Starting a pond, could use some guidance.


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Hey all,
First of all thank you for your time in reading and responding to this. I’m building a pond for the family to enjoy and have read for weeks about different ideas. I have finally determined what we want to do, but have a few questions.
We have a 750 gallon container with a bottom drain we want to use for a koi pond. We will partially sink it and then put wood around it for aesthetics. We plan on using an all in one pump/filter/fountain/ UV pump in this one. We have also decided to make a bog filter using the 300 gallon container and let it waterfall into the 750 gallon pond. Obviously this is a large bog filter, so I was contemplating putting a few goldfish and an air stone in this container also with the plants since it will be so oversized for the big container. Has anyone done this? Any idea on what size pump to use for the bog pump? Any suggestions as to what to be careful of? I know I’m probably way over filtering this, but I would rather over filter than under filter. The plants and paintwork will be moved further down from where it’s at later. We are moving the tanks around right now to see where we like them.
Thank you in advance for all of your insight and advice!
 
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j.w

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@Jorgensensc
Looks like you are from South Carolina. Must be nice having mild temps all year long to enjoy your pond more. I have never used the tubs like that but hear they are hard to keep level. There are prolly ways to make them stay more level so stay tuned for more info! Oh and did someone in your family paint that wooden piece of artwork? It is very nice!
 
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View attachment 155724@Jorgensensc
Looks like you are from South Carolina. Must be nice having mild temps all year long to enjoy your pond more. I have never used the tubs like that but hear they are hard to keep level. There are prolly ways to make them stay more level so stay tuned for more info! Oh and did someone in your family paint that wooden piece of artwork? It is very nice!
We are actually from Texas. Is my profile messed up? My daughter painted the inside of our fence. Unfortunately we had to replace it due to storm damage, but saved these fence panels because they were awesome.
 

mrsclem

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Welcome @Jorgensensc - Love the big square pond and the fence is beautiful!
Your idea to use the smaller tank as a bog is a great idea. I don't think I have seen anyone have fish in their bog as they are usually filled with some type of gravel.
Now, let me be the one to discuss koi. 750 gallon is too small for koi. I have had them for many years, and they need big ponds and a lot of filtration. There are a lot of other fish that would be suitable especially since you are in a warmer climate. Shubunkins come in many colors and don't require as much space or care. Please don't take offense, we have seen too many cases of people getting koi and having water quality issues. Better to start off headed in the right direction.
 
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Welcome @Jorgensensc - Love the big square pond and the fence is beautiful!
Your idea to use the smaller tank as a bog is a great idea. I don't think I have seen anyone have fish in their bog as they are usually filled with some type of gravel.
Now, let me be the one to discuss koi. 750 gallon is too small for koi. I have had them for many years, and they need big ponds and a lot of filtration. There are a lot of other fish that would be suitable especially since you are in a warmer climate. Shubunkins come in many colors and don't require as much space or care. Please don't take offense, we have seen too many cases of people getting koi and having water quality issues. Better to start off headed in the right direction.
No offense taken at all. I was thinking of using half the little tub for the bog (would be about 150 gallons). So either fill it halfway up with gravel and plants and make the top half water and smaller goldfish (I’m worried it would be too shallow and may get too hot in the summer as it would be about 16” deep if i did this) or make half of it a bog and half the goldfish part, so it would be 32” deep, but half the width of the tub.

That’s good information about the koi. Can you elaborate a bit more on that? I was told by a local water garden that 750 gallons would support 3-5 koi with good filtration, which is exactly why I have the huge tub for a big filter and I was going to add another all in pump/filter/UV to the big container. Am I being misinformed?
 

mrsclem

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Does the water garden sell koi? A lot of stores sell koi and have no idea how large these fish can get. I got what I knew were long fin koi from Walmart- sales person told me they were gold fish. Paid $1.25 each. Both fish grew to 36". 1000 gallons is the most posted volume for 1 koi and 250-500 for each additional one.
 
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Does the water garden sell koi? A lot of stores sell koi and have no idea how large these fish can get. I got what I knew were long fin koi from Walmart- sales person told me they were gold fish. Paid $1.25 each. Both fish grew to 36". 1000 gallons is the most posted volume for 1 koi and 250-500 for each additional one.
Yes they do. They also have a very large koi pond also, but I don’t know how many gallons it is. It is pretty large. I was told 250 gallon per koi was good as long as there were no pregnant females, in which they would need 1000 gallons per female when pregnant.
 
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Welcome! You will have fun on here and will get some wonderful advice!
I'd like to add my voice to the suggestion of not getting koi. They really need so much more room than most people realize. There are some gorgeous goldfish out there and they are very easy to care for!
 

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We are actually from Texas. Is my profile messed up? My daughter painted the inside of our fence. Unfortunately we had to replace it due to storm damage, but saved these fence panels because they were awesome.
Oh no nothing wrong w/your profile. I saw the sc at the end of your name and thought S. Carolina. Texas is a great state!
 
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i would install a liner in the preform you want to be the bog. for the ease and simplicity for the ease of shaping and sealing for the water fall down into the pond section. @Rabungalow has a nice raised pond set up maybe he can give you some fyi.

I would find a product to make shelves for plants around the pond
 
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Welcome to the GPF!

I'll reiterate the "no koi" suggestion - 250 gallons per koi with WAY OVER THE TOP filtration MAY work (at least for a time), but imagine three to five 3-foot long fish in that tub. Like living in a 400 sq foot apartment with all your in-laws and nowhere to escape! Big fish need room to move - water quality is just one concern. The stress of overcrowding is never good on any kind of living thing.

Let me add one additional thing to think about - I know you already have your tubs, HOWEVER working with liner is SO MUCH EASIER. The liner fits the hole you dig, rather than vice versa. If your tub is not completely stable and level, you risk it cracking over time. A quality liner can last you 25 plus years and again - SO MUCH EASIER. You decide how deep and how big to make the hole and the liner cooperates.

Just a thought!
 
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Yes they do. They also have a very large koi pond also, but I don’t know how many gallons it is. It is pretty large. I was told 250 gallon per koi was good as long as there were no pregnant females, in which they would need 1000 gallons per female when pregnant.
Welcome. I'm in Tampa, hot and sunny. If I may add my voice in the nicest way possible: "no koi".
I have a ~1400 gal pond with 1 koi (about 24" and he keeps growing) and 15 goldfish (I started with 3*). Even with a bog (which I plan to enlarge this spring), the pond can get a summer algae bloom and I do supplemental oxygenation in that hot summer weather. My koi is pretty happy, as this is a larger pond than we'd had before we moved, but I think he would enjoy an even larger swimming environment.

*I chuckle a bit about your local water garden. If you have 2 fish, you've got a chance of ... more fish. Three fish? Pretty certain you'll have more fish. They don't start off pregnant. Perhaps tell them you'll drop off any baby fishies?

Enjoy your pond build! It will be a wonderful and fun goldfish pond.
 

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Hello @Jorgensensc!

I tend to agree with those warning you against koi in a small pond. My pond is around 4,000 gallons with 15 goldfish and shubunkins (and what seems like 14 million mosquito fish).

A few months ago, I rescued a neighbor's koi who was living in a terribly small unfiltered tank (the koi, not the neighbor). He's only about 30 cm long at the moment, but already I've seen how his presence (and er... presents, in the form of fish poop) has impacted the ecology of the pond. From having very little floating algae and virtually no string algae, I've now got a fair bit of both. The algae problem will likely be resolved once my bog filter (currently in the works) is finished. But even one koi really does make a difference!

-Yael {who lives in Israel, which is only about 1/11th the size of Texas, but is a lot weirder!}
 
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It seems you can never have too much filtration, so your planned bog won't be too big.
A bog is a great way to filter your pond. We have a lot of bog advocates on here. There are also many threads detailing bog building, so look around.

On that subject, it is said a bog's surface area should be at least 30% of the pond's surface area if you are keeping fish.
So, it's not necessarily the amount of gallons in play, but more like surface area percentages.
I don't know why or how they come up with surface area instead of gallons, but that's mostly what everyone says.

In reference to the type of fish. I will agree with everyone else, your 750 gallon pond is too small for koi.

Look into the various types of goldfish. There are some really nice ones out there. Comets, fancy tailed and many others. I started my pond with feeder goldfish and most of them are still in there and it's been well over a decade.

Shubunkin are in the goldfish family and if you're not familiar with them you should check them out. They come in a variety of colors and usually have long beautiful flowing fins.

Have fun with your project and keep the questions coming.
 
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you already know where you what to go. now you have to figure out how to get there.

with every design/idea you are going to need to do maintenance at some point in time, it's a given. figuring out how to go a longer distance before you need to do a complete over haul and cleaning on your bio filter is where most people fail. up flow vs down flow. as a rule of thumb a up flow with a negative edge ie waterfall or other. water is dropping to another level is the better choice but the maintenance is more labor intensive.

flow rate and bio load is VERY important on a bio filter. too much, to little, to fast, to slow all effect on how well they work. its not a fits all system.

we have ALL made mistakes some of then have set us back quite a bit financially. (speaking of myself)

since you are from Texas and I don't think you have to deal with a deep freeze but you will have to think about heat transfer from all systems combined. last thing you need to deal with is water temps reaching over 90+ so think about exposure and prevention in this area.

don't want to sound mean or heartless buy any means but many advanced "home pond builders" have posted massive "how to's" to name a few @addy1, @poconojoe, @GBBUDD and many many more. all have a different approach to reach the same results. beautiful show pieces with a great living environment for there pets..... I mean fish.

all you have to do is search, read, think, read, and repeat and if your like us here you will over think everything to the point of confusion.

this is not rocket science but it is somewhat complex.
 
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The regs on this site have said time and time again that there is no you MUST do this or you must do that. There is no percentage THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED. but what there is is a average of what has worked for others. If you have a light fish load you can get away with a smaller filter a lower flow. If you load up with koi there may not be enough filtration that will make for a healthy environment in a small amount of water regardless how many filters you put on the pond. It's a matter of how good is the basis of the water that is being used. If your starting off with a poor water quality as your base it will be much harder to maintain a healthy environment. No two systems are the same for the most part here.
Go to koipenn and find a bald raised pond with a drum filter and both systems are the same gallons and filter then ok you might have success following the play book.

We have only shared what has worked for our selves, and what we have seen work for others. Besides following ANY information on the internet especially social media and not doing your own homework is a foolish idea.
 

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