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Bottom Drains? What are your opinions?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Venturewest, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    I haven't seen many posts on bottom drains for Koi ponds....just a few comments. In your opinions are bottom drains necessary for Koi ponds? How about ponds in general?

    The training that I have been to suggests that well designed ponds with bio filters with appropriately sized skimmers and pumps do not need bottom drains.

    Because of this training, I am not very familiar with bottom drains. Are they primarily for cleaning out the pond, draining the pond, or do they recirculate back to the filter?

    What is best practice in your opinion?
  2. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    I always put a bottom drain on my ponds before a skimmer...
    a skimmer doesnt do much good if the leaves never make it to the skimmer to be skimmed out.. then what happens?? they sink to the bottom and ROT!!.. this is bad for the fish and water quality.
    That rotten c**p will never be removed with just a skimmer.
    This is what causes string algae.
    Not to mention that all that rock and gravel "they" tell you is good.. provides so much "hiding" area for all that sludge to collect and continue to rot.

    Mr leaf falls from the tree and sits in the water fall for a day or two, until he makes its way down the fall and into the pond. Now he is a little heavier than when he fell. so gets maybe half way through the pond and decides he cant swim any more.. so he gives up and sinks. Never had a chance to meet with ms skimmer or miss filter...

    The company;s that host the "training" are pushing their products.. i have yet to see an external pump that they sell in conjunction with their skimmers..

    A skimmer may be fine with a small PLANT pond or water garden (no more than 8x8), but in no way good enough for a koi pond.
  3. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    You should write a children's book. I will illustrate. LOL

    Good info though. It makes sense to me that a bottom drain would be a good thing. So what is your typical pond configuration? Do you then send your plumbing from the drain to an external pump and an external bio filter?

    What do you think of Oase and their method?
  4. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    Yes i usually run a 2" or larger line from the bottom drain and depending on the pond and location will "T" into another line coming from a skimmer, then into an external pump and into an external filter and back to the pond/return current. The filters have a backwash on them so maintenance/cleaning of the filter is a snap, and this also encourages the water change process.

    what method are you talking about?
    I like their filters and pumps but not sure of the "method"
  5. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    oh yeah.. i will send you the rough draft of the book, so you can get started on the pics.... hahahah
  6. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    I actually wasn't sure what their "method" was exactly. I just got their product catalog out and it appears that instead of using a bottom drain, they use a submersible pump in the lowest part of the pond and pump to an external filter. Just wondered if you had used or seen many of their products in applications.

    If you have, what do you think of their filter's compared to others you are familiar with?
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Bottom drains are necessary in all ponds and should go to a vortex type settlement chamber before going to the external pump.
    Maintenance in a pond with submersible pumps and no bottom drain insures a bad experience for you and your customer in the long run.
    Some companies, that do not install bottom drains, have maintenance plans for their ponds where they drain the pond and power wash it every year. The pond can never get established with this practice
    Tetra makes a nice 3 inch bottom drain that works great, in general one 4 inch bottom drain should be able to handle roughly 4000 gallons per hour, if the pond is larger than that multiple bottom drains should be installed.
    I am also a fan of mid level pick ups and returns
  8. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    I also use the Tetra 3" bottom drain..
    easy to install and no problems with them yet...

    Settling chambers are the way to go.. I highly recommend them if you have an area for them....
  9. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

  10. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

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