New pond questions about skimmer and pumps

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I am working on my first koi pond and the current design is about 2800- 3400 gallons. It is in full sun from about noon on, and I live in the midwest. The pond will be about 3' deep. I don't have any mature trees or really any trees close to the area so I don't have to worry about leaves and branches too much. Do I need a skimmer? External or submersed pump? I am planning on making the 55g drum filter which I have read so much about. I will have more questions I'm sure but we'll start with this.
 

addy1

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welcome to the group!

Submersible vs external is more of your choice, we all have our preferences. I like external, to me last longer and lower electricity use, and to work on don't need to haul out of the pond. Now those that have submersible's love them.

You could do without a skimmer, some even, without leaves falling, like them for keeping dust, pollen other stuff that lands on water off of it.

The diy section 55 gallon drum filters do work well, I made one just to get rid of fine dirt, 3 days and it was all gone.
 

ididntdoit99

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LIke addy said, pump is really up to you, both work great, submersibles are usually cheaper, but some say they dont last as long.

You said you are in the midwest... what state are we talking about? I live in the midwest (iowa) and you will probably want to make your pond deeper than 3 feet if you are in a climate like mine.

One thing to look into is a bottom drain, there are alot of folks around here that use them.
 
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Kansas city area and the local shop said 3' was plenty deep. I wanted to pull off the bottom but probably not use a bottom drain due to possibility of leaks. Will that not work?
 

pinon ponder

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Our new ( 3 months) pond is about the same size you are planning, also in full sun most of the day. We have a skimmer with a Laguna pump (4200 gph) inside, which pumps water to our biological filter and waterfall about 25 feet away. It works really well. Our water stays clean and clear despite having very little plant coverage, plus leaves blowing in from our huge sycamore tree, which is about 40 ft. from the pond. No bottom drain so we do get some leaves on the pond bottom, but they are easy to scoop out. We only have 3 koi (8-10 in.) and one goldie at this time, so a really low fish load for the size of our pond.

We used the same skimmer in our smaller pond (1500 gal) with a smaller pump, 2000 gph ( I think it was Tetra) . It was in mostly shade except noon to four. The water was always clear and clean in that pond, as well, with no plant coverage. Same fish, too.

We do have to rinse the filter pad in the skimmer every few days lately, as the temps have warmed up finally. But we usually only rinse the pad once or twice a week. No algae to speak of on the falls but a nice coating on the pond floor and walls. The fishies love it! Very low maintenance, which I love. :)
 

ididntdoit99

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Kansas city area and the local shop said 3' was plenty deep. I wanted to pull off the bottom but probably not use a bottom drain due to possibility of leaks. Will that not work?

I googled frost line in kansas city and this came up, ? http://cjonline.com/news/local/2010-01-09/pipes_water_mains_bursting They had pipes bursting last winter because they were only buried 3-4 feet. They say the frost line is about 36 inches... so you'll want to go even deeper than that.
 
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Building codes said the frost line was 30". But how much deeper and how big of an area needs to be that deep.
 

ididntdoit99

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I'd say at least a foot deeper, fish gotta have some room down there. What did the local shop think the fish were going to do freeze in a cube and thaw out in the spring? lol

I mean, obviusoly you'll probably have a heater or an areater or something in there to help keep a hole in the ice, but in the case of an emergency, or a really cold winter, you want to make sure you are plenty deep or you'll lose all your fish.
 

taherrmann4

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As the others have said external vs submersible is a matter of choice, some people think the external pumps are loud. There is a slight hum that you can hear from mien if you are real quiet and listening for it otherwise you don't even notice it. With externals you will have to have it protected by some sort of container or structure and the last thing on externals is with mine I don''t even notice it affecting my electric bill.

I would still go with a skimmer, even if you don't have any trees nearby it does catch other stuff, such as algae in the spring when I am starting the pond up. Plus you never know you may add a tree later on. I would go at least 3' as you have stated but if you can dig it to 4' I would and the area only needs to be about 3'x5' the rest can be 3' or even shallower. Be careful about making it too shallow on the sides as this will allow animals and birds to stand there and fish from your pond.
 

pinon ponder

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I asked DH about the other pump from the smaller pond. It's a pondmaster, not tetra. Never had a problem with it. We used it in the skimmer for two years until this May when we put in the larger pond and bought the Laguna pump. We are using the same skimmer and it is Atlantic. Have not noticed any significant change in our electric bill. It stays around $40-50 in summer and $60 in winter, due to more electric use inside. We ran the pondmaster yearly and will do so with the Laguna. We do get snow and ice on and off for several months but biofalls kept a nice opening in the water.
 
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Welcome.
Also in KC, Prairie Village area. I would definitly go 3-5 feet. Keep in mind if you go deeper than 3 ft to recalculate the water volume and pond size for the liner and pumps.
 

j.w

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Hounddog
Somehow missed your 1st posting here, sorry.
I say deeper is better also and not just for freeze but for hot summer weather the fish can keep cooler down below.
 

koiguy1969

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if you go submersable ..laguna pumps are hard to beat...4 year warrenties and minimal electrical costs. 4200 gph pumps draw 170 watts max. i use tetra pond because i've had them and they still perform great. some folks will say 2 years is doing great for a submersable pump. my 1200 gph pump has been going for atleast 9 years and still going strong...my 1000 gph pump is in its 4th season, and still strong. i havent replaced a part on any of them. including the 425 gph tetrapond that powers my basement ponds fines filter. my pumps run 24/7/ 365 ..outdoors in the summer season ..basement pond all winter. some say you need a bottom drain...they nay serve their purpose but they are not a neccessity. my bottom is clean and my bottom is flat with no bottom drain. and i only vaccuum once a year, as i pump the ponds water to the basement pond.
 

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