Inspiration or Insane imaginings

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by tadpole, May 7, 2010.

  1. turner_landscaping

    turner_landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Thanks yea they are a cool rock.. Sounds like I'm gona have to get a truck of boulders down their to sell.. Lol..
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  2. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    Yea, I always keep saying I'm going to drive down to Arkansas and get a load of weathered sandstone. We have a timeshare on a lake community in AR and it is lined with sandstone everywhere. They use mossy sandstone like we use limestone riff raff.
     
  3. turner_landscaping

    turner_landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Im fortunate here I have a local supplier of mossy sandstone here. I also have a guy who owns his own stone yard that just got his trucking company started. He beats everybody on stone costs. He always ask me what stone to get to stock in the yard and I always give ideas of what stone. All I gota do is say go get me this stone and he will go and get it. Its a good relationship to have, he can get into any quarry so it cuts the middle man out!
     
  4. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    That's a good deal! We have weathered Missouri sandstone, but it is very soft and brittle compared to how dense the Arkansas stone is.
     
  5. jp14

    jp14 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    Hello

    I am new to this forum and am getting up to speed on the topics discussed here and the amount of knowledge that is being shared among the posters. But I do want to jump in and share and continue this conversation with some thoughts that hopefully others will find useful.

    First of all, I will observe the previous comment about not turning this discussion into a referendum on the merits of gravel ponds vs. smooth bottoms/drains. With that in mind I think one aspect of this idea as posed relates to the region of the country you are in. In Florida where you have bacteria colonies working basically all year long, your "bottom filter" may operate fairly well but in Indiana I have some misgivings since we really only have functional bacteria colonies half the year.

    Next, when you pose the idea of a filter, are you talking about mechanical, biological or both types of filtration? In effect you are building a larger scale undergravel filter used in aquariums. If you have ever had an aquarium, you realize the real challenge is getting debris from the surface through the gravel and into the arified "sump chamber" where the bacteria can do its work. Such a design as illustrated poses a similar challenge because the debris will not seek out the bottom drain unless some other force propels it into the drain through the gravel layer.

    I would have to do some digging but some months back there was an excellent article in WaterShapes magazine about bottom drains and returns in pools. The article had profound implications for water gardens and koi ponds because of the knowledge it shared on how water moves into bottom drains. Essentially it demonstrated that a bottom drain does not "pull" water or debris into itself but rather that water and debris must be "pushed" into the opening. Left to its own devices, a bottom drain will only clear a very small area around it and the rest of the pond bottom could be covered in debris.

    Therefore unless you had a mechanism in place (air pumps, underwater returns, etc..) to physically push debris through the gravel and into the drain, I would question how much would actually ever make it into the drain. The drains are really only as good as the design that brings the debris to them and by building a layer of gravel over the drain, you are essentially building a barrier to capture debris, thus limiting the drains effectiveness (in my opinion).

    Finally you made no mention of pond depth so I will throw in some assumptions that would also impact your design. In a a shallow pond (2' or less) it may be a design wish to see a gravel bottom for a more "natural" look. But as you approach depths of 3" or greater, the visual difference between gravel or a liner bottom greatly blurs due to refraction, the dark nature of the pond atmosphere (as compared to a pool) and the presence of hair algae and other biofilms that will coat any substrate. So I would ask if the cost is justified to add the bioblox/structure/gravel as opposed to another type of filtration?

    Of course the answer to that lies somewhere in where we each stand on the subject of gravel/bog filtration. I know and have heard all the claims about how stone and gravel acts as a media for bio filtration but until I see a scientific study conducted that compares two identical ponds, one with a bog filter or gravel bottom versons one without, I would just rather avoid the hassles of having gravel in the pond (again, just my opinion). My own experiences have shown that the jobs I work on (another influence of the region I work in) that lack gravel in the pond in any manner function better, take less maintenance and have healthier fish populations. Such anectodal observations prove nothing more than the simple fact that I know what works for me and I will keep it that way until I have solid scientific facts in hand that show the alternatives offered work better.

    Thanks for reading and for being part of this forum and I hope to participate in a positive manner.
     
  6. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    First, let me welcome you aboard as a forum member and contributor.

     
  7. just pondering

    just pondering LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    Ok i have been hearing a lot about this for a while now and have been following this on some web sites also. Here is my two cents and i think jp14 has some great points and is spot on. I have been installing for 13 years now and have tried a lot of things and this is one subject i have installed in my pond and the verdict is I see no benefit in this bottom filtration it does clog and i have not seen any better quality of the water and i will be taking it out this spring. This is what i have found, Gravel bottom ponds will not accumulate a lot of muck as long as you add natural bacteria and have plenty of oxygen in the water and here is the most important part and this is were a lot of installers go wrong and i know this is not every installer but putting to much gravel in the bottom of the pond I'm talking 2-3" thick ,you only need to put down enough gravel to cover the liner that's it. The reason people have muck and clarity problems is over feeding, too many fish, not enough plants, under filtering and too much gravel. I maintain a large indoor fountain with two 8" bottom drains and you can only emagine the pumps there is for an 8" drain and i still have to clean the bottom. I think we are getting away from the K.I.S.S theory. If the pond is installed the right way with the right filtration there is no need for this type of application. just my two cents.
     
  8. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    It has not been stated anywhere in this thread that this type of application was needed. The original question was would it work? If you know FOR A FACT that it will or will not work, please post the documentation.
     
  9. just pondering

    just pondering LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    I'm not saying it's needed, and yes i don't think it will work just from my own experience with own pond i originally got the idea from when i was a CAC four years ago and tried it myself. I will find the report i did when i get to the office this week and try to post my findings. I will be getting ready for a trade show so please give me some time and will be more than welcome to post it but the pics will have to wait till spring when I take it out. Eric Tripplett the pond digger is doing something similar, I've been trying to ask him what it is exactly it is but no details yet. Thanks
     
  10. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,216

    Eric is probably going to be cagey about it until he sees some positive results so he can monetize it. Don't blame him.
     

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