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    Thread: James' pond rebuild in NC

    1. #1
      RustedBucket is offline Junior Member
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      James' pond rebuild in NC

      Long time lurker here. I'm rebuilding the pond for the third time in about 10 years, basically making it deeper. It's roughly 14x10 shaped like a kidney bean and will be between 3 and 3.5 feet. Rough estimate is 3150 to 3675 gallons.

      The plan is to slope the side towards the middle so the low area on the bottom will be an area the bottom drain would typically cover. The ultimate goal is to reduce the constant drain and clean, drain and clean routine for 6-8 Koi (varying sizes but all under 10" right now with a waterfall.

      After reading tons of stuff on here I'm looking for input on settlement tank size, number of filter barrels, TPR jet or not and ultimately pump size. I have access to multiple 275G to 325G IBC totes and a slew of the blue 55G barrels. There will also be a Helix skimmer added.

      Questions I guess would be:
      - I can go 3" or 4" bottom drain
      - Is one IBC tote enough for a settlement tank or could I use 2 in parallel?
      - How many and what type filter barrels after the SCs
      - Would a 5000 gph pump be too big or not big enough? Can I go smaller?
      - Should I add a TPR jet(s)?


      Another big factor is distance of SC from the pond. Does it really matter the distance as long as the SC is just above the waterline? The pond itself is situated between steps from the deck (large pyramid shaped steps) and there is a decent grade difference. I'd like to put all the life support roughly 15 feet from the pond on the low grade side (high side of the deck). Would it pay to give the pipe from BD to SC a slight downgrade due to distance?

      For reference, this it short after the landscaper put it in back in 2009.
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      This was it after I rebuilt it in 2012.
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      So you can kind of get an idea how it's situated between the steps of the deck. I can easily put the SCs under the deck but I would need to devise covers for them, don't need the water evaporating up through the deck, but in the pic pic, if go off the left side of the deck all the A/C units are over there and it would be a perfect place to put all the pond life support for easy flushing, cleaning, etc.

      Anyway, thanks for any feedback.

    2. #2
      gray cat's Avatar
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      Welcome to Koiphen. Glad you decided to join us. I am sure you will get great feedback on all of your questions.
      Nancy



      Koiphen 2013 Koi Person of the Year!

    3. #3
      catfish whiskers's Avatar
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      Do two 3” bottom drains . That will give You an easy 5,000 GPH of gravity flow , and You can get better coverage by spreading them apart.
      Have You considered a sieve instead of a settling chamber ? They take up far less space , and require far less water to clean , and will cut Your maintenance way down.

    4. #4
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      Sieve/RDF is now and the future
      SC is old school which owned one and didnít really like it much if I had to redo
      Larger pipes the better for flow
      M.Nguyen


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      I looked at sieves but they are incredibly expensive and I already have access to IBC Totes for free..

    6. #6
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      If you insisted on this route then it is fine
      Just remember to remove everything in the tote you will need to close the water feed to it with a valve then the water has to pump out
      A 3” bd will require min 250g sc to flow and a 4”bd will require a min 350g sc
      So linking them to on tote probably won’t be effective for settling

      The Top the the SC or totes will need 3” higher than the water level of the pond
      So if it is a distance away would be hard to figure this out unless some kind of instrument

      I wouldn’t worry much with larger pipes on sloping as long pipes are enough with gravity flow then debris will flow fine
      M.Nguyen


    7. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by RustedBucket View Post
      I looked at sieves but they are incredibly expensive and I already have access to IBC Totes for free..
      The sieves are so efficient , I would wait and save the money for one . I’ve seen used Cetus sieves on Here $500.

    8. #8
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      Since you asked for thoughts and advice, mine would be to think twice about square IBC totes even if you do go the route of a settling chamber. A proper SC is cone shaped at the bottom, and you can flush it easily by opening a valve to empty just the bottom section where the debris has accumulated, or (as mine are set up) have a submersible sump pump down at the bottom to regularly pump out the waste. Mine is automated to pump for 20 seconds every 2 hours with an auto refill, as well, and this gives me zero maintenance for my SCís, and uses about a gallon of water each flush.
      I canít imagine how you would clean out a flat bottom tank without either using a pond vac or emptying the entire tote and then hosing out the bottom. A lot of work and water, which probably wonít get done often enough, leaving the waste sitting in the water column for way too long.
      ________________________________________
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    9. #9
      GloriaL's Avatar
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      I believe that in the past several people put concrete in the bottom and sloped it to a waste drain on one corner.
      GloriaL
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    10. #10
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      It has been said that you need a minimum of 10% of pond volume in a settlement chamber in order to have enough dwell time for debris to settle out. Have you thought about going up two feet to prtect the pond from runoff it would give you a good deal more volume plus a place to sit and easier access to the koi. ( My knees are no longer happy kneeling on the ground!)
      GloriaL
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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      The sieves are so efficient , I would wait and save the money for one . I’ve seen used Cetus sieves on Here $500.
      Good point. There's a local Talapia farm a family member works for, have to see if he can rustle me up some stuff they're not using anymore.

      Quote Originally Posted by GoldieGirl View Post
      Since you asked for thoughts and advice, mine would be to think twice about square IBC totes even if you do go the route of a settling chamber. A proper SC is cone shaped at the bottom, and you can flush it easily by opening a valve to empty just the bottom section where the debris has accumulated, or (as mine are set up) have a submersible sump pump down at the bottom to regularly pump out the waste. Mine is automated to pump for 20 seconds every 2 hours with an auto refill, as well, and this gives me zero maintenance for my SC’s, and uses about a gallon of water each flush.
      I can’t imagine how you would clean out a flat bottom tank without either using a pond vac or emptying the entire tote and then hosing out the bottom. A lot of work and water, which probably won’t get done often enough, leaving the waste sitting in the water column for way too long.
      Zero maintenance.. now you're talking my language.. lol Cleaning a square tank would present it's challenges.

      Quote Originally Posted by GloriaL View Post
      It has been said that you need a minimum of 10% of pond volume in a settlement chamber in order to have enough dwell time for debris to settle out. Have you thought about going up two feet to prtect the pond from runoff it would give you a good deal more volume plus a place to sit and easier access to the koi. ( My knees are no longer happy kneeling on the ground!)
      My current plan is to something similar. Bring the low end up to the height of the upper end, then regrade for a brick patio (grand plans), but I would gain part of the depth I want bu coming above ground 1-2 feet. Not to mention, digging another foot in this Carolina clay is a daunting task even with a backhoe.

    12. #12
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      I had another thought this morning, so I'm sort of spitballing here, I'll have to string it and check the grade this evening. That said, regardless of whether the SC is a tank of some type or a Sieve the same basic principal applies correct? The top of each should be a couple of inches above the water level of the pond and the line from the BD to the SC should be as level as possible. So instead of trying to go back towards the side of the house, under the deck and into the uphill grade (that's a lot of digging) I could go the other way and take everything out to my building, roughly 75ft as opposed to 25ft but it would all be downhill and the only thing in the way in the yard is a couple of sprinkler lines, which are easy enough to find. That would give me a dedicated electrical panel with plenty of room for expansion if I needed it and a covered area that I don't really use now except for some odds an ends. Finding water level shouldn't be a big deal, since there's nothing obstructing the path a laser would make short work of that. That would give me room to start with some existing material and convert/expand down the road. I assume gravity feed would still work over that distance, same principal as my septic line right? The big question would be pump size to get water back to the pond for waterfall and I'm thinking two TPRs.

    13. #13
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      Edit: Note for mods, this and the previous question regarding relocating mechanics further away may be better off in a separate thread.

      Something else I thought of regarding the pump is the amount of draw down, since it obviously needs to draw slower than the SC/Sieve fills.
      So playing with some math, which is a very dangerous thing for me to be doing, and using this handy-dandy calculator, here's what I came up with.

      Unknowns:
      What it would take to pump water back to pond for 2 spillway waterfalls and 2 TPRs.

      Givens:
      Pipe: 4"
      Distance: 75 feet
      Roughness coefficient: 150 (per Hazen-Williams coefficients for PVC)

      Senario 1:
      Drop: 1 inch
      Produces: 41.08gpm / 2,465gph

      2" pipe to filtration: 3300gph (max) not good
      3" pipe to filtration: 8400gpn (max) not good

      ** Pumps would have to be flow controlled would they not?

      Scenario 2:
      Drop: 3 inches
      Produces: 74.35gpm / 4,461gph

      2" pipe to filtration: 3300gph (max) good
      3" pipe to filtration: 8400gpn (max) not good

      Pump Size: 3000gph or 5000gph with some kind of flow control.

      Senario 3:
      Drop: 6 inches
      Produces: 108.1gpm / 6,486gph

      2" pipe to filtration: 3300gph (max) good
      3" pipe to filtration: 8400gpn (max) not good

      Pump Size: 3000gph or 5000gph with some kind of flow control.

      It's not until you get to a 10" fall over that distance that you get up to 8,544gph coming into the SC/Sieve that it seems like you could max flow everything.

      Without knowing the actual drop from waterfalls to pump it's really not possible to determine what pump size is needed but if we assume a 5000gph would do it, then what scenario would be viable, if any, given I'm not including any accounting for filtration between SC and pump. It almost seems like 2 pumps would be necessary, especially considering there is usually a pump after the sieve.

      Anyway, feel free to tell me I suck at math... lol Just trying to see if this pre-coffee idea is even remotely viable. What changes if the SC/Sieve is located next to the pond, say within a few feet but everything else is 75 feet away?
      Last edited by RustedBucket; 09-04-2018 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Note for mods

    14. #14
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      Since I'm on a roll this morning. Back to the original plan. Having looked at the landscape under the deck a bit closer yesterday, it's going to be a pretty good challenge to dig out a 5x5x5 area for anything, regardless if it's a tank or a smaller dimension sieve. Think Carolina clay with lots of rocks sitting on a bed of slate. I can get a backhoe to parts of it but not under the deck. Even to trench for piping would be difficult. Pickaxe and shovel basically.

      So to put everything above water level would require suction on the BD right? I assume the only way to add suction to the BD is add a pump between it and the SC/Sieve which reduces the effectiveness of them. That said, technically, that's what I am doing now with the Laguna 3200 that's in the pond and the main reason I'm looking at this is to help clear the muck out. Otherwise, the pond as is stays pretty well clear without any chemicals or anything. I just once the pressure flo filter gets mucked up does it start clouding up and I hate cleaning that thing. Adding the bottom drain isn't going to get rig of the green algae, it's merely designed to get all the stuff off the bottom that I'm currently having to drain and wash into the lower end and suck out with the pond vac. I don't have a problem with twigs or sticks or acorns, things that would really be detrimental to a pump impeller so the main drawback looks like the chopping of waste by the impeller.

      Is this a viable alternative? I mean you do what you gotta do right? The Laguna 3200, if I took the time to disconnect and clean it up every month would do a decent job keeping the water clear, at least until something stirred up the bottom muck. Based on results I have seen over time, it seems adding additional filtration and way to get a good portion of the muck off the bottom, combined with a flushing system to make routine maintenance much easier to deal with (ie: backwashing a pool) seems like a win/win to me. Granted, might still have to give up a Saturday in the spring to do a big clean up, but that's still better than what I'm doing now.. or should be doing but not.

    15. #15
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      Look at the zakki sieve.

    16. #16
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      Pump feeding a sieve is not efficient, and then you have a pump leaf trap to clean . If You can dig , do a gravity fed sieve.
      If you can’t dig , do a Zacci sieve . Buy the sieve , and save money on the rest of the equipment by DIY’ ing.

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by pickerel View Post
      Look at the zakki sieve.
      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      Pump feeding a sieve is not efficient, and then you have a pump leaf trap to clean . If You can dig , do a gravity fed sieve.
      If you can’t dig , do a Zacci sieve . Buy the sieve , and save money on the rest of the equipment by DIY’ ing.
      So that Zakki looks ideal and you're right, takes up a whole lot less room, I'll have to do some groveling but the wife does like her pond.

      So rethinking this, a 4" bottom drain to a Zakki to what? I see pics of what look like pool filters (assuming they're pond specific) but if I went the DIY route say 2 55G barrel filters then back to pond.

    18. #18
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      Check out the Trader forum- someone has a brand new Zakki for sale.....

    19. #19
      catfish whiskers's Avatar
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      I like a system using a Zacci sieve , then pumping to DIY 55 gal sand and gravel filters that gravity flow into a DIY shower filter . If You want , or have a waterfall , this idea just came to Me . Do two types of bio filtration . A DIY 55 gal moving bed filter that gravity flows into the top of the waterfall , and a DIY shower filter that can gravity flow into the bottom of the waterfall , or TPR’s , or wherever You want . Take advantage of all the water flow , and send it through bio filters .

    20. #20
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      .
      Saw these for sale on Facebook
      .
      .
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/2040...14918982575358
      .
      .
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      Last edited by catfish whiskers; 09-04-2018 at 08:38 PM.

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