen cycle takes place here.

Advantages to a Vortex Filter system

  Vortex Filter Systems remove undisturbed solid waste before entering the pond's pump. The majority of other pond filter systems "puree" the solid waste from the bottom of the pond through the pump, creating a more heavier load for the filter system.


  The Vortex System is an "open bed" allowing for atmospheric oxygen to interface with the surface water in the filter chambers, thereby acting as an oxygen supply safety net during power outages.

  Closed, or pressurized filters, by design, can lose all of the dissolved oxygen present at any given moment in time if the flow is stopped. This process of oxygen depletion in many environmental cases can occur within an hour's time.


  All systems have some unwanted, undesirable anaerobic environmental conditions which can "biologically bloom", given the circumstances. Example: a pressurized filter system operating at full capacity during hot weather conditions, loses its flow of water (and its source of dissolved oxygen).

  The small population of anaerobic bacteria always present, but subdued can now flourish in an environment which is quickly becoming ideally suited for their populations to increase. As anaerobic populations increase, aerobic bacterial populations decrease.

  When the pressurized filter begins to flow again, toxic waste products (hydrogen sulfide - rotten egg smell) from the now-active anaerobic bacteria flow into the pond.

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