My pond progression( DIY Skippy, inherited pond renovation)


Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
57
Reaction score
19
Location
Chicago Burbs
I bought my house last year and it came with a pond. Roughly 10 feet x 7 feet x Avg 2.5 feet. It only had a 400 gph filter box with a few foam pads and a few bio balls. Looks like a fountain kit from Home Depot. It has a few fish (3 Koi and 2 goldfish).

I managed through last year with a bunch of hyacinths, water lettuce, a floating planter with a bunch of bog type plants and a lily and that kept my water clear but had a tea color tint to it due to the leaves and muck before. I've used a ShopVac every other month to vacuum out the muck and performed my water changes with that last year.

This year, I finally settled into the house and am now focusing on this pond. I just finished building my Skippy biofilter, but still have a bunch I want to do. I still need to move this filter back a bit and rock it in, but for now I wanted it running to start the biological filtration as the weather is getting warmer.

Here is a few pictures of the pond last year:

IMG_2453.jpg IMG_2506.jpg IMG_3389.jpg IMG_3394.jpg IMG_3402.jpg

Here are the pictures of the filter I built today. I have a 1900 GPH pump running this and I am using Koiguy's weir. So far so good, I think I may want to add a ball valve to adjust the flow into the filter and plumb the pipes through the wall too. As you can see the pond is filthy! The new pump and the waterfall kicked up all the muck on the bottom. I even cleaned the pond out last week and it "looked" clean...Boy was I wrong! I also have a 2" ball valve to back flush this and will be using this to change my water more often, I'm thinking a 60 gallon water change every week and to flush out any muck in the filter. I'll keep this up until my water clear up. Any opinions if this is too frequent?

I am trying to see if the flow is too fast. I timed a 5 gallon bucket was filled in 40 seconds. My pond is ~1000 gallons. What is ideal?

IMG_3431.jpg IMG_3434.jpg IMG_3435.jpg IMG_3439.jpg IMG_3443.jpg

This is just the beginning and I will be adding pictures as I improve this pond more this season!
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
39,216
Reaction score
23,472
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Looking nice. They say a turn over rate of once per hour is ideal, some like twice per hour. Mine does fine at around once every two hours or so.
 

koiguy1969

GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
10,587
Reaction score
6,386
Location
Michigan zone 5b
your flow is probably fine... if you want to slow the flow thru the filter you can put a tee and a ballvalve .. have 1/2 go thru the filter and the other 1/2 just go into the top of the filter so it can keep a nice flow for your waterfall.. thats what i do...1000 gph thru the filter and 2150 into the top so i get a nice 3150 gph waterfall.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
292
Reaction score
104
Location
NE Penna.
Very nice - beautiful fish.

Question for you ponder - what type of decision did the pond play in the buying of your house? I ask because I could see where something like a pond either being a real deal maker or a deal breaker. I am curious as I have seen a number of times over the years in various pond fourms 'bought home with pond.....'.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
57
Reaction score
19
Location
Chicago Burbs
It's been about 12 hours with the filter running and I'm seeing the clarity come back before the waterfall kicked everything up. The fish seem to be enjoying the pond with the water change, water fall, etc. They are very active this morning as you can see in the video.

View attachment IMG_3456.mov

This was yesterday when the filter was turned on:

[sharedmedia=core:attachments:53945]

This is 12 hours running overnight:

IMG_3451.jpg

The filter has some fine algae on the light grates from the pond I am guessing. Since the filter already caught so much debris I am wondering if I should backflush it today with the pond water being pumped into the down spout. Everything this hand fitted and not glued down so I can do this easily.

Seen here: IMG_3453.jpg IMG_3455.jpg

Question number 2: I did not have all this foam until the waterfall started to agitate the water. Is this DOC and if so my weekly backflush of my filter (which is a 70 gallon stock tank that has ~55-60 gallons of water) be sufficient to eliminate this issue? This does make sense that is is DOC since I did not have the ability to really change out the water easily except for the times I had my ShopVac vacuuming the bottom every month last summer.

I probably need to invest in a pond test kit, I currently have the strips and have been told they are not that accurate. This morning the pads read:
7.2 ph
Total Alkalinity: 120
Total Hadness: 250
Nitrite: 0.5
Nitrate was undetected


Nitrate both were undetected
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
57
Reaction score
19
Location
Chicago Burbs
Carolyn22 said:
Very nice - beautiful fish.

Question for you ponder - what type of decision did the pond play in the buying of your house? I ask because I could see where something like a pond either being a real deal maker or a deal breaker. I am curious as I have seen a number of times over the years in various pond fourms 'bought home with pond.....'.
Thank you Carolyn, It wasn't a major factor. The main reason for this house purchase was pricing and it is in a top rated school district. It is an older home with the kitchen and baths re-done and in a great area of Chicago. The pond was just icing on the cake. It can be viewed from the kitchen from our kitchen table with floor to ceiling windows. The video was taken looking from the window of my kitchen so it made a great setting to view the pond at all times of day.
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
292
Reaction score
104
Location
NE Penna.
Thanks Ponder - I was wondering.

Your pond is clearing up - soon it will be crystal clear. It doesn't usually take very long once it is on the way.

I would also test the KH and Ammonia in your pond.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
32,745
Reaction score
15,368
Location
Axton virginia
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
more plants in your filter will deprive that algae from getting nutrients .I found the more plants in my filter the better that is why I did my filter bigger
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
57
Reaction score
19
Location
Chicago Burbs
Koi guy, I was thinking of doing exactly that. I have an picked up a bulkhead but I may return it and go cheap with your parts. I already have a threaded end to PVC and a 1 1/2 barbed nipple on the other end.

Sissy, that is what I am trying to accomplish, but seems like I keep missing the shipments to water lettuce and hyacinths. Each time I go they either haven't arrived or I call and they have them in but they sell out. Seems like everyone has the same idea this time of year!

I was able to find watercress a few weeks back and it seems like they are doing well and my daughter brought home a science experiment with some type of water grass. (Not sure I'd throw any more "science projects" in my filter but this seems to be harmless. I did rinse off the roots to get rid of any excess fertilization they may have used.

What water test kits do you all recommend? I see freshwater and aquarium test kits, obviously they work in ponds but are the parameters on the kits the same for aquarium and ponds like the "ideal range" they have in the instructions? Do they sell test kits especially for ponds?
 

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
11,368
Reaction score
6,339
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Carolyn22 said:
Very nice - beautiful fish.

Question for you ponder - what type of decision did the pond play in the buying of your house? I ask because I could see where something like a pond either being a real deal maker or a deal breaker. I am curious as I have seen a number of times over the years in various pond fourms 'bought home with pond.....'.
Funny you would bring this up as I was noticing the same thing. Seems like a good percentage of new members inherited a pond. These folks seem pleased [ or resigned ;) ] to have the pond, but wonder how many folks are out there, with inherited ponds that we don't hear from -- who are on the opposite wall.
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
32,745
Reaction score
15,368
Location
Axton virginia
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
If you go to walmart the vegetable isle they sell potted herbs .I use them and the grasses work great and so do elephant ears and cannas .Lemon grass is great too ,smells fantastic also and sucks up the bad stuff
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:54044]
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:53599]
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:53600]
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:53602]
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
32,745
Reaction score
15,368
Location
Axton virginia
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:51120]I use api I got at pet mountain and I buy my activated charcoal there and I use crushed oyster shells
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
32,745
Reaction score
15,368
Location
Axton virginia
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
United States
[sharedmedia=core:attachments:51120]I use api I got at pet mountain and I buy my activated charcoal there and I use crushed oyster shells
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
57
Reaction score
19
Location
Chicago Burbs
sissy said:
I use api I got at pet mountain and I buy my activated charcoal there and I use crushed oyster shells
I've seen API test kits so I may go with that.

What is the idea behind using crushed oyster shells? Is that to make your water harder to buffer against PH swings? I think my water is really hard where I am at and wondering if that is something I may need in the future or not since I do have hard water.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
57
Reaction score
19
Location
Chicago Burbs
After 3 days of the Skippy running the fine silt is now gone and my water is really clear. The last two days we've had temperetures in the 70-80's and normally when it gets that sunny and hot I can count on coming home with algae floating on top. I just saw 3-4 small clumps now. I hope that's the sign that the filter is doing what it's supposed to do!

I also decided today to take the old fountain filter box I used to have and replaced the foam with some aquarium fiber to really get out all the debris. What do you all think later on of using the same fountain filter box and putting activated carbon to clear up the tannins in there or are water changes my best option?

I decided to drain out half the filter through my backflush and saw the dirty black water so the settlement of fine debris is working and filled the pond with some fresh water and I have less bubbles now. The fish tonight were very active and even chasing each other around. The fish seem more active/happier it seems. (Or it could just be the warmer temps!)

Here's some pictures after 3 days with the filter running and a video, seems like you can see the clarity better in the video.

IMG_3473.jpg IMG_4721.jpg IMG_4724.jpg

 
Joined
Apr 12, 2013
Messages
57
Reaction score
19
Location
Chicago Burbs
sissy said:
If you go to walmart the vegetable isle they sell potted herbs .I use them and the grasses work great and so do elephant ears and cannas .Lemon grass is great too ,smells fantastic also and sucks up the bad stuff
Sissy, how do you use the lemongrass? I see them selling it in stalks here, do you just put them in an aquatic planter in some pea gravel? I plan on using a canna in my floating planter this year. I read somewhere on this forum that canna's are a big nutrient hog.
 
Ad

Advertisements

addy1

water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins
Moderator
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
39,216
Reaction score
23,472
Location
Frederick, Maryland
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
6b
Country
United States
Nice, your water is clearing up great! Grasses, rush, sedges, most plants will help suck up the nutrients supplied by the fish poo.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top