CW's Back Yard Water Garden Begins!


brokensword

...and not every pond in Michigan has a loon!
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I've seen those complaints mostly in relation to old Aquascape variable pumps. I think they've changed their design to replaceable controllers as well.


Depends. There are cheap-o pumps like Periha that are amphibious. They're variable speed but don't have much variability. Cost about $250 for a 6600 gph pump, but independent testing shows they don't even come close to their rating. Still, they deliver the best GPH/watt at less than 5' TDH, but lose ground quickly as TDH rises. Only expect about 4-5 years out of pump like that.

Then there is something like the Advantage Evolution 8500. It's external only, but you can drive the RPM way up or way down. Think that runs about $550. Not quite as energy efficient as Periha, but they deliver the GPH they say they will. Should get typical high quality pump longevity, and parts are readiliy available. Very popular pump with the koi pond crowd.

There are others, but those are the ones I've looked at most closely.
I wonder if there's any brand of pump that sort of slips under the radar, you know, like used for a different purpose other than a pond, where you don't have to pay the koi markup for such a beastie. Maybe something used by oceanographers (prob not and prob expensive) or maybe something the trades might use? Just spit-ballin' as I typically DON'T buy into the koi-markup. Sure, they're vetted, but for instance, without any pond fanfare, my one Danner pump has been running, with winter stops of 5 months, for 10 years and my other Danner has been running continuously now for 3. Can't say how energy efficient but will vouch for durability. The Periha (which I didn't know was 'cheap') puts out more than my 4K Danner and doesn't cost that much more, so is surprising. I've seen that brand spoken about on K-phen, where I figure most are into the 'koi cult' so don't spend much time nor give a lot of credence to(I know--there is wisdom there but when views get closed-minded--think bog filtration--I start questioning all their advice).

I'm sure you'll have some numbers re energy consumption and functional output and will be watching your posts just for that! Are you going to have a separate meter for anything pond? Would give you a better idea re consumption. Wonder if you can even PUT a meter on just that line? Sorry, you gots me thinkin' out loud now!
 
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I wonder if there's any brand of pump that sort of slips under the radar, you know
Probably, but I'm running out of steam to look for it, and when Aquascape is your pricing anchor, pretty much everything else looks reasonable. haha

The Periha (which I didn't know was 'cheap') puts out more than my 4K Danner and doesn't cost that much more, so is surprising.
They're very low-head pumps built cheaply and their pump curves would make Pinocchio blush. But if you use them where they will shine and are willing to maintain them, I think they're a good solution. You can find the "real pump curve" on Koiphen. It's amazing below 5' of TDH (though still a fraction of what's claimed) and then gets unimpressive as TDH climbs.

I figure most are into the 'koi cult' so don't spend much time nor give a lot of credence to
Every community has its pros and cons. What I appreciate about Koiphen is their "prove it" mentality. You typically don't get to make claims over there without reproducible evidence. I like that. It makes it easier to separate the BS from the useful wisdom. It's not always like that, but that's kind of the culture. Leads to some friction, but also leads to truth.


Are you going to have a separate meter for anything pond? Would give you a better idea re consumption. Wonder if you can even PUT a meter on just that line?
Yes, I will at some point. I'll probably have the pond pumps on their own circuit, so easy to measure with a simple CT. Or even just spot checking with the clamp on my multi-meter. A $15 kill-a-watt device is also great for checking consumption of anything with a 120v/15amp plug on it.
 
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@brokensword: Not yet. Though I have been trimming it down where there's just too much of it. Loaded about a yard of sand into the bottom and shelves. Leaving area open where I still need to work.

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wish i saw this earlier i would have recommended a layer of stone flush up to the top of the pipes i don't know how well sand is going to work as the head pressure will add up but your going to let us know,
 

brokensword

...and not every pond in Michigan has a loon!
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wish i saw this earlier i would have recommended a layer of stone flush up to the top of the pipes i don't know how well sand is going to work as the head pressure will add up but your going to let us know,
ifn ya don't check in regularly, GB, ya miss all the fun!
 
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Gotten a bit slow around here . Maybe his idea will work better then I think . Like I said he's soon to find out and let us know
 
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Every community has its pros and cons. What I appreciate about Koiphen is their "prove it" mentality. You typically don't get to make claims over there without reproducible evidence. I like that. It makes it easier to separate the BS from the useful wisdom. It's not always like that, but that's kind of the culture. Leads to some friction, but also leads to truth.
They must love you, they are so anti bog over there..
 
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Jhn

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Every community has its pros and cons. What I appreciate about Koiphen is their "prove it" mentality. You typically don't get to make claims over there without reproducible evidence. I like that. It makes it easier to separate the BS from the useful wisdom. It's not always like that, but that's kind of the culture. Leads to some friction, but also leads to truth.
Only been over there for a little bit, I used to belong to reef forums years ago. I enjoy learning from knowledgeable individuals, but not the ones that feel the need to correct and lord their knowledge over others, like they know nothing. There way is the only correct way, not saying everyone over there is like that I wasnt there long enough to find out. But many on the reefing forums I used to be long to were and I have little tolerance and time for forums like that as I have gotten older. Everybody brings something valuable to a conversation and debate, sometimes you can learn from those that have been in a hobby much less time than yourself. How boring would life be if you truly knew everything and there was nothing left to learn……part of my enjoyment of my hobbies is constantly learning from others.

I don’t need reproducible evidence for me to know what works for me and how I enjoy my ponds, but I always say to each their own. I don’t even need to completely understand why someth8ng works to just know it works, and that is enough.

As much as myself and others tease you about taking foooooreeveeer to get your pond done.…..You seem to truly enjoy learning as much as possible before jumping into something, and there is something to be said for that and not rushing just to get it done. Still looking forward to the completion of it before the end of 2022 perhaps….plus we get gratuitous shots of Barney napping near your pond.

Also, I realized my ponds will never be truly finished as I am constantly adding stuff, tinkering, etc….but then again that is part of my joy and happiness with my ponds….so who I am I to throw stones, koi, goldfish or turtles…. or donkey kicking nut shots…..
 
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I had the same experience at aquaria central. With there reef forums you must do it this way or that. I did almost none of the recommended. Mt fertilizers for tge plants in a planted tank was bird poo. I had between 8 or two shift tail finches above the pond and as they dropped there waste it landed in the water and walk natural fertilizer. They say you must have this for lighting and I used two metal halide desk lamps. So while they may have a direction for the most popular or the most effective for there set up. I'm never surprised when I hear someone is successful with there own design. I have done it for years and always good to see people rginking outside the box
 
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Well, looks like I'm draining the stupid pond again. The sand on the shelves is seeping down through the rock work on the walls and not staying put once it's saturated in the water. I knew that was going to be a problem when I put it in and thought, "I should foam all these joints." But the foam was in the garage and I was standing in the pond with buckets of sand, so I just went for it. Doh.

Once the sun is out and temps over 40, will be draining, removing sand along walls, foaming joints, and replacing sand. Lesson learned.
 

brokensword

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Well, looks like I'm draining the stupid pond again. The sand on the shelves is seeping down through the rock work on the walls and not staying put once it's saturated in the water. I knew that was going to be a problem when I put it in and thought, "I should foam all these joints." But the foam was in the garage and I was standing in the pond with buckets of sand, so I just went for it. Doh.

Once the sun is out and temps over 40, will be draining, removing sand along walls, foaming joints, and replacing sand. Lesson learned.
maybe the real lesson is not to use sand on shelves?
 
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Sand on the shelves with kids will blow right over the boulders and end up in the bottom of the pond adding to the depth you have already on the pipes.
A trash pump will suck up alot of the sand in water so long as you do it gently keeping ratio 1 to 1.
I know your doing sand for the bare feet but your going to have algea on everything ... algea ... barefeet... water. Rocks.... spell slip sliding.... boat shoes with 1 inch river as the bottom is where I'd look at for a finish
 
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Looks great . The step up deck on the long side will help alot. Tge shed on the other the bog in the back gives reinforcing to 3 sides. Maybe a flower box in each corner next to the window or a step up for the kids something to lock the front with the deck on the sides.
 
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Got a few days of sunshine and even a few minutes I could slip out into it to get some work done. Waterfall from bog to pond is "finished." Refilling bog shortly to test. Still just have my little 3000 gph utility pump to test with though. Need to put my order in for the big'n soon to see how it will really flow.

Also, realized I still 500 watts of incandescents burning downstairs. Back of napkin math says I can swap em all for LEDs and get 400 more watts for the pond! We're teetering on the edge of net-zero annual energy use via solar. Haven't hooked up the wife's hot tub yet, though...
 

j.w

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Got a few days of sunshine and even a few minutes I could slip out into it to get some work done. Waterfall from bog to pond is "finished." Refilling bog shortly to test. Still just have my little 3000 gph utility pump to test with though. Need to put my order in for the big'n soon to see how it will really flow.

Also, realized I still 500 watts of incandescents burning downstairs. Back of napkin math says I can swap em all for LEDs and get 400 more watts for the pond! We're teetering on the edge of net-zero annual energy use via solar. Haven't hooked up the wife's hot tub yet, though...
So can you run a hot tub w/solar?
 
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So can you run a hot tub w/solar?

Do you mean in general or us specifically? You can run anything on solar if you have enough panels and batteries. We're grid tied with no batteries. We use what we make as we make it. If it's not enough at any moment, we draw from the grid. If it's too much, we export to the grid and receive a credit.

We overproduce spring/summer/fall and underproduce in winter with the net annual usage pretty close to 0. Took a lot of energy efficiency upgrades and mindful usage to get there without a pond or a hot tub, so not a lot left to cut to keep net usage at 0 once those loads are added.

So we can't run a hot tub on our solar, but it could certainly be done a number of ways:

1. Install a big enough whole-house system to cover annual usage without batteries and rely on good net metering from your utility to even out the spikes and dips in production.
2. Install a big enough system with batteries to store your own energy to power the tub when the sun is down.
3. Panels fed directly to the tub and only use it when the sun is shining.
4. Same as #3 but with a solar water heater.
5. Any combination of the above working together.

Sorry if you were looking for a yes/no answer!

My south and west facing roofs are already full, but I bet I have just enough east facing roof to cover a few pond pumps and a 3kw hot tub heater.
 
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j.w

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Do you mean in general or us specifically? You can run anything on solar if you have enough panels and batteries. We're grid tied with no batteries. We use what we make as we make it. If it's not enough at any moment, we draw from the grid. If it's too much, we export to the grid and receive a credit.

We overproduce spring/summer/fall and underproduce in winter with the net annual usage pretty close to 0. Took a lot of energy efficiency upgrades and mindful usage to get there without a pond or a hot tub, so not a lot left to cut to keep net usage at 0 once those loads are added.

So we can't run a hot tub on our solar, but it could certainly be done a number of ways:

1. Install a big enough whole-house system to cover annual usage without batteries and rely on good net metering from your utility to even out the spikes and dips in production.
2. Install a big enough system with batteries to store your own energy to power the tub when the sun is down.
3. Panels fed directly to the tub and only use it when the sun is shining.
4. Same as #3 but with a solar water heater.
5. Any combination of the above working together.

Sorry if you were looking for a yes/no answer!

My south and west facing roofs are already full, but I bet I have just enough east facing roof to cover a few pond pumps and a 3kw hot tub heater.
Yep was asking for what you can do. So right now you can't but you could w/those 5 ways. So maybe you will be able to do some more by adding more to that other part of the roof. Will wait and see if you do it. Thanks for your reply. Guess for solar the earlier in your life you start this solar thing then the more it becomes cost effective in the long run.
 
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Yep was asking for what you can do.
I guess I should have stopped there before typing a novel you didn't need to read. haha


Guess for solar the earlier in your life you start this solar thing then the more it becomes cost effective in the long run.
True for most things, I suppose. We should break even at end of year 6. That's only because I DIY'd it and was able to roll some other improvements into the tax credit. Otherwise I think it would have been nearly 20 years to break even and totally not worth it.
 
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When they mount the panels to the roof, do you worry about damage to the roof and the roof leaking?
No, because I did it myself. :)

When installed properly, though, a leak from a solar panel mount is just as likely/unlikely as a leak from any other roof penetration. If you have a competent installer, there's not much to worry about.
 

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