2nd pond, 1st build: solids settling question


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I inherited my first pond with a house and it was a mess. The pond water looked like thick pea soup, to my surprise there were live koi in it. I can say I learned a lot (the hard way) and eventually had a magnificent pond (20’x8’). Here I am 4 years later and in a new house. I am missing my pond and it’s time to do something about it.

I didn’t have a bottom drain last time but Like Scarlet O’Hara “never again”. I have seen the vortex settling chambers but they are costly. Is there a less expensive way of getting the solids out? I have a really long yard but not very wide and all the same elevation.
 
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addy1

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Welcome!

I don't have koi, shubunkins, over 100, no bottom drain. I use a bog only to filter my pond which works great. It has been 10 years and there is still not much stuff on the bottom of the pond, mainly spilled pea gravel, kitty litter.
 
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Interesting. No waste on the bottom of the pond? No algae in the bog? How big is the pond? Is it deep?

mom looking for pictures of my old pond, this is the only one I found so far.
 

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brokensword

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If you have a bog type filter, you can create an area using Aquablox or large round stones (as a first layer) in which the water slows and the solids can drop out. Provided your flow isn't overly strong. The water then rises up through the media (generally, pea gravel or a combo of 2" stone under pea gravel) and any nitrates are taken up by the plants on top. Water returns then usually via gravity waterfall to your pond. Read up on bog/upflow wetland filtration and see how almost-maintenance it is, not to mention how well it'll help keep your pond from turning green. A bog and many plants; that's the secret.
 

Mmathis

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@Taralynna Hello and welcome! My favorite Scarlett O’Hara quote has to do with “tomorrow is another day.”

Yes, there many things to consider with a pond. Most of us here see ponds as 2 different types
  1. The dedicated koi pond (DKP)
  2. or the natural, garden pond
You have to decide which of these suites your needs. Neither is good or bad. They are simply DIFFERENT.

If you are of the DKP mindset, then there are all types of equipment, set-ups, and chemicals you can use. These are the people who keep their ponds pristine. For more advice on equipment and pond set-ups you might want to try the forum KOIPHEN.COM. They are up on the latest equipment, etc.

The other mindset is “let Mother Nature do the work for you.” These are the folks who want a more carefree approach to pondkeeping. Bogs (or wetlands filters, as they are also called) do a wonderful job of keeping the water in good, healthy condition. Yes, you will still have algae, but if you keep your pond balanced (plenty of plants and not overstocked), there will be very little maintenance.

For the DKP, yes, BD’s, settling tanks, etc. are important. For a pond filtered by a bog, the only thing you need to worry about is occasionally scooping debris off the bottom (with a net). I use a “solids” pump (not for big junk, but it will handle smaller debris without harming the pump), and I keep it in a pump bag that keeps larger debris out.

Bottom line, it’s all about balance. Only you can decide how much effort you want to expend to create that balance.
 
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If you have a bog type filter, you can create an area using Aquablox or large round stones (as a first layer) in which the water slows and the solids can drop out. Provided your flow isn't overly strong. The water then rises up through the media (generally, pea gravel or a combo of 2" stone under pea gravel) and any nitrates are taken up by the plants on top. Water returns then usually via gravity waterfall to your pond. Read up on bog/upflow wetland filtration and see how almost-maintenance it is, not to mention how well it'll help keep your pond from turning green. A bog and many plants; that's the secret.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I plan to have a bog. With the aqua lox system how do you clean out the settled solids? Do you have to remove all the bloc and rocks ? I will go look up that name and see if I can figure it out. My old pond had an upper pond (preformed shell) that I stuck irises in thru milk crate holes and no dirt or rock. Those things grew and filled up the entire upper pond. It wasn’t a well done bog more of an accidental bog. When I got into it there was about 9” of green sludge in the bottom. That’s with a skimmer, uv and a filter box waterfall with bio balls in it.
 
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@Taralynna Hello and welcome! My favorite Scarlett O’Hara quote has to do with “tomorrow is another day.”

Yes, there many things to consider with a pond. Most of us here see ponds as 2 different types
  1. The dedicated koi pond (DKP)
  2. or the natural, garden pond
You have to decide which of these suites your needs. Neither is good or bad. They are simply DIFFERENT.

If you are of the DKP mindset, then there are all types of equipment, set-ups, and chemicals you can use. These are the people who keep their ponds pristine. For more advice on equipment and pond set-ups you might want to try the forum KOIPHEN.COM. They are up on the latest equipment, etc.

The other mindset is “let Mother Nature do the work for you.” These are the folks who want a more carefree approach to pondkeeping. Bogs (or wetlands filters, as they are also called) do a wonderful job of keeping the water in good, healthy condition. Yes, you will still have algae, but if you keep your pond balanced (plenty of plants and not overstocked), there will be very little maintenance.

For the DKP, yes, BD’s, settling tanks, etc. are important. For a pond filtered by a bog, the only thing you need to worry about is occasionally scooping debris off the bottom (with a net). I use a “solids” pump (not for big junk, but it will handle smaller debris without harming the pump), and I keep it in a pump bag that keeps larger debris out.

Bottom line, it’s all about balance. Only you can decide how much effort you want to expend to create that balance.
I really appreciate your experience. I am not really a dedicated koi pond person and don’t want the $3k filter system etc. I am more of a garden pond person. However, I had 1 slider turtle in the old pond and loved her. She brought so much joy to that pond. She also pooped like a small human! I usually didn’t feed them except maybe when kids were over I would let them. Occasionally in summer when she would chase me down! Lol. Anyway the system will need to be a little beefed up because of a turtle I think. Maybe a solids pump will work- I’ll check it out.

Thank you for your thorough response.

Thank you
 

Jhn

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@Taralynna The bog with aqua blocks is pumped out when needed through a snorkel, ( a large tube that sticks up through the gravel, which is the lowest point in the bog so solids will settle there). A properly sized bog/wetland filter is more than enough to handle a turtle. I have 5 turtles and a ton of fish in my main pond, filtered with nothing but a bog, and the water stays clear, never have green water.
 
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@Taralynna Hello and welcome! My favorite Scarlett O’Hara quote has to do with “tomorrow is another day.”

Yes, there many things to consider with a pond. Most of us here see ponds as 2 different types
  1. The dedicated koi pond (DKP)
  2. or the natural, garden pond
You have to decide which of these suites your needs. Neither is good or bad. They are simply DIFFERENT.

If you are of the DKP mindset, then there are all types of equipment, set-ups, and chemicals you can use. These are the people who keep their ponds pristine. For more advice on equipment and pond set-ups you might want to try the forum KOIPHEN.COM. They are up on the latest equipment, etc.

The other mindset is “let Mother Nature do the work for you.” These are the folks who want a more carefree approach to pondkeeping. Bogs (or wetlands filters, as they are also called) do a wonderful job of keeping the water in good, healthy condition. Yes, you will still have algae, but if you keep your pond balanced (plenty of plants and not overstocked), there will be very little maintenance.

For the DKP, yes, BD’s, settling tanks, etc. are important. For a pond filtered by a bog, the only thing you need to worry about is occasionally scooping debris off the bottom (with a net). I use a “solids” pump (not for big junk, but it will handle smaller debris without harming the pump), and I keep it in a pump bag that keeps larger debris out.

Bottom line, it’s all about balance. Only you can decide how much effort you want to expend to create that balance.
Well said @Mmathis
 
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@Jhn how's the addition coming along ? I myself am sold on the bog as well, the water was so clear in the fall that even after being shut down for 4 months the water was still clear not crystal but it wouldn't be called murkey either. Started the pump up this past weekend and even without the plants in bloom little more then a mass of roots actually water was crystal in a few hours
 
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I would stay away from a main drain with turtles , for the reason if your pump is strong they can get stuck and get held under . The helix skimmer is pretty much ideal for turtles and a intake bay. now you could go a step further with the main drain. I have two main drains in the bottom of my 6 foot deep pond both are on the same pipe so if one gets clogged by a child the pressure is transferred over to the other drain. Now i did take that a little further and i made like a 2" lift out of Matrix blocks and then laid a large panel matrix panel over that so when i covered the matrix panel with gravel the area that had draw was 30 inches long by 18 " wide next to no pull but anything that hit the floor and the fish while grooming the rocks on the bottom as they move the rocks the idea was the waste would drop into that void and get pulled in and out to the bog. So far so good
 
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I’m reviewing videos about building a bog. Doing my homework. They aren’t really showing what kind of pump to pump from a bottom drain directly into the bog. Are you guys saying that if I have a correctly sized bog filter there won’t be anything to clog us the leaf basket on a typical pond pump?
 
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I would stay away from a main drain with turtles , for the reason if your pump is strong they can get stuck and get held under . The helix skimmer is pretty much ideal for turtles and a intake bay. now you could go a step further with the main drain. I have two main drains in the bottom of my 6 foot deep pond both are on the same pipe so if one gets clogged by a child the pressure is transferred over to the other drain. Now i did take that a little further and i made like a 2" lift out of Matrix blocks and then laid a large panel matrix panel over that so when i covered the matrix panel with gravel the area that had draw was 30 inches long by 18 " wide next to no pull but anything that hit the floor and the fish while grooming the rocks on the bottom as they move the rocks the idea was the waste would drop into that void and get pulled in and out to the bog. So far so good

Great idea! Thank you for sharing it. I would hate to suck up a baby fish or turtle.
 

brokensword

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I’m reviewing videos about building a bog. Doing my homework. They aren’t really showing what kind of pump to pump from a bottom drain directly into the bog. Are you guys saying that if I have a correctly sized bog filter there won’t be anything to clog us the leaf basket on a typical pond pump?
you don't need bottom drains. You can, of course, and you'd pump the water from there to a manifold beneath the bog media. Same with submersibles, just no bottom drain. I have 2 pumps (no bottom drain), each going to a waterfall and each Ying off to a bog inlet. You should have your pumps up off the bottom (if going with submersibles) as this sends a lot less 'solids' to your bog. A bog type filter isn't a mechanical filter, it's a biological one, though it will traps solids. Hence why you lift the pump off the bottom. And no, no leaf basket; that's what a skimmer/intake bay is for. A bog is about the least maintenance you'll ever have re filtration.

You'll find with a balanced pond, you'll get the 'nothing on the bottom' ponds like @addy1 and myself have. It's only when you're out of balance that bad stuff happens. A bog, lots of plants, aeration/water movement, appropriate bioload for your level of filtration, and don't overfeed; that's how you have success.
 

addy1

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Interesting. No waste on the bottom of the pond? No algae in the bog? How big is the pond? Is it deep?
I have some pea gravel, some kitty litter a bit of dirt on the bottom. My pond goes from 1.5 feet to 5.5 feet deep. I have a very basic bog, pea gravel, plants and pvc pipes. My pump is external, my intake is from a pvc pipe with a 5 gallon bucket covering the end drilled full of 1/4 inch holes. I draw water from about a foot off the bottom.

I do not get a ton of algae in the pond, there is always a bit of algae, but no string algae The small ponds, fed dirty water from the big pond do get string, slow flow, warm I leave it the critters love it.

This is a picture right after I did spring turn on. the bucket is to the right. Hornwort on the bottom You can see the bottom of the pond right below the fish.
Screenshot_20210313-174924.jpg
 
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Addy1 I love it! Nothing fancy but it works. I love the underwater camera- so cool. I guess I’ve been reading to many posts and had over complicated what I need. Fabulous. I will have to have a skimmer because it will be under a pepper tree that drops stuff once a year. Am thinking about a 3 way valve so I can switch back and forth.

Do you add aeration?
 
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you don't need bottom drains. You can, of course, and you'd pump the water from there to a manifold beneath the bog media. Same with submersibles, just no bottom drain. I have 2 pumps (no bottom drain), each going to a waterfall and each Ying off to a bog inlet. You should have your pumps up off the bottom (if going with submersibles) as this sends a lot less 'solids' to your bog. A bog type filter isn't a mechanical filter, it's a biological one, though it will traps solids. Hence why you lift the pump off the bottom. And no, no leaf basket; that's what a skimmer/intake bay is for. A bog is about the least maintenance you'll ever have re filtration.

You'll find with a balanced pond, you'll get the 'nothing on the bottom' ponds like @addy1 and myself have. It's only when you're out of balance that bad stuff happens. A bog, lots of plants, aeration/water movement, appropriate bioload for your level of filtration, and don't overfeed; that's how you have success.
Great. Thank you for your patience while I try to understand this. I think it’s so easy I over complicated it. That sure does make this more affordable and easier to build. Thank you.
 
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There are basically two types of bog filters. One with aqua blox, snorkel and centipede. Then the much simpler pvc manifold type. It's up to you which type you want to go with.

Mine is the simpler type, based on addy's build. Her's has been running for over 10 years without any problems. That was good enough for me.

My water has never been this clear since adding on the bog. The bog is now my only filter.
I previously had two pressure filters and a UV light running that were inadequate for my fish load.

 
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Welcome @Taralynna ! You've gotten so much great advice - I'll just add my "welcome" and we look forward to seeing what you come up with! Take lots of pictures - you'll be glad you did!
 

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