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    Thread: New Pond Builder - First project - Need advice

    1. #1
      rescu2000 is offline Junior Member
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      New Pond Builder - First project - Need advice

      Hi guys,
      I'm new to the forum, but I've been reading quite a bit. I'll describe my project.
      I'm building an 'L' shaped pond so it is basically a 17' x 18' pond with a 6' x 6' block cut out of the corner. I'll get some pictures up tomorrow. There is also a small lip around the pond that will be from 1' to 2" deep depending on the location around the edge. I have it dug and I am digging the spots for 2 4" bottom drains. I am running those to a lower settling chamber. I am estimating this at about 5k gallons and I plan on running a 6k gph sequence pump. From there I am considering two options for filtration and I need advice on these options.

      1) DIY Brickal nexus-style strainer filter. I just can't find how many GPH this will handle. I like this setup for two main reasons. I can put it near the settling chamber where I have plenty of room and I can bury it so that the top of it is at water level. The second reason is that the filtration is prior to the pump. So the pump is only seeing filtered and clean water.

      2) The S&G Drum upflow models that seem to be popular here. I'll need 2-3 of them and they would have to go at the waterfall. I can probably make that work, but I'd have to put the piping under the deck that the waterfall will butt up against.

      Additional Info:
      I have plenty of tools, workspace, DIY skill and an unlimited supply of drums and barrels. I can get 25 gallon poly food grade, 55 gallon sealed top poly, 55 gallon open top poly, screw top black 55 gallon drums, steel coated (olive oil) 55 gallon drums, etc etc etc.

      I am using 45 mil epdm liner with carpet and the geo underlayment.

      I am using Koi Toilet II BD's

      I wasn't planning on using TPR's, unless I have to.

      I plan on having Koi in the pond (obviously) but I would be happy with 4 or 5 if that's all I can get in there.

      I'd prefer not to dig it deeper, but I can if I have to. I am using a front end loader and a small tractor so it isn't much work.

      I am purchasing a 25x25 liner for this setup.

      I'm not opposed to a pressurized off the shelf unit, but they run around $2,200 for this size. I'd prefer a DIY unit if the cost is around half (including the pump and the pump is about $700)



      Thoughts?
      Thanks!
      Last edited by rescu2000; 10-03-2017 at 11:10 PM.

    2. #2
      koiman1950's Avatar
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      How do you plan on fitting the flat/square or rectangular liner into an L shape configuration. It's been discussed here many times and found the only way would be to have a custom cut/fit liner made like the ones Birdman can order for you.

      How many skimmers do you plan to use? You also may need more bottom drains than this depending on finished design size. A single 4" drain can cover a radius of approx 5-6' if aerated.

      A single pressurized filter for a 5000gal pond, with the proper pre-filter shouldn't cost anywhere near $2200 unless you're including the pump and you can certainly do better, price-wise than $700 for a pump that size. Sequence is a very good brand/product but the Advantage self-priming pumps are equally good and don't cost near than much.

      BTW, you didn't actually mention what the base depth of the pond will be, just the "ledge" which I would strongly suggest you don't use.
      Mike

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    3. #3
      rescu2000 is offline Junior Member
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      First, thank you for the response and point out some of the issues. I've answered them to the best of my ability below.

      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      How do you plan on fitting the flat/square or rectangular liner into an L shape configuration. It's been discussed here many times and found the only way would be to have a custom cut/fit liner made like the ones Birdman can order for you.
      I planned on making two "box shaped" sections and connecting them and cutting the wall between them. The connection would be made by either splicing, ultrasonic welding (if that's possible), of creating a "U" shaped clamp and gluing the two together and clamping it (similar to the way a BD is clamped). I didn't think about the custom cut liner, so I will check with birdman on that! Thanks!



      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      How many skimmers do you plan to use? You also may need more bottom drains than this depending on finished design size. A single 4" drain can cover a radius of approx 5-6' if aerated.
      I had read that one 4" would handle 5-6' without being aerated and up to 9 with it. That seems to be bad information. I had planned on one skimmer, but I can easily add more if I need to. I need guidance on that. It will make more sense when I get the pictures up, but I won't get that tonight unfortunately.

      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      A single pressurized filter for a 5000gal pond, with the proper pre-filter shouldn't cost anywhere near $2200 unless you're including the pump and you can certainly do better, price-wise than $700 for a pump that size. Sequence is a very good brand/product but the Advantage self-priming pumps are equally good and don't cost near than much.
      That price was with the pump. It was either 6K or 8K GPH. Thanks for the lead/info on the Advantage pump. I'll check those out and that is exactly the kind of information I was needing.

      Quote Originally Posted by koiman1950 View Post
      BTW, you didn't actually mention what the base depth of the pond will be, just the "ledge" which I would strongly suggest you don't use.
      Sorry, forgot that information. the depth goes from 2.5' on the waterfall end to 3' on the furthest BD end.

      What about filtration options? If I go with S&G's then my waterfall basically becomes a box for the S&G's with a straight drop. I only have a 3' by 7' area for the S&G's if I have to use them.

    4. #4
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      Go deeper..............
      Susie


    5. #5
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      1st welcome to the forum.
      2nd go deeper, 4 feet min.
      You will have a lot of trouble trying to seam two liners together. It probably can be done, use double sided liner tape between the seam and single sided on both sides of the seam.
      OR
      As Mike suggester I can make a made to fit drop in liner to fit this, BUT only with straight vertical sides, no shelf. PM or call me if you want more info.
      You will want three Bottom Drains
      Three S/G filters would work nice but remember they have to be higher than what they are dumping into as they are gravity flow out.

    6. #6
      rescu2000 is offline Junior Member
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      Thanks! I'll dig it at least 4' then. Is this purely for fish exercise and health or the possibility of freezing?

      On the filters, If I go 4' deep, 3 S&G's wont be enough if I'm capped at about 2k GPH each. What are the thoughts on the Bickal strainer type filter that uses a pipe through the center of a barrel that pulls water up through filter media and then out through the bottom of the system? I can put as many of those in as I need. If I go S&G I only have that 3' by 7' area. If neither of those are an option, would the group recommend a pressurized filter?

      I'll give Birdman a call tomorrow on a custom liner.

      Thanks again!

    7. #7
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      All of the above. Go 5'5". You're in KY. Call Gary at Aquabead if you're on a budget.
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    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by rescu2000 View Post
      Thanks! I'll dig it at least 4' then. Is this purely for fish exercise and health or the possibility of freezing?

      On the filters, If I go 4' deep, 3 S&G's wont be enough if I'm capped at about 2k GPH each. What are the thoughts on the Bickal strainer type filter that uses a pipe through the center of a barrel that pulls water up through filter media and then out through the bottom of the system? I can put as many of those in as I need. If I go S&G I only have that 3' by 7' area. If neither of those are an option, would the group recommend a pressurized filter?

      I'll give Birdman a call tomorrow on a custom liner.

      Thanks again!
      Three S/G filters will handle a 6 to 7000 gallon pond.
      The filter you mention I have no experience with.
      If you decide on a pressurized filter my favorite is the GC Tec low head bead filter. It has a air blower for back flushing and a multi port valve bypass for reduced back pressure when in the filtration mode. I can explain all this better on the phone if you call. 541-408-3317

    9. #9
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      OK, so thanks for the advice and I've spent a few more weeks reading as much as I can. I've dug the pond out to about 6 ft deep, 10 ft wide and 16 ft long. I still have to square up the slope I used at one end to drive the digging equipment in. (yes I cheated, but heck it's hard clay). I'll post up a picture tomorrow if I can get home with any daylight left. The bottom is hard (wet) clay. The sides are vertical and have withstood a few rains already with no indication of collapsing or anything.

      So I have a couple of options at this point. I don't think I can get this thing square enough for a drop-in liner because of the "measure within 1/2 inch" requirement. That leaves me with block wall or rubber liner. If I go with a rubber liner, I will do a concrete ring around the top. One end is lower, so I'll have to build it up about 10" anyway, I might as well do that in the concrete pour.

      If I do a block wall, I'd like to pour the floor and footer in one pour so I can just bring one truck out and then I can mix the concrete to fill the blocks myself from bags. With the solid clay bottom, is there any concern with just pouring a 6" slab wall to wall and then stacking block on that? Of course I'll put rebar down. If that's not good enough for the footer, I'll dig a few inches around the perimeter to make the footer deeper. This will be similar to the "city of orange" pour that was made. If I go block, I think I will xypex it and not mess with a liner or do a drop-in poly.

      Thanks!
      Rescu2000
      Last edited by rescu2000; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:10 PM.

    10. #10
      birdman's Avatar
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      Is your pond going to be raised or basically ground level?

      How deep is your water table?

    11. #11
      rescu2000 is offline Junior Member
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      The water table here is deep. I don't know for my house, but data for a nearby City says 104 feet. I'm on a hill and this is a Karst region with tons of caves. I actually live about 15 miles from Mammoth Cave, KY. Most of the pond will be underground with the exception of the one end where the ground slopes down about 10 inches.

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      First, have to ask "S/G filters"?

      Second, below frost line, depth of footer for an CMU block would be twice the width and 1' deep. (2) #4 continuous rebar throughout footing with vertical #4 spaced 24" max OC.

      If it is good enough to be engineered, stamped, and blessed by our building code officials (in NM), should be fine.

      You would probably be able to go 16-24" inches higher above grade and not have any issues

      ***providing you are not going to have any sort of structure on top?

      Now I'm going to look @ what "xypex" is.

      Adam
      Last edited by BroHay; 2 Weeks Ago at 09:41 AM.

    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by rescu2000 View Post
      The water table here is deep. I don't know for my house, but data for a nearby City says 104 feet. I'm on a hill and this is a Karst region with tons of caves. I actually live about 15 miles from Mammoth Cave, KY. Most of the pond will be underground with the exception of the one end where the ground slopes down about 10 inches.
      If you go with a custom drop in box liner like the one's I make you don't need a concrete bottom. Just level compacted soil. And a footing with block walls.

    14. #14
      BroHay is online now Member
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      Always up for new things, link for product?

      Adam

    15. #15
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BroHay View Post
      First, have to ask "S/G filters"?

      Second, below frost line, depth of footer for an CMU block would be twice the width and 1' deep. (2) #4 continuous rebar throughout footing with vertical #4 spaced 24" max OC.

      If it is good enough to be engineered, stamped, and blessed by our building code officials (in NM), should be fine.

      You would probably be able to go 16-24" inches higher above grade and not have any issues

      ***providing you are not going to have any sort of structure on top?

      Now I'm going to look @ what "xypex" is.

      Adam
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    16. #16
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      The 55 gallon DIY Sand/Gravel filter is one of the best all around filters ever designed. Excellent for polishing the water and works well for bio also. Many people use these only for filtering their ponds. Both Kent Wallace and I have construction threads in the "Stickys" on how to build them. I also sell kits if interested.

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      Adam,
      Xypex is a coating that has chemicals in it that form crystals upon contact with water. The crystals continue to grow whenever new water contacts them. So over the course of a year, the crystals will grow several inches into solid concrete and fill all of the tiny voids in the concrete making it waterproof. It can seal hairline cracks, but not large cracks, if I understand it correctly. There is a multi-layer approach to application to properly apply it.

      Birdman,
      On the concrete floor, I just thought the cost of the 3 yds of concrete would only be around $300-$350 plus admix and rebar, so the cost is minimal to have a solid, properly sloped floor. Plus I'll need to concrete the BD's and footer anyway. So it seemed fairly cheap to get a great floor. I'm not sure how hard working the concrete is compared to trying to slope that hard clay floor.

    18. #18
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      I'm with birdman in that if you're going to go with a drop in liner the cost of the concrete is a waste.
      I'd just go to the effort to dig to get the proper size and level for the liner.
      But if going with block and Xypex I think pouring a complete floor with block on top can work.
      I went this route and it's worked well so far. I didn't use forms but just dug the floor close to the
      dimensions I wanted and dumped the concrete in and placed the block on top of that.

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      ICU2,
      Sorry for all of the stupid questions, but did you pour a footer around that or just the slab and then stack along the edges. It looks like the latter, which is really what I would prefer to do. I understand the whole footer concept, but without any structure to support I'm not sure I need it. But I'm no expert and that's why I'm seeking out some advice. I am not stupid enough to ignore the advice here regarding the footer, but if it's been done and proven to be sufficient, I'm as adventurous as the next guy. I can't emphasize enough how SOLID the floor is right now. Heck, even to shape the bottom 4 feet of the wall I'm having to use a pick axe to cut the gray and red clay.

      I guess to be specific did you dig an extra foot or half foot deeper around the edge and 4" beyond the block?
      Last edited by rescu2000; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:32 PM.

    20. #20
      icu2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by rescu2000 View Post
      ICU2,
      Sorry for all of the stupid questions, but did you pour a footer around that or just the slab and then stack along the edges. It looks like the latter, which is really what I would prefer to do. I understand the whole footer concept, but without any structure to support I'm not sure I need it. But I'm no expert and that's why I'm seeking out some advice. I am not stupid enough to ignore the advice here regarding the footer, but if it's been done and proven to be sufficient, I'm as adventurous as the next guy. I can't emphasize enough how SOLID the floor is right now. Heck, even to shape the bottom 4 feet of the wall I'm having to use a pick axe to cut the gray and red clay.

      I guess to be specific did you dig an extra foot or half foot deeper around the edge and 4" beyond the block?
      Well I'm no expert either so I can only relay on what I did that has worked so far... and no stupid question except one you never asked!
      But no, it's all one level. I didn't make the perimeter any deeper than the rest. Here's another pic without the concrete to show what it
      looks like. The one end is different as I am using a "trough" with multiple pipes to flush the water to waste as opposed to BD's, but other
      than that I think it could be duplicated.

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