The thousands of beads in any brand of bead filter, no matter how well it’s constructed, will eventually cake up, especially in ponds that are overloaded with fish and plants. As odd as it seems, plants in a pond add more dirt and debris to the water than fish alone. An overabundance of string algae can literally glue the beads together after a season of use. If your bead filter is needing to be backwashed more than once a week it’s time for maintenance.
Before spring gets going and nitrifying bacteria begins growing it’s always best to perform maintenance and cleaning on bead filters. During winter many of us turn off the pump and the unit is left standing with moist beads inside. These moist conditions are perfect for breeding anaerobic conditions. It’s never good to simply “crank up your system” without cleaning the filter if it hasn’t been turned on for a while. If pond water coming out of the filter smells “rotten” it is telling you that bad bacteria has built up. It’s imperative that a thorough power backwash be performed on the filter to loosen any gummed-up debris that has collected in the beads and give the system a good flush.
Here’s how to perform maintenance on our ProBead filter:
- Put on the scrubbiest clothes you can find.
- With the pump turned off drain all the water from the unit. (Open the bottom drain on the filter)
- Take the unit apart. The valve can be taken off the top of the smaller black units. The double canister styles can be split apart in the middle.
- Stir the beads. Use the pole to your net or anything that can take a little pressure and stir the beads vigorously.
- Scour down the inside walls of the tank with the pressure of a hose.
- Make sure no bead clogs are left then reassemble the unit.
- Perform a power backwash by opening the bottom drain on the unit and turning the pump on with the valve at the backwash position. You’ll see very dirty water come out the bottom. Keep doing it until it comes out clean.
- Close the bottom drain then backwash as normal. Rinse for a minute or two then you’re ready to begin filtering for the new season. In fact, it will flow like the filter is brand new!
For Early Spring Maintenance ONLY:
If performing the maintenance in early spring before the filter seeds for the new season we recommend you do a more thorough cleaning.
Fill the unit with hose water and swish the beads. Don’t be afraid to put your arm all the way down into the filter and continually clear the anti-loss drain so the filter can drain quickly. Fill. Swish. Drain. Repeat several times. This will insure the cleanest beginnings to a new season.
Performance Tip From The Doc!
To help your bead filter backwash better try “rocking” the valve from RINSE to BACKWASH and vice-versa back and forth several times. This helps use the pressure of the pump to loosen the beads and flush out trapped debris.