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The American Pond

kadoxu

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24 May 2016
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Kingston Upon Thames
Hello everyone!

It's been a while... but as promised, I'm back with some plans for my first pond.

I'm currently still living in the U.K., so for now these are only my initial plans, and it may take a while before I actually start getting my hands dirty.

Another fun fact is that the garden is on the 1st floor of the house, which will be a nightmare when moving all the tools, equipment, rocks, etc, as well as removing dirt if needed... :crazy:

The idea is to build an "American" style ecosystem pond, inspired by and using Aquascape Inc pond building ways to have some Koi in my new home in Portugal.

Basically the "American style ecosystem" pond, as I've heard the "Pond Advisor" calling it in one of his videos, is built with a liner which is then covered with rocks and gravel, uses a skimmer big enough to house the pump and usually has a biological filter embedded in the waterfall. Something like this:
Ecosytem-Pond-How-it-Works.jpg



Added to all this I want to incorporate a small wetland filter (a fancy name for a bog filter) in the pond as well.
maxresdefault.jpg


I was able to source Aquascape products here in the U.K. before moving, but unfortunately, Aquascape's equipment is stupidly expensive, so I'll have to get creative and build most of it myself. I did end up buying some of their Aquablox, just because I couldn't find anything else with the same properties, as well as a Pond Powerhead.

Skimmer:
Skimmer_Cutaway.png


BioFalls filter:
09020_SignatureSeriesBioFalls2500_Cutaway.jpg


AquaBlox:
t700_63dea9029964a71621a3db892aec9734.jpg


The skimmer and the waterfall filter I will try build from a couple heavy duty garbage bins. For the wetland filter I already have the Aquablox and will try to use some big underground drainage pipes for the rest.

The plan for the wetland filter, on top of the AquaBlocks are 3 layers of 3 different sizes of rocks and gravel:

wetland.png


As for the size of the pond, it will be a 3x3.5m (about 11.5x10 feet) area and 1.2m (4 feet) max depth. This is the initial design for the garden:
pondV2.png

Red - Skimmer
Yellow - Waterfall
Purple - Wetland filter


Wish me luck! :lol:
 

martin-green

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8 Aug 2011
Messages
233
Looks nice, but I would suggest you don't have any koi.
Koi are a nice looking fish, but are not a beginners fish as they need a lot of looking after, and they need a lot of room. By their nature koi are inquisitive and love to dig things up, so the gravel will not be a good idea, also as they grow they need room to swim up and down as well as side ways, your pond is not deep enough, the average koi pond is 5 feet deep (and that is without gravel) They also produce a lot of waste, something your filter is too small for.

I would suggest that although your filter will work (but not big enough for koi) having the pump at the bottom of a filter and covered with filter material means that when you need to service the pump (or if it gets clogged) you will have to remove everything to get to the pump, by human nature you will soon get fed up with this and wish you had not of done it.

I am not a fan of "gravel filters" as although the theory is good (and some folk do have them, as do most fish tanks) the gravel does need cleaning on a regular basis, and its not an easy task, the "solution" is to put the gravel in "onion sacks" so you can lift each sack out to clean it and then put it back. For an easy life I would not recommend a gravel filter for a pond.

I have no connection with the following, but it has no in pond gravel.
 

kadoxu

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Koi are a nice looking fish, but are not a beginners fish as they need a lot of looking after, and they need a lot of room.
Thanks for the advice, but I'm not a beginner my friend...

your pond is not deep enough, the average koi pond is 5 feet deep (and that is without gravel)
If it's an average it means there are some above and some bellow that number... also, the depth intended is after gravel and rocks are added. The depth of a koi pond is a very debatable issue with no single conclusions out there. 4 feet will be more than enough in a warmer country.

I am not a fan of "gravel filters" as although the theory is good (and some folk do have them, as do most fish tanks) the gravel does need cleaning on a regular basis, and its not an easy task, the "solution" is to put the gravel in "onion sacks" so you can lift each sack out to clean it and then put it back. For an easy life I would not recommend a gravel filter for a pond.
I'll explain how it works later on... but if it's built correctly, I will only need to rinse it once a year.
 

kadoxu

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One of my favorites :)

Koi Partner
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCmhy-W5l3KmUeQRPQYZQGhw/videos

gorgeous Japanese koi and 55-60cm at 4yrs old :wideyed:
I'm a subscriber as well! ;)

I also follow some other channels, more focused on building and showcasing ponds than about the fish:
 

mort

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Looks a cool project. What's the weather like where you will be? I'm envisaging (jealously) a really nice warm climate all year round which will mean you should get great plant growth to keep some nutrients at bay. It might also mean that your koi grow very big very fast which I think you should plan for, so not to crowd a modest pond. I spent some time in Malta and saw many orandas and other fancies that weren't much smaller than the average cat due to the climate.
 

kadoxu

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Looks a cool project. What's the weather like where you will be? I'm envisaging (jealously) a really nice warm climate all year round which will mean you should get great plant growth to keep some nutrients at bay. It might also mean that your koi grow very big very fast which I think you should plan for, so not to crowd a modest pond. I spent some time in Malta and saw many orandas and other fancies that weren't much smaller than the average cat due to the climate.
The pond will be located in the center Portugal, average temps are as the following chart:
temps.png


From my calculations the pond's water volume will be something between 10000L and 15000L and I want to have about 5 Koi in it.
 

kadoxu

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Not exactly what you want, but have a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/user/davidpaganbutler/videos
I've seen his channel before. Probably mentioned by you in another post! ;)
His ponds/pools have basically the same principle as what I want to do with the pond, but I think Aquascape methodology is just a couple steps further (probably because they have way more money and people to do research).
 

castle

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The depth will be fine in portugal, we only have deeper ponds in the UK for koi due to the freezing we get, 3ft is plenty for a koi if freezing isn't a worry (temp fluctuation protection). Your pump doesn't have much info, but that needs to turn over a lot of water. Koi need a lot of oxygen in their water, so in warmer climates you probably need to have a plan for that too. As said, Koi normally have bare bottom ponds as they dig.

Pond diagram at top looks lovely, and I love a nice pond.
 

kadoxu

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If it's on first floor, how will the floor hold the weight of all that? seems like a couple of ton?
This is the side of the house:
house.png


In terms of length, the ground floor only goes pretty much to the first tree. At that point there's a retaining wall for the ground, which goes up to the first floor. So kinda like if the house was built in a slope.
 
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Hi mate I have a koi pond. Raised pond with about 20 koi in the pond.
I don t have plants in the bottom of the pond. Nightmare. Also a bottom drain.
To filters. Rotary drum and nexus.
Completely different to your setup.

I like your ideas for the build. To start the pond with small fish the filters will handle
The load. But as they grow. I am not so sure. But you can add more filteration at a later date.

I would put anoxic filteration in the pond
If I was going with your design.
My older pond was inground. Different filteration to what I have now but it worked.

Here is a link on anoxic filtering. I have learnt a lot of this man http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/anoxic_filtration.html

You sound as though you have done your home work.
Looking fwd to your build thread when you
Start the build.

All the best fred



Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 

kadoxu

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Hi mate I have a koi pond. Raised pond with about 20 koi in the pond.
I don t have plants in the bottom of the pond. Nightmare. Also a bottom drain.
To filters. Rotary drum and nexus.
Completely different to your setup.

I like your ideas for the build. To start the pond with small fish the filters will handle
The load. But as they grow. I am not so sure. But you can add more filteration at a later date.

I would put anoxic filteration in the pond
If I was going with your design.
My older pond was inground. Different filteration to what I have now but it worked.

Here is a link on anoxic filtering. I have learnt a lot of this man http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/anoxic_filtration.html

You sound as though you have done your home work.
Looking fwd to your build thread when you
Start the build.

All the best fred
Thanks Fred! I'm a fan of your threads here in the forum! ;)

I've seen a few things about anoxic filtration before, I believe it's the "Pondguru" on Youtube who talks about it all the time. I've also seen a couple people using his method successfully in aquariums as well. But the filter media sold by the Pondguru is a bit expensive, so I've never tried it myself. The method from the link you shared seems to use cheaper materials, so I'll probably give it a try, depending on the evolution of the pond.
 
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Thanks Fred! I'm a fan of your threads here in the forum! ;)

I've seen a few things about anoxic filtration before, I believe it's the "Pondguru" on Youtube who talks about it all the time. I've also seen a couple people using his method successfully in aquariums as well. But the filter media sold by the Pondguru is a bit expensive, so I've never tried it myself. The method from the link you shared seems to use cheaper materials, so I'll probably give it a try, depending on the evolution of the pond.
Thanks for the kind words mate.All it is . Is cat litter scoop out the centre and add a fertiliser called laterite. You probably know this already. A bloke I know.
Has done this. This year. And he used to have high nitrates . Plus 2x 20% water change a week on his pond. Now his nitrates are right down. And he does not water change at all. I am thinking of doing
Anoxic filteration. Next spring.in my top pond Also in your case because it's in the pond. Just cover with nylon woman's tights
To protect the media from the koi. Also 4 feet deep is about the right depth. For koi.
The more water volume the better. Nothing to do with cold or heat. They thrive better in more water volume. That's just my opinion.
Good luck with what ever you do. I will definitely be following your build.
I love following a good pond build. And if you need any help or information I can help with. Just ask away.
All the best with your house move. And country move. Take care fred

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 

Ian L

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12 Nov 2019
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Ampthill
The idea is to build an "American" style ecosystem pond, inspired by and using Aquascape Inc pond building ways to have some Koi in my new home in Portugal.

Nice - where in Portugal?


Added to all this I want to incorporate a small wetland filter (a fancy name for a bog filter) in the pond as well.


I'm with you on this design. Ive built quite a few pool filters since way back when and this is the design I would opt for today for a koi pool or even natural swiiming pool. You have capability to remove accumulated fine debris through the manhole as well as a medium for Plants.
My understanding is that you need to match the surface area to your pool "load" -so consider how much sunlight your lattitude will receive and a apply a flow rate that allows around 20 minutes passage so that you achieve adequate settlement.
If you build this I dont think you need to think too much about the Biological filter in the waterfall; its almost an irrelevance.

I was able to source Aquascape products here in the U.K. before moving, but unfortunately, Aquascape's equipment is stupidly expensive, so I'll have to get creative and build most of it myself. I did end up buying some of their Aquablox, just because I couldn't find anything else with the same properties, as well as a Pond Powerhead.

You can get alternatives from land drainage suppliers - even for aquablox - theyre just not quite "Plug and Play" and will need some "Man-time" to adapt.




The skimmer and the waterfall filter I will try build from a couple heavy duty garbage bins. For the wetland filter I already have the Aquablox and will try to use some big underground drainage pipes for the rest.

I understand the idea is too slow the water velocity as it exits the pump-pipe
Or why not use the wetland filter as your waterfall header? - option B



Good luck - Ian
 

kadoxu

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Nice - where in Portugal?
In a small city pretty much in the middle of the country. About 1 hour away from Lisbon.

If you build this I dont think you need to think too much about the Biological filter in the waterfall; its almost an irrelevance
The waterfall will work more for oxigenation than for filtration, and for the look and sound, obviously. And with expensive fish, I like to have a "spare filter" at hand if anything goes wrong.

You can get alternatives from land drainage suppliers - even for aquablox - theyre just not quite "Plug and Play" and will need some "Man-time" to adapt.
I found a couple other options, but because they didn't have information about how much weight they could support, I didn't want to risk it. These were a bit expensive, but I'm sure they're fit for purpose.

Or why not use the wetland filter as your waterfall header?
I'm still thinking about how I'm going to incorporate the waterfall and the wetland. I'm thinking either have the waterfall pooling into the wetland and then running into the pond, or have them both separate. I'll have to think a bit more about it.

Good luck
Thank you!
 

Ian L

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In a small city pretty much in the middle of the country. About 1 hour away from Lisbon.

Looking forward to follow your progress; we have a place over the border in Huelva so keen to see how you this adapt the pool to the climate as it on my horizons.


The waterfall will work more for oxigenation than for filtration, and for the look and sound, obviously. And with expensive fish, I like to have a "spare filter" at hand if anything goes wrong.

I agree and probably wasnt that clear in my comment. For the amount of water movement in this system I think the impact of a bag of bioballs is minimal



I'm still thinking about how I'm going to incorporate the waterfall and the wetland. I'm thinking either have the waterfall pooling into the wetland and then running into the pond, or have them both separate. I'll have to think a bit more about it.

Think I'd favour seperate if you have space; which could mean a 2 pump set up with the wetland filter running full time and a waterfall that you can choose how much flow and for how long.


Thank you!
 

Ian L

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!As for the size of the pond, it will be a 3x3.5m (about 11.5x10 feet) area and 1.2m (4 feet) max depth. This is the initial design for the garden:
View attachment 128615
Red - Skimmer
Yellow - Waterfall
Purple - Wetland filter

Just a thought on this but have you considered running some flow along the bottom of the deep section to help move debris off the floor and towards the skimmer?

Ian
 
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