Need a little help on a pond restore

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by eastcoastjessee, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. eastcoastjessee

    eastcoastjessee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Had a meeting earlier with a potential customer about the pond that was at the house she recently purchased. She contacted someone last fall to redo the pond and gave him all of the information on the system. He hasn't called or responded to her calls. It's a fairly small pond with an upper pond measuring 20'x6'x'12-15" deep, more like a lazy stream. Then falls down a cascading waterfall to a lower pond that is 12' x 8' and 18" at the deepest. She has 8-10 Koi in this pond, i know it's not deep enough for them. The total pond system is 2,500-3,000 gallons.

    She would like to redo the pond system without rebuilding the entire pond. The original contractor installed a 3/4 HP Sta-rite pump, Aquadyne 2.2B bead filter, a small skimmer, less than a foot in diameter that is in the pond and connected out of the bottom. And an additional 6 amp submersible pump in the upper pond that feeds the biofalls.

    I'm unfamiliar with a set-up like this. I know it's overkill for this pond. Would it be better to install a larger skimmer with a submersible, like an Aquascape system? Or make use of the large bead filtration and upsize the pump to 1.5hp?

    She'd like to reduce the maintenance and eliminate the heater. One step is to remove a tree that overhangs the pond and produces flowers, berries and leaf debris.

    Looking for a little input as to what is the best course of action for this customer. I'll try and provide you with any information that i can get.

    Thank you.
  2. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    For now, you are going to get more questions than answers.

    You need to be a little more exact as to what you mean by "redo" but not rebuild. From your post, i get the impression that you are referring to redoing only the plumbing aspect and related components.

    Can't advise about the tree other than to say that any pond requires a certain amount of shade during the course of a day.

    Where is the present outflow from the bead filter?
    What is the gph of the Sta-rite pump?
    Why would you upsize the pump to 1.5 hp? Is the bead filter rated to handle a 1.5 hp pump?
    What size biofalls?
    What size submersible pump (gph)?

    I have never been impressed with the functionality of in-pond skimmers. I would recommend an external skimmer. It can be tied into the external pump.

    In respect to the heater, I would think in your location it would be a necessity.
  3. eastcoastjessee

    eastcoastjessee LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    Redo vs. rebuild is what i'm trying to decide.

    The tree is also intruding on the house that will provide shade until noonish.

    The outflow of the bead filter is coming out of the rocks below the biofalls.

    Sta-rite model is discontinued. I found an old cut sheet

    Yes the bead filter recommends a 1-1.5hp pump.

    The weir opening is approximately 15-18" depth assumed to be similar and diameter about 24".

    Submersible pump:
    Stow's Yellow Submarine Pump boasts a heavy-duty, oil-free, 1/4-HP, 115V motorthat pumps at up to 22 gallons per minute. This model is completely submersible and pumps dry to 1/8"

    I think the skimmer is more of an inlet and not really "skimming"

    I agree, the heater may be necessary.

    I'm planning to propose two options to the customer. First a pond rebuild.

    The second adding an external skimmer, submersible pump, new check valve and flex pipe. Removing the external pump and bead filter, she doesn't like the filter and the need to backwash.

    Another thought is to utilize the upper pond as a planted filter and only circulating a small amount of water through it using a second pump. Add a waterfall spillway to the lower pond to circulate the water and provide an area of open water for the winter.
  4. tadpole

    tadpole LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,221

    Really need to post some photos of the current set up. Based on you original description, I have misgivings on using the upper pond/stream as a Phyto filter. You may very well run into it clogging up over time. However, if you do add Phyto filtration in that area you don't need a separate pump. Plumb a wye with a ball valve off the main submersible.

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