Pond Redo- need help with some DIY filter

Discussion in 'DIY - Do It Yourself' started by USMC Ponder, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. USMC Ponder

    USMC Ponder

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    Hey everyone, new here but not new ponds.

    I have some questions. I am redoing my 10X10 pond. Little under 3' deep but I will be redigging it to be be 3' deep. My pond sprung a semi slow leak but haven't been able to take care of it due to winter weather/snow. I have to refill or top it off frequently. Too frequently.

    The current inhabitants are some Koi and Goldfish, a couple native Nevada Tahoe suckers and a 9" red earred slider.

    The question I really have is regarding the Skippy DIY filter. Been wanting to do this for a few years but was afraid to mess around the pond. Well now the time has come. Unfortunately I can't find any decent youtube or image illustrations on how to accomplish this. I get the concept and want to incorporate it into a waterfall. My current waterfall is really garbage in design and prone to leaking. This is my opportunity in the coming weeks, once it stops snowing a bit to get this accomplished.
    So where can I find a decent illustration of putting this together? I want to see what works. Also hard plumbing it, what is the best way to go about it. I have winters/freezes here in Northern Nevada. 4" of the snow as I write. Also what kind of tub could I use aside from a rubbermaid stock tank- an inexpensive alternative? They all seem to hover around a couple hundred bucks or is this unavoidable? I have to buy a new waterfall pump (suggestions on size and type accepted), the one I had took a crap during the summer, impeller shaft shattered. New liner is already here, .45 mil EPDM Firestone liner this time.

    I would like to correct some of my original mistakes but would not like to break the bank. Already 400 in with the liner. The pump is gonna cost so I am trying to reduce material costs on the filter-stock tank if possible.

    Please don't flame, I will certainly entertain all ideas. Not trying to be cheap, just trying to save some money doing this redo.

    Thanks in advance
     
    USMC Ponder, Mar 3, 2018
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  2. USMC Ponder

    Jhn

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    If it doesn't have to be as large as a stock tank, you could use a plastic storage tote or even a 5 gallon bucket to cut costs. Flex PVC for piping is pretty tough but isn't cheap.
     
    Jhn, Mar 4, 2018
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  3. USMC Ponder

    mrsclem mrsclem

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    You can use plastic barrels as a filter. they come in 35 & 55 gallon sizes. Check Craigslist, just make sure they didn't contain harmful chemicals.
     
    mrsclem, Mar 4, 2018
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  4. USMC Ponder

    Lisak1

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    You'll never get flamed here! This is a friendly, helpful group of pond people. Welcome!

    I've seen lots of videos for DIY filters using barrels as @mrsclem suggested. If you are open to filter suggestions, how about a bog or plant filter instead? As long as you are starting from scratch, you could incorporate one into your pond design with very little added cost.

    Can you post a picture of your current pond with some info - size, gallons, current filtration, etc. We love pictures!
     
    Lisak1, Mar 4, 2018
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  5. USMC Ponder

    USMC Ponder

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    A bog would be great but the growing season seems to be short here. End of May is the last frost. Also it's very dry here so I don't know if I could keep a bog wet enough to be useful. Not dismissing it, just unsure. I was thinking of using the black and yellow professional grade container as seen below.

    I've seen plenty of videos of the Skippy filter but not really one showing how it's built. Parts lists and equipment is fine but I just want to make sure I do this correctly because this will make or break my pond. I think I could do it but was just hoping for a better visual aid.

    The pond is roughly be 2000 + gallons when said and done. What size pump should I use. The one I had previously was in pond pump rated at 3000gph but clogged really easy from debris getting in the pond.

    I'd be willing to do flex PVC piping. Even though it's more expensive but if it handles better in the winter, it might be worth it. I would plan on running my waterfall year round like I have in the past. Just don't want the pipes to bust.




    [​IMG]
     
    USMC Ponder, Mar 4, 2018
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  6. USMC Ponder

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    I'll tell you what I did as well as issue this warning; don't do ANYTHING until it warms up and you SEE your turtle. Last year, did some early work on MY bog and disturbed the pond by starting the pump back up. Apparently, also disturbed my brumating turtles and they all died from freezing water. So, wait until you're sure your turtle is ready for your efforts.

    Okay, what I did; used a 55 gallon drum (you can get them used for anywhere between $20 and $70; check online or especially, local). As Lisa and mrsclem noted, make sure they did not contain anything toxic. Mine came from pickles! You can use this BEHIND your new waterfall and have the pond pump provide the water to it, making your filter into sort of a waterfall weir by creative outflow shaping/cutting of the filter barrel. What I'd do (I'm modifying what I did with your situation as I have my drum filter located separate from my wf due to space constraints) is run a liner/bag filter inside the drum, shorter in height than the drum top. You'd direct water from your pond INTO this bag/filter portion and allow it to rise to the height you want your wf to spill. Then you can use either plumb parts or creatively cut your barrel to have it spill on your wf rocks. In essence, you'd make your own custom wf weir opening AS your drum filter outlet. In my case, I have a homemade weir set in the hollow of a shell waterfall, where it pours onto my rocks. Since you have space, you can make this hollow your own place to put a filter, as described.

    Now, inside your 'filter sock/bag' you can have the lower layer be filter media (bio balls, lava rock, plastic shavings, even filter pads). In my case, I have this drum filter separate and don't need any bio media because in addition, I have a bog, which is FED by my drum filter. You can do this too, just let me know and I can show you my setup for reference. In my case, I have a diverter INSIDE my homemade wf weir to let water ALSO flow over lava rock, which is also inside my waterfall shell. So in essence, MY wf is a shell of rocks with a weir atop lava rock. I have a tree and plantings over and behind to cover up the backside of my falls so it's not noticeable.

    Also, if you want to remote your filter (I did this for easier maintenance), AND have a bog, you'd not need anything but the filter sock material for inside your drum, which of course makes cleaning so much easier. If you're going to use this drum for bio filtering, I'd use pads or scrubbies etc so you can clean them easily, but the sock idea is the best one I've researched yet, in terms of how often, ease of cleaning, etc. I'll attach a pic of what I did; might help.

    plumbing at drum filter v3.jpg

    In your case, you'd make the outlet AT THE TOP, and have your water go the bottom of your drum, rise through your media, then through your pads and out to spill as a wf. Personally, I like what I did because when I clean the filter 'sock', it's easy to lift out and hose down. Installed it last February, let it run all summer, and it never needed cleaning. I just threw it away last fall and will put in a new one this spring, so very low maintenance, in my case. YMMV

    You can indeed HAVE a bog; if you're supplying water TO your bog from your pond with a pump, it'll never go dry. And a bog is great for bio filtration, for nitrate removal, and for really interesting plants that can't grow IN your pond. Your season is no different than mine; I get last freeze Memorial Day and typically shut the pond down about mid October, and my bog does fine.

    Flex pvc does indeed handle winter better as well as you can get long sweeping curves which reduce your head friction by not inducing hard turns re ells and tees, etc.

    I'd still make whatever piping design you choose drain backwards toward the pond so you don't have any traps where water might expand as ice. But, if you don't ever get much ice, probably not an issue as long as the water in the pipes is always moving.

    Typically, you want to move your water at least 1.5x, so in your case 3000gph. But since you're going to lose flow due to any height (your wf/filter), I'd go for 4000 gph. My pond is 2700 gal and I use a 4000 gph submersible pump. Tip; whatever size your outlet for the pump, put an adaptor directly there that is TWICE the size and then reduce it down the line; this gives you opportunity to have better capacity should you decide to put in a tee/wye for more lines. In my case, I have one line going to my wf, and one line going to my drum filter, which then feeds my bog, which goes then back to the pond.

    Just some ideas to maybe help.

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  7. USMC Ponder

    USMC Ponder

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    Great Id
    Great idea and gives me something to think about. Probably going to avoid a 55 gallon drum because of where the Pond is located (right off my patio) and it would look out of place. Of course I could dig it into the ground but where I plan on relocating the waterfall, I also plan on re-grassing that area (currently it's Nevada desert dirt). If I understand correctly, going tub, I want the outlet to be lower than the inlet? That's how I would do it. I saw how someone had incorporated this into the waterfall completely dismissing a weir.

    You're absolutely right with the turtle. Although I have seen her off and on throughout the winter, it's because Dec -Feb have been unseasonably warm. In non drought season I have had 3" of ice over the pond minus the hole from surface agitation from waterfall. I probably won't do much with the pond until end march early april depending on outside temps.
    Any pump manufactures to consider/avoid? Looking over amazon now. Little giant is pretty reputable. At least use to be in the saltwater/reef keeping side.

    Little Giant F30-4000 566726 Wet Rotor Pump with 20-Feet Cord, 4000GPH
     
    USMC Ponder, Mar 4, 2018
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  8. USMC Ponder

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    I camouflaged mine with some camo material and a hanging plant on top. Plus, it sits right next to my bog where larger plants help conceal. (btw, my drum is ON my patio) Since you'll be routinely maintaining this filter, make sure it's accessible. The 'doing away with a weir' is the idea behind putting your filter/drum behind/inside your waterfall. Still might have some concealment issues but 3/4 of it will be covered by rock. IMO, ease of use trumps whether I see it or not, but of course, if I could have, I'd have done both! (my pond is enclosed and I had very little room behind my wf to get at anything, and my drum filter was a retrofit).

    For a wf, you'll have to lift your Skippy to gain your required height. Might even be as high as that drum you want to avoid but would give you a lot more filtering capacity. And yeah, you can have the water come out at the bottom, using the tub. Your water in would flow through your pads, through your bio media and out to the 'weir' portion. I think I like the idea of a separate system (wf vs filter) simply because when mess with one, the other is still operational). Put in a drain (for a hose) in case you want to flush the bio media and discharge anywhere but your pond.)

    Can't say re Little Giant; I use a Danner in my pond and it's bee working fine for 7 years now.

    Michael
     
    brokensword, Mar 4, 2018
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  9. USMC Ponder

    Lisak1

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    If you build an up flow bog filter, it never goes dry. Plus it's pretty! Search for "bog" on this forum to see what I'm referring to - but that's just my preference!
     
    Lisak1, Mar 4, 2018
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  10. USMC Ponder

    USMC Ponder

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    Just bought a Danner pump at 4000gph. I'll keep my eyes open for a 55 gallon drum (plastic presumably?)

    I will look into a bog. That was something I was going to attempt last spring but didnt have the excess material to go forth.
     
    USMC Ponder, Mar 4, 2018
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  11. USMC Ponder

    Lisak1

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    I'm just a big bog pusher... haha! Not a fan of work, actually so the idea of cleaning a filter leaves me feeling less than enthusiastic. My bog is just gardening in water and everyone knows gardening isn't work!
     
    Lisak1, Mar 5, 2018
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  12. USMC Ponder

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I would never have anything but a bog for my pond. It works so good.

    You are right it is gardening, just in water!
     
    addy1, Mar 5, 2018
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  13. USMC Ponder

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    that was my original idea; no filter to clean; just let the bog do it all! Wish I'd put in a larger one though as mine did clog enough so water started channeling up the sides and I had to cut the flow because I was losing water. The drum filter has really helped, esp since I didn't have to clean it even once last year.

    USMCP: gotta watch Lisa; she's our neighborhood pusher, alright! Seems to think every home should have a bog, whether they have pond or not! :p
     
    brokensword, Mar 6, 2018
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  14. USMC Ponder

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    Good choice! Look in local craigslist or even on ebay. I think I found mine through an army surplus site, but at the time, I was looking for one with a lid (had this idea I'd make my mech filter pressurized, at the time, but changed my mind.). The ones without a screw on top are cheaper. Had a friend pick one up last summer for $20 used. Check around and make sure you clean it as your pond water will be running through it. I figure my fish got a dose of pickle juice the first time I started it up, though I did let sit with some soap, etc, then thorough rinsing.

    A goo link for your plumbing parts; zoro.com as I found the prices of unions, valves, and bulkheads especially, to be a lot less expensive. And if you order $50, you get free shipping.
     
    brokensword, Mar 6, 2018
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  15. USMC Ponder

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    I drawn water from a foot or so off the bottom, so not dragging a lot of muck into the bog. That might help. Any debris on the bottom I have netted out, but for the last xx years there is not enough to even bother with.
     
    addy1, Mar 6, 2018
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  16. USMC Ponder

    USMC Ponder

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    I looked up bog building but the pictures are missing or won't let me view. I want to consider a bog but I am not sure how to truly proceed. A little apprehension since I am kind of shooting in the dark. Don't know many that have home made backyard garden ponds in my area. Greenhouse garden center in Carson City seems to have a decent selection of bog type plants. Around May usually have water lettuce/hyacinth.

    That zoro site isn't working for me either.
     
    USMC Ponder, Mar 6, 2018
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  17. USMC Ponder

    Angel

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    I did a stock tank bog based on the pond diggers design but for my pond not patio

    basic principles are the same. I'll link to the start of his series on it.

    @sissy knows eric and has a bog she can help to.

    I modded my tank to have a 5" "gap" so it doesn't clog up easily as it is only a 100 gallon water trough.

     
    Angel, Mar 6, 2018
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  18. USMC Ponder

    brokensword Not all those who wander are lost

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    USMCP; sorry re link, went and looked it up and searched bulkheads on zoro, no problem. Here's the link;

    https://www.zoro.com/search?q=bulkhead

    Here's a link to the site I used for my bog; it's nice and extensive.

    http://www.bogfiltration.com/bogfiltration.html

    Be sure to click on the picture link inside the web page.

    http://www.bogfiltration.com/making_your_own_upflow_bog_filte.html

    If you still can't see the info and pics, let me know as I have my own copy I can c/p for you.

    Hope this helps.

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    brokensword, Mar 6, 2018
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  19. USMC Ponder

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

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    photobucket wants money to show the photos and there have been a few updates over the years of the forum. I keep wanting to fix the photos, but have not had the time.

    Basically
    a container, liner, have pipes running along the bottom (I used 2 inch pvc pipes) cut / drilled to allow water to flow through. Put pea gravel or larger rock over the pipes, pump water up through the gravel, plant the gravel. Have it flow back into the pond.

    Mine is big, 2.5 feet deep 4.5 feet wide, with pea gravel, 38000 lbs, 2 - 2inch pvc pipes running the length, 27 feet, cut with slashes, heavily planted = a low maintenance pond. I have had many bogs, this is my best build. I do nothing to the pond except groom the lilies, during the summer.

    Water always crystal clear.
     
    addy1, Mar 6, 2018
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  20. USMC Ponder

    USMC Ponder

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    @addy1 do I overlap pond liners to get the bog to flow back in? Is that the preferred method? I don't think I'll have enough space for a super large bog. Got my Danner pump and I have a couple smaller ones I could use to feed the bog. so is 2.5 feet the recommended depth? Also how long is yours, you mention it's 4.5' wide.
     
    USMC Ponder, Mar 11, 2018
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