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Thread: Phil's Koi Pond Experiment

  1. #1
    Fry
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    Phil's Koi Pond Experiment

    Once upon a time I had a real small (250 gallon) pond. But that was then and this is now. About two months ago I demo'd the pond and began planning my first true Koi pond. With the help of a whole bunch of really knowledgeable folks on (gasp) another site, I refined the project from an inadequate 3000 gallon design to a first rate 5000+ gallon project. Trust me, the journey was long and painful.

    I thought that I'd share the final design on this site to see if I someone had a different perspective before I actually started digging in the (hopefully) very near future. Now, I know that many (perhaps most) of the expert pond builders on this site have already commented on my build. If so, they can just give it a miss. However, if anyone has not seen it and wants to give me a shout out, I'd certainly appreciate your thoughts. So, without further ado, here's what I've come up with:

    General Design

    (1) Dimensions: Approx. 16' x 8' x 6.5' (5000+ gallons).
    (2) Contour: 5.5' straight drop to 12" radius edge to a slight slope (2") to drains. Water level set 4" below pond cap and bottom drains slightly recessed. Two supports for stepping stones will be built into shell at end closest to waterfall.
    (3) Waterfall: 6' (length) x 2.5" (weir width) x 2.5' (height)
    (4) Overall Flow: 9500 GPH (2,600 GPH to waterfall and 1,175 GPH to four 2" TPR’s and 2,200 to one 2" GPR). Pond turnover should be approximately 35 minutes.

    Materials

    (5) Material: Shotcrete w/ #3 rebar, spaced 3" inside shotcrete w/ Xypex Admix. Double coat of Xypex concentrate to interior of shotcrete. Finish: Black

    Equipment

    (6) Lights: Pentair Intellibrite 5G underwater LED light
    (7) Aeration: Medo Air Pump LA-80B

    Bottom Drain Circuit:

    (8) Koi Toilet I (2) both 3" aerated
    (9) Cetus Sieve Pre-filter w/ upgrade (in pit w/ drain line out to yard)
    (10) Refill line with a faucet valve to Cetus Pre-filter
    (11) Wave I 1/4 hp (projected)
    (12) Koi Shower
    (13) Return to pond via four 2" TPR’s (4,700 GPH)


    Skimmer Circuit:

    (14) Advantage Fish Safe Skimmer (modified to increase water flow)
    (15) Overflow pipe: Placed in Skimmer w/ 1.5" or 2" pipe
    (16) Wave II 1/3 hp w/leaf trap (projected)
    (17) Advantage 10 Bead Filter w/ Pro-head (hi-flow)
    (18) Emperor Aquatics HO80 UV (w/ by-pass)
    (19) Return to Pond via one GPR (2,200 GPH) and waterfall (2,600 GPH).

    Circulation

    (20) Wall Returns: As note above, there are five wall returns (four 2" TPRs approx. 16" off bottom of pond in corner areas and one 2" GPR between drains)

    Filter Pit

    (21) Behind guest house (about 24' from the pond) and about 12" below water level. Current plans are for Cetus and drain pipe to be set in a small 8' x 5' x 2' pit along w/ the 9 pipes and two airlines going to and from the pond. The two water pumps, air pump, Advantage Filter, and UV at ground level on a 8' x 5' concrete pad (which will be about 18" below water level), and the Shower will be raised approx. 12" above pond level on concrete blocks.

    Plumbing

    (22) See attached rough sketch.

    Electrical

    (23) Two separate 20amp circuits for each pump and an additional circuit for the UV and air pump. Three outlet boxes with at least two outlets a piece (as you can never have enough outlets).

    Concluding Thoughts:

    I'm calling this my final design, but as you all know I'm not sure there is any such thing until the shell is hardened and the plumbing installed. And, even then, it's most not likely not a final, final. In any event, if you have any thoughts, please let me know. That's especially true if anyone can tell me how I'm going to pay for all this and still be able to finish paying for my kids' education.

    Phil
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Phil's Koi Pond Experiment-plumbing-diagram-xvi.jpg  

  2. #2
    Meg
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    Oyagoi Meg's Avatar
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    double check, but I think you can plumb each bottom drain seperatly to the sieve instead of joining them before.
    when does the build start?

  3. #3
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meg View Post
    double check, but I think you can plumb each bottom drain seperatly to the sieve instead of joining them before.
    when does the build start?

    Meg,

    Thanks for the post. From everything I've read (and it's a lot at this point), the Cetus is a great prefilter. It does, however, have certain limitations, the first is that it can only handle 4,750 GPH. Therefore, folks w/ multiple 4" bottom drains have to get multilpe Cetus Sieves unless they really want to restric the flow through their pipes and risk not having them swept properly. As far as I can tell, they also only have one 4" inlet. See http://www.koi.com/filtration/img/Cetus%20Manual.pdf. Therefore, I'm planning on tieing my 3" bottom drains together with a wye leading to a 4" pipe that will tie into the inlet. I'm also going to install a 4" knife valve directly before the Cetus inlet.

    As far as the build, it will most likely begin today. If you're interested, you can check out the action on Koiphen. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed that I received absolutely no feedback -- prior to your post -- on Koi-bito. So, while I'll still look at the posts on this site, I'll probably stick to posting on Koiphen where I've got a tremendous amount of feedback on my pond build.

    Thanks for your interest and your post,

    Phil

  4. #4
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    I will be surprised if only a bead filter with 4.25 cubic feet of beads will be enough biological filtration for a 5000 gallon pond (even with a UV light).

    Prove me wrong, but I am seeing a lot of Koi ponds filtered with only a bead filter plus UV with algae issues.

  5. #5
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I will be surprised if only a bead filter with 4.25 cubic feet of beads will be enough biological filtration for a 5000 gallon pond (even with a UV light).

    Prove me wrong, but I am seeing a lot of Koi ponds filtered with only a bead filter plus UV with algae issues.
    Ric-

    Sorry, I can't prove you wrong. I agree. Reliance on just a bead filter (which is backwashed every week) for bio-filtration appears to be playing Russian roulette. Indeed, that's why I have a Koi Shower (w/ 4 cu. feet MP2C filter media) on my bottom drain circuit. I'm figuring that bad boy, a Cetus Sieve, the Advantage 10 Bead Filter, and the 80 watt UV should do the trick on a 5000 gallon pond. I was, in fact, contemplating additional bio filtration in my waterfall, but I'm not sure it's needed (and always something I can add later).

    All the best,

    Phil

  6. #6
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLBHalpern View Post
    Ric-

    Sorry, I can't prove you wrong. I agree. Reliance on just a bead filter (which is backwashed every week) for bio-filtration appears to be playing Russian roulette. Indeed, that's why I have a Koi Shower (w/ 4 cu. feet MP2C filter media) on my bottom drain circuit. I'm figuring that bad boy, a Cetus Sieve, the Advantage 10 Bead Filter, and the 80 watt UV should do the trick on a 5000 gallon pond. I was, in fact, contemplating additional bio filtration in my waterfall, but I'm not sure it's needed (and always something I can add later).

    All the best,

    Phil
    I did not see the shower filter.

    That should make it alright!


  7. #7
    Meg
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    ok Phil, I see what you have planned. I just knew that there were two inlets into the sieve...thats why I said double check! and it seems you have lol! I have only just started to look into the option of using a sieve.

    perhaps you have not gotten a lot of feed back because there is not a lot to add, seems you have things covered for what you are building.
    and please put together a build thread. you may not get a lot of smiley faces and cushy feel good post to it but I promise the good folks here will give you a heads up if they see something that could be done better or easier as you progress.....and there are novice lurkers needing to learn.
    besides everyone always like to watch a good pond build!

  8. #8
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meg View Post
    ok Phil, I see what you have planned. I just knew that there were two inlets into the sieve...thats why I said double check! and it seems you have lol! I have only just started to look into the option of using a sieve.

    perhaps you have not gotten a lot of feed back because there is not a lot to add, seems you have things covered for what you are building.
    and please put together a build thread. you may not get a lot of smiley faces and cushy feel good post to it but I promise the good folks here will give you a heads up if they see something that could be done better or easier as you progress.....and there are novice lurkers needing to learn.
    besides everyone always like to watch a good pond build!
    Will do. In fact, I'll do a quick digging post right now and see what response -- if any -- I get.

  9. #9
    Tosai
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    I hope the 3" bottom drains work for you, if you have any trees near you may want to go to 4". A good windstorm or heavy rain I get enough leaves and/or twigs that the skimmer can't get it all and I end up with a plugged bottom drain. I went with 3" to save a few bucks and wish I would have put in 4". I did only put in 1 where I see you have 2.

  10. #10
    Fry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Weber View Post
    I hope the 3" bottom drains work for you, if you have any trees near you may want to go to 4". A good windstorm or heavy rain I get enough leaves and/or twigs that the skimmer can't get it all and I end up with a plugged bottom drain. I went with 3" to save a few bucks and wish I would have put in 4". I did only put in 1 where I see you have 2.
    Ron,

    Good points. In fact, I'm cutting down a Bougainvillaea as it would drop too many leaves. Otherwise, I should be ok.

    I gave the idea of two 4" bottom drains much thought, but in the end concluded that they solve some problems, but raise others. So, it was two 3" drains unless I wanted to spring for another Cetus Sieve (which I didn't) and increase my flow rate to a point that could sweep both drians in an acceptable manner. If my pond was over 6,000 gallons that would have been my pick, but not w/ my "tweener" pond.

    Hope that answers your questions,

    Phil

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