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Thread: Retrofitting an Aquascape Water Garden into a Viable Koi Pond--What are the Options?

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Retrofitting an Aquascape Water Garden into a Viable Koi Pond--What are the Options?

    3000 gallon irregularly shaped pond with null spots where no water moves, no bottom drains, a skimmer that doesn't do its job, a filter that doesn't do its job (3000gph pump and an oily slick on water surface along with tons of particulates), already stocked with approximately a dozen koi ranging from 8" to 13",
    and it's a NEW pond that just drained the coffers! (lost 4 koi so far--no, not my pond)

    What can be done (and HOW can it be done) to bring the pond up to speed without investing a whole lot more money in the already expensive venture? Customer asked for koi pond but in the contract pond was referred to as "water garden."

    Marie




    Marie

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  2. #2
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Some options or suggestions would be to remove the rock from the pond...that is first thing, let your bio chambers do the job outside of the pond. Add more circulation...whatelse...hhhhmmm.

  3. #3
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
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    Bottom drains, real filters, real pumps. dig deeper if possible.

  4. #4
    Honmei keokoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy M. View Post
    Bottom drains, real filters, real pumps. dig deeper if possible.

    WOW with all that stuff it might be a bit less of a headache to just redo it correctly... Which most of us know is very true..

    Band Aids eventually run out of sticky stuff...


    Joe

  5. #5
    Jumbo Regenmeneer's Avatar
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    Marie,

    maybe a reverse bottom drain is worth considering. It can be retrofitted to ponds that lack a regular bottom drain. I'm not sure they can be bought in the US though.

    As for the skimmer. How can it be that a skimmer, operated by a 3000gph pump does not do the job. What kind of skimmer is it? Swimming pool or floating type?

  6. #6
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    The problem with redigging and redoing is--thousands of dollars were spent last month doing that very thing by an Aquascape contractor to enlarge and improve the original pond. So financially it just can't be done. What sucks is that it can't support the koi in it. What sucks more is that the owner cannot do it herself. A real bummer when those who are willing to help live across the continent from her.

    Here are some pics to give you some idea of what we're working with here:





    Very pretty...and pretty deadly for the koi.

    I had suggested retrofitting with 3 bottom drains and adding a whole new pump (or two) and a whole different filtration system. How to do something like that so the "sticky doesn't wear off" (thanks keokoi *S*) is the problem. IMHO, I think working with the existing system isn't going to cut it.

    But what to do?

    (Reg--I don't know what kind of skimmer she has. I'll know more tonight when I talk to her.)

  7. #7
    Nisai Werner's Avatar
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    If you follow any of the suggestions here it will be an improvement but without a major overhaul it will never be the "purists Koi pond" nor does it need to be. I've redone a few of these "Landscapers pond in a day" specials and can offer you some low cost suggestions to improve what looks like a typical AS pond.

    Most important is the removal of the rocks from the bottom except for a few fist sized or larger pieces. This will increase water circulation substantially as well as filtration.

    The skimmer needs to have a well fitting filter pad to prevent the pump screen from clogging and reducing the water flow. This pad should be at least 1" preferably 2" thick and should be serviced once a week on average. The pump screen should also be cleaned frequently.The net result again is better circulation and filtration.

    The filter fall usually contains 1 1" filter pad and some Lava rock. I've found that increasing the pads to 6 1" and replacing the lava rocks with nylon scrubbies or any other large surface area media, will keep the pond crystal clear. Regular maintenance maybe every week or two weeks depending on the feeding schedule and stocking density, is needed for the filter pads.

    A Tetra retrofit vaccum drain can be added without compromising the liner, although with the right maintenance schedule leading to better filtration and circulation the benefits of such an addition are not very cost effective or make much of a difference.

    Other things i.e. larger pump, airstones, addl skimmers can be added later as the fish load warrants.
    Werner

    Pond-On (tm)


  8. #8
    Honmei Brutuscz's Avatar
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    I know that pond!!! Removing the rock is most important!! Also...draw the water from the bottom...retro drain or something similar. Better for oxygen levels. Some air pumps as well!!

  9. #9
    Jumbo dcny's Avatar
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    The pond looks some what like a figure 8, with the skimmer at 6:00 and the waterfall at about 10:30 on a clock dial. I don't know what the existing filtration is but let's assume a skimmer filter feeding a biofalls type filter.

    A minimal retro would include...
    ...removing the rocks
    ...adding another skimmer on the right side of the top circle
    ...adding two bottom drains centered in each circle

    If it's a liner pond, it would be possible to drain the pond and lift the liner to install real bottom drains and skimmers. Otherwise, they can look at adding retro bottom drains and a no-niche skimmer. Aqua art makes a nice retro drain that goes up to 4". Tetra retro bottom drains are much cheaper but it's only 2".

    We could leave the existing skimmer circuit alone for the sake of ease. For the two bottom drains we could gravity flow to a diy static media filter to a diy moving bed filter and then to two sets TPRs place on opposite sides pointing in opposong directions. It would be great if we could have the new skimmer could go to a shower of some sort, but I don't know where we could hide something like that.

    The hard part will be hiding the new filtration. Perhaps they can build a little deck to the right side of the pond and build a small bridge over the middle to join the new deck with the concrete one. This way, they can hide the filtration under the deck and also hide some of the piping to the retro drains.

    -Dan
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Retrofitting an Aquascape Water Garden into a Viable Koi Pond--What are the Options?-fig8.jpg  

  10. #10
    Honmei keokoi's Avatar
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    Dan, nice layout and Bottom Drains a plus.. What about depth?

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