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Thread: Bottom Drain or not?

  1. #21
    Oyagoi mstrseed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrubi04 View Post
    I only want to build this once.
    So is it 8' deep 20' long and 15 to 20' wide, 3 time the filteration you'll ever need?????
    If not it may not be the only time you build it...

  2. #22
    Tosai myrubi04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstrseed View Post
    So is it 8' deep 20' long and 15 to 20' wide, 3 time the filteration you'll ever need?????
    If not it may not be the only time you build it...

    LOL.....very true. when it comes to koi ponds enough is never enough but, I have limited space so it can only be so big.

  3. #23
    Jumbo
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    External pump for sure!! Maybe two especially since you should create 2 separate circuits in the event one breaks down for one reason or another. the other can maintain fish health until you make repairs on the other.

    Basically you will need at least one bottom drain, a skimmer, a settlement chamber or vortex (or pond sieve) and some good bio filtration. I feel the hardest part of keeping a healthy koi pond is capturing the debris (including fish poo) and disposing of it easily. If you install good, easy to maintain, mechanical filtration, the rest is easy by comparison. If mechanical filtration maintenance is hard and time consuming to do, it won't get done and the fish will suffer. Include lots of air in your design as well. Koi thrive on a large amout of 02 in the water. Creat a system that also gives the pond a good current in the water. This will help your koi with body confirmation as well.

    Here are a couple of photos of a smaller pond DH and I started last summer. Should have it finished this spring sometime (I hope)

    Sue
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bottom Drain or not?-wall-skimmer.jpg   Bottom Drain or not?-bottom-20drains.jpg  
    2010 Upper Midwest Koi Club Show
    AKCA 4th Annual Open Show
    July 31st, Aug 1st & 2nd, Minneapolis, MN
    http://www.umkoiclub.org/

  4. #24
    Oyagoi koiczar's Avatar
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    myruby04

    As far a pumps go, there are many to choose from on the market. I would suggest making sure of your design needs based on length, width depth, gallonage before buying the pump(s). Sue makes a very valid point about redundancy. Here it is very important as she mentioned. This covers you for mechanical breakdowns which usually have a habit of happening when you least expect them (especially while you're asleep or away for any period of time) Murphy's law presides over these things for sure. Also, you should match your settling chamber (vortex) to the size pump and water flow. This is extremely important as too high a flow rate defeats the purpose of a "settling" chamber!

    Let us know what size you plan to make this pond so we can continue with the free advice. Just remember it's free so it's probably not worth a damn in the long run!! LOL

    Mike

  5. #25
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I realize that every koi pond will differ due to site conditions and preferences. However, I think there would be tremendous value if a couple of knowledgeable pond designers came up with some "on the shelf" designs for ponds of different sizes with specifications for pipe size, filters, pumps and other equipment (and equivalent alternative brands). Designs for ponds sized, say 3,000; 5,000; 7,500; 10,000; 15,000 gallons would provide a baseline for folks like Myruby. It would be a way to counter balance the AquaScape guys who succeed in part due to the lack of knowledge of alternatives by a confused non-mechanical public. There would need to be disclaimers about the design not being suitable for all conditions and being intended as a system... changing one part might require other changes, etc. But, overall, I think it would provide an extraordinarily valuable service to the hobby and those intending to get their first "real koi pond".

  6. #26
    Tosai myrubi04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I realize that every koi pond will differ due to site conditions and preferences. However, I think there would be tremendous value if a couple of knowledgeable pond designers came up with some "on the shelf" designs for ponds of different sizes with specifications for pipe size, filters, pumps and other equipment (and equivalent alternative brands). Designs for ponds sized, say 3,000; 5,000; 7,500; 10,000; 15,000 gallons would provide a baseline for folks like Myruby. It would be a way to counter balance the AquaScape guys who succeed in part due to the lack of knowledge of alternatives by a confused non-mechanical public. There would need to be disclaimers about the design not being suitable for all conditions and being intended as a system... changing one part might require other changes, etc. But, overall, I think it would provide an extraordinarily valuable service to the hobby and those intending to get their first "real koi pond".
    I think SacKoi does have something to that nature. If you go to their website they have some pond construction schematics by # of gals. I agree with Sue and KoiCzar. I have come home to serious issues with the mechanical failure of the pond I have now. You guys are great!!!!! I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THE INFO!!! It's mind boggling how many different ways you can filter a pond and which of those work the best.

    This pond will be circular (12' dia.) and 4-5' deep. I think that is around 4,000 gals. So, keep the great info coming. It really is helpful. This will be my first major koi pond construction. I did build a 1500 gal pond that my koi live in now. It was pretty easy but nowhere near the filtration that the new pond is going to require.
    Thanks Sue for the pics. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  7. #27
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Mike, I like to think that free advice from someone who knows what they're doing, is still worth more than inexpensive advice from someone that doesn't have a clue!

    When it comes to things like pumps and UV lights, besure and plumb them in with easy access couplers for quick changeouts. I'm the kind of person that has spare pumps ( same model ) bulbs etc so any situation can be dealt with immediately instead of limping along waiting for a part to arrive etc.

    Welcome to our world...

  8. #28
    Tosai myrubi04's Avatar
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    Dick
    Thanks for the advice about the easy access couplers for quick change outs. I hadn't thought about that. Yeah I agree with having extra stuff. I bought 5 extra uv bulbs last year. Do you guys have a favorite pump brand? Or maybe one that you could recommend?

  9. #29
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by koiczar View Post
    rubi04

    The advice you were given is typical of "fish stores" and landscapers. It's based on a specific type of pond which most all serious koi keepers have defined as "a toilet bowl"!!

    Russ Peters is a General Contractor who has built some really nice ponds. My partner and I also build ponds. This is not an advertisement but just a bit of sound advice from someone who does this work professionally. YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST ONE BOTTOM DRAIN. Simply adding a submersible pump inside a skimmer does not a filter make. I have retrofitted at least 20 of these type ponds. Most after only the first year or two of operation when the customer realizes they got ripped off in the first place. Now they have to spend more than the original investment to rip out the original pond in the most extreme cases and install a "proper" koi pond with the right plumbing to do the job.


    Don't be too hasty, rushing into the project without some sound advice. You'll get lots of it here if you want it. It may be a little overwhelming at first but there are some really great folks here who can help you to do it right the FIRST TIME!

    One other noteworthy suggestion, stay away from building a pond with "ledges for plants". It simply makes your pond become a smorgasbord (sp) for predators. The walls should be vertical and the pond is recommended to be a minimum of 3-4' but 4'-5' is even better.

    Good Luck. Remember, we're hear to help if you need it.

    Mike
    Really good advice Mike, and everyone!

    I have no bottom drain in the experimental pond and 1ft ledges around the sides, and both scenarios are a real bummer. I don't have a skimmer, either. It makes it a real job to keep the horizontal surfaces clean of crap--I vacuum the pond a minimum of twice a week and skim by hand every day, sometimes several times a day depending on season. The ledges are the hardest to clean and the errant pond digger that talked me into the feature because he didn't want to excavate that last 1ftx3ft around the sides has heard that from me for the last year on an almost daily basis. *LOL* It's getting dug out this year come hell or high water, and bottom drains and a skimmer are on the queue this time around as I make this pond into a more permanent one.

    So from empirical anecdotal experience I say--listen to the experts here. Put a bottom drain. Hell, put two. More has got to be better! Get the biggest skimmer you can afford, a filtration system that'll handle twice the size you think you need or more, and no ledges. You'll be so glad you did, and your fish will thank you.

    Marie
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  10. #30
    Tategoi moikoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I realize that every koi pond will differ due to site conditions and preferences. However, I think there would be tremendous value if a couple of knowledgeable pond designers came up with some "on the shelf" designs for ponds of different sizes with specifications for pipe size, filters, pumps and other equipment (and equivalent alternative brands). Designs for ponds sized, say 3,000; 5,000; 7,500; 10,000; 15,000 gallons would provide a baseline for folks like Myruby. It would be a way to counter balance the AquaScape guys who succeed in part due to the lack of knowledge of alternatives by a confused non-mechanical public. There would need to be disclaimers about the design not being suitable for all conditions and being intended as a system... changing one part might require other changes, etc. But, overall, I think it would provide an extraordinarily valuable service to the hobby and those intending to get their first "real koi pond".
    i agree anything is better then AquaScape

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