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Thread: Build materials question...

  1. #1
    Fry
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    Sep 2010
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    Build materials question...

    Hi All,

    I've started a backyard koi pond project and am looking for some advice on it's construction. The design will be a formal, raised pond (2.5' below ground & 1.5' above). I am about to pour footings which will be roughly on a 8'x4' perimeter. Based on these specs, I am anticipating a 900+ gallon pond. EPDM Liner will be used. My question is, will the "smaller" cement block support this pond or, do I have to move up to a standard size block? In either event, my plan is to use stone veneer to finish the design.

    current project state…
    Picasa Web Albums - Peter - Koi Pond

    Smaller Blocks…
    http://www.themagnolias.co.uk/images...e_blocking.jpg


    vs. Standard blocks…
    http://www.outsideconnection.com/gal...s/P1010005.JPG



    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Peter

  2. #2
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    First, an anticipated ~900 gallon capacity is very small for a koi pond. I would hope you plan on not more than 3-4 koi. Any chance for larger size and/or greater depth?

  3. #3
    Sansai
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    Hi Peter,
    I'll agree with MCA and can also speak from experience. I assume you plan on having this pond a while since you are pouring it....so do yourself a HUGE favor and seriously rethink what you're building. Now if you just want goldfish your plan would be plenty big enough for those, but if you want koi, then I don't think you will be happy with all your hard work and expense.
    Also don't forget the bottom drain.
    In 1997 we built a temporary structure for which to house our koi.......life happens and here we are at 2010 and I sure wish we would have built it at least 5000 gals. The one thing that I absolutely love about our pond is that it is out mostly out of the ground(3ft). We built ours out of landscape timbers and it is 4 1/2deep X X8X8ft. ....only about 2000 Gals. with filters...........We started out keeping 13 or 14 koi, but are now down to about 6, depending on which ones we keep in the qtank.
    It may seem like a lot of work and money to build a bigger pond, but if you go ahead and build the one you have posted, you will probably be ripping it out and building again in the near future......soooo.....building the bigger pond now is going to cost you less money....

  4. #4
    Fry
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    Thanks a bunch for the quick responses. While I may be able to squeeze out and additional foot here and there, I am somewhat limited in the real estate i'm able to use for this project. I did do some research and understand that a 1000 gallon pond is really a minimum volume for this type of thing. Having said that, I also think that we would be quite happy with 3-4 koi or, a bunch of fancy goldfish along with a waterfall and some vegetation.
    This is the design that really started all for us...
    YouTube - STONE POND AT SANDHOE REVISITED

    I am however very curious on how to implement a bottom drain. I understand the mechanics of laying the pipe and incorporating it into the liner - my issue is that I've spec'd out a Laguna Pressure Flo UV Pond Filter with the Max Flo submersible pump and I am not sure how the this would incorporate into a Bottom Drain setup??

    Any advise on the block construction?

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    MCA
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    3-4 koi or, a bunch of fancy goldfish along with a waterfall and some vegetation

    Your are describing a watergarden, not a koi pond. A koi pond is not a pond that happens to house koi. It is a pond designed to grow out and hose koi...which are large riverine carp. Being riverine, they are best served by relatively, large ponds with enougn length/width/depth for them to exercise. Also koi are also best served by serious currents...not by by the relatively still water of a water garden.

    Joiin a local koi club. You can find them listed by state at www.akca.org.

    Do so research. A good first book is Koi for Dummies. No insult meant; that is the name of the book. You can get it at Amazon or order from a local book store. Read it before making and serious designs or excavations!!!

    When talk koi ponds, we are talking ponds built on the principles you can see in the detailed pages at: A Guide to Modern Koi Pond Construction.. For example, our pond is 10,000 gallons with a depth of 8'. I would suggest the smallest koi pond should be in the 4000 gallon range. It is hard to give koi room to exercise in anything smaller.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  6. #6
    Fry
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    Thanks again for your input. The hundreds of 1000 gallon pond references (videos/how-to's, etc.) housing koi which are shown on the internet are very misleading - I guess. Thanks for your clarification - I will look for a "watergarden" type forum to post my construction questions.
    take care.

  7. #7
    Jumbo bighatbulls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titaniumpete View Post
    Thanks again for your input. The hundreds of 1000 gallon pond references (videos/how-to's, etc.) housing koi which are shown on the internet are very misleading - I guess. Thanks for your clarification - I will look for a "watergarden" type forum to post my construction questions.
    take care.
    The koi pond on you tube is very nice, however if I remember correctly is deeper than it is tall. Could you by chance eliminate one of your planter boxes and maybe go a foot or so deeper? Also plants and koi do not mix real well. Koi are notorious for plant shredding. You also need to think of plumbing. Bottom drains, a skimmer unit, these things make pond maintenence alot easier. And koi like to have current to swim against. Have you thought about filtration? What about aeration?

    MCA gave you alot of great advice, believe me they are looking out for you. Alot of time, effort, and money goes into building a pond. If you have to go back and change this and re-do that all of your time, effort, and money is wasted.

    I strongly urge you to contact your nearest koi club. You won't be sorry, and they will be happy to come out and have a look at what you have and make recomendations.

    Best of Luck
    Amanda Bulls-Stephens
    Creator of "The Tail End"
    Central California Koi Society

  8. #8
    MCA
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    The hundreds of 1000 gallon pond references (videos/how-to's, etc.) housing koi which are shown on the internet are very misleading - I guess
    You are correct. They are about ponds that happen to contain koi...not ponds purpose designed, built, and maintained as a home for koi. Look for info from the koi hobby organizations as they do not have any incentive but the health of your koi.

    Many of us on this site and more than a few others started with koi in a watergarden. Then we realized that that is the not the best way to care for koi. We joined koi clubs, did our research, and have spent quite a few years, collectively, keeping koi. Sorry if I have not provided the information you seek.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Even if it won't be a "proper" koi pond, you still should build it like it is. A bottom drain is a MUST, even in a water garden. Without it, you will be spending a lot of time with a pond vacuum. A bottom drain carries all of the debris on the bottom to waste.

    Now regarding your concrete block question. Concrete blocks really have very little strength against sideways forces. They are designed to be used to support loads above them, not to hold back water that is trying to push them outwards. To overcome this, you must use horizontal rebar at least on the top course and the 3rd course down. You don't necessarly need it on every course. These will be the courses subjected to the most pressure, since there will be no dirt against them. You will also need vertical rebar in every course. Then fill them solid with concrete. That kind of construction will stand up to whatever forces the water can dish out. You don't need to mortar the blocks together....just dry stack them. Onve you fill the voids with concrete, it will be very strong. Mortar is worthless against side pressure.

  10. #10
    Fry
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    Block construction

    post moved to a different website

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