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Thread: CygnusX-1: Phase 1 - The design begins

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    CygnusX-1: Phase 1 - The design begins

    Introduction: First of all, I'm not sure if I want to make this one big long thread from design to building to completion or break them up into smaller individual threads. But from my title, I guess I'll break it up into different posts as I don't really like reading through 30 pages of posts to get to the good stuff later in this discussion.

    Background: I have spent the last month or so reading everything I can on this site and others about different pond constructions. These have given me some ideas about what I want to do. But it has also given me way more questions than I thought I would have when I started to think about doing this redesign. MikeM's post about his pond build was fantastic especially since he lives in my "area". Anyway...I currently have a 2500-3000 gal pond that my fish are fastly outgrowing. This pond was a 100% DIY project and I learned a lot about how ponds work on a small scale and the effort it takes to make an ecosystem run. I think I did some things right and a lot of thing which could be improved upon but isn't that the way things happen anyway? So it is time to go to the next level. I would like to solicit the help of all of you to give me suggestions about how to make my next pond better. And besides, isn't it fun to make suggestions and spend someone else's money for them?

    Initial idea: If you actually made it down here and not given up on me for my loquacious post, this is what I'm planning. (Please, oh internet gods, let me be able to post a picture.) I'm not against changing anything that I have here. I want to build the best
    environment for my fish I can. The plan is to go to somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 gal pond. The things that cannot change are F1, F2, F3, UV, and my waterfall. These are placed in the current location on my existing pond and would be a real pain to move if not impossible. The plan:

    * F1 is a Savio Livingponds Versatile Filter.
    * F2 & F3 are 55 gal barrels with Savio springflo media used in a mechanical filter arrangement. This setup works very well for my current pond & I would like to keep it moving forward. Not to mention they are sitting on poured concrete pads and would be almost impossible to move.
    * K1 is a 250 gal (200 gal usable) cone bottom drain that I'm currently using as my SC. It is also currently located between the palm tree and the pump house (which doesn't exist now). I was planning on making it a new bio filter using K1 media in either a static or moving bed configuration.
    * Each of the 500 gal cone bottom SCs (I own one now - brand new, never used) would be a combination settling chamber and
    mechanical filter with brushes and/or matala to help settle out more solids. The plan would be to use an airlift to run SC2. But more on that later as I have many questions about doing this.
    * The three skimmers are sort of
    arbitrarily placed around the pond. I would appreciate input on where you think they would be better placed. However, the skimmer between the two palm trees is where my current skimmer is (one of the things I did right). I want to keep a skimmer in that location because the prevailing winds push debris toward that location.
    * The 2 four inch bottom drains will be aerated. I know you are going to ask about the pipe layout so see below.
    * I just purchased from USPlastics the stakpak containers (yes they are in stock right now) for a 4 tiered Bakki shower. Not sure what the media I will use in it. Maybe BH if I don't run out of money building the rest of the system.
    * The pond dimensions are on the drawing and I plan on going down 6 to 7 feet at the walls, sloping to 8-9 feet at the BDs.
    * For the pump to drive the Bakki and waterfall, I plan on using a Wave II 1/2 hp. I would like to keep all pumps, air and H2O, inside the P.H. as it will be protected by being under the soffit of my house and have a
    convenient connection to electricity.
    * All pipe runs will be 3 and 4 inch. That should go without saying but wanted to clarify anyway.
    * Oh yes, the drawing is not to scale.

    Discussion: I'm not going to ask any questions, as this first post is long enough to begin with. I just want to open it up for discussion. Before anybody asks, I know you are all thinking, "What in the world am I thinking with the bottom drain lines?" I've read several places that mention how water will take the path of least resistance and if you have one path that is significantly shorter then another all the water will travel through the shorter path. While I don't actually believe that is the case, I think it is more like everything else in nature where the flow will be a function of the resistance between the two paths (not all or nothing), I figure it can't hurt to try and make both BD lines have the same perceived length. I would only use 45s to equalize the distance between the SC and the BDs. There are plenty of calculators out there to let me figure out what the head loss of a 45 is vs length of pipe to equalize the runs. I also saw it recommended that you put gate valves before the SC to restrict the flow of the closer BD. This never made any sense to me. Why would you run a 4 inch line and/or BD and then restrict the flow (to what a 3" pipe?) using a gate valve? Does this make sense to anybody else? Those of you with dual BDs, how do you have the lines run and does it really matter?

    Ok, I said I wasn't going to ask questions in this initial post. So I guess I have to stop. Please comment on my initial design and make suggestions as to where to put the TPRs and GPRs.

    Jim

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CygnusX-1: Phase 1 - The design begins-design.jpg  

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Jim,

    Welcome! Smart move. Ask BEFORE you build. As Waddy said, the cheapest pond is the one you build once.



    Depth? Hopefully at least 6' at BDs. Remember a pond can't be too deep for koi...only for thei owners when it comes time to net.

    Construction? Gunite/shotcrete?

    My first koi pond system had two 4" BDs going to one SC...with springflo. At last in that pond system....very bad performance. So in our current pond one complete filter and pump system for each BD. That way if you have to do maintain/repair on one fiter system....the other continues to work. Would never recommend anything but seperate filters per BD on a pond of this size.

    For the skimmers, run the output of each to a shower (4 or more trays)...each with own pump. Again...redundancy!!!! You do not need SC betwen skimmers and pumps that feed the showers...at the most a leaf basket on the pump for a little extra protection.

    If you do end up putting too skimmers or two BDs on one SC, put ball valves on each input to balance the load. Don't get creative with the BD pipes and end up creating an air pocket.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  3. #3
    Sansai
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    if you have one path that is significantly shorter then another all the water will travel through the shorter path. While I don't actually believe that is the case, I think it is more like everything else in nature where the flow will be a function of the resistance between the two paths
    My friend, you had better believe it. I can show you a pond that has just such a set up. And you would never believe the difference from one side to the other.

    And whats even more astounding, you can actually measure the difference in water quality.

    So build it as you want, but you had better believe the statement above.

    d

  4. #4
    Tosai
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    Always forget to write something...

    I plan on asking lots of questions as long as I keep getting answers. I totally agree that for this pond, I don't want to rebuild it. My current pond was built with the knowledge that I would be upgrading it so I used it as a learning pond. I thought I had things pretty well figured out until I started reading on here. Now my brain hurts from cramming all this new info into it.

    Construction? I knew I forgot something. The plan right now is to do polyurea. I don't know if I want to do polyurea over concrete block like MikeM's pond or try to go with polyurea over geotextile fabric. I was planning on asking that question in a later post. I found a company in Orlando that sprays poly professionally but not specifically for ponds. They do more for the theme parks and industrial applications. But they preliminarily quoted me a very good price just to come and spray my pond. I don't know if they low balled me just to keep me interested or not.

    Six foot depth is my absolute minimum I would go. I was originally thinking of going 8 to 10 feet, but then started to calculate the size of pond and the required filter size to handle that size of pond. That got to be too big. I could handle the pond size provided my water table is greater than 10 feet. But I don't really have the room to put in a bigger filter system.

  5. #5
    MCA
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    Given that you very likely have sandy soil...I would definitely not consider a deep pond in liner or geofabric with poly over it. Go either concrete floor and reinformed block walls....or gunite by a pool company or even poured concrete floor and walls. As for a sealant...there is plain old pool plaster...or all manner of expoy paints like Pond Armour or Koicote or Santitred...and there is poly. If you go poured concrete you can put in waterproofing compounds directly into the concrete mix.....no additional sealant needed.

    As for room for filters....I can not think of any mechanical stages that use less floor space than sieves. As for space effecient bio stages hard to beat showers and and TTs (like clarity). With a few nice showers you can get all the space efficient filtration (and aeration) you need. Consider a Nexus on each BD circuit...and a shower on each skimmer.

  6. #6
    Tosai
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    I'm not trying to be argumentative or asking until I get the answer I'm looking for. I'm just wish to learn. But what is so inherently wrong with liners and sandy soil? And yes, my soil is sand. I'm originally from Illinois and the stuff on the ground is what I hardly consider dirt. But my current pond is 4 feet deep with EDPM and I've seen some ponds here that I would guess (I don't actually remember) would be at least 8 ft deep made from EDPM without a problem. I don't really want to go with an EDPM liner for this design because with the shape I know I would end up with some huge folds in the liner. That's why I was interested in poly. I could end up by spraying down a liner. Not me, of course, but having it sprayed by the contractor. From a labor standpoint, it would seem like an ideal situation. Is your concern that the sand would collapse?

    As far as filters, I appreciate what you are saying. But that would mean running at least 4 pumps. And here is a little secret about me, I hate recurring costs. Running 4 pumps is a huge recurring cost via electricity each month. You know I like my fish, but I draw the line when they would use more electricity than I do to live. Now granted, running two Nexus' and 2 showers along with my current waterfall setup would really simplify the plumbing since everything is on its own circuit. I was more interested in seeing if anyone has come up with a solution that may require more work up front but cut the operating expense. That is what intrigued me about the discussion of air lifts on here last year or was it a couple of years ago. I had not even considered that as an option for a pond. And it may not be a valid option as those discussions kind of ended without any real resolution as to if it was feasible or not. Just a bunch of try it and see what happens. But given the way they work, I don't see how an airlift would work for either a shower or Nexus. I will have to look up what sieves are though.

  7. #7
    MCA
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    Is your concern that the sand would collapse?
    I suggest that should be your concern. We have seen pond collapses posted on the boards before. I am "lucky" here with undisturbed clay so hard you have to use jackhammers to shave pond walls. And of course we had the streaks of granite to deal with also.

    Here is a pond construction project in Orlando that should give you lots of ideas http://www.koishack.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=3566

  8. #8
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    I suggest that should be your concern. We have seen pond collapses posted on the boards before. I am "lucky" here with undisturbed clay so hard you have to use jackhammers to shave pond walls. And of course we had the streaks of granite to deal with also.

    Here is a pond construction project in Orlando that should give you lots of ideas Henryc's Pond Construction - KoiShack
    Duly noted. I was originally thinking of doing a gunnite pond before I heard about poly. I know of a place that is local that does that type of work. I'll check them out to see what they can do for me.

    Thanks for the link. I haven't seen that thread yet. Now I have a lot more reading to do.

  9. #9
    MCA
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    I was originally thinking of doing a gunnite pond before I heard about poly.
    You are mixing up mechanical strength of the walls versus the sealing of the pond. Pond floor and walls are there to take the pressure from the weight of the water pushing out...and dirt pushing in. The walls also provide a surface to apply a water sealant such as liner, poly, epoxy paint...etc. Never expect or use a sealant to hold back siginficant water pressure.

  10. #10
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    You are mixing up mechanical strength of the walls versus the sealing of the pond. Pond floor and walls are there to take the pressure from the weight of the water pushing out...and dirt pushing in. The walls also provide a surface to apply a water sealant such as liner, poly, epoxy paint...etc. Never expect or use a sealant to hold back siginficant water pressure.
    First, I never did thank you, MCA, for responding to my posts. I guess nobody else like me. I also want to preface what I'm about to say that this data has nothing to do with sand collapsing in on the pond. I agree that if water saturates both sides of the liner, the liner will collapse in on its self. But whoever told you that poly does not have good mechanical strength was surely mistaken. I got a sample from the polyurea contractor I contracted. I took that sample in to work with me and did some tests on it. It was sprayed with a thickness of between 35 and 60 mils, averaging I would assume around 45 mil. A portion of the sample was placed on our calibrated tensile strength machine to see what the poly could withstand. The test stopped at 288 psi when the clamps actually slipped off of the material. The poly did not actually fail at that pressure. According to wiki answers and various other sources fresh water produces a pressure of approx 0.43 psi/ft depth. That would mean that a poly liner could support a pond depth of over 650 feet deep!

    Now granted, this sample was probably pretty new and not been aged by being under water and exposed to UV. So if we assume that you want to overdesign with a safty factor of 2, that would mean that a new pond should be just fine using poly alone if it was less than 300 feet deep. I don't know too many people who are willing to put in a koi pond 300 ft deep - myself included.

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