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Author Topic: Advantage Bead Filter or AlphaONE Filter - Which is Better?  (Read 7617 times)


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Advantage Bead Filter or AlphaONE Filter - Which is Better?
« on: December 31, 2012, 08:19:35 PM »
If you have been doing research on pressurized bead filters for your Koi pond, chances are you have come to realize that two bead filters on the market stand above the rest. The Advantage Bead Filter, manufactured by Sacramento Koi, and the AlphaONE Filter by GCTek, are often regarded as the “Lamborghini and Ferrari of the pond filtration industry” by experienced pond builders worldwide. These top quality pond filtration systems are renowned for offering superior performance while requiring significantly less maintenance time than competitor pond filters. This article is intended to provide pond owners a high-level comparison of some of the key features distinguishing these filters to help them make an informed purchasing decision.


Advantage Bead Filters are manufactured by Sacramento Koi, based in Rocklin, California. The President of Sacramento Koi, Steve Walker is also the designer of the Advantage Bead Filtration System. AlphaONE Filters are manufactured by Oklahoma-based Grand Champion Technologies, commonly known as GCTek. In addition to designing the AlphaONE line of filters, Gary Cryer, President of GCTek, also designed the best-selling line of AquaBead Filters.

Maximum Pond Size:

AlphaONE Filters are available in a wide variety of sizes and are designed for Koi ponds up to 35,000 gallons. Advantage Bead Filters are available in three sizes and provide complete biological and mechanical filtration for Koi ponds up to 15,000 gallons. For ponds over 15,000 gallons, many Advantage owners choose to install multiple Advantage Bead Filters.

Pre-Filter Recommendations:

Because Advantage Bead Filters do such an amazing job at both mechanical and biological filtration, the manufacturer does not believe a pre-filter is necessary for most ponds. If you wish to add a pre-filter to your Advantage Filter, Sacramento Koi recommends the Advantage Settlement Chamber. AlphaONE Filters also function extremely well as stand-alone filters and do not generally require a pre-filter. If a pre-filter is desired; however, GCTek recommends the Vortek SS Delux.

Bio Media:

Advantage Bead Filters utilize a proprietary Advantage bio media, which is not offered with any other filter on the market. This media is not sold separately and is included with the purchase of any Advantage Bead Filter. Thanks to its unique design, Advantage bio media provides exceptional mechanical filtration and fines removal while also providing maximum surface area for beneficial bacteria growth. Advantage filter media also resists channeling. AlphaONE Filters utilize proprietary AlphaONE bio media. This unique filter is provides exceptional mechanical filtration while also providing high surface area for beneficial bacteria growth. Thanks to its unique shape, AlphaONE media produces less head resistance than comparable filter media types on the market, allowing for high flow rates.

Clear Dome Lid:

Both Advantage Bead Filters and AlphaONE Filters feature a clear dome lid, which allows the pond owner to visually see when it is time to backwash the filter.

Media Agitator:

AlphaONE Filters include a powerful 1.5HP media agitator, which aids in backwashing. The agitator included with Advantage Filters is actually 2 HP, making it the most powerful media agitator offered with any commercial bead filter system on the market today.

Head Pressure:

Advantage Bead Filters and AlphaONE Filters produce comparable levels of total dynamic head, and can be used with today’s energy efficient pumps. For maximum performance, both respective manufacturers recommend their filters to be used with PerformancePro Artesian2 Pumps.


To ensure optimal water quality, it is recommended that both Advantage Bead Filters and AlphaONE Filters be backwashed on a regular basis. In general, it is recommended to perform routine maintenance on a weekly basis. The actual maintenance process for both filter systems takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

Available Upgrades:

AlphaONE Filters are available in low head versions, which allow you to achieve high flow rates while using a much smaller, more energy efficient pump. The low head version of Advantage Filters, commonly known as the Advantage Pro Series, has been discontinued by the manufacturer and is no longer available – making AlphaONE LH Filters the only low head bead filter systems commercially available in the USA..

Available All-In-One Systems:

Advantage Bead Filters are available as part of the Advantage Plug and Play, these complete all-in-one filtration systems include an Advantage Bead Filter, PerformancePro Artesian2 Pumps, and high output Emperor Aquatics SMART UV Sterilizer. AlphaONE Filters are available as part of both AlphaONE Plus Systems and Mashimizu Systems. AlphaONE Systems include an AlphaONE Filter, Pentair Pump, and Zapp Pure UV Sterilizer, one of the best ultraviolet clarifiers on the market today. The word Mashimizu means “clear water” in Japan. Mashimizu Filters are are quite popular among experienced koi keepers, and include AlphaONE Filter, WunderFlo Pump, Vortek SS Delux Pre-Filter, and Zapp Pure UV Clarifier all pre-plumbed on a durable, all weather pad.


Both Advantage Bead Bio-Filters and AlphaONE pond filtration are covered by a limited lifetime warranty against defects. Sacramento Koi also offers an unconditional satisfaction guarantee on all Advantage Bead Filters. This means you can purchase an Advantage Filter, install it on your pond and use it for up to a year. If you are not 100% satisfied, you may return your Advantage Filter for a complete refund and the manufacturer will even absorb return shipping costs! No other filter manufacturer offers this iron clad guarantee of quality.

Shipping Cost:

Due to their dimensions and weight, most Advantage and AlphaONE systems are shipped exclusively via common carrier. Shipping cost for AlphaONE Filters is generally absorbed by dealers for AlphaONE units for orders within the contiguous USA. Due to manufacturer restrictions; however, it is not generally possible to avoid shipping costs on Advantage systems.

Will-Call Pickups:

California Ponds and Water Gardens, based in Victorville, CA is the only stocking dealer for Advantage Bead Filters in North America. Cal Ponds also maintains a stock inventory of AlphaONE Filtration systems for local customers. Will-call pickups for Advantage Filters can also be arranged at the manufacturer in Rocklin, CA.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 07:28:21 AM by CalPonds.com »
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