Pond overhaul


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My pond is 11 years old. I had a pond builder construct and he is no longer available. Pond is about 16x20 ft and 15 inches deep. The waterfall is about 32 inches vertical drop. The resevoir above the waterfall is 4 x 4 ft. I don't know how deep. The pump is in the skimmer box and has 2 layers of poly fiber media for filter.
My problem is that the upper pool has become so clogged with gunk that I believe it has plugged the outlet pipe under the rocks. I normally us the pump on a timer during the winter. The amount of water over the fall became less and less until none. I thought was my filters at first.
Question is, should remove all rock in the resevoir to clean and put back the same way or use some other type of filter and container to keep leaves and grime in place of the 4x4 resevoir? The pond is at my photography studio and I use for photographing children and high school seniors. I do not use the resevoir in photographs, just the waterfall and pond.
Any help and suggestions will be great.
 

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addy1

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Welcome to our forum!

Have you tired to just remove the muck and junk in the upper area. I would do that first. Remove until you find the outlet. I would not think you would need to remove all the rocks etc to clean it out.
 
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I have already removed about 1 ft deep of rock and just got frustrated and wondered how deep will this go? I also would like a way to prevent this from happening in the future. Some type of cover?
 

j.w

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@Photoman Do you have to have rocks in there? If not and you take them all out maybe not put them back in and just leave it all water. Maybe I am not understanding the whole situation?
 
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I have taken about 15" deep of rock out and I can tell there are a lot more to get to the bottom. Just don't know how deep. It has become a mess over the last several years of not being able to keep the upper pond clean. I was told all the rocks were for the eco system to work. I am trying to figure if I should leave most rocks out and build another type output with a fiber filter up their and have a cover to keep leaves and varmits out.
 

addy1

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So they put in rocks for the algae etc to grow on as a filter. Got it. You can get them out and put in other filtering material. Also cover with screening to help keep it clean.
 
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I have upper pool cleaned out now. There was a mass of roots and much black gunk from rotted leaves and soil that was washed in I guess. I am going to work on the top edge to prevent less (hopefully NO) flow in from rain.
There were 5 large mesh laundry bags full of lava rock on the bottom. Just laying on top of a 1 1/2 inch pipe. The pool is about 22" deep.
Is there a rule of thumb for how much filter area and bio habitat there should be per gallon of pond? I am trying to decide how I want to go back with so easier to keep junk out. Was thinking maybe bags of lava rock on bottom and 6 - 5 gallon buckets in parallel with the water line filling each one. and filled with bio balls ( or similar) and then filter material . Tops on the buckets with lots of hole to let water out. Layer of rock on top of buckets. Then I could clean out ( if needed) one bucket at a time. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
 

addy1

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The mesh bags of lava rock was their filter. They probably pulled them out rinsed and put back in.
 
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It sounds like you have kind of a homemade biofalls - is there any plastic box or is this just lined with EPDM? This may have been an early attempt at a bog filter, with some design elements that just didn't work. If there's filter material (like the lava rocks) then they should be easily accessible so you can rinse them. I'm not sure why the rocks were put in there as that just made clean out a real chore for you.

Does the water feed into the bottom of this reservoir? You could choose to fill it will bags of filter material - like the lava rock or bioballs, etc - and then leave enough water on the top that you could grow plants in it to add to the bio-filtration element. I've seen lots of biofalls growing floating plants or even plants in pots. It's pretty and it's practical. OR if you do have water feeding into the bottom of the reservoir, we could talk you through turning it into a planted bog filter. Depends on what you'd like that area to look like and how you want it to function.
 
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This is just lined and there were 5 big mesh bags of lava rock all the way on the bottom on top of a 2" pipe. I am working on a new filter/bio in a barrel laying on it's side. I plan to fill it with the plastic strapping material and also a fiber mat. The side, or top now, is cut out to be able to get into the barrel if I need to clean or change anything. The 2" pipe will come into the end of the barrel on one end and lay on bottom. I have drilled 1/2" holes all along the pipe. The piece that I cut out or the barrel will lay back in place and it has lots of holes also. I will put rock on top to hide. I also plan to have a pipe coming out of the other end of the barrel near the top and turn the pipe straight down for some water to go to the bottom and filter up through lava rock. I will put river rock in the bottom of reservoir and them the lava rock so they want be so deep if I need to remove them again. A layer of river rock to finish off top. I will post pictures later when I am further along. I think some plants would be nice. Any suggestions? Thank you for all advice.
 

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