Koi pond without bottom drain


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hi all,
I was wondering if it is possible to have a koi pond WITHOUT a bottom drain. I was looking at getting a paddling pool and using it as a pond one of the ones with liners supported by metal poles. But I wouldn’t be able to have a bottom drain. Is there any way I could have a koi pond without one I’m looking at 1000-1500 gallons for 3 koi and 6 or 7 goldfish. Or is there a way I can get water circulating at the bottom of the pond with skimmers and an oversized filter?
 
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it is possible to have koi in a pond without a bottom drain. The biggest issue is fish load - 3 koi may be fine in 1500 gallons, but you'd be pushing the limit. Good filtration is a big part of the equation, and that includes plants and good algae growth. If you can achieve that, you'd be fine.
 
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Have to keep in mind the cold weather with a raised pond . no drain no problem the more i think about it the more a main drain is less favorable in the winter months along with any airation from the bottom. as the fish like a calm layer down toward the bottom .
 

mrsclem

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Definitely possible to have a koi pond with no bottom drain. I have 2 ponds, both partial above ground. Neither has a skimmer or bottom drain. I do keep them netted as they are at the edge of the woods and do get a lot of leaves.
 
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I don't know what type of paddling pool you are thinking of, but as GBBUDD said you need to be aware of winter temperatures. If you have freezing temperatures in winter, it would have to be able to hold up to the ice created. The plastic Intex type pools that you described won't survive freezing and must be taken down in winter in colder areas.

You can always use a retro bottom drain. I have one in an Intex pool that is now inside for winter so the pool won't freeze. There are lots of ideas online for making them yourself and they work very well.

If you don't have some type of bottom drain, you would need to vacuum the bottom regularly. At least that is my opinion, for what's it's worth.

I do still vacuum the bottom of my Intex pool, but mainly because the fish keep digging in the plants in there and the system isn't strong enough to pick up the sand and planting media that is kicked out along the edges. It does a great job on fish waste, though, so it doesn't require a lot of vacuuming and not that often.
 
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I note you are in the UK so possibly not too severe a winter and possibly not freezing temps for water.
Here is my filter layout without a bottom drain. No holes in the liner at all.
I have a few videos on my YouTube site about the filter.
Ray
 
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For anyone who would like a bottom drain but is afraid or just not willing to puncture your liner i can understand the worries in doing so There's a couple easy solutions to put in a bottom drain and not see the piping or cut the liner. when you dig your pond if you dig a trench about a foot wide and 6 inches deep . places the underlayment rubber liner then underlayment again in the trench Run your flexible pvc 3" line into the trench and do so with the pvc line caped on the end and cut slots in the pipe like a bog design. Now most areas have a code for the depth of the pond and main drains/"bottom drains" where you need to have two of them and they need to be so far apart etc etc . but once you have the line in the trench with the slots cut you can fill the trench with stone 1- 2" this will allow small partials be sucked into the drain pipe and not allow rocks or large items be sucked in . An other idea is similar and that is to use a snorkel and centipede system same idea digging a trench and cover with stone but it gives you the option to be able to place a pump down the snorkel for clean out.
 
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hi all,
I was wondering if it is possible to have a koi pond WITHOUT a bottom drain. I was looking at getting a paddling pool and using it as a pond one of the ones with liners supported by metal poles. But I wouldn’t be able to have a bottom drain. Is there any way I could have a koi pond without one I’m looking at 1000-1500 gallons for 3 koi and 6 or 7 goldfish. Or is there a way I can get water circulating at the bottom of the pond with skimmers and an oversized filter?
YES, you can with no problems. what others have missed you will need a pump that can take the solids.. dont forget this; never pull a pump from a pond by the ele. cord.....make it easy to get to, at some time it gonna stop up. keep it at the deepest spot also.
 
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My opinion:
Bottom drain probably a good thing, but not neccessary.
Pros and cons.
Pros: possibly helps to keep the bottom clean.
Cons: has to be engineered properly during installation. Worries of any piping above the freeze line.
I like to keep things simple because I worry about any leaks occurring. But that's me. Maybe I'm paranoid.
I don't have one in my 1500+ gallon pond.
I just use a net to slowly scoop any accumulated sludge from the bottom maybe once a month in the spring summer and fall.
 
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i agree 100% i guess i should have posted that i would recommend at the deepest spot BUT RAISE it from the bottom3-4 inches will help stop the intake to the pump of unwanted debris.
 
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what others have missed you will need a pump that can take the solids.
I'd suggest that if you DON'T put your pump at the bottom of the pond, you won't have to worry about handling solids. A pump in a skimmer for example won't need to handle solids.

Again this is a case of the difference between a dedicated koi pond (heavily stocked, no plants, heavy on mechanical filtration) vs a garden pond (low fish load, lots of plants, rocks and gravel, heavy on biological filtration). In my garden pond I can honestly say I have never seen fish poop - not one single time. Even when we had big koi we never had an issue with solid waste. Gravel bottom, lots of plants, good circulation.
 
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its pretty simple lisak1 , if the solids stay poor water quality, didnt you tell me you dont clean your pond.. thats pretty hard to believe after i viewed you pond pics i saw tons of plants it looked nice but if the plants were not it would filled to 12 inches or so deep which would happen if it was never cleaned.....so what happened to your big koi?
 
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We don't clean our pond The pond cleans itself. What do hoy mean by "if the plants were not it would filled to 12 inches or so deep"?

Our koi died last winter when our pump plumbing failed.
 
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Any pond 3 feet deep or less i wouldnt waste my time putting in a bottom drain. it's to easy to reach to the bottom with a net, vac or simply stir up the bottom and let the skimmer have another chance at it .
 
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mrsclem

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10X10X5.5 pond with 7 adult koi and 15-20 younger koi. No skimmer, no bottom drain and no plants in pond other than a few lilies hung from sides. Have window boxes used as mini bogs on sides of pond with water spraying from above. No problems with debris building up on bottom. Pond is netted for leaves. Savio filter, 55 gallon skippy and just added 150gallon stock tank bog. Bottom of the pond is clean enough to see folds in liner.
 
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