Waterfall Filters for All Types of Ponds and Pondless Water Features
Hydro Vortex™ Waterfall Filter Features:
The Advantages of Hydro Vortex™
Professional Backwashable Waterfall Filter
Lets you spend more time enjoying your pond or pondless waterfall and less time cleaning it!
Patented Hydro Vortex™ Pond Filter
A patented Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Filter is the starting point for natural looking waterfalls for any pond or pondless waterfall, blend seamlessly into the landscape, and contain a revolutionary Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media. Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media provides high surface area for large colonies of beneficial bacteria to proliferate.
These bacteria metabolize ammonia, phosphates, and other algae causing organics out of the water. It also polishes the water far superior than other types of bio media, and rinses clean within the filter. Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter is easy to clean - not requiring removal of the Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media for cleaning.
Quick and Easy to Clean Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter can be cleaned in 2 minutes or less without requiring an air blower or air pump to facilitate the backwash. Periodic backwashing of these pond filters improves fish health, reduces algae growth, and ensures that your pond or pondless waterfall will stay as beautiful as possible.
Every Hydro Vortex™ Waterfall Filter Blends Seamlessly into the Landscape for the Most Natural Waterfalls. Place river rocks on the upper diffuser grate to hide the filter from view. Because the Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter does not need to be dismantled for cleaning. You can leave those rocks and pebbles in place forever!
Waterfall Filter with the Lowest Cost of Ownership
The Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media included with your Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter never needs to be replaced like the filter pads in conventional bio fall type waterfall filter boxes - saving you real money. Replacement filter pads in typical bio fall waterfall filter boxes can cost as much as $27.00 per square foot and typically require from 6 to 15 square feet of filter pads or more! Filter pads typically require replacement every 2 to 3 years costing you hundreds, and even thousands of dollars over the life of the conventional bio fall waterfall filter box.
Also note that with typical bio fall waterfall filters, not all media is included with the filter. You're required to fill media nets with additional bio media such as lava rock, bio balls, or other bio media - at additional cost.
Contrast that with a Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter that come complete with all the required bio media - and the Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media never needs to be replaced with regular backwashing! The Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter provides you with the absolute lowest cost of ownership.
Why is Keeping a Waterfall Filter Clean So Important? A waterfall filter is just that .... a filter.
Think about it:
Any type of filter, whether it be for liquids, or gasses performs at its peak efficiency when kept clean - waterfall pond filters are no different. What would happen to your clothes if you didn't routinely clean the dryer's lint trap? What would happen to your engine if you didn't change the oil filter? What would the swimming pool look (or smell) like if you cleaned the pool filter once per year? How would your water or coffee taste if you didn't use clean filters?
Everyone knows that filters either need to be kept clean or replaced to work effectively - pure and simple. You should RUN - not walk - away from any typical bio fall type waterfall filter that is not backwashable or that boasts that it only requires "annual cleaning".
So what collects in a waterfall filter anyway? The answer is fish waste, mulm & detritus (waste produced by bacterial colonies), small organic particles, algae, dissolved organic matter, and whatever passes through the pond skimmer or other pre-filter. All this "stuff" is commonly referred to as "sludge".
Take a good look at the photo here on the left of the inside of a typical bio fall type waterfall filter. This is sludge. The filter pads and media nets filled with lava rock are completely saturated with sludge.
When sludge is allowed to build up inside a typical bio fall type waterfall filter, the filter media becomes clogged and water will channel around the media. Water channeling around the filter media is no longer being filtered. If a filter no longer filters .... then what good is it?
Once the pond filter media is saturated as seen in this photo, the sludge breaks off and finds its way to the bottom of your pond or pondless waterfall where it adversely affects water quality and dramatically promotes algae growth. Additionally, areas within a sludged filled waterfall filter that no longer have water passing through them become stagnant and oxygen-deprived.
Pathogenic species of bacteria such as Aeromonas and Pseudomonas proliferate in oxygen-deprived pond filter media and eventually pass into the pond. These pathogenic bacteria can attack your fish causing ulcers, open sores, mouth rot, disease, and death. This is why backwashing your pond's waterfall filter is so important. Don't be misled by claims that the typical biological bio fall type waterfall pond filter only requires annual cleaning. The health of your fish may be at stake, as well as the appearance of your pond.
Think about "annually cleaning" a waterfall filter for a moment. Can it be done? Yes. Should it be done? No. You could mow your lawn once per year. Your neighbors wouldn't appreciate your unsightly lawn for 51 weeks per year. It will be a huge time consuming and difficult chore when you do decide to mow it! Regular pond filter backwashing maintenance is like mowing your lawn on a regular basis. Regular maintenance keeps things healthy and beautiful.
What would happen if you "annually" flushed your toilet? Go back and look at the photo above to see what collects inside a typical "annually" clean bio fall waterfall filter. It's really gross. The photo shows you how disgusting it looks, but doesn't give you a sense of the smell!
What Makes a Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Filter so Easy to Clean?
Every facet of this outstanding waterfall filter was designed to make it efficient and easy to clean. The unique patented design of Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Filter combined with its patented backwash system enables the Hydro FilterSilk™ media to rinse clean within the waterfall filter itself. Dismantling the filter for cleaning is not required.
A clean waterfall filter performs at peak efficiency. Water enters the Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Filter parallel to the radius (at a tangent) causing the water to whirl in a vortex within the circular filter body. This whirling water causes particulate matter to settle down to the bottom of the filter's settlement chamber. The settled particulate matter is removed from the filter via the drain located at the bottom of the settlement chamber.
Your Choice of Patented Backwash Options for your
Hydro Vortex™ Waterfall Filter
Manual Backwash with the following steps is easy, and efficient. It is recommended for Pondless Waterfalls.Notice how much dirty water exits the drain pipe.
1. Turn off your pump
2. Open the filter's bottom drain valve and let the filter drain completely
3. Using a garden hose, rinse water into the top of the filter while the drain remains open
4. When the water exiting the filter drain runs clear - you're done!
5. Close the drain valve and re-start the pump
HydroFlush™ Backwash with the following steps is easier, and more efficient. It is recommended for all pond style applications.
Whichever option you choose, routine backwashing your Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter will keep it performing at peak efficiency. The more often you backwash the waterfall filter, the less time it takes. With weekly backwashing, the backwash cycle can take as little as 30 seconds. With monthly backwashing, the backwash cycle can take as little as 2 minutes. Backwashing intervals will be determined by your location, climate, fish loading, and other factors. Simply put, the more organics you have in or around your pond or pondless waterfall, the more frequently you should backwash your Hydro Vortex™ waterfall filter. You will quickly learn what backwashing intervals work best for you.
Why is a Vortex Important inside a Waterfall Filter?
A vortex inside your waterfall filter means that you'll have cleaner, healthier water than all the conventional waterfall filters that don't have a vortex. Why? Because a vortex whirls water around an axis, and whirling water causes particulate matter to settle into the center of the vortex.
Here is a simple vortex example. Place a handful of sand in a bucket of water. Using your hand or spatula, start circling your hand around the inner perimeter of the bucket. You will notice as the water starts whirling in the buck, the sand starts moving towards the center of the bucket. In just a few seconds, all the sand is at the center of the bucket. This is the design of the Hydro Vortex™ waterfall filter. In the case of the Hydro Vortex™ filter, the bottom is shaped like a cone so debris settles downward into the cone. To remove the debris, simply open the Hydro Vortex™ waterfall filter's bottom drain.
The Problems with the Typical Bio Fall Waterfall Filter
With over 25 years' experience installing, servicing and seeing the problems with virtually every brand of waterfall filter, company CEO, John Russell invented and patented the Hydro Vortex™ professional backwashable waterfall filter.
His goal: to resolve these common problems with unique design features, efficient function, and ease of cleaning in mind. John studied every waterfall filter available and compared them to the koi pond filters, where koi health is the primary concern. He discovered that all koi pond filters have the ability to be periodically backwashed to remove the unwanted fish waste, detritus, and mulm. There wasn't a waterfall filter, or pondless waterfall filter that had this ability, and as a result, many pond and pondless waterfall owners were experiencing problems with fish health and excessive algae growth.
The Hydro Vortex™ Professional Backwashable Waterfall Filter was created to solve these issues.
While the typical bio fall type waterfall filter may offer an optional "drain-kit" to aid in draining the filter - for an additional charge, they are not actually backflushable. In order to be backflushable, the waterfall filter must be designed with a drain at the bottom of the filter - not simply a reversed inlet on the side of the waterfall filter. In order to be backwashable, the bio media must be able to be rinsed within the filter with low pressure water. Bio media that requires removing from the filter for high pressure cleaning is not backwashable.
"Backwash" and "Backflush" mean the same thing. Some people say "toMAYtoe" and some people say "toMAHtoe". We've included both terms here for convenience to everyone.
The typical bio fall type waterfall filter utilizes filter pads as bio media.
Filter pads can only be cleaned by removing them from the filter
and rinsing them with high pressure water.
High water pressure cleaning harms the beneficial bacteria that was living on the filter pads, thus requiring completely starting the bio filter ecosystem again from scratch after every cleaning. This is a big reason why the manufacturers of these types of the conventional bio fall waterfall filter state the their filters only require "annual cleaning" as cleaning the filter pads with high pressure water - the only way possible - destroys the ecosystem of the bio filter.
The typical bio fall waterfall pond filter doesn't possess a vortex water motion or settlement chamber inside the filter body - there is no pre-bio stage solids separation. All the particulates that can get past a pond skimmer, fish waste, mulm, and detritus are forced to collect on the filter pads and media nets.
Once the bio media is saturated, the water flow channels around the filter media and is returned to the pond unfiltered. Additionally, the filter pads, lava rock, and other common types of filter media inside typical bio fall type waterfall pond filters are too dense to rinse with low pressure water. The filter pads, lava rock, or other bio media must be removed from the typical waterfall filter for hand cleaning.
The typical bio fall type waterfall filter can only be cleaned by hand! When doing your research on which waterfall filter to purchase - you need to ALWAYS ASK:
How Do I Clean This Waterfall Filter?
You can do an internet search and find a ton of information about how to clean a conventional bio fall type waterfall filter. They all talk about cleaning the filter pads and the lava rock contained in the media nets .... but what they don't show is .... what you're actually cleaning - or how you will be doing it! We're happy to show you here.
How to Clean a Conventional Bio Fall Type Waterfall Filter
There are many manufacturers of these types of the conventional waterfall filter. Aquascape, Easy Pro, Atlantic, Pond Builder, Pro Line, Savio, and others. They are commonly referred to as bio falls, puri falls, aqua falls, fast falls, filter falls, cascade falls, elite falls, and many other names.
It doesn't matter the manufacturer - they may look different on the outside, but inside - where it really matters - they are all the same! Filter pads and media nets are not backwashable, and must be disassembled for cleaning. The following photos show exactly how they all get cleaned - and what you'll be cleaning if you own one or are planning to purchase one.
The first step is to drain the conventional bio fall type waterfall filter. Most likely the filter doesn't have a drain so you'll have to disconnect the pump and have the dirty filter water empty into the pond skimmer and pond. Careful, it will be under pressure and can get all over you. Or purchase a second pump and hose to pump it out. Again, additional costs to the original purchase price!
The second step is to remove the media nets. These are usually filled with lava rock, but they can also be filled with bio balls or other form of bio media. Lava rock is the most commonly used media in these nets because the lava rock is heavy and holds the filter pads down inside the conventional bio fall type waterfall filter.
These saturated media nets can be very heavy - so be careful lifting them out of the conventional bio fall type waterfall filter. Small conventional waterfall pond filters may have only one such media net, but the average size conventional waterfall pond filter contain two or three. Larger conventional bio fall type waterfall filters contain six or more media nets.
This is what you'll be cleaning from the media nets. As stated earlier, this is "sludge" consisting of all sorts of smelly decaying things. Make sure to wear protective clothing and gloves when handling saturated bio media. Infections are common problems associated with cleaning a conventional bio fall type waterfall filter.
Look at this lava rock. This has been in this common bio fall type waterfall filter for an entire year! In the words of Howard Hughes: "Does that look clean to you?". The pores in the lava are completely filled with sludge. The only way to clean this is with high pressure washing. It is widely understood that using high pressure water to clean bio media destroys the beneficial bacteria living on it. Thus destroying the pond filter's ability to perform its primary job of bio reaction.
The next step is to remove the filter pads. They too can be heavy. The typical conventional bio fall type waterfall filter contains two to three of these saturated filter pads. Again, it is recommended to use long sleeve rubber gloves and eye protection when handling sludge saturated filter pads.
These filter pads have been in this common bio fall type waterfall filter for an entire year! How effective do YOU think they can be when they're clearly saturated with sludge?
Filter pads saturated with sludge promote harmful pathogenic bacteria to proliferate and provide a huge food source for algae!
The next step is to pressure wash the filter pads and lava rock. This can get a little tricky and a lot messy! For your safety make sure to wear rubber rain gear, long sleeve rubber gloves, and protective eye-wear. Make sure to keep your mouth closed! When pressure washing the filter pads, make sure you use enough pressure to clean the pad, but not so much that you disintegrate the pad! Filter pads are very expensive to replace.
The Next Step is to Clean the Inside of the Waterfall Filter Itself. The conventional bio fall type waterfall filter does not have a drain which makes this process very difficult. Wipe and rinse the sludge and muck from the walls of the filter and pump, or shop-vac out the slurry. If you paid extra for a drain, then rinse the sludge and muck out the drain, then shop-vac the remaining slurry that is below the drain (since the drain isn't really a drain but a reversed inlet on the side of the filter - and above the bottom).
The next step is to drain and clean the pond bottom. This is the costliest part of the "annual clean-out" or "spring-cleaning". You'll need a dirty water pump and enough hose to discharge the dirty water somewhere - make sure to not flood a neighbor's yard! You will also need a net to catch all your fish, a holding tank to store your fish while you're cleaning the pond, an aerator for the holding tank to provide oxygen to your fish, and a net to cover the tank so your fish don't jump out. That can cost you several hundreds of dollars. Add that cost to the price of a typical bio fall type waterfall filter.
You'll be pumping out ALL the pond water, pressure washing the entire pond, waterfalls, stream (if you have one), and then re-filling the entire pond with fresh water. Depending on the size of your pond, the water bill can be quite high. Or, you can pay a professional who already owns the required equipment a lot of money to do it for you. You must factor in this large annual cost when you're contemplating which waterfall filter to purchase.
A waterfall filter, be it bio falls, aqua falls, filter falls, or the many other terms used to describe these types of the conventional waterfall filter all state they only require "annual-cleaning". The waterfall filter gets clogged with sludge and then pass sludge to the pond where it settles to the bottom. This requires the pond to be completely drained and cleaned every year at a large annual expense. Ponds with these types of filters experience excessive algae growth, become unsightly very quickly, and create non-ideal living conditions for koi, pond fish, and other aquatic life.
What are People Doing with their Typical Bio Fall Type Waterfall Filter?
People are taking them out in record numbers all across the country! This process is known as a "Filter-Ectomy". A Filter-Ectomy is the replacement of the typical non-backwashable bio fall type waterfall filter with a completely backflushable Hydro Vortex™ waterfall filter.
When people get tired of their hard to clean common bio fall type waterfall filter - the algae, sick fish, and headaches associated with them - they replace them with Hydro Vortex™.
If you're considering purchasing a conventional bio fall type typical waterfall filter - no matter the brand - you have to add the cost of annual cleaning and the eventual filter-ectomy to the price of that filter.
If you purchase a waterfall filter solely on price alone, you will end up paying a lot more in the future. The conventional bio fall type waterfall filter has a much higher cost of ownership than Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall pond filters.
Do Yourself a Favor,
Pay a Little More for a Hydro Vortex™ Waterfal Filter
So You Can SAVE Thousands of Dollars Over Time.
The solution to the conventional waterfall filter is Hydro Vortex™. With the patented Hydro Vortex™ fully backwashable waterfall filter, you can routinely rinse the filter free of mulm and detritus before it can become sludge. Keeping the filter clean on a routine basis will prevent it from passing sludge to the pond so the pond will remain cleaner.
With a Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filter, you can routinely clean the pond bottom with a garden hose leaving the pond full of water and your fish swimming around in it. Simply use a garden hose to "fluff" any debris that has settled to the pond bottom. The water will temporarily cloud up. Your pump will pass the cloudy water to the Hydro Vortex™ filter where the filter's vortex and the Hydro FilterSilk™ media will clean the water. Then simply perform a backwash of the Hydro Vortex™ filter. You can have a clean pond all year round without having to catch and remove your fish, drain the pond, or disassemble the filter for cleaning.
A clean pond is a healthy pond for your koi, pond fish, turtles, and the wildlife that visit the pond. In addition, a clean pond has much less algae than a dirty pond. It is common sense.
Hydro Vortex™ Professional Backwashable Waterfall Filter ...
Easy to Clean Waterfall Filter
Beautiful Waterfalls - Clean Water
For more in-depth information and photos of each waterfall filter
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