New Pond Design and Questions

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by PLBHalpern, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. PLBHalpern


    Dec 31, 2010
    Likes Received:
    San Diego
    I had a real small (250 gallon) pond for a couple years and am in the process of planning my first real Koi pond. I have a variety of space limitations (including any pit area) that results in the maximum size being approximately 16' x 7' with a planned depth of 5' to 6''. I estimate that the final design will result in a pond of approximately 4000 gallons.

    Over the last month or so I have been actively pursuing different designs and placing them up for review in a different forum. Without going into all the twists and turns that the plan has spawned, I can say that the most pressing design question is whether I’m better off (considering both efficiency, maintenance and cost) using either 1 or two pumps. The basics on the 2-pump design are, as follows:

    General Design:

    (1) Dimensions: Approx. 15' x 7' x 6' (approx: 4200 gallons).
    (2) Contour: 5.5' straight drop to 12" radius edge to a slight slope (2") to drains. Water level to be set 4" below pond cap and bottom drains to be slightly recessed.
    (3) Waterfall: 6' (length) x 3" (weir width) x 2.5' (height) - narrow enough to produce a gentle sound w/ about 2500 gph flow (700 gph going to each wall return). Pond turn over approx. 50 minutes.


    (4) Material: Shotcrete 6" thick w/ #4 rebar, spaced 3" inside shotcrete w/ Xypex Admix. Double coat of Xypex concentrate to interior of shotcrete. Color: Black


    (5) Skimmer: Savio Compact (1) w/ bacti twist and no pads
    (6) Bottom Drains: Koi Toilet I 3" aerated w/ 3" PVC (2)
    (7) Aeration: Airlines installed (air pump on separate gfci breaker to be added later)
    (8) Pre-filter: Cetus Sieve Pre-filter w/ upgrade (in pit w/ drain)
    (9) Pumps: Evolution ESS 5200 (skimmer circuit) and ES 3500 (bottom drain circuit) (both in pit w/ drain)
    (10) Filter: Advantage 5000 w/ drain
    (11) UV: Emperor Aquatics HO80
    (12) Bio-Filter: Bio Material in waterfall (or moving bed DIY barrel w/ drain)
    (13) Refilling: Refill line with a faucet valve to Cetus Pre-filter
    (14) Overflow pipe: Placed in Savio Skimmer w/ 1.5" or 2" pipe


    (15) Wall Returns: Three wall returns (two 2" TPRs approx. 16" off bottom of pond in opposite corners and one 2" GPR between drains) - and one mid-wall intake across from GPR. (See attached diagram).


    (16) Plumbing: See attached diagram.

    So, questions:

    (1) Given the size of my pond and monetary implications should I stick w/ my initial 1-pump design? (See attached diagram). At present, I consider it a toss-up w/ either working and both having merit. The 1-pump is cheaper (but will require an air pump or a back-up pump for redundancy). The 2-pump solution is safer and a bit more elegant, but a bit costlier. All thoughts and comments appreciated.

    (2) Anybody notice any problems with either design?

    (3) Anyone have suggestions on other pumps that might be more appropriate?

    (4) Anyone think I should use the Ultima II 6000 rather than the Advantage 5?

    (5) Any suggestions as to the best, most cost effective (and easiest to maintain) bio-filter to put in the waterfall (e.g., moving bed filter w/ boiling K1)?

    (6) Anyone prefer the Aqua Ultraviolet 80 watt UV in this design?

    Any other comments would be appreciated. I’ll attach a picture showing the rough outline of the new pond (using a garden hose) for your consideration. I should also note that I’ve reached this general design w/ the valuable and generously given input from numerous folks on the other forum. By asking these questions here, I do not want to suggest in any way that I did not find their advice useful or accurate. Quite the contrary, I was unbelievably impressed by the number and quality of comments and general feedback I received.

    I am posting the above, only because I thought that some “fresh” eyes might have some additional insight that was overlooked in the initial review. In other words, I have found that you can never have too much advice when you’re unsure of which direction to take. Or in the words of Blanche Dubios, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts,


    Attached Files:

    PLBHalpern, Dec 31, 2010
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  2. PLBHalpern

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

    Aug 29, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Fallbrook, Ca USA
    Welcome to the Forum.
    Interesting introduction.
    Happy New Year
    DrDave, Jan 1, 2011
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