Anyone with experience of pump cage?
Hi, new here, my first post and I'm looking for a bit of advice with something we're unfamiliar with. We've had a 1000 gallon pond with orfe, GF, etc since we moved here 9 years ago. We have a Blagdon pump (operating waterfall and small fountain, filter box, and UV.
A couple of weeks ago our pump packed up, so we bought a new one direct from Blagdon. It came with a free plastic "pump cage" which the pump fits inside and is supposed to reduce maintenance. Our old pump slotted inside a large square sponge filter, which caught lots of sludge and had to be cleaned out weekly/fortnightly depending on the time of year.
We have not had very clear water yet this year (usually it's really clear) and assume it's because the old pump wasn't working properly before it packed up. We installed the new pump, put a new bulb in the UV and thought we would be clear within days.
However about 5 days later, we are no clearer. There seems to be gunge in a suspension in the water, which is not clearing. The filter box, which hardly ever needed cleaning got so gunged up it pushed the lid off and started leaking.
Is this a sort of run-in period for the pump with the cage? Does the cage mean that the silt/waste etc is pumped into and trapped in the filter box, instead of being trapped in the square sponge filter as it was previously. Will the water, does anyone think, clear, or does using the cage instead of the old sponge filter mean less maintenance, but murkier water? Is the muck being pumped back into the pond at the other end - is that why it's not clearing? If so, we still have the option to ditch the cage and go back to using the sponge filter. But I note that the newest Blagdon pumps (we bought an old model as it was what we were familiar with) are actually encased in cages - I can't see a new product giving an inferior performance as far as water clarity is concerned - even if it does mean less cleaning.
I don't know whether to persevere longer (how long?) with the cage, or revert to the sponge filter. I'd be grateful for advice from anyone with similar experiences.