Our garden pond...

Discussion in 'Ponds' started by Tony Swinney, 23 Mar 2009.

  1. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    Hi all

    I was asking Ed for some pond advice, and he suggested I start a journal so here it is...

    I'm looking for advice on renovating our pond - I really havent much of a clue on ponds so any help would be much appreciated :D

    This pond was here when we bought the house a couple of years ago, but had been badly neglected. There was a massive wysteria over the pergola which put it into darkness, all summer long, and had been dropping all its leaves into it for quite a few years.

    Apparently the chap who built the pond in the 80's (can you tell :lol: ) built it as a Koi pond, and I found various bits of rusted old equipment at the bottom of the garden to tie in with that.

    I got the wysteria out pretty sharpish, and dredged the bottom clear in the summer of 07, installed a couple of filters and pumps, and was then bought "35 koi for £35" off ebay - all of which were 2 - 3" long.

    They are all now 6-7" long, and seem quite happy :D However the pond is pretty mucky again, and the water cloudy (it was really clear all of last year?), so it needs a good spring clean.

    Aesthetically I dont really like the layout in relation to the garden - I would have put the waterfall at the right hand side so it faced the main garden, so that may get changed at least.

    Aside from that I'm open to suggestions and recommendations, anything from change the filter, to dig it all out and build something new ! Ed Seeley pointed me towards a couple of koi forums, and they have some serious building work going into their ponds !!! I'm not sure the budget will stretch to that, but I'd be interested to know what others would do with it.

    Thanks

    Tony

    Specs:

    3.1m long, 1.8m wide 0.3m deep shelf around edge, and 0.8m deep in the middle.

    Laguna pump and Powerflo 'canister' filter

    2nd laguna pump, powering waterfall and blagdon box filter.



    Here it is:
    Pond_2.jpg

    Pond_4.jpg

    Some of the koi and orfe's:

    Pond_6.jpg

    Pond_3.jpg

    Pond_1.jpg

    The 2 filters:

    Pond_5.jpg
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    That's a nice looking pond mate; the stone edging is nice and chunky.

    As to the alterations I'm afraid the simple answer is those filters aren't up to the job, sorry! Koi are big messy fish and need filters that can cope with that.

    I assume the pumps are in the pond feeding the filters? What flow rate do they have? By my quick calculations you have about 3,300litres in there or 700 odd gallons. I'd be looking to turn this over about twice an hour if possible - this is higher than recomended for ponds usually but in a smaller pond it's better to over-gun it.

    You have a couple of options for the filters really.
    The first is the easiest and to stick with a pump fed filter. You will need a good powered solids handling pump though that will get all the waste out of the pond and into the filter. The disadvantage of this is that the pump will chop the solids up a bit making them a bit harder to remove. The actual filter can be of two types IMHO, either a K1 based filter or a Bakki Shower. Bakki Showers are superb filter but need to go in their own little housing and will need a much bigger pump. However they never need cleaning (the media encourages a range of microbes and the waste is literally consumed) and produce amazing water quality - I have one on my QT pond in my greenhouse and it's superb. The downside - the media costs £140 per 10 kilos and you'd probably need about 30 kilos!!!

    A K1 based filter consists of 2 (or more) chambers, the first with static media that traps the waste particles and a second chamber where air keeps the media in constant motion where it can't collect waste and keeps the media well oxygenated. The static chamber had the same kind of air ring in it too for cleaning as all you do to clean this chamber is to turn the pump off, isolate the chamber, turn the air on, leave for 10-15 minutes and then drain the dirty water away! Piece of cake! Small vortex chambers are probably the best design for this.

    This type of filter is even better if it is gravity fed with a large pipe straight from the pond and then that pump is sited after the filter to pump the clean water back to the pond or waterfall, but this would be tricky to do with your set up at the moment by the look of things.

    I hope that makes sense?
     
  3. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    Hi Ed

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    Yep, 2 laguna pumps in the pond, 1 "Powerjet3500" and one "Freeflo3500", both rated at 3700lph - but theya rent working anywhere near that, as they and the filters block so quickly (as you said - not up to the job)

    The Bakki Showers seem to be excellent, but I'm not sure I want one sat on the side of the pond in the garden - they seem more suited to a contemporary pond aesthetically - they are also alot of money ! Your DIY one looks great by the way !

    If I go the K1 route, would something like the "Eazy Pod" (http://www.koi-fish.co.uk/acatalog/eazy_pod.html be suitable, with a big solids handling pump on the base of the pond ? Still not cheap at £420 with the media and air pump but looks to be a good solution, and easier to hide too !

    Once i work out the possible options, I'll then decide a route to take.

    Tony
     
  4. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Well Ed is the pond man for sure but i'll give you my experiences.

    I've been reviewing a couple of pond products, both from Fish Mate. A medium gravity fed filter and the biggest pump you've ever seen, 22000 LPH! Now thats flow baby ;)
    The pump is way to big for this filter so i T'd it off and 80% of the water ran through a 15m long stream and into the pond. The remaining 20% went through a Fish Mate 10000 G-UV. It's all very simple and easy to use. It's undersized for my pond, it's rated for 1000g and mine is more like 2000 but it's doing a sterling job and i have some MASSIVE koi!
    For the full review, check out the May PFK.
     
  5. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    Thanks Dan - I'll have a look for them too. :D


    Tony
     
  6. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

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    nice fish, not really into ponds myself although i do like to see the fish :)
     
  7. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    I agree about the showers, though you can hide them behind a screen. All the falling water does make a fair racket though!

    An Eazy pod is basically just the static version of by above filter design. It's a lot of money when you can DIY one pretty easily from some cut down water butts or vortexes! Have a look at this for some ideas, http://www.happykoi.co.za/filters/duo_filter_systems.htm If you could do this in a vortex with a sloping bottom then it'd be even better as there's be no way any waste could stay in the filter when it's drained!

    Edit: Forgot to say that you will be better getting 1 new solids handling pump as they are getting more power efficient all the time per gallon moved. Personally I'd go with an Oase Ecomax every time (although I am debating swapping for a pipe pump with an experimental propeller design!!!)

    You will also be able to bury these K1 filter into the ground part-way. Just have the water level in them slightly higher than the outlet and they will work fine.
     
  8. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Nice looking pond and fish, only wish I had a garden.....
    Congrats mate and good luck with it in the future :)
     
  9. JamesM

    JamesM Member

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    Yeah, nice.. I wish I had a big enough garden :( Haven't had a pond for about 20 years.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    If it were my pond I'd love to give it a good going over and stamp my own personality onto it. I'd be all up for big lumps of rock etc. I'd actually consider a bit of an iwagumi looking thing, with low growing plants :)

    I'm in the situation where my garden is huge and perfectly suited for a pond, but I rent and I wouldn't want to invest in building a pond only to move on some time in the future...
     
  11. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    Thanks again for the advice and link Ed. Plenty for me to think about before tackling it, hopefully next month :D

    Thats kin of how I feel Steve - I want to make it mine ! For the time being that might just be sorting out some good filtration, and maybe moving the waterfall across to the right, but I would like to rip it all out, and design and build my own pond in a year or two. I reckon that could get very expensive though !

    Tony
     
  12. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    So I've snapped up a new pump of ebay - an Oase Aquamax Eco 12000, with a satellite strainer too, which was a bit of a bargain :D

    Now I'm after the filter, and i have been offered a Cloverleaf CL3, which is massive :wideyed: Probably far too big for what I need, but its ridiculously cheap at £55 including all media - brushes, japmat, aquarock and kaldnes :wideyed: The local lfs have just taken it off their pond, and upgraded to a CL4.

    I'm wondering if this is too big for the pond, or if, like aquariums, you can't over filter ponds ? As said, its definitely overkill for my 4000l pond, and its physically way bigger than I wanted, but I can fit it in without it being too obtrusive.

    Any advice would be appreciated about the cloverleafs generally, or the size issues of this one particularly.

    Thanks

    Tony
     
  13. Joecoral

    Joecoral Member

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    The CL3 is one big mama! 120cmx120cmx85cm!
    You can't over filter, although this may be a little excessive, although you can't really say no at that price now can you!
     
  14. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Crystal clear water eh? Awesome!
     
  15. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    THE most ironic thing just happened !!!!!

    In 2 yrs of living here, I've never seen a heron in the garden, but as we're fairly close to a river I thought a deterrant would be wise, so I'd ordered an electric pet fence to go around the pond - will keep the dogs out too :lol: There is a pergola over it anyway which I reckon keeps them away but you cant be too careful !

    So......5 mins ago the parcelforce fella delivers the fence kit, I take it off him at the front dr, and walk through to the kitchen, look out of the window and theres a heron standing on the fence looking down at the pond :wideyed: :wideyed: :twisted: :twisted: :wideyed: :wideyed:

    How bizarre is that :wideyed: I guess he'll of been there before but I've never seen him in 2 years.

    Looks like the fence may have arrived just in time - just got to hope it works !

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Crikey, that was coincidence! You'll have to set up the mini missile launchers and barbed wire :lol:
     
  17. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    Good timing! How's things coming on with it now?
     
  18. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    Think I'll just let the hounds out !

    Hi Ed - plans are coming together. I bought an Aquamax Eco 12000 off ebay, just after a filter now. The CL3 for £55 was cheap, but just too big - wouldnt even fit down the path at the side of the house :wideyed:

    I've read through the DIY filters you mentioned, but to be honest I'm just too busy to do anything like that at the minute, so its going to be a bought system - just a case of which one to go for. I've spoken to a few folks, and been reading on KoiMag , Extreme Koi and SimplyKoi for advice and thoughts. I've only got 130cm to fit the filter into, which may not be enough to fit a big enough multichamber into, so we're then looking at eazy pod, or cloverleaf CL1. It seemes the Eazy Pods are loved or loathed, and the cloverleafs are not that great, and may not be big enough for 4000l. :?

    I'm keeping an eye on ebay and the forums for salle sections to see what comes up.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  19. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

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    Well after a couple of very successful ebay bids, and a couple of trips down to Gary at Gatwick Koi ( a very helpful chap :D ) the pond is looking an awful lot better !

    I nabbed an easypod (with air pump) and a 55w TMC UV off ebay, and bought a retro bottom brain from Gatwick Koi too. Its all been plumbed in for just over a week now, and the water has gone from opaque black to crystal clear :D

    Hopefully over the bank holiday weekend we'll be digging out the shelf, and moving the waterfall across, then planting up the landscape with the collection of acers which we have waiting for it.

    All good fun in the sunshine :D

    Tony

    The pond today:
    Pond7.jpg

    The 'pod and TMC:
    Pond8.jpg

    The fish (as seen through 3ft of water) :
    Pond9.jpg
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Looks great Tony! Water looks fantastic :) I love Acers. I hope to get a few in large pots at some point (renting, so no point planting them!)
     

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