For 1,000 – 4,000 Gallon Ponds
16″, 20″, 25″ Waterfalls
Flows Rates up to 8,100 GPH
The purpose of our waterfall pond filters is to capture particulates, dissolved organics, phosphates, ammonia, and other algae causing sources for easy removal through bio-reaction and backwashing. They provide superior water polishing properties for clean, clear, healthy water. These filters become the starting point of a waterfall and/or stream giving the appearance of a spring flowing up through stones.
Tested Best Pond Filter and Pondless Waterfall Filter
Pond Filter Features:
Waterfall pond filters for ponds from 1,000 – 4,000 gallons
Waterfall flow rates up to 8,100 gph (135 gpm)
16″, 20″ and 25″ waterfall widths
Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media
No additional media required
Completely backwashable – EASY TO CLEAN
No blower or air pump required for backwashing
Thick-walled heavy duty rotational molded HDPE construction
Solid brass female threaded inlets
Solid brass female threaded backwash drain outlet
Vortex solids separator
Settling chamber for debris capture
Backwash drain at bottom of settling chamber
Media chamber above vortex and settling chamber
Lower diffuser grate
Upper diffuser grate – supports rocks for complete filter disguise
Easy to install flat liner gasket flange with no hard-to-disguise plastic lip
316 stainless steel gasket flange hardware
10′ of 1½”heavy duty flex PVC drain pipe for clean-out
1½” stainless steel lever PVC shut-off valve
One 1½” PVC male pipe adapter for drain pipe
Ahi filter includes one 1½” PVC male pipe adapter for main line water inlet
Marlin and Dolphin filters include one 2″ PVC male pipe adapter for main line water inlet and one 2″ plug for the unused inlet
Fish safe 100% silicone sealant included
The highest SSA (Specific Surface Area) of any waterfall pond filters in their class
US Patent No. 7,425,268 B2 and US Patent No. 7,731,841 B1
Made in the USA
The Advantages of Hydro Vortex™
Professional Backwashable Waterfall Pond Filters
Can be cleaned in as little as 2 minutes
Disassembly NOT required for cleaning as with other waterfall pond filters
Requires less installation time than other waterfall pond filters
Installs with only a Phillips screw driver – no special tools required
Becomes virtually invisible in the landscape
Long lasting components
Best purchase value – drain kit included and all bio media is included – no additional media required
Lowest cost of ownership – does not require media replacement like pond filters that use filter pads
Unique Hydro FilterSilk™ media polishes the water far superior to filter pads and other filter media
Lets you spend more time enjoying your pond or pondless waterfall and less time cleaning it!
Patented Hydro Vortex™ Pond Filters
Patented Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Pond Filters are 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 pond filters are easy to clean – not requiring removal of the Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media for cleaning.
Quick and Easy to Clean Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall pond filters 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.
Hydro Vortex™ Blend Seamlessly into the Landscape for the Most Natural Waterfalls. Place river rocks on the upper diffuser grate to hide the filter from view. Because Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall pond filters do not need to be dismantled for cleaning. You can leave those rocks and pebbles in place forever!
The flat liner gasket flange allows waterfall stones to be stacked right up next to the face of the Hydro Vortex™ waterfall pond filter for a completely natural appearance. The plastic waterfall ledge of conventional bio fall type waterfall filter boxes are totally unnatural looking, and difficult to disguise.
Pond Filters with the Lowest Cost of Ownership
The Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media included with your Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall pond 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 conventional bio fall waterfall filter boxes, 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 Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall pond filters that come complete with all the required bio media – and the Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media never needs to be replaced! Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall pond filters provide 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:
Do you routinely clean the lint trap in your clothes dryer?
If you ever swim in a swimming pool, do you wonder if the pool filter has been cleaned?
Hot tub filter?
Do you replace your car’s oil filter when getting an oil change?
You car’s air filter?
What about the air filter in your home’s heating system?
Your coffee filter?
Your drinking water filter?
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 conventional bio fall type waterfall filter that is not backwashable or that boasts that it only requires “annual cleaning“.
So what collects in a waterfall pond 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 conventional 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 conventional bio fall type waterfall pond 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, disease, and death. This is why backwashing your waterfall pond 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 pond 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 it. It will be a huge time consuming and difficult chore when you do decide to mow it!
What would happen if you “annually” flushed your toilet? Conventional bio fall type pond filters that boast “annual cleaning” are not providing you with the most accurate information.
Saturated pond filters encourage excessive algae growth as well as Aeromonas and Pseudomonas pathogenic bacteria proliferation. The algae is extremely ugly, and the pathogenic bacteria are a real danger to your koi and pond fish.
What Makes Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Pond Filters so Easy to Clean?
Every facet of these outstanding waterfall pond filters was designed to make them efficient and easy to clean. The unique patented design of Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Pond Filters combined with its patented backwash system enables the Hydro FilterSilk™ media to rinse clean within the filter itself. Dismantling the filter for cleaning is not required.
A clean waterfall pond filter performs at peak efficiency. Water enters the Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Pond 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 Pond Filter
Manual Backwash with the following steps is easy, and efficient. It is recommended for Pondless Waterfalls.
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™ Backwashwith the following steps is easier, and more efficient. It is recommended for all applications.
1. Turn off your pump
2. Open the filter’s bottom drain valve and let the filter drain completely
3. Turn the HydroFlush™ valve to backwash mode while keeping the drain valve open
4. Restart your pump. Water will shoot upwards and then fall into the filter using pond water to clean the media so no harm to the biofilm will occur. When the water exiting the filter drain runs clear – you’re done!
5. Turn the HydroFlush™ valve back to filter mode and close the drain
ElectroFlush™ Backwash electronic backwash with the following steps is the easiest, and most efficient. It is recommended for all applications.
1. Turn off your pump
2. Switch the ElectroFlush™ switch to backwash mode
3. Let the filter completely drain
4. Restart your pump. Water will shoot upwards and then fall back into the filter using pond water to clean the media so no harm to the biofilm will occur. When the water exiting the filter drain runs clear – you’re done!
5. Switch the ElectroFlush™ switch back to filter mode
Whichever option you choose, routine backwashing your Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall pond filter will keep it performing at peak efficiency. The more often you backwash the 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™ filter. You will quickly learn what backwashing intervals work best for you.
Why is a Vortex Important inside a Waterfall Pond Filter?
A vortex inside your pond 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.
When the whirling water vortex is above a settlement chamber, the vortex will cause particulate matter to settle out of the water flow. Opening the settlement chamber’s drain at the bottom will purge the filter of the settled particles. Particles removed from the filter prior to the biological stage place less burden on filter’s bio media. Less burdened bio media can perform its job of bio reaction more efficiently. The more bio reaction the filter can have, the more ammonia, phosphates, and other algae causing compounds can be metabolized out of the water. Pure and simple.
Do a Vortex Test Yourself to See What a Vortex Does
Take an ordinary round 5 gallon bucket. Fill it with water. Grab a pinch or two of sandy dirt. Sprinkle the dirt into the water that’s inside the bucket. Now stir the water in a circular motion.
Notice how the heavier particles settled into the bottom center of the bucket? You just witnessed the power of a vortex. Whirling water causes debris to move to the center of the vortex where gravity drops it downward.
Patented Hydro Vortex™ Backwashable Waterfall Filters are designed with a whirling water vortex – complete with a bottom drain. The Hydro FilterSilk™ bio media inside the Hydro Vortex™ Waterfall Pond Filters will trap the free floating lightweight debris that isn’t heavy enough to settle downward into the settling chamber. Both the settled and trapped debris are then easily removed from the waterfall pond filter during a backwash cycle.
The Problems with Conventional Waterfall Filters
With over 25 years’ experience installing, servicing and seeing the problems with virtually every brand of waterfall pond filter, company CEO, John Russell invented and patented the Hydro Vortex™ line of professional backwashable waterfall filters.
His goal: to resolve these common problems with unique design features, efficient function, and ease of cleaning in mind. John studied every waterfall pond 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 were no waterfall pond filters, or pondless waterfall filters that had this ability, and as a result, many pond and pondless waterfall owners were experiencing problems with fish health and excessive algae growth.
Conventional bio fall type waterfall filters for ponds and pondless waterfalls are not backwashable – koi pond filters are
Conventional bio fall type waterfall filters for ponds and pondless waterfalls are difficult to clean – koi pond filters are not
Ponds filtered with conventional bio fall type waterfall filters suffered from poor fish health – koi ponds with koi pond filters did not
Ponds filtered with conventional bio fall type waterfall filters experience excessive algae growth – koi ponds with koi pond filters did not
Pondless waterfalls filtered with conventional bio fall waterfall filters or less experience excessive algae growth
Conventional bio fall type waterfall filters must be disassembled for cleaning – koi pond filters do not
Conventional bio fall type waterfall filters don’t come complete with all required bio media – koi pond filters do
Conventional bio fall type waterfall filter media must be regularly replaced – koi pond filter media does not
The Hydro Vortex™ Professional Backwashable Waterfall Pond Filter was created to solve these issues.
While some conventional bio fall type waterfall filters 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 filter must be designed with a drain at the bottom of the filter – not simply a reversed inlet on the side of the pond 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 conventional 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 conventional bio fall waterfall filters 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.
Conventional waterfall pond filters don’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 conventional 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.
Conventional bio fall type waterfall pond filters can only be cleaned by hand! When doing your research on which waterfall pond filter to purchase – you need to ALWAYS ASK:
How Do I Clean This Pond Filter?
You can do an internet search and find a ton of information about how to clean conventional bio fall type waterfall pond filters. 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.
This is How to Clean a Conventional Bio Fall Type Pond Filter
There are many manufacturers of these types of conventional waterfall filters. 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 conventional bio fall type waterfall filters.
Look at this lava rock. This has been in this conventional bio fall type waterfall pond 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. Typical conventional bio fall type waterfall filters contain 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 conventional 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 Filter Itself. Most conventional bio fall type waterfall filters do 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 conventional 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.
Waterfall pond filters, be they bio falls, aqua falls, filter falls, or the many other terms used to describe these types of conventional waterfall filters all state they only require “annual-cleaning“. These waterfall filters get 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
Conventional Bio Fall Type Waterfall Pond Filters?
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 conventional non-backwashable bio fall type waterfall filter with a completely backflushable Hydro Vortex™ waterfall pond filter.
When people get tired of their hard to clean conventional bio fall type waterfall filters – 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 pond filter solely on price alone, you will end up paying a lot more in the future. Conventional bio fall type waterfall pond filters have 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™ Pond Filter
So You Can SAVE Thousands of Dollars Over Time.
The solution to the conventional waterfall pond 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 Hydro Vortex™ backwashable waterfall filters, 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 Filters
Easy to Clean Pond Filters
Beautiful Waterfalls – Clean Water
For more in-depth information and photos of each filter
click on the following links:
Ahi with Manual Backwash $499.99, Ahi with HydroFlush Backwash System $659.99, Ahi with ElectroFlush Backwash System $1,459.99, Marlin with Manual Backwash $699.99, Marlin with HydroFlush Backwash System $859.99, Marlin with ElectroFlush Backwash System $1,699.99, Dolphin with Manual Backwash $899.99, Dolphin with HydroFlush Backwash System 1,059.99, Dolphin with ElectroFlush Backwash System $1,899.99