It started off so well...

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It started off so well...

Postby ColinM » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:06 am

Monday morning and I decided with the weather not being too hot, that I would bite the bullet and replace the UV light in my PondMAX PF4000UV pond filter (for those that don't know, the UV kills water borne algae).

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Simple enough, or so I thought...

A telephone call to Albany Irrigation and Drilling and Wade confirmed that they had the necessary 7 watt UV light in stock.

Excellent!

Shower and breakfast and Sandra and I are in the car driving the 45 kilometres down to Albany from Mount Barker.

$18.00 later and another 45 kilometres back to Mount Barker for the installation - so far so good.

At this point, the first of numerous hurdles commenced.

Check the leaflet and there is absolutely no information on how to replace the UV light.

Phone call 1 to a retailer in Perth - he is vague and doesn't have a clue.

OK, let's go the PondMAX distributor - phone call 2 to Andy, the General Manager of PondMAX - he explains that I need to rotate the dome counter clock wise to a marker and lift the dome off. Tried that - won't lift - phone call 3 to Andy - a bit of fine instruction and coercing with a small screw driver and I have the dome off. Yay!

Fit the UV light and turn it on to see if it works - it doesn't!

Phone call 4 to Andy - he confirms that the UV light should work and asks me to check the ballast (the square box on the chord that regulates current). I do so and and, to my absolute joy - it's cracked and fried - you can see it in the pic below:

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Andy further adds to my joy by advising that the cable is not replaceable and I need to buy a new filter.

Bloody wonderful, another trip to Albany!!

Phone call 5 - speak to Wade and Albany Irrigation and Drilling and they confirm they have the PondMAX PF4500UV filter in stock (supersedes my PF4000UV)  and he agrees with Andy, I'd be better off buying a new filter. Like I have a choice.

Trip to Albany 2 - what absolute joy - another 90 kilometre round trip. Sandra wisely opts out.

$300.00 a returned UV light and some additional fittings for the existing pond and waterfall hose and it's back to Mount Barker to replace the filter.

With some considerable effort I manage to locate the new filter and attach the ribbed hoses from the pond and to the waterfall. Not easy as some genius ran them under some huge rocks - one of which I had to shift.

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One big advantage with this unit is a backwash outlet - this is where things get more "interesting".

Fit a hose to the backwash outlet and turn the filter on and as soon as it fills up water comes out of backwash pipe even though the "arrow-like controller" is not pointing to it.

Phone call 6 to Andy - and he explains that I need to fit the supplied gate valve to the outlet and then attach the hose. Apparently the unit doesn't completely isolate water flow as far as the backwash outlet is concerned. Wonderful!

Fit said Gate valve and hose and it leaks like a siv.

Phone call 7 to Andy - he explains that I need to fit one of the supplied orange washers.

Did I mention that NONE of the above is documented in the leaflet!

Disassemble backwash hose and fittings, insert washer and finally, no drips or leaks.

With no UV light working for some time the water is quite green and murky and there is quite a lot of sludge at the bottom, so I decide to start the new filter with a clean pond and using the backwash I drain the pond down to near the pump and remove the fish, clean out leaves and sludge - ably assisted by about 200 bees that are not happy about me removing their water source, 1 VERY unwelcome tarantula wasp and a magnificent slip and single backside landing into the primordial ooze.

Life doesn't get much better!

Finally the pond is cleaned, refilled (with a chance to accurately measure volume - 1,240 litres) conditioned (to remove chlorine) and the fish returned.

Image

I hope today is a bit less eventful! Still, with all the hurdles and obstacles, it was a great sense of achievement and the beers last night were wonderful!
Dig It!

ColinM

For a man, the definition of HELL is singularly having to refit a king sized button-up doona cover that has been washed inside out!
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby Pam » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:48 am

It looks amazing.
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby ColinM » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:15 am

Pam wrote:It looks amazing.


Thanks Pam - let's hope it stays that way :D
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby Sam » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:02 am

I love reading about your adventures, Colin!
“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian, wine and tarragon
make it French, sour cream makes it Russian, lemon and
cinnamon make it Greek, soya sauce makes it Chinese, Garlic
makes it good.” Alice May Brock, Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook.
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby ColinM » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:41 pm

Thank you Sam :D , sorry I would have answered early but at the times I had available there was some forum down time.
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby Quenda » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:59 pm

A nice amount of growth around your pond there, Colin. Quite a lot of effort put into getting it back into shape, hope it gives you years of trouble free clear water... :)
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby ColinM » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:58 am

Quenda wrote:A nice amount of growth around your pond there, Colin. Quite a lot of effort put into getting it back into shape, hope it gives you years of trouble free clear water... :)


Thank you Quenda - some may reasonably consider that draining the pond was overkill, but there was a reason for this.

I'd previously read somewhere that it would be a good idea to put the PondMAX dirty water pump on bricks. When faced with the issues (and eventual replacement) of the PondMAX PF4000UV filter with the PF4500UV, I asked about putting the pump on bricks and all those I spoke to said unequivocally, that this was a BAD idea. They all explained that the dirty water pump was designed to filter out sediment that enters the pond through dirt on leaf drop, wind etc etc and other small contaminants - aided by the fish stiring it up as they feed and swim.

Placing the pump on bricks meant in two years, the filter sponges were still clean - because they weren't picking up settled small contaminants - but it also meant there was a fair amount of sludge at the bottom of the pond. I didn't want this to go into the new filter I was installing.

So far, with a weekly dose of ALGAEfix (to ward off blanket weed), a now working UV clarifier and a weekly dose of ECOfiz to assist the sedimentary break down and the pumps eco system, the pond is crystal clear and walls (and coffee rock natural waterfall spill way) free of the horrible blanket weed.
Dig It!

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Re: It started off so well...

Postby JNarelle » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:51 am

Good on you for perservering Colin! it's a good looking pond :) (Y)
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby ColinM » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:05 am

Thank you JNarelle 8)
Dig It!

ColinM

For a man, the definition of HELL is singularly having to refit a king sized button-up doona cover that has been washed inside out!
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby Quenda » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:01 pm

I think draining the pond occasionally to be able to get in and give it a real good clean out is a good idea every now and then. Not something one would do every year, just as needs be. (Y)

A good way to clean algae...the "pea soup" sort is to get a bucket, some quilt backing...or in my case when I did this, an old quilted dressing gown.....and run the pond water through the material and out a hole in the bucket, rinsing the material often. Cleans the water quite fast. Doesn't work with string algae though. :(
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Re: It started off so well...

Postby ColinM » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:06 pm

Quenda wrote:I think draining the pond occasionally to be able to get in and give it a real good clean out is a good idea every now and then. Not something one would do every year, just as needs be. (Y)

A good way to clean algae...the "pea soup" sort is to get a bucket, some quilt backing...or in my case when I did this, an old quilted dressing gown.....and run the pond water through the material and out a hole in the bucket, rinsing the material often. Cleans the water quite fast. Doesn't work with string algae though. :(


Interesting idea Quenda - I'll keep that in mind if the UV light doesn't do it's job (which it should) - thank you!
Dig It!

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