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Thread: positively...a koi pond

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Mickey, no way is Matt going to let you put one of his good fish in a puddle like the ones being suggested! Besides you like growing koi, and these environments are shite for accomplishing any of that. More ' go out and look down into the puddle' type water gardens from my perspective. If you can wade into your 'koi pond' and pick leaves off the water plants- it ain't a koi pond!
    Florida is HOT. You need depth and water movement. If you are trying to save money then build your own filters and also try and save on electricity as a main goal. But design? Don't try and cheat on the size/shell or shape/depth! And please! Vertical walls ONLY!

    Minimum? 5000 gallons of water. Depth 4-5 feet. You will need that to keep the water stable and cool. You can add TTs as cooling towers, but I'm getting too far ahead in the project. Depending on shape, you may need more, but I'm thinking two drains. This will certainly allow you to turn the water over at the right rate/speed, which is the point of drains.
    I'm thinking a long rectangle to act as an entry way feature. Maybe something with a bridge that people cross to go into the house ( the stucco painted house). JR

  2. #22
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    I'm thinking it might be a good idea to go with JR's idea of starting out with a 1,000g baseline BEFORE adding Koi, and then using 1 per250-500 gal for males, 500-1,000g per female after that.
    2,000g pond would then be sufficient for up to 4 males or 2 females. Just a thought.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Ok, how about this then, my 5000 gallon pond on the left side of the wide bridge entry to you stucco clad palace ( bridge build over the edge so it looks like the pond goes under the bridge). And on the other side of the bridge, a water feature that 'looks like' it is part of the pond. This would be shallower of course with maybe a pebbled bottom or maybe even be a dry water dead or circulating water. This way you can balance the look of the pond and the water feature to fill a significant area in front of the house? JR

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    between Okeefenokee and Ichetucknee
    JR, I'm thinking "greater good" and I'm glad you're in there with me. That's the barn you're looking at mate. Just the barn. Entry pond is the idea for that location, yep, and I can think that up all by myself. But think of the whole population of koi nuts we haven't met yet. I want to see if we can agree on absolute minimums for "entry level". I want to build it and see if our thoughts can really translate to function. So much effort is put into these posts on these boards, I am trying to make a 3D smellivision of what we are talking about as "must have." It shouldn't smell, it shouldn't overheat, the fish should grow. It will likely act as a stepping stone still, to something more ideal, but it would be solid footing for a first step.

    This is a place that koi dealers should get involved. How many fish can you sell if you only sell to high enders? Wouldn't a whole new crop of pond owners that could accomodate 3 or 4 or 5 fish well be helpful? That's why Koiczar and Pond Digger's posts are meaningful. They have dug for folks and gotten results that they can measure. They have probably gotten roped into building big but DUMB ponds. Don't post the pics of those ponds, guys. Give us your input on how to make the minimum pond good.

    Is everybody laying back and thinking "It's gotta be 6 feet and 6,000 gallons"?
    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.

  5. #25
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Near Toronto, Canada
    Is everybody laying back and thinking "It's gotta be 6 feet and 6,000 gallons"?[/quote]

    I went 8000 US gal and 6ft with 2 bottom drains thinking it was an over kill
    now I wish it was 12,000 gal . It is never big enough . I would go for 8000 gal minimum with 2 bottom drains . You do not need to use them both drains,in fact with just a few fish you will not need as much filtration . Then you can in a few years time put in the filtration necessary for your fish load .
    It is extremely costly to add on size to a pond it is lower cost to build a new one . Or the other option is to build a 2,ooo gal and use it for Quarantine pond when you finally can afford a koi pond

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Brazoria County, Texas
    6000 gallons and six feet deep, good size for a minimal koi pond. But, no EPDM!!! A proper koi pond is made out of gunnite and plaster, or maybe concrete and polyurea. I've waaay had my fill of fooling with pond liners. I can think of maybe four ponds with liners that work like they ought to. Otherwise, its leaks, folds with grunge in them, plumbing difficulties, and rocks on the bottom. A proper koi pond is not made out of EPDM, PVC, or other plastic liner material. A koi pond, maybe, a proper koi pond, no way. Liners are to be used on the bottom of landfills, not koi ponds.

    I've seen some fiberglass ponds that work well and think that might well be a good material to work with.

    In my area, a minimal koi pond would be about 2000 gallons, a minimum of 52 inches deep, have straight down sides, a bottom drain, a skimmer, a water pump, a filtration system, and at least partial shade. No rocks on the bottom. Anything less is a goldfish/lilly pond.

    I've gotten difficult to contend with as I got older. Nowadays I ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES sell koi to somebody with an "Aquascapes" or similar type pond. Goes to something an early mentor told me when I worked in East Texas, "Son, don't hatch or otherwise acquire any animal you cannot properly care for." That was my then boss and pioneer fish culturist, Cecil Deauman.

    Nobody can properly care for a koi in an Aquascapes pond. I don;t give a hoot how many salespeople tell you otherwise. You want a proper fish pond, talk to a biologist, then a salesperson. You want a proper koi pond, best to find some koikeepers, genuine ones, that can help you, as is going on here. You want a big, hard to keep up, costly, wet, leaky mess in your yard, go to Aquascapes. I've worked with enough of these ponds of late to find out how poorly designed and constructed they truly are.


  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I see. Well, at least stucco the front of the barn then. Carry on-------

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Brazoria County, Texas
    Last koi pond I built....

    Gunnite and plaster.

    22,000 gallons including filtration system.

    2 bottom drains, feeding to solids seperator then pump, then upflow biofilters.

    4 skimmers, feeding to pump then pressurized cannister filter then back to waterfall and four jets.

    4 pumps. One pump for the skimmer loop. Two pumps for the bottom drain loop and one pump to pump wastes from the sump and filters to the sewer. The sewer pump and the two bottom drain pumps are interchageable if one fails. The loop will work, at half speed if one pump fails.

    Almost half the pond volume circulates through the skimmer loop every hour. About half the pond volume circulates through the bottom drain loop every hour. Entire pond passes through filters one time every hour and ten minutes.

    Either loop will carry the entire load if the other loop fails (multiple redundancy). Cross valving will allow for the system to process either source water (bottom drains or skimmers) at either system loop.

    Source water (city water) is processed to remove chlorine, and heavy metals, as well as lower the hardness and alkalinity. Fully treated source water is blended with partially treated source water to get the right hrdness and alkalinity.

    The pond had to be built as a "swimming pool" due to city codes. So, it does have a shallow end (just over 1 meter) and a deep end (just under 3 meters).

    The pond has a fence around it, 1.5 meters tall and right against the water's edge. This to keep jumpers in the pond and kids out of it. The fence is quickly and easily removed for viewing the pond without obstruction.

    This is a koi pond. For and about the koi. There are no plants in the pond, no rocks on the bottom, no cutesy frog spitters, no bog, nothing to interfere with proper koi keeping.


  9. #29
    Oyagoi Bob Winkler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Winkler View Post
    1 bottom drain, 1 skimmer, 1 water pump, 1 airpump, 1 liner, 111 blocks (JK), 11' by 5' by 4' deep......

    maybe just 1 koi....

    more to follow
    so everyone has different minimums...Hard to say what Mickey's minimum is since it is mostly undefined other than the word minimum, but for me, and for several others, it appears to be a good "quarantine" pond. After all, isn't that what a quarantine pond is supposed to be boiled down to? As good as a good "main" (read bigger) pond but smaller? The question is, can you be happy with that long term Mickey?

    So to follow up on the remainder of my minumum "ones"....1 external filter (your choice of type), 1 UV, but 2 electrical circuits. Ooops.. had to have two of something. The liner could be a custom built one after the structure is built, so no folds Brett. If this weren't a "minimum" koi pond, I would agree with you about the gunite and plaster or other waterproofing of the shot surface as the preferred method.

    Add-ons might include a heater to stabilize the temps, but maybe not necessary in Fla, and certainly not on a minimum pond. But I think the stucco or paint might be necessary
    Best regards,

    Bob Winkler

    My opinions are my best interpretation of my experiences. They are not set in stone as I intend to always be a student of life. And Koi.

  10. #30
    Nisai Seefdro Tvneik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    St. Clair Shores, Michigan


    I know we have wise and legendary koi keepers in this forum....That being said we also have many koi keepers here that keep great koi in very good condition without spending thousands of dollars. This is a great deabte for the NEWBIE wanting to build a pond.

    I think the minimum should first be defined as to where you live. Minimum means different requirements pending on location (as most of you know). Since I am a Metro-Detroit koi keeper my requirements will be a bit different.
    For my 3,500 gallon pond stocked with way too many koi (ranging in size between 10 to 20 inches).

    Here in Michigan I believe you need between 5' to 6' feet of depth for a koi pond. (I have 7' at my deepest point-THE COLD SUCKS for koi keeping!)
    For a 3,000 gallon pond you need an aerated bottom drain and a skimmer. The pond must have PROPER SLOPE and DESIGN to be effective for the bottom drain and skimmer. Anything over 3,000 needs two bottom drains. ( I have little over 3,500 galloons and one bottom drain and skimmer)
    I think everyone here would agree a Bottom drain and a skimmer are key components.

    The other factor which was brought up was using concrete over EPDM.
    Personally speaking I think a STRONG EPDM works fine as long as you install it properly.

    Filtration is the BIG CONFUSING part of the question. As most of you would probably agree most flirtation systems have different results. Since my pond is overstocked I currently use two additional external filters for the warmer months. One of the systems is a BASIC but effective Baki shower system. The shower is connected to an external chamber stocked with media and has ample amounts of air flowing through it. Did not cost too much to build ($500 MAX). From my bottom drain I use a vortex to a pressure filter.
    So I believe we must add a pre-filter to a secondary filter for proper minimum filtration. The last requirement is the upkeep of regular water changes for the minimum 3,000 gallon pond requirements.

    So here is my minimum 3,000 gallon koi pond for $3,000 (With 7 Large koi, NOT included in price, LOL).

    1) STRONG EPDM liner
    2) Aerated Bottom Drain (4” Pipes all the way to pre-filter)
    3) Vortex or similar Pre-filter to Pressure filter
    4) GOOD-External Pump
    5) Between 4’ to 6’ of pond depth (Pending on where you live)
    6) Raised SOLID DESIGN edge (At least 20” above grade)
    7) Cheap labor or a considerable amount of elbow grease on your part.
    8) U.V. light
    9) Weekly water changes
    10) Generator
    11) The will to dedicate time for koi knowledge, koi exploration and koi experience.

    *-#11 is where failure and success meet.

    What some people in here forget (ESPECIALLY OUR WEALTHY KOI KEEPERS) is the intimidating expense most newbies are faced with. It has been my experience that one DOES NOT NEED THOUSAND OF DOLLARS TO BUILD AN EFFECTIVE SYSTEM. The most effective tools a newbie could ask for is knowledge and patience. Theses tools are also one of the "HALLMARKS" of koi keeping and should be added to the minimum of koi keeping. Even a GREAT SYSTEM will fail with an IMBECILE as the CAPTAIN!
    This is what I think a minimum filtration koi pond design should be for a 3,000 gallon pond stocked with (7-10) failrly large koi. Can you create a good system without going over $3,000? I think I could .

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