Eric filter systems – owner manual June 2017.

(This replaces all earlier information.)

Introduction and background history.

In 1986, Peter Waddington designed and produced the first horizontal-flow filter system for fishponds and named it ‘The Budget Filter’.
Prior to this, all other systems adopted the rise and fall water system also designed and produced in 1982 by Peter Waddington.

When Peter discontinued his rise and fall water system in 1984 – because of serious doubts as to its efficiency – others took up the same design that’s still available today and known by most as the ‘Multi-bay Filter’.

Peter’s Budget Filter went on sale in 1986 and continued to sell many units until 2003 – and throughout 17 years of sales, the owners made not a single complaint – despite the fact it was a very basic system back in those days.

In 2008 Peter became very concerned with the huge numbers of Koi enthusiasts leaving the hobby – purely because of problems their Koi faced with ‘shimi’ and ‘hikui’ – both serious skin complaints that generally cannot be cured.

After much research from his own experiences, together with much information received from the Japanese Koi breeders, Peter concluded that maintaining the filter systems to be as clean as possible could solve all these problems.

Alas, in those times, the thorough cleaning of filter systems was a lengthy process that took up too much time and wasted too much pond water. As a result, many enthusiasts looked upon this as hard labour and few kept to the maintenance schedules that were necessary.

That’s when Peter decided to seriously upgrade his ‘Budget Filter’ and after much trial and error, his ‘Eric Filter’ first appeared in 2009.


Aside from the horizontal-flow aspect that shows how water flows naturally, Eric filters are shallow, narrow and vary in length depending on the model.

Add to this all mechanical and biological media can be removed when and if desired and the filter base can be seen below. If it’s not perfectly clean – a quick blast from a garden hose can make it so.

However it’s the speed of the total clean and the minimal wastage of good water that allows the filter to be re-started immediately – even after a full discharge to waste.


Probably it’s because of these two timesaving processes, together with good water clarity and good water quality that makes Eric so much in demand today.

Other background information.

All Eric filters are hand-made in the UK to order from black polypropylene and can only be ordered through Peter Waddington – you will not find these for sale at Koi outlets or wholesalers and very few are offered for sale second-hand.

Contact –

The Eric Range including prices, sizes, weights and water handling capacities – but excluding delivery costs.


A. THE COMPACT FILTER. The perfect choice for indoor systems, quarantine systems and overwintering systems.
Height – 37cms; Width 34cms; Length for Gravity-fed models 60cms and for Pump-Fed models 70cms.
Weight – 11kilos.
Water handling capacity – up to 4,000 liters (880 gallons).
Holds – 12 gallons of water.
Price – £450.00.

Height – 61cms; Width 55cms; Length for Gravity-Fed models 82cms and for Pump-Fed models 92cms.
Weight – 31kilos.
Water handling capacity – up to 11,300 liters (2,500 gallons).
Holds – 40 gallons of water.
Price – £960.00.

Height – 61cms; Width 55cms; Length for Gravity-Fed models 96cms and for Pump-Fed models 106cms.
Weight – 38kilos.
Water handling capacity – up to 22,600 liters (5,000 gallons).
Holds – 60 gallons of water.
Price – £1,250.00.

Height – 61cms; Width 55cms; Length for Gravity-Fed models 126cms. and for Pump-Fed models 138cms.
Weight – 43kilos.
Water handling capacity – up to 34,000 liters (7,500 gallons).
Holds 80 gallons of water.
Price – £1,500.00.


1. For gravity-fed Eric Filters.

(These are usually the ones where the bottom drain/s supply water to the filter and in rare cases ‘side feeds’ are used).

Always remember that the water level in the pond should equal the water level in the filter when the filter pump is switched off.

This can be achieved (as with all gravity-fed filters) by raising or lowering the level of the filter base.

When the filter pump is running, you will see that the water level in the filter is slightly lower than the pond level – but this is perfectly normal.

The ideal running level in the filter is when the water level is slightly higher than the eMat cartridge block/blocks.

Flow-rates through the filter should be set by allowing the entire pond volume to pass through the filter – once every three hours in order to give the incoming water maximum dwell time with the media surfaces.

2. For pump-fed Eric Filters.

Here the water levels in the filter and in the pond have no importance – As long as the filter outlet is much higher than the pond level.

This is when the water supply line to the filter comes directly from the pond via a water pump and ‘head’ makes the force of the return water.

We should capitalise on this situation by allowing the return water to fall back into the pond over the greatest height possible – because this greatly increases the dissolved oxygen content of the pond water.

Again, a by-pass valve should be incorporated between the water pump – but before the filter – to allow waste from the pump line to be discharged to waste regularly.

The running levels and flow rates are identical to both gravity-fed and pump-fed Eric filters.

3. For both gravity-fed and pump-fed Eric filters.

All Eric filters have a brush box plus eMat cartridge block/s.

These can be simply removed from the box by lifting them out in order to check if there is any unwanted debris in the box itself below. Usually unwanted debris is removed when the filters are discharged to waste and rarely do the eMat blocks need to be removed and cleaned.

Eric boxes and the brush boxes are made from polypropylene – this material does not allow pond debris to attach to it permanently.

However, if there is a level drop after the brush box that’s visible in the cartridge section – this indicates that the brush box needs to be cleaned. Generally this can be done by leaving the brush box in situ, partially opening the waste valve and rinsing the front face of the brush box with tap water from a garden hose.

As with ALL pond filter systems – none are ever maintenance-free, but Eric filters can be THOROUGHLY cleaned far more rapidly than all other makes.

Furthermore the filter can be started up immediately after a total clean out without having to wait for water top-up to take place.

IMPORTANT – and this applies to all gravity-fed pond filtration systems.

If you wish to reduce the time periods between cleaning, it’s wise to periodically flush all drain lines directly to waste – by doing this, it will ensure the insides of the drain lines are clean and, at the same time, reduce the work load of the filter.

(All the Japanese Koi breeders have adopted this simple method for many decades).

The outer box and the lid will withstand most outdoor air temperatures and the surfaces can be kept clean by the use of a damp cloth.

If you de-commission an Eric filter in cold weather periods for whatever reason – first empty the box completely – ice can crack the welds inside the box.

The polypropylene pipe connections to all Eric filters cannot be directly attached to PVC-u pipe work, valves and fittings – in view of this rubber connectors are required – but are not included in the cost of the filter.

The actual diameter of these polypropylene pipe connections are determined by each owner before make-up – as a result, they all vary in size.

Pump-fed Eric filters have an inlet, a drain and a return pipe that does not need to be connected to PVC-u.

Gravity-fed Eric filters have an inlet, a drain and a pump connection.

All Eric filters have perfectly flat bases and, providing the correct rubber connectors are available – all can be installed in a matter of minutes.


All Eric filters are supplied with an aerated base that’s concealed below the biological stage and there is a single hose tail connector on the outside of the box.

Connect the air pump required to the hose tail by a short length of garden hosepipe – but do remember to place the air pump above the water level in the filter. This is to prevent the air pump internals from flooding when a power shortage takes place.

For an E3 filter the air pump should deliver 80 litres of air per minute.

For an E2 filter the air pump should deliver 60 litres of air per minute.

For an E1 filter the air pump should deliver 40 litres of air per minute.

For a Compact filter the air pump should deliver 30 – 40 litres of air per minute.


This is a combination (in no particular order of importance) of: –

Box design;

Horizontal-flow water pattern;

Diversion baffles;

The Brush box;

The eMat cartridge blocks;

Periodic aeration in order to confuse the water flow.


Eric Filters are true ‘stand-alone’ systems – no other forms of filtration are required, before them or after them, so please bear this in mind.

Eric filters are lightweight and small in comparison to others – this reduces transportation costs.

And finally –

All Eric filters are supplied with a 90-day warranty period, and this means if you are not 100% happy in this period, just rinse the filter out, return it to me and I will refund all monies paid.

This shows the confidence I have with all my products.

Peter Waddington – June 2017.

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