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RDF 50 PRO Rotary Drum Filter

Aqua Exclusive™ RDF 50 PRO Rotary Drum Filter

The Aqua Exclusive RDF 50 PRO rotary drum filter, is a professional-grade and fully automatic pre filter system. When it comes to water filtration, choosing the right filtration equipment is crucial for efficient and cost-effective operation. One of our most reliable and versatile options available today is the rotary drum filter. We will explain the key features, benefits, and applications of the RDF 50 PRO rotary drum filter, including the wear resistance, high filtration performance, and low operating cost. As a leading supplier of compact water filter systems for commercial companies and private individuals, we at Aqua Exclusive are proud to offer a wide range of high-quality filters to meet the needs of our customers. The RDF 50 PRO is the perfect koi pond drum filter.

Efficient water circulation is vital for a successful filtration system. The flow rate of the filter should be sufficient to achieve a complete turnover of the total water volume within an appropriate timeframe, typically every 1 to 2 hours. Higher flow rates are advantageous for smaller tanks and those with a substantial fish population. A comprehensive filtration system combines mechanical, biological, and UV filtration. Mechanical filtration removes debris and particles from the water, preventing them from settling and compromising water quality. Biological filtration promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria that break down harmful ammonia and nitrites. UV filtration, using ultraviolet light, targets algae and pathogens.

What is a rotary drum filter?

Rotary drum filters are a type of mechanical filter that use a rotating drum to remove solid contents and particles out of the water. They are ideal for filtration applications in fish farms, koi ponds, RAS Aquaculture, aquaponics, hydroponics installations and many more. Rotary drum filters can handle a broad range of solids content, from fine suspensions to larger particles. We make three different sizes of drum filters on a large scale that we offer at a competitive price. But we also have a separate branch within our company (AE Customs) that specializes in customization.

How does the RDF 50 PRO Rotary Drum Filter work?

Water flows through the inlets into the filter. The special cell structure of the filter panel meticulously separates particles from the water. Solids accumulate on the filter panel. As soon as the filter panel is saturated, a sensor will register this and the automatic system will start the cleaning process. The drum will start rotating and the stainless steel nozzles rinse the solids off the filter panel into the drain gutter. The drain gutter can be connected to a sewer so that everything is automatically discharged. You can also let it flow to a spot in the garden or barrel.

The nozzles are fed by an industrial high-pressure pump that is attached to the filter by means of 2 reinforced EPDM hoses. The filtration continues on the clean filter panel during the rinse process, this allowing a continuous filtration process. This cycle repeats as often as necessary and fully automatically! All this makes RDF PRO Rotary Drum Filter a very efficient pre-filter system with little to no maintenance!

Filter panel

The filter panel is mounted around the drum and our unique design prevents fragmentation through careful handling of the solids. The filter is designed in such a way that the water can flow through the filter without any back pressure, which significantly reduces power consumption compared to older filter methods. This high filtration efficiency is essential in optimizing water quality parameters. We supply the filters with a 70 micron filter panel as standard, they are easy to exchange for a coarser or finer panel. We can supply filter panels from 20 microns to 500 microns.

High pressure pump and spray Nozzles

The high pressure pump and spray nozzles are an important component of the rotary drum filter as they play a crucial role in the automatic cleaning process. The special SS316L nozzles are strategically placed to ensure efficient and uniform distribution of wash liquid across the drum surface. Furthermore, the rinse pump is supplied as standard with the filter, including necessary couplings and reinforced EPDM hose.

Maintenance and operational costs

Rotary drum filters are designed to offer low operating and maintenance costs compared to other filtration solutions. This is due to their ability to handle a wide range of solids concentration slurries, resulting in lower disposal costs. Additionally, their rugged construction and durability reduce the need for frequent repairs and replacements.  The Aqua Exclusive RDF 50 PRO is constructed with high-quality materials like stainless steel 316L and 15mm/20mm thick polypropylene from Germany!

Easy installation

The RDF 50 PRO rotary drum filter is easy to install and can be done by most people themselves. Both the inlets and outlets should be connected to your pipework with rubber couplings. These rubber couplings can compensate for small differences in dimensions and absorb vibration. The required size of the couplings to connect to the drum filter is 110mm (4”)


Drum Filter Control box and electrical

Waterproof: Yes, suitable for outdoor use with IP66 classification

Voltage and frequency: 110-120V 60Hz / 220-240V 50/60Hz

Cables/connectors: Neoprene cables, gold plated connectors, waterproof IP68

Switch buttons: Switch the rinse pump, drum motor, pond pump and uv-c easily ON and OFF (individually)

Night-time: Buttons blue LED, power switch red LED

Manual control: Manual control turning drum / spray nozzles

Automatic rinse process: Yes

Overflow safety: Yes, prevents the filter from overflowing with pump fed

Water circulation pump connection: Yes (Max 1000 watts)

UV-C System connection: Yes (Max 200 watts)

Drum motor: 80 watts

Rinse pump: 600 watts

Rinse process duration: 12 seconds

Water consumption rinse process: 2 Liters (0.5 gallons)

Warranty: 2-year manufacturer warranty and lifetime customer support.


Some key features from the RDF 50 PRO

High-Quality Design: The RDF 50 PRO drum filter is known for its high-quality design and construction. Moreover, it is handmade in the Netherlands with the utmost care and precision using high-quality materials.

Efficient Filtration: The RDF 50 PRO offers highly efficient filtration performance, effectively removing feces and other particles in a quick mechanical way from the water. Consequently, this results in optimal water conditions and healthy fish.

Low Maintenance: The self-cleaning design of the filter means that it requires relatively low maintenance compared to old type filtration systems.

Space-saving: The filter is compact and space-saving, making it a great option for situations with limited space.

Cost-effective: The rotary drum filter is cost-effective compared to old type filtration systems, especially when considering their long lifespan and low maintenance requirements.

Filtration without flow interruption: The filtration inside the RDF continues on the clean filter panel during the rinse process, allowing a continuous filtration process.

Gold plated connectors: The cables from the RDF 50 PRO rotary drum filter are equipped with gold plated waterproof connectors (IP68). This ensures an optimal connection and prevents short circuits due to moisture/water.

Easy installation: The RDF 50 PRO is a plug and play system. We advise to use flexible rubber couplings to connect your PVC pipes to the in- and outlets of the filter.

German-quality polypropylene: The housing of the RDF is made of 15 and 20 mm thick polypropylene from Germany, considered the best available on the market!


Rotary drum filter with Pump Fed or Gravity Fed setup

Both setups work, but we would always recommend to go with Gravity-fed configuration whenever you can. Gravity-fed is more effective, stable and is less risk than in Pump-fed setup.


The advantages:

  • Fish waste and debris are filtered out before they hit the pump impeller blades. This is the most important benefit in gravity-fed RDF.
  • More efficient because the area of the drum mesh being submerged in gravity-fed is generally larger than the submerged area in the pump-fed configuration. That because in a normal running condition when water is pretty clean, water level in the drum should be about two third of the drum in gravity-fed while it is just a little above the middle of the drum in the pump fed.

The disadvantages:

  • Need to lower the RDF enough to make sure that the recommended water level in the RDF is the same as pond water level for gravity flow. In most cases, it will require digging a filter pit unless you have a raised pond.
  • Need to have thru-wall/thru-liner bottom drains and they have to be large enough (4 inch is recommended) to achieve the required gravity flow.

The advantages:

  • People who cannot dig the filter pit to lower the RDF to the recommended level for gravity-fed
  • People who don’t have thru-wall/thru-liner bottom drains for gravity-fed setup
  • People who have small bottom/wall drains which do not provide enough flow for gravity fed

The disadvantages:

  • Fish waste is agitated and pulverized by the impeller blades before going to the filter.
  • Less efficient because the area of drum mesh submerged in a normal running condition which normally just about more than half of the drum, is generally smaller than the submerged area in the gravity-fed.
  • Since the water output from the RDF in the pump-fed configuration must flow downwards out of the RDF using gravity, you will need to raise the RDF position higher than the shower/waterfalls…This means you may need to build a high platform for the RDF which could be difficult to hide and for a lor large RDF, the weight is significant so need to prepare for that.


Suitable for:

Drum filters were previously mainly used in aquaculture systems, but nowadays they are used for many applications like: Ras Aquaculture, Fish Farms, Koi Ponds, Natural Swimming Pools, Large Aquariums, City Fountains, Hydroponics Systems, Aquaponics Systems and more…


A rotary drum filter on a (koi) pond

In nature, water sources are exposed to natural filtration. This occurs through many phenomena including infiltration into the soil, runoff along a river, evaporation and even infiltration. However, they are almost inexistent in an artificial pond. Moreover, we need to set up an artificial phenomenon to compensate for this. There are many factors involved in choosing rotary drum filters for ponds. This can vary depending on the size of the ponds, the number of individuals but also the type of farming. It is important to plan a pond size adapted to the number of individuals you have. Indeed, in order to provide quality and well-being, fish, mollusks and crustaceans need a sufficient living space. It is therefore important to define the species that you will integrate, in order to define the design of your pond.

Koi Pond rotary drum filter flow rate

Koi are rather fragile fish that require special care. Our conservative rule of thumb suggesting one Koi for every 1000 liters (250 gallons) of well filtered & maintained pond water. A 10.000 liter (2500 gallon) pond translates to 10 full-grown Koi. To design your pool and avoid wasting energy, it is necessary to take this parameter into account. The shape of your pond is also important for your drum (RDF) filtration system. This prevents the formation of stagnant water that is not subject to mechanical filtration. It is preferable that the pond is not too deep, to easily observe your fish.

In order to ensure the best mechanical filtration, the koi pond drum filter must have a capacity corresponding to your pond. The great thing about a rotary drum filter is that it can handle a large amount of water. To ensure its effectiveness, at least half the volume of the pond must pass through the filter every hour. Here are a few examples of how big your koi pond rotary drum filter should be:

  • For a 50 m³ (8000 gallons) pond we recommend a water flow of at least 15 m³ (4000 gallons) per hour.
  • A 50 m³ (13200 gallons) pond requires a flow rate of 25 m³ (6600 gallons) per hour
  • 80 m³ (21000 gallons) pond, a flow rate of 40 m³ (10500 gallons) per hour is recommended
  • A flow rate of 60 m³ (16000 gallons) per hour is required for a 120 m³ (32000 gallons) koi pond.


Drum filter for a fish farm or RAS aquaculture

The rotary drum filter filter removes small and large particles from the water in a quick mechanical way. The biological filter can be placed just after the drum filter and removes other toxic waste products such as ammonia and nitrite from the water. A system with only an Trickle/bakki shower or MBBR type biological filter will not be viable. Without the drum filter (mechanical filtration), the biological filter will clog up.

RAS Aquaculture purpose is to conduct fish farms in places where water is present in limited quantities.

  • reduced energy consumption,
  • a reduction in the risk of pathogen dissemination,
  • direct control over water quality and therefore a better yield.


Drum filter for aquaponics

Aquaponics is a cultivation method that combines three types of living beings: bacteria, fish and plants. This mutual benefit relationship is expressed in the following way:

  • Aerobic bacteria converts nitrogen waste such as ammonia produced by fish (urea)
  • plants’ roots in suspension will then absorb them
  • This way, they will be provided with access to the necessary nutrients while eliminating the waste products emitted by the fish.

However, although this system may appear self-sufficient, adding a drum filter can be beneficial. This is because the substrate and roots will tend to clog up due to water impurities. This will require additional and regular maintenance. To prevent clogging, a suitable filtration method must be chosen to avoid :

  • Any possibility of overheating the water in summer, the filtration system must be buried. To avoid clogging, it is necessary to choose the appropriate filtration mode to avoid:
  • Energy consumption, it would be better if it worked by gravity.
  • The clogging should be slow enough to limit maintenance and easy to clean, while producing clear water.
  • Although it allows the recovery of mud, it can also be used as fertilizer.
Youtube videos:

Video 1

Video 2

Weight105 kg
Dimensions95 × 82 × 80 cm

110-120V 60Hz, 220-240V 50Hz


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