hello! first time on this forum! need help and advice on pond repair.

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by bergzy, May 29, 2009.

  1. bergzy

    bergzy

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    hello and thnk you for any help or info.

    i purchased a house about 8 years ago that came with pond. i know a little about ponds to know that the one that came with the house was poorly planned out with the thought of maintenance and inevitable future repairs.

    [​IMG]

    the pond started leaking very slightly about 2 years ago when we had record rainfalls. the pond is on the edge of an upper property. i am thinking that the heavy rains saturated the ground and caused the pond to shift very slightly, causing it to leak just a minute amount.

    i now notice a much larger leak since an earthquake (southern california living) we had about a month ago. thus, it is time for the pond to be repaired.

    the pond water enters a skimmer box (look for the water spray coming from the auto top off...the 'only' good thing about it) and then to a pump with the return line buried UNDER the pond, under the stone planter to the waterfall.

    thus, repairing any leaking pipework is impossible.

    next:

    the skimmer box, located right beside the auto top off, originally had a mesh bag to catch the leaves that fell into the pond. there is no way to achieve good filtration. the only way was for me to get fiber batting to strain the big chunks. maintenance was less than ideal as i had to haul out the heavy, smelly and messy batting to hose down and clean every two weeks.

    the pond has now sprung a leak 'somewhere'. where? i dont know.

    thus, my plan is to remove the 4 large koi and one large turtle to a holding tank for repairs.

    i have ZERO experience in constructing, let alone repairing, a pond.

    my plan is for two guys to help me move out all the rock work for me to assess the problem.

    so...

    the liner looks really old and possibly cracking. i will fully admit that i havent really paid full attention to the pond as the water lilies have over grown and some have damaged the liner by sprouting out from between the rock work and liner.

    i am thinking that i may need to replace the liner. what is a name for a high quality liner to replace the old one with?

    if i need to replace the liner, should i remove the old liner and lay the new one down? or should i just lay the new one on top of the old one?

    once the liner is down. i am planning on using an intake at the bottom of the pond (with a strainer) and then feeding to an above ground filter.

    what type of filter should i use? i am thinking of a sand filter. what is a good filter for efficiency and easy to clean (via back flushing). i am not too worried about size or appearance as i have a pretty big backyard with a lot of plants to hide things.

    what pump should i use to power a sand pressure filter?

    i know pumps are expensive to buy and more so to run. i have a lot of reef aquarium experience but no pond experience.

    thanks in advance with any help or advice!

    ben.
     
    bergzy, May 29, 2009
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  2. bergzy

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    you want A 45MIL EPDM LINER they are available on line and at pond and nursery stores every where... i got mine at deep discount pond supply online for $245.00 delivered to my door, 20'x20'. ebay has them cheaper maybe...
    firestone makes the liner,
     
    koiguy1969, May 29, 2009
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  3. bergzy

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum ...i like the pond ..i would put the new linner over the old .
     
    DrCase, May 29, 2009
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  4. bergzy

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    First of all welcome to the Forum. If you are trying to do it right and avoid future problems, why are you planning a bottom drain?
    Get rid of the skimmer and bottom drain, add a submersible pump with your new EPDM liner over the old. Now, if you have a problem, all you have to do is reach in and pull up the pump, clean it, and 10 minutes later, you are back in business. Sand filters are a joke for ponds. Build a bio filter like mine or DrCase and you will never regret it. The cost is less than $100 to DIY if you can get the plastic 55 gallon barrel cheap.
     
    DrDave, May 31, 2009
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  5. bergzy

    bergzy

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    hi everyone!

    thanks for all the replies.

    i relocated all the fish into its temporary holding home yesterday and drained the pond.

    that was NOT fun, let me tell you!

    on the bottom was literally 6 to 10 inches of collected sludge, aka fish poo, that i had to wade through to be able to catch the fish. the biggest one being close to two feet long.

    i was thinking of a bottom drain that didnt pierce the liner. i was thinking of a something like a strainer (to not suck up any smaller fish etc) to a submersible pump so some pressure filter.

    i was looking at the aqua uv ultima II filter. the things i dont like about it is that it uses uv. i am not a big fan of uv. i am a reef aquarist and some of my friends use uv. their tanks look 'okay' and somewhat clear but i achieve just as or better results both health and water clarity with just biofiltration. the 'only' thing i thought was decent about it was the fact you could back flush it for cleaning. other than that, it looks like an expensive barrel.

    thus: dr dave, funny you mention the 55g barrels. i have quite a few of those. can you post pics of diy plans to make a wicked biofilter with those? things like
    what kind of media did you fill it with? the plumbing schematics for efficient filtration and backflushing etc. i have been using these barrels for years and love them for my reef tanks.

    thanks again everyone for your advice so far!
     
    bergzy, May 31, 2009
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  6. bergzy

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Do a search on this forum for "bio filter and drdave" you will find a lot of photos of mine and drcases 55 gallon drum bio filter. There are a few others that have copied ours and posted as well. Every time I see a post, I learn something I didn't know, so when you build yours please post photos.
     
    DrDave, May 31, 2009
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  7. bergzy

    bergzy

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    here is the fishies temporary home!
    i just put up a quick diy tent for the guys to help keep noon sun off them, give them a sense of hiding and to hopefully deter predators.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    the quick diy biofilter from the systems lava rock waterfall filter. it was near impossibility to haul that thing out of the filter and harder to try and squeeze into the bucket. the hose goes to the bottom for fluidized flow through the rocks. the filter sock is to catch the detritus for now. i am planning a dual 55g barrel bioball filtration system i just saw on this forum.
    [​IMG]


    thanks so much everyone so far for your input. it was about time that i put some tlc into the backyard pond. my main hobby focus were (and still is to a certain point) my reef tanks. but now that the reefs are pretty stable, they actually require very little maintenance.

    and the thread goes on! :D
     
    bergzy, Jun 1, 2009
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  8. bergzy

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    The filter in your holding tank is not pretty but it looks like it does a fine job..
    I realy like that holding tank, what size is it?
     
    DrCase, Jun 1, 2009
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  9. bergzy

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    That tank is awesum! Where can I get one?
     
    DrDave, Jun 1, 2009
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  10. bergzy

    bergzy

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    the tank is a 300g 'runner' on loan from a reef buddy. it is 10' long made of fiberglass. i 'think' he got them at ecoaquatic. i'm not sure. i'll ask him again...but i think they have since been discontinued. i will check this out.

    i might buy it off of him to use as a sump for my addictive reef hobby.

    drcase, the filter is 100% disgusting indeed! trying to get that heavy bag of rocks to fit tightly into that bucket...i am still taking hot showers whenever i think about it! :D

    on a more positive note, this is the first time i think that the fish actually have clear water to swim in. i can sort of tell because they are more nervous than usual when i approach the tank...well, except myrtle the turtle, she has actually become more friendly since going in the tank, swimming up to me on sight. before that, she usually swims away or never shows up. now she follows me up and down the runner like a dog. she especially likes to park herself under a small fountain i created with a quiet one 3000.
     
    bergzy, Jun 1, 2009
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  11. bergzy

    stroppy stroppy

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    could we maybe get to see myrtle ??:icon_smile:
     
    stroppy, Jun 1, 2009
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  12. bergzy

    bergzy

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    well, the good news is that the tent couldnt have been put up at a more important time. my wife chased away a big white heron this morning that got 99% of the mosquito fish that i couldnt catch.

    i just came home for lunch and chased off a (presumably the same one) white heron.

    the curtain worked perfectly in hiding the fishies. stupid heron, i hope he doesnt come back otherwise...well, i will have to scare it off again!
     
    bergzy, Jun 1, 2009
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  13. bergzy

    bergzy

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    here's myrtle the turtle! i am guessing that she is at least 15 years old and is definitely a 'she' because the previous home owners found some eggs that she laid. i can only estimate that she is almost a foot long from tip of her tail to her head (when it is fully extended).

    she is very friendly and swims up to me readily and with only slight caution to others (good and bad for the latter).

    she knows my voice and stature because she doesnt really care when my wife goes out to feed the fish. it isnt until she sees me that she swims close to the pond edge.

    why? :D because i hand feed her and she associates me with food!

    [​IMG]
     
    bergzy, Jun 1, 2009
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