My 1st FORMAL POND - Seeking Input

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by 1stFormalPond, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. 1stFormalPond

    1stFormalPond

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    Hello everyone!

    What a great site and forum. As I'd stated in the "Introductions" page for new members I'm working on my very first formal pond project, in addition to an entire backyard makeover. It's a small yard, but even at that the level of effort involved is humongous. No wonder landscape companies wanted anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 for the job I'm trying to tackle on my own.

    SO ..... here goes. First I'll post the plan, then I'll post some pictues. Next I'll ask some questions. Hope that's how it works. If there is interest I'll post some additional photos on progress as I go along.

    Thanks!
    Jeff
     

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    1stFormalPond, Jun 27, 2010
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  2. 1stFormalPond

    1stFormalPond

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    The pond itself will be approx. 13ft x 3ft x 2ft deep. I know it's not very big (about 585 gal.) but it's the biggest I could go in a small yard. I'd like to keep koi so I will be using the following:

    Construction:
    - using 4 x 4 ACQ pressure treated posts secured with stainless fasteners
    - box welded pond liner

    Filtration:
    - bottom drain (2" United Aquatic brand)
    - no-niche skimmer (side mount installation)
    - a 3 way valve connecting the bottom drain & skimmer
    - waterfall decent (opposite end from drain)

    I'm thinking about:
    - Aqua Ultimate II 1000 gal biological filter (was also looking at the Nexus Eazy Pod)
    - not sure what size or brand of pump?

    For overwintering I intend to use a pond heater.

    Does anyone have any feedback on my intended setup and equipment list? Anything missing? Do you feel I'll be able to keep a few koi in this size pond?

    Many thanks,
    Jeff
     

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    1stFormalPond, Jun 28, 2010
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  3. 1stFormalPond

    koikeepr

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    OMG!!!! I can't believe pond builders were quoting you that!!!! Crazy! Here's to saving $ and doing it yourself!
     
    koikeepr, Jun 28, 2010
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  4. 1stFormalPond

    1stFormalPond

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    The figure quoted was for the entire backyard project which included limestone pavers and walls, irrigation, lighting and the pond incl. filtration. Likely an Aquascapes set up.

    Instead of cement i opted for the DIY pressure treated (PT) lumber shown here. The layers are built, waiting in my garage to be assembled in the pond. It kinda looks like a cross between a lap pool and a coffin (sorry) :)

    All the fasteners in the PT wood are stainless steel as they'll be below grade. My only concern is they'll heave with frost ... does anyone have any thoughts on that?

    More later.
    Jeff
     

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    1stFormalPond, Jun 28, 2010
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    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I think that quote is still very high. I like your construction on the frame, keep posting pictures.
     
    DrDave, Jun 28, 2010
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    1stFormalPond

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    Would anyone kindly give me input on my pond set up PLEASE as outlined in the above posts, or at a min. provide some answers to the questions below:

    1) I'm thinking of the Ultima II Filter 1000, 2” valve, and wondering if it is appropriate and also if the 2" is overkill for a 585 gal. pond? Cheapest price?

    2) What pump should I use? It will be located either in ground or above just a few feet away and the farthest the return water has to travel is approx. 15ft and 2ft up to a sheer water decent.

    3) Lastly, do I need to anchor the pressure treated frame into the ground (it will be approx 28" deep and the layers bolted together) and if so ... any suggestions on how?

    I want to purchase online this week and would appreciate your help ASAP.
    Thank you!
    Jeff
     
    1stFormalPond, Jun 28, 2010
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  7. 1stFormalPond

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I used a wave dragon pump for my az pond, uses low amps and is still running great.
    It is an external pump. The one i have running there is 1/3 hp, they also have a 1/4 hp that would most likely work great for you.

    My limited knowledge of frost heave, you need to go below the frost level of your land. Does your ground freeze deeper than 2 feet? We put in concrete footings with 6x6 posts attached to them to attach our bog wall to. We do freeze here.

    I have also read that a layer of sand will help with frost heave.

    I have made my own filters, so I can not really help you with your filter ?.
    They have a lot of post here for making your own filter that works great if you wish to save some money. Check the dyi section.

    Keep us posted.
     
    addy1, Jun 28, 2010
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  8. 1stFormalPond

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I think the rule of thumb is to keep the skimmer as far as possible from the waterfall, in your drawing you have the waterfall at one end the skimmer in the middle, that will create a dead spot in your pond.
    I would put the skimmer on the wall opposite the waterfall, the water movement will help push the stuff to it. in my humble opinion ............lol
     
    addy1, Jun 28, 2010
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  9. 1stFormalPond

    koikeepr

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    Ultima does make very good filters. This one is a sort of a pressurized/bead filter type. The thing you need to know about them, is that to be successful they need to have some kinda pre-filtration before them--otherwise they clog easily and it's hard to backwash them.

    You could anchor your wood "coffin" into the ground with very long rebar. Unfortunately, that would now require you to use a very long bit since you have not pre-drilled holes into each piece of lumber and you'd now need to go through a lot of em that are bolted together. Nonetheless, it would be required you set that rebar into concrete or at least get them that are more than twice the height of your coffin to really get deep in the ground.

    Your biggest dilemma is that wood touching dirt isn't going to last long. You'll get maybe 8 or so years out of that frame before the lower pieces start deteriorating. So take that into consideration and do some remedial work to take care of that issue.

    Usually folks don't build a pond frame and drop it in place as you are doing. They build up from the ground where they anchor as they go. You could put some stainless L brackets on the lower pieces of lumber and then drive rebar through them.

    With such a long pond, your biggest concern should be how the poop and detrius will get to your pump inlet--particularly if it's all the way on one side. Even if it's in the middle, your sides would be ignored and could collect muck. If I were you, to avoid this, I would split the water coming out of the filter that returns to the pond into two soft pipes. I would put those returns under water on each end and have them push water to the center of the pond where your pump inlet would be.

    Had you built the pond in place, you could have done a river or stream run type set up, where your pond floor would have tapered down from one end down to the other. That way your poop would head down a hill. You could still do this if you regraded your soil properly down to one end. You would also benefit from a retro bottom drain such as an AquaArt at the lowest end of that river run.

    You could do the smallest Sequence 750 pump if you do the water returns under water, as you will benefit from a strong blast to move detrius.
     
    koikeepr, Jun 28, 2010
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  10. 1stFormalPond

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    To help against the wood degrading, line the hole with 3 ml black landscape plastic, from home depot or lowes, it comes in rolls, and not that expensive. That would keep the wet from the wood.

    If you want to anchor it, you could do like we did, put in concrete footings, attach a pressure treated 6x6 or 4x4 to the concrete, then attach that piece of wood to your pond frame.

    You could build in some slope for poop moving, by putting a substance, ie sand, under the liner, build a few berms to hold it in place, each berm smaller as you work toward the "deep" end. That would give you poop flow slope without trying to tilt the entire pond.

    You have a neat project ahead of you, it will be beautiful when you are done!
     
    addy1, Jun 29, 2010
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  11. 1stFormalPond

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Darn wish i could edit, take the 3 ml plastic up and over the wood ow water would collect between the wood and plastic. Geez just saw the edit button!

    lol
     
    addy1, Jun 29, 2010
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  12. 1stFormalPond

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Well us gals have the prerogative to change our mind, the plastic might make it worse, ie moisture build up due to temperature differences. So that might be a bad idea, sorry!
     
    addy1, Jun 29, 2010
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  13. 1stFormalPond

    1stFormalPond

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    Thanks for the comments / suggestions. Keep em coming! :beerchug:

    - My "coffin" is only pre-assembled in layers at the moment so I could still anchor with rebar.

    - I intended to slope the entire pond floor down 3" from one end to the other to aid in he poop and detrius reaching the bottom drain... perhaps I should add a jet under the waterfall (or along the side) to push crap down that way? thanks for your feedback (see drawing)

    - based on the comments on rot, I might actually wrap the posts in Dupont Tyvek. That and all the stainless fasteners I used should give it a long life span.

    - lastly, what type of filtration would you recommend if you have concerns on the Ultima 1000 without a prefilter? ... I think I will do a combination of the waterfall and a jet.

    Based on your recommendations to date I've attached a better drawing of my intended filtration and would still appreciate comment / suggestions on the type of filter and pump.

    Cheers,
    Jeff
    :fish:
     

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    1stFormalPond, Jun 29, 2010
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    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    If you ever need anything edited, provide me with specific instructions and I can do it for you.
     
    DrDave, Jun 29, 2010
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  15. 1stFormalPond

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Thanks Dr Dave will remember that.

    Looking good, the tyvek will help.

    The skimmer placement might still give you a dead zone at the end of the pond near the bottom drain.
     
    addy1, Jun 29, 2010
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  16. 1stFormalPond

    koikeepr

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    Yes, there you go! That jet is called a TPR (you can google TPR and pond to read more about them). I have 3 TPR's on my pond and they do exactly what you are describing. i have one under my waterfall and two on the opposite wall.

    The layout your are proposing now is a river flow design. It is basically the most efficient way to set up a pond for maintenance. Slope your pond bottom down toward the BD.

    Great, if your layers haven't been anchored together then you can drive rebar from the top all the way through to the bottom then. That will help with any movement for sure.

    I would do a pre-filter on your Ultima if that's the route you are taking. A small barrel of maybe 25 gallons will serve this purpose. If you go to the DIY section, you will see builds for these. I have one posted on there that is a 25g one, as an example. You would have your BD feed into this prefilter (also known as a settlment chamber) and then the cleaned water would go to your Ultima filter. That's exactly how I had it set up.
     
    koikeepr, Jun 29, 2010
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  17. 1stFormalPond

    1stFormalPond

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    Thought I'd post an update. It's a journey. :claphands:
    Ordering the custom box welded liner next now that the bottom drain is cemented in place.

    Can't wait ... the rest of the limestone is standing by to be laid down once the liner is installed.
     

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    1stFormalPond, Oct 14, 2010
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  18. 1stFormalPond

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    looks like youve got a handle on things....nice project! is the pond going up above gronud any? if not how deep is it?
     
    koiguy1969, Oct 14, 2010
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  19. 1stFormalPond

    1stFormalPond

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    Just 2" of limestone coping and pavers to finish the upper deck. At 13' x 3' x 24" deep my pond is more a water feature built for fish than a true koi pond.
     
    1stFormalPond, Oct 14, 2010
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    carolinaguy

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    if this is a koi pond, then keep in mind that the size of a pond dictates how many fish you can have even if you over filter. at 600 gallons, the most full sized 27 inch, 11 pound fish you can have is 3 using a standard of 20 gallons per pound. you really need to plan based on the presentation you want in the end. of course a full sized koi takes maybe 8 years to reach that weight, so you have plenty of time, but 20 gallons per pound is the lower end of the standards range. 80 gallons per pound is the upper range, so you might have one fish. just remember you are planning for koi and they get big. you will never have one of the 43 inch monsters due to the cost, but it's smart to plan with the end in mind.

    the other issue is creature comfort for koi. they are skittish, prey fish that freak out when a cloud passes over. and they jump. if your sidewall is vertical that's good to keep the fish safe. but the idea of a 3 foot deep pond gives them peace of mind and calms them.

    if you are building an aquascapes pond, then they put rocks over the liner, and your pond will not have the depth you planned. then there is the issue of rocks. i am not a rocks fan because of the damage and cleanliness problems, but the that's me. just make sure you are getting what you planned to have based on size limitations and the nature of koi.
     
    carolinaguy, Oct 14, 2010
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