New to the forum and building my first BIG pond...

Discussion in 'Pond Construction & Equipment' started by mikecoscia, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    Just wrapped up digging a pond at my new home. Always wanted one as a kid by my dad would never let me dig out his precious grass...lol. That being said, I went nuts at my house. The pond is kidney bean shaped, 36' x 13'. Roughly 1/3 of the pond is around 4' deep and the rest around 2' deep. Here is a picture of it all dug out...

    [​IMG]

    As you can see in the picture the left is the shallow end, which I plan on putting a small bridge to access the area under the tree where I want to create a nice sitting area. To the right is the deep end, the berm behind it is where I plan to put my waterfall.

    So here is what I got so far. I just placed an order for the following....

    50' x 25' liner (500 lbs I have no idea how I am going to move it...lol)
    PondBuilder Elite series 40" waterfall filter box
    Pond Master Pro-HY Drive 4800 GPH pump
    Crystal Pond PSK3 Skimmer

    I originally was not going to get the skimmer, but the guys at pondscapeonline.com talked me into it. My biggest question is where the hell do I put it. Everything I have read and done places the skimmer opposite the waterfall. If I place the skimmer box directly in front of the waterfall, won't the shallow end kind of stagnate? Can I place the skimmer box all the way to the left of the pond and make it face the deep end? Will it be as functional? Also with the skimmer box I really need to worry about the water level or I will burn out my pump? Do I really even need the dam thing?

    I plan on getting fish but not until I get a healthy amount of plants established, and even at that I don't plan to have a crazy bioload with dozens of large koi.

    What do you guys think? I appreciate any advice :)

    -Mike
     
    mikecoscia, Jun 1, 2010
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  2. mikecoscia

    koikeepr

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    The rule is to put the skimmer opposite the water fall for the best overall flow, however, that being said, you can put it where you think it looks best. Mine, is not opposite my falls, as it would have meant putting it right at the front of my semi-raised pond, which would have looked awful, so it is off on the left side. I see no ill effects from it's placement.
     
    koikeepr, Jun 1, 2010
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  3. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    Thanks for the info, the person I spoke to at pondscape said the same thing, I was just looking for additional opinions. That being said do I really need the skimmer? Wouldn't the pump in the deep end of the pond feed the water fall create enough circulation, not to mention I wouldn't have to worry about water levels dropping in the skimmer box and frying the pump?

    Also do the skimmer boxes really stop that much debris from entering the pond or is their main purpose just to keep the surface water clear of leaves. If that is the case, can will it prevent me from using floating plants like Hyacinths, Water Lettuce, Duckweed, etc?

    Sorry for all the questions, not finding alot in the literature I purchased.
     
    mikecoscia, Jun 2, 2010
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  4. mikecoscia

    Stouty109

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    thats guna b big
     
    Stouty109, Jun 2, 2010
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  5. mikecoscia

    koikeepr

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    You know, I wasn't going to do a skimmer either, but enough people told me I was silly for not-considering it. Plus, like you, my pond is near trees. For the first time, my pond surface is sparkling clean thanks to the skimmer. I'm glad I listened to those folks.

    Does a pond need a skimmer? No, you can get by without one as many people here on this site do. However, it's just an added plus to keeping your pond water clean.

    As far as plants, you make planter rings for 'em (koiguy has plans in the DIY section), and you put them in the rings. You can then just tie a piece of fishing line to your ring and that will keep your plants where you want 'em.
     
    koikeepr, Jun 2, 2010
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  6. mikecoscia

    Squidhead

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    I have been considering doing one also, just for leaves. Can I tie one into the BD plumbing or would that have to be seperate.
     
    Squidhead, Jun 2, 2010
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  7. mikecoscia

    koikeepr

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    I would have them both separate with one ball valve for each so you can control flow individually.
     
    koikeepr, Jun 2, 2010
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  8. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    Just a few updated pictures. Progress has been slow, hard to get everyone over at once to help with the liner, but its finally in! Now I just got to see if I can find field stone for cheap. Maybe ill scavenge it off construction sites :confused:.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    mikecoscia, Jul 19, 2010
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  9. mikecoscia

    DrCase Moderator Moderator

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    Its really taking shape
    I wish i caught this post the first time around
    Think about a water fall on the shallow end also it could flush the whole 2ft floor down to the deep end so your pump can suck it out

    What are your filter thoughts ?
     
    DrCase, Jul 20, 2010
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  10. mikecoscia

    koiguy1969 GIGGETY-GIGGETY!!

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    looking good..and i gotta agree with Dr.Case.....your pond would benefit greatly by a shallow end waterfall.
     
    koiguy1969, Jul 20, 2010
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  11. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    Thanks guys and you read my mind. It would have been much more functional to place the waterfall on one of the longer sides with the skimmer opposite, but I don't think it would have looked as good. With the waterfall in the back its the perfect focal point. I plan on adding a smaller waterfall on that shallow end eventually. It will help flush all the leaves right down into the skimmer on the other end, hopefully I will get it added in before the fall. My major concern is getting the skimmer and big falls hooked up so I can this thing running!
     
    mikecoscia, Jul 20, 2010
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  12. mikecoscia

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    Nice looking pond there, It will be great when you have it done. We put our skimmer on the end where the prevailing winds blow everything. For us that was on the east end of the pond. At least that way most of the stuff will get skimmed off.
     
    addy1, Jul 20, 2010
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  13. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    Just about filled the entire pond up this afternoon, only about 4-5 inches to go. Looks like one end is not level too, my fault however. I leveled everything off about a month ago, I am sure all the rain storms we have had since than helped in washing away some of the dirt. It's off by about 3-4 inches or so. I'll just have to add a little more before putting the tops stones down. Also have to raise the skimmer up now, which should be boat loads of fun with a filled pond!

    Hooked up the waterfall temporally, it wasn't crazy rapids like you see at garden centers, just a nice steady flow. That being said think I will purchase a Big Frog Pump 5500gph, to use for the falls. I'll use my current pondmaster 4800 in the shallow end for some water movement, maybe hook up some pvc pipe to push the water towards the deep end kind of like pool jets. Well at least till I get around to making another small waterfall in the shallow end to help push all the leaves over to the deep end.

    I'll post more pictures soon.
     
    mikecoscia, Jul 25, 2010
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  14. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    Hey sorry DrCase, missed your questions. I am using a waterfall filter, a Pondbuilder Elite Series 40" Waterfall Box. Looks like this...

    [​IMG]

    I was planning on putting the pump in the skimmer box not on the floor of the pond. I figured it would be easier maintenance and keep it from getting clogged. As I mentioned in the above post I want to put in a smaller second water fall in the shallow end to help push leaves to the deep end to be skimmed. The skimmer box is already in, if you look at the pictures you can see its outline under the liner. It's on the right had side of the deep end. Should I have the pump feeding the waterfall filter box on the bottom of the pond and get another pump for the skimmer and use it to feed the smaller waterfall I have planned in the shallow end?
     
    mikecoscia, Jul 25, 2010
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  15. mikecoscia

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    Get a submersible in the deep end and with your waterfall at the top of the shallow end, as DrCase pointed out, this will flush the solids down to the submersible. I would run that back up to the waterfall which will give you more flow, hence circulation.
     
    DrDave, Jul 25, 2010
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  16. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    The waterfall on the shallow end will just be a small pre-formed, it will not be a filter like my main falls. Would it be better to have the pump at the bottom of the deep end feeding the filter box of the main falls, and the pump in the skimmer feeding the small falls on the shallow end? Or does it not matter.
     
    mikecoscia, Jul 25, 2010
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  17. mikecoscia

    DrDave Innovator Moderator

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    I would have the falls with the most flow at the shallow end to get the maximum flush down. The intake would be at the deepest part. If your main falls were a 55 gallon bio filter, the fall would be about 36" before the water surface. I cascaded mine to get areation.
     
    DrDave, Jul 25, 2010
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  18. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    That would be ideal, but not possible. There is not enough room in the shallow end to move my waterfall filter box, it's pretty large and I only have a few feet to work with in that area. I designed the pond so the largest falls faced the back of the house and spilled into the deep end to stir everything up and the smaller ones flushing everything down, hopefully I didn't screw up to bad and it will work out okay.
     
    mikecoscia, Jul 25, 2010
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  19. mikecoscia

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    You are doing great! we still don't have ours running, too darn hot to work on for too long.
     
    addy1, Jul 26, 2010
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  20. mikecoscia

    mikecoscia

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    Thanks and same here! It has been one brutal summer here in Jersey, most days have been in the 90s with very high humidity. Good thing I have the summer off (I'm a teacher), I am going to need all the time I can get to finish this thing!
     
    mikecoscia, Jul 26, 2010
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