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Thread: Newbie question - Bottom Drain plumbing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Newbie question - Bottom Drain plumbing

    Hi folks,

    I am in the process of building my first pond. It will be 9' X 9' X 6' (1.5' above ground, 4.5' below ground) formal pond - (3600 ish)

    I am planning to use Rhino 4" bottom drain with a Vortex SC. I have talk with a couple of pond builders and get a couple of different answers. I hope someone here can help me out.

    Here is some newbie questions:

    1) What type of pipes should I use for with the bottom drain and the rest of the plumbing?
    • Schedule 40 PVC
    • Schedule 80 PVC
    • ABS
    2) Anyone with experience on the No-niche skimmer? Pro/Con

    3) Would 4 jets be enough for a pond this size? penductor?

    4) At what point do I reduce the 4" pipe from the SC to 2.5" to feed my pump?

    5) 80watts UV be enough?


  2. #2
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    While 6' is good depth for a koi pond, 9x9 does not leave any room for an adult koi (that can easily be in the 24-26" range) any horizontal to exercise. Something like 8x16 would give the koi much more room.

    Rhino drains (with air domes) are good units. Gravity feed via 4" pipe to a SC is a good approach. You did not mention what biological chambers are after the SC.

    I use schedule 40 pipe and fittings. I have never had one break from water pressure.

    Personally I do not like noniche skimmers ask they have limited flow, small basket, and are something for a fish to hit in the pond. bad karma. You can easily put one or more swimming pool filters (in black) that feed a pump that feeds filters such as showers.

    Personally I do not use tangental pond returns via jets. Jets just add backpressure on a water pump. If you want to move the water in the pond, be sure to have an air dome on top of the Rhino. It will cause the water to rotate to the surface causing gas exchange and also sweeps debris to the BD. Also you will get another current if you have a skimmer(s0 on one end that feeds showers that return water on the other end of the pond.

    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Fremont, CA
    I've never seen sch 40 fail but 80s not all that more expensive and there's no reason not to do it on inaccessible locations.

    Do look into stretching the pond out in one direction.

    TPRs are good but not with jets which use too much power. The TPRs give the water angular momentum which is aided by both the air dome and bottom drain.

    If you're using an SC, it's a good idea to bypass it and go directly to the pump. You can do it with one pump.

    Most hobbyist don't build a really effective SC, particularly on large enough. Eliminating the 1000 gal or so of skimmer flow will help and the SC won't do much at all for the material picked up by the skimmer.

    If you go directly to the/a pump, use some kind of basket to keep the waste from plugging up the impeller. Also, if paralleling the skimmer & BDs the skimmer line should be close to the same size as the BD line in order for it to parallel w/o valving down the BD line. You pay for that pump to move water, not make up for small skimmer lines.

    Your mentioning jets. Some people use jets to exercise koi. That's a very good idea but you can install a large pump and cycle it on a couple of times a day for an hour w/o spending the money to provide exercise 24/7. If you go this rout, try to create a location, in the pond, for the koi to get out of the jet stream and rest if it needs to.

    No-niche no!

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