View Full Version : Looking for some suggestions
07-28-2011, 10:19 AM
I built my pond a couple of years ago without doing a whole lot of research so needless to say its not set up as well as it could have been. So I am looking to make some improvements without totally redoing it. The pond is 7x11 and about 2.75' deep. Currently I have a few small koi and the rest are comets and goldfish. I am currently using this All in One Filter from Lifegard Aquatics that I know is to small. Here is link to it http://www.amazon.com/LIFEGARD-AQUATICS-All-In-One-Filter-System/dp/tags-on-product/B000MFGOPS
I wanted to build a Skippy filter and have ordered the 70 gal stock tank (I get that from work cheap) So I need to know what kind of a pump I should use as well as any other improvements I can make without rebuilding the whole thing. Can I or should I add any kind of bottom drain at this point?
Here is a picture of the pond.
07-28-2011, 11:32 AM
You can add a retro bottom drain, yes. AquaArt sells the one that most folks use. I would suggest the large one in your case. I used it in an old pond that a former home owner had built with zero filtration in mind. It worked terrifically well and kept the pond floor nice and clean. Take note that I had dug down on the side of the pond wall and plumbed into my filter so it would gravity feed. I tried the up and over the wall thing, and I could not get proper suction. With nearly 3 feet of depth, you might be better off doing the same, and that's quite a height to travel.
Might I suggest you try an external pump. Birdman here sells a Evolution pump that is not terribly expensive AND uses little electricity. It will be cheaper than using a submersible, and keep your hands dry.
07-28-2011, 11:36 AM
Ok ..... I must disclaim I don't have a working pond yet but can relate to your situation.... at least at some level. I have been lurking at this forum for over a year.
As to what you will need to do depends on what your ultimate goals are. You refer to making improvements. Do know what kind of improvements you want to make or are you looking for suggestions as to what kind of improvements you could make. If it's all about the Koi ..... there are a mirid list of improvements you could make. If it's visual improvements, then again, there are lot's of things you could do (i'm not suggesting you need to make any visual improvements). You have to ask yourself, "What do I want to achieve." I suggest taking the time and read through the posts and conversations folks have had on the forum. I suggest, you will begin to develop a vision as to what you want your current pond to become ... or maybe not become. You may decide you are perfectly happy with what you have. An additional picture from a distance would provide some visual context for the folks here to see.
If you want to raise championship koi there is a mindset and accompanying science. If you want an attractive water feature there is another mindset.
Do you want to make visual changes or water quality changes?
07-28-2011, 11:54 AM
I guess the biggest change I want make is for the water not to be green. I think the Skippy filter with the right pump and the retro bottom drain. will help with that goal. I would like to make it more attractive as well, nothing crazy just more plants maybe. I will add a few more pictures later so you can get a better perspective of what I am working with.
07-28-2011, 12:13 PM
Well, you've come the right place for some practical suggestions. I'll let the folks practicing offer suggestions to you. And again, read through the posts that may pertain to your situation.
07-29-2011, 07:49 AM
Take the stock tank back and build a DIY Sand/Gravel filter. They work much better. Then add a Aqua Art retro drain in the bottom, this would go through a swing check valve to an external pump of about 2 to 2500 gph, then to the S/G filter.
If you have rocks or gravel on the bottom of your pond take them out.
07-29-2011, 02:46 PM
I cant take the stock tank back, I ordered it from the company I work for and it was a special order. I could probably sell it for what I paid for though. How much better would the DIY sand filter be and were could I find directions on how to build one? I will add one of those retro bottom drains but that project may have to wait till next spring.
Birdman if I was interested in one of the Evolution pumps from your site, which one should I be ordering?
07-29-2011, 02:55 PM
jconnon, add a UV light to your buying supplies as well. Since you don't have a filter, your water will not give up on being green because you don't have enough bio filtration to take care of it. So, a filter is extremely important to your equation.
07-29-2011, 03:40 PM
If I build a good filter, either the Skippy filter or the DIY sand filter that Birdman suggests would I still need the UV light?
07-29-2011, 03:54 PM
You will get good arguments on that subject. I have never been able to maintain clear water without my UV. I am overfiltered, stocked with fish at a normal level, but am sitting in full sun almost all day. I turn the UV on and my water clears within the next day.
Last year I tried an experiment and turned my UV off for 2 weeks, and I slowly watched the green water creep back. The minute I turned it back on, the water was once again clear. So, in my case, it just works for me.
You can read Birdman's article on Filtration Basics here (http://www.thepondforum.com/showthread.php?211-FILTRATION-BASICS), which is super informative!
07-30-2011, 12:41 AM
I have a 55 gallon drum filter with very minimal BIO material (about 200 ft of irrigation tubing cut into small pieces) then two matala mats stacked on top of that (green and blue) i have a swirler with a bottom drain, a submersible pump feeding all this(rates at 4300 GPH getting about 2000 GPH to the filter) the other is diverted into the aerator nozzle off the pump(cant remember the specific name for it MAYBE BUBBLER?) I am in sun for 7-8 hours a day and i have not had green water since the bio started about 4 weeks after RE-BUILDING the filter. I have no UV in my system. BUT other people on here have had no luck without one, I dunno why i am so lucky but before adding the matala pads my water looked like creek water, now i can see to the bottom in 3ft of water.Pond has 2 8-10" koi 2 4" shub's and a 4-5" goldfish. YES ONE OF MY KOI WAS EATED APPARENTLY :( at least it wasnt my tancho-kohaku he is my favorite!!
If you don't have all day sun, after about a year the pond should be clear w/ no UV. I'm using a lower wattage UV (25W) for the first time this year, because I am in a rapidly set up QT (quarantine tank) while I am rebuilding my pond. The QT is about 3 months old, and in sun all day. I did a DIY retro BD, http://www.thepondforum.com/showthread.php?1027-DIY-retro-BD, and it works very well. On this 1600g pool, I use a 55g sand and gravel filter (s/g), and a 55g biofilter I threw together, a small shower filter, and a UV, as I'm a bit overstocked.
You need the filtration of the s/g filter. Without it, using a "Skippy" style filter will be essentially worthless (been there, done that). Just a 2" retro BD, gravity feeding an external pump from below grade with a leaf basket (very important), pumped into a s/g filter will do wonders for you. You can always add a UV (ideally using another pump, like your submersible), and if water parameters aren't perfect add the 70g biofilter gravity fed from the s/g filter. My QT is here, check it out: http://www.thepondforum.com/showthread.php?995-1500g-QT
Good luck with it, ask if you have any questions.
07-30-2011, 06:30 AM
Here are the directions for building a Sand/Gravel filter. You will still want a UV if your water turns green.
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