Pondless Kit Advice


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Hey folks!

This is my first post on this or any forum related to Pond/Waterfall building. Long story short is I am moving to a new house soon, and I really want to build a water feature in my backyard. I am not 100% sure if I am going pondless or with a koi pond (leaning towards Pondless). In my research I have run across several kits, many of which are featured on a variety of pond building videos on Youtube. I have to say I have learned a lot already and feel pretty comfortable building one of these. HOWEVER, where I am a bit hung up right now is what kit to go with. As noted before, I have seen several kits, but the one that seems to be standing out from the rest as far as design goes is the Russell Water Gardens kits. They seem to be the only kit that involves some sort of filtration. I am certain this CANT be the only one out there, but they do make a point about how the standard pondless kits which use aquablocks and no filtration of any kind MUST get nasty over time and get filled with muck and algae. So my question to you all is, if you were starting over, what kit would you go with and why? Do i piece this together w/out a kit? Size wize I am looking at a pretty large waterfall, hopefully 15+ feet or more, with lights and the whole shebang! I am currently budgeting about $3-5k as a DIY project
 
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Mmathis

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Hello and welcome!

I’m sorry, I cannot help you — I’ve never wanted to go pond less, so have never researched the various products.
 
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Wow. Nice concept. A question I have (newbie myself at ponds) is, why do you need filtration if you have no fish? Is filtration included in the kit or is it extra?
It probably should be included, though, because most people will eventually want fish. Good luck
 
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If you don't have fish or plants in the system, maybe you might want to treat it like a swimming pool, adding chlorine and algaecide. That will certainly help keep the water clean.
 

Jhn

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I would do any type of pond without a kit. A 15’ waterfall is probably going to need to push a lot more water than the 75 gallon pump vault can handle that Russell water gardens has for sale.

I would just go with aqua blocks creating a large water reservoir under the rocks install some type of pump vault. You can DIY it with some sort of hdpe pipe or a Premade one. Just make the bottom of the pump vault the lowest point in the reservoir. Install a y in the line From the pump with a valve in it, (have the line run off to plant bed or something) that can be turned to allow any muck/silt that accumulates in the reservoir to be pumped out.
 
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I would do any type of pond without a kit. A 15’ waterfall is probably going to need to push a lot more water than the 75 gallon pump vault can handle that Russell water gardens has for sale.

I would just go with aqua blocks creating a large water reservoir under the rocks install some type of pump vault. You can DIY it with some sort of hdpe pipe or a Premade one. Just make the bottom of the pump vault the lowest point in the reservoir. Install a y in the line From the pump with a valve in it, (have the line run off to plant bed or something) that can be turned to allow any muck/silt that accumulates in the reservoir to be pumped out.
Thank you for the reply! Im not fully understanding what your saying about the Y and how it will clean out the reservoir? The issue Russell brings up is with the aquablocks is the whole rock bed above the blocks (and inside the blocks themselves) get filled up with all kinds of leaves, pine needles, grasses etc etc. I have yet to see a pondless design that has any sort of surface skimmer or anything to even clean for that matter, so i woudl think over time the rock bed at the bottom would just load up with garbage and it doesnt sound like it would be super easy to clean out....Maybe a pressure washer??? I would love to hear others experience with this issue.

To the guy talking about chlorine and algacide....good point. Without any fish, you could keep chemicals in it to keep it clean of algae....but I still see the leaves and solids as an issue to contend with.
 
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Jhn

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Thank you for the reply! Im not fully understanding what your saying about the Y and how it will clean out the reservoir? The issue Russell brings up is with the aquablocks the whole rock bed above the blocks (and inside the blocks themselves) get filled up with all kinds of leaves, pine needles, grasses etc etc. I have yet to see a pondless design that has any sort of surface skimmer or anything to even clean for that matter, so i woudl think over time the rock bed at the bottom would just load up with garbage and it doesnt sound like it would be super easy to clean out....Maybe a pressure washer??? I would love to hear others experience with this issue.

To the guy talking about chlorine and algacide....good point. Without any fish, you could keep chemicals in it to keep it clean of algae....but I still see the leaves and solids as an issue to contend with.
The larger debris will sit on top for manual removal if you lay larger rock directly on the aqua blocks then get progressively smaller as you lay the rock....going down to like 3/4” pea gravel.Then nothing but finer silt should be able to get down into the aqua blocks.
 
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The larger debris will sit on top for manual removal if you lay larger rock directly on the aqua blocks then get progressively smaller as you lay the rock....going down to like 3/4” pea gravel.Then nothing but finer silt should be able to get down into the aqua blocks.
Can you explain the setup with the Y in a bit more detail? Again I am not fully understanding how that cleans out the reservoir? How does the Y clean it out other than to just make an easy way to dump water from the system to a drainage system?
 
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Wow. Nice concept. A question I have (newbie myself at ponds) is, why do you need filtration if you have no fish? Is filtration included in the kit or is it extra?
It probably should be included, though, because most people will eventually want fish. Good luck
The filtration that is needed is to get rid of all the garbage that ends up in the water. Otherwise the rocks at the bottom become your filter. Eventually enough crap will build up in your rocks so that water cannot pass through them fast enough and the pump will starve, and possibly burn up if it doesnt have a safety of some sort. Also the bottom will start looking nasty as well if you dont get all that crap out (leaves etc). If you use pressure to wash it, a bunch of the solids will end up in the aqua blocks, eventually building up a lot of muck, and there is no easy to way to get in there and clean it out. So that is what I am hoping someone has figured out :). Is the only real way to avoid this problem to put a minimal pond at the end with a skimmer so you can clean out the solids and siphon out the shallow pond? From what i can tell, adding a pond wouldnt be THAT much of an additional expense, and it may just be worth it to avoid the build up of nasties in the rock bed. Thoughts???
 

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