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    Thread: Advice for a new 5,500 gallon pond build in Hawaii

    1. #1
      HawaiiDave is offline Junior Member
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      Advice for a new 5,500 gallon pond build in Hawaii

      This is my first post and I’m new to the forum although I have gotten a lot of great information from it so far. I have found this is a very effective forum for passing on knowledge and information. I’m in the preliminary stages and would greatly appreciate assistance in planning my first pond.

      I live in Hawaii and am building a new house on my property about a year from now and an integral part of the house is an approximately 5,500 gallon koi pond. I will be building this house as an owner/contractor and have built two other houses before. I will be building the pond but I have never built one before. I am open to any suggestions but a few things would be difficult to change. It will be partly raised cement block with a subterranean reinforced concrete bottom coated with pond armor. It will be 10 feet wide and 15-16 feet long with a proposed depth of 5 feet on average (sloped to two bottom drains)

      The pond equipment will be 6 feet from the end of the pond. This space is 10 feet wide. If needed I can make the equipment bay 10 feet deep. It will be enclosed and soundproofed as it is directly adjacent to the living space.

      My priorities are low energy usage, ease of maintenance and quiet operation. I am willing to spend money up front to achieve these goals.

      PROPOSED EQUIPMENT

      2 Aquadyne Rhino II BD with air diffuser 4” pipe gravity drain to 2 separate HydroSieve PF compact pond sieve prefilters
      Remote skimmer 4” gravity drain to a HydroSieve satellite pond skimmer
      All these will be draining by 4” pipe to a ProfiDrum combi bio 30 with extra media and domestic water modification.
      Return from the RDF via 2 pumps, Flowfriend standard to three 3” TPRs, and a Flowfriend JR 3” outflow through a 55 watt aquascape UV with a bypass to a Aquascape 1000 waterfall filter with Bacteria House filter media.
      A 3” mid water intake will be hooked up to the pond skimmer filter and opened if I need extra flow to the RDF

      I have a concern about getting good flow volumes from the bottom drains to the RDF by sending it first through the prefilters. I’m not sure I need them but I was hoping they would make the RDF more efficient. They do take up a lot of space in my equipment bay which is limited in size. The way I have it plumbed is each 4” bottom drain line goes directly to the prefilter inlet which is about 6 inches below water level. It then exits about 20” below water level and is plumbed to the RDF inlet which is a little less than 30” below water level.

      The pond will not be overstocked but I’m wondering if the bio filtration will be adequate. I’m hoping 100 liters of K1 media in the moving bed filter and perhaps 20 lbs of Bacteria House filter media in the waterfall filter will be enough. Our ambient temperature here is very constant with an average if 75 degrees so the pond will be that temperature as well. I haven’t completely ruled out a shower filter (ProfiDrum makes one that fits on the RDF). My impression is they are noisy which is a problem for my setup.

      The two variable speed pumps should allow me to dial in the total hourly filtration from a few thousand GPH up to the RDFs maximum of 8,000 GPH. I’m thinking 5-6000 GPH should be good for this pond. 1,500-2000 to the waterfall filter and the rest to the TPRs.

      Thank you in advance for your input.


      Scanned Documents 2.pdf
      House plans showing pond location
      Scanned Documents.pdf
      Top view of pond. Equipment is to the left
      Scanned Documents 2.pdf
      Side view of pond

    2. #2
      gray cat's Avatar
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      Welcome to Koiphen HawaiiDave. You have come to the right place for info.
      Nancy



      Koiphen 2013 Koi Person of the Year!

    3. #3
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      Hi Dave and welcome to the forum.
      Looking forward to photos of the location, although living by the Mediterranean sea is not bad, I think Hawaii must be in a different league. As you are hands on and obviously pretty capable the (koi pond) world is your oyster. I am sorry my setup is totally different to what you are planning so can't be of much help. My 12k us gal pond relies for filtration on two massive wetland areas (no rdf's, sieves, mbf's, showers or waterfalls) the good thing it is totally and completely silent and uses eight 3000/l hour pumps that only absorb 10w each. I know wetland filtration is not for everyone but by golly the possibilities with your Hawaiian environment. Ciao

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by HawaiiDave View Post
      This is my first post and I’m new to the forum although I have gotten a lot of great information from it so far. I have found this is a very effective forum for passing on knowledge and information. I’m in the preliminary stages and would greatly appreciate assistance in planning my first pond.
      Welcome and thanks for joining Koiphen!
      You might want to repost your pond info in the Construction forum too as many don't visit the Welcome forum and
      you might not get many responses.

      https://www.koiphen.com/forums/forum...and-Filtration

      Looks like a great build... I'm looking forward to watching your progress! Enjoy!
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


    5. #5
      HawaiiDave is offline Junior Member
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      Advice wanted for a 5,500 gallon new pond build

      This is my first post and Im new to the forum although I have gotten a lot of great information from it so far. I have found this is a very effective forum for passing on knowledge and information. Im in the preliminary stages and would greatly appreciate assistance in planning my first pond.

      I live in Hawaii and am building a new house on my property about a year from now and an integral part of the house is an approximately 5,500 gallon koi pond. I will be building this house as an owner/contractor and have built two other houses before. I will be building the pond but I have never built one before. I am open to any suggestions but a few things would be difficult to change. It will be partly raised cement block with a subterranean reinforced concrete bottom coated with pond armor. It will be 10 feet wide and 15-16 feet long with a proposed depth of 5 feet on average (sloped to two bottom drains)

      The pond equipment will be 6 feet from the end of the pond. This space is 10 feet wide. If needed I can make the equipment bay 10 feet deep. It will be enclosed and soundproofed as it is directly adjacent to the living space.

      My priorities are low energy usage, ease of maintenance and quiet operation. I am willing to spend money up front to achieve these goals.

      PROPOSED EQUIPMENT

      2 Aquadyne Rhino II BD with air diffuser 4 pipe gravity drain to 2 separate HydroSieve PF compact pond sieve prefilters
      Remote skimmer 4 gravity drain to a HydroSieve satellite pond skimmer
      Name:  6DFA04BE-EAB7-45AE-BA18-7159255C3342.jpeg
Views: 121
Size:  12.5 KB
      All these will be draining by 4 pipe to a ProfiDrum combi bio 30 with extra media and domestic water modification.
      Return from the RDF via 2 pumps, Flowfriend standard to three 3 TPRs, and a Flowfriend JR 3 outflow through a 55 watt aquascape UV with a bypass to a Aquascape 1000 waterfall filter with Bacteria House filter media.
      A 3 mid water intake will be hooked up to the pond skimmer filter and opened if I need extra flow to the RDF

      I have a concern about getting good flow volumes from the bottom drains to the RDF by sending it first through the prefilters. Im not sure I need them but I was hoping they would make the RDF more efficient. They do take up a lot of space in my equipment bay which is limited in size. The way I have it plumbed is each 4 bottom drain line goes directly to the prefilter inlet which is about 6 inches below water level. It then exits about 20 below water level and is plumbed to the RDF inlet which is a little less than 30 below water level.

      The pond will not be overstocked but Im wondering if the bio filtration will be adequate. Im hoping 100 liters of K1 media in the moving bed filter and perhaps 20 lbs of Bacteria House filter media in the waterfall filter will be enough. Our ambient temperature here is very constant with an average if 75 degrees so the pond will be that temperature as well. I havent completely ruled out a shower filter (ProfiDrum makes one that fits on the RDF). My impression is they are noisy which is a problem for my setup.

      The two variable speed pumps should allow me to dial in the total hourly filtration from a few thousand GPH up to the RDFs maximum of 8,000 GPH. Im thinking 5-6000 GPH should be good for this pond. 1,500-2000 to the waterfall filter and the rest to the TPRs.

      Thank you in advance for your input. Any help would be appreciated. Im particularly worried about the pond drainage to the RDF. It seems that by bringing the bottom drain lines all the way up to near the water level to get to the top of the prefilters is not give me the 2-3000 GPH I need from each one of them. If the pictures arent clear I can redraw them or explain verbally.


      Scanned Documents 2.pdf
      House plans showing pond location
      Scanned Documents 4.pdf
      Top view of pond. Equipment is to the left
      Scanned Documents 2 6.pdf
      Side view of pond

    6. #6
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      Thank you so much. What a newbie….I thought I did post it on the construction forum! Now I have.

    7. #7
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      Welcome to Koiphen
      -=[Sunny]=-

      I have served, I have fought to defends the rights and freedom of all Americans. I am a proud Retired Veteran!

    8. #8
      One Poet's Garden's Avatar
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      Hey, Dave,

      Others here know more about filters, flow rates, drainage patterns, etc., than I do, so I'll leave those issues to them. But I do have a - perhaps silly - question.

      I've heard there's occasional volcanic activity in your general region. Does that also mean there are lots of little earthquakes? And if so, do they have any effect on the type of cement block you're using?

      Just curious...

      Best,

      Bill

    9. #9
      icu2's Avatar
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      I've never used the Hydrosieve but seen a couple people that have from a BD and they have changed them
      out due to the maintenance. I'm afraid they'd just be one more thing to clean. They have a max flow rate
      of 5700 gph so I think they'd flow enough but not sure they'd be worth the $500 each. Do you have a lot of
      debris that will fall in the pond? I think the majority of people just run the BD's directly to the RDF.

      Much of the bio load depends on how much you feed. Not overstocked means different things to different
      hobbyists.
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


    10. #10
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      Bill,

      An excellent question.

      We do live on the big island of Hawaii where the volcano is active but on the opposite end of the island. We do get occasional earthquakes and all our buildings are designed with that in mind.

      Two of the four sides of the pond are actually part of the foundation for the house and will be on very solid footings, reinforced with rebar and concrete filled. You have made me think about this some more and I now intend to do the same for the other two shorter sides of the pond. Obviously one big crack caused by an earthquake or shift in soil could be catastrophic.

      I have read about interlocking cement blocks but am not convinced they would hold up better in an earthquake than reinforced and filled block.

      Thank you for your question

      Dave

    11. #11
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      The pond is actually between to parts of the house with a 12 foot wall on one side and a 10 foot wall on the other. 8 of the 10 foot width of the pond are covered with roof. A long way of saying despite living in a windy place I don’t expect much debris going in the pond.

      My thought was that it would catch the bigger stuff and then the RDF wouldn’t have to clean itself as often. When I look at it, it filters to 100 microns which is not that much different than the 70 microns the drum filter does.

      Your comment has been helpful in realizing that the prefilter from the BD is overkill and probably just a maintenance nightmare. I do think that the HydroSieve satellite skimmer filter makes sense instead of just running a unfiltered skimmer to the RDF.

      As far as bio filtration goes I think my concern there is the year round warm day and night temperatures here will likely increase the metabolism of the koi and so this pond may produce more waste than some others it’s size. Will 100 Liters of K1 media in a moving bed filter plus 20 or so lbs of good ceramic media in a waterfall box be enough?

    12. #12
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      100 liters would be a little less than 4 cu. ft. I think. How many fish do you envision having? Koi with better genetics can
      grow out to over 30", so when you think of a number, remember they may get large. Too many variables for me to hazard
      a guess if the 100 L will be enough. That Aquascape 1000 doesn't look large enough to really make much of an impact.

      Just for simplicity I'll combine your two threads so it doesn't get too confusing.
      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


    13. #13
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      Thank you for combining the threads Steve.

      I believe 100 liters of media is the most the ProfiDrum CombiBio 30 can hold. The 50 will hold 225.

      You are absolutely correct the waterfall filter is small. I will be removing the mechanical filter material in there and putting in high quality ceramic media. I figure the volume inside is between 1 and 1.5 cubic feet so I probably can fit 30-40 pounds of media in there with a flow rate of perhaps 1,500-2000 GPH. I know thats a small amount compared to a large shower filter but Im thinking of it as just an add on.

      So I guess the question is that enoughor should I think of another secondary bio filter in addition to the CombiBio 30or should I get the CombiBio 50..or other options?

      I have to admit I dont know at this point how many Koi will be in thereI have always envisioned about 20but Id rather over build the filtration than take any risk of under building it.
      Last edited by HawaiiDave; 12-02-2021 at 10:34 PM.

    14. #14
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      Regarding your block walls. To me interlocking blocks only means the joints are off set from those below, and that is really the only way to lay block regardless of where they are used. I really recommend you place a 4" deep x 12" wide footing before you start the block walls. Notch the top of every other level of blocks using a skill saw with diamond blade, and run horizontal rebar (3/8" is good) around the pond. Lap each bar about 20 diameters. Drill into the footing and install vertical 3/8" rebar in every other block, use landscaping adhesive to lock them in place. Once you got the block to the the elevation you want, fill the blocks with concrete and vibrate the concrete to eliminate any bubbles. I can give you directions for a homemade vibrator.

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      Thank you for the block wall advise Grumpy. I’m definitely going to make a large footing for the walls. I didn’t really explain this but one of the walls on the longer side of the pond will be a block wall (15 foot side) continues on for another 14 feet and will be a total of 16 feet tall! Every new house built in Hawaii now has to be stamped by a structural engineer so I suppose he will insist on a huge footing.

      Our local Home Depot sells these:

      Name:  FA2AC0AC-DD6A-4853-AB41-9D06D9540DCD.jpeg
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      I have never core filled a block wall before but I have read about it. Given wall is so tall I’m assuming it will have to be done in 4 or 5 foot layers. I’m wondering if only the bottom part for the pond will need filling? The rest of the wall will support the roof and will be a shear wall. It will be faced with limestone. Suggestion? I will be piling rock and soil up against the side of this wall up to the water level to buttress it. I have a concrete vibrator that I used to make the foundation for another house on the property.

      Is landscape adhesive better than mortar for this project? I’ve never used it.

    16. #16
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      I'd fill the wall up to where pond level will be if using a coating on the block and not a liner. Likewise
      I'd use mortar and not the adhesive. I've only seen adhesive used when constructing block for a liner.

      I used a product called Xypex in the concrete and coated the interior of my block pond and have been
      very happy with it.



      --Steve
      ..WWKC Treasurer


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      Are you planning on a liner or a concrete pond? I have a concrete lined pond with Xypex in the concrete filler and in the ferrocement liner that I applied in mesh covering the blocks. As far as mortar or adhesive, if you have a professional laying the blocks mortar is great, I did my own blocks and knew my limitations to get the mortar sticky so the adhesive worked best for me. I did test the adhesive first and the unfilled block broke before the landscape adhesive joint failed.

      If you have to get the plans stamped by a PE, than he will have suggestions on the wall design, especially on that tall wall. .

    18. #18
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      That is quite the pond Steve. Love the curved shape.

      I appreciate the Xypex info from you and Grumpy. I’ve looked into is some this morning and adding this to the filler makes a lot of sense.

      The pond is a rectangle with sharp corners so I have ruled out using a liner. Im planning on a fully concrete pond with straight block walls and tapering floor to the BDs.

      Im looking into using Pond Armor, an epoxy coating designed for ponds in black to give the pond a formal look.

      Does anyone have experience with this product?

      https://www.pondarmor.com/

      It does require acid etching before application. It can be rolled, brushed or sprayed on.

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      Quote Originally Posted by HawaiiDave View Post
      Thank you for combining the threads Steve.

      I believe 100 liters of media is the most the ProfiDrum CombiBio 30 can hold. The 50 will hold 225.

      You are absolutely correct the waterfall filter is small. I will be removing the mechanical filter material in there and putting in high quality ceramic media. I figure the volume inside is between 1 and 1.5 cubic feet so I probably can fit 30-40 pounds of media in there with a flow rate of perhaps 1,500-2000 GPH. I know thats a small amount compared to a large shower filter but Im thinking of it as just an add on.

      So I guess the question is that enoughor should I think of another secondary bio filter in addition to the CombiBio 30or should I get the CombiBio 50..or other options?

      I have to admit I dont know at this point how many Koi will be in thereI have always envisioned about 20but Id rather over build the filtration than take any risk of under building it.
      100l wont do the job for 20 large (24 plus koi). I have over 400l of k1 for 12 koi and it is marginal during summer 72-76 degrees with moderate feeding. You could try a smaller media like K1 micro or smaller (more surface area).

      Ive used pond armor. Fine and expensive if pond is structurally sound.
      Last edited by pondfishguy; 12-04-2021 at 07:26 AM.

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      Thank you pondfishguy. All my research including what I have found on this site confirm you are correct. To be clear I’m planing on a secondary biological filter in a waterfall filter with high quality ceramic media. This would hopefully boost filtration some. It’s also part of my plan to have some redundancy in the filter system.

      My plan has evolved to upgrade to the ProfiDrum CombiBio 50 which has a limit of 275 Litters if Kaldnes K1. (At least on a UK venders website….it looks like there’s a new version of this unit which I hope will be available in the US when I’m ready to buy in 6 months or so). Some people have questioned whether this filter can use smaller media.

      I’m trying to avoid a Bakki shower for noise reasons but I suppose this would be the best answer.

      So, my current plan for filtration of a 5,500 gallon pond (10x16 about 4.5 average depth) is:

      ProfiDrum CombiBio 50 will 275 liters of K1 media running at about 8000 Gallons per hour (max for this system is 13,200 G/h) with about 5,500 returned by 3 TPRs and about 2,500 by a separate pump to a waterfall filter with 40 lbs of ceramic media.

      I would love to hear from experienced people on what you think about this. If this is not adequate then I’d really like some other options to think about.

      Thank you in advance

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