Waterfall Filter, Bio Falls... Do I really need a $600 plastic box?

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My pond basin is built. Lined and rocked. About 6,500 gallons.

I am now starting to build the bog filter (about 10% by surface area) (Wish me luck!)

I would like recommendations for a waterfall filter...

I have already attempted to approximate a waterfall filter by reusing a 55 gal plastic food barrel plumbed to 3" rigid PVC...
The results were OK but unsightly, hard to attach to the liner, and a bit leaky! I'm now willing to do it "right."

Your recommended brand, size, etc would be very helpful.

I'm working with an external Sequence pump pushing 5,800 GPH

The waterfall's cascade will travel 12' horizontally with a gradual 45º bend. I have no idea what the starting height should be.


Side questions for those with a measure of patience...
1.) Is there a recommended rise/run calculation for a waterfall of certain flow rate or weir? Am I confusing waterfalls with stairs?
2.) Given the surface area of all that stone inside my 30'x18' pond lined rim-to-bottom with rock, is a waterfall filter box holding little plastic balls even necessary?
3.) Could I simply start a waterfall from the end of a flexible PVC pipe hidden from view? Do I really need to buy a $600 plastic box only to try and hide it from view?

This will be my first waterfall build. Any pointers are appreciated!
 
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Meyer Jordan

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The answers to all of your questions depends on one factor......the eventual total fish load that this pond will be supporting for that is solely what your level of biofiltration is based on.
 
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I leave the answers to your questions to those more knowledgeable, I just want to say your pond sounds great and I can't wait to see pics!
 
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AHA! I did forget to mention that! Very, very minimal fish load. I'll find some goldfish that catch my eye next year... No koi for us.

I'm a tinkerer, my wife is a gardener. We're more interested in the water, plants, birds and toads which have already found our pond. Our backyard chickens love the pond as well.
 
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sissy

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nope build your own lava rock a tank adapter and I use sump pump hose for my hose .My pond has not suffered .The fish don't complain either
101_1339.JPG
 

Meyer Jordan

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1.) Is there a recommended rise/run calculation for a waterfall of certain flow rate or weir? Am I confusing waterfalls with stairs?
Not sure what you are asking but if this is Series 4000 Sequence pump you have ample flow to support a healthy waterfall at up to 15 feet of Head.
 
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Not sure what you are asking but if this is Series 4000 Sequence pump you have ample flow to support a healthy waterfall at up to 15 feet of Head.
Meyer, That looks like EXACTLY what I need. Thank you!
My question was meant to ask if there is a recommended height above the water surface to start the falls? Once the water leaves the spillway, are there considerations regarding how steep or how shallow the total grade change is? Would a 14' long stream be OK with a 2' change in elevation? Does it matter?

~Jared
 

Meyer Jordan

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Meyer, That looks like EXACTLY what I need. Thank you!
My question was meant to ask if there is a recommended height above the water surface to start the falls? Once the water leaves the spillway, are there considerations regarding how steep or how shallow the total grade change is? Would a 14' long stream be OK with a 2' change in elevation? Does it matter?

~Jared
With any given elevation the longer the stream the lower water velocity. It really depends on what you are looking for....a turbulent cascade or a quietly meandering stream.
 
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Yes, given that, what would be a ballpark elevation for something just above quietly meandering?
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Another way to approach this is by incorporating one or more step pools along the stream course.
Stream flow water velocity is determined by width and slope (grade) of the stream bed.
When I was active in business I would always start with a 5 degree slope and tweak the flow by adjusting the width and by the addition of step pools as mentioned above.
This way almost any height at the source can be dealt with in an functional and aesthetic manner.
It really depends on what will blend in better with the surrounding landscape and the visual impact that you are seeking.
 
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AHA! I did forget to mention that! Very, very minimal fish load. I'll find some goldfish that catch my eye next year... No koi for us.

I'm a tinkerer, my wife is a gardener. We're more interested in the water, plants, birds and toads which have already found our pond. Our backyard chickens love the pond as well.
Ok..... I am going to play "Devils Advocate" here. My first point is you have a 6500 gallon pond, and you are only going to have a few Goldfish in it and lots of plants in it...... Within two years you will have a hundred Goldfish in it..... Second point is I take it you are in the process of building your pond what if you happen to go on a Garden pond tour or go to a Botanical Garden where they have Koi.... And you decide you want Koi..... I have the size pond for that..... My point is it's a whole lot easier to put the infrastructure in for a fish pond now while you are building it than having to retrofit it later...... And I know all the above depends on alot of your own personal factors.... Would love to see pictures of your build.... Jimmy
 
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This forum is fantastic. Thank you all for the time and patience!

A series of pools is the plan given the curve
I am certainly planning ahead for fish down the road.
The one big purchase I have committed to is a Helix pond skimmer (Please feel free to recommend a better goldfish friendly skimmer) given two factors at play:
1.) Smaller fish which will remain dangerously smaller for longer.
2.) Tree cover.

It was certainly no extra fun to cut, place and anchor 100' of 30 mil root barrier sheeting along the sides and shelves of the pond's interior, but still worth the peace of mind. I had a LOT of jagged, pointy root ends which were cut in the digging process. It's all worth it to me to keep my beloved dappled shade around the backyard. Even having to net the pond for 30 days in the Fall. Those trees are the only thing keeping me in the yard in the mid-July.
 
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