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Thread: Bottom Drain or not?

  1. #31
    Oyagoi koiczar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moikoi View Post
    i agree anything is better then AquaScape
    AquaWho?

    MikeM

    As varied as ponds can be, as you are well aware, attempting to put a generic template together would be difficult. Besides, there are too many arm chair experts that have too many comments to make!

    Mike

  2. #32
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    True, but it would be a place for a person to start. The same applies to swimming pools... as much variation as the imagination can create. But most people simply get a pool. The contractor may have a dozen shapes to choose from, but all will fit a couple of designs/equipment combos. Add-ons will be limited to avoid the indecisiveness that loses a sale. The state of koi pond construction currently is total chaos and a void of information for the ordinary consumer. It is after many errors that a few brave souls slog on and find the kichi boards, books and mags that give general concepts and sometimes an incomplete peek at the overall design. It is rare that enough info is provided for a person to use without knowledge to fill in the gaps. I find it unusual that leading pump and filter manufacturers have not combined in joint promotions to match their equipment... "use model X125g pump with filter ZoomII for maximum efficiency". Instead, we get something like a bead filter manufacturer stating that the filter will handle "up to 5,000 gallons per hour". The consumer is left to wonder if the 4500 gph pump will be OK, and nothing is said about the impact of distancing, etc. on flow. It will say that all fittings are 2", so a 2" bottom drain is what is needed, right?... WRONG.

    There is a lot of engineering and mechanical acumen required for a successful koi pond design. That is a huge hurdle for most folks who would like to keep koi. I think it is one of the primary barriers to growing the hobby, and a primary reason the AquaScape promises can find a market. People do not subscribe to KoiUSA or read $75 books or search the boards learning all the ins and outs before they have a pond. They do it afterwards. And then it still takes years to absorb it all. That is much too high a bar for growing the hobby to its potential.

  3. #33
    Daihonmei
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    In my best singing voice-- " and away go troubles, down the drain"----

    A drain is the heart of any good pond system. Or should I say the 'mouth'?

    Not only does the drain give a place for the waste to be efficiently and effectively removed from the main pond to sumps and vortexes, it also mixes the water in a pond and helps mix layers of water and reduce 'dead zones' in the pond. Some metabolites have a tendency to seek a height in the water column. Midwater and surface water for instance, tend to collect different pollutants. A drain will keep all water moving towards the filters. And at the same time, areation from the dome or from independent airstones will move water in the opposite direction. Skimmers will add yet another directional flow. Its all good. JR

  4. #34
    Oyagoi koiczar's Avatar
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    MikeM

    Believe me, I don't disagree with your idea. I think it's a very good one. There is a caviat to all this though. For the same reason manufacturers don't make recommendations to combine say, pumps to match certain other manufacturer's make of filters is - LIABILITY!!

    The hobby has had an explosion of products over the past ten years that has clouded what was once a rather simple equation. Now, with vortexes, pressurized filters, Trickle towers (which we know have been around for years and still one of the most effective means of degassing), shower units, combined box filters (which don't really work) and the list goes on and on. Most are nothing more than gimmicks. What's a new hobbyist to do. Where does he go to get proper information on building a true, quality "koi pond"? As you say, many simply wait til it's too late before finding these forum boards.

    While I said above, I think it's a good idea, what pond builder is going to open themselves up to 20 different and contradictory methods of trying to achieve the same results? And who are going to provide any trade secrets they may have discovered along the way that make them successful to others for free? Remember the thread last year about the discussion of, dare I say it, far infrared and the claims about it by Momotaro on the Bakki Shower thread? I think the same thing would happen here, only worse. It is definitely a conundrum and one I wish could be solved easily, but I'm afraid it won't happen. I hope, like you, that it does. I'm just not going to hold my breath!

    Mike

  5. #35
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    This post will go sideways to Malaysia again. Please Papa Bear, help me if you can. Can you find the excel drawings DTTK did of stock ponds? Or others?

    I feel lucky that I didn't have to learn these concepts here, but at koi.com.my instead. One reason is certainly the language. When reading the English written by those from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong (King's brother) the pattern of the words is completely different and different posters order their words and their thoughts in different ways. Meanings became clear with these different interpretations, with the different reitterations of the same thoughts and the same concepts in several different ways.

    A second reason is because the ponding and fish keeping that I learned there was NOT based on products. Only two products seemed universally needed- pumps and filter mat. Many used bioballs. Many used fiberglasss tanks. None used contraptions like those discussed at length on American forums. Time and energy was devoted to pond and filter capacity, water flow through pond and filters, and intercations with media.

    And because of wise and knowledgable, thoughtful and energetic hobbyists who consider that "home", and are called sifu there, there was a bank of pond drawings to link back to. There was a couple of "good for this size" offerings to base conversations on and the interplay of the water and the fish and the pond was easily understood.

    Yes, its true, manufacturers, dealers and pond builders should not be involved in this discussion. Which hobbyists to draw from here? I had to learn to type to talk on forums, never having had a "real" job. I don't yet feel ready to learn to draw but I am frustrated that nobody else is. I don't bleed for those who buy from aquascape, but I know that many savvy consumers would find better information if it was formatted and ready to find. Thanks for the kick in the pants, Gentleman From Florida.
    Mickey the windowman, the world is a very big place.

    Aquitori says Keokoi says "even sun shines on dogs ass..." so I say... Buy Ugly Early.

  6. #36
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Ah, Mick, you so under rate yourself.

    NI mag has been a source of pond designs over the years, but too often skimming over the details and aiming so high most koikeeper wannabes would never go there. Maybe the answer is in having more detail in the pond construction articles in the more popular koi magazines... and vetting by the editor to assure the design is reasonably appropriate for koi. .... hint, hint, hint. Then a liberal reprint policy, and ...

  7. #37
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Ah, Mick, you so under rate yourself.

    NI mag has been a source of pond designs over the years, but too often skimming over the details and aiming so high most koikeeper wannabes would never go there. Maybe the answer is in having more detail in the pond construction articles in the more popular koi magazines... and vetting by the editor to assure the design is reasonably appropriate for koi. .... hint, hint, hint. Then a liberal reprint policy, and ...
    Mike
    The biggest problem to koi keeping are usuitable ponds . While Aquascape have come up with all the answers to sell a one day pond to the landscape industry at low cost . We have done very little to counteract that as a result most fish die within a year or two .People like to hear low cost pond installers like to hear high profits so both are happy .
    Unexplained is that the pond will have to be cleaned every year at a great cost , the shallow depth will result too hot during summer too cold for winters . So fish will have to be brought in for the winter . Cleaning will have to be done well before winter as well as fish will not taqke the stress .If there is a gradual slope preditors can walk in and sides can pull in. One would need at least a 2ft streight down that would mean a cemment collar etc so that means twice the cost . No landscaper would want to put in a 6ft deep pond you need equipment then for the bottom drain filtration you need another big hole dug .You need to make a form and put a cemment collar . So at best you need a full week .most koi are purchased and put in fish tank with no idea of what is going to be done as they grow .So what is needed is to write a long article of explenation not pulling down Aquascape but rather running a comparison explaining the costs and the consaquences .So why not lay out a format of comparison so people could then make their own decisions . I think that we could do a good job between us .
    Regards
    Eugene

  8. #38
    Tosai myrubi04's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone here so far. I think that most people don't prepare for when the koi get bigger. It's a matter of being educated. Some people don't care, they just want to throw food and never clean a filter. They'll never get it. But, there are those of us that want the best for our koi and be able to enjoy them for years to come.
    I think the hardest thing for me so far in the building process is figuring out the filtration. How much to do, how to set up, where to put a vortex and/or a settlement chamber and so forth. It's hard to find knowledgeable professionals and then find ones to trust. I don't know about anyone else but my koi are part of the family, I don't trust them to anyone!! I also don't want to learn by trial and error. This usually ends in the koi being killed.
    Where I live the knowledge of pond building is limited. I don't trust most of the info I receive. After all these koi are part of my family. I know each of their individual personalities as I do my family members.
    It's a matter of research. You have to find several people that agree on the same concept then start searching to confirm their recommendation. It's a long process but in the end I think you'll be better for it.
    Just a newbie trying to find my way.........

  9. #39
    Sansai
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    Hi Newbie,

    You are at the right place to soak up some good advice before building your koi pond. Kio Bito wasn't available to me 7 years ago when I first built mine without a bottom drain and without adequate filtration. Three years later after finding this forum and a couple others, reading the comments of knowledge sharing koi keepers like you are doing here and actually visiting several experienced koi keepers with ponds that did have adequate filtration, I ripped up what I had, upgraded the filtration and put in not one but three bottom drains.

    The old saying in this hobby that "you cannot have too much filtration" is true. So build it big, get the filtration right and then go get yourself some nice fish that you can enjoy without becoming a fish doctor.

    Dale

  10. #40
    Daihonmei
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    Dale, nice to see you posting. I agree, of course 200% with the sentiment and spirit of what you have said here. But I do have a word problem with the common statement we have all heard many times " You can never have too much filtration". So if I could use your post to make a point and maybe nit-pick a little?

    You can only have as much active and functioning biological filtration as your fish can support. And you can only have as many fish as the parameters and dimensions of your closed system/physical pond can support.

    I'm writing an article in the new KOI NATION magazine that touches on this point. It will appear in the first issue.

    To be clear, I'm a fan of large filter systems but not a collection of random biological filter system strung together. The modern koi pond is a logical and synergistic system. one component is matched to the next so that the whole system makes sense. And it is all fed and limited by the biomass.

    JR

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