so... what is the best

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by jd boy, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    So, now that you guys steered me away from bottom drains in a gravel and rock bottom pond what filter system would you recommend? In the past I have installed aquascape for all my customers, but this pond is for me, and I can't help but feel there is a better way.

    I am not looking to get into some technical koi pond, although I do plan on having some koi in the pond.
    This attached picture is a pond we did for a cust. I am thinking something similiar, with a better planting scheme. I'm open for some filter / construction ideas .

    bradie.jpg
     
  2. vharrison2

    vharrison2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    That is very nice. Gives you the peaceful feeling that a pond should
     
  3. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,430

    Now that's one of the best looking ponds I've seen on here! Great Job JD.

    Vic
     
  4. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    thanks, guys. what about some ideas? victor I thought you would have tons of filter ideas for me. From what I've read your the koi pond guy.

    Do you think for what I am trying to build the aquascape thing really is the best solution?

    Anyone?
     
  5. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    c'mon everyone is usually so outspoken on filter options / companies they prefer. what is the deal?
     
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,430

    I don't have time to properly answer your question right now. I'll come back online tonight and give you a thorough answer on filter selection Buddy.

    Vic
     
  7. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,430

    It's going to be difficult for me to make a good recommendation on a filtration system for you, for a couple of reasons. Let me start off by telling you this. Whenever you start planning a pond, the first thing you need to do, is to decide the purpose of the pond. Is it going to be a koi pond, a water garden, goldfish pond, or a mix of these? While it is true that you can mix all of the aforementioned styles together into one pond. What you end up with, is a compromise. If you want to have aquatic plants and koi in the same pond, you'll more than likely have problems with the koi uprooting the plants (when the koi get bigger). Another problem is the fact that koi like moving water. Most aquatic plants don't. Depending on the type of plants you'd like to keep, your going to probably want to have shelves built into your pond walls. The plants will love the shelves. Pondside predators like herons and racoons will adore the shelves.

    You said you wanted to have a rocky bottom, because you prefer the "natural look" of a pond with a rocky bottom. I'm here to tell you that it doesn't take too many koi to make a pond with a rocky bottom (and no bottom drains because of it) a maintenance pig. If you plan on making your pond even nearly as big as the one you made in the picture and don't plan on having bottom drains, but you do plan on having koi, I'm convinced you'll live to regret it. Those rocks on the bottom make for an excellent breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria. This bacteria feeds on the fecal matter that collects between the rocks. This type of bacteria will compete with your fish for the dissolved oxygen in the water. If you have enough of this bad bacteria in your pond, you can have some serious problems. For instance, in the middle of summer, when your water can get pretty warm (sometimes even over 87 degrees if your pond gets enough sunlight), the warmer water can't hold as much dissolved oxygen as it can when it's cooler. If you combine this with an over abundance of anaerobic bacteria, you'll be able to get a good look at your fish as they're gulping air at the surface of your pond. If you end up overstocking your pond (like most people do), that will make a bad situation even worse!

    Because of your rocky bottom idea, it sounds to me like you don't plan on making your pond very deep. If you plan on keeping koi, this is not a very good idea. It's true that there are many shallow ponds out there that have koi in them, but for the health of your koi, the deeper you can make your pond, the better (at least 4 feet deep).

    Now... back to your original question. After you've decided what type of pond you want to build, you're going to want to decide how large you're going to make it. The pond's size, combined with it's intended purpose, will be the main factors that determine what filtration SYSTEM you should design your pond around. I emphasized the word "system" JD, because any well designed pond, is designed around it's filtration system. Back to the compromise topic. If you're planning on making a 5,000 gallon koi pond for example, you're going to need a lot more filtration than you would need if you were building a 5,000 gallon water garden. As you can see, having a defined purpose for your pond is going to help you with your filtration decisions. Since you don't have a single purpose selected for your pond and I don't know how large you want to make it, I can't tell you what specific filter I'd recommend getting. I can however make some other suggestions, that will help you select a filtration system.

    When you're designing a pond, don't just consider the aesthetics of the pond. Take into consideration how much maintenance will be needed to keep the pond running properly (by saying "running properly," I mean keeping high water quality too). When you're in the design stage, there are so many little things you can do, that will make a big difference on how little, or how big a pain in the arse your pond will be to maintain. By doing things like designing a pond with gravel, or rocks on the bottom (a problem in a pond with koi), not designing in enough valves, designing a filtration system that uses a submersible pump, designing a filtration system that's not designed to use a U/V sterilizer, designing a filtration system that uses a pressurized filter, designing a pond that has a small water capacity (you should design your ponds to be as large as possible), building ponds under trees (especially messy trees), placing ponds where they'll receive too much sunlight, you'll be increasing how much maintenance your pond will require.

    I don't have the time right now to explain the reasons behind all of these design issues, but I will tell you that In almost any circumstance, I'd recommend a non-pressurized filter (like a vortex filter), over a pressurized filter any day. If you'd like, I'll come back on tomorrow and go into greater detail on why I like non-pressurized filters so much more than pressurized ones.

    Gotta run for now.... Bye, bye

    Vic
     
  8. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    victor-

    great stuff! thanks a lot.

    The majority of this stuff I am familiar with. I am not just an aquascape concept pond boob, even though that is primarily all I have built.

    But besause that is all I have built I wanted some specific recommendations for filtering this "pig of a pond." I would never be happy if I didn't build with boulders & rock material. To me that what a pond should look like. I'm not such a die hard koi guy.
    I kind of went into this knowing it would be a compromise. So I figured I would still start out with the the skimmer and bio-falls as the starting point of the "system." What else do you think?

    The pond in the picture is 3.5' deep and about 24 x 16'. I am planning on going deeper, and larger. I'm also planning on adding a bottom air diffuser to keep that stagnet bottom water moving, and to combat the nightime oxygen lulls. Between that and 2 bib waterfalls I should be covered in that department.

    What else?
    Thanks again vic!
     
  9. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,430

    How much larger are you planning on making your pond? Exactly how deep do you want to make it? How much vegetation, how many koi, how many other types of fish do you plan on having in there? How much sunlight will this pond receive per day in mid summer? Will it be under a tree, or trees? What zone do you live in? How much maintenance are you willing to perform to keep this pond in good shape (how much time per week)? Are you prepared to do 10%, or greater water changes every week? In order to be able to really be of much help for you buddy, I'm going to need to know the answers to these questions. Before you even pick up a shovel, or climb into the seat of that Ford 555, you should know the answers to all of these questions.

    If you can't answer these questions, I can give you a shotgun answer. Keep in mind though, that the more unfavorable conditions your pond will be exposed to, will mean that much more money you'll have to spend on your filtration system if you want to spend minimal time maintaining your pond. Ideally you should spend more time mowing your lawn each week, than you spend maintaining your pond. That is when pond keeping is enjoyable!

    No matter how beautiful a pond is, you're going to hate it in the end, if it's too hard to maintain JD. Designing it right the first time around is much cheaper than having to fix design flaws after the fact. Ever go over to someone's house and see a swamp hole in their backyard, that used to be a pond? More times than not, they built, or had a pond built, that they grew tired of maintaining. I'm not saying you'll fall into this category, because I really don't know that much about you, or what you're planning to do with this pond, but be careful buddy.

    Vic
     
  10. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 173

    ok, size wise i'm looking in the 20 x 25 range probably around 4-4.5' deep.
    1/2 day sun
    a nice mix of lillies, floaters, & oxygenators
    I would like to keep it to about 5-7 hrs a week, but I am willing to do whatever it takes.
    I live just 1.5 hrs north from you (findlay)

    what do you think?
     

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