Traditionally, bottom drains have been used mostly in pools. But a growing number of people are recognizing the benefits of using them in ponds as well. Below is a description of these drains, how they work, and the benefits you’ll gain from installing them.
What Are Bottom Drains?
A bottom drain, which is also known as a bottom filter, is a drainage system that can suck in debris such as leaves while ensuring the pond is vacuumed. A pond or water garden is best thought of like a cage or holding tank. The last thing you want is muck breaking down and collecting within it while the fish are present. A bottom drain is a way of ensuring this muck is efficiently processed, keeping the water clean.
Bottom drains are exceptionally efficient due to their ability to contribute to aeration while drastically reducing maintenance requirements. Many contractors have to clean ponds during spring and fall, and these drains, when combined with a good external pump and pre-filter, makes their jobs a whole lot easier.
How Do These Drains Work?
Bottom drains utilize a mechanism which is referred to as gravity flow. The drain is designed in a manner where it takes advantage of the forces of gravity to remove debris from the pond, without harming the fish. It has an outstanding flow rate for the water, and its effectiveness is maximized further when combined with a quality aeration unit. These drains come in different sizes, which range from an eight to ten inch diameter.
It is important to consult with a contractor to determine the proper size for your pond. After being installed the drain will transfer fish waste and debris into the pre filter. These drains are driven by suction, and not only will the waste material be removed from the pond, but it will also be dissolved. However, it is essential to combine these drains with mechanical or biological filtration so that the water itself is cleaned; it isn’t enough to simply remove the waste material.
Bottom Drain Installation
Most bottom drains may be installed in conjunction with a skimmer. The valve will need to be positioned within the skimmers inside so that its flow rate can be better controlled. The best approach is to attach the drain to the pre-filter so that efficient filtration is provided, along with drain efficiency. A key thing to remember during installation is that in most cases it will be ideal to incorporate an aeration unit with a bottom that is sloped, so that gravity forces the pond muck downward.
When the correct sized drain is chosen and installed with the right equipment, they are highly effective. Not only will they make your pond free of debris, they will assist in keeping the water clean without you or a pond contractor having to do a lot of work. The health and livelihood of your fish depend on it.