haRies Efrika

Nov 27, 2020

5 min read

Healthy and Clean Pond

So you just see beautiful fishes at the market and you are going to bring them to your aquarium or pond?

Sure why not.

But not so long after a while, they died.

I had been owning a big aquarium since I was kid, and it broke in around 2017 because of my own careless. I have had so many kind of fishes, but they never lasted long. None lasted more than a year unless a very strong fish like catfish or tilapia (mujair). Perhaps, taking care aquarium is not that easy.

Or is it just, we lacked of information in how treating them?

Fishes in aquarium or pond mostly die because of their own sh*t

Yes they do. Finally internet came in, and we all know the reason. Before the internet era, people were telling me many wrong reasons.

Now imagine you have a box of water. You put fish in. You pour food in. The fish eats, then it poops. The dirt is in the water and it is poisonous to the fish. The fish waste contains Ammonia and it is not so healthy to them. Ammonia needs to be converted (by bacteria: Nitrosomas) into Nitrite. And then you will need another bacteria: Nitrobacter that will convert Nitrite into Nitrate. Nitrate is generally safe for fish.

Why fishes don’t die in their natural environment?

In rivers or lakes, the required bacteria are there and the endless cycle happens continuously. In your aquarium? Perhaps not.

We need good filtration

And good filtration my friend, is not about flowing the water out into some kind of sponge-bob and then flow it back to the place. You need biological filter. It is a surface that bacteria can stay and live. There are many types of items you can use:


Yes you need a place to store them. A lot of them. What media do I use you say?


I personally use that. It came with large cube mattress that you have to cut down into smaller pieces of cubes.

So… from where the bacteria comes ?

That, my friend, you have to buy from store 😄 https://www.tokopedia.com/search?q=bakteri%20starter&source=universe&st=product

I personally use this product: FISH MULTI BAC which is distributed by stores in East Java, and of course, available in Tokopedia. Outside of Indonesia must be available too and easy to search, with different names.

Theoretically speaking, the bacteria can come by themselves, but will take long long long while before they grow and finally occupy all of your filter media. The fastest way is to buy the bacteria and pour them into your pond or aquarium. Then they will rest and work inside filter media.

Ok, having filter media and proper bacteria … means your pond will always be crystal clear and clean, right?

Hold your horses. It is definitely, totally different topic, between healthy water for fish, and clean water 😃

Have you ever seen Koi farm in japan? the lake is dirty, the fishes live well there. But the ponds, artificial ponds where they store the Koi ready to sell, are clean. Law of physics: gravity, is basically used in the overall cleansing method.

The mechanism is, the water must flow from top to bottom, where you put on top, certain layers of sponges/ bioblox media filter, a whole full layer, not cut down to cubes. Then below that, you have the bioblox cubes. The water goes down until bottom, then it goes to the next chamber where it flows back to the top (against gravity). This is where magic happens.

Very heavy particles are caught by the top bioblox layer. While rest of medium particles are stored at the bottom of the filter box. The water needs to flow back on top against the gravity, carrying only super tiny particles you can hardly see with bare eyes.

You need to regularly clean the top bioblox layer though, like once per two days or so. It will be filled with lots lots of fish wastes. Otherwise the wastes will block all of the holes of bioblox and water cannot came through.

After water comes back to top, you will need to flow it back down. This time, again you will use similar media filter using trickle shower method. So you create holes that will make water drips down to the filter media. Then finally at bottom you can release all the waters back to pond. This method will not only additionally cleanse the ammonia/nitrite, but will add oxygen in the process.

If you are looking at the DIY Filter image above, the right blue tube, inside it actually contains two chambers. One top down (water flows in), the left one is bottom up (water flows out to next process). The right chamber is filled with bioblox cubes. The left one only has bioblox layer at bottom to block hard dirt from coming up to surface.

The box on the left is the trickle shower box where we add oxygen in each water drips. The diagram looks like this:

I totally apologize for a very not good looking DIY 😿 and also ugly diagram, but I hope I deliver clear message on how it is done. If you are going to implement them for your pond, you may design the chambers with better appearance, and hide them.

Anyways, this way my koi fishes don’t die in instant 😄 and I have been having them now for several years already and do not need to wash/ change the water regularly, because they are looking clear. You can even see the bottom clearly.