Huge Koi Pond - Skimmer / Filter / Bio-Falls Advice - Atlantic vs Pondmaster


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I am brand new to ponds, but have taken up the chore of building a very exciting 4 pond 35,000 gal system with streams that connect them all. They will actually be 3 self contained bodies of water, but the streams will make them look as though they are all connected. I've done a lot of research on equipment over the last few months, and have narrowed my search down considerably.

Here are some things I've decided on for certain:
  • Pumps: Sequence Primer Series (5 of them)
  • Bottom Drains: Vortex (4 of them)
  • Sterilizers: Aqua UV (5 of them)

The one thing I am still ironing out is which line of Skimmers/Filters/Bio-Falls to use. I've narrowed this down to 2 main types:

Another line of equipment that looks descent is Savio. Anyway, I'm having a hard time deciding between these brands. They both look solid, so maybe I'm making to much of it. Does anyone have any experience with these? What would you recommend and why?

On a side note, in a simple example, if I have an 8,000 Gallon pump which is pulling from the bottom drain and a skimmer (at 50% each way), am I right to think that the skimmer would only have to be 4,000 Gallon capable? Seems obvious, but just want to make sure.

Glad I found this forum, tons of info! :banana:

John P.
 
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The brands/products you mention are all good ones. Savio also excellent when it comes to skimmers. Typically, you'll find that ponders with the type of set up you are describing go with the Savio brand. Sequence pumps are great for energy consumption and are workhorses; and your choices for BD and sterilizer are also faves of serious ponders with large systems like yours. You can't go wrong with any of the what you've picked out so far.

So, you are saying that you plan on having your pump pull from your BD AND you skimmer by splitting the flow. Is your plan to just have one skimmer for the whole system, or are you planning for 4 skimmers attached to each of your BD's?

You've got quite an ambitious plan for a newbie! Even pros would be petrified by building what you are talking about. Are you doing this DIY or having it built professionally?

Also, what are your thoughts for filters? I would think about Nexus filters as a possibility. You could do a stash of bead filters...vortex filters....you're gonna need something serious and big and a place to hide it all.
 
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I'm having this built professionally by a contractor I know and trust very well, however, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and so I'm getting very involved in picking out the equipment here.

The plan is to have one BD, and one Skimmer per pond (there are 4 ponds). These would both be pulled through a Vortex filter, through the Pump, and then back out through the UV and Bio-Falls. The one exception to the above setup is the largest of the 4 ponds which will be about 20x20 in area, with an average depth of 4 feet (5 feet at the deepest). This large pond will actually have 2 skimmers, and one BD. In terms of water outlets, each of the 4 ponds will have one Bio-Falls, and one UV out. So all in all there will be 4 BD, 4 Vortex, 5 Skimmers, 5 UV, 4 Bio-Falls.

One thing I've decided against altogether is bead filters, for two main reasons. That is size, and cost. At least with the Vortex type filters, they are buried and can be easily hidden. This was actually the recommended system setup by the contractor who says the bead filters are overkill. His explanation is you have Vortex for solids, Bio-Falls for bio cleaning, and UV for sterilizing. Adding a bead filter to this is redundant.

However, I'm looking at this Nexus (which I've not heard of before), and it looks pretty awesome (although it has a price tag to match). If I understand it correctly, it is sort of a mix between a Vortex and a Bio filter? Is that correct? If so, would it be smart to get rid of the solids only Vortex, and the Bio-Falls, in exchange for Nexus and a falls without bio or filtration? Seems like this solution would be more expensive, but would be much lower maintenance and possibly cleaner.

Also, am I right to think that a Nexus is typically buried just like a Vortex?

BTW, the Vortex is something I haven't done any research on myself, I have gone off of my contractors word. He explained how they work mechanically and sold me on them.
 
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I'm still confused on whether to do Atlantic or Pondmaster equipment as well. One additional benefit I found with Atlantic is that they have a Lifetime warranty. I can't find the warranty info for the Danner/Pondmaster skimmer/falls. In fact, I had a really hard time even finding the products on their website (I eventually found them in a PDF catalog that is downloadable). Savio has a 5 year warranty.

I like that the Danner/Pondmaster skimmers have a nice plastic straining basket, whereas the Atlantics have just a net (although they also have a brush pannel).

Any additional advice on this would be helpful.
 
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I am really liking the look of these Nexus filters, but one concern I just ran accross is their GPH is very low. Even the larger of the two which is rated at ponds up to 9,000 gallons can only take 3,400 gph. This means that if you use these per these specs, water is only run through the filter once every three hours. Is this reasonable? I guess as per their specs it is. I was planning on cycling water once every hour to hour and a half. So I guess I will would have to split the water and only have 1/3 of it running through the Nexus if I were to use it? Any other advice on this?

Also, to answer one my own questions from above, you can install Nexus above or underground (at pond level). Underground would be "Gravity Fed", which is what I would be looking to do.
 
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you got that right. Filtration for ponds this size is super pricey without a doubt.

Right, the nexus is a souped up vortex filter and most folks combine it with a Cetus sieve as a pre-filter (which, of course, only makes it more expensive), and an "answer," which is basically a steel screen with pump that sprays water around to clean things up.

But, yes, the GPH on a nexus is purposefully slower because the kaldness (the plastic media) has to remain in constant suspension and moving to stay clean and get tons of oxygen--so it can't be too fast or too slow to keep this action happening. It's done so that the debris can separate from the media properly. This allows for a much larger fish load than other systems. You can buy either a gravity fed or a pump fed one.

It is by no means a perfect system, and has some downsides like any other filtration system. They've all got pluses and minues, so research them all carefully. Like the vortex filters you are mentioning...if they are run properly, they are truly great, but most folks try to put too much water through them and then the debris can't swirl and vacate properly. So, you also need a slower flow rate with a vortex, too. Any filtration that requires debris to be separated with a spin, such as what you are looking at should not have that process happen too quickly. Think about it like a toilet bowl when water flushes down, manufactures have the swirling motion very carefully measured to do it's job properly (yes, it's a science!). Not enough water and the vortex action doesn't take care of business; and if there is too much water and too much swirling--look out!
 
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Dear Koikeepr
I have a new 8,000 gallon pond i am in the process of building now ! I have 2 Nexus 300 eazy units do you think i will need to use both on the pond size or will 1 work alone ?? because I am going to have a anoxic filter also with veggy filter also What do you think As i had tought about selling the second one ! i had a freind in another state that just closed their ponds down & bought all their equipment the 2 nexus air pumps & heaters also
Thanks Greg in Bama
 

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