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Victor
11-28-2003, 12:52 PM
Hello guys. I've been on lawn site for awhile now, but never spent much time in the pond forum. When I took a look in here today, and saw all of the really nice ponds you guys have on display here. I figured I'd send a couple of pics of the koi pond I built in my backyard.

It's 16 feet long, and 8 feet wide, with a depth at the bottom drains of six foot six inches. The twin bottom drains feed a vortex style filter through four inch plumbing. After the water has been through the four chambers of the vortex, it is gravity fed to a 3600 GPH Sequence pump. From there, it is pumped through an ultra-violet sterilizer. After leaving the sterilizer, the water goes through two-inch plumbing, and is split off to the "skippy filter" you see above the waterfall pool. The other portion of the water is directed to one of the four venturi jets I have sticking out of the pond wall, one and a half feet below water level.

The water on the surface goes through the two surface skimmers, and is routed to a sump-box that I keep a large bag of activated carbon in. The water is gravity fed to another Sequence pump, that I have dialed to 5000 GPH. Part of this water is then sent to the "skippy filter above the waterfall pool, and the other portion of the water is sent to the three venturi jets a foot, and a half below the water's surface.

The pond can automatically top itself off, as evaporation takes place, but I normally leave the valve for that closed, and just top off the pond after doing maintenance, and the consequent water change.

If a leak should happen to develop while I'm away. I don't have to worry about the pumps pumping the pond dry, because I installed a float switch in the sump that the surface skimmers feed. As soon as the water level in the sump drops far enough, all power to the pumps, and sterilizer is killed.

The floor of the sterilizer vault is slightly higher than, and sloped towards the vortex vault's floor. Any spilled water on either of these floors will drain into the sump I installed in the floor of the vortex vault, and be pumped out into the flower bed.

To take care of high water levels incurred from heavy rains, I installed an overflow in the vortex filter (it's water level, is the same as the pond's water level of course). Overflowing water is dumped into the vortex vault sump, and also pumped out into the garden.

Next spring, I'm going to build a well around the "skippy filter", to hide it. Then I'll consider the pond complete.

So that I don't have to drain the water level down, and shut off everything like I had to do last winter. I built a greenhouse over it last week. To monitor temps inside the greenhouse, I bought a temperature sensor, that I put inside the greenhouse, and I also bought a temp sensor that I put out on the deck. There is a readout/display module I bought for my bedroom wall, that tells me what the temp is inside the greenhouse, at any given time, as well as the outside temp. I programmed the monitor's alarm to go off if the temp inside the greenhouse falls below a certain temp. That way, if the greenhouse plastic gets punctured by a fallen limb, or something in the middle of the night. I'll know about it.

Have a great day everyone! :waving:

If I can help anyone with any questions, let me know.

Vic

Victor
11-28-2003, 12:54 PM
Here's another pic

Victor
11-28-2003, 12:55 PM
Here it is

WeatherMan
11-29-2003, 09:16 PM
Looks nice but you need some landscape to hide the pipes

WeatherMan
11-29-2003, 09:18 PM
Here's you I did in the summer:cool2:

Victor
11-29-2003, 09:20 PM
Thanks Weatherman. I mentioned in the post above that I'm going to build a well around the "skippy filter" next spring. That will hide the pipes.

Vic

Team Gopher
12-09-2003, 09:08 AM
Hi Victor,

Very nice pics and great work!

Victor
12-12-2003, 06:51 PM
I love looking at all of the great ponds in this forum. I wish I would have looked in here sooner! Thanks for the good words too. :)

Vic

mattntamm
06-09-2004, 10:39 PM
Victor,

You have one heck of a pond. Very elaborate detail. I am quite interested in one particular part, if a leak should happen while you are away. What exactly is it that you have done to prevent the water level from dropping? I would certainly appreciate any advice on this matter. I have a hole somewhere in my liner and am unable to locate it. Is there some way that I may be able to keep a continuous flow of water to my fish?
What is this about skimmers and sump pumps? Forgive my lack of knowledge in this area. My pond and fish have done so well over the past few years. I have never had to so much as put a single chemical of any nature in there. My fish are now four years old and have been transferred from one pond to another.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Once more, any help would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy your evening,

mattntamm :(

Victor
06-14-2004, 08:39 AM
Hello Matt. Thanks for the good words. My pond isn't designed to fix a leak if it happens while I'm away. I designed it so that if a leak occurs while I'm away from it, a float switch will shut all of the power to the pumps off. By power to the pumps being killed in a low water level condition my pumps won't have a chance to run dry and possibly burn up.

If you have a leak Matt, I'd recommend putting milk in your pond where you think the leak is. You'll need to drain your pond down to the level where the leak is. It might take you a little while to find this level, but drain it down, bit by bit untill the pond level stabilizes (stops lowering by itself). Once you find the level that the leak is at, put enough water back in the pond to raise it's level just above the leak and pour little amounts of milk around the area you think your leak is at. You'll be able to see the milk swirl where th leak is on the pond wall. Good luck with everything Buddy. I hope I helped you.

Vic

mattntamm
06-14-2004, 01:23 PM
Vic,

This is Tamm of mattntamm, it is I who is questoining the leak situation. I thought that I had found the leak but I was wrong, I am still losing water. I have approx. 100 fish in our pond, some are of rather good size. I have received a couple of different suggestions as to how to go about finding the leak. I am not certain of what to do with my fish in order to drain the pond. One guy suggested getting a baby pool to put my fish in, this might work but there are a lot of cats in my area, I am unable to sit out there with the pool in order to insure their safety.
What would you suggest? Thank you for taking time to respond to my thread, I appreciate it.
Enjoy your day,

Tamm

Victor
06-14-2004, 06:31 PM
If you have a basement, that's where most people relocate their fish to when a situation like this arises. What kind of liner do you have? Is it Xenon, EPDM, or something else? With some of these materials, you won't need to drain the pond down all the way. You would just need to drain it down far enough to patch the leak. You're more than welcome for the help. Anytime I can help, you be sure to let me know.

Vic

The Lawn Boy Pro
06-27-2004, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by mattntamm
Victor,

You have one heck of a pond. Very elaborate detail. I am quite interested in one particular part, if a leak should happen while you are away. What exactly is it that you have done to prevent the water level from dropping? I would certainly appreciate any advice on this matter. I have a hole somewhere in my liner and am unable to locate it. Is there some way that I may be able to keep a continuous flow of water to my fish?
What is this about skimmers and sump pumps? Forgive my lack of knowledge in this area. My pond and fish have done so well over the past few years. I have never had to so much as put a single chemical of any nature in there. My fish are now four years old and have been transferred from one pond to another.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Once more, any help would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy your evening,

mattntamm :( Hey, I don't know if you have heard of Aquascape Designs, Inc. ( www.aquascapedesigns.com ), but they make a auto-fill valve to put inside of skimmer/pump house boxes. Its basically a toliet fill float and valve, slightly different though.

mattntamm
06-27-2004, 05:11 PM
:) Thank you for sharing the link to Aqascape. It turns out that our pond is leaking due to one of the pumps. My husband shut the one pump off but we have yet to decide how to go about finding out exactly what has happened to cause it to leak. The Aquascape site has more than a few interesting items that have our curiosities levels peaked. Trouble is, we are not real certain as to what to do with most of the items., (fix it items). My husband is an intelligent man, I am certain that he will come up with something, but, until that time, what would you suggest?
Enjoy your evening,

Tam
mattntamm

The Lawn Boy Pro
06-27-2004, 10:02 PM
it could be a number of things. Are your pumps submersible, or are they out of water? What type of water supply line do you use? Could you post some pics?

Victor
06-27-2004, 10:23 PM
Hello Tam. If the pump is leaking and since it's leak is causing a drop in water level, then deductive reasoning tells me that it's an external pump. About the only thing you can do is to return it to the manufacturer. They'll go through it and replace the seal that's causing the leak. If you want to, you could try and get a seal kit for it and replace the seals yourself. These pumps really aren't that complicated.

Vic

Victor
06-28-2004, 07:29 AM
By the way Tam, I was wondering what type of pump do you have (brand, model number)? You could probably have the leaky seal replaced in no time if you could just order it from the maufacturer.

Vic

Ken Kesey
06-30-2004, 04:59 PM
What are the major differences in maintaining a koi pond and a regular goldfish pond?

Can you list a few main differences between the two?

What does it take to maintain a koi pond?

Thanks,

Ken

Victor
06-30-2004, 07:16 PM
Ken.... the main thing you need to worry about maintaining in a fish pond, whether it's a koi pond, or a goldfish pond, is the water quality. The amount of waste these two different types of fishes produce is the main difference.

Since the amount of waste a fish produces (by breathing, pooping and even by breathing in the water) increases exponentially with a fish's size. For example, if you have a 7" goldfish that annually produces a certain amount of waste and compare it to the amount of waste a 14" koi produces, even though the koi is twice as big, it will produce much more than twice the amount of waste in the water.

Due to the fact that koi can grow to be so large, a pond that's designed to contain them needs a filtration system, or systems that will be able to handle the waste these fish will create.

Even though koi create so much waste, a properly designed koi pond can have excellent water quality with minimal maintenance. It's all in how you design it. Design it poorly and you'll be out there every weekend working on it. Design it properly and you'll be out there once a month doing simple maintnance.

To give you an example. To maintain my pond. I go out once a month and shut all the power down to the #1 and 2 pumps. Then I do a water change, after the water change, I remove all of the filter media (except biological filter media which is in last chamber of vortex) I then hose all of the filter material off untill it's clean. After it's clean, I drain and hose out the first 3 chambers of the vortex. When they are **** and span, I put all of my filter pads and brushes back in and then fire the pumps back up.

I check my skimmer baskets once a day while my "water puppies" are eating. Most of the time there's nothing to clean out of them.

I've never had any water quality problems. I've never even registered any detectable nitrites, nitrates, nor ammonia in my water quality tests.

My ultraviolet prevents algae blooms and what you have left is a clean, healthy place for my babies to hang out.

Since goldfish produce such small quantities of waste, depending on the design and layout of the pond, you could be looking at 1/4 the maintenance requirements or less, compared to a koi pond of the same dimensions.

Vic

Ken Kesey
06-30-2004, 11:32 PM
Thank you Victor.

Where did you say you ordered your fish?

I found some beautiful koi about 2.5' long for around $150-$200.

Do you think koi would be unhappy in an Aquascapes pond that averaged 3' deep? Maintenance too much a hassle?

I have a customer that was thinking if buying some koi and I told here I thought there would not be sufficient filtration but I would look in to it. Just the basic biofalls and skimmer action set up with a few goldfish. She wanted to add one or two koi.

mattntamm
06-30-2004, 11:40 PM
Hello Guys,

Tam here of mattntamm. I would like to thank each of you that have helped in my endeavor, (task), of fixing the leak in my pond. All is well now, it seems that each of the pumps turned out to be okay, it was one of the hoses to one of the pumps that had been split.
Each of you that had given us advice, my husband and myself followed everyone's advice, what great, intuitive advice all of you had. I must say, thank you so very much for taking the time to respond to my thread for help. Without the help we were given, we never would have figured it out. We found the split in the hose by shutting each of the pumps off one at a time, and then together and then one at a time once more. Desperate hose searching led us to the "holey" one.
Never have I had anyone be so friendly in trying to help us save our fish and pond. May GOD bless each and every one of you. Thank you once more.
Tamm
MattnTamm

Victor
07-01-2004, 06:11 PM
I bought my koi from "Wet Pets." Here's a link to their website.>>>http://www.wetpets.com/index.html

Chuck Jones is the owner. That guy REALLLLLYYY knows his stuff about koi. He travels to Japan several times a year to hand pick fish that will in turn be shipped back to his store in Georgia. He's a really nice guy and I'd take anything he said about koi as golden.

How big is this pond Ken? I know you said that it was 3' at it's deepest point, but how wide and long is it?

Let me know that and I'll have a better Idea of what's going on.

Vic

CarterKraft
09-01-2008, 08:41 PM
Vic, looks good after the final grade. I have been catching up on all your posts pending a redesign of my 55 gallon preform pond. I think you and I are allot alike, build it bullet proof and forget it. I am real interested in all the technologies that you have used to achieve different outcomes.

Do you have any suggestions for main sources of information that you studied?

Thanks again, great job.

Victor
09-03-2008, 01:13 AM
Vic, looks good after the final grade. I have been catching up on all your posts pending a redesign of my 55 gallon preform pond. I think you and I are allot alike, build it bullet proof and forget it. I am real interested in all the technologies that you have used to achieve different outcomes.

Do you have any suggestions for main sources of information that you studied?

Thanks again, great job.

I wish I could point to one resource for you Carter, but I can't. I used and use a lot of different resources when studying up on pond-building techniques. I'd say nowadays, your best resource, is the one you're using right now (the internet). I'd highly recommend avoiding those "Build a Pond In a Day" seminars though.

CarterKraft
09-03-2008, 11:19 AM
Fully understand where you are coming from. I am looking to build a 550 gallon small fish pond. We have around 10 3" goldfish and 2 aquatic turtles in our 55 gallon preform, the filter assy is a filter pump shoebox affair with the fountian head sticking straight out of the water for aeration. It works perfectly for this size of pond with little to no maintanance and I would like to keep the trend going on my new one.

I am going top use some of your design cues on my new pond and can't thank you enough for both threads you posted on your project.

Victor
09-05-2008, 04:23 PM
Glad you found the threads useful Carter. It sounds like a neat project. I hope you post pics when you're done, because I'd love to see them. :)