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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Steve1984's Avatar
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    Steves 1st pond build

    Afternoon,

    I'm new to the world of ponds (other than visiting my granddads pond) and pond keeping, I've got 2 marine tanks and a small tropical tank but now want to extend out into the garden. I've done lots of reading and have read through some of the builds on the forum too, there is to me a lot of conflicting information around what equipment to use to filter and run a pond and how to build and finish off a pond. I guess what works for some people doesn't work for others.

    I have been to my local supplier to talk through my deign with them and have subsequently changes my design. I was originally going to build the pond 4 foot wide 22 foot long and 6 foot deep but was advised to change this to 5 foot wide 15 foot long and 6 foot deep.

    due to having relatively young kids my budget for the build is not great so I'll be trying to buy as much second hand as possible and where possible will be doing as much work as I can by myself, I'm a hard grafter and pretty competent when it comes to DIY so want to give it a go and then call people in when I hit parts that I cant do myself.

    So far I've dug down just shy of 4 foot by 3 foot wide by 6 foot long so still a long way to go on the dig, but this has all been by hand with trips to the local tip to dispose of the soil/sand and stone removed.

    I am looking to put a concrete slab down and then build block work up from this around 3 foot in the ground and 3 foot above ground, rebar will be used in the slab to re-inforce the slab. I'm also looking at installing a window in the 5 foot wall as this faces the house and the kids can see into the pond without climbing or being lifted.

    I'm quite a way off of needing any equipment but what would people recommend to run the pond efficiently, I was looking at a nexus 300 series, sieve and 55W UV, gravity fed with an aerated bottom drain. Again some people advised against the nexus and to opt for a bead filter others have told me the opposite whilst the koi dealer advised a drum filter which I think will be out of my price range at the moment even second hand. How many bottom drains would I need on the pond I've been advised 1 is enough if placed in the centre others recommend 2.

    to finish the inside of the pond I was originally going for underlay and then liner, but then I was told this is a cheap option that I will have to replace quickly and to opt for a fibreglass finish with render on top of the blockwork and concrete slab.

    sorry for all of the questions but I'd rather ask questions and get it right rather than throwing money at something and getting it completely wrong and having to start again.

    below is a couple of pictures of the dig so far with the kids posing.
    IMG_1710.JPGIMG_1709.JPG
    thanks Steve



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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai RipleyRich's Avatar
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    Personally and based upon my recent experience I would go all out for a Drum / Combi Drum. You will want one some day anyway.

    On 15` long I would definitely have 2 drains. Best to have too many than not enough. Just be mindful that you will need sufficient flow rate to ensure turbulent flow in the drains or you will get solid settlement in the pipework.

    In many ways its good to have each drain to its own filter and pump. For one you have no balancing problems and secondly you have resilience in the case of any failure.

    Take plenty of advice and if there are people local to you with ponds who will show you their setups then take advantage.
    keep us posted.

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  5. #3
    Hi steve and welcome. 2x drains. As said above. A lot depends on budget. If you can afford it go for a drum right away. If not get a cheap second hand nexus. And get a drum to put inside later down the line. The drum is the future. I have drum in nexus. Also acts as bio side. Window is great idea for the kids.
    I had a liner then had this pond built. Fiber glassed it
    Thats the best. But expensive. Good luck with build. And welcome.

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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  7. #4
    I had the nexus, but have changed to drum. If funds don't permit at the moment the I'd go nexus. You can always change at a later date and shouldn't require to much modifications to change to a drum, the profidrum combo take less space than the nexus so shouldn't be a problem to change in the future.

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  9. #5
    On a long narrow pond, I'd say have a look at the onishi streamflow design; basically one long slope to a bottom drain 'trough'. Easy to flush waste very regularly with an airlift. otherwise, you'll need 2 bottom drains.

    Either way, if you're going for a nexus, look at Airlift designs to help save electricity; simple, cheap, and nothing to go wrong.

    Seriously look at insulation sheets (celotex or similar) followed by fibreglass. Not cheap, but not far off a decent liner, and so much better.

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  11. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Steve1984's Avatar
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    thanks for all the advise so far, looks like i'll go with a nexus for now and then when funds permit I can add a drum to it later down the line, i'd love to run 2 filters one for each drain but the space I have next to the pond will only be enough for 1 nexus. if I line the pond with insulation sheets do I still need to render the pond and does the fiberglass not eat away at the insulation. I've bought a fiberglass kit to have a go at repairing a water feature in the in-laws garden, how easy is it to use and is fibreglassing a pond something that a DIY'er could take on?

    my original plan was to slope the pond 5 foot shallow end down to 6 foot deep end but was told by the dealer that id still have issues with this and would be better off with the 2 drains, so think now that I've dug down i'll stick with 2 BD and go from there. I've been looking on line at the BD and trying to figure out if to go for a spindrifter or just a normal aerated BD, what's the difference between the 2.

    on a positive note it was dry last night when I got home so I managed to dig out another 25 bags of soil and sand, hopefully the same tonight then I just need to use my day off Thursday to complete all of the tip runs and more digging.

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  13. #7
    All bottom drains are more or less the same. A spindrifter. Mine does it alters and moves around the pond. So guides crap to sides. And TPRs push water around on a currant from further down in the pond. And all working together. Makes crud move to skimmer and bottom drain.

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  15. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Steve1984's Avatar
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    I'm amazed at how much mud and sand seems to come out of such a small hole. So far I've dug 7 foot by 3 foot by 4 foot must have taken out at least 200 rubble bags so far. That's less than 1/4 of the hole dug so far. My car is it going to thank me at the end of the digging but on a tight budget skips and grab lorries are not needed when the tip is only 5 miles down the road. No digging tomorrow as I've run out of bags but have the day off Thursday so hopefully get rid of the bits I've dug the last couple of days and get some more dug out.

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  17. #9
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion GHOSTDOG's Avatar
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    Welcome Steves 1st pond build
    Me and my Mrs dug 22 ton out by hand and had to carry it through the house as no other access,I feel your pain
    I'm surprised your local tip lets you take that much,we're limited to 6 bags per week


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  19. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by GHOSTDOG View Post
    Welcome Steves 1st pond build
    Me and my Mrs dug 22 ton out by hand and had to carry it through the house as no other access,I feel your pain
    I'm surprised your local tip lets you take that much,we're limited to 6 bags per week


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Pain means results. Aint that right ghost. Steves 1st pond build

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk

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  21. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Steve1984's Avatar
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    I've been lucky so far, I did ask if there was a limit they just said if I bring it by car it fine. will see what they say when I turn up 4 or 5 times in 1 day

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  23. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve1984 View Post
    I've been lucky so far, I did ask if there was a limit they just said if I bring it by car it fine. will see what they say when I turn up 4 or 5 times in 1 day
    Keep going to tip as long as possible. As it cost me a fortune getting 3x 16 ton grabber trucks to remove. Plus lits and lots of pallets and plastic and paper. Its suprising how many people don t add this price into the build price.
    I never did. And i learned the hardest part of the build was getting rid of the dig and waste.
    Just got rid of some only this week from my qt build.

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  24. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai hippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve1984 View Post
    I've been lucky so far, I did ask if there was a limit they just said if I bring it by car it fine. will see what they say when I turn up 4 or 5 times in 1 day
    I can identify with you there , mate . I took some of my waste to the tip . The first time they were all smiles and helped me unload . By the end , about 3 weeks later , all I got was filthy looks
    The good thing is , I managed to complete the job about a month before they started charging - at a rate of 3.50 per small bag

    One thing you could try , is advertising it on ebay . I got a chap to come and collect all the rubble from my old pond , and quite a bit of the soil/clay from my new dig . He wanted it for a landscaping project .

    Give it a try - you never know
    Colin

    2500 Gallon Fibreglass Pond
    Eazypod , Bio-Max 4 Bead , 18 Basket Anoxic

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  26. #14
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion GHOSTDOG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddyboy View Post
    Pain means results. Aint that right ghost. Steves 1st pond build

    Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk
    Steves 1st pond buildSteves 1st pond buildSteves 1st pond buildSteves 1st pond buildSteves 1st pond buildSteves 1st pond build + = Steves 1st pond buildSteves 1st pond buildSteves 1st pond build🦈


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  28. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion voodoo_15_uk's Avatar
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    Agree with 2 BDs on that length pond. With most drums you can put 2-4 feeds into it so no need for separate filters which would take up more space. Then have some bio filtration such as a shower or moving K1.

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  30. #16
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Steve1984's Avatar
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    good idea to advertise it on ebay, tried my local selling pages on facebook but had no response from that. 2 bottom drains it is then by the sounds of it, now I just need to design the pond properly on paper and carry on with the dig. drum filter will definitely be an upgrade for the future for now i'll look for a second hand nexus to run the pond I think. also had a quote for fibreglassing yesterday 1365 didn't realise that the cost would be anywhere near that, and on top of that i'll need to get the pond rendered first. Has anyone fibreglassed their own pond if so is it easy to do and what are the potential problems that ill run into.

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  32. #17
    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve1984 View Post
    good idea to advertise it on ebay, tried my local selling pages on facebook but had no response from that. 2 bottom drains it is then by the sounds of it, now I just need to design the pond properly on paper and carry on with the dig. drum filter will definitely be an upgrade for the future for now i'll look for a second hand nexus to run the pond I think. also had a quote for fibreglassing yesterday 1365 didn't realise that the cost would be anywhere near that, and on top of that i'll need to get the pond rendered first. Has anyone fibreglassed their own pond if so is it easy to do and what are the potential problems that ill run into.
    People certainly have DIY'd it. I would think carefully before you do though. Major pitfalls as far as I'm aware (mostly from reading about other people's problems on the forums):

    - Fumes are a real killer. It gets hot in there as the stuff is curing. Not sure how the glassers stay conscious to be honest! I wouldn't do that to my already crap lungs to save about 500!

    - The fibres are horribly itchy. Any contact with the sheets sends me insane. Matt who did my pond says you get used to it in the end.

    - Inexperience can lead you not to put the right amount of catalyst in for temperature conditions. Can mean it never cures if you get this wrong. One guy had his whole pond of koi die, which turned out on post mortem testing to be caused by styrene poisoning leaching out of the fibreglass

    - As above, causing grey patches in the flow coat that have not set properly and are not safe.

    I personally wouldn't touch the job with a very long barge pole, but other braver souls than me have done it

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  34. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion voodoo_15_uk's Avatar
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    I can recommend Ken Alexander for fibreglassing, top bloke and does a cracking job. Will travel all over too.

    Just be aware you can't run 2 BD into one nexus, you will need an additional filter for the 2nd line. May be worth calculating how much it would cost doing it that way to what you would pay for a drum as you would also need an additional pump and possibly uv.

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  36. #19
    Why don't we pick cheap hobbies

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  38. #20
    Senior Member Rank = Gosai Steve1984's Avatar
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    thanks again for the above, I assume that you can't connect the 2 bottom drains into 1 feed which is what I was going to do, ie use a T piece and connect the 2 bottom drains. if not I guess i'll have to look at the drum filter and wait a bit longer to set the pond up. i'm in no particular rush as i'd rather take my time and do it right and probably have another few weeks of digging left before any type of construction can begin.

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