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    Thread: the 300,000 gal. mud pond challenge

    1. #1
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      the 300,000 gal. mud pond challenge

      I've been waiting eight months to post this thread.

      Last March, 2009, this mud pond was dug in good clay soil. We didn't have a spring as a water source in or near the new pond. Instead we planned to draw water off a spring-fed brook that came from a field above me.

      We put in a bottom drain, not as expensive or sophisticated as the agra drain we used for the "lake" used for the "ki-shusui project" , see link.

      http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...89#post1689489

      the drain ran to a gate valve and from there to a ditch and field.

      We calculated that this pond had a capacity of 250,000 -300,000 gallons.

      The shape was dug freehand behind a small antique barn which is now the pump house. the length is approx. 130 feet long by 40 feet wide by 10-12 feet deep.

      these first pictures are of the construction, with some close-ups of the drain.
      And not long after this, THE CHALLENGE began.
      Attached Images Attached Images           



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




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      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
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    2. #2
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      1st attempt at turning dry hole into a pond

      The inflow from the brook worked perfectly. Fresh spring water poured through the 4" drain filling the pond in only two days.

      the idea of using this pond to breed koi was exciting. we could drain the pond with the gate valve. refill in two days. and the sneaker-shaped footprint had a natural box canyon in the shallower "heel" portion of the pond, perfect pond for seining.


      Here are pictures of the pond filling.
      note the third picture which shows the shallower bowl of the "heel" section, where we planned to herd fish when pulling the pond.
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      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

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    3. #3
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      filling the lower pond, continued.

      Last day of march. excitment builds. a couple of rocks sitting where there will be water are removed to prevent spawning injuries. i admire the pond and tell the basement koi that their lovely home will have morning and noon sun, filtered afternoon sun, a background of lovely trees.
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      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    4. #4
      cindy's Avatar
      cindy is offline Moderator ~ WWKC Vice President ~
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      My opinions in ER and on this forum are mine only. Use my advice at your own discretion.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."


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    5. #5
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      cut to July 2

      The basement koi are ready for liberation -- but the lower pond does not hold water. what's going on? could we possibly have a leak? OMG.

      Decision is made to put the basement koi in "the lake" 150 feet up hill from the lower pond.
      The lake is larger.
      It has it's own water sources -- multiple. springs and it's own little spring fed brook. This pond will be harder to refill. It will take a month as it did this year for the springs to produce 400,000 gallons (or more). but we cannot chance putting koi in the lower pond if it does not hold water.

      below, the lower pond, still not full.
      not pictured, pond contractor and pond owner very worried. after all, contractor has never dug a dry pond before, owner had been saying, "make it as big as you can." and now -- we're seeing a very iffy future for the lower pond.


      here is a link to "the lake" between 400-500,000 gallons, uphill from the lower pond. http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97360
      Attached Images Attached Images     
      Last edited by Koigrl; 11-05-2009 at 01:17 PM.



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    6. #6
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      lower pond, july 17 - august 4, 2009

      the first photo in this set is the lower pond just before it flushed like a toilet!
      believe it or not, it was not evident where the water was going. best theories of the time were that it was seeping along a vein of shale. could be.


      we emptied the pond and steve (pond contractor) came in and back-filled some in the shallow end. i don't think i documented every step along the way, but this was done more than once. lower the water, back-fill and tamp down with excavator shovel, refill.

      and so begins the bentonite chapters -- see last two pics.

      with the help of gene winstead, we located a bentonite producer in wyoming and trucked in 20,000 pounds of bentonite in 50 lb. sacks.

      Steve's guys emptied the pond, dumped in the bentonite, packed it down with the shovel -- probably should have rototilled, but the slippery quality of this clay cannot be imagined.

      made of volcanic ash and clay, bentonite is super-fine powder, oily when wet. it actually sent up a plume of clay that looked like smoke when the guys were putting it down. guys were coated with it. pond was coated with it. the pond was mucked about with the shovel and we refilled from the brook again.

      and, the water receded again.
      see last picture in this set.
      that caked looking gray stuff is drying out bentonite.
      Attached Images Attached Images    



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    7. #7
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      Aug. 16

      More disturbing news in mid-august.

      sunfish were discovered in the lower pond. a few six-inchers.
      my nephew, stepson and i tracked the brook upfield (trespassed), and found the source of the brook was a well-stocked pond; well-stocked with bass and sunfish.

      now i understood that my brook water source was polluted with predator fish -- i learned that sunfish are brook swimmers -- as well as eggs and any parasites on the move. I closed up the pipe from the brook.

      with no water coming in from the brook, the amount of leakage could no longer be denied.
      Attached Images Attached Images      



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    8. #8
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      sept. 14, 2009. The leak is found!

      We had opened the gate valve outflow and capped off the brook inflow. the pond drained to the dregs.
      amazing!

      a hole the size of a cocoanut was discovered roughly in line with the drainage pipe, but was not a leak in the pipe -- in case my plumbing friends have thought it was the plumbing all this time -- it was in fact, exposed shale.

      pictured, a broom stuck into the hole.
      the broom handle went down a couple of feet and when used as a stirrer, you could feel grit. like shale.

      also pictured, poor steve, thinking oh, man, will this job never end.
      he says to me, "We're in this together."

      i still had about 800 lbs of bentonite in the little barn. the heavy equipment came back in and Steve packed more clay around any possible aperture.

      but by this time in the late summer the water table was lowering and the brook was bone dry.

      Had the hole in the pond been sealed?
      we did not know.
      and we still don't know.

      currently, as of Nov. 1, 2009 -- (not pictured)
      we are filling the pond from the brook. the water is freezing cold. we have a perforated pipe so that no fish can swim through and there should be no eggs or parasites for the rest of the year.

      once we know if the pond will hold water, i have to figure out a new water source.

      there is not enough reliable overflow from the lake to fill the lower pond and i hesitate to use the well that serves the house.

      i have called a well driller and with luck, he will tell me that a dedicated well for the lower pond will be possible.

      more pictures to come as the pond fills and we learn if the lower pond will hold water.
      stay tuned
      Attached Images Attached Images    
      Last edited by Koigrl; 11-05-2009 at 02:03 PM.



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    9. #9
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      Wow, Max! That's quite a saga, best of luck!!

    10. #10
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      Yes. That has got to be a bit frustrating but, at least it sounds like you have a good contractor that doesnt just walk away from it. Best of luck pluging this leak.

    11. #11
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      airic, yes, so right about the contractor. he's talented and he's honest -- and neither one of us could see through twelve feet of dirt to that shale vein. i should know if the pond holds in another few days. crossing fingers.



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    12. #12
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      I feel as if the story is almost over... the poor saga of the hole that could hold no water!

      YAY Max!
      ~Melissa



      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      There's a saying, " Knowledge is power, but a little knowledge is dangerous"!!!

    13. #13
      cindy's Avatar
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      make sure to have some ropes to grab hold of, those steep sides scare me.
      My opinions in ER and on this forum are mine only. Use my advice at your own discretion.

      "Our goal is to assist with emergency and Koi health issues, as well as educate on best practices. Please help us gain a clear picture by giving the original poster time to answer our questions before offering opinions and suggested treatments."


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    14. #14
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      thank yew, m. i do persevere.
      cindy, you're right. i will have ropes. pity the poor deer that falls in. i DID fall in when it had water in it. the bentonite is like grease. i garfielded myself against the walls and said, I will not die in this pond!!!! i inched myself up the slope. what a nightmare. but see, i was thinking about foiling that big blue bird.



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    15. #15
      Gene's Avatar
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      At least you finally know where the water was going! :sad:
      Gene




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    16. #16
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      gene, into a ditch we think, down at the bottom of the road, lol. mystery solved. still don't know if the danged thing holds water, but am filling it up, giving it a shot.



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


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    17. #17
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      update on the leaky pond. :gack:

      The brook is rushing and since well-mannered predator fish aren't spawning this time of year, i'm letting the pond fill. The water level has raised and lowered, repeat, and is now holding at about three feet below the top, so probably seven feet at the deep end, five feet at the shallow end.


      waiting for cow poo
      or other suggestions from mud-ponders.
      latest pics, taken this week.
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      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    18. #18
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      Hi!
      Just thought i'd pass on something I learnt from my small mud pond.
      I have very sandy/loamy soil here and knew I would have trouble sealing my pond but in addition to getting some good clay carted in for the bottom I also spread and mixed in sodium bentonite around the sides to help seal it.
      Once filled I was getting seepage on the sides as well as loss of water from evaporation and the wick effect of the water rising up the sides of the pond. I was lucky enough that I had sealed the bottom well with pure clay and I assume that it was seeping a little but would take up with time (it did). Some seepage is natral and wanted as that is how natural ponds don't become cess pools.
      The sides I still had problems with so I spread more sodium bentonite on the water around the edges and then put in a few air stones on the bottom of the pond to create a current so the bentonite stayed in suspension through the water column. After a week the pond filled totally for the first time and has stayed that way with a small continuous top up ( a 1/2" tap just cracked). This is just to make up for evaporation and the small amount of natural seepage you get on mud ponds.
      My thoughts on why this worked is because the suspended bentonite will be drawn to any areas that seep/leak and then start to fill the voids and self seal them.
      I know that it probably won't work with large holes/leaks but if you have fixed those and only have wall seepage problems now as opposed to outright leaks then I think this method may help.

      Cheers
      Bindi
      Last edited by Bindi; 12-01-2009 at 10:47 PM.

    19. #19
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      bindi, that is a super idea!
      i have an air pump in that little barn and i have even hooked up an airstone set-up and never used it. we have tried to seal the walls of the pond, but it hasn't worked. i started with clay/loam rather than sandy loam and my contractor had been sure it would hold water as two ponds within 150 feet of this one held water fine. i do think we hit a shale vein somewhere, but i cannot see it. we sealed the hole with the broomstick in it, but the leaking problem is the same. water rises, water falls.
      i think your idea of keeping the clay in suspension is a good one.
      i wish there was time to do what you suggest before we get into deep winter. but i don't know if i can get someone to shovel clay in these temperatures. i saw ice around the edges of this pond, today.
      at any rate, bindy, this is an excellent idea, makes total sense and if i can't do it now, we'll give it a shot in the spring. i still have a thousand pounds of sodium bentonite, and that hole isn't going anywhere!



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    20. #20
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      P.S. was advised against poo and we will not be doing that.



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2017 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

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