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Filtration for the two ponds consists of a vortex settling chamber, upflow biological filter, 3 small waterfalls, and 2 small settiling ponds.

0716_001.jpg (46778 bytes) Lets start with the vortex/biologial filter.This is a 32 gallon garbage can. On one side under the handle you can see a 1 1/2" bulkhead fitting, this is the outlet. Coming down the side alongside that is the inlet pipe with a 90 fitting on the bottom. This swirls the water coming in and allows the solids to settle. It should have a cleanout drain on the bottom, but they were out of bulkhead fittings!
0716_002.jpg (49864 bytes) Side view of the vortex settling chamber.
0716_003.jpg (89259 bytes) Here is the vortex settling chamber connected to the upflow biological filter. The biological filter is a 22 gallon bucket with a 1 1/2" bulkhead fitting for the outlet into the waterfall. The pipe from the vortex goes to the bottom of the biological, and has a 90 fitting on it to swirl the water again. There is a 6" space between the bottom of the filter and the egg crate (this is the small square light diffuser you see on ceiling lights). Then there is 6" of lava rocks. This is HEAVY. I only used the lava rocks because I had them. I will eventually replace them with some other type of bio-media. All of the plumbing will eventually be underground.
0707_009.jpg (57679 bytes) Here it the natural filtering section. A small fall from the upper pond flows into a small pool, approx 5 gallons, then into a larger pool, approx 30 gallons, then into the lower pond. Both small pools have stone in them to do some biological filtering also. The falls aerate the water, and the pools are loaded with plants (water hyacinths, lettuce, and parrots feather) to absorb some nitrates.
0802_002.jpg (54665 bytes) The water is crystal clear/chemical free. I try not to use any chemicals to clear up alge, etc. I had one alge bloom in the spring, but once the plants started growing, it cleared right up!