New Pond Owner - Equipment help

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by mingus2112, May 18, 2009.

  1. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    Hey guys. Thanks for the responses on moving my fish. I haven't done anything yet, but figured it's time to introduce myself properly and ask for all sorts of other help!

    So we moved into this house in December and were "thrown into the deep end" of Koi ponds. We have two small-ish ponds that I estimate to be 300 gallons each.

    The front pond seems to get more shade and has 2 catfish and a mixture of 10 other Koi and goldfish. I seem to recall it being a little more than 2' deep. This pond always seems darker than the "back pond." I'm guessing it's due to less sunlight (there's also less algae in this pond) and more debris falling in.

    The back pond is pretty much the same as the front, except it gets more sunlight, has 3 Koi and 3 catfish (one is HUGE) and has a lot more algae.

    Both ponds have a similar setup as far as pumps and filters go. The each have two smaller submersible pumps in them. I have no idea how many GPH they are, but I don't think it's enough. The pumps have the round pre-filters on them. 3 of them I got from Lowes and the 4th I got from the guy who cleaned the ponds last month. There are two filters on each pond (one on each pump). One is a combo bio/uv filter and the other is just a UV passthrough filter.

    Pump/Filter 1 combo in each pond has the bio/uv combo and doesn't need to go higher than 3' max (probably more like 2) I'm considering replacing this one in each pond with something larger. How many GPH should I be moving through the UV/Bio filter? Do those submersible pumps that claim to not need a pre filter actually do what they claim? I'd also want to make sure the bio filter is working properly. Should I replace the UV bulb even if it's still lit? Or does the fact that it's lit indicate that it's working? Looks like there's foam and some kind of rocks in each bio filter. What should I replace this with?

    Pump/Filter 2 in the back pond is another one of those smaller pumps with an inline UV filter. This goes up and over a rock wall so it needs to move water about 6' high. I'm sure it's not doing a very good job filtering (doesn't move nearly enough GPH) but this might just turn out for show if i'm moving enough water with pump/filter 1. Thoughts on that?

    Pump/Filter 2 in the front pond is actually, now going to the same place as pump/filter 1 with the bio filter. It was originally spitting out of the moth of an old man statue, but i thought it looked silly. I figure that if i replace pump/filter 1 with something powerful enough, i can eliminate pump/filter 2. Is this correct?

    To be honest, the last thing I want to do is sink a ton of cash into this, but it really bugs me that the idiot before me did things so half assed. I'll try to get some pictures tonight. . .the camera died yesterday. Until then, though (i know i would be the first one to say "we'll wait and see what your pictures show"), I think i was pretty descriptive. Anybody want to take a stab at helping me out? Examples of pumps to get would be helpful.

    I have this place down the street from me if that helps:
    http://www.aquariussupply.com/
    I can go there for supplies. I've also got open credit at Lowes. (which is why it would be my first choice for pumps if they're not crap) they have pumps as well: TetraPond 1000GPH

    Thanks in advance!
    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  2. mingus2112

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    i use tetra pond pumps i have three of them they have three year guarentees and perform flawlessly.... i have a 1200, 1000, and 425gphs. good strong reliable pumps
     
    koiguy1969, May 18, 2009
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  3. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    Great to know!!

    How many GPH should I be circulating with a 300 gallon pond? Can you circulate too much?
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  4. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    off topic, but apparently i'm not yet allowed to send PMs!

    saw your post about pond lights in the classifieds and couldn't help but notice your aquatic plants! what kinds are they? we're looking to fill out our pond with some stuff like that.

    looks like we're both lowes shoppers so i hope you don't mind if i pick your brain a bunch!

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  5. mingus2112

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    depends on your filter size and rating ..you dont want the water passing thru to quickly, you gotta give the bacteria time to work the bigger the filter the more flow you can feed it. you can also tee off the hose and put a ball valve on it so you can adjust flow thru the filter and use the rest just as circulation in the pond to help kill "dead spots" when it comes to filters you can be too small but never too big. the aquatic plants in the picture with the lights thread are immitation...thats my basement pond not my backyard. but i do have hardy lillies,hiacynths and oxygenators in my outdoor pond.
     
    koiguy1969, May 18, 2009
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  6. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    I'll try to take some pictures with my phone at lunch so i can look up model numbers. I'd like to actually take care of this today and get the ball rolling.

    Thanks for all your help!

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  7. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    http://www.justliners.com/uvbiofilters.htm

    From memory, our biofilters are the old versions of these. I would venture to guess that we have the smaller one (i know that the UV bulb is 8W) which means that we have a max flow of 250GPH. If that's true, then we wouldn't benefit from getting a larger capacity pump.

    I'm pretty sure that what's in there isn't doing its job, though, as we've got murky water and the surface is a little oily. (bubbles form at the fall and stick around a bit) I SUPPOSE this could also be that the media in the biofilter needs replacing. . .which i wanted to do anyway. I just want to make sure that we have the right equipment before i buy new media just to find out that the capacity isn't enough.

    It's also possible that the ponds are smaller than 300 gallons (so maybe 250 is OK). I measured length, width and depth and calculated from there. That didn't take into account the odd shape (more wavy than oval) and sloped sides. So we'll see.

    I've got the camera charged and will have some pictures to post within the next few hours.

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  8. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    OK. Got some pictures. bear with me and i'll give the run down:

    First, the filters. Each pond has one of these. I'm not sure of the model. I couldn't find it anywhere on the actual unit. It may be on the bottom, but i couldn't get under it on my lunch hour:
    [​IMG]
    And inside:
    [​IMG]

    Then we have the pumps (two in each pond):
    [​IMG]

    Here's the pump/biofilter setup on the back pond. It's only about 2' high. Possibly 3' max?
    [​IMG]
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  9. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    And here's the pump/biofilter combo on the back pond. you'll notice it's not a waterfall much at all bu the pond. But it flows. The filter's about 3' up.
    [​IMG]

    here's a quick shot of the only markings i could find on the pumps:
    [​IMG]

    here's what the UV unit that both pond's second pumps go through:
    [​IMG]
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  10. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    And last. . .here are some full pond shots so you can get a feel for the shape. Back Pond:
    [​IMG]
    And front pond:
    [​IMG]

    With the new information, anyone have any advice?

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  11. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    Sorry for ANOTHER post (i had to break up the posts for the images), but I think I found the pump we have:

    Pondmaster model 7

    Looks like they're 500gph pumps that are operating at between 375gph and 425gp (between 2' and 3') and then the second back pump operating at 175gph (6' back wall). Does this seem satisfactory for these pond sizes?

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 18, 2009
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  12. mingus2112

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    my u.v is 9 watt and i effectively run 1200gph thru it. but those filters are a far cry short of big enough. build a skippy filter, you wont be dissappointed.
     
    koiguy1969, May 18, 2009
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  13. mingus2112

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I agree with Koiguy you need a little more filter..if you build one of are filters it would help alot...the pumps and the uv will work for now
     
    DrCase, May 19, 2009
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  14. mingus2112

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    I agree with Koiguy you need a little more filter..if you build one of are filters it would help alot...the pumps and the uv will work for now
     
    DrCase, May 19, 2009
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  15. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    Not sure if i have room to do the 55 gallon skippy. At least not now. I would assume that even a 5 or 10 gallon bucket would be an improvement? And the principal would be the same? what should the flow rate be to something like that?

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 19, 2009
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  16. mingus2112

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    AM i correct that your back pond is 3 tiered... upper mid then lower? if so do you have fish in all tiers? if not you could make the top pond a bio filter the second fill with plants for a veggie filter and keep fish in the lower.
     
    koiguy1969, May 19, 2009
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  17. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    the back pond has a (probably 30 or 40 gallon) basin that the biofilter dumps into now and then spouts into the waterfall. not sure that i can easily get to it as it's cemented together, but perhaps i can do something with it as is? let's say i can get to the top of it, but not the bottom or sides. it has a spout that empties out the top as the waterfall.

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 19, 2009
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  18. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    This is the basin i was talking about:
    [​IMG]

    I can't really get to the bottom of that.

    Also found a pressurized filter in the garage (no media inside it) that i could use for one of the ponds. . .not sure if that will help.

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 20, 2009
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  19. mingus2112

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    more filtration will always help.. stuff the pressure filter with media and use it.in the picture it looks like there is three basins, looks like theres one above the filter too. if not the two little filter dump pipes could be extended to the bottom of the basin. put a bag of lava rock(or 2) for media that the water can rise up thru and cover the top of the water with water hiacynths and water lettuce for veggie filtration, as they grow toss some in the lower pond. they will grow prolifically.
     
    koiguy1969, May 20, 2009
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  20. mingus2112

    mingus2112

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    That's a cool idea! So if I filled that basin with Lava rocks and put plants on the top. . .then extended the spots (with hoses) all the wat to the bottom. . .then that could act as a filter! right? If i'm doing that on that pond, i've got a similar setup on the other pond. . .but with a smaller basin. could work there as well!

    Ah. . .i see what you mean. They're actually little tiny, real shallow and probably less than a gallon. The second pump for that pond runs around the back of the wall, up through a UV filter, and then down through a bunch of poorly hidden shallow basins.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help so far! I'm getting a lot out of this!

    -James
     
    mingus2112, May 20, 2009
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