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  1. #1

    New Pond Build - France

    Hi -- Im new to Koi Ponds but have lots of experience with marine and tropical fish keeping.

    Advancing years and a significant house renovation project has given us the opportunity to build our dream Koi Pond in the South of France. I've read 'too much' ( as Im now more confused than ever ) and could really do with some help. A lot of help. The work is being done professionally by builders, my French is not fluent.

    The pond will be 10m x 2m x 2m and of concrete construction on a steeply sloping piece of ground directly in front of the house. The hole has already been excavated. The pond will only be 10cm above ground level so as the view over is not restricted

    IMG_2321.jpgIMG_2230.jpg

    The filtration equipment will be located in a small 'cave' which is about 15 feet below the pond level down steps behind the hedging you see in the above picture. It has the advantage of excellent accent to drains.

    IMG_2244.jpgIMG_2245.jpg

    The builders are very keen to start work on the pond early in the proceedings ( it enables them to then do other work that they can't allegedly start until then).

    My challenge now ( before I even have it all worked out) is to know whereto pipework runs and what needs to be set in concrete before they start creating the pond . Light positions, BDs ( 2 x 4"), Surface skimmer, Returns and blade waterfall come to mind but ideally obviously the whole set up.

    Can anyone recommend a 'Blade' waterfall?
    What are Best BDs ?
    What filtration would you recommend for minimal maintenance?
    Should I build in an auto refill capability ?
    Which Pond Returns should I use?
    How do I accommodate a Surface Skimmer on that slope -- its near a pine tree so absolutely required?
    Lights will be 'house side' but how many and at what depth?
    Should I engage a Pond Planning service , if so which one ?

    So many questions , all contributions more than gratefully received.


    Attached Images Attached Images

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by EME101 View Post
    My challenge now ( before I even have it all worked out) is to know whereto pipework runs and what needs to be set in concrete before they start creating the pond . Light positions, BDs ( 2 x 4"), Surface skimmer, Returns and blade waterfall come to mind but ideally obviously the whole set up.

    Can anyone recommend a 'Blade' waterfall?
    What are Best BDs ?
    What filtration would you recommend for minimal maintenance?
    Should I build in an auto refill capability ?
    Which Pond Returns should I use?
    How do I accommodate a Surface Skimmer on that slope -- its near a pine tree so absolutely required?
    Lights will be 'house side' but how many and at what depth?
    Should I engage a Pond Planning service , if so which one ?

    So many questions , all contributions more than gratefully received.
    Hi, welcome to the forum (Im a newbie here myself).

    In my opinion, the first thing you need to clarify is the filter location. From your post, it seems that are planning for the pond to be slightly above ground level and want to locate the filters in a room which is 15 feet below pond level. With all the typical filter setups I can think of, you will need to be able to fit your filters so that the water level between the pond and the filters are the same. Unless you are pump fed, where filters are quite often above water level not below). The key to this is gravity, you want the water to move from the pond, via the bottom drain to the filter by gravity. If you have your filter at a much lower level, there will be no problem with the water doing this, however, it won't stop either and will simply overfill your filter room and empty the pond!

    Is it possible for you to locate the filter elsewhere? Given that you are setting the pond in ground, you will need to create a filter location suitably in-ground too, it's just that your filter room you've mentioned is too low by the sounds of it, unless I am mistaken?

    With regards to the other questions....

    I can't recommend a particular blade waterfall, I think you will find this is a personal preference. Given that you want a blade waterfall and need a filter location, it might be a good idea to build a wall on the side of the pond you want to locate the blade waterfall and locate the filter room behind this wall?

    With regards to BD's, some quote SpinDrifters as the "best", but also the most expensive typically, but others have had equal success with other units. I think the key here is that bottom drains are a must versus other methods.

    For minimal maintenance, you would be looking at a drum for mechanical filtration and your choice of biological filtration, eg moving bed k1, bakki shower (or both) or others are also available.

    I think auto refill / topup is a handy facility, particularly useful for allowing a trickle in / out setup, besides if you don't add it now, you may wish you did later.

    Pond returns (apart from the blade waterfall) would be below the surface typically at mid level or above. These are usually positioned to create flow around the pond, a current for the fish to swim against and also to help push surface debris towards the skimmer.

    I'm not following why a pond skimmer is difficult to fit on the pond even though the pond is on a slope? The pond itself will be level, so you should be able to fit a skimmer and set the top of it flush in the wall or decking / patio area surrounding the pond. Typically Certikin skimmers are used which are primarily made for swimming pools, so you may be familiar with the flush round beige circles you see around pools.

    I don't have any experience with lights, but I too am looking to implement these on my pond build at my new house. I would therefore look to others or manufacturers recommendations. I think you've got the basis right though as it's important to have the lights on the same side that you are viewing from, otherwise you only see a silhouette.

    For pond planning, I think you will get some of the best advice on forums. Best approach would be to follow up your thinking here with plans and locations of equipments etc. and also remember to plan on the vertical plane too for water movement / gravity. I realise that this is being built in the south of France, so not sure how relevant and where you are planning to buy your equipment from, but most decent koi dealers are pretty helpful in reviewing and advising on your plans.

    Best of luck.

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  5. #3
    Thanks so much for your reply
    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetBazza View Post
    In my opinion, the first thing you need to clarify is the filter location. From your post, it seems that are planning for the pond to be slightly above ground level and want to locate the filters in a room which is 15 feet below pond level.
    I should have made clear that due to planning permission constraints another 'building' or underground it is not possible.
    With all the typical filter setups I can think of, you will need to be able to fit your filters so that the water level between the pond and the filters are the same. If you have your filter at a much lower level, there will be no problem with the water doing this, however, it won't stop either and will simply overfill your filter room and empty the pond!
    I had assumed that a closed loop system ( as with many swimming pools ) would enable a filtration facility at a much lower level. I had assumed that bead, drum and even settlement tanks could be accommodated in such a solution. If not, Im in trouble and can fill in my hole . I hope not! Can anyone confirm my assumptions on a closed loop system?

    With regards to BD's, some quote SpinDrifters as the "best", but also the most expensive typically, but others have had equal success with other units. I think the key here is that bottom drains are a must versus other methods.
    Thanks -- then Spindrifters it will be.
    For minimal maintenance, you would be looking at a drum for mechanical filtration and your choice of biological filtration, eg moving bed k1, bakki shower (or both) or others are also available.
    I think auto refill / topup is a handy facility, particularly useful for allowing a trickle in / out setup, besides if you don't add it now, you may wish you did later.
    Pond returns (apart from the blade waterfall) would be below the surface typically at mid level or above. These are usually positioned to create flow around the pond, a current for the fish to swim against and also to help push surface debris towards the skimmer.
    Thanks so much for all that. Gratefully Received.
    I'm not following why a pond skimmer is difficult to fit on the pond even though the pond is on a slope? The pond itself will be level, so you should be able to fit a skimmer and set the top of it flush in the wall or decking / patio area surrounding the pond.
    Im not explaining myself well. Sorry. Whilst the pond is flat there are no flat surfaces around the pond other than a very narrow walkway uphill and toe the sides of the pond . I suspect no enough to conceal a skimmer or skimmers . Hence my question
    I don't have any experience with lights, . I think you've got the basis right though as it's important to have the lights on the same side that you are viewing from, otherwise you only see a silhouette.
    For pond planning, I think you will get some of the best advice on forums. Best approach would be to follow up your thinking here with plans and locations of equipments etc. and also remember to plan on the vertical plane too for water movement / gravity. I realise that this is being built in the south of France, so not sure how relevant and where you are planning to buy your equipment from, but most decent koi dealers are pretty helpful in reviewing and advising on your plans.
    .
    I intend to buy all of the equipment filters in the UK precisely so that I can understand the advice properly. A little harsh on local suppliers but its not as if I Know what Im doing" There may be exceptions to this. Where would you good folks recommend as an excellent supplier of advise and Koi Pond equipment?


    Many Thanks Again and Best of Luck with your new build as well. Builders want to start this week but Im nowhere near ready

  6. #4
    Hi

    So just to be clear, do you not have an option to build a filter room in the ground next to the pond and conceal it or would that need planning also?

    With regards to closed loop systems, I guess it might be possible, a bead is the first option that would spring to mind. I've not seen a drum that is sealed, in fact it relies on being part out of water if you look at the design principle (youtube should have some examples). The only problem I can think of is the amount of solids that would build up. Typically you have mechanical filtration ahead of biological (but not absolutely necessary) to remove the larger fish waste particles. Examples are sieves, drum, vortex, brush boxes, none of which I have seen in a closed system.

    You might be able to go with a bead in a closed system, but it will require more maintenance I believe as you will be using it to trap the waste as well as bio treat the water. Maybe some others will have better experience with this or a closed loop system.

    Sorry I can't add any more to this, I'm familiar with pool setups in comparison to a pond, I had a pool in the past which has a closed system using a sand filter, so in theory might work, just not sure with the amount of waste that it will need to process.

    All the best.

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  8. #5
    Thanks again for your input. Hopefully someone can chip in on the viability of a closed loop system.

    To clarify the issue around Planning Permission. There are several parameters which prevent us doing any more. Under the local system, the amount ( % ) of Green Space to Total space and footprint as well as normal square footage, aesthetic and style constraints are in place which means we wouldn't get additional planning permission if we tried and green space % means we cant even go down as it were and cover with decking.

    We have a pressurised Bead System on our pool .. but the koi pond is obviously a very different animal and why I would like other input on how to clean mechanically before the bead filters.

    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetBazza View Post
    Hi

    So just to be clear, do you not have an option to build a filter room in the ground next to the pond and conceal it or would that need planning also?

    With regards to closed loop systems, I guess it might be possible, a bead is the first option that would spring to mind. I've not seen a drum that is sealed, in fact it relies on being part out of water if you look at the design principle (youtube should have some examples). The only problem I can think of is the amount of solids that would build up. Typically you have mechanical filtration ahead of biological (but not absolutely necessary) to remove the larger fish waste particles. Examples are sieves, drum, vortex, brush boxes, none of which I have seen in a closed system.

    You might be able to go with a bead in a closed system, but it will require more maintenance I believe as you will be using it to trap the waste as well as bio treat the water. Maybe some others will have better experience with this or a closed loop system.

    Sorry I can't add any more to this, I'm familiar with pool setups in comparison to a pond, I had a pool in the past which has a closed system using a sand filter, so in theory might work, just not sure with the amount of waste that it will need to process.

    All the best.

  9. #6
    Moderator Rank = Grand Champion Feline's Avatar
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    I don't think you will be able to adequately mechanically clean the water before a bead in a closed system.
    However you could have a chat with Darren at Absolute Koi- he sells virtually every filter on the market so might well know about something we don't commonly see used.

    You definitely cannot use a drum filter in that way- and really drums are the best and easiest mech filters you can get so this would be a real shame. Would you possibly be able to site a drum at the same level as the pond outdoors, then pump from there to a bead or beads in your underground room? I would assume you would not need planning for a drum with a wooden seat etc. covering it etc. if this is not a building?

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  11. #7
    Theoretically everything has to be Green now ( ie Grass ) but the idea of a bench seat over/ connected a Grass Tray which could also be the lever to open might a goer . Thanks as I hadn't thought of anything like that . I shall also phone Absolute Koi as Im a bit stumped but I'm not about to give up ! Would a Bead system not hack it ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    I don't think you will be able to adequately mechanically clean the water before a bead in a closed system.
    However you could have a chat with Darren at Absolute Koi- he sells virtually every filter on the market so might well know about something we don't commonly see used.

    You definitely cannot use a drum filter in that way- and really drums are the best and easiest mech filters you can get so this would be a real shame. Would you possibly be able to site a drum at the same level as the pond outdoors, then pump from there to a bead or beads in your underground room? I would assume you would not need planning for a drum with a wooden seat etc. covering it etc. if this is not a building?

  12. #8
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    Beads are good but really need a mechanical filter in front of them to be at their best. Your pond is very long and rather large at 40k ltrs. Would it not be possible to shorten it slightly and give yourself the space to have the filters next to the pond - perhaps hidden under a viewing platform so the space isn't wasted.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  13. Thanks EME101 Thanked / Liked this Post
  14. #9
    Thanks Again. I can see that most so far are suggesting putting in a mechanical before the Bead filter! Im immensely stubborn aren't I !

    Its difficult to explain but the pond will be overlooked by the house -- which will be glass-fronted after renovation and an external seating area so no need for a viewing platform per se. How much room would I need for a sub - terranean mechanical filter set up out of existing allowance do you think ? Its already dug to a 2 meter depth .

    Quote Originally Posted by pip895 View Post
    Beads are good but really need a mechanical filter in front of them to be at their best. Your pond is very long and rather large at 40k ltrs. Would it not be possible to shorten it slightly and give yourself the space to have the filters next to the pond - perhaps hidden under a viewing platform so the space isn't wasted.

  15. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by EME101 View Post
    Thanks Again. I can see that most so far are suggesting putting in a mechanical before the Bead filter! Im immensely stubborn aren't I !

    Its difficult to explain but the pond will be overlooked by the house -- which will be glass-fronted after renovation and an external seating area so no need for a viewing platform per se. How much room would I need for a sub - terranean mechanical filter set up out of existing allowance do you think ? Its already dug to a 2 meter depth .
    I'm running a superbead 8000 with a bio sieve prior to bead, the bead filter itself is excellent cant fault it, my only concern with my system is its location ie difficulty maintaining/cleaning /draining and my bio sieve which works via a weir which mean my pump has to sit at the same level as the water at the bottom of weir then pump to bead exit of bead filter is approx. 2m above pump which means huge drop in flow . as the bio sieve sits far below the bead filter. plus my sieve mesh doesn't seat correctly with moulded sieve body so where water builds up on waste gate debris also collects here and then gets under the sieve either more repairs to this sieve or replace for a drum filter or make my own..

    advice with sieve filters , dont bother, get a drum filters to around 70 micron instead of approx. 300 micron bead filters ideally require finer pre filtering to prevent clogging and extend draining/cleaning

  16. #11
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    You could get a drum and bio chamber in as little as a meter out of your pond length. You could get a separate boichamber and make it extra tall so it won't take up much footprint. The enclosure could be less than a foot above the surface of the water.

    I have a green roof over part of my filter house perhaps that might be another option.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  17. #12
    And given that you want a blade waterfall, it could be fitted to the 1 foot above water level housing...

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  19. #13
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    Given that you have a large pond going for 2x small drums and bio chambers with 2xblade returns sitting at either end of the pond would keep things symmetrical and give you some redundancy.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  20. #14
    Thanks everyone so much -- Ive spent time with the builders this morning and we've made some 'minor' changes . Th external measurements are now 10 x 2.50m nd the internal are 9.60m x 1.90m . They suggest I can put a chamber at one end to house mechanical filtration / sieves or whatever but Im going to be tight on space -- I can see it already...

    Can I ask what you mean by a green roof?

    The attached is what the new 'glass front' to the house might look like:IMG_2461.jpg


    The pond is immediately in front of the house on left of image as it were-- awful perspective . The blade waterfall will hopefully be farthest away from you .

    I think its time to phone Absolute Koi as suggested. I really need some Pond Specific plans drawn up for the builders who have researched the web but need some real plans.


    Quote Originally Posted by pip895 View Post
    Given that you have a large pond going for 2x small drums and bio chambers with 2xblade returns sitting at either end of the pond would keep things symmetrical and give you some redundancy.
    Last edited by EME101; 27-11-2018 at 11:48 AM.

  21. #15
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    Looks a lovely build!

    Green roof - also called a sedum roof - it might be worth checking that they are viable localy - dont see why not, but you may need to provide more water than I do. Would make the "lid very heavy - so probably not suitable unless you had separate access i.e on a fixed roof rather than a lid.
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  22. #16
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    Not a very good diagram but this is the sort of setup I had in mind using a green roof.

    DSC_1464.jpg
    6000g unheated in ground koi pond
    +3000g lily/Anoxic pond attached
    28 koi (40 to 65cm)
    Bottom drain & Skimmer to Drum
    JBR boichamber->Blue eco 500 pump ->below surface return.
    Blue Eco 240 -> Large MB -> Waterfall -> Planted Anoxic pond (25 baskets)

  23. #17
    Thanks to a lot of help and assistance I have now got a detailed set of real plans for the pond.

    The size has changed dramatically as has the whole concept/ Interior.
    Internal measurements are now 7 x 2.1 x 2 m
    Th filtration house is now directly next to the pond with stairs access and a partial decking cover. The house is to the North of the pond .. ie the filtration house is to the West of the pond
    Filters are Gravity Fed drum and Moving bed with 2 JBR skimmers ( BDs are also from JBR)
    There is also a 90cm OASE cascade at the filtration plant end .

    What do you think? All observations gratefully received.



    What do you think ?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  24. #18
    Looks so much better now. Would you not consider a light in the opposite end from the filters to keep things even?

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  26. #19
    Thanks

    Hadn't really thought of it to be honest as the lights on each side are independent of 1 another and wouldn't be used at the same time. The 2 viewing sides will be from the house and patio- North or from Teak Decking / Filtration room cover ie from West. . 1 light is more than enough to light whole pond just put 2 on 1 side for even coverage of whole. The lights are dimmable and even one is more than enough. Viewing from East ( Pool) is at a lower level but I should add another as it will be last chance.

    Thanks

  27. #20
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    It's definitely a good idea to get the drum in the plans at this stage. Looks from the drawings as if you have been well advised. Many pond plans forget to include an overflow which your has.

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