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My New Concrete Pond Project - Help - Advice needed

REDSTEVEO

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Hi All,

As part of our garden renovation project I have built a new pond and need some advice please.

Firstly how to calculate the water volume so that I can work out what size filter and pump I am going to need. The dimensions are 3 feet deep by 8 feet 4 inches wide (from left to right) by 4 feet 6 inches from front to back, see pictures below for how it looks. My local Garden Pond shop (Waterworld) on the Wirral have told me that it will hold 2700 litres.

I am not sure if this is correct or not so if someone is able to confirm this or not it would be much appreciated.

Here is a view from the left. The tree in the picture is a fig tree, to the right is an established Laurel bush. Apart from that there are no other trees nearby to drop leaves and stuff into the pond. Because of the position the pond is in it will be virtually in the shade for most of the day because the sun comes up behind the wall at the back and then moves around from left to right settling opposite late in the evening.

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The pond is built from breeze blocking with a brick front as you can see. Internally it is being rendered with mortar and plasticiser. Then it will get a couple of coats of G4 Pond sealer and finally a coat of Blagdon pond paint. Will this be enough to hold the water in? Not sure what colour, Green, Blue, Black or Stone colour. Any suggestions welcome.

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The top of the wall is going to be finished off with wooden decking as a sort of seating area. On the wall at the back I am mounting a 60 centimetre blade waterfall about three feet up.

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I am looking at filters: a Laguna Pressure Flo 5000 litre with 11 watt UV Filter and a 3500 liter pump, or a Laguna Pressure Flo 8000 litre with a 20 watt UV Filter and a 6000 litre pump.

Alternatively there is the option of an Oase Filterclear 6000 litre and 11 watt UV, or Oase Filterclear 11000 litre with 11 watt UV and a 8000 liter pump.

If anyone can make sense of the above and advise me on what the best option is I would be very grateful.

More pictures to follow as it progresses.

Thanks very much,

Steve.
 
The plant you think is a fig is actually a Fatsia japonica, don't eat the fruit if it ever produces any!

From the dimensions and the shape of your pond I think you're looking at around 2,000 litres, maybe a little bit more.

For the finish you need a very smooth render finish before applying G4. Use Black G4 for a great finish - don't apply another paint on top as they won't adhere and will peel apart. Forget other colours, they just don't look right. The render finish will be the finish you will see when the pond is done and the render provides the waterproofing; all the paint does is seal the lime in the render. Have you used REIN fibres in the render and a high cement mix? This gives a bomb-proof render lining and it's what my pond is done with, coated with G4, and it's nearly 12 years old now.

For the filter, what are you planning to keep in here? Personally I don't like those little pressurised filters. Pond filters need to do two things - cope with lots of dirt (and that means being dead easy to clean and not having media that blocks up like sponge) and have lots of air to boost biological capacity (impossible to do in any sealed filter).

If you're just having a few goldfish then a pressurised filter will do, but you could do better. If you're pump-fed makes sure you used a solids handling pump that will pump all the waste up into the filter rather than having a sponge you have to clean every week in front of the pump. Where are you planning to site the filter?

Personally I'd buy (or build) a static K1 filter as they are brilliant and dead easy to clean.
 
Hi Ed,

Firstly thanks for the reply. A few questions and answers to your questions.

What are Rein Fibres? What is a static K1 Kit?

I am planning to jut put a few different types of Gold fish in there, Comets and so on. I might buy a few small ghost Koi and that's about it. What do you think would be the maximum number of fish I should put in there, (not all straight away of course) I am planning on planting it up as best I can. I am also going to drill holes in the wall above the pond and insert some roots, bogwood and stuff and then I'm going to try and grow mosses, evergreen vines / ivy and maybe some air plants to naturalise the wall a bit. What do you think?

Regarding filtration, its sad really because I have got two really big box filters with UV fitted, and I have got the pumps, an ATOM submersible pump ATM 004 which has a max head of 5.5 metres and will pump around 3,000 litres, and I have got an Eheim submersible series 1262 which pumps around 3400 litres and a head max of 3.6 metres.

The trouble is I have got no where to situate them without them being in your face and spoiling the appearance of the pond. Apparently the pressurised pumps have an easy self cleaning mechanism which you operate by switching a valve and pumping a handle which cleans the crap out and you keep doing this until the water runs clear then switch the valve back. Also they can be buried in the ground with just the top visible which can be disguised by plants and so on.

Thanks,

Steve.
 
Rein fibres are a concrete reinforcement. They are plastic fibres you just add to a strong render mix (2 parts soft sand to 1 part concrete) that stop it cracking and make a really strong, waterproof render. You then just sand it off, blowtorch to finally dry it and burn off any protruding fibres and then paint the G4 over the top. You really must get the render completely dry before you paint or the paint can peel off the render.

K1 is a filter media. It's little plastic wheels, only slightly bouyant, that can be used in two different ways. For biological filtration you bubble air through it and then it tumbles over and over and allows multiple passes against the water as well as not being able to trap any solids. The air, moving the water, also means that no solids can settle out in the filter chamber so it never really needs cleaning!

The other way to use it is as a static filter bed. This is set up the same way as the fluidised filter but you turn the air off. The media then floats together in a static bed at the top and traps all the small particles. To clean it you isolate the filter (by turning the pump off and closing valves) and then turn the air on. As the air bubbles through it fluidises the media and releases all the debris. I have this media on my large koi pond and cleaning it this morning took about 30 minutes and most of that was waiting for the water to be pumped out of the large settlement chamber! I don't get my hands wet!

If this were going to hold carp of any kind (including ghosties) I would have gravity fed filters (but as you've done the brickwork already you might not like the idea of this!) The area in front of your laurel could be perfect for a small chamber made from more bricks with a wooden decking cover that would double up as a pondside seat. Split this into two chambers with a plastic divider (slotted at the top to retain the static K1) with K1 on the first side and the pump sat in the next. I could do you some drawings if you were even contemplating this idea.

If you don't want to do this then stick to goldfish - not even ghost carp as they make a lot more waste than goldies even though they are tougher than koi. The pressurised units I've seen on people's ponds work ok at the start but then the foam starts to block more seriously and you have to start taking the whole unit apart to clean it on a weekly basis. Any filter system that is pump first means that the pump will need cleaning at some point, even if you get a solids handling pump and I would definitely recommend you do!
 
Thanks again Ed,

Sorry to sound stupid here...but how do you get the water into the static filter chamber if it is not pumped in i.e. Pump first as you put it.

I can definitely see your point about the pump needing cleaning if it is pump first. I am thinking about putting one of my box filters under the laurel bush but it will still have to be pump first to get the water in it.

Do you think the water blade will cause any problems in terms of stirring up crap off the bottom of the pond?

Steve.
 
I love the pond. Congrats on getting the brick work to fit so nicely in a relatively short radius. :thumbup:
 
REDSTEVEO said:
Thanks again Ed,

Sorry to sound stupid here...but how do you get the water into the static filter chamber if it is not pumped in i.e. Pump first as you put it.

I can definitely see your point about the pump needing cleaning if it is pump first. I am thinking about putting one of my box filters under the laurel bush but it will still have to be pump first to get the water in it.

Do you think the water blade will cause any problems in terms of stirring up crap off the bottom of the pond?

Steve.

You have to put a large pipe through the pond wall! 4" is the usual size. You then put a 4" slide valve on the filter side to close it off when you're cleaning the filter. As your pump pumps the water out of the filter chamber new water flows in through the large pipe under gravity to keep the two connected bodies of water at the same level, like a syphon.

Let me show you some pics of my pond to give you an idea, on a slightly different scale though!

First the 4" pipes that feed the water under gravity from my pond. (They're the large ones at the bottom - you would only need a small piece to go through the wall of your pond though, not all this.)
Filter-PumpChamber.jpg


I have a large vortex to remove lots of the waste with my high fish load. This just lets a lot of the large waste settle out on the bottom of the chamber. This will happen in your static K1 chamber under the media.
Filter-Vortex.jpg


The water then flows into this chamber with a drain in the bottom,
100_2088.jpg


This is what your only chamber would look a bit like (though ideally you would slope the base down to the drain pipe you can see in the bottom).

You need a plastic divider (or drilled pipe) to stop the K1 escaping into other chambers.
100_2092.jpg


Finally a bit of speedfit piping with 1mm holes drilled in it and a cheap air pump off ebay that you turn on to clean the K1 and your job is done!
It'll look like this when running,
100_2095.jpg


I know that all seems a bit complicated but actually it's pretty easy to do. All you would need is a chamber at the same level as the pond, rendered and watertight like the pond.

Then you would need to drill a large hole through the pond wall (which you might not want to do with that brilliant brickwork).

Finally you need divide the chamber in two with a plastic divider and put a strainer on your 4" pipe to stop the K1 going back into the pond. Fit your speedfit piping, drop your pump on the far side of the divider and put the K1 in the chamber and let it all start!

If you want you can even site the water pump out of the water to save a bit more space.

The big advantage of this filter is that your pond maintenence will be so easy you will save yourself hours of time each year, but it is more complex to fit at this stage.
 
Forgot to say about the water blade. You WANT to stir all the waste up so that it will go into the filter and you can remove it! Waste left in the pond can only be a bad thing, just like it would be in a fish tank. Fit one if you like the look, and fitting one will be easier with a gravity fed system as your pump can just pump straight up to it!
 
Hi all,
I don't know much about pond filters etc. but I was admiring the brick work as well, very professional looking.
The plant you think is a fig is actually a Fatsia japonica, don't eat the fruit if it ever produces any!"
Certainly is Fatsia, a really nice evergreen for a dark corner, flowers very late in the year with pom-pom heads of spidery white flowers, any late butterflies, wasps etc love them and in mild years you get black berries about Christmas time.

Having said that I'd be very keen to keep both it's dead leaves (it's from the the same family as Ivy) and those from the Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) out of the pond, as both plant leaves are fairly toxic.

cheers Darrel
 
Ed Seeley said:
Forgot to say about the water blade. You WANT to stir all the waste up so that it will go into the filter and you can remove it! Waste left in the pond can only be a bad thing, just like it would be in a fish tank. Fit one if you like the look, and fitting one will be easier with a gravity fed system as your pump can just pump straight up to it!


Wow 8) Ed I'm blown away, You are the man, looks damn impressive, but sadly far too over the top for me, I'm going along the keep it simple route and see how I get on. I did get hold of the Rein Fibres though and will finish it off with Black G4 Pond sealer and forget the Blagdon pond paint (are they the same thing?

Thanks for all your help and advice and putting up the pictures of your amazing pond setup. Look and learn Peeps!!

Cheers,

Steve.
 
REDSTEVEO said:
Ed Seeley said:
Forgot to say about the water blade. You WANT to stir all the waste up so that it will go into the filter and you can remove it! Waste left in the pond can only be a bad thing, just like it would be in a fish tank. Fit one if you like the look, and fitting one will be easier with a gravity fed system as your pump can just pump straight up to it!


Wow 8) Ed I'm blown away, You are the man, looks damn impressive, but sadly far too over the top for me, I'm going along the keep it simple route and see how I get on. I did get hold of the Rein Fibres though and will finish it off with Black G4 Pond sealer and forget the Blagdon pond paint (are they the same thing?

Thanks for all your help and advice and putting up the pictures of your amazing pond setup. Look and learn Peeps!!

Cheers,

Steve.

Thought it might be as I was typing! IMO though use one of your existing box filters hidden away rather than a pressurised one as they will be easier to access and maintain. If you do go with the pressurised one then really don't have any carp! Stick to goldfish and shubunkins! Keep us updated with pics as you go.
 
Hi all,
Fairly TOXIC you say
I can't find many details for Fatsia, but most members of the Arailiaceae are toxic, it is probably similar to Ivy (they are closely related and can be crossed to give the hybrid x Fatshedera lizie)). I'd just try and fish the dead leaves out as they fall in, but I wouldn't be too worried if the occasional one fell in and sank without trace. I'd be more worried about the green leaves, berries or cut stems getting into the pond.

Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is more of a worry, the leaves and fruit contain hydrogen cyanide as "prussic acid" and certainly the green leaves are quite a potent toxin. Again I wouldn't worry about the occasional dead leaf, but I would definitely try and keep any cut green wood or green leaves out.

cheers Darrel
 
Sorry that it has taken me so long to get round to replying to this request. 😳

I stuck with the Gravity fed filter and added an ClariTech 15.000 litre Pond One Pressure filter with a 13 watt UV. So this combined with the Bioforce 5.000 litre with additional 9 watt UV the pond is doing very well and so are the fish. I have got 4 large Koi and an assortment of goldfish and shubunkins.

Here are some photographs that I took during the Summer this year.

This is the full pond view.

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This is the Claritec Pond filter partially hidden.

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I had quite a few problems getting my pond plants to grow because the pond is in virtual shade the whole time and with the pond being 1 metre 10 cms deep there was not enough sunlight getting to them. So I raised the pond baskets up by sitting them on brand new black plastic milk crates turned upside down. And... hey presto the plants grew like wildfire and no algae problems whatsoever.

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The gravity fed filter is on the other side of the wall also raised up and hidden by a large plastic compost bin. I had to drill a fair few holes through the wall to get all the pipes through. All the electric cables are hidden and routed to a Power console with a timer for the lights to come on in the evening.

I have just started feeding the fish with Tetra Wheatgerm Floating sticks which I bought from a local Garden centre. £16.99 for 4 kilogram. The fish seem to enjoy the sticks much more than the pellets and seem to have grown bigger in the last few weeks.

Sorry about the reflection in some of these photos 😳

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I am thinking of drilling some holes in the back wall, filling them with soil and planting some ferns and mosses etc to try and soften up the wall, to try and make it slightly more natural.

Any views or suggestions would be welcome. £16.99 A BAG OF FOOD :?
 
Hi All Pondlife,

This question is primarily, possibly, probably aimed at Clive, but I welcome advice from anyone on this question.

Troi has done this thing with his tank which looks amazing. See link below,

http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=22651

As my pond just has a plain old concrete bottom I wondered if I could apply the same principle as Troi has done on his tank. I want to create a more natural biotope the way things grow in the wild. Maybe a gravel / ash first layer, a couple of large bags of peat mixed with Aquatic soil, some sort of membrane over that to keep it all together, another layer of gravel to stop the fish digging it all up and the planted with reeds, and aquatic grasses etc. This is something I might consider doing in the Spring but only if it is safe.

What I don't want to finish up with is a ton of foul smelling anaerobic toxic waste in the bottom of my pond which would be my worst nightmare to remove. So if anyone can put my mind at rest or give any advice please do.

Do it YES/NO if yes what would you advise.

Many thanks,

Steve
 
Personally I would not do it.

Pete contains nutrients that will feed algae, koi (in particular) have a habit of "digging up stones / soil" Some will say they have plants and their koi don't do it, but most koi at some time will do it, and give it long enough, it will all start to rot. (Since no one cleans out ponds like they do aquariums)

If you really must have plants, put them in pots, use aquatic soil, and suspend the pots so the tops are just above the water. (So the fish can't dig them)
 
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