Help for a new guy....what are this second and third boxes for?

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by spur0701, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. spur0701

    spur0701

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    New guy here, am suffering from a bit of information overload and was hoping those of you that are experienced could help with IDing what features I have in this pond that I am a little confused about. Bought this house last year and the pond came with it, I think it was build in maybe 1999, an educated guess would be that it's holding 1300 gallons....size is a half circle 18' across with a 8'X4" chunk cut out of the middle. See pics, below, they are sort of in order.

    The waterfall and the pump that powers it has worked fine, I've got it on a timer and the fish have been fine for the most part but they are small. The pump for the water fall is on the left side of the pond, I can see where the pipe leaves the skimmer box and see where the pipes discharge the water at the top of the water fall in a couple of different places. While there is a skimmer net in the box there was no other mesh filter and there doesn't seem to be room for one. The pump doesn't sit on the bottom of the skimmer box but on top of a couple of bricks that are stacked on top of one another. Should I install a longer pipe so the pump will sit on the bottom of the box and install a mesh filter pad or might there be some reason why this pump was placed higher than the bottom of the box?

    There's a second pump on the right side of the pond in a second skimmer box, but it's dead. It has a 1.5" output that is adapted to the 2.5" PVC going out of the box. Depending on what you guys think this pump does what would be the specs for a replacement pump? There aren't any markings to show how big the pump is or how many GPH it moves. There's no skimmer net in this box but there were a couple of mesh filters. I can see where the pipe exits the skimmer box but I'm not sure what it does.....is it a second feed for the waterfall or a filter for the whole pond and if so where does the water come out....from this other box?

    There is some sort of third box on the right side of the pond not too far from the one where the the second pump is and it looks like it's designed for some water to flow out of but am not sure what it's for......is it some sort of filter box? What's supposed to go in there?

    I've treated it at the beginning of the summer and again a few weeks ago with PondZyme, AccuClear, and Algefix. The water is pretty clear and there's no long stringy algae stuff growing in there like when we bought the house last year. But there does seem to be something growing on the bottom, some brown stuff....more on the left side than on the right side? Is that a form of algae or is it sediment? Why is it less on the right side vs the left side? Are the fish eating it or is it because the right side is in more full sun?

    Thanks for any help guys!

    Pond wide.jpg Pond Left.jpg Pond right.jpg Pump with outlet.jpg Skimmer box 1.JPG Pond wide.jpg Pond Left.jpg Pond right.jpg Pump with outlet.jpg Skimmer box 1.JPG skimmer box 2.JPG pool box 3.JPG righer skimmer box.jpg third box.jpg pond bottom growth.jpg pond left side dirty.jpg pond right side clean.jpg
     
    spur0701, Sep 15, 2016
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  2. spur0701

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Hello and welcome! Where do you live?

    I'll let the others answer the equipment questions for you. As to the stuff growing on the pond walls -- algae, and that's a GOOD thing! Don't do anything to remove it. Also, most of us don't advocate using chemicals, other than a dechlorinator when adding water.

    Do you have a test kit to test for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH [at the minimum]?

    Lovely pond and very nice setting!
     
    Mmathis, Sep 15, 2016
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  3. spur0701

    spur0701

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    Thanks, I'm in Great Falls, VA....which is right outside DC. Sorry, no test kit and didn't realize about the chem stuff......is there such a kit available on Amazon?
     
    spur0701, Sep 15, 2016
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  4. spur0701

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Yes, and at most pet stores. I use the API Freshwater Master kit. Liquid kits are more reliable than strips. Be sure to check the exp date. And about the chemicals.....that's why you came here, so you could learn about all that :confused:. We sometimes have very active discussions :bored::banghead: pertaining to our different perspectives and opinions, which makes for a good opportunity to learn new things. And most of the time, the view of the one posting is neither wrong or right -- just different.

    Here's a picture of the test kit. image.jpeg
     
    Mmathis, Sep 15, 2016
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  5. spur0701

    CometKeith

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    I really like your pond. It's nice the way the walkway is so smooth and goes over the edge in the middle and the contrast to all the rocks in the waterfall. I am building a new pond and may copy some of this! Re algae. I agree with above comments. Algae is actually great for your fish. It is a food source, provides camouflage, and soaks up all the ammonia and fish wastes and makes it less harmful. After time it will mostly go away if you have a place beneficial bacteria can grow like filter media or something similar. Even the string algae goes away. Adding chemicals other than declor just messes up the natural balance and it takes longer to cycle into it's natural balance. Even the brown mucky stuff will go away. You killed all the other algae so that is the only stuff that is surviving right now. Eventually it will go away.
     
    CometKeith, Sep 16, 2016
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  6. spur0701

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Welcome to our group!

    Very nice pond. I like how it is laid out. @Meyer Jordan he is our resident pond builder, now retired, he might be able to answer your ??'s about the filters and submersible pumps. I don't use them so do not have a lot of knowledge on how they should be put together.
     
    addy1, Sep 16, 2016
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  7. spur0701

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    Can you post a photo of the 'mystery' third box. Hard to tell what's what from your photos as nothing is labeled.

    You may need to temporarily attach a working pump to the current plumbing attached to the dead pump in order to determine what that pump actually feeds. It doesn't matter as to size of pump as all you are seeking is how the water flows from this pump. Once this is determined then the proper size pump can be attached.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Sep 16, 2016
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  8. spur0701

    sissy sissy

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    hello fellow virginian first thing no chemicals
     
    sissy, Sep 16, 2016
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  9. spur0701

    spur0701

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    Thanks for the help. this is the box that had the dead pump:
    skimmer box 2.JPG

    This is the third box:
    pool box 3.JPG

    This is the front of the third box with the slap on top of it, you can see what looks like a shelf or spillway:

    third box.jpg
     
    spur0701, Sep 17, 2016
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  10. spur0701

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    That's better.
    The box with the dead pump is another skimmer box. Apparently an Aquascape skimmer. I recognize the fake stone lid.
    The third box. is what remains of a biofalls filter. The sections of PVC on the bottom are intended to support a couple of filter mats on top of which are placed 2 - 4 bags of filter media. This is also likely what is plumbed to the skimmer box with the dead pump.
    Hope that helps.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Sep 17, 2016
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  11. spur0701

    Usman

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    welcome beautiful pond and waterfall very pleasing sight!
    perhaps u can turn off the watterfall and use a water hose from ur tap to check these 2 boxes where they send water to , chances that they are connected to waterfall too if not then any other inlet to the pond . or can be both are connected , skimmer sucks water in and goes to other box for filter and goes to pond
    is this the pump that is in pic the second pump thats broken? try to clean it there would be some specs , if not then i think u dont need very powerfull pump as u already have one strong pump running and small fishes , 700 or 500galons per hour would be fine , u can use pumps alternately , may b u can explain more or observe and see where uil add filter media etc how filter system is setup
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
    Usman, Sep 17, 2016
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  12. spur0701

    spur0701

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    Thanks for all the help everyone. I tried to attach a hose but couldn't get a good enough seal to get it to push the water through but I'm sure it's pretty much got to go to that biofalls filter. There weren't any filter mats or filter media in the filter but there was this big mesh bag of plastic balls and little cup type things, plus a couple of chunks of brick to weight it down I guess. Do I just keep using that, instead of or in addition to a filter mat and bags of filter media? .......here's a pic:

    pool balls.jpg pool ball bag.jpg
     
    spur0701, Sep 22, 2016
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  13. spur0701

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    That is a couple of types of filter media. Depending on the actual size of your biofalls unit, you will need one or two more bags of filter media for the biofilter to function at an optimum level.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Sep 22, 2016
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  14. spur0701

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    The plastic balls are for bio-filtration.
     
    Mmathis, Sep 22, 2016
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  15. spur0701

    spur0701

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    Found this youtube video:

    So from it my understanding is I install a filter mat, the bioballs on top, with some more bioballs in a mesh bag and replace the dead pump and I should be good to go? Am I missing anything? How do I size the replacement pump? The outlet on the dead pump is 1 1/2" but there is no model number or anything else, just a notice that it needs to be placed 3" above the floor of the pond.
     
    spur0701, Sep 22, 2016
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  16. spur0701

    spur0701

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    Also....do I have to "Seed" this biofilter with anything or will the bacteria from the surrounding air take care of that?
     
    spur0701, Sep 22, 2016
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  17. spur0701

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    The filter will seed itself.
    Measure the weir (spillway) width on the biofalls unit. Go to this web page: http://www.aquascapeinc.com/products/biofalls-filter#p-tab_224
    This will give you the Maximum flow rate for your biofalls. The minimum flow rate should be calculated at 100 gph per inch of weir width for a minimal waterfall.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Sep 22, 2016
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  18. spur0701

    spur0701

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    So it's a 15" spillway, which looks like its the older version of the Microfalls and I would need a 1500-200 GPH pump.....any recommendations for any particular brand or just what gets the best reviews off Amazon?
     
    spur0701, Sep 23, 2016
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  19. spur0701

    Meyer Jordan Tadpole

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    !500gph - 3000 gph would be ideal for this biofalls unit. I would tend towards the higher gph.
    Any reputable brand of pump would serve your purpose. Many people look at only purchase price or electrical efficiency or warranty. All are important. I have always been partial.to direct drive for submersibles, but that's me.
     
    Meyer Jordan, Sep 23, 2016
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