New Member Seeking New Pond Advice

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Minto Flats, May 30, 2013.

  1. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Hello to all from Colorado… :bye2:

    First, I must say, I’m impressed with the overall quality and helpfulness of some of advice I’ve read in here. I’ve been “lurking” on this forum for a couple weeks now…in quest of the ideal (if one exists) 2-barrel filtration system for a new fish pond project.

    The closest member configuration I could find in regard to what I have in mind was illustrated by “Schroeder1959” (3 November, 2009): https://www.gardenpondforum.com/topic/1067-diy-biofilter/page-5

    But my primary questions are:

    1. Will this same configuration work when the barrels are partially (mostly) below pond water level (Schroeder’s filtrations system was above ground)?

    2. Would it be more efficient in this configuration to place the pump (external) at the inlet or outlet side of the filter barrels (Schroeder’s pump was at the outlet)?

    3. In observance of Hector The Welder’s First Rule of the Universe, “There’s something wrong with everything,” what is wrong with the configuration I’ve drawn up (attached)? View attachment POND & EQUIP SCHEMATIC (PORTRAIT).pdf

    4. The primary reasons why I want the filter system to be mostly below water level are: 1) less head to waterfall (under 5 ft.); 2) with gravity feed, pump should never run dry (no priming involved). The main pitfall I can foresee out of this arrangement, however, is the possibility of a less robust water flow through the filters. IOW, would the bottom vortex tubing work effectively, or would the water in the barrels just mostly sit there and “churn?”


    As an overview, my proposed fish pond (undecided whether goldfish, koi or a little of both) will be approximately 1500 gallons, about 7’ x 11’ x 4’ (max. depth). I’m planning on a 2500 gal external pump, bottom drain (with aeration) and some sort of skimmer. I want the aerator (from air pump) for whenever the waterfall is not in use (winter).

    Appreciate any help/suggestions I can get—even if you tell me I’m all wet! :bowdown:
     
    Minto Flats, May 30, 2013
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    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I don't think the water in the filter would know if it is above ground or below
    The drain would be a issue in the ground
    I would want the filter outlet high enough to feed my water fall by gravity
     
    DrCase, Jun 1, 2013
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  3. Minto Flats

    HTH Howard

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    About pipe sizing. The stuff from the bottom drain to the first filter is a bit tricky. You want a big pipe to ensure low resistance to flow. But you want a small pipe to ensure the water moves fast enough to keep the solids moving. I have no canned answer.

    You are going to want to test the flow prior to burying pipes where possible.. The water level in the barrels will drop till there is suffient head between the pond and the barrels to sustain the flow of the pump. I would want something to stop the pump is the filters clogged. Maybe add a 3rd chamber with a float valve..

    Which swamp cooler media are you using ? When I suggested aspen I got poo poo'ed.
     
    HTH, Jun 1, 2013
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  4. Minto Flats

    Becky Administrator

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    Hello and welcome aboard! :wave:
     
    Becky, Jun 1, 2013
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  5. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    I see the first and last comments, but what do you mean by the drain being an issue in the ground?

    Thanks.
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 3, 2013
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  6. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    That's a good idea--to address the temporary water flow in the event of clogged filters. As for a float valve, the only one I have planned (not shown in the schematic) would be an autofill device for the pond itself. Not use as to how to encorporate a float valve into what you describe.

    The swamp cooler would be the synthetic kind--great water flow-thru, without the seasonal decompostion. I ceased the usage of aspen in our home swamp cooler because of this.
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 3, 2013
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  7. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Hello, Becky, and thanks for the welcome. Love your avatar...reminds me of my all-time favorite musical, My Fair Lady!
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 3, 2013
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  8. Minto Flats

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    to our group!

    A lot of thought in your pond design. With the number of gallons, the flagstone, stick with goldfish/ shubunkins, they would do better than koi.
     
    addy1, Jun 3, 2013
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  9. Minto Flats

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I would separate the 2 bottom drains , Your pump would pull from the first drum drain up into the 2nd drum drain
     
    DrCase, Jun 3, 2013
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  10. Minto Flats

    HTH Howard

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    Float valve was a poor choice of words. I am talking about a float cutoff switch like you see on sump pumps. It would turn off the pump as needed so the pump would never run dry. The alternative is to design the filters so when clogged the water bypassed them. This gives you some extra time till the pump input clogs.

    The synthetic swamp cooler media I recall has soap like stuff in it. I expect that you are talking about some other stuff.

    We switched back to aspen because with our water the pads get changed every year. We end up running the old pads till it gets really hot then switch them out for new ones. I have even wondered if the old crusty pads would work for filters.
     
    HTH, Jun 3, 2013
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  11. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Thanks for the advice (and the welcome), addy. Y'know, I have been walking the fence in regards to whether or not I'm ready to get into koi fish. Frankly, I'd never heard of shubunkins before, but I did a search for them...and, from the pics I've seen, they are surprisingly colorful--and appear to grow to a far more manageable size than koi.

    Speaking of size, one thing that has occurred to me is the potentiality of smaller fish (or fries) being sucked into the bottom drain. Can you, or others in here, share any experiences with this. I have not found any topics regarding the loss of fish to the drain (and into a filter), so any info that you can provide will be most helpful.

    I don’t have any equipment installed yet (still in the digging process), but would like to take any preventative measures before everything is set in “stone.” From what I’ve seen about bottom drains online (not much in the way of details), they could have, say, a 3/4-inch opening around the drain perimeter—which would be lethal for small fish!

    I did read somewhere about using a nylon netting—but, if the mesh is too closely woven, this would appear to make it prone for frequent clogging.

    Thanks,
    Phil
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 4, 2013
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  12. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Will do, and thanks.
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 4, 2013
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  13. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Ahh, I see what you mean, re cutoff switch...will definitiely add one.

    As for the swamp cooler media, I'm talking about those blue sponge-like pads they sell at Home Depot (only in drier regions where these coolers are practical). As far as I know they contain no "soapy-like" substances--just the synthetic material itself.
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 4, 2013
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  14. Minto Flats

    HTH Howard

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    I expect there are several brands. The blue ones we had definitely were laced with something soaplike.

    Regarding fry and drains. When really small the fry spend all their time hiding. A noodle strainer aka colander can be used but it will limit the size of stuff that goes down the drain and may even plug.

    [​IMG]
     
    HTH, Jun 4, 2013
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  15. Minto Flats

    sissy sissy

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    welcome why lurk we don't bite (well most of us don't ) :cheerful:
    [sharedmedia=core:attachments:52794]I use them all the time
     
    sissy, Jun 4, 2013
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  16. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Yeah, I hear you on the colander--although it looks to be better than a fine-mesh strainer (like nylon stockings). I'd really prefer to going without a strainer now, because I sure do not want to restrict flow in any way.

    On the fry issue, I take it they wouldn't be likely to hide down deep, close to the drain? I surmise this, as I haven't seen any posts in here where fry being sucked down the drain as an issue. So, do they hide in the more shallow areas of the pond--like on a ledge, behind a rock or something?

    Also, I don't plan to have any larger rocks or gravel at the bottom of the pond--just liner.

    Back to the evap cooler pads, I will perform a test to ensure that there is no soaplike substance involved. I did do a simple test already. I placed a scrap of the material over an empty glass, then emptied a glassful of water into it. The flow-thru was great, and the water in the transferred glass was crystal clear.
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 4, 2013
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  17. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Well, guess I've moved past the "lurking" stage by now! :blush: And thanks.

    I take it that the cooler pads you show are partially responsible for that nice clear water. Beautiful pond and fish, btw.

    At this early stage, I'm still looking at filtration ideas. Do you have anything previously posted that shows/describes your filter setup?

    Phil
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 4, 2013
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  18. Minto Flats

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    The fry tend to hide in plants, algae etc around the sides of the pond. I had one pond with a bottom drain, never did suck in any fish. I didn't put one in this pond, just net the bottom off and on, maybe twice a year.
     
    addy1, Jun 5, 2013
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  19. Minto Flats

    Dave 54

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    I can see anumber of problems with this one is how are you going to drain our filters below ground for mantenanc of your filters.
    Filters develope are nasty soup of sludge in which lurking and just waiting to attack your fish are areomonas bacteria which can cause ulceration of your fishes bodies.
    Filters should be drained and fiter medium cleaned depending on the amount if detritus twice a year once in the spirng readying them for summer (spring is one where most areomonas attacks happen ), they should also be cleaned in the fall as you call it in the US prior to winter giving your fish the optimum protection throughout that period.
    We have a 4" bottom drain under a free standing pond which is pumped through using an oase 3500 in line pump returning to the pond via a 2" pipe incorporating the in line pump and the Aqua Pond double bulbed 36 watt UVC.
    The other problem I could forsee is you frost table and how deep it is ,
    Idealy filters should be protected against the cold ours are in a double glazed filter housing with 22mm polystyrene insulation rather than adding an inline heater we use a small 800 watt oill heated radiator hich keeps the air at a contant warm temperture of between 11-14c throughout (allowng for both colder or warmer winters days).
    Many people make th emistake of turning everything off in the winter months when in reality they should be kept runing throughout..
    Temperatures are monitered by a remote swimming pool thermometer ( I first saw a thread about on this site) it works perfectly add to that our weather stationand we know the outside air temperature plus the pond temperature. under its protective Polycarbonate sheeting which keeps our koi snug as bugs in a rug .
    So you infect have alott to take on board before siting your filters pond etc .
    Many people use ponds in the US of around 3.5 ft when in reality it should be 4 or 5 ft as aother protection against the winter .

    rgrds

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jun 5, 2013
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  20. Minto Flats

    Minto Flats

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    Thank you--this is reassuring to know!
     
    Minto Flats, Jun 5, 2013
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