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  • pond building, sharing knowlege

    this weekend The north idaho Koi Keepers meet to put on a program for those building new ponds. The effort before this meeting was to gather input from those who had built ponds before and what they would change to accomodate what they learned since then. I was very impressed with the concept of the program and thought it timely for the growng membership. NIKK (nicky) as it is called has applied for friendship status affiliation with ZNA.

    Since we can't all be there, there's no reason why we can't share some learned applications of our on. What would you have to share that you would change since the last pond (re) build?
    Dick Benbow
  • #2

    Great subject.

    I wish....

    1. That I had put in an extra drain/exit and return(s) so I could add another independent filtration system without having to reconfigure the existing systems to accomodate something new. If I had, I'd add to what I have. As it is, a reconfiguration is too challenging and I won't add plumbing lines that require breaking through the pond wall (and tearing up landscaping established around the pond). There will always be something new come along that the pondkeeper will want. Adding some plumbing for future use is so much cheaper if done during the initial construction.

    2. All valves were easy to reach without bending and contorting. That one that's inconvenient becomes more inconvenient as the years go by.

    3. Water line(s) supplying the pond should be as large in diameter as can be practically installed to shorten the time it takes when adding water to the pond.

    4. The pond was designed for constant in-flow of fresh water... and discharge of the overflow direct to the garden.

    5. Wastewater disposal had been thought through better: A major limitation on speeding up my weekly maintenance is that all wastewater gets discharged to a sump where it is pumped into the garden. (How I wish I was on a hill so wastewater did not have to be pumped!) The rate of pumping out of the sump limits the rate at which waste water can be discharged into the sump. Put in a bigger sump than you think necessary. And consider where your wastewater goes. Since my wastewater goes into the garden, I cannot use salt in the pond and must be sure all chemical treatments are fully degraded prior to discharge to avoid injury to garden plantings. An alternate disposal system would be handy.


    Another point I'd emphasize is that we often say, 'build it bigger'. However, it should not be larger than the hobbyist has time to maintain it. A pond can be too big for the hobbyist. Mine is fine (12,500 U.S. gallons) for me. I think 20,000 gallons would be too much for me to deal with. Similarly, the width of my pond is OK for me, but too wide for easily catching fish. Be ready to do extra work if the pond is more than about 10-feet wide. Somewhere around 12-feet, simple chores become complex to perform.

    Suggestion: If there is a pond that seems to be just what you want, ask the owner if you can help them perform their weekly maintenance for a couple of weeks. Then decide if you really want to copy what they have.

    Comment

    • #3

      I wish I had the cubic dollars needed to make it concrete etc...outside of that I would have gone deeper.
      Koi-Unit

      ZNA Potomac Koi Club

      Comment

      • #4

        I just added a 10K pond to my existing 5K pond, I found this:

        1. It is a way bigger job than you imagine, but

        2. Do it, quit talking about, get started, you can do it.

        3. A plan is good, but when the shovel goes in the ground useful options appear.

        4. Use big pipes and gravity to your advantage.

        5. Submersible pumps are not the most efficient but they are so quiet.

        6. For a liner pond:
        a. Use Uni-seals instead of bulkheads (4” ones!).
        b. Use pipe boots instead of bulkheads (ease and cheap).
        c. Use standpipes (they work great, cost nothing and are so old school).
        d. Yes you can join liner pieces together (but follow directions and have a helper).
        e. How you are going to catch fish in this pond (especially little ones when it spawns)?
        f. It will cost you at least twice what you tell your wife!

        Comment

        • #5

          Originally posted by RobF View Post
          6. For a liner pond:
          a. Use Uni-seals instead of bulkheads (4” ones!).
          b. Use pipe boots instead of bulkheads (ease and cheap).
          I can understand using pipe boots on a liner pond, what do you mean by "use Uni-seals"?

          Comment

          • #6

            Here is one of mine
            Regards Eugene
            BUILDING AN INDOOR POND


            This series of images shows the step by step construction of the Indoor Greenhouse Pond. I decided it would serve the dual purpose of a greenhouse photo studio with a garden theme pond. The pond is fully functional and heated for year round use.
            The greenhouse is 30' wide by 60' long. In this photo you can see the iron corner and wall anchors embedded in cement columns formed by sono tubes. Note the cement block ground frost walls for the stone waterfall where I am standing. Eventually 2" thick rigid foam insulation was applied on the exterior of the frost walls. The closest corner in the photo is where the tea garden area is located, the brick wall actually sits on this foundation.
            An excavator was brought in to do the digging. At this time the hole for the indoor pond was dug and a well in the north east corner just outside the building perimeter. I had already dug a test hole for the well to test for water. I was extremely fortunate as the water flow was very good, so much so that when the time came to install the well tiles, they had to be done immediately to avoid a cave in. At this time the big decorative rocks were moved into place while there was room for the equipment to maneuver.
            Shown here is the excavation which is 6ft. deep, note how the soft sand has slid in from the sides. In the centre of the pond the sand is a little darker due to moisture in it. Due to the soil conditions I then planned to put in a standard 18" foundation and build up the pond walls with cement blocks. To use a rubber liner under these conditions wasn't possible, I didn't have the room around the perimeter to spare to provide the long slope.
            All excavating is done at this point and some back filling has been completed. Planning is vital, moving the large rocks into position with the excavator at this time may seem premature but would be an impossible task once the building was up. At the front of the photo note the ground frost wall to support the waterfall. These walls were built on a conventional cement footing, and on top, a reinforced cement pad was poured for plenty of support. Two unexpected things were discovered during this time, one that the walls of the pond were mostly sand, and at the bottom of the excavation although getting rocky, water was encountered.
            The outside greenhouse structure is moving along here and it was at this time I decided it would be a good idea to plan for a service room. The small building on the left side with the white door houses the electrical panel, oil fired furnace and water heater. This is the source of the hot water that circulates through the heating coils embedded right in the cement floor of the pond.
            With the greenhouse all closed in it's now possible to continue working inside regardless of the weather. By this time I had decided to go with a cement pond and forget about using rubber liner. A connecting pad would have to be poured between the waterfall and the pond. Cement walls creating the space for the filter units would also have to put in. The challenge was to have as many things prepared and ready to do as much cement poring at once.
            Here the filter chamber walls are shown ready for pouring. Near the top of the photo you can see the large opening in the north wall because the waterfall will be constructed from the outside. Note the exterior pond block wall in the filter chamber (near small steps). For added strength and support I eventually poured a secondary cement wall (top to bottom) where I couldn't back fill.
            In this view you can seen see the filter chamber walls have been poured and the filter units are in position. The complicated plumbing can now be planned. Take notice of the cement pad in the bottom of the pond. Two bottom drains have been located as well as their pipes. In this photo a clear view of the space between the pond and the left building wall can be seen that eventually became the vegetation canal.
            In this photo the pond floor is ready to be poured. The bottom drains have had covers installed over them to keep debris from falling in. Rigid foam insulation is installed with the heating coils on top of that.. see the article "Heating the 7000 gallon Indoor Pond"
            The pond base has been poured, and steeply sloped to create a more concave bottom. Aerated bottom drain installations normally do not need this amount of slope to work properly, I however needed the extra strength because my work flow did not allow for a continuous pour of the foundation walls and base. On the other hand the extra slope towards the pond center keeps debris moving in the direction of the bottom drains.
            The secondary cement wall by the filter units can be seen, most of the waterfall is up, and the top pond perimeter is ready for the cement form to create the cap that will hold the decorative stones all the way around. The space between the pond and the waterfall and the pond has yet to be configured.
            The wall cap has been poured and sits atop the cement block pond walls around the complete perimeter. The cap resembles a curb which is about 6" x 6" and will make it easier to position the decorative rocks that will be sitting partially in the water. Rocks without sharp edges or corners were chosen to avoid fish injuries. The rocks will be mortared into place using the waterproofing agent Albitol generously mixed in with the mortar. the same procedure could be used for a rubber liner pond. Any exposed mortar must be painted to avoid leaching lime into the pond.
            At the south end of the pond a cement form is being built into which a skimmer is being placed. This is a standard swimming pool model, if I had to do it again I'd used one with a bigger opening because of water level fluctuations. When performing water changes and filter flushing the skimmer pump has to be turned off. The wiring seen in the photo is for the skimmer pump. Skimmed water that enters the skimmer is pumped around pond the corner underground and dumped at the top of a baki shower. The skimmer when finished will be completely built into the pond wall cap.
            Here is a good view of the completed spillway connecting the pond and the waterfall. The pond, perimeter cap, and the spillway have all been parged with waterproofing in the mortar. Look closely at the left side of the photo and you will see a space between the pond cap and the building wall. This later becomes a vegetation canal running the complete length of the pond and is fed with water from the skimmer at the far end and enters the pond again through a small spillway. This system helps remove nitrates. Plant roots provide a great place for bacteria to colonize. It also helps remove the bubbles, and the fine oily water film.
            The pond is now ready for an application of paint. Black Armatar was used. This is a highly toxic epoxy based thick paint designed for use around swimming pools and fish farms. It's available in a variety of colours and the manufacturer does state it to be fish-friendly.
            The pond is now completely painted except where the decorative stones will sit, this area will be painted after the stones are in place. The filters are in place and everything is ready for quick water flow test as soon

            Comment

            • #7

              I learned from our friends at BKKS many years ago to go semi raised. We did that on our TX pond and on the current one. Semi raised provides greater depth and volume for a given excavation depth. It makes capture much easier. Observation is easier as the fish are closer to you. Provides seating.

              45 degree corners with a skimmer in each corner opposite a waterfall or shower return. This prevents floating debris hanging in corners.
              Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

              Comment

              • #8

                am i the only one that see red X on eugeneg post
                REALLY want to see it
                Paul Korf

                member of:
                Midwest Pond and Koi Society
                Louisville Koi club
                IKONA

                Comment

                • #9

                  Originally posted by pskorf View Post
                  am i the only one that see red X on eugeneg post
                  REALLY want to see it
                  No, I see the "red X's" too. It means the pictures did not load through the server I am using to access the internet, but I have lots of challenges with my ISP so it is not surprising to me......

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    my pond at 17 feet wide is WAY to wide when trying to catch
                    i was thinking about 12 or so but see Mike posted 12 is to wide also.
                    i do like the width for the koi as they can swim length wise and across pond or kiddy corner with out making a "school " effect and need to swim together.i just use a seine net to corral them for ease of catching.does i just do not go out and catch a koi to measure for heck of cause it is a job but maybe that is not such a bad thing to leave them alone.
                    Paul Korf

                    member of:
                    Midwest Pond and Koi Society
                    Louisville Koi club
                    IKONA

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Originally posted by pskorf View Post
                      am i the only one that see red X on eugeneg post
                      REALLY want to see it
                      No red Xs... I see blue question marks (no pictures).

                      I too really want to see the pictures.

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Originally posted by ricshaw View Post
                        No red Xs... I see blue question marks (no pictures).

                        I too really want to see the pictures.
                        Here is a link to where he copied it from. You'll be able to see the pics there and its pretty impressive.

                        GREENHOUSE CONSTRUCTION
                        Koi-Unit

                        ZNA Potomac Koi Club

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          Originally posted by jnorth View Post
                          Here is a link to where he copied it from. You'll be able to see the pics there and its pretty impressive.

                          GREENHOUSE CONSTRUCTION
                          Thanks!! I like the pond.


                          Comment

                          • #14

                            This discussion topic has been done so many times before on this forum.... and it's a great little exercise for everyone to go through, every time. So here's my 'do-over' list:

                            1) Use BIG pipes, as mentioned previously.... 3" min. for drain lines, refill, etc.

                            2) DON'T use 'stacked stone' for a 'cool look' near the top of the pond as I did. It truly makes the pond look like a natural grotto, but as it extends 10" or so down from the lip of the pond, and down a couple of inches below the water line, I now have to consider dropping my water level below all that rock to prevent spawning injuries at 'that time' of the year. (Don't know what I was thinking when I did this... so please don't ask!)

                            3) Thought I'd maximized my pond size for the relatively small side-yard area I had to work with. In retrospect, could have bumped it out a few more inches, made do do with a little less patio, and picked up another 1,000 gallons. More water = more space for more gosanke!

                            4) And what I'll bet is the number one 'lament' of most 'wish-I-could-do-it-over' pond builders -- go deeper. Mine is over 5 feet deep, but why the hell didn't I go 6 feet? Or more? And lest anyone try to tell you it gets harder to catch fish at these depths, the solution is simple. You can drop the water level a third, jump in and use a good, LARGE, long handled net (Matsuda if you an afford it). Deeper = more gosanke! (see above)

                            Happy Pond Building....

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              If I could do it all over again I would build a gunnite pond 25 ft long by 8 feet wide. Bottom sloping from 5 ft to 7 ft. A gunnite filter chamber would be built with a common wall parallel on one side 25 ft long, 5 ft wide and 5 ft deep covered by removable desk sections. Total gallons would be about 15,000. Four inch PVC pipes would connect a covered drainage gutter running the width of the deep end of the pond to the mid level of of the 1st of five chambers in the filter. 1st filter chamber would be settlement tank. Next chamber a 2nd settlement tank with brushes, next two chamber would be moving bed filters using kaldenness and final chamber would be Japanese matting. The only thing that stops me from building it is my age and lack of funds. But I hope to see something like it built somewhere. The closest I have seen in America are the newer ponds at Purdin Koi farm.
                              Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

                              Comment

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