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  • Results 1 to 9 of 9

    Thread: New Pond Construction ADVICE REQUESTED

    1. #1
      rob_krusty is offline Junior Member
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      Jul 2014

      New Pond Construction ADVICE REQUESTED

      Greetings. I'm building a new pond soon and would like some advice and recommendations from wiser people than myself. I intend to build a partial above ground pond that will be approximately 5 feet deep below surface and maybe 2 feet above surface. The above ground will be some type of cinder blocks or capstones and it will be lined with a Firestone liner. The water parimeter will be 10x16'. I calculate it will be close to 8500 gallons. Here's what I'd like to do, and I'd like everyone's input on my build, where I'm wrong, and what I could do differently to maximize filtration and flow:

      First off, I have ZERO desire to do a gravity system with a pit, and want to use a SMF10000 EasyPro Skid Mount Filtration System that's rated at 10000 gallons and pump is rated at 7800gph. It has a bead filter, UV, and pump. I'll try to attach a picture. I'd like that pre-plumbed system to be at ground level right beside the pond in the middle of the long axis (where I intend for a waterfall shelf to be located). I'd like to have 2-3 bottom drains, 2 or 4 returns that are just a plain PVC pipe somewhere in the sides of the pond, and a main return to a simple 24 or 36" shelf-like waterfall (no rocks and such. just a simple overflowing shelf out of the above ground retaining wall). No plans for a skimmer. So here are my main questions which all about plumbing to maintain proper pressure/filtration/flow.

      1. The pre-plumbed Easy Pro system I'm buying has 2" inlets and outlets. What size PVC (2",3", or 4") should I use for the drains? I've heard that you should use 4" drains with gravity systems and 3" for pressure systems. HOWEVER, this system (and most others) has 2" inlets/outlets... so what good does it do to upsize to 3" lines/drains if I'm already bottlenecked to 2" inlets? (FYI - I'm fairly capable at building, but not real savvy with the water dynamics).

      2. What size returns should I run back to the pond? probably just 2"?

      3. Any recommendations on placement of the returns? Deep? Shallow? At the edge? Near the center? Alligned vertically in one corner? Alligned horizontally at the bottom? I ask because I want it to HELP the water circulation/drains and not hurt it.

      4. What parts do I need to seal the liner around those 2" returns (similar to a collar on a bottom drain I assume)?

      5. Where all do I need check valves and other "special" plumbing pieces if the pump/filter are above ground/drains but technically below the surface of the water level since it will be partially above ground?

      6. If I have multiple drains, should I connect them together with a single return pipe? Or should I have a return pipe for each drain? I can see the advantage of having return pipes for each, however, that increases the amount of head. Is it too much for the pump or no big deal? See question 1 again about what size returns lines/drains I should use.

      7. I'm thinking 2 drains cause that would have each catching a 5' radius area if the pond is 10x16.

      8. On YouTube, I've seen a ton of ponds built simply with 16x8x4 "capstones" instead of true cinder blocks. This is what I'd prefer, but I sincerely don't understand how this is as stable as cinder blocks with internal rebar. But for my purposes, it would only be supporting maybe 2' of water.

      Any other thoughts are GREATLY appreciated, so long as it isn't "you need to do a gravity system", "you're doing it all wrong", or "You need a skimmer to do this right". This needs to be a simple clean build for me which is why I want a pre-plumbed filter/pump system.

      Attached Images Attached Images  

    2. #2
      Leecm3 is offline Member
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      Oct 2019
      A Zakki sieve (http://deepwaterkoi.com/Zakki-Sieve-...akki-Sieve.htm) would work great in this application to filter large debris sucked up by bottom drains. You can tie multiple bottom drains to the zakki sieve. But you would probably want either 3” or 4” plumbing between bottom drains and sieve.

    3. #3
      icu2's Avatar
      icu2 is offline Administrator ~ WWKC President
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      Poulsbo, WA
      Quote Originally Posted by rob_krusty View Post
      Greetings. I'm building a new pond soon and would like some advice and recommendations from wiser people than myself.
      Welcome and thanks for joining Koiphen!

      Here's my two cents...
      I'd reconsider not adding a skimmer. Even if you don't anticipate a lot of falling debris, a skimmer keeps the water surface looking nicer.
      You may notice a film on the surface without one.

      I'd go ahead and use normal 4" BD's with 4" pipe all the way to the pump. Don't tee them together or reduce them till you get to the pump.
      The reason being in a year or two IF the lone pressure filter isn't working as you'd hope and you want to change things and need more
      flow from the drains than a 2" pipe can supply, you're stuck. You can't easily change it if you use a small 2" pipe.
      Each 4" BD should effectively work on a 12' diameter flowing 3500-4500 gph each. A 3" BD should be good for a 10' diameter
      flowing 2500-3500 gph each. I'd use 2 - 4" BD's.

      2" returns should work fine if under pressure and gravity returning flow should work as well up to about 2k gph per pipe.

      I'd place the returns (often referred to as tpr's: Tangental Pond Return) about 12" off the pond floor arranged something like this
      for two BD's:

      Name:  Steve tpr design.jpg
Views: 157
Size:  85.4 KB

      These work great for tpr's (tank connector for a straight connection) on a liner:


      Good luck with your build and I hope you'll share your progress when you get started!
      ..WWKC Treasurer

    4. #4
      pondfishguy is offline Senior Member
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      You’re planning a very nice sized pond and in the end you’ll want to be happy with your filtration system. One of the first key items to consider in the design is the quantity/size of fish you plan on stocking as well as if you’re going to be putting plants in the pond. The filter you selected has plastic media inside which they call “ultimate tube media”. It is generically called K2 and has a fairly large open structure with five ribs. If you’re looking to have clear water , you need to look at some other options to fill the filter with. The media size ranges K1/K2 being about the largest, to small beads.The size of the media will largely determine the clarity of the water as well as the back washing frequency. I have done many retrofits replacing K1 lor K2 with a smaller media to get better water quality.I will let others discuss why that skid is undersized for 8500 gallons. At a minimum you would want a pump with a 3 inch inlet. It’s all about the phrasing”up to 10,000 gallons”.

    5. #5
      One Poet's Garden's Avatar
      One Poet's Garden is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by rob_krusty View Post
      Any other thoughts are GREATLY appreciated, so long as it isn't "You need a skimmer to do this right".
      Dude! Last year, I built two ponds. When I was building the first, folks told me to plan for a skimmer. But I'm a stubborn old fool, and it just sounded like too much trouble and expense. And for what? I told myself the waterfall would take care of things.

      Oh, boy. Within a couple weeks, with all the DOCs, it was like I had a layer of plexiglass on the surface of the pond. I'm mostly a water gardener, so I have different aesthetic concerns than some of the 'fish only' folks, but I do have koi in there. Splashing water or not, there wasn't much air exchange going on, and the fish were suffering. I ended up having to put in an 'after the fact' skimmer. Yes, they make those, and I think their whole market is stubborn old fools like me, who think they know better: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BKP8J1G/

      When I built the big pond, I thought, "I don't need a skimmer." Then I looked at the lower pond, and ordered this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00893ND04. Fifty bucks. Worth it!



    6. #6
      Koidave1983 is offline Junior Member
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      Union, mo
      Just add a skimmer or I would suggest two. They are cheap and you will regret not doing it. . Get a pool skimmer and cut it open for a 3-4" it takes the place of a cinder block, not my photo but I did 3 of them and made it 4" gravity feed.
      Attached Images Attached Images  
      Last edited by Koidave1983; 05-15-2022 at 08:03 AM.

    7. #7
      Grumpy's Avatar
      Grumpy is offline Senior Member
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      8. On YouTube, I've seen a ton of ponds built simply with 16x8x4 "capstones" instead of true cinder blocks. This is what I'd prefer, but I sincerely don't understand how this is as stable as cinder blocks with internal rebar. But for my purposes, it would only be supporting maybe 2' of water.
      This is really a question of odds of failure. Engineering design is all about the odds of failure and the use of safety factors to avoid unanticipated conditions.

      The practice of building a reinforced footing and using concrete block with rebar both horizontal and vertical provides safety factors against failure and has an extremely high chance of success for the pond "frame" to last decades, even if built on less than ideal soil, and even when built by a typical homeowner without a great deal of experience with blocks, concrete, & rebar. The walls will last much longer than the rubber liner.

      The use of solid "capstones" has a much lower chance of success. The inability to incorporate rebar into the strength of the wall is the problem. Rebar provides the tension resistance of the walls. Without rebar the wall only has minimal ability to resist tension, and must rely on the soil around it to help resist the loads. Some soil can provide good support over time and under all moisture conditions; but some soil will not.

      Tension in the pond walls will not only be found in the exposed walls above ground. Water is much heavier than soil so the loads on the soil you expose during excavation may not be as consolidated as you think. The existing soil around many homes is not "original ground", but was disturbed during the house construction. Fill was placed, topsoil imported or removed, and pipe & power trenches were made and back filled without good compaction. Often the soil around a new house is simply graded to slope away from the structure and never compacted. So as a minimum the first few feet of the soil may be very loose and never consolidated.

      After the pond is built the soil conditions may change as a result of burrowing animals, erosion, or earthquake. A small pipe leak may exist for quite some time without notice weakening the soil. Your overflow system my plug and a sudden rain event may saturate the soil around your pond causing some soils to have less load carrying capacity.

      So it is all about odds of failure, talent of the builders, and soil conditions. A 8500 gallon pond sounds great, and the general rule of thumb is $2 to $7 per gallon. The cost of rebar and concrete block for your pond to have high odds of lasting decades should be less then $0.15 per gallon. It comes down to your tolerance of risk. The decision on the pond frame cannot be changed after the pond is built, unlike pumps, filters, etc.

    8. #8
      coolwon is offline Senior Member
      is Garfield is my name DIY is my
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      Long radius bends or multiple 45 degrees

      Less friction than on the 90 degree elbows.
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    9. #9
      hacnp's Avatar
      hacnp is offline Senior Member
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      For what it's worth, when I built the wife's lilly pond I simply stacked the 8x8x16 cinder blocks tight, no mortar and coated the outside with quickwall surface bonding cement. this is on a pond that is 8 ft. by 20 ft. one foot below grade and 2 courses of block above grade on a 12" wide and 4" high footer of concrete.
      I used standard roofing liner taken from a roof that was replaced. This was in 2006. It has had zero problems.
      Also, you do want a skimmer, period. Run the output from it over a bakki type shower and have that feed a phoam phractionator. You can look up the thread on it. DOC's tend to form a skin on the surface of the pond and a skimmer is the best way to pull this off and the phractionator will remove a lions share of them. I am not aware of any other filter that will remove molecules, i.e. DOC's.
      For context my bakki/fractionator is on our 45 ton Koi pond, not the wife's lilly pond.
      I wish you the best of luck with your build but do caution you that the pump is about the last thing you want to purchase, after you know your total head.

      P.S. I did not see in your post if you planed to use air domes on your bottom drains. I highly recommend them. They greatly increase the drains ability to pull from a larger area. Our pond is 17' x 27' in a ellipse shape with two spindrifters about 15 feet apart. With the air off for a couple of days I get an accumulation of material between the drains. with the air on, it all goes away in just hours. I run 40 liters a minute to each of my two drains. IMO it is also the most circulation bang for your buck by far you can add to a pond. That column of rising air carries a LOT of water with it. As it rises water is pulled in across the bottom and in turn is lifted, sort of a vertical TPR if you will.
      Last edited by hacnp; 05-29-2022 at 10:10 PM.
      Regards, Ken

      The most powerful point of suction in the pond occurs at our checking account. It's all Marges fault!

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