Putting my pond on a timer

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Kenny the Koi, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Kenny the Koi

    Kenny the Koi

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    I have a great little pond and love everything about it. I have about 12 koi, some about 12", a few babies, and everythng between. It has been very healthy for it's entire life (4 years).

    Right now I run a pump full time, but want to put a timer on it in order to save a little expense. It adds up of course. I was thinking that not much could go wrong to shut the pond down for a few hours during the night and maybe the day. My plan was to maybe kill it for 2 or 3 two hour stretches per 24 hours. That could save 20-25% of the running costs.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks, Ken
     
    Kenny the Koi, Apr 24, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Kenny the Koi

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,920
    Location:
    Fallbrook, Ca USA
    Welcome to the Forum!
    Please post an introduction.
    Ponds require 24/7 circulation and filtration.
     
    DrDave, Apr 24, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Kenny the Koi

    Kenny the Koi

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    When we clean the pond, and during some other periods. Our pond is off. It has been off for several hours before with no noticable effects.

    Do you really think it will be effected by a few hours of off time?

    If that is the case, my current pump runs a waterfall and is substantial. What about running a secondary pump that just moves a minor amount of water when the main pump is off,

    Surely I am not the forst person that has experimented with this. Cutting out only three hours is a 12.5% savings.

    We are novices though, so I respect the opinions of the pros.
     
    Kenny the Koi, Apr 24, 2011
    #3
  4. Kenny the Koi

    j.w I Love my Goldies

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    18,651
    Location:
    Arlington, Washington
    [​IMG] Kenny the Koi
    Seeings as you have those Koi (being as messy as they are) I would allow some kind of filter w/ a pump to run all the time but I think you could leave the other larger pump off if you like for a short while. The longer you leave it off the more chance of the good bacteria going bad and messing up your water chemistry possibly harming your fish. You could also add an air stone and or a bubbler to add extra oxygen for the fish. They don't need a large pump to run those. I have an old aquarium pump running an air stone in my pond and an old fountain pump that bubbles up water that I got at Lowes or some place similar. Everything like that helps w/ oxygen and keeping the fish healthy and happy :regular_waving_emot
     
    j.w, Apr 24, 2011
    #4
  5. Kenny the Koi

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    22,345
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland zone 6b
    I have our pond pump running all of the time into our bog filter. The steam waterfall pump is on a timer. If you can set it up to run your filter with a smaller pump and put your waterfall on a timer that might help you.

    and welcome!
    [​IMG]
     
    addy1, Apr 24, 2011
    #5
  6. Kenny the Koi

    shakaho

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Winter Springs FL
    Why should the filter run 24 hours? The only reasons I can think of is if your filter drains when you shut off the pump and could dry out, or you are heavily overstocked and need to be overfiltered.
     
    shakaho, Apr 24, 2011
    #6
  7. Kenny the Koi

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    22,345
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland zone 6b
    The aeorbic bacteria die after around 5 hours of no water flow. My bog is my filter, i want to keep the bacteria alive. I currently have maybe 3-5 fish, in a 9-11k gallon pond, so definitely not over stocked. My bog stays wet even with the flow off, but no o2 flow without the pump running.
     
    addy1, Apr 24, 2011
    #7
  8. Kenny the Koi

    DoDad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,407
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Several hours no problem unless you have big fish in a small pond. your bio will start to die if it's off much longer.
     
    DoDad, Apr 24, 2011
    #8
  9. Kenny the Koi

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    19,339
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    welcome kenny the koi and I have koi too and they are the messiest critters around and my pumps never go down except to clean them and to add fresh water .
     
    sissy, Apr 25, 2011
    #9
  10. Kenny the Koi

    shakaho

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Winter Springs FL
    What is the basis for the statement that nitrifying bacteria will die without water flow? They don't have water flow in lakes or in soil, where they are found in nature. Even if you treat your pond with factory-grown bacteria, your pond will pick up natural bugs. In spite of what you read on the internet, there are many, many species of nitrifying bacteria, and the types that you can buy are not even the most common ones in nature. Rather they are among the few that can be grown in large-scale culture. Many others can not be grown in culture at all, and the majority have not even been identified.

    They definitely do not need a steady supply of nitrogenous waste to stay alive. For the best-known of the nitrifying bacteria, oxidizing nitrogen compounds is an option they turn to, rather than their only means of nutrition.
     
    shakaho, Apr 25, 2011
    #10
  11. Kenny the Koi

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,920
    Location:
    Fallbrook, Ca USA
    They do need a current and even lakes have that. The ratio of fish per gallons in a lake preclude any logic for ponds.
     
    DrDave, Apr 25, 2011
    #11
  12. Kenny the Koi

    shakaho

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Winter Springs FL
    Why do you say "they" need a current? I don't understand. You are talking about nitrifying bacteria, right? You will find them on the surface of any container of water exposed to the environment -- a birdbath, rainbarrel, as well as in the soil, compost piles, sewage ponds, swamps, wet ditches, whatever.
     
    shakaho, Apr 25, 2011
    #12
  13. Kenny the Koi

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    22,345
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland zone 6b
    I run my bog 24/7 I want those little suckers to be as healthy as possible.

    just from the net:

    Nitrifying bacteria are chemoautotrophic bacteria that grow at the expense of inorganic nitrogen compounds. Many species of nitrifying bacteria have complex internal membrane systems that are the location for key enzymes in nitrification: ammonia monooxygenase which oxidizes ammonia to hydroxylamine, and nitrite oxidoreductase, which oxidizes nitrite to nitrate.

    Nitrification in nature is the result of actions of two groups of organisms, the nitrosifyers (ammonia-oxidizing bacteria) and nitrifying bacteria (nitrite-oxidizing, nitrate producing bacteria)

    Nitrosifying bacteria
    1. NH3 + O2 + 2e- + 2H+ → NH2OH + H2O
    2. NH2OH + H2O + 1/2 O2 → NO2- +2 H2O + H+
    Nitrifying bacteria
    NO2- + 1/2 O2 → NO3-

    Nitrifying bacteria are classified as obligate chemolithotrophs. This simply means that they must use inorganic salts as an energy source and generally cannot utilize organic materials. They must oxidize ammonia and nitrites for their energy needs and fix inorganic carbon dioxide (CO2) to fulfill their carbon requirements. They are largely non-motile and must colonize a surface (gravel, sand, synthetic biomedia, etc.) for optimum growth. They secrete a sticky slime matrix which they use to attach themselves.


    Species of Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter are gram negative, mostly rod-shaped, microbes ranging between 0.6-4.0 microns in length.

    They are obligate aerobes and cannot multiply or convert ammonia or nitrites in the absence of oxygen.


    Nitrifying bacteria have long generation times due to the low energy yield from their oxidation reactions. Since little energy is produced from these reactions they have evolved to become extremely efficient at converting ammonia and nitrite. Scientific studies have shown that Nitrosomonas bacterium are so efficient that a single cell can convert ammonia at a rate that would require up to one million heterotrophs to accomplish. Most of their energy production (80%) is devoted to fixing CO2 via the Calvin cycle and little energy remains for growth and reproduction. As a consequence, they have a very slow reproductive rate.
    Nitrifying bacteria reproduce by binary division. Under optimal conditions, Nitrosomonas may double every 7 hours and Nitrobacter every 13 hours. More realistically, they will double every 15-20 hours. This is an extremely long time considering that heterotrophic bacteria can double in as short a time as 20 minutes. In the time that it takes a single Nitrosomonas cell to double in population, a single E. Coli bacterium would have produced a population exceeding 35 trillion cells.​
    None of the Nitrobacteraceaeare able to form spores. They have a complex cytomembrane (cell wall) that is surrounded by a slime matrix. All species have limited tolerance ranges and are individually sensitive to pH, dissolved oxygen levels, salt, temperature, and inhibitory chemicals.


    Unlike species of heterotrophic bacteria, they cannot survive any drying process without killing the organism. In water, they can survive short periods of adverse conditions by utilizing stored materials within the cell. When these materials are depleted, the bacteria die.​


    Maximum nitrification rates will exist if dissolved oxygen (DO) levels exceed 80% saturation. Nitrification will not occur if DO concentrations drop to 2.0 mg/l (ppm) or less. Nitrobacter is more strongly affected by low DO than NITROSOMONAS.


     
    addy1, Apr 25, 2011
    #13
  14. Kenny the Koi

    Kenny the Koi

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    I am not sure how many of us are really qualified to break down the science of microbes here.

    I thought that this would be more of a question just based on experinece. Surely some koi ponds are on a timer womewher out there - be them in restaurants, or other places that don't have 24-7 admireres.

    I have a simple sytem wher my pump takes the water in, and then I split the flow between one feed underwater, and my waterfall (otherwise the water flow was overwhelming out of the water fall).

    I was just thinnkningabout saving 10-20% of the energy I use every month with a simple timer.
     
    Kenny the Koi, Apr 25, 2011
    #14
  15. Kenny the Koi

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    19,339
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    You could try solar power I am looking at going that way wind and sun power no batteries to fuss with and switches itself between grid and off grid they started in California .www.dyocore.com they call it solair
     
    sissy, Apr 25, 2011
    #15
  16. Kenny the Koi

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,827
    Location:
    Michigan zone 5b
    not that i would reccommend turning off your pumps,BUT, IMHO
    if timing your water pump(s) is something you feel inclined to do. i would for cautions sake put a air pump and a couple stones into play. one in the filter and one or more in the pond depending on its size and design. food wouldnt be the big issue for the bacteria,due to there being some constant residual waste material in the filter, its oxygen...low to no oxygen will turn bacteria anaerobic. anaerobic bacteria provides the same service as aerobic bacteria in that it breaks down ammonias and nitrites but its by products are toxic as well...namely hydrogen sulfide as the biggest. this is bad for the whole pond enviroment. not as immediate as ammonia, or nitrite but can build an accumalitive affect and subject fish to bacterial infection especially under stress. during the summer months when water temps are up, this could be a much bigger issue due to the fact that the warmer the water the less oxygen it holds...and that pond plants use oxygen during the night time, rather than supply it. couple those two factors and its a invitation to trouble. every ponds different, and i dont know your situation, but to err on the side of cauton...........
    on the plus side as far as saving money...aeration pumps are a whole lot cheaper to run and do move some water
     
    koiguy1969, Apr 25, 2011
    #16
  17. Kenny the Koi

    sissy sissy

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    19,339
    Location:
    Axton virginia
    Thats the main reason I am getting a new air pump as I know summer is probably going to be a hot and dry one like last summer was and trying all my options also to save money .I know that electric rates are not going down any time soon and neither are gas prices so it's a lose lose and I want to gain something back and if alternative energy is the way to go by all means bite the bullet now and take the hit .3 or 4 thousand now and government giving you back money on it and the state of VA is now offering to help why not .I saw more evidence of what is happening in the U.S.A. than I wanted when I was looking at bank owned and foreclosures for the couple I bought the house for .I had a real eye opener than ever before .I just got a call from the 1 realtor I worked with about a property bank owned and now they want me to rescue fish from sure death and going to get them and put them in other pond at the new house .Got most everything done yesterday at the pond and water running great still have to take pics but trying to work at it fast and don't want to lose time .
     
    sissy, Apr 25, 2011
    #17
  18. Kenny the Koi

    hewhoisatpeace Evil Genius

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Messages:
    420
    Location:
    Pendleton, SC
    How deep is your pond? Or, how many gallons? Sounds like you are currently overstocked, and need all the nitrifying bacteria you can get. You can't get that if you starve them for even 25% of the time. Koi should have MINIMUM 300 gallons each, if you have GREAT filtration. Sounds like you might not have that, unless your pond is more than 3' deep. You need 3600g, plus aeration, plus 24-7 filtration. My advice would be to invest in a more efficient pump. What are you using now?
     
    hewhoisatpeace, Apr 25, 2011
    #18
  19. Kenny the Koi

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    22,345
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland zone 6b
    Way to go sissy, we will call you sissy the fish rescuer
     
    addy1, Apr 25, 2011
    #19
  20. Kenny the Koi

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    9,827
    Location:
    Michigan zone 5b
    i dont have 300 gals per koi and mine are happy, healthy, and active. at present in my basement pond i have 5 15" to 20" plus 20 that are 4" to 6" in 800 gals....so by that measure i should only have 2....my parameters are good all the time. theyve been in this pond since september...7 months now. i dont know who comes up with these numbers, but i would bet most people on this forum far surpass that figure. OH plus an 18" peico.
     
    koiguy1969, Apr 25, 2011
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. frankrizzo

    Run pump 24/7 or put on timer?

    frankrizzo, May 27, 2009, in forum: Newbies to Garden Ponds
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    1,684
    oldmarine
    May 28, 2009
  2. 3qtkidz

    Why didn't I set a timer???

    3qtkidz, Aug 3, 2010, in forum: Garden Pond Talk
    Replies:
    12
    Views:
    1,216
    DrDave
    Aug 10, 2010
  3. Bmackkc

    Small first-timer

    Bmackkc, May 9, 2011, in forum: Introductions
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    483
    DrDave
    May 9, 2011
  4. davepratt

    first timer

    davepratt, Sep 18, 2011, in forum: Introductions
    Replies:
    13
    Views:
    3,345
    fishin4cars
    Sep 18, 2011
  5. RoyalFeather

    putting in a 50+gal. pond. Opinions needed

    RoyalFeather, Aug 17, 2012, in forum: Newbies to Garden Ponds
    Replies:
    5
    Views:
    689
    Waterbug
    Aug 17, 2012
Loading...

Share This Page