Adjustable Pond Skimmer (hack)

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So bear with me....

I have a large pond I use for irrigation and the water level can drop a lot while I'm waiting for my next big rain event. All my gutters go to 4" underground piping to refill the pond as well.

I have one of those OASE ones that can adjust close to 6" though in reality, I would say more like 5". That works for the most part but when it hits the limit and can not fill up, I have to get the line filled with water again which can be a pain.

The other big thing is, it is small and doesn't hold a lot of leaves. Last winter, I fought keeping that thing clean.
So I need two things from a DIY skimmer...
1) Ability to adjust greater levels than 6 inches
2) Larger basket space to catch more debris keeping the leaves off the top of the pond

I started to design some and all the work in making sure it dose everything it needs to do and can adjust, I thought about something. It may not be the prettiest but I think may work?

If I get a larger skimmer like you would get for a fixed level pond with the wier door that can adjust a little (flap/door), could I build a float around it to keep it floating at the level of the pond? I would have some slop with the wier door but as a whole, the entire assembly would adjust up/down. My own designs of a home built one was going to be affixed to the dock leg via piping. Larger pipe attached to my 'skimmer' over the smaller pipe attached to the dock leg. This way it will not go floating away but adjustable up and down.

I feel like just getting a cheaper Tetra skimmer to try this out on would still hold more the the OASE. I wouldn't have to deal with building my own boxes/nets/baskets/etc that will work exactly as needed (and fit perfect).

Just a wild idea I had... thoughts? I wanted to do an intake bay and tried last year late fall but had some issues with leaks so took it all out. I'm not going down that road at this point. Maybe in the future. So this is kind of an upgrade from what I have that could handle the pond size better but still give me the adjustability (word?) with the pond level.

I can sketch something out if needed. Just wanted to get some feedback, see if it has been done or any other down and dirty ways of doing this.
 

Mmathis

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I have seen many DIY skimmers on YouTube over the years, so I would say go for it. Just keep in mind the physics of why the different parts do what they do. It doesn’t have to be pretty — it just has to work. I have a small pond, so my skimmer is a floating (Oase brand) skimmer. The concept is great, but it will occasionally pop up (Oase told me to put a few small rocks inside, to act as ballast).
 
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It sounds like a skimmer is no longer viable or possibly never was for your setup. Have you considered an intake bay. ?
I have a extra large intake bay that works fantastic and I have at the end of that a vanishing edge/negative edge where I place a fish net under the falls but at the surface and as the leaves drop in I simply lift them out. It's a bit heavy as they are wet but there's no pulling the net around trying to collect them
 
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It sounds like a skimmer is no longer viable or possibly never was for your setup. Have you considered an intake bay. ?
I have a extra large intake bay that works fantastic and I have at the end of that a vanishing edge/negative edge where I place a fish net under the falls but at the surface and as the leaves drop in I simply lift them out. It's a bit heavy as they are wet but there's no pulling the net around trying to collect them

I wanted one but when designed, never build it in. So last fall in a last ditch effort (bad idea), trying seaming liner and adding one. It actually worked pretty well but needes to tweak a little which I planned on the spring. But over winter, just didn't hold up and leaked. In the middle of winter .. well sucked for me!

So I tore it out and put the liner back where it originally was. I'll have to revisit it when I'm not rushing. Maybe next year but trying to finish the landscaping on the most of it.

Was looking for a solution to get me back thru to next year. Especially with watering the grass (overseed) and the level of water bouncing around.

I also thought about just building a intake bay inside my pond. Just build up some walls to make it inside the current pond liner. Will take some space from the main pond but prob be ok. Just need to build some adjustable floating bar to create some surface tension that can adjust up/down with the swings of the water level.

I'll have to look into that too... not much time left. Last year I just was out there daily trying to pull the leaves from the top ASAP, before they sunk. That and trying to keep the little skimmer cleaned out for more leaves.

Was a mess vacuuming it in the spring...
 
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The more I look at this... I could put a fixed skimmer in.... what I need is like a 18" floating weir door. This way it can be almost straight up for higher water level... and drop down to almost flat... creating surface tension and adjusting from max water level, down to -18" below max.

But can't find a one. I guess I could build something pretty easily... just need to build it around a skimmer basket.

So I think this works or else the physics of it will not work... or just never any need for it.

If.it worked, could set it in place in my pond on my one shelf and cover with some rocks.... done...

Hmm....
 
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The problem with your idea is the pressure against the floating skimmer is the water pressure will push it into the track and it won't be able to wove the pressure will hold it in place. SIEVE USES A SIMILAR setup but the water comes in from below. Not coming from a side
 
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Pressure from the outside when the pond is mostly full?

Assuming adding more buoyancy to the wier door would help but would it not be enough on the outside to bring the door down enough to let water in?

I though as water level lowered on the inside (as water is taken to the pump) the wier would drop no matter what to meet that inside level, causing more water to enter.

Hmmm.... very hmm....

May just go back to getting cheap (larger) skimmer and make it float for now. Maybe some learning from that I can build something clever with a few different wier doors for different level 'groups'.

I'll have all winter to come up with a design.

If I buy a large 3D printer to make it... haha wonder how much that'll cost. And would that plastic that you use in the printer last in the pond water... anyone ever try?
 
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for critical seaming i will go balistic .i dont ever want to see a failure i will seam the back side and caulk the edge . then seam the face and caulk both edges . then seam tape the edges of the seam tape and caulk that . the price adds up a bit BUT what does it cost to drain the pond pull the rocks
Pressure from the outside when the pond is mostly full?

Assuming adding more buoyancy to the wier door would help but would it not be enough on the outside to bring the door down enough to let water in?

I though as water level lowered on the inside (as water is taken to the pump) the wier would drop no matter what to meet that inside level, causing more water to enter.

Hmmm.... very hmm....

May just go back to getting cheap (larger) skimmer and make it float for now. Maybe some learning from that I can build something clever with a few different wier doors for different level 'groups'.

I'll have all winter to come up with a design.

If I buy a large 3D printer to make it... haha wonder how much that'll cost. And would that plastic that you use in the printer last in the pond water... anyone ever try?
Even though in the skimmer the pond water is higher on the outside and inside the skimmers water is lower by only a little it's enough pressure as the water rushes in to push a floating door so it will get bound up. That's why all skimmers with the exception of helix has a hinged door into the skimmer.
Helix has pressure all the way around the intake th at floats so it's not pushed in any direction.
 

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