Critique my preliminary pond plan...


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Been a while since I have been around. I already have a functioning pond in the front yard listed in my sig. but I was thinking to do it a little different in the back yard. I made a lot of mistakes that required multiple fixes. I am in the planning stages and was hoping some of you seasoned members might critique my plan, let me know what is good and or bad or should be avoided.

I know that the drain line will only allow me to do half empty which should be more than enough to do any water changes, cleaning or maint on various things. If I ever need to fully empty I will have to pump it out.

The bog is coming out to about 20% of the pond surface area.

One question I do have specifically, is it a bad idea to do a bio filter before the bog?

 
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I would think you would have enough bio filtration from the pea gravel in the bog. The downside in my mind is that configuration may collect sludge in the barrel instead of feeding it to the plants. My 35gallon skimmer stays clean but I have submersible pumps sitting at the bottom.

Do yo have any trees around? I know in my yard the pipes would get clogged. If you have anything besides bugs your are expecting in the skimmer then you would want a basket or net of some size in a basin before the pipe.
 
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I would think you would have enough bio filtration from the pea gravel in the bog. The downside in my mind is that configuration may collect sludge in the barrel instead of feeding it to the plants. My 35gallon skimmer stays clean but I have submersible pumps sitting at the bottom.

Do yo have any trees around? I know in my yard the pipes would get clogged. If you have anything besides bugs your are expecting in the skimmer then you would want a basket or net of some size in a basin before the pipe.
Thanks for the response @gello22. I do have some concerns about the bio filter removing the beneficial nutrients the bog would like. So you think it would be better off with no barrel?

There are trees both existing and in the future plan that will be dropping debris for the skimmer to catch. It will have to be something with a decent sized net needing to be emptied once in a while.

The diagram is more for item positioning rather than scale. The pond will be about 200 SF surface area and bog around 40 SF. I do plan to have goldfish and no KOI. Also plan to have a couple tires in the bottom to hold dirt for Water Lillies
 
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I vote no biofilter before bog. It defeats the purpose of the bog. Just keep your pump up off the bottom so you don't have debris being pumped into the bog.
 
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The downside in my mind is that configuration may collect sludge in the barrel instead of feeding it to the plants.
The sludge would likely never make it to the plants. It will probably just clog up the filter.

@LuapYllier: You really can't have too much filtration, but I would probably either omit the 55 gal barrel or repurpose it as a settling chamber that can help keep solids out of your bog, since it's gravity flow.

There are some calculations you can do (which I don't remember offhand) to figure out how big a settling chamber you need based on the flow rate of your pump. I think 55 gal does not serve a very high flow rate, but maybe good enough for your needs.
 
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Idk...I hope that barrel has a tight lid. It's positioned below the bog and pond's water level.

I'm for a more simplistic plan, but that's me.
Less work initially, less plumbing, less chance for leaks and less chance for things to go wrong later.

I also don't do water changes, however, some do.

I think most agree that a filter ahead of the bog is not necessary or might even adversely affect the bog's performance.

My pond is probably a little bigger than what you describe and my bog is 14' X 5', a little over 30% of the pond's surface area.
I don't have a bottom drain.
All my plumbing is within the pond and bog, so if there's ever any leaks the water cannot escape.
It's as simple as it gets. Water pumped from submersible pump to the bottom of the bog, through the 2" pvc manifold pipes, up through the gravel and returns to the pond.

I get the creativeness in all of it. So, do what you like. It's up to you. I just like things simple.
 
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@poconojoe I do like to be creative but that wasn't really my intent in all this. Sometimes, I think you can read and research too much and learn just enough to think you are doing something right but in actuality you are just making things difficult. I would really like to be able to create something that just exists and requires little to no maintenance.

It sounds like I should be glad I posted here as my plan was basically crap. I am back to square one...I have a pond and a bog. I am liking the simplicity of what you propose. I was trying to avoid the submersible pump because the one I have in the pond out front kept getting clogged until I hard piped it.

Thank you all for your input. Back to the drawing board.
 
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KISS applies to pond building, as it does to many things in life.

I think of it this way - when I buy a home computer, I want to be able to plug it in, turn it on and use it. I get my joy out of what the machine can do for me without a whole lot of input from me. Some people want to go to the computer store, buy a bunch of components and come home and build a computer and then tinker with it - the tinkering is as much of a joy to them as is using the actual computer. Both types of people end up with a product they enjoy, but they enjoy it for different reasons. If you like tinkering, then you can build a pond that requires lots of adjusting and experimenting and re-doing. If you just want a pond that works, then KISS.
 
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@poconojoe I do like to be creative but that wasn't really my intent in all this. Sometimes, I think you can read and research too much and learn just enough to think you are doing something right but in actuality you are just making things difficult. I would really like to be able to create something that just exists and requires little to no maintenance.

It sounds like I should be glad I posted here as my plan was basically crap. I am back to square one...I have a pond and a bog. I am liking the simplicity of what you propose. I was trying to avoid the submersible pump because the one I have in the pond out front kept getting clogged until I hard piped it.

Thank you all for your input. Back to the drawing board.
Don't be so hard on yourself. Your plan wasn't crap. All great ideas, but a bit complicated for my personal taste.

Just the fact that you are thinking ahead and planning your project in detail is a great thing.
That's better than not planning anything and just slapping it together and having a catastrophic failure.

Do what pleases you. As Lisa stated, some people like to tinker.

But, if you do want simplicity, we can help with that too.

Here's some ideas...

Some people prefer external pumps and others like submersible ones. It's just personal choice.
I like keeping all my plumbing within the pond and bog for fear of a leak that might drain the system. That why I use a submersible pump. I keep it held up off the bottom with a string tied to a rock on the land. This way it doesn't suck up debris that may collect on the very bottom. I can remove that debris with periodic netting.
 
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Check out my bog add-on thread... I was inspired, like many here, by addy's bog showcase....
https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/my-add-on-bog-build.26848/

And here's addy's bog showcase...lots of good reading here.....

Maybe these two threads will give you some ideas.
 
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If you want "little to no maintenance ", size your bog to have a surface area of at least 30% of your pond's surface area. This way you can filter with the bog exclusively. No cleaning of filters, just sit back and enjoy clear water.
If your pond requires lots of maintenance, you may lose interest. It may take the fun out of it. But don't worry, you can still tinker with other things like the plants, the fish, the edges of the pond, etc.

Poke around this forum. There are many detailed threads showing different pond and bog builds.
Check out as much as you can, then you can decide what works for you.

Keep us posted on your plans and when you get started, throw up some pictures of your progress.
 
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I'm on the side of build it and they will come. Overbuild it and they will stay. If your going to be home all the time then the barrel sieve imo. Is not necessary along with using a external pump.. But if you like to travel the sieve is useful along with course filter material . I do have a bottom drain and it is an issue with GOLD FISH. THEY GET SUCKED IN ALL THE TIME. With a sieve they stand a chance to survive. But in the small strainer in a external pump they won't last long. The sieve I would make just to catch plant matter. And the equalizer line needs to be much more then 2" if your pushing a 2 inch line on the outside from the pump then you'd need a 3 if not a 4 " line as the outfield is under pressure and your intake is just gravity fed needing a much larger supply line to feed the sieve. the other critique is your sieve/ barrel and the pond need to be at the same elevation as it is gravity and will equalize untill they are at the same water level meaning your pond will drain
 
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I'm on the side of build it and they will come. Overbuild it and they will stay. If your going to be home all the time then the barrel sieve imo. Is not necessary along with using a external pump.. But if you like to travel the sieve is useful along with course filter material . I do have a bottom drain and it is an issue with GOLD FISH. THEY GET SUCKED IN ALL THE TIME. With a sieve they stand a chance to survive. But in the small strainer in a external pump they won't last long. The sieve I would make just to catch plant matter. And the equalizer line needs to be much more then 2" if your pushing a 2 inch line on the outside from the pump then you'd need a 3 if not a 4 " line as the outfield is under pressure and your intake is just gravity fed needing a much larger supply line to feed the sieve. the other critique is your sieve/ barrel and the pond need to be at the same elevation as it is gravity and will equalize untill they are at the same water level meaning your pond will drain
I am not following some of the terminology here but I appreciate the comment and will look into what you are saying.

I been working so have not really been able to look into the stuff posted above. I am leaning towards the internal piping but wonder how that ties in with the skimmer.
 
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If you put the whole skimmer inside the liner you can use a commercial skimmer the normal plumbing connections and keep everything on the wet side.

If you feel ambitious and handy enough you could turn your barrel into a skimmer then you could have an opening big enough for the water inflow and the plumbing connections could go back out the skimmer inlet. I wish I had done mine that way I have a 35gallon plastic garbage can as a skimmer but the opening I cut for the inlet is just enough for the water so my plumbing goes external and has burned me twice. The good news is the pond only goes down a few inches before the pump goes dry and pumps I have didn't hurt themselves.
 
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If you put the whole skimmer inside the liner you can use a commercial skimmer the normal plumbing connections and keep everything on the wet side.

If you feel ambitious and handy enough you could turn your barrel into a skimmer then you could have an opening big enough for the water inflow and the plumbing connections could go back out the skimmer inlet. I wish I had done mine that way I have a 35gallon plastic garbage can as a skimmer but the opening I cut for the inlet is just enough for the water so my plumbing goes external and has burned me twice. The good news is the pond only goes down a few inches before the pump goes dry and pumps I have didn't hurt themselves.
Yeah, I feel that!
Before my bog, I had two pressure filters in tandom. I cleaned them out one day and forgot to tighten a hose clamp. We found the pond almost empty in the morning. Our 3 foot + huge female koi was on her side gasping in only a few inches of water! She was surprisingly OK and is still swimming around to this day. She's ginormous!

Lesson learned!
When I added the bog, I made sure all the plumbing is now within the pond and bog.
 

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I am not following some of the terminology here but I appreciate the comment and will look into what you are saying.

I been working so have not really been able to look into the stuff posted above. I am leaning towards the internal piping but wonder how that ties in with the skimmer.
just to add my 2 cents; there IS benefit to a prefilter for your bog, but it should be mechanical in nature, NOT biological. I use (2) 55 gallon barrels to filter out fines before the water is sent to the bog. I experimented last summer with no prefilter and this year, seems I'm paying for that omission as the water is not as clear as it used to be. So, prefilters went back up. Pond water sent to your bog will still have the nutrients (basically, ammonia) for the bacteria to digest, which they will by turning it into nitrites and then nitrates, so the plants still get their snacks too.
 
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Looks like it'll work to me. The only concern if it were mine is making sure the pump has a cutoff in case the water in it's basin gets too low. And of course, if the pump cuts off, making sure it can come back on when the supply is enough again. A float valve on the pump would do it. I have one one each of my submersibles.
 

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