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  • Results 1 to 20 of 20

    Thread: DIY Pond build planning and execution

    1. #1
      Shortera is offline Junior Member
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      DIY Pond build planning and execution

      Looking at building a pond next spring, and starting to plan now. A little backstory and info. I have talked about koi and a pond being a nice addition yo the backyard with my wife. As a surprise I came home to two small pet store koi in the 50 gallon fish tank and permission to build a pond in the spring! As the koi grow they may have to move to a stock tank. Please don't beat me up over their current housing, I know it is less then ideal. Some details: We live in northeast Ohio. Zone 6b. Summer can get up to 100 for several days. A lot of upper 80's and 90's. Winter is snowy and icy. January and Februaryare coldest with negative possible and likely. Frost depth about 2 feet. I am planning on a rubber liner pond, with rocks on a perimeter bond beam and a waterfall. Original intent was next to our house, but would not be able to easily hide the filters, or landscape it into surroundings. So my plan is to place it on side of yard and hide the filters behind the waterfall. I want to DIY as much as I can, but will purchase filters, etc if it makes since. I have been reading on here about different filters, and how to make them. I will post up sketches I have drawn. I may go bigger to increase the water volume, but shape will remain the same. I'm not sure on liner type, etc. so I will take considerations. I have been looking at epdm, and HDRPE. The HDRPE has same warranty as the epdm, and is cheaper in price and shipping. Current pond volume is 3100 gallon, and for same cost I could easily get over 5000 gallons with the HD. Is anyone using it? I'm open to ideas on filter types and styles. I have an IBC tote that I am planning on using for a settlement chamber for a 4" bottom drain. Should I use multiple types of filters? Suck out of the settlement chamber and pump it out to multiple branches? Was thinking of using moving media in 55 gallon drums, sand and gravel, UV. I am also open to the anoxic filtration, ERIC filters, and whatever else is out there. Should I plan on running the skimmer on a seperate circuit with its own pump, or up the volume of one pump to pull from skimmer and settlement chamber? Can I do this in stages? Get liner, settlement chamber, skimmer and pump in with one filter at it's max flow and then branch off with more filtration, as more fish are added. I look forward to ideas, help and inspiration, and thank you in advance.
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    2. #2
      MCAsan's Avatar
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      Personally I find no value in a slopped floor. A genlle slope will not make debris roll to the BD once bioflim grows on the liner. What most debris i the current created by rising column of air from the BD's air dome. And of course TPRs don't hurt either. Stick with 6' depth across the floor to get more pond volume below your frost depth. Also consider putting a 2' block wall on top the bond beam to give more depth, water volume, and provide for seating. Instead of a waterfall, put in a shower that sits on top of the pond wall.

    3. #3
      icu2's Avatar
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      Welcome and thanks for joining Koiphen!

      HDPE is very difficult to fold well and is much stiffer than EPDM. I'd stick with EPDM.
      The steps will make installing the liner very difficult without a lot of folds. I'd consider not using them.
      I'm a big fan of using 2 different circuits for the BD and skimmer. Remember that you don't necessarily
      have to have filtration right next to the pond... it can often times be hidden elsewhere and feed the pond
      from a distance.
      Consider a sieve instead of a settling chamber using the tote. They're well worth the money imo.

      Good luck with the build! I hope you'll share the adventure when you get started!
      --Steve
      Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    4. #4
      birdman's Avatar
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      I agree with Steve on the Sieve. Well worth the extra money. I would never build a pond with out one. The Aqua Forte Ultra Sieve 111 with it's two 4" inlets can take both a BD and a skimmer.
      55 gallon M/B filters and S/G filters are both good choices if you have the room. If doing this I would go with 2 of each, which flow wise is a perfect match for the Ultra Sieve 111.

    5. #5
      Shortera is offline Junior Member
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      Thanks for the replies and ideas. McAsan it is good to know I don't need the slope. That definitely will add water volume. I never thought about using a shower. That is a great idea asxnd if I do the block for extra height I could put it by the house as a stand alone feature of the backyard. I also would be able to lose the steps like Icu2 suggested. Only reason i was putting them in so if one of the kids got too close. Whether it is the 2 leg or 4 leg variety. Actually would be more worried about the 4 legged ones... I have thought about 2 circuits. Be a little more electric to run, but I like the redundancy of 2 pumps if one breaks, or I need to work on/maintain one of the circuits. The sieve is a definite want, but I will probably start with the ibc chamber, and have everything plumbed to upgrade to the sieve. I know the birdman settlement chamber works. I am using it on the small duck pond. I just need to set up some bio filtration on it. Probably going to just go with an aquaculture setup back there to grow greens for the chickens and ducks. But that's a different topic. Thank you birdman for the mention of the m/b and s/g filters. If I do the 2 circuits would I want a pump in the skimmer, or be better off to bring 4" out of skimmer into filter pit, and then reduce down to an external pump?

    6. #6
      birdman's Avatar
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      Run your 4" BD through the settlement tank, and run a 4" skimmer around the settlement chamber. Come out of the settlement chamber with a 2" and reduce the skimmer from 4" to 2" here and tie them both together, with a tee, with a 2" single union ball valve on each line for flow control. Run the center of the Tee to the suction go a external pump then through your UV and to the M/Bs and S/Gs.
      Doing it this way you have two 4" lines coming in if you want to add a sieve latter on.
      I would also put a 4" knife valve on each line just inside the filter pit.

    7. #7
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      That's what I was thinking until I get a sieve. Coming out of the pump should I wye off with valves in line and have one line going to uv, and out to a TPR to push towards the skimmer? Then split the remaining flow between the m/b and s/g on each remaining line to gravity drain back to pond. My original idea was to build them into the waterfall. I could also go to a shower if I was so inclined. GPH wise I should be pulling close to 5000 btween the skimmer and bottom drain shouldn't I? Can i pull more? I am putting knife valves inline on both so I can shut down for winter if needed. The ball valves are a great idea. Was thinking I could use the knife valves for flow control. Just didn't know how they would hold up. On the sand and gravel filters they use a hot tub air blower to clean them correct? Is that the only time the blower is used? If so I could quick connect the blower to be moved between the two barrels then.

    8. #8
      audioenvy is online now Senior Member
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      You'll get plenty of advice from the pros so I can't add anything other than to say I'm excited for you and good luck!

    9. #9
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      Thank you audioenvy.

    10. #10
      birdman's Avatar
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      You don't need moving bed filters if your going to use a shower. But if using S/G filters you will need two of them in parallel.
      BD 3500 gph
      skimmer 3500 gph
      7000 total
      Put all that from your pump through a UV sized for that much flow, then 4000 gph to two S/G's and 3000 gph to a shower.

    11. #11
      BWG is online now Senior Member
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      Getting debris to a drain is a combination of slope and flow.

      Hard to sell a flat bottom funnel. Can you imagine how well your toilet would function with a flat bottom? A sloped bottom will remove more debris with less flow. It's not a necessity if you have enough flow but it does help.

    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      Getting debris to a drain is a combination of slope and flow.

      Hard to sell a flat bottom funnel. Can you imagine how well your toilet would function with a flat bottom? A sloped bottom will remove more debris with less flow. It's not a necessity if you have enough flow but it does help.
      It's surprising how well a flat bottom works with proper TPRs. I proved this with my 28' test tank. TPRs were on one end and BDs and skimmer on the other end.

    13. #13
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      It's probably going to end up bowl shape only so I can get the depth. I will be probably digging by hand so I can use the money from a backhoe rental towards an even bigger liner. If digging goes as easy as it did on duck pond it will be a deeper and flatter bottom. Got to do this soon before the kids catch on that it's not as much fun digging in the dirt as they thought. Good to know that either way will work as long as the return flow is done right.

    14. #14
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      Hello koiphen family. So I have been giving the pond a lot of thought and doing a lot of reading. My wife and myself have set the budget and it is easily doable on the budget proposed. We also have a few ideas nailed down. Pond is going to move a little further back from the house then planned, so when we do the addition to the house the pond will not be in the way. I am also going to get to build my greenhouse. Im placing it on the north side of the pond. The plan is to place the filter pit inside the greenhouse.

      That being said here is where I know I am overthinking things, like I usually do when presented with time and reading material. The 4" bottom drain to IBC tote is definite. From the tote I was thinking setting up a stock tank and giving the anoxic filter a try. If it didn't work out I could set it up as moving bed, etc. The pump would pull from there and pump through the uv and out to the sand and gravel filters behind the waterfall. I could size that pump for just the bottom drain or include the volume of water from skimmer too. On the skimmer I was thinking the normal external type with basket and gravity flow to the greenhouse or the in pond ?niche-less? style that would gravity flow to the greenhouse pit. Thought on this was neing able to remove the skimmer and standpipe for winter and possibly place a screen and have a mid level suction. I could keep this circuit seperate and build a tank with brushes and mats like an "eric" style filter with the oiless magnetic drive sump pump at the back of that filter tank. This could feed a uv and tprs. Which I could run this in winter for filtration and shut down the bottom drain waterfall pump system. Or do I just us the sump pump in the aquaponics/ quarantine system, tie the skimmer to the bottom drain through a common pump or run 2 external pumps. Like I said overthinking. Please help, I want to start plumbing the filters this winter in my downtime.

    15. #15
      icu2's Avatar
      icu2 is online now Administrator ~ WWKC Treasurer
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      I'm not sure what your winters are like but it sounds like you'll continue running at least part of the
      filters year round?
      If so I'd rather keep the BD's working. Mine was set up BD's>SC>bio>pump>tpr's and then skimmer>
      pump>UV>s/g filters>waterfall.
      Then in the winter I bypass the waterfall and just run the s/g filters straight to the pond. But if the pond
      will freeze over you could turn this circuit off entirely and leave the BD, bio, and tpr's running year round.

      --Steve
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      "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

    16. #16
      Pond,James_Pond's Avatar
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      I concur Stevereeno. Simple and effective. Two pumps too.

      steve

    17. #17
      Shortera is offline Junior Member
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      Thanks for the push. I was trying to figure which circuit would be the one to keep running. I was leaning towards a 2 pump system for the failsafe aspect. I figure since the pumps and bulk of filters will be in the greenhouse I could run a portion of the filtration during the winter. With the pump and filter running and moving the water in the winter is it still necessary to keep an air hole in the ice?

      Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

    18. #18
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Shortera View Post
      Thanks for the push. I was trying to figure which circuit would be the one to keep running. I was leaning towards a 2 pump system for the failsafe aspect. I figure since the pumps and bulk of filters will be in the greenhouse I could run a portion of the filtration during the winter. With the pump and filter running and moving the water in the winter is it still necessary to keep an air hole in the ice?
      Again, it probably depends on your winters. I think many people can put a cold frame of sorts over the pond and leave
      one circuit running and not have any ice build up on the surface. But if you were to leave it open and you do get a lot of
      ice I think some way, whether it be with air or a heater made for that purpose, should be used to keep an opening in the
      ice for gas exchange. Mine don't freeze so that suggestion is strictly from what I've read many others do.

      And I agree that it's best if you can keep at least some of the filtration running. You might find that with a cover and a bypass
      on the s/g filters, you can leave both circuits running. My pond was a mess when I left the skimmer circuit off one
      year so I've always covered them and left them both running since. But again, my winters in WA might not be as harsh as yours.
      --Steve
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    19. #19
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      Getting debris to a drain is a combination of slope and flow.

      Hard to sell a flat bottom funnel. Can you imagine how well your toilet would function with a flat bottom? A sloped bottom will remove more debris with less flow. It's not a necessity if you have enough flow but it does help.
      I don't think this is a good analogy. A pond floor does not stay as slippery clean as your toilet does what with all the carpet algae that develops which catches a lot of the debris keeping it from "rolling" down the hill to the drain. I agree with Steve and also have proved the difference in effectiveness with good aeration and properly designed circulation, which if you notice, your toilet has too! just give it a flush! Too bad our ponds don't have that flow rate per sq ft!lol
      Mike

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    20. #20
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      There are two things you are planning that I have tried and wound up scrapping for better options. One is having a supplementary anoxic filter. Parameters were always fine, but probably more due to the bio in my S&G filter than the anoxic. With only settlement as a prefilter, the anoxic tank was always a mess with fines and mulm, the plants were a pain to keep up with. When I gave up and pulled it apart, I emptied the kitty litter baskets onto the compost bin, the interiors reeked of decay. I gave it a chance and it failed the test. If you are willing to use the tank as a moving bed, right from the start, I would highly advise it.

      Second is the use of a square tote for settlement. I switched to cone shaped settlement to replace a flat bottomed tank when I found a free vortex unit. Far superior for ease of getting the waste out of the bottom and in fact mine are now automated to pump debris from the bottom of the cone every two hours - gets the waste out of the water column as fast as possible with the least amount of water and no effort on my part. Add an auto top up system and my maintenance is almost as easy as with a sieve. Since you already have the tote, and probably won't change that, I suggest doing some reasearch on how you will clean it out. If you have to dump the whole tank every time, it probably won't get done as often as it should.

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