Pond Waterflow Guidance and DIY Filters at Every Pump (help)

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Pond itself…

It is about 13,000 gallons (based on the original Sketchup design I made 2 years ago). It has been built for probably 2.5 years at this point. Been through two winters. It does have a bog filter that may be a little undersized. I also have a waterfall that sits maybe 1-1/2’ high and slowly trickles down a bed of large rocks.

I have 3 Koi that are probably almost a foot long. I have 2 Shubunkins that are maybe 6” long. I also have 1 bluegill that is a fat one who has the only task of keeping the minnows in check.

I currently have about 15 smaller goldfish (3”?) and about 4 larger ones (6-8”). I got the 4 6-8” when I was first setting up the pond. They have multiplied last year and some survived to the 15 or so smaller ones. This year, same thing. I have counted a lot of small ones (under an inch).

Outside of that, I have maybe 24 adult minnows which is down from last year as the blue gill is keeping them in check. This year though, a lot have spawned and I probably have 200 little babies. I don’t expect a lot of them to survive though with the filters/pumps/bigger fish.

I’ve put my permanent lines in the ground (2” PVC) to all my hookups. Everything is buried and I have unions on each end to attach 1.5” flexible pond tubing which can be replaced whenever needed. This is why I did the unions. I’m trying to think of the big picture/long term maintenance.

This year especially, I’ve had a lot of muck on the bottom and brown algae blooms which have begun covering rocks more this year then previous years. Here are my thoughts why… and then here is where I have some questions on filtration ideas.
  1. Leaf debris from fall - The pond is close to a line of trees in my yard. I had skimmer issues last year that I am hoping I can solve this year by directing the water all back to a central spot in the pond. This way they can get skimmed BEFORE falling to the bottom. I spent a lot of the spring trying to clear it all out with the vacuum.
  2. Fish population - It has gone up since last year with those goldfish surviving. I don’t think it is a major issue with the size pond, but the goal is to set up some extra filtration at every pump point. Just need to figure out when to use mechanical and when to use bio (have questions below).
  3. Bog filter performance - Bog was slow to start this year and the two main lines I have running under the pea gravel were very clogged with debris. I have since cleaned but because of all the algae / debris in the pond that isn’t getting really filtered before the bog, it keeps filling up the chambers and needs a lot of cleaning. My plan is to add some extra filtration prior and at every pump.

So here are my plans (and steps I’ve taken as of now) to help with filtration/debris/nutrient overload…questions in red.
  1. Cycle the pond once an hour - I’ve added an additional 5,000GPH pump to meet this goal. But not running it through the proper filters isn’t going to really help much so see my questions about filters. But for a breakout of pumps…
    1. (x2) 5,000GPH Pumps - Both are setup currently to pull water from about 36” deep (deeper part of the pond). One feeds the waterfall and the other feeds to the far right (into a homemade sieve filter).
    2. (x1) 3,500GPH Pump - Used to work 1 of 2 ‘inpond’ skimmers and feeds back into the pond on the far right (by the sieve filter) but goes through no filtration currently.
    3. (x1) 2,500GPH Pump - Used to work the other ‘inpond’ skimmer and feeds into the bog filter.
  2. Create / direct water to the skimmers/inlets of all the pumps - I have run 2” PVC everywhere to keep flow at maximum to help move the water to specific key points. I use very short runs of 1.5” flexible tubing to connect from pumps to these ‘QC’ ends on the 2” PVC.

    If you look at the picture, you’ll see the red lines which are the 2” PVC. So currently I have all the skimmers near the dock and both inlets for the big pumps near the dock. The water being pulled from this area will feed BACK INTO the pond on the right hand side, from the bog and then from the waterfall. So the water can come from the sides back into the middle. I’m hoping this helps floating debris make it to the skimmers before it settles and then waste floating around in the water columns will be directed to the inlets of the larger pumps.

    Question - When bringing the water BACK INTO the pond, do I want the outlet hose to be at the bottom of the pond, middle or top? I know if it enters the pond at the top (splashing in), it helps get the floating debris to move. If I put it towards the bottom (enters back into the water under water), it helps get the floating particles / poop / etc towards the middle.
  3. Adding additional filtration at every pump - Next step is to give the bog some relief and also clear up the water from the skimmers. The one 5,000GPH pump I have on the far right goes into a homemade Sieve filter that helps clear out the big particles that it takes from the inlet but I want to filter smaller/better.

    The other pump that handles the skimmer (B) that does NOT go to the bog, it just drains right back into the pond. So as the skimmer gets full of larger debris, the smaller stuff just gets chopped up/broken down (brown algae and some of the muck) and thrown back into the pond. Nutrients obviously stay in there and the water isn’t really cleaned any.

    The other skimmer (A) goes directly to the bog filter. With no mechanical filtration here, the same broken down chunks of algae and whatnot that make it through the skimmer grate collect and slow down the flow in the bog filter. It has been requiring a lot of attention lately. Plan here is to add a mini barrel filter (DIY) which can get the particles out and hopefully have just water heading to the bog so it can perform its bio filtering.

    My plan is to have a mini barrel filter after every pump so any water going back into the pond is conditioned in some way. The mini barrels I will have at each pump will probably be about 25-30 gallons in size and be set up with a cleaning pipe so I can backwash manually as needed. I plan on doing some as an upflow gravel filter which from my understanding is more of a mechanical filter that can get some of the fine particles out of the water. I also plan on doing some with K1 media which is mostly for a bio filter.

    So the question is, where should I put each and will a K1 media filter trap a lot of the debris in the pond too? I have read it traps a lot and been told to just do the K1s everywhere. But I feel like maybe I get some benefit from a gravel one as well, to help polish the water even more. But I know having biofilters to get rid of the excess nutrients is going to help with the brown algae to begin with… so trying to clean that out of the water may be just a short term thing.

    I know I want to do a gravel filter before the bog filter (from that pump) but if you all think a K1 that can easily be backflushed will do more than a good enough job cleaning debris from the water as well, then maybe I do them all K1? Thoughts? This is the stage I’m at currently and plan on picking up the barrels today or this week. I’ll have 4 to build, one for each pump though.

Any feedback/help is greatly appreciated! I am almost at the finish line getting this thing all finished up (mechanically) and then I can focus on the landscaping!


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I use very short runs of 1.5” flexible tubing to connect from pumps to these ‘QC’ ends on the 2” PVC.
This will limit all your pipe to 1.5 inches a 2" line can only handle 4800 gph at standard pressure and 1.5 can only handle 3200 so even if its a short run you can't fit aa square peg in a round hole unless you boost up the pressure in order to make it work but that is badding head which further drops volume and increases head
So as the skimmer gets full of larger debris, the smaller stuff just gets chopped up/broken down (brown algae and some of the muck) and thrown back into the pond. Nutrients obviously stay in there and the water isn’t really cleaned any.
sounds like loss of energy to me if you have the skimmer take the floating surface debris and collect it in the mats why not then have the fines go to the sieve or the bog. you sound to be loosing energy by pushing semi dirty water back tot he pond.
he other skimmer (A) goes directly to the bog filter. With no mechanical filtration here, the same broken down chunks of algae and whatnot that make it through the skimmer grate collect and slow down the flow in the bog filter. It has been requiring a lot of attention lately. Plan here is to add a mini barrel filter (DIY) which can get the particles out and hopefully have just water heading to the bog so it can perform its bio filtering.
why is this not doing the same as any other skimmer and has a basket strainer and a filter mat for the heavy debris and again sent to the bog or the sieve. or in my case i have this going to a nano bead filter.

you have no circulation jets?

is there no waterfall out of the bog? if no thats wasted energy .
I plan on doing some as an upflow gravel filter which from my understanding is more of a mechanical filter that can get some of the fine particles out of the water. I also plan on doing some with K1 media which is mostly for a bio filter.
Both a bog and k1 are more BIOLOGICAL FILTERS, though the bog can trap fine sediments it is doing just that it is trapping them. a mechanical filter REMOVES them such as your sieve. so while yes the bog traps fine partials as they break down within the gravel they break down smaller and smaller but it is still in the water column/

imo K1 is not a polisher what so ever at least not down to the levels i'd like . such as the sieve they do have a Tempest that does use the k1 but it traps mostly larger partials . if you ever saw how dark the back wash water is out of the nano bead filter is compared to the videos of the Tempest you'd see why the tempest is NOT even close to a polisher in my opinion.

sieve = mechanical
rdf - mechanical
skimmer = mechanical
mats = mechanical

gravel = bio
k1 ,2,3 bio
floating beds =bio
bog - bio and minor mechanical

i see you have quick connections i'm assuming you mean union but where are you ball/gate or blade valves all lines in or out should be controlled with a valve .

here is a ton of info https://www.gardenpondforum.com/sho...r-2023-12-000-gallon-koi-pond-full-build.141/
 
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This will limit all your pipe to 1.5 inches a 2" line can only handle 4800 gph at standard pressure and 1.5 can only handle 3200 so even if its a short run you can't fit aa square peg in a round hole unless you boost up the pressure in order to make it work but that is badding head which further drops volume and increases head
I know the loss on the 2" pipe but didn't want to run 3" pipe. The pump does generate some pressure (as most pumps do). But with the pump pressure, ESTIMATES should be about 12000 gallons an hour through all of them.

Spot checks on one of the 5K GPH pump is about 5 gallon bucket in 5-6 seconds. So kind of on track (at least for that pump) tied with the other pumps to get the GPH to recirculate the entire pond CLOSE to once an hour.
sounds like loss of energy to me if you have the skimmer take the floating surface debris and collect it in the mats why not then have the fines go to the sieve or the bog. you sound to be loosing energy by pushing semi dirty water back tot he pond.
Per my post, I will be having this go to a filter in the near future. In the entire post, just kind of outlined what the plan was and trying to get input on either making a mechanical filter out of gravel/sand or using K1 filter for more bio filter but also some mechanical. So yes, you are right, it is a waste and that was part of the plan.
why is this not doing the same as any other skimmer and has a basket strainer and a filter mat for the heavy debris and again sent to the bog or the sieve. or in my case i have this going to a nano bead filter.
With the dirty water, the bog has been getting hammered and just doesn't get the debris broke down quick enough. Hence.... why I am planning on getting additional filters built out. To help take some load off for the current time. Perhaps I make a bigger bog or do something different. Honestly, bog may be undersized.
you have no circulation jets?
I have circulation yes, but plan is to have everything bring floating debris to the middle (skimmers) and muck/algae/dirt/etc to the center as well where the submerged inlets will be.
is there no waterfall out of the bog? if no thats wasted energy .
The bog does fall back into the pond and helps push everything towards the middle.
Both a bog and k1 are more BIOLOGICAL FILTERS, though the bog can trap fine sediments it is doing just that it is trapping them. a mechanical filter REMOVES them such as your sieve. so while yes the bog traps fine partials as they break down within the gravel they break down smaller and smaller but it is still in the water column/

imo K1 is not a polisher what so ever at least not down to the levels i'd like . such as the sieve they do have a Tempest that does use the k1 but it traps mostly larger partials . if you ever saw how dark the back wash water is out of the nano bead filter is compared to the videos of the Tempest you'd see why the tempest is NOT even close to a polisher in my opinion.
I've done a lot of reading lately and a lot of large ponds use K1 media (stationary bed) to do some mechanical filtering. I am not looking for pristine pool water but would like to get it much cleaner then is taking place the past few weeks. But I've also seen the various levels of rock (Basically a bog filter in a barrel) work very well too. The nice thing about the K1 I've noticed is it is extremely easy to clean. Rock looked like a little more effort but no different then what I'm doing with the bog filter once a year (deep cleaning back into the chamber to pump out).

Was just trying to get a feel if anyone has used K1 as just a general filter to pass the pond water through to clean it up. I'm moving water around and with the new pump, I want to make sure I have everything going through some sort of filtration... and if not ... as to your point, is kind of wasted energy. This is why I was asking and figuring out what to put at each pump. Sending everything to the bog isn't going to work with the size and how much water I'm going to be pushing through. Bogs are meant to have water pass slowly through them. And like I mentioned, larger bog is idea but isn't in the cards.

I guess if I just built a few and place them at the pumps... try one with K1 (stationary beds) and one with the gravel... see how it works. Either way, I'm passing that water through something that is going to take out the bad. Bottom line.
sieve = mechanical
rdf - mechanical
skimmer = mechanical
mats = mechanical

gravel = bio
k1 ,2,3 bio
floating beds =bio
bog - bio and minor mechanical

i see you have quick connections i'm assuming you mean union but where are you ball/gate or blade valves all lines in or out should be controlled with a valve .
I have check valves and my shut off valves positioned around the pond. Including a control to add/remove extra water to the bog from the pump that feeds the waterfall.
 
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Thanks for anyone who read/was going to give some feed back. This post is probably too long / drawn out.

After my research and some feedback from a few other forums... Plan is to build smaller versions of the K1 stationary filters for each pumps based on how my pond is designed/laid out. I'll be able to easily 'backwash' them every few days then eventually less and less as the pond cleans up. The design I'm following makes for a very quick/easy job. If they do not work out, I can re-purpose and go another route but I think what I'm looking for, this is going to work great.

With all that information I provided, probably just confused folks who read. I know I'm not going to get pristine pool water but the goal was to filter every bit of water that goes through a pump. I just installed that second big pump and thought NOW is the time to get that all figured out. I'll get the filters in and monitor the levels which are great today but never know with some new filters. I just wanted a little more clarity in the water and get the algae under better control.

Thanks all!
 

Mmathis

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@Wildneg No, this is an interesting thread. I just happen to be one of those people……who doesn’t understand anything beyond the pump pushes water to a filter.….and gravity returns water to the pond. Hope you are getting the info you need to figure this out.
 

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