Perfecting Pairings: OASE FiltoClear & Atlantic FilterFalls

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Atlantic and OASE are great partners with complementary product lines that dovetail perfectly to enhance water quality and reduce maintenance. We complement each other on a number of levels, including filtration philosophies. Here in the States, where leaves and clippings are typically the major maintenance concern, we clean from the top, skimming the surface of the pond to capture floating leaves and debris before they can sink. The pump lives in the skimmer, sending the prefiltered water up to an upflow biofilter, where pads clean and clear water mechanically and biologically.

In Europe, fishponds are typically cleaned from the bottom. There, a solids-handling pump on the bottom sends fish wastes and small particulates to extremely efficient pressure filters that remove much finer suspended solids than upflow biofilters can.

The two philosophies are yin and yang; one continually removes leaves and floating debris but requires periodic cleaning of settled solids; the other captures the settling solids but requires vacuuming to remove leaves and larger debris. Put the two together and you get top down, bottom up cleaning that dramatically improves water quality and drastically reduces maintenance.

Let’s take for example any existing fish pond here in the States with a Skimmer and FilterFalls. Let’s say this pond is a few years old and the fish in it are happy and healthy. That means they’ll be big and fat from constant overfeeding and there will be way too many of them, both because they’ve reproduced and because their owners will have added fish – “only a few, here and there, really!” Yeah, right.

Now there are more wastes than the original equipment was designed to handle. Even with additional mats in the FilterFalls, the excess nutrients have started to impact water quality and clarity, as algae take advantage of the constant nitrates in the water column. The homeowners have an aeration system, and are adding bacteria, but the pond just isn’t as clear and clean as it was with one fifth the fish load. Nor are the doting ‘parents’ willing to part with a single one of their cherished ‘children’, all of whom have cute names and endearing habits. So, there are more fish and fish wastes than the pond can metabolize naturally and even an aggressive cleanout will only delay the return of the same conditions.

The contractor now can offer a return to gin-clear water, guaranteed, without rebuilding the pond. A properly sized OASE FiltoClear Pressure Filter paired with an AquaMax Eco pump is the perfect drop-in solution and comes with the OASE Clear Water Guarantee. The system works in three ways to clean and clear the water. The pump, placed centrally at the bottom of the pond, begins pulling in wastes and passing them to the FiltoClear as soon as it is plugged in. The UVC Clarifier inside the filter renders any algae in the water sterile, unable to reproduce, eliminating green water. The ‘foams’ or sponges in the filter trap suspended wastes, returning clean, clear water to the pond. Maintenance is easy; the filter backwashes clean in seconds. The pump is designed to pass wastes without clogging and can go entire seasons without needing to be cleaned. 

Installation requires hiding the pump, its cord and the return hose, a matter of moving and maybe adding a few stones. The filter can be hidden from view either by placement far from the pond’s edge or behind a raised waterfall. The filtered water can be returned anywhere into the stream or along the pond perimeter. Two additional plugs will have to be accommodated, one for the pump and one for the integrated UVC, with a combined draw of only about 2 amps, the circuit powering the original pump may be able to handle it. Even if a second circuit needs to be added, this solution requires much less time and labor than a pond rebuild or even a full pond cleanout.

Finally, a drop-in solution for ponds with water quality concerns that guarantees clear water in ponds up to 2000 gallons. For larger ponds, use OASE BioTec Screenmatic² and ProfiClear Filters with the appropriate UVC Clarifier and pump to achieve the same results, with clear water guaranteed.

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

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2 thoughts on “Perfecting Pairings: OASE FiltoClear & Atlantic FilterFalls

  1. Hey Demi I figure you might be the one to talk to. My name is Brad. Im the owner of Plate Valley Aquatics out in Colorado. I am in the process of putting a bid together. The job is a massive swim pond renovation , that was built incorrectly by a landscaper. I used to be a aquascape contractor and have used there snorkel, centipede, and matrix blocks to install constructed wetlands. When built correctly and at correct scale they filter like none other. I haven t seen any Atlantic products I can use. I really dont want to use Aquascape products. Is there any other options that you may be able to lead me towards? Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hey Brad, welcome! Great question, and very timely. I’m going down to Mexico next month to put in an active bog with Eco-Blox that take’s the place of the downflow bog filter you’re talking about. The components are different, and so is the direction of flow, but the concept is the same, the filtration identical BUT – if you reverse the flow, you can clean the filter whenever necessary, by opening a valve. That’s a huge difference, because there’s no practical way to clean a downflow bog. Downflow bogs are giant collection basins that effectively strip of suspended solids, trapping vast quantities of sediment and fish wastes in cubic yards of gravel. They work for years without any maintenance at all – and then they don’t. The wastes go septic with the wrong type of bacteria, anaerobic bacteria that produce toxins that start affecting the health of the pond. Now, there are two ways to deal with the inevitable. One is to pull apart the bog and start over, but that is a tricky, nasty job. The other is to build so big a downflow bog that you’re not around for the cleanup OR change the way you build it. I build UPFLOW bogs, where the water comes in the side of an Eco-Blox chamber capped with gravel. The chamber doesn’t have to be deep, because the flow is to the side, not up from the bottom. They work on the same principle, that sediments drop out as flow velocity drops to zero, but all you need to do to clean an upflow bog is to put a drain at the opposite end from the where the water comes in. They work particularly well for natural swimming pools especially if you can get one side high enough so a single line of Eco-Blox can be above grade. The plants that filter out the nitrates in a natural swimming pool are planted in a thin bed of gravel only about 6″ thick on top of the blocks. The sediments mostly drop out in the Eco-Blox chamber, then the water passes up through the gravel bed, with the roots of the plants helping gravity to trap or drop out even the finest particles. The aerated water inside the chamber never goes septic because the oxygen supercharges the digestion of the wastes, with no methane or sulfer dioxide production, so no smells or black ooze, and the plants can be easily pruned, maintained or replaced. Send me an email if you’d like to see some pictures:

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