Newbie Building 4500 Gallon Koi Pond.

Discussion in 'Newbies to Garden Ponds' started by skulkingghost, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. skulkingghost

    skulkingghost

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    Hi All,
    I posted before about id'ing a fish, you were all VERY helpful, and I appreciate it immensely. I finally talked my wife into letting me build a second pond at our new home in Oxford, PA (quie a feat considering my wife considers it an "old folk" hobby.... I am only 26. :chair: The amount of DIY projects around the house I had to trade for this pond is staggering :cheerful: ) I will apologize in advance for the multitude of questions.

    I have 2 options... 1 replace the preform and use that space + more to build a new pond. 2) Have 2 seperate ponds (I am thinking one just for my goldfish / one for koi. Keeping the preform for the goldies)


    Here is an example of the space I am planning for the new pond (garden hose to show perimeter):
    [​IMG]

    Questions:
    1. I want to install a bottom drain like here (http://www.koiclay.com/diy/images/bottomdrain_filter_box_001.gif) what do I plumb it to? I have a skippy filter I am building, and may add a 2nd pressurized filter as well. Where does the pump go in this configuration?
    2. As you can see above I need to hide the skippy, I am thinking of burying it in the planter, but then how do I clean it? I was thinking about using it as the base for our waterfall and cutting the top / attaching liner.
    3. Should I just sell the skippy and get an actual filter? I don't plan on having many fish. 4 koi from the small pond + 2 shubunkins (10 inch) and 1 goldfish (10inch) maybe 3-5 more koi eventually.
    4. Do I need a skimmer? I am planning on doing sharp sides / sloped bottom like a proper koi pond right to the drain.
    5. Water changes 10% weekly I am used to with my 200 gallon pond. With 4500 does that number change at all? Will I run into issues since we use a well?
    6. I was thinking about doing a raised pond but it added a lot of cost with the concrete / collar, is there a better way to do this? Maybe use dirt to raise edges of the pond?
    7. If I just "put a hold in the ground" to place the liner, do I need a concrete collar, any brace for the edges?
    8. For pond spitters, do I plumb them off the next 3000+ gph pump or run off seperate pumps?
    9. What type of lighting should I look into? I use submersible lights now but is there a better solution for while I build it?
    10. Wife is worried about depth since we just had our first child, 2 months ago. Is 3-3.5ft ok with a slope to 4.5/5 only in the very center?
    11. THinking of putting a fence around to keep the kid out but still want to be able to access pond easily. Any solutions?\
    12. Pond aeration recommendation? I have a cheap $30 petsmart aerator for the 200 gallon with 4 outputs around the pond. For this I was thinking Dolphin AV-50 / Pondmaster AP-40 with the airstone glued to the top of the drain? Can I have more than 1 airstone running off of it? Will this act as a deicer?
    13. I hate the look of nets. Will 3.5 feet protect from herons?
    14. Any low watt recommended pumps around 2500-3500 gph?
    15. What is the max GPH of the skippy to be effective? Its a 100 gallon stock tank. Should I just split the pumps output and run 1/2 to skippy 1/2 straight to waterfall?
    16. Do I need beneficial bacteria to start this pond? I was thinking of doing 50% water changes for the first two weeks on my established pond to help get a good bacterial colony going.
    17. What plants can I put in this pond the KOI won't eat? It seems my Hyacinth has escaped their wrath in the old pond. Parrots feather hasn't but there was just so much of it. My lily pads seem to be doing ok as well.
    18. What size UV sterilizer do I need for this new pond. Any recommendations?

    Bonus pics of the original pond:
    The original pond is a 200~ gallon preform with a 550gph Tetra pump connected to a Beckett 9w UV + modified biofilter stuffed with Quilt Batting for waterpolishing / filtration. It is way overstocked, but water levels are great. I plan on moving my 4 koi and 2 shubunkins out of this pond
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Bonus pics, here is the pond when I moved in... quite a difference. I found batteries / dead animals / fish / trash caked in it. And 1 Giant Shubunkin and 2 fantails alive! Previous owners lived there 4 years and didn't even run the pump. Claimed there wasn't any fish alive in it.... I have taught myself a lot with this preform. Ready to move on!
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    skulkingghost, Jun 10, 2013
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  2. skulkingghost

    HTH Howard

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    16: Do I need beneficial bacteria to start this pond? I was thinking of doing 50% water changes for the first two weeks on my established pond to help get a good bacterial colony going.

    Yes but the bacteria are not in the water. At least very few of them. The live on surfaces. The way to get the new pond going is to move some of the bio media in from your cycled filter on the old pond.
     
    HTH, Jun 10, 2013
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  3. skulkingghost

    sissy sissy

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    led lighting .I decided I did not want in pond lights they leak and besides they glare up in your face I like down lighting so I can look down into the water and see the fish .Less cloudy that way .I have no uv and don't need one .I have koi and 9 years later they are over 2 feet long and no one told me they would get that big :cheerful:
     
    sissy, Jun 10, 2013
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  4. skulkingghost

    sissy sissy

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    Nice house congrats .
     
    sissy, Jun 10, 2013
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  5. skulkingghost

    skulkingghost

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    Great. The bacteria thing makes more sense. Any recommendations? A pond owner locally recommended microbe lift as I doubt my filter media for the 200 gallon pond has enough bacteria for the 4500.
     
    skulkingghost, Jun 10, 2013
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  6. skulkingghost

    capewind

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    >

    Hehehe, I shouldnt give away any gender secrets here, but hubby wanted more space for his lilies ... I convinced him that he was "right" and should have his own pond for it ... the result is a 4500 gallon pond in progress here ... MY HIDDEN AGENDA is I have a bunch of baby fish that I need to put someplace to let them grow .... He had planned to build me something like a 1500-1800 gallon pond for my babies, but his work schedule and "honey do list" is rather long, so I know it wouldnt happen anytime soon ... so now that I said YES, to his LILY POND, he had to agree to let my babies live with his lilies .... So now *I* have 4500 gallons in the works for MY babies ...

    >

    You can never have too many ponds, so my vote is to keep the preformed, and build a new one too (and then LATER, expand the preformed one LOL) ...



    A pond will be very pretty there!



    You have a few different options ... If you like rocks (cheap), you can hide it with rocks ... with this one, there is access behind it, and easy access to the flush valve ...
    [​IMG]

    This is ours (in process) ... no access behind it ... flush valve will either come off the front or the side, pvc buried in rock, to a more convient location ...
    [​IMG]

    You have block work behind the skippy ... if you dont like rock, you could make a raised bed with the same or complimenting block work, drilling a hole into the block, to run a flush valve to a more convienent location ...



    If you have flow to spare, you can easily split the feed from one pump ...

    >

    As a parent to now grown kids, I am going to tell you a common bucket of water is a risk with a young child. A toddler could easily drown in a bathtub with only a few inches of water if left unsupervised. Supervision is the key issue. If your wife is really uneasy, you can find some low fences that would act as a safeguard for a just in case out of view moment. You have plenty of time to work through this issue. My kids started walking fairly early, at 8-10 months (they are now 18, 21 and 22), but it was quite awhile before they could reach a door knob (which had a childsafe cover), and longer still before they could open a sliding glass door, so if you are not in the habit of leaving doors open, you have a while to go before he or she can sneak out the door (congrats BTW) ...



    With a low stocked pond, your pump(s) should be able to turn your pond over 1 - 1.5x per hour ... more fish, closer to twice an hour is better ...



    Either way is okay ... your stock rate will be low, and the new pond will still go through an initial cycle ...



    It will depend on the individual koi .. some are naughtier than others!

    >

    For ours, we are using a 40 watt Emperor Aquatics Smart UV, but it really depends on your goals.
     
    capewind, Jun 10, 2013
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  7. skulkingghost

    ididntdoit99 ididntdoit99

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    The pond location looks great, but as a parent, I wouldn't want to put one there with small children.

    My daughter is 2 now, and my son is 7. They have both been around the pond their entire life, and know not to go near the water, but my 2 year old still LOVES to go look at the fish. I have to put locks on my gate latches otherwise, she walks in there, and knows not to go near the water, be she isn't the most graceful walker and one little trip and she would be headfirst in the pond.

    This is what my pond area looks like, its definitely not deserving of a magazine cover, but I know its safe for the kids.


    [sharedmedia=core:attachments:45231]
    [sharedmedia=core:attachments:45232]
    [sharedmedia=core:attachments:43526]

    As far as the supervision goes, of course watching your child like a hawk is always the best way.
    I am one of those people who thinks all of the child safety equipment they put on EVERYTHING is ridiculous. It drives me nuts that we have to pay for all of this extra stuff in our every day lives because someone, somewhere poked themselves in the eye, or spilled hot coffee on themselves.
    BUT, I know for a fact, that when I am outside with my daughter, I'm not always watching her. I'm in the garden pulling some weeds, or cleaning out the leaf basket in the pond skimmer, many a times have I looked up and said "where are you" because I realize I haven't heard her for 30 seconds. I sure wouldn't get a thing accomplished around my house if every second I was watching her while we were outside.
     
    ididntdoit99, Jun 10, 2013
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  8. skulkingghost

    sentrek

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    The picture of your back yard makes me home sick (originally from state college). Nice place.
     
    sentrek, Jun 10, 2013
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  9. skulkingghost

    sissy sissy

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    I was born in PA but raised in NJ and summers are nice there green and stuff but gosh the winters are cold and that's why I retired to VA .I do miss my friends in NJ .He never mention how young his child is and decks you can make locking gates for them when they are younger .I have locking gates on my front porch for my dogs .It should be easy to fence his for a short time .
     
    sissy, Jun 10, 2013
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  10. skulkingghost

    capewind

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    hmmm... dogs.... watch craigslist for some used X-pens ....
     
    capewind, Jun 10, 2013
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  11. skulkingghost

    ididntdoit99 ididntdoit99

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    i thought he said just a few months old... but now I cant find it :)
    You figure just starting out, hes probably going to want a fence there for a while, 4-5 years isn't really all that temporary. He might even have a few more kids running around by then, so that fence could be up for a while.
     
    ididntdoit99, Jun 10, 2013
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  12. skulkingghost

    capewind

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    True, and playing devil's advocate here .. young children, those too young to listen that is, should not be out in the yard unsupervised anyways ... not to mention if something has "always" been there, from a child's perspective that is, they will be less curious of it ... It all depends on one's parenting style ... I didnt exclude the daily dangers from our children's world, but exposed them front and center to the wonders of it all, and SUPERVISED everything ... When we decided to have children, I stopped working, and was with them 24/7, or arranged for someone I trusted, who was just as dilegent, to be there when I wasnt. Just food for thought.
     
    capewind, Jun 10, 2013
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  13. skulkingghost

    skulkingghost

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    THank you all, we have a 2 month old. I am looking into fences for later this summer :). I am planning on putting rocks around the liner, I just didn't know if I needed to do anything special to the hole before laying the liner down, or just smooth the dirt and lay the liner then rocks?

    I also picked one of these skimmers up today for $75 off Craigslist.. Excited to install:
    http://www.123ponds.com/ss8500.html
     
    skulkingghost, Jun 11, 2013
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