Pondless Water Feature Build

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Hello, this might be a bit wordy, so I apologize in advance. If you don't want background skip to the third paragraph.

First, a little background. We purchased a house two years ago, our first house ever, and it had a small, yet lovely pond in the front entrance (the first picture below). Neither my wife nor I knew anything about ponds, so we followed the previous owners instructions of adding a splash of bleach every so often and refilling it when the water level got low. This however did NOT last long. We went through many bottles of bleach, we tried Curitine Plus, we tried both. We ended up with a giant blue bubble bath most of the time(second picture). Anyways, after doing research we found out the construction of the pond was very poorly planed, if at all. The waterfall "mound" had no proper berm like it is supposed to, nor was there any real skimmer or filtration. In addition the edges of the pond were sloping down into the pond, which of course made it a giant leaf, grass clippings, and landscaping rock collector. The first Spring we had a rebuild the falls as it collapsed due to the round rocks creating the waterfall settling. However, this last Spring the waterfall collapsed even more, and it seems to be effecting the siding of the house, and we are looking to have something less time consuming put in (i.e. something we don't have to muck around in elbows deep every other day and add bleach once a week).


IMG_0005.JPG


Bubble bath time:

IMG_0502.JPG


This year's Disaster:

received_10160362548595646.jpeg


More recently:

received_10160362285525646.jpeg


So, onto our new project! At first we were going to try to rebuild the existing pond. Try to install a proper waterfall, with a skimmer and everything; but I think we decided this was not going to be feasible for the space (as you can tell from the photos we don't have much room to work with behind the falls to build much of a berm. Then we wanted a pondless waterfall with more of a stream, but when we talked with several pond people in the area, this again seemed doable but not the best for the situation.

So we finally settled on a pondless bubbling something-or-other (still deciding between basalts and a natural boulder). What are your opinions? We have found a nearby supplier that sells bubbling boulders; our favorite is attached (it looks like a limestone, or holey boulder) as the last two pictures, but it weights a little over 1,000 lbs, which means getting over the pavement will be very tricky. Any thoughts as to if this is doable? The people we've gotten quotes from haven't given us an exact weight limit, but I don't think they think we are out shopping around for rocks. The same place did has a set of three basalts but we were a little under whelmed, maybe it was because they weren't set up? There were the Easy Pro set of 20", 27" and 35" I believe.

20180514_134635.jpg


Side view:

20180514_134640.jpg


Do you have any recommendations for brands of pumps? Most people we have been getting quotes for installations seem open to us selecting what brand, they suggest a 3,000 gph, is that a good size? Also do you have any recommendations for lighting? We saw Easy pro has some lights for inside of the stones. We previously had lights, so we do have two transformers, not sure what size. Is Easy Pro a good brand? Our previous pond had color changing lights (which my wife loved), but the only brand we found was Atlantic. Is that a good brand? They didn't seem to have any lights for inside of the fountain. Does anyone have any other good suggestions for color changing lights? We would light spot lights I think and lights for inside of the fountain. Would it complicate things to put different brand lights on the same transformer using a splitter? Speaking of splitters, is there a rule of thumb for the maximum of how many lights can go on one transformer?

We live in southern MN and were told that since it is a pondless system we could leave it running year round, is this true? We would be afraid that something would freeze. We previously used a De-icer on our old pond even though we didn't have any fish (just because thats what the previous owner told us to do in the Winter, and he left it with the pond).

Thank you in advance for any and all advice!! We have talked to many local pond people, and sometimes it seems like we get told the exact opposite things.

- Hopefully soon to be pondLESS water feature owner
 
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sissy

sissy
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WOW I love that rock and there are some great ideas for pondless on you tube so you can get an idea of what you like .The thing is it will freeze just like a pond and divert water away from the storage tank under and it may empty and freeze .Even here they say you should turn a pondless off .I like laguna pumps but you can get a variable speed pump like aquascape makes .This way you can turn it up or down.There is another ponder on here that just did a pondless
 
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Hey Guys! So, update! We are almost done with the project, but the guy who is helping us with the pond suggested a Easy Pro EP1050 pump for our rock, and after hooking it up we aren't sure if its enough. We would like it to bubble "up" at the top more, but we do like way the water flows down. We would also like a louder sound. At a pond supply/distributor we were told to get the Easy Pro EP 2200 (almost double!!!). We DO have a valve hooked up between the rock and the pump, but if we close the valve partially would that put stress on the pump? I do have a video, not the best quality, but I could not figure out how to attach it. So should we bump up to the EP2200, or would that be TOO much pump? Could we do the 2200GPH and then just close the valve if its too much?

Liner & Vault:
Liner&Vault.jpg


Before Boulder is Set:
BeforeBoulder.jpg


Boulder with Easypro EP1050 with valve FULLY open:
WithEP1050.jpg


Thanks in advance for the advice!!
 
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Thanks Liska! Any one got ideas about pump size? I've been digging, but I don't really know how to estimate how big a "reservoir" is. Its filled with the large boulders from our old pond as its "basin" and then river rock to top it off. I think the head is 5-6 ft because it does have a 90 degree angle in the piping and the rock itself is about 3 feet tall.

Like I said, I think we definitely want something more than the 1050 GPH that is hooked up now as the water barley bubbles over.
 
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A bigger pump seems like the only real option, right? Unless you could somehow restrict the size of the outflow to create more force, if that makes sense?

Oh and yes to the valve to restrict flow - we have ball valves every which way to Sunday on our plumbing so we can adjust flow all different ways depending on the season, the purpose, the astrological signs... haha!
 
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Hahahaha, yea, we are definitely upgrading, just not sure how much. One local supplier suggested almost double the GPH of what we currently have.

For the ball valve, do you have anything to release the "stress" on the pump? Do ball valves cause stress on the pumps? I found a website that some people said yes and some people said no. It makes sense that it would cause a little stress at least, since there would be pressure build up; but I am not 100% sure how these pumps work, so I can't say.
 
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Hmmm... no clue! Like I said, we have a series of ball valves that direct water all over the place, and it doesn't seem to stress the pump. Somebody smarter than me will have to answer that one!

We have one big ball valve (like the size of a 16 inch softball big!) on the bog so we can increase and decrease the flow. That's the main line from the pump. That wyes off to another bypass line that goes to the stream. We can direct that water two different ways, and turn it both up and down. Then we have another wye that goes across the bog so we can A. feed the fountain we put in the bog and B. direct more water down the big falls. That one has two MORE ball valves so each can be turned up, down or off. We've ball valve crazy!
 
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That IS a lot of ball valves!!! Yea, we just worry that with only one channel (since its just the fountain) that the build up of pressure would maybe be hard on the pump. So we want to get a pump closest to what would be best for the fountain.

Not sure if we should trust the local supplier, since that is double what is in there now (which is what they guy who installed our pond recommended). Would you recommend meeting in the middle at like 1600 GPH? Or just go for it and double the GPH and use the valve?
 
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I don't think I'd double the size if you're just looking for slightly more water flow. You don't want a geyser. I've read that restricting the flow on the output is fine - it's the input that you don't want to restrict. I think I'd install the ball valve whichever pump you choose. You're going to want to have control over the flow.

What about a variable speed pump? Then you could turn it up or down like a dimmer switch until you get your desired flow. Although I'm not sure you can get a variable speed in a smaller sized pump.
 
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Yea, we thought about a variable pump at first, but the guy doing our installation said that the valve would give us the same result, and that he rarely sees people use the "variable" part of their pumps.

Thanks for confirming that double is too much, that makes me feel better. I think we might try 1600 GPH next, once this one break if we aren't able to get him to switch the current one out for the price difference.
 
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