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  1. #1

    Question Advice Selecting a Drum

    Hi,

    I've been looking through drums, options, features etc. and my mind is blown with all the opinions, lack of information or manuals etc. so wanted to see if I was barking up the right tree.

    The pond setup is:
    • approx. 20,000 litres,
    • 3 inlets (2 x BD and 1 x Skimmer)
    • 2 x outlets (1 to moving bead section / 1 to shower).


    My main concern is reliability and after sales service, if a pump fails I want to be able to get a replacement fairly quickly and I would like for parts to be available for a 'reasonable' period of time i.e. not forced to upgrade because something has been superseeded. I work in IT and see this a lot, this might be less of a concern for the koi industry?!

    The two drums I've narrowed it down too but I'm happy to consider alternatives is the Aquasource Synergy 35 or the ProfiDrum Eco (45/40 or 55/40). The Synergy's smallest drum is a 35m3 option, the ProfiDrum has a 25m3.

    General questions:
    • Would a 25m3 be OK or should I be looking at the 35m3 if going for the ProfiDrum?
    • Is one easier than the other to fit a UV? An limitations I should be aware of?
    • I've seen threads with sensors draining ponds, they seem to both use float sensors?


    More simply put, if you were looking to buy a drum for new build, what features / brands would you look for having got the experience of owning one?

    Any advice welcome, thanks.



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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion andikoi's Avatar
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    https://www.cotswoldkoi.co.uk/produc...drum-solum-25/ and ask tony at draco to put you a 3" inlet in for the skimmer,ive seen one he did for someone else and it looks spot on,if i hadnt bought 2 small used drums cheap then this is what i'd get,,,andi

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  5. #3
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Kyusai TinyTony's Avatar
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    profi from Darren absolute koi or queni drum

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  7. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Scorchio's Avatar
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    We spent hours looking at specs and drums, in the end we went for Oase ProfiClear Premium Drum Filter Gravity Feed.
    You cant put a UV in it so we did a deal and got the Oase Bitron 55w UV

    Were quite exposed and need something that could stand the elements while I finished the filter area.
    3 year warranty and the technical backup when I had to ring to clarify was spot on.

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  9. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by andikoi View Post
    https://www.cotswoldkoi.co.uk/produc...drum-solum-25/ and ask tony at draco to put you a 3" inlet in for the skimmer,ive seen one he did for someone else and it looks spot on,if i hadnt bought 2 small used drums cheap then this is what i'd get,,,andi
    Thanks andykoi, I think i'd ruled out Draco due to the inlets and wasn't aware they could add another. The aftersales seems to get plenty of good reviews on here. Do you think the 25m3 will be OK size wise? I can't see many threads with people who have fitted an amalgam UV to a Solum? There appears to be a hole in the bottom right corner but no idea what's that for? The price point is very attractive so thanks for the spanner in the works!

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  11. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTony View Post
    profi from Darren absolute koi or queni drum
    Thanks. QK was third on the list. Not sure now! I'm happy to pay a bit extra for piece of mind i.e. Profi but if I don't have too then that's a few more fish I can afford.

  12. #7
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion Andy1671's Avatar
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    Have a look at Burtons Drums.
    Very good bit of kit and spares are readily available and sent promptly
    I have had a BD300 for about 4 years and only had to replace the drum motor which cost about 30
    5000 Gallon Fibreglassed Pond With 54" x 27" Infinity Window
    BD300 Drum Filter
    Artesian 0.5hp - Aquadyne 4.4c Beadfilter - PS4 Protein Shower
    Badu Eco Touch - EP20 UV Sterilizer - ASHP - Venturi
    Hi Blo 60 - Medo 45 - Spindrifter Bottom Drain
    Wide Mouthed Skimmer

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  14. #8
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Grand Champion john1's Avatar
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    As Andi said someone on here has just had an extra inlet put on his solum25 by Tony.
    I have the solum 25 and no problems with it,I only bought it as Tony who makes them is only 10mins from me so it was a no brainer for me,not saying it is the best out there I don't know,but it works for me.
    Why not get in touch with him,he is a very helpful guy.
    John

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  16. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by john1 View Post
    As Andi said someone on here has just had an extra inlet put on his solum25 by Tony.
    I have the solum 25 and no problems with it,I only bought it as Tony who makes them is only 10mins from me so it was a no brainer for me,not saying it is the best out there I don't know,but it works for me.
    Why not get in touch with him,he is a very helpful guy.
    Definitely will... I'm out in the sticks in Norfolk but travelling for work next week down at Reading so just seeing where I can sneak a visit in to check one out in person!

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  18. #10
    I asked this question a year or so again, for about the same size pond...everybody said go for the higher flow drum, so I went for a qk 35, and im really glad i listened to every bodys advice, its a real quality bit of kit.
    I previously had a draco, and while the draco works fine, its not in the same street as the queni drum, imo the price and build of queni drums make dracos seem very expensive.
    I think all queni drums that are 35 and higher come with the 3 probes for water level detection, instead of the more normal float switch.

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  20. #11
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Mature Champion pip895's Avatar
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    There are two significant things that tend to differentiate between drums 1. float switch v 3 probe system - the latter being much nicer imo. The second that only comes in at the higher price brackets is the submerged internal rince pump which is used on the Aqua Drum 35/55.

    I think if I was choosing a drum for that size pond I would consider the following:- 1. ARM/ Ffltreau 20 - cracking value but with a float switch
    975 including 40w Amalgam. You would need to add another 4" output and either add a third input or run the skimmer in with the shortest run BD. Pretty easy to do not an issue at all. Even without upgrading to the high flow screen (25kl/h), you would be able to turn over the pond in an hr which is good enough. If you were to decide you wanted more or extended the pond at a later date you just add a second drum

    2. QK 35 Perfect number of inputs and outputs - lovely drum and 3 probe system for cleaning and automatically turns the pumps off if the pond level decreases too much
    2495- discount/rebate. Still has the external cleaning pump.

    3. Aqua drum 35 - Has both the level sensors and the internal pump but at a price. 3375 - discount.

    My problem with the other drums being mentioned is that without the inclusion of a three probe sensor I just don't think they bare comparison with the Easy drum/Ffltreau 20!

    6000g in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    29 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain, Mid water & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

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  22. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by pip895 View Post
    There are two significant things that tend to differentiate between drums 1. float switch v 3 probe system - the latter being much nicer imo. The second that only comes in at the higher price brackets is the submerged internal rince pump which is used on the Aqua Drum 35/55.

    Thanks for your comprehensive response. Interestingly as I'm in Norfolk I've got Kings Lynn Koi who supply the Filtreau and Costal Koi the Aqua Drum and both are less than 30 minutes away so I'll have to go and have a look I think. I had been looking at the Aqua Drum but I just wasn't sure whether it was worth the premium over the other options? I guess I could justify some of the premium being able to get to them quickly but I'm not sure if that's enough.

    QK seems to tick a number of boxes in terms of features, price point and will feed the fish for a while on the rebate!

    I'm kind of leaning towards the QK, I could get a bio chamber built and free food for the cost of the Profi (not sure if that has sensors?) or Aqua Drum. The Draco seems like a good option but I'm hearing people say that spending a bit extra gets you more for your money (unsurprisingly) and I'm wary of the sub 1,500 models; no real reason other than the "pay cheap, pay twice" mentality but I suspect there is no wrong option, only smarter questions.

    I think I'm going to have to go and see some dealers...

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  24. #13
    Having a Draco and received excellent back when required would be my choice, but don’t rule out having a look at an Evolve Filter, they will make them to any spec you want and fitted with a Draco unit. UK manufacturing.

    https://www.evolvefilters.co.uk/evolve-filters/

    Synergy, not the best for back up when required.

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  26. #14
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion andikoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeM View Post
    Thanks andykoi, I think i'd ruled out Draco due to the inlets and wasn't aware they could add another. The aftersales seems to get plenty of good reviews on here. Do you think the 25m3 will be OK size wise? I can't see many threads with people who have fitted an amalgam UV to a Solum? There appears to be a hole in the bottom right corner but no idea what's that for? The price point is very attractive so thanks for the spanner in the works!
    anything you want to know about draco talk to tony he will answer any and all questions,ive got 2 kc-10 drums(old) and i was having an issue and tony even gave me advice lol,you did mention you wanted well made and customer back up,ive heard of tony driving 100's of miles to help customers,although i think his customers in australia and thailand would be a bit far,i believe he's also sold in the usa,british made and all spares carried in stock,dont think you can go wrong myself,(tony i expect my free drum in the post on monday lol) i can honestly say though that if i hadnt bought mine dirt cheap i was already looking at draco and would of gone the solum route myself,you did say you were happy to pay extra for piece of mind,it doesnt always work,just think draco uk made so no import fees that have to be put on the price...andi

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  28. #15
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Kyusai TinyTony's Avatar
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    depending on flow , if you want alot then go for a seperate drum , like a qk and a custom made jbr plastcs bio chamber , alot cheaper than a combi and alot more flow

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  30. #16
    Hi Lee,
    Where abouts are you, your welcome to come and take a look at our set up, it a burtons TF700 and a moving bed that can take 350l of k1.
    Mine has been on the go since late August and no drama so far, and about as maintenance free as you can get, aftersales advice has been great.
    2>1+1

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  32. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by pip895 View Post
    There are two significant things that tend to differentiate between drums 1. float switch v 3 probe system - the latter being much nicer imo. The second that only comes in at the higher price brackets is the submerged internal rince pump which is used on the Aqua Drum 35/55.

    I think if I was choosing a drum for that size pond I would consider the following:- 1. ARM/ Ffltreau 20 - cracking value but with a float switch
    975 including 40w Amalgam. You would need to add another 4" output and either add a third input or run the skimmer in with the shortest run BD. Pretty easy to do not an issue at all. Even without upgrading to the high flow screen (25kl/h), you would be able to turn over the pond in an hr which is good enough. If you were to decide you wanted more or extended the pond at a later date you just add a second drum

    2. QK 35 Perfect number of inputs and outputs - lovely drum and 3 probe system for cleaning and automatically turns the pumps off if the pond level decreases too much
    2495- discount/rebate. Still has the external cleaning pump.

    3. Aqua drum 35 - Has both the level sensors and the internal pump but at a price. 3375 - discount.

    My problem with the other drums being mentioned is that without the inclusion of a three probe sensor I just don't think they bare comparison with the Easy drum/Ffltreau 20!

    If you live that close to Coastal Koi, then I wouldn't hesitate to buy an Aqua35 from Dave. IF anything were to go wrong or parts fail he has all parts in stock, and if not he will take any part from a new unit to help you out.

    Had one now for 5 years and it runs like clockwork continuously. Yes a bit more money but when you see the build quality and mechanics they take some beating. The control and drum are simply plug and play also. No piping up external pumps etc!

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  34. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion andikoi's Avatar
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    if you want a good dealer have a read here,especially the draco bits on 3rd page,andi Sticking rubber liner

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  36. #19
    Morning. Apologies for the lack of replies. I spend all day at a computer Monday to Friday and then I don't want anything to do with them come the weekend!

    I really appreciate all the comments, offers etc. and at the moment I still haven't made a decision. I was too busy this weekend with brick laying and the sons rugby to get out.

    I did manage to make a couple of phone calls. It seems I'm on the right path with my design and everyone seems to suggest the 35m3 version for 20m3, the approx. science seems to be approx. 12m3 per BD and 8m3 per skimmer from what I'm being told, so that's 32m3 of flow, most will go out to the shower to allow dwell time in the moving bed section.

    As said, I need to go an see some drums so plan to do that over the next week or so as I'm just going round in circles at the moment with Draco / QK / Profi / Aqua. Thanks to those that have offered, I may be in touch soon to see if I could arrange a viewing.

    I'll give Tony a call from Draco today, being the otherside of the country may make it a less attractive option for him to support. It seems the Aqua ticks all the boxes but at a premium and I'm not sure if that its worth it? Profi seems to be a solid option but uses float switches? QK has a good price point...

    I appreciate everyone has their opinion or preference and welcome input although it adds to my confusion!

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  38. #20
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Tosai sinx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeM View Post
    Morning. Apologies for the lack of replies. I spend all day at a computer Monday to Friday and then I don't want anything to do with them come the weekend!

    I really appreciate all the comments, offers etc. and at the moment I still haven't made a decision. I was too busy this weekend with brick laying and the sons rugby to get out.

    I did manage to make a couple of phone calls. It seems I'm on the right path with my design and everyone seems to suggest the 35m3 version for 20m3, the approx. science seems to be approx. 12m3 per BD and 8m3 per skimmer from what I'm being told, so that's 32m3 of flow, most will go out to the shower to allow dwell time in the moving bed section.

    As said, I need to go an see some drums so plan to do that over the next week or so as I'm just going round in circles at the moment with Draco / QK / Profi / Aqua. Thanks to those that have offered, I may be in touch soon to see if I could arrange a viewing.

    I'll give Tony a call from Draco today, being the otherside of the country may make it a less attractive option for him to support. It seems the Aqua ticks all the boxes but at a premium and I'm not sure if that its worth it? Profi seems to be a solid option but uses float switches? QK has a good price point...

    I appreciate everyone has their opinion or preference and welcome input although it adds to my confusion!
    I have both an Aqua Drum Combi 25 and a Aqua Drum 55 plus separate moving bed and wouldn't hestitate for a second to recommed them.

    If you are in Norfolk it would be well worth you time paying a visit to have a look, Dave has a Aqua Drum combi 35 running his main pond and an Aqua Drum 25 on the smaller system.

    You will also have chance to see the new stock that has just come out of quarantine (worth a trip by itself!)

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