Building Natural Skimmer?

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by Toker, May 15, 2008.

  1. Toker

    Toker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    I guess in some aspects a continuation of the natural weir it plastic avoidance.

    is there any reason we could not make a natural "skimmer"? We dig out the location to place the skimmer already - why couldn't we just extend the liner similar to the natural water fall weir method into the cove, close up the opening a bit to say 10-12" weir, rock line it, use mesh w/ lava rock or?, fabric filtration and some other methods too if desired like bio balls, etc.
    A mesh or screen also could be inserted in front of the pump walling it off - somewhat a recreation of what Savio and some others do to semi-isolate the pump for removal, cleaning, etc. The filtration would be easy enough to yank and clean, an area could be made as large as one wanted to house filtration too as far as that goes. The cover can be simple as flat rock or even a regular skimmer cover if that trips ones trigger.

    Could the whole thing actually be as simple as this? My tiny brain makes me think it indeed is as simple as one wants it to be - and doing it this way I don't believe I would lose any filtration ability, rather maybe gain some? I know Mother nature has to do a great job of hiding her slimmers since I have never seen the plastic box yet:laugh:

    Call me nutty for even thinking this if you want - but if I am I need to understand why too???!!!
    Has anyone done this or heard of it done?
  2. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    Sounds like you are kind of talking about a bog filter. Just fill it with gravel and plant it with bog plants. Have your water fill through a series of laterals. Do a search for bog filters and you will come up with all kinds of ideas.
  3. Toker

    Toker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    Not really - sorry I didn't cover more in depth. I've already planned to incorporate a bog filtration area up by the natural weir - it'll be about 4' x 7'.
    What I'm thinking is more of a skimmer replacement at the end of the pond - I'll have 25-30' of stream coming off the falls area, into the pond which is now dug to 18x12 and growing daily :dizzy:
    I may even add another boggish type stream area, narrower at 2-3'w x 10-12' L and less than 8" deep making it more like a bog I guess than stream, that slowly leaches out into the pond off/next to a raised island between stream that I now am thinking of adding. I think it will look very natural to the current landscape and enhance the whole project. Thisw is becoming a real ad lib fit it in as it looks most natural project. Thankfully I've not ordered any liner - I'd be SOL the way I'm going.

    Due to the fact the area is heavily wooded to one side there are always a lot of leaves in the fall. I know a long screen will help but still believe a skimmer or what I was tossing around above is needed on the downside.

    Maybe it will need to be a skimmer - just thought what I was pondering might be something that also could work. And clean out some of that downstram leaves and junk.
  4. CarterKraft

    CarterKraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    What was the outcome of this conversation? Were you able to build a skimmer like you described?

    I have been wondering myself afterlooking at skimmers and weirs why anyone would buy one of these units for $100-$1500 when the work already has to be done, meaning the dug out hole.
  5. landscaperbob

    landscaperbob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    My pond started with the same thinking. Extended liner thru a channel to a hole for pump. Water level has to be perfect for a good "skim". Deeper the channel- less skim. Then trying to fabricate a mesh removable screen & pad to fit tight against the liner in the hole. I gave up & built my own skimmer,still in use now. However, I use pondsweep skimmers on my installs. Skimmers get dirty. Their units have a bellows door that seals shut, enabling you to suck out the box. Everything in the unit is removeable & easy to clean. I have a pondvac & clean all my accounts (1) in the spring @ start up (2) July 4th ish (3) at close. For a couple hundred bucks for the smaller unit, you can't go wrong.
  6. CarterKraft

    CarterKraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    I got you.

    I still don't see why a weir door couldn't be built and affixed to the channel.

    If I was doing it for a customer I would definently buy a unit, but this going in my second and last pond for along time, hate to stick a grand worth of plastic in it for no actual gain.

    It might be important to note I am a tight wad!
  7. Iloveroses

    Iloveroses LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    sounds a good advice. :)
  8. Toker

    Toker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    CarterKraft - I got lazy and used an Atlantic in mine thinking next year I'm doing it as I wanted to in beginning when the thing gets tripled in size and streams get another 40-50' tacked on. Plan to trash the plastic as much as I can too - I used a buddies install as the experiment for a home brewed skimmer.

    It has actually worked out pretty well after some trial and error - making that channel the right depth to max out the flow towards it is trial and error. Or was for us. Then the size of the mesh is another thing - we tried smaller and it plugged up when leaves dropped from severe hail storm. He was gone when it happened and no big and to much gets thru too.

    Still - I think it's the better solution if one has time to tinker to get it right. You can create a pretty good sized skimmer:laugh:
    I'll see if he has any way to get me some pics of it or I'll snap some next time I'm in area - about 140 miles away so it will not be tomorrow:nono:
  9. CarterKraft

    CarterKraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    no worrys here. I am planning for a winter project so I got plenty of time.

    I am thinking I am gonna try to build a weir door in mine, just have to figure out the attachment method.

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