Pond Build! Upgrading from 400 gallons to 2000 gallons. With Bottom Drain.


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This harsh winter was very rough on my current 300-400 gallon pond, necessitating a lot of repairs. So I decided to upgrade instead of spending money to fix my smaller pond. This will be a running build thread hopefully updated regularly. I'm hoping to have it mostly finished within a week or so, as I'd really like to get these poor fish out of this cesspool and into something decent.

Here's the sad state of affairs at my old pond:
DSC_0956-XL.jpg


The new pond is roughly a 10' x 12' with a 40" deep end and about 2000 gallons. Here is a general plan for the build:

Pond%20plans%20top%20view.jpg


I'll be able to reuse the rocks, UV filter, and 800gph pump from my old pond. I may also reuse at least some of the green scratchy pads in the current biofilter if they look okay. I'm hoping this will jumpstart the maturation of the new pond biofilter. If they look too funky, I'll use all new ones. I'm upgrading the biofilter from a 15ish gallon tupperware container to a 32 gallon trashcan filter, using green scratchies as filter media. I ordered the liner (45 mil EPDM) and a 2000 gph Laguna Max-Flo pump, and they're scheduled to arrive at my house this Thursday.
 
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This harsh winter was very rough on my current 300-400 gallon pond, necessitating a lot of repairs. So I decided to upgrade instead of spending money to fix my smaller pond. This will be a running build thread hopefully updated regularly. I'm hoping to have it mostly finished within a week or so, as I'd really like to get these poor fish out of this cesspool and into something decent.

Here's the sad state of affairs at my old pond:
DSC_0956-XL.jpg


The new pond is roughly a 10' x 12' with a 40" deep end and about 2000 gallons. Here is a general plan for the build:

Pond%20plans%20top%20view.jpg


I'll be able to reuse the rocks, UV filter, and 800gph pump from my old pond. I may also reuse at least some of the green scratchy pads in the current biofilter if they look okay. I'm hoping this will jumpstart the maturation of the new pond biofilter. If they look too funky, I'll use all new ones. I'm upgrading the biofilter from a 15ish gallon tupperware container to a 32 gallon trashcan filter, using green scratchies as filter media. I ordered the liner (45 mil EPDM) and a 2000 gph Laguna Max-Flo pump, and they're scheduled to arrive at my house this Thursday.

Looking forward to watching the new pond take shape, its similar in size to the pond I want to build.
 
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I started digging on Saturday. Fortunately I had two helpers for the hard labor!

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I finished up digging out the main pond that day, but I didn't level it or dig holes for the biofilter, skimmer, or main pump housing.

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I didn't have much time to work on the pond today, so I didn't get a ton done. I leveled the edges of the pond and smoothed out some of the dirt on the back end of the pond to give a gentle slope back into the yard.

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My cell phone camera really makes the hole look way shallower than it is.

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Here's the fancy schmancy new biofilter! :woot:

DSC_0957-XL.jpg


Tomorrow I'm going to buy the supplies for the bottom drain and hopefully I'll have enough time to get it put together and cemented in place on the bottom.
 
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Looks good. This is about the time I dug out mine originally. The soil is just soft enough.
Looking at that hole makes me want to make mine bigger. Lol. It's a sickness.
 
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Are those rocks from underground? and lucky you! I have got no helpers.....I wonder if I can trick my friends into this one.....hmmm.

I'm not sure which rocks you're referring to. The rocks in my old pond were collected from the forest around my area. The pile of rocks by my new pond were from underground. I guess I'll also have to budget in some rock-hunting time now with this pond size upgrade!
 
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I'm not sure which rocks you're referring to. The rocks in my old pond were collected from the forest around my area. The pile of rocks by my new pond were from underground. I guess I'll also have to budget in some rock-hunting time now with this pond size upgrade!

Yeah I was referring to the pile near your new pond, that's a nice find! I sadly have to go rock hunting soon......who would have thought it would be so hard to find rocks? I mean really, like I see one here and one there but like never in a nice little pile lol
 
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You will be better off putting the skimmer at the opposite end of the waterfall. The waterfall movement will prevent the skimmer from doing its job 100%. You will achieve a better push / pull effect in the pond this way. Good start to the project
 
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Thanks for the advice guys! I hadn't even thought of that. This is only my second pond, and my first pond to have a bottom drain or skimmer. If you guys see anything else that should be done differently, please let me know!

Here are the edited pond plans (since I guess you can't edit a post after a certain amount of time?):

Pond%20plans%20top%20view.jpg
 
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Also, would a 3" bottom drain work for this size pond? I was planning on going 4", but my pump is only going to be 2000gph, so I'm wondering if 4" would be overkill. Not that the larger size would be bad, but I'm just wondering if the 3" would work well too.

I am considering the smaller 3" drain because I've found a lot more drain choices in this size.
 
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Unfortunately I couldn't find anything that I found satisfactory to use as a bottom drain today. So, I had to order an actual pond bottom drain off of Amazon today. So unfortunately I won't be getting anything done on the pond for a few days.

I went with a 4" drain.
 
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So I lied about not getting anything done!. Although I didn't actually work on the pond itself, I did get some shopping done. I bought some PVC pipe for the plumbing, some fittings, the underlayment, and two tubs. One tub is going to be used for the skimmer and the other for the pump housing for the bottom drain.

IMG_20140422_195200-XL.jpg


I also scouted out some good places for rocks on my dirt bike today so I could come back with my car and trailer. I made out pretty good. Though I think I'll need to make quite a few more of these rock-hunting expeditions before this pond is done!

DSC_0959-XL.jpg


IMG_20140422_195206-XL.jpg
 
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Yeah I was referring to the pile near your new pond, that's a nice find! I sadly have to go rock hunting soon......who would have thought it would be so hard to find rocks? I mean really, like I see one here and one there but like never in a nice little pile lol
:( for you. I live in the mountains and rocks just come at ya. Lol
 
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The flow rate of 2500-3500 GPH for 4" drain is generally considered the proper range. Trouble is when you start getting below 2500 dirt is pulled into the pipe but there's not enough flow to pull it up the pipe so it piles up in the pipe and clogs. Depends on the dirt, but generally that seems to be the range professional use. 3" pipe would need 1500-2500 GPH. Of course a 3" pipe is more likely to clog than a 4" from stuff like string algae...but string algae will clog a 4" too.

A bottom drain system has 3 components.

1. A hole in the bottom of the pond connected to a pipe.

2. Water flow that pushes debris to the hole. Sloped sides are not enough by a long shot. The falls won't do it either unless a catch basin is used and then it can act as TPR (thing to sweep the bottom).

3. A filter to remove the debris.

Your design only has #1. Your pump will pull in debris, chop it up making removal harder and send it to a bio filter which just sends the debris back to the pond. So you wouldn't really be accomplishing anything. You could change the bio filter to be a mechanical filter to try and remove some debris, but after being chopped up that's more difficult and cleaning filters isn't much fun. Plus the debris sits in the filter decomposing so water quality is the same since it doesn't matter if poo decomposes in the filter or the bottom of the pond. Unless of course you clean the filter once a day.

So I think you might want to consider a more functional BD system. Or consider a vacuum system. These are pretty simple, like vacuuming a swimming pool. Vacuum for maybe 30 minutes once every 2 weeks in the summer and you'll have a very clean pond.

Functional BD systems are kind of a big deal. They're really more for people keeping large fish loads (lots of big Koi) who want fish to grow fast and big. They feed a lot of food, 2,4,8,12 times a day, multiple pounds of food a week. That kind of waste load really requires a BD system to get waste out of the water 24/7. Water Gardens on the other hand generally don't really need that. And BD systems are not easier to run than vacuums imo. I think vacuuming and BD maintenance are pretty much the same amount of work.

The shelves will collect debris unless they have their own sweeping flow. If these are for plants you might consider isolating the plant area.
WidePlantShelf2.jpg

That way all the plant crap stays out of the pond. You can still use pond plants and it'll look like they're in the pond, but way less crap in the pond. Some people think marginal type plants remove nutrients or toxins or add O2 but the opposite is true. I love plants around the pond, and I love marginals, but not in the pond.
 
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sissy

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Remember every elbow and added height will take away from the gph of your pump .I see a lot of elbows there
 

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