800 water garden with bog filter. Pump setup?


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Hi.

My question regards how to plumb the pump or pumps to operate the skimmer and pump water up through the bog filter to the waterfall.

I am building an 800 gallon water garden with lots of plants. It will have a 90 gallon bog filter and a three-foot tall waterfall me
andering through two pools to the pond. The bog filter will sit atop the mound toward the upper left of the attached photo. The water exits the bog filter to the top of the waterfall using a 1 ft wide spillway. The pond will not have any rocks over the liner below the shelf. I estimate water going to the top of the falls experiences 5' of head, considering three ft height plus 12 ft hose and connectors. The flow of water in the pond is hindered by shelving, irregular shape, and pond plants.

So here is what I want to accomplish:
-Energy efficiency. Should I have one pump or two?
-What could the plumbing look like with one pump?

With two pumps I am imagining a submersible pump placed in the center floor of the pond (the low spot), something like the The Pond Guy Solidflo G2 pump 2650. I am assuming the low spot in the pond will enable the pump to pump the most small debris. It might be nice for this pump to be variable speed, as I am not sure how much flow to optimize my enjoyment of the waterfall feature, while still respecting the bog filter flow rate requirements (whatever those are?). I feel like placing a submersible pump at the bottom of the pond gets more debris filtered, as opposed to just drawing water through the skimmer?
The second pump would be in the skimmer, and could be small (Whatever the sensible turnover rate for the skimmer feature should be). Do most submersible pumps handle a similar size debris? ie should "solidflo" mean something to me?

Single pump setups:
Then I am thinking that there are ways to plumb in just one pump. I could route the output of the skimmer to the center bottom of the pond and join this hose to one connected to a prefilter at the center of the pond. Check valves in each hose branch, perhaps. The combined hose is pumped by a variable speed submersible pump which draws water from the skimmer and pond center and pushes this water to the top of the waterfall.

So I welcome your thoughts on how best to plumb this pond, and which pumps are appropriate for the job at hand.

Thanks!

Jon
 

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TheFishGuy

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Glad you are starting out with a bog filter, it will make your life a whole lot easier!

I would go with one large pump that sits in the skimmer. While some pumps ( like the one I have ) are "solids handling" they are really only built for very small debris, and wont handle anything meaningful, they will jsut get clogged up quicker from sitting at the bottom. Another consideration is that you don't really want debris to be pumped into your bog. The bog is a biological filter, which will keep your water free of algae and very healthy, but you need some sort of prefilter ( such as a skimmer basket ) to keep debris from clogging up the pea gravel.

If you want to keep the bottom clear of debris there are pond vacuums that you could use to periodically clear out debris from the bottom ( or you can just use a net to get out leaves and stuff ).
 

Mmathis

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Hello and welcome! You’re going to love your pond and bog (but if you can you might want to size up…)! Where do you live?
 
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Glad you are starting out with a bog filter, it will make your life a whole lot easier!

I would go with one large pump that sits in the skimmer. While some pumps ( like the one I have ) are "solids handling" they are really only built for very small debris, and wont handle anything meaningful, they will jsut get clogged up quicker from sitting at the bottom. Another consideration is that you don't really want debris to be pumped into your bog. The bog is a biological filter, which will keep your water free of algae and very healthy, but you need some sort of prefilter ( such as a skimmer basket ) to keep debris from clogging up the pea gravel.

If you want to keep the bottom clear of debris there are pond vacuums that you could use to periodically clear out debris from the bottom ( or you can just use a net to get out leaves and stuff ).
Thanks for the feedback. As I understand, if I pump water from the skimmer to the bog filter, I want to remove the filtration from the skimmer ( except the debris basket ). The debris basket in skimmers seems to have similar hole sizes to the pre-filters on some submersible pumps. The difference is the debris load coming into the pump. The submersible pump positioned at the bottom of the pond, in my estimation, would get a larger load of particulate organic matter, while the skimmer would see smaller organic matter (not including things like leaves that are caught by the skimmer basket). So based on your comments, it seems that a pond vacuum is better suited to this sort of cleanup than trying to accomplish some of this job with a bog filter. Your suggestions make for a simpler setup for me.
 

Cichlidboy

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Welcome to this amazing group hope you enjoy as much as I do all kinds of great knowledge hear
 
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Thanks for the feedback. As I understand, if I pump water from the skimmer to the bog filter, I want to remove the filtration from the skimmer ( except the debris basket ). The debris basket in skimmers seems to have similar hole sizes to the pre-filters on some submersible pumps. The difference is the debris load coming into the pump. The submersible pump positioned at the bottom of the pond, in my estimation, would get a larger load of particulate organic matter, while the skimmer would see smaller organic matter (not including things like leaves that are caught by the skimmer basket). So based on your comments, it seems that a pond vacuum is better suited to this sort of cleanup than trying to accomplish some of this job with a bog filter. Your suggestions make for a simpler setup for me.
What other filters do skimmers have? A bog filter isn’t meant to provide mechanical filtration, just biological, so the less debris entering it the better.
 
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I have some followup questions, for which I have updated a picture of the pond with some notations. The current idea for my setup is to pump the water from my skimmer 12-15 ft over, and up 2.5' to a bog filter / waterfall using 1.5 inch flex pvc. Just before reaching the bog filter, a ball valve controlled hose branches down the slope toward the pond to bleed off water pressure (secondary hidden falls, if needed). With a several 90 deg elbows, I am estimating the head to be about 5 ft.

The waterfall spillway we will assume to be 1 ft wide, and cascade through a couple pools back to the pond.
Wondering how these assumptions sound:
I am looking at an OASE fountain pump that produces 1800 gph at 5 ft head pressure. The bog will be 12.5 sq ft in surface area.

-- Where should check valves be placed in this system?
-- Does 1800 gph @5ft seem ok for water flow through the falls?
-- Is 1800 gph an ok flow rate for a 12.5 square foot bog (12 inches tall) ? Or what are reasonable flow rates?
 

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I have some followup questions, for which I have updated a picture of the pond with some notations. The current idea for my setup is to pump the water from my skimmer 12-15 ft over, and up 2.5' to a bog filter / waterfall using 1.5 inch flex pvc. Just before reaching the bog filter, a ball valve controlled hose branches down the slope toward the pond to bleed off water pressure (secondary hidden falls, if needed). With a several 90 deg elbows, I am estimating the head to be about 5 ft.

The waterfall spillway we will assume to be 1 ft wide, and cascade through a couple pools back to the pond.
Wondering how these assumptions sound:
I am looking at an OASE fountain pump that produces 1800 gph at 5 ft head pressure. The bog will be 12.5 sq ft in surface area.

-- Where should check valves be placed in this system?
-- Does 1800 gph @5ft seem ok for water flow through the falls?
-- Is 1800 gph an ok flow rate for a 12.5 square foot bog (12 inches tall) ? Or what are reasonable flow rates?
Sounds like a good plan to me! 1800 at 5’ should be plenty! Plus you probably won’t be pumping 5 feet so it may produce in the 2000 gph range.
 
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Instead of looking for a variable speed pump, you can split the output and have a valve on each branch. This way you can regulate how much water goes through each branch.

Don't sit your pump directly on the bottom. You don't want it to suck up heavy debris that may collect down there.
Suspend it a foot or so by tying a line to it and securing it on the shore.
I use a pool net to keep the bottom free of any debris.

Locate the pump at the complete opposite side of the pond from the bog for maximum circulation.


My pump is a "debris handling " pump. It can supposedly handle up to a 1/4" size of debris. It has never jammed and it's been running for many years. It's a Tetra DHP-3600. I'm sure there are much better pumps out there, but this one has served me well.

And as stated, you don't want that heavy debris deposited in your bog anyway.

Don't waste your money on the popular corregated "pond hose" sold everywhere. It won't last and you'll get leaks.
Use flex PVC. It comes in all sizes, white or black and fits into standard ridgid PVC. You can glue it just the same as the ridgid PVC.

I have all my plumbing within my bog and pond. If there's ever a leak, no water will escape the system.
My black flex PVC lays on the bottom of the pond. You can hardly see it, especially with the biofilm covering it.
 
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Hi.

My question regards how to plumb the pump or pumps to operate the skimmer and pump water up through the bog filter to the waterfall.

I am building an 800 gallon water garden with lots of plants. It will have a 90 gallon bog filter and a three-foot tall waterfall me
andering through two pools to the pond. The bog filter will sit atop the mound toward the upper left of the attached photo. The water exits the bog filter to the top of the waterfall using a 1 ft wide spillway. The pond will not have any rocks over the liner below the shelf. I estimate water going to the top of the falls experiences 5' of head, considering three ft height plus 12 ft hose and connectors. The flow of water in the pond is hindered by shelving, irregular shape, and pond plants.

So here is what I want to accomplish:
-Energy efficiency. Should I have one pump or two?
-What could the plumbing look like with one pump?

With two pumps I am imagining a submersible pump placed in the center floor of the pond (the low spot), something like the The Pond Guy Solidflo G2 pump 2650. I am assuming the low spot in the pond will enable the pump to pump the most small debris. It might be nice for this pump to be variable speed, as I am not sure how much flow to optimize my enjoyment of the waterfall feature, while still respecting the bog filter flow rate requirements (whatever those are?). I feel like placing a submersible pump at the bottom of the pond gets more debris filtered, as opposed to just drawing water through the skimmer?
The second pump would be in the skimmer, and could be small (Whatever the sensible turnover rate for the skimmer feature should be). Do most submersible pumps handle a similar size debris? ie should "solidflo" mean something to me?

Single pump setups:
Then I am thinking that there are ways to plumb in just one pump. I could route the output of the skimmer to the center bottom of the pond and join this hose to one connected to a prefilter at the center of the pond. Check valves in each hose branch, perhaps. The combined hose is pumped by a variable speed submersible pump which draws water from the skimmer and pond center and pushes this water to the top of the waterfall.

So I welcome your thoughts on how best to plumb this pond, and which pumps are appropriate for the job at hand.

Thanks!

Jon
I have a similar pond without any skimmers. I also have a bunch of fish and some iris's in the pond. The single mag-submersible pump is contained upside down is a metal mesh sided trash can which traps about 90% or the pond gunk. I use the inverted pump because one day, I had a leak and almost drained the pump had not the pump being upside down. The metal trash cans can be purchased at discount and other stores and last usually several years. I also grow aquatic grass in the bog which helps minimize phosphates and other fish produced stuff quite well. I literally never treat the pond except for chlorine eliminator when I need to top off the pond due to evaporation.
 
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Mmathis

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@Koi4JT Most of us have learned not to keep our pump sitting directly on the bottom of the pond. But I use a plastic milk crate to raise it up, and personally don’t use anything metal in the pond. Are you using this “mesh” to act as a mechanical filter, or prefilter set up? But what I don’t understand is……why is your pump upside down — what advantage does it have being upside down? Just curious. You are 100% correct about grasses and plants — yes, for plant filtration!
 
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I'll have to look into those grasses. That sounds like a good idea.
Can you name some?

I am not a fan of skimmers myself. I had one years ago and it constantly clogged up. I would have to clean it out way too often. I prefer low maintenance and that was high maintenance! Also, I would find the occasional fish stuck inside...not good!
I just keep my net nearby and scoop anything that lands on the surface.
 
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@Koi4JT Most of us have learned not to keep our pump sitting directly on the bottom of the pond. But I use a plastic milk crate to raise it up, and personally don’t use anything metal in the pond. Are you using this “mesh” to act as a mechanical filter, or prefilter set up? But what I don’t understand is……why is your pump upside down — what advantage does it have being upside down? Just curious. You are 100% correct about grasses and plants — yes, for plant filtration!
Well, I probably have too many fish in my pond and one quire large 20 year old Koi that could and would knock the pump off of any stand, either by running into the discharge tubing or the pump itself. So, the mesh trash basket has a smooth solid bottom, so there is no worry of damaging the liner. And yes, it is a pre-filter and when it gets clogged up a bit, the pump will actually start to collapse the sides. It is upside down as it sits on the bottom and keeps the pumps intake about one foot above the bottom. It also prevents small fish from getting sucked tight against the pump, which will eventually kill them. This system, although far from perfect, is the best I could do in the limited space where this pond is located next to my house and greenhouse.
 
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I'll have to look into those grasses. That sounds like a good idea.
Can you name some?

I am not a fan of skimmers myself. I had one years ago and it constantly clogged up. I would have to clean it out way too often. I prefer low maintenance and that was high maintenance! Also, I would find the occasional fish stuck inside...not good!
I just keep my net nearby and scoop anything that lands on the surface.
Beats me what they are called but here is a picture of them in my bog. They are quite full, which means that I need to pull out about half of them, which I do probably twice a year. I take the discard and plant them down by the creek behind my yard which are doing quite well, even when the creek flood during rain storms.
 

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