Main pump how many hrs does it have to run

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I have a 3 tiered pond with 2 waterfalls approximately 900 gallons. the main pump pumps about 2500 gallons/hr. The largest of the ponds approx 450 gallons I have a canister filter with uv with a 600gl/hr pump which I would like to put koi in. Can I run the main pump for one hr then off for 2 to 3 hrs. The upper ponds will only have plants.
 
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Welcome @Mike McKenna ! It sounds like you run two pumps in your ponds for a total water volume of about 900 gallons - is that correct? When you say "main pump" is that the one that feeds your filter or does it just circulate through the waterfall? You don't want to shut off the water that flows through your filter at any time, as the bacteria that's living in the biofilter will begin to die off - so that's consideration #1. Also you should aim to turn over your water 1.5 to 2 times per hour - would the single pump you plan to keep running accomplish that goal? A third thing to consider is whether turning a pump off will cause the water level to drop in your upper pond. If you have plants, you don't want the water level dropping below the level where the will begin to dry out - even two or three hours at a time in the hot sun can be stressful for a water loving plant.

And I know you didn't ask, but at 900 gallons, your pond is really too small for koi. And especially if you plan to isolate them to the 450 gallon portion - they grow extremely fast and can get quite large in a fast second. Do you currently have fish in your pond? How long has it been running?
 
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Welcome @Mike McKenna ! It sounds like you run two pumps in your ponds for a total water volume of about 900 gallons - is that correct? When you say "main pump" is that the one that feeds your filter or does it just circulate through the waterfall? You don't want to shut off the water that flows through your filter at any time, as the bacteria that's living in the biofilter will begin to die off - so that's consideration #1. Also you should aim to turn over your water 1.5 to 2 times per hour - would the single pump you plan to keep running accomplish that goal? A third thing to consider is whether turning a pump off will cause the water level to drop in your upper pond. If you have plants, you don't want the water level dropping below the level where the will begin to dry out - even two or three hours at a time in the hot sun can be stressful for a water loving plant.

And I know you didn't ask, but at 900 gallons, your pond is really too small for koi. And especially if you plan to isolate them to the 450 gallon portion - they grow extremely fast and can get quite large in a fast second. Do you currently have fish in your pond? How long has it been running?
The ponds have been running for a year now . I don't have any fish just a papyrus plant . The filter runs 24/7 That will be in the 450 pond . The main pump feeds the two waterfalls . The 1st pond approximately 100 gallons, the 2nd pond is 350 .
Welcome @Mike McKenna ! It sounds like you run two pumps in your ponds for a total water volume of about 900 gallons - is that correct? When you say "main pump" is that the one that feeds your filter or does it just circulate through the waterfall? You don't want to shut off the water that flows through your filter at any time, as the bacteria that's living in the biofilter will begin to die off - so that's consideration #1. Also you should aim to turn over your water 1.5 to 2 times per hour - would the single pump you plan to keep running accomplish that goal? A third thing to consider is whether turning a pump off will cause the water level to drop in your upper pond. If you have plants, you don't want the water level dropping below the level where the will begin to dry out - even two or three hours at a time in the hot sun can be stressful for a water loving plant.

And I know you didn't ask, but at 900 gallons, your pond is really too small for koi. And especially if you plan to isolate them to the 450 gallon portion - they grow extremely fast and can get quite large in a fast second. Do you currently have fish in your pond? How long has it been running?
1st thank you for the info . The pond is about a year old I don't have any fish just a papyrus plant in the middle pond. I had saltwater aquarium for about 20 years . So I like to get as much information about running a pond before I would introduce any fish. The largest pond has it's on pump with the filter. The water level in the middle pond only drops about a inch when the pump is off. I'm in New England so I brought the plant inside for the winter. Here is a question for you is there any rules on plants in the ponds?
 
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What kind of rules? My rule is anything that grows stays! Explain your question a bit better and I'll see what I can share - I'm not much on pumps and equipment, but I do know a bit about plants!

One thing you might want to consider is the relationship between fish and plants in a pond - the fish create waste which feeds the plants and the plants consume the waste which keeps the pond healthy for the fish. It's a great relationship of give and take. If you have one without the other, you can't achieve balance (without some outside assistance). So your plants will struggle to grow without added fertilizer. Or your fish will not thrive without added filtration. Put the two together and you have magic! Your pond is the perfect size for some goldfish - and the bonus is they are very easy to care for. You don't even have to feed them if you don't want!

If you have a pump that only feeds a waterfall but doesn't flow through your filter, there's no reason you can't shut it down when you want. But you do want to make sure your total pond volume moves through your filter 1.5 to 2 times per hour. Are you achieving that with your current pump that feeds your filter?
 
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The pump would be sufficient for the pond . I was looking at lotus plants. I also have iris plants and daylillys that I would like to put in. From mid spring to mid October the pond gets full sun for 8 to 9 hrs a day . The middle pond is about 18 inches at its deepest the edges are 6 to 8. The largest pond is 2 1/2 ft.
 
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Lotuses are probably the most challenging of all the aquatic plants to grow. They are cold sensitive and can't freeze, so you either have to overwinter indoors or have a place to store them in the pond where they can stay below the ice.

Irises and lilies (aquatic lilies are not the same as daylilies however) are both great marginal pond plants. You have to be careful and watch them as they do grow quickly and would happily take over your pond. They need to be divided frequently to keep them in check.

Basically pond plants are divided into three categories - deep water plants (basically water lilies), floating plants (the two most common being water lettuce and water hyacinth) and marginals, which, as the name implies grow in the margins, or shallow areas of the pond. Those would be your rushes, sedges, irises, grasses, cattails, etc. You can also grow common garden plants in the shallow areas of your pond - things like impatiens and creeping jenny do great in and around rocks and waterfalls as do many of the other common ground covers. There are lots of pond pictures posted on the forum - check them out and if you see something you like, just ask. Everyone loves to share what works for them!
 

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Remember if you get fish and add plants after that you should clean the plants and the roots as you never know what lurks in the plant or pot .
 
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I have a 3 tiered pond with 2 waterfalls approximately 900 gallons. the main pump pumps about 2500 gallons/hr. The largest of the ponds approx 450 gallons I have a canister filter with uv with a 600gl/hr pump which I would like to put koi in. Can I run the main pump for one hr then off for 2 to 3 hrs. The upper ponds will only have plants.

Hi Mike - I know a Mike McKenna - That NorthEast isn't on Long Island by chance, is it?
 

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