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    Thread: Questions on Expanding a Pond / Transferring Fish.

    1. #1
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      Questions on Expanding a Pond / Transferring Fish.

      Hello all,

      I've been trying to read through some of the threads here, and I still have questions.

      I currently have a pond, I think it's about 150 galloons. See attached picture. The 2 Koi have definitely outgrown it. One is over a foot long. I have 8 gold fish (varying types) and a lot of different types of guppies that breed like rabbits. In my current set up, I have a filter/pump, pumping in to the black cargo bin, which houses a water lily that loves being in there. What I noticed, is the pump / filter from the pond carries a lot of solid waste through it and it gets deposited in the cargo bin, which the lily has been rooting in (I had actually been using it as a nursery too, before the lily took over. Lily had 2 leaves before I put it in). I also have a pump / filter that includes a UV in the black cargo bin, that pumps to the circular bin. The pump is smaller than the main one, so water also runs off through the pipe on the front of the black bin. I also put white aquarium rocks at the bottom of the pond.

      I did this without knowing anything, sounds like I did some things right and somethings wrong. New pond I think will be about 1200 gallons and I want to make sure I am doing it right.

      Current set up, has been about a year and a half. No major fish deaths, besides 2 Koi (over a year ago), but I think that happened from adding a third Koi that was aggressive and stressed them out. They died within a week of him being introduced.

      Oh, and I live in Hawaii and usually do have the pond covered for shade, but I uncovered it for the picture.

      Some questions:

      1) First, rocks! I see a whole thread saying no to rocks? Mine haven't grown algae, but if I'm not mistaken, they hold sludge and bacteria not good for the pond, yeah?

      2) I was just going to go with a large pump / filter on the bottom of the pond, no bottom drain. Should that be fine for a pond of about 1200 gallons? (Oval about 8 feet by 6 feet, 3 - 4 feet deep)

      3) Did I accidentally stumble upon a DIY settlement chamber with the black cargo bin? Would that continue to work for the larger pond, with the lily feeding on the sludge that gets deposited?

      4) I'm unsure of what to do for Biological Filtration? I do have the media packages in both filter / pumps, but I've read about Trickle Towers or Showers, but are those for larger ponds?

      5) From the picture, I'll be increasing the size of the hole and using a rubber liner, I'll just need to transfer the fish somewhere else. The little fish I think should be okay, the Koi I'm worried about a little. I know putting them in a black cargo bin, won't make them happy and I'll need to have something in there oxygenating the water. I also have a kids blow up pool, but I don't really want to put them in something that can pop. My goal would be to get the hole finished, lined, and filled without 6 hours. I'd be using prime with the water. Is there a certain amount of time I should let the water sit before re-adding the fish? Any other tips on this process?

      6) For liner, I was going to go with Beckett liner from home depot and beckett underlayment as well, to be on the extra safer side. Good plan?


      I think I covered all of my questions, but I am definitely open to any other feedback / advice.

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    2. #2
      catfish whiskers's Avatar
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      That pond doesnít look like 250 gal to Me , based on the 27 gal tote that the water lily is in . H depot sells a 55 gal tote bigger version of the one the lily is in . Maybe get two of those 55 gal totes to temporarily move the fish into , and have them flow into each other until You finish the new pond . Skip the PVC liners , and get the EPDM liner , they last a lot longer .
      Study DIY filtration builds Here and ask for lots of help , at minimum, You will need mechanical, and bio filtration.
      .
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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      That pond doesn’t look like 250 gal to Me , based on the 27 gal tote that the water lily is in . H depot sells a 55 gal tote bigger version of the one the lily is in . Maybe get two of those 55 gal totes to temporarily move the fish into , and have them flow into each other until You finish the new pond . Skip the PVC liners , and get the EPDM liner , they last a lot longer .
      Study DIY filtration builds Here and ask for lots of help , at minimum, You will need mechanical, and bio filtration.
      Thanks for the reply.

      I double checked, and you are right, the main pond is actually 150 gallons. Not 250. So I updated my post.

      Thanks for the tip on the liner. I was hoping to get the pond done this weekend, so was going with what was available in store. I'll look to finding or ordering EPDM instead.

      The mechanical filtration I think I understand, the bio one I still feel lost on. So I'll read more here.

      I also realized, instead of using the set up I have, I could elevate the 150 gallon pond main pond and have it "waterfalling" in to the new pond, but your image, looks like it's important to have two steps instead of one?

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      Quote Originally Posted by KB808 View Post
      Thanks for the reply.

      I double checked, and you are right, the main pond is actually 150 gallons. Not 250. So I updated my post.

      Thanks for the tip on the liner. I was hoping to get the pond done this weekend, so was going with what was available in store. I'll look to finding or ordering EPDM instead.

      The mechanical filtration I think I understand, the bio one I still feel lost on. So I'll read more here.

      I also realized, instead of using the set up I have, I could elevate the 150 gallon pond main pond and have it "waterfalling" in to the new pond, but your image, looks like it's important to have two steps instead of one?
      I drew two steps because that would allow You to use multiple smaller containers and still have them flow into each other .

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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      I drew two steps because that would allow You to use multiple smaller containers and still have them flow into each other .
      Ah, thanks.

      For example purposes, in the image you drew, to add the bio filtering, I could replace the top container with something like this? Although my round container I already have, from my understanding could work well since it's round and it already had a hole in the bottom I could open back up and pump water up in to it, then just add the filtering / pads over that.

      Edit: Although, in the "filter box" I have the pump in, there is also the foam filtering and "balls" but that's not enough bio agent?

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      Last edited by KB808; 3 Weeks Ago at 01:38 AM.

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      catfish whiskers's Avatar
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      The drawing I shared was only an example for You to set up a temporary pond with small containers.

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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      The drawing I shared was only an example for You to set up a temporary pond with small containers.
      Okay, gotcha. Thanks for the clarification!

      Any thoughts on what I've asked about the actual pond set up or no?

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      n/m
      Last edited by KB808; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:34 AM.

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      One thing I would like to add to the rubber liner is to get a 45 mil thickness. Do not get anything less than that. And firestone usually is the ones that everyone loves to get.
      -=[Sunny]=-

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      Quote Originally Posted by KB808 View Post
      Okay, gotcha. Thanks for the clarification!

      Any thoughts on what I've asked about the actual pond set up or no?
      If You mean using that current pond above the new bigger pond , and having it cascade into the new pond , that could look nice , but I would not use it as a filter .
      I recommend building external filters where the debris collects outside of the pond , and can be easily removed by flushing the filters

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      Quote Originally Posted by catfish whiskers View Post
      If You mean using that current pond above the new bigger pond , and having it cascade into the new pond , that could look nice , but I would not use it as a filter .
      I recommend building external filters where the debris collects outside of the pond , and can be easily removed by flushing the filters
      Thanks again, I was asking more about everything... but specifically, the imagine I posted above, would work as an external filter?

      And if I got something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Laguna-2000-C...00T3MC7X4?th=1

      Would there still be the need for an external filter?

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      We try to steer members on this site away from large canister filters such as what you mentioned above. Most of the time the specifications stated does not match real life setups and did not provide enough filtration and bio loading needed to raise koi.

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      Quote Originally Posted by msegger View Post
      We try to steer members on this site away from large canister filters such as what you mentioned above. Most of the time the specifications stated does not match real life setups and did not provide enough filtration and bio loading needed to raise koi.
      Thank you!

      So would something like this work:

      Main Pond -> Pump -> "Skippy Filter" (like the image above) -> Main Pond

      Or

      Main Pond -> Pump -> "Skippy Filter" -> Another container for any remaining solids to settle in -> Main Pond

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      Quote Originally Posted by EmeraldDragon View Post
      One thing I would like to add to the rubber liner is to get a 45 mil thickness. Do not get anything less than that. And firestone usually is the ones that everyone loves to get.
      Thanks for the comment!

      I wanted to go with Firestone, because of the recommendations here, but all of the sites I've checked so far, shipping to Hawaii is $400+ dollars for the liner. More than it's actual cost. Or they don't ship here.

      Could this work? https://www.lowes.com/pd/smartpond-1...lon/1000598775

      Says it's only 37 millimeters, but claims this "Easy to install liner is made with reinforced mesh, which makes it stronger than traditional PVC liner yet lighter than EPDM liner"

      No idea if that is just marketing hype or means it'll last longer than regular PVC.

      Edit: Heck, or getting two of them to layer them, plus an underlayment, be relatively safe / lasting?
      Last edited by KB808; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:25 PM.

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      If that’s Your only choice as the best liner available to You , go for it . Instead of that pressure filter for $400 , You can build an entire great DIY system with mechanical and bio filtration that will be better than anything You could buy for thousands . Skip the skippy �� , We will help You do better .

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by KB808 View Post
      Thanks for the comment!

      I wanted to go with Firestone, because of the recommendations here, but all of the sites I've checked so far, shipping to Hawaii is $400+ dollars for the liner. More than it's actual cost. Or they don't ship here.

      Could this work? https://www.lowes.com/pd/smartpond-1...lon/1000598775

      Says it's only 37 millimeters, but claims this "Easy to install liner is made with reinforced mesh, which makes it stronger than traditional PVC liner yet lighter than EPDM liner"

      No idea if that is just marketing hype or means it'll last longer than regular PVC.

      Edit: Heck, or getting two of them to layer them, plus an underlayment, be relatively safe / lasting?
      If you get the PVC liner, youíll be sorry. And youíll ended up getting rubber like me. This is from my own experience, PVC will break and tear very easily. And BTW, itís not good for fish pond. And yeah, I doubled up on it too. Cost me triple after everything was done. FYI.


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      Quote Originally Posted by KB808 View Post
      Thanks for the comment!

      I wanted to go with Firestone, because of the recommendations here, but all of the sites I've checked so far, shipping to Hawaii is $400+ dollars for the liner. More than it's actual cost. Or they don't ship here.

      Could this work? https://www.lowes.com/pd/smartpond-1...lon/1000598775

      Says it's only 37 millimeters, but claims this "Easy to install liner is made with reinforced mesh, which makes it stronger than traditional PVC liner yet lighter than EPDM liner"

      No idea if that is just marketing hype or means it'll last longer than regular PVC.

      Edit: Heck, or getting two of them to layer them, plus an underlayment, be relatively safe / lasting?
      You might try local roofing companies to see if by chance they have access to epdm...

      http://www.justliners.com/Merchant2/...=Roofing+Liner
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    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by KB808 View Post
      Ok, my friend. You sound determined. So I'm going to tell you how not to build a pond. You shouldn't even do things this way if you don't have any money, and materials are really hard to source where you are.

      First, do not use that liner. It'll be fine, but don't do it. If you do use it, put something underneath it. I use this stuff: https://www.amazon.com/ECOgardener-L...dp/B06WV9HJZ6/

      Couple layers of that on the bottom and the sides.

      That liner is 13' by 20'. So don't dig a rectangular hole, four feet deep, 12' long, five feet wide. Don't round the bottom corners and edges a little bit to give you some leeway with the liner.

      Don't buy any wood to make a frame. You could use 2x4s or 2x6s, if you're feeling rich. Oh, whoops: there's no money for that. Enough treated wood 2x4s to make a frame all the way around the hole. If you use 2x4s, finished pond would be about 4" above grade. Also, don't get some 1xs, or even lath if you can find it. You won't need those later.

      While you're at it, don't dig a circular hole, about 2 feet deep, right next to the frame. Your filter isn't going there.

      Don't be careful with that liner. Don't watch the folds. Don't plan for how you'll fold it as the water fills.

      Once you don't have the liner in, it's time for water. Or not. Use the hose, and remember: if there are only a couple inches of water in there, you can still adjust. Once there's six inches of water in the bottom, you're looking at several hundred pounds, don't even try to adjust it. Seriously.

      Don't fill the pond completely. When it's full, don't lay the liner edge over the 2x4 frame, put the lath or 1bys on top, screw or nail them down. Screws work best. Don't trim the liner.

      So you don't have a pond now. Now you don't need a filter.

      While you're at lowes, don't buy a trash can. Like, 32 gallons. especially not like this one: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Rubbermaid-...RAY/1002102852

      Of course, you didn't order this pump in advance from amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PRT3VLJ/ Or this tubing: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YK5HAK/ or these clamps: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017L17Z1C/

      And you didn't buy like 5 bags of lava rock, or some 2" electrical conduit fittings, or some 2" pipe (10'), or some PL roofing sealant. Or a roll of deer netting.

      Are you sure you didn't buy all that? You need to not buy all those things.

      Don't cut a hole near the top of the trash can. Or put the electrical conduit fixture in the hole. Or cut a piece of pipe long enough to extend several inches out over the pond. It shouldn't look like this when you're done:

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      You don't need the egg crate lighting fixture stuff, but I got that dirt cheap at lowes. Bricks or rocks won't do to hold it up a few inches, and make a better flow pattern.

      Now, don't take a 2 gallon pot, and don't stretch a double layer of deer netting over it, and don't pour enough lava rock in to fill the pot, and don't stitch the deer netting closed with zip ties. Because that would make a 2 gallon bag of lava rock, which could then be placed in the filter, moved around, taken out for cleaning, etc. Don't keep doing that until the trash can is nearly full. Don't remember to put the trash can in the hole you dug before you fill it up. It won't get heavy at all. And don't rinse the bag of lava rock before you put it in. That red dust gets everywhere!

      If you have some old filter material, it wouldn't be useful to add it to the new filter, just to seed it with bacteria.

      Now, don't attach that 20' of tubing to the pump, and don't clamp the connection. Don't lower the pump into a five gallon flower pot at the bottom of the pond. At the opposite end of the pond from the filter. If you don't have a flower pot, one of these guys, with the lid off, wouldn't work. https://www.lowes.com/pd/COMMANDER-1...Lid/1000198647

      (aside: you need this. You went cheap on the liner, didn't you? Admit it. Aren't you sorry now? You should have been born rich. But you weren't, and now all your life choices have conspired to force you to use a cheap liner. Animals could rip it, herons could spear it, the pump itself could harm the liner, - you don't want that pump to pump all the water out of the pond if something bad happens. You lose some bottom drain effect, but the trade off is that you lessen the chances of disaster. Put a brick or something inside there to make sure it isn't buoyant.)

      Didya see those two pipes in your filter? You didn't use the 2" pvc to make them. One is for your monthly clean out - a hose will fit right down it and act as a siphon - but you can think about that later. Now, don't take the other end of the tubing, put it all the way down the second pipe, and turn on the pump.

      Et Voila!, Bob's your uncle! You have a pond - like, 1800 gallons - and a filter. You're gonna need a bunch of plants, especially since the sun's intense where you are. Floating plants, until the lotus and lilies establish themselves. Plants like parrot feather in the filter, because it's ugly as heck, and you don't want to be looking at that, now do you? The more plants you have on the surface of the pond, the less green your water will be.

      Anyway, you shouldn't build a pond that way. Spend more, do it right, listen to the folks on here. They have a lot to teach you.

      Good luck,

      Best,

      Bill
      Last edited by One Poet's Garden; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:24 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Wlantry View Post
      Ok, my friend. You sound determined. So I'm going to tell you how not to build a pond. You shouldn't even do things this way if you don't have any money, and materials are really hard to source where you are.

      First, do not use that liner. It'll be fine, but don't do it. If you do use it, put something underneath it. I use this stuff: https://www.amazon.com/ECOgardener-L...dp/B06WV9HJZ6/

      .....

      Anyway, you shouldn't build a pond that way. Spend more, do it right, listen to the folks on here. They have a lot to teach you.

      Good luck,

      Best,

      Bill
      While I appreciate you took the time to write that much, I really have no idea what you were trying to say. I can't tell if you were being sarcastic and I should actually do what you were saying no to do, or if I shouldn't do any of it. Could you please edit your post and make it more helpful and useful and less confusing?

      Thanks.

      Edit: I do see some good information in it, but the presentation does make it hard to know what I should or shouldn't do.
      Last edited by KB808; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:42 PM.

    20. #20
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      Basically there are lots of recommendation on this forum. You have to decide on your level of comfort and budget. For example, when u ask for filter recommendation some will say the only filter worth to get is RDF but that cost 2-4k. Some will say build your own but then now you have to decide on media types. Feather rocks, ceramic media, bio house, lava rocks, scrubby pads. Some will cost next to nothing if you can source them easily while other could cost 400-500. There are pros and cons for everything. Same for liner. EPDM is excellent choice and last 30-40y but could be hard to get like you experience or cost an arm and leg for shipping. PVC liner is thinner, can get brittle if exposure to direct sun, may only last 10-15y but only cost fraction of price and readily available. Are you up to the task of replacing it 10-15y down the road. Do you think you will still be living at the same location. As an example, 2 years ago I built my pond cost me total $2200. Most expensive in my budget was the sieve, external pump and BD. If i build my pond again today I wouldn't change a thing.. well except for maybe better plumbing run. My advice, read all the comments and decide on your own. Don't blindly follow recommendation because some people are way richer than others.
      BTW, if you DON'T follow Bill's post above to the T, you could probably get a pond for around 2k and work reasonable well imo but others might but agree.
      Last edited by quan3t; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:36 PM.

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