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    Thread: 2-Phase retrofit plan for existing pond - Advice?

    1. #1
      RMH is offline Junior Member
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      2-Phase retrofit plan for existing pond - Advice?

      Good afternoon!

      Well, much to my dismay (but also enjoyment - ha), I've inherited the oversight of our existing Koi pond. It's been in place about 12 years - before my time, and we had a local contractor expand it last year from around 4,000 gallons to 6,000 and a second waterfall. The pond depth ranges from 4-4.5' (edited to correct typo).

      It's beautiful but absolutely, positively poorly constructed. No bottom drains. Zero filtration except media in skimmer box and bio media at top of waterfalls. Medium to large rocks on sides and bottom; sharp rocks at plant ledges/shelf. And only a skimmer box and 2 waterfalls. Egads.

      I've been telling my husband/better half that we need to start over, well mostly start over. And he agrees. But because it's too late in the year for a complete overhaul, I'm thinking we should start with:

      Phase I - Now:
      1) Adding UV filter (already in progress)

      2) Adding 2 retrofit/outside-the-liner bottom drains

      3) Adding some type of filtration to get us through until spring when we can reconstruct the whole thing

      Phase II:
      1) Rebuild pond; possibly combining both sides into large single pond (they're already part of the same pond, but we have some real circulation issues with the smaller "neck" from one side to the other, and the fish rarely hang out on the new side)

      2) Concrete the whole thing...to avoid the disaster earlier this year where groundwater swelled under the liner and collapsed part of side wall while it was partially drained (luckily, I had already moved the fish to a holding tank)

      3) Install bottom drains

      4) Install RDF filtration system

      5) Install whatever else I'm missing?

      Does this seem like a reasonable fix? Am I missing other equipment that I need? (Yes, I'm reading through the construction forums, but this stuff is above my pay grade. Ha.)

      The biggest challenge is finding a local contractor. Experience levels are all over the page, plus we're out in the boonies. Thought the experts here might have some referrals perhaps from Denver vs. Colorado Springs. We want to make sure we hire the right person this time.

      Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

      Robyn

      P.S Sorry about the photos - I couldn't figure out how to rotate them correctly.
      Last edited by RMH; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:36 PM. Reason: Upload photos

    2. #2
      icu2's Avatar
      icu2 is offline Administrator ~ WWKC Treasurer
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      If you haven't see it, here's another CO pond built recently...

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...uild-in-Denver

      Picture orientation help:

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/showt...s-on-the-forum
      --Steve


      Control your own destiny or someone else will.

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    3. #3
      RMH is offline Junior Member
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      Thank you. Guess I'll re-take some photos tomorrow. Oops.

      Holy smokes...that one in Denver is amazing. Can't wait to see finished product. Ours is probably too small a job for Russ but wow. That's the way to do it. (Guess I could still reach out to him to see if he could refer someone.)

    4. #4
      RMH is offline Junior Member
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      Update: Have since talked to 2 pond contractors in Colorado Springs (one was several weeks back).

      The first only recommended a complete re-do with bog filters and said they do not install UV filters, RDFs, and so on. I talked to a second today who said essentially the same thing. They only do bogs; said I wouldn't need the extra filtration or UV. He said I would just be putting a bandaid on the issue with my Phase I plan, and to just rebuild it with bog filters in the spring. He said the bog filter design hasn't been widely accepted but that Koi owners needed to update their thinking. Sigh.

      Anyway, I realized that I forgot to add a photo of our pond. Nice pea soup...I know.


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    5. #5
      catfish whiskers's Avatar
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      Beautiful pond . I’d skip the the bog idea and anyone that recommends one. Bogs end up being a pit full of poop that is hard to clean . Filters in external containers are easier to clean and healthier for the pond. If the pond does not leak , keep it and add filtration. Why not DIY it with Our help ?

    6. #6
      pondfishguy is offline Senior Member
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      Beautiful pond. I'd skip Phase 1 except for the UV. You won't be feeding much over the winter, so it will behave as it always has.

      In Phase 2 you will also need a bio filter if you plan on keeping any quantity of fish. That can be either a shower filter or moving bed bio reactor. You will be very happy with the water quality if you get an RDF.

      I'd nix the bog filter.

    7. #7
      RMH is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      Beautiful pond . I’d skip the the bog idea and anyone that recommends one. Bogs end up being a pit full of poop that is hard to clean . Filters in external containers are easier to clean and healthier for the pond. If the pond does not leak , keep it and add filtration. Why not DIY it with Our help ?
      Thanks so much for your input. That's what I've read as well, but some people are bog fans. Not me. I want something easy to clean, backwash, etc., and relatively easy to maintain with our cold winters.

      Luckily, we only have one minor leak in a stream bed; to be adjusted shortly. Other than that, leak-free.

      Why not DIY? Well...my better half is too busy to take this on, and I'm not really the DIY type unless you need some furniture refinished or your home redecorated. I'm just not that handy with pond design, plumbing and tools. LOL

    8. #8
      RMH is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by pondfishguy View Post
      Beautiful pond. I'd skip Phase 1 except for the UV. You won't be feeding much over the winter, so it will behave as it always has.

      In Phase 2 you will also need a bio filter if you plan on keeping any quantity of fish. That can be either a shower filter or moving bed bio reactor. You will be very happy with the water quality if you get an RDF.

      I'd nix the bog filter.
      Thank you. OMG - I have no clue about shower filters and moving bed bio reactors. That's in addition to an RDF? Going to read more about this...(I feel like I'm really in over my head here).

      Yep. I agree about the bog filter. Not a fan from everything I've read on here so far.

      Guess we'll make do for now with the UV addition and frequent water changes. I just don't want to lose fish over the winter like we did last year. Some we never saw again (we lost 20 fish!; mostly small ones, but some of our larger ones as well). Getting rid of flukes has been an extreme challenge.

      Currently, we have a total of 22 Koi in 6,000 gallons, with no plans to add more. 4 in the 10"-16" range and 18 small ones (4"-6"). Except for the 4 larger ones, the rest are new replacements for the ones we lost last year. All quarantined for 4 weeks before adding to the pond.

      To add more frustration, the fish are flashing again. They had all been quarantined and treated for parasites, and then I treated the whole pond twice (first w/Proform C followed by AquaPrazi, then again with BSDT followed by Fluke-M).

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by RMH View Post
      Thank you. OMG - I have no clue about shower filters and moving bed bio reactors. That's in addition to an RDF? Going to read more about this...(I feel like I'm really in over my head here).
      Yes - an RDF is purely just a mechanical filter that removes debris from the water. You also need biological filtration to remove ammonia and nitrite produced by the fish.

      And you gotta watch out for these AquaScape contractors. They're spreading throughout the country like a swarm of mindless drones. Run away from any contractor who says you don't need any real plumbing/filtration aside from a bog filter.

      My overstocked 4000g stays crystal clear all year round. Dual bottom drains, RDF, shower filter, and a moving bed on a separate circuit. Good luck!





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    10. #10
      RMH is offline Junior Member
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      Thank you for the feedback. Much appreciated!

      Yes, the AquaScape contractors are prevalent here. 3 of out 3 called so far.

      On the bio filtration, we do have multiple, large bio media bags in the top of each waterfall pond. But that's it.

      Love your pond - it's beautiful! I remember reading a thread & seeing pictures of your "remodel". Amazing job.
      Last edited by RMH; 1 Week Ago at 08:05 PM.

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