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  1. #1
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Smile New Member | Advice Required | Brendan's Koi Build, Started July 2019

    Hi All,

    I am very new to the Koi world and am moving my dads old pond since his passing along with his beloved old Koi and common and mirror carp, some over 20 years old. Now, I planned not to put in a bottom drain as funds to build the entire project are a mere £2100 and I was worried out the build cost spiralling out of control. But, after reading all of the forums and seeing the marvelous pond constructions on here it has taught me a great deal and I am of the belief that I cannot really go without having one if I want the water perfectly clear in time (which I do).

    The issue is I have already dug the hole and set out the pond blocks and levels on the base layer with a friend 4m x 3m x 1.5m or 1.8m, if I have enough blocks (internal dimensions. I am a little worried about all of this as I have seen that the water pressure can cause heaps of damage and even blow the mortar joins, forcing a rebuild of the pond. The blocks have been laid flat on a dry bed of ballast foortings of around 20cm (perimeter trench dug) mixed at 6:1, from there the dense concrete blocks (440mm x 215mm x 140mm 7.3n) are being laid with mix of 3:1 (sand:cement) so I am hoping this is acceptable? Also, I am not planning on laying a pad of concrete either, is this a mistake? The ground is solid clay so a pretty decent surface and then I was just going to cover it all in a thick layer of sand, again not sure if this is ok?

    Around 65cm of the pond will be out the ground at the highest point and then 90cm at the lowest pont (of the ground).

    I have underlay and a thick rubber EPDM liner from SealECO (ECOSeal) and plan to smooth all inside of the block work, fit the underlay with tape and then drop the liner in on top of the bottom drain, then cut the hole, glue and fit the drain.

    I am really hoping for some decent pointers and help from members as I am not a builder, nor am I a structural engineer and have very little knowledge about water pressure in a raised pond. Our old one was fully in the ground.

    I am full of questions, so if anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated:


    • is the way I am setting this pond up going to be ok? Are there any considerations I need to make at this stage? Is there anything I have missed?
    • what is the best bottom drain without breaking the bank? I think I would like one with an airline as well.
    • what pipework do I need under the ground? Do I used push fit or does it have to be glued? Where do people buy their parts from? What glue do I need to buy for the pipework?
    • Can the pipe for the bottom drain come out of the pond come straight up on a 90 degree bend?
    • Could I use a barrel drum initially for the bottom drain gravity tank and then upgrade at a later date?
    • Do I need to install a valve to cut off the water in order to use the above and then install at a later date?
    • I am planning to render the outside, so do I need to have a DPM between the blocks as the pond comes out the ground at varying levels? Is rendering the outside a bad idea and should I just wait and put ceramic tiles on?


    At the moment I only have submersible pumps that link to filter boxes and UV. For a makeshift solution could I just drop the pumps into the holding tank and run them through the old filtration setup until I can afford better? I am assuming the bottom drain will remove all the nasties from the pond anyway and move them up to the holding tank? Or I am underthinking this?

    I have the budget for an air line to go in, possibly a holding tank and maybe a bigger pump, but not much else. I certainly could not stretch to an expensive setup, as much as I wish I could.

    In all honesty I ran before I could walk and ordered the blocks, digger, labour and building materials without actually going into detail about the filtration. Now I have a huge hole in the garden, around 30 blocks laid, an angry partner, 2 kids that cannot use the garden, very little time on my hands, and only now am I doing some serious reading and thinking about things. I am hoping some koi pond building gurus can point me in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance all. - sorry that my first post is a pain in the arse and I am asking for help rather than contributing. Hopefully in time I will be able to help someone else though.

    I have attached a picture of the stage it is at.


    PondBuild.jpg



  2. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Mature Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Someone who's built a liner pond using blockwork will need to answer the structural questions here, but I'll help with what I can....


    • is the way I am setting this pond up going to be ok? Are there any considerations I need to make at this stage? Is there anything I have missed?

    Structural concerns aside, it looks fine to me. I didn't use blockwork, just stuck a liner in the ground then put a concrete collar at ground level and used railway sleepers from the ground up.



    • what is the best bottom drain without breaking the bank? I think I would like one with an airline as well.

    Personally I would just fit whatever 4" / 110mm bottom drain fits within your budget, just make sure its compatible with the pipework size i.e Metric/Imperial. Mine was £30 with no air ring and its done the job fine for the last 2 years.




    • what pipework do I need under the ground? Do I used push fit or does it have to be glued? Where do people buy their parts from? What glue do I need to buy for the pipework?

    Grey pressure pipe or black solvent weld pipe. I used black and had no issues, most use the much stronger grey but it is more expensive. If you physically buy pipework and bottom drain and solvent weld glue from a shop you'll know all the pipework is compatible and will fit together ok. 4" is ideal for the bottom drain pipe, 1.5" or 2" for the pump return pipework. I used 1.5" but then extended the pond 10 Months later and fitter a more powerful pump and wish I'd gone 2" from the start.




    • Can the pipe for the bottom drain come out of the pond come straight up on a 90 degree bend?

    Yes this is fine, make sure its a 90 degree curved elbow as opposed to a 90 degree "corner" to avoid muck getting stuck.



    • Could I use a barrel drum initially for the bottom drain gravity tank and then upgrade at a later date?

    Yes. You'll want to upgrade soon after once you're fed up of cleaning it.



    • Do I need to install a valve to cut off the water in order to use the above and then install at a later date?

    Yes, you'll want a valve where the bottom drain pipe comes out of the ground regardless of what filtration you use. Ball valves are best but 4" ones ain't cheap. Slide valves do the job but have a reputation for leaking. Like you I was on a budget and fitted a slide valve, it leaked (externally) for the first few days then stopped and has been fine since. When the valve is closed it does let a very small amount of water through internally.



    • I am planning to render the outside, so do I need to have a DPM between the blocks as the pond comes out the ground at varying levels? Is rendering the outside a bad idea and should I just wait and put ceramic tiles on?

    Loads of people render without any issues. I don't think they use a DPM but you'll need someone who's done this to confirm.



    Hope that gives you a start.

    However, there will be people who have different opinions to me..... I wouldn't have an aerated bottom drain for example (extra thing to go wrong, extra maintenance etc) but some people would never build a pond without one.

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  4. #3
    Where are you located Brendan? It might be worth popping round to someoneís gaff and see theirs before you take any more giant leaps into the unknown. Itís a minefield


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Gray's Avatar
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    New Member | Advice Required | Brendan's Koi Build, Started July 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcarpchaser View Post
    Where are you located Brendan? It might be worth popping round to someoneís gaff and see theirs before you take any more giant leaps into the unknown. Itís a minefield


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Exactly what I was about to say after reading all the good questions. I can see his profile says Kent of anyoneís reading this from around there?

    A long way from me in the Midlands otherwise Iíd gladly offer a visit to my place. Iím no Koi expert yet (still learning!) but I feel know my way around some construction methods now based purely on the fact that my pond hasnít leaked and itís still standing!!! New Member | Advice Required | Brendan's Koi Build, Started July 2019

    Iíve renovated my house too and thatís still standing so Iím doing ok so far. New Member | Advice Required | Brendan's Koi Build, Started July 2019

    Anyways;

    One question back to you Brendan - can you explain a little more about your footings? Depth, width, etc.

    Also, have I read it right that under the blocks is just ballast?
    Last edited by Gray; 13-08-2019 at 08:20 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Gosai smartin's Avatar
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    The guys above will for sure guide you well, my pennys worth is that a concrete base is required, I have a clay subsoil too but we still put in a substantial concrete base for everything to sit on...…. Steve.

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  10. #6
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Many thanks for taking the time to reply. I am just panicking now as I have a huge hole in the garden and want to get moving but am also worried about making mistakes.

    You mentioned that you have a 4" non aerated bottom drain in place, I looked at the spindrifter 4" with 1" for air pipe. But how many would I need in a pond that size? 1 or 2? I do not think I have the budget for 2 of them. Also, would both of them fit into the same gravity fed tank?

    Should I fit a skimmer as well? Or can these be retro fitted? I have heard they can really help to clean the surface debris. I am assuming these are completely separate to everything else as well? So is this another expensive setup that I should avoid at this stage?

    I have re-thought the DPM and rendering and have since seen a pond that has been tiled and I must say, it looks Amazing.

    One more thing as well, is fitting an infinty window a massive task? I have been looking at what people have done and they look so good. I know there is a huge cost attached but it does not look like something that could be fitted too easily after the pond is built.

    Basically, I only have £1100 left and possibly another £1000 that I am tempted to use on my credit card and then pay back later. What would everyone say is a must have/nice to have? Where would wise people spend this money if they were leaning more to the more affordable £1100?

    With the bottom drain, pipework, valves and fittings, where does everyone buy from in the UK? Also, I see that you need a PVC primer/cleaner and like a cement to bond the plastic pipes toghether. Any recommendations on brand and where to buy?

    Thanks for all the responses and sorry to add more and more questions into the mix.

    Thanks
    Brendan

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  12. #7
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    At 130 ish for spindriftter or 20 of a kk if on a budget that could be a big saving

    Sent from my SM-N950F using Tapatalk
    Johnathan

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  14. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    jbr for all your plastic ie bd and pipe . Heard nothing but good things about jbr and they might do a nice deal for bd skimmer pipe valves and that way it ll all be same size aswell

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    Johnathan

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  16. #9
    You might get away with 1 bottom drain on 4m. Rule of thumb is they pull on a radius of around 6 feet as I understand.
    You could have 1 aerated and 1 standard. JBR are decent.
    Put a skimmer in now.
    Halfway along your longest wall. Thereís a thread that discusses skimmer and how fish friendly they may or may not be so choose carefully. Bigger outlet the better so Iíd go 4Ē every time to save fannying around later.
    Filter...grab a used nexus and add a Draco in it at a later date???
    See Fredís pond for ideas.
    Render...K-rend is good, Iím personally not a fan of old style sand/cement render and paint. It always flakes and looks cack (apologies to those who like it)
    See Skooshes pond for nice looking tiles and Felines for K-rend.
    I wouldnít worry about the outside yet, do that later.
    Window...easy. Not massively expensive if you donít do stupid large. Not difficult to fit, even I can do it.
    Keep asking


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  18. #10
    Senior Member Rank = Mature Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Imo 1 bottom drain on 4m length is fine.

    Mine is 4m x 2.4m and bottom drain is 1.5m from the edge so it's 2.5m from furthest wall.

    This came about as I extended pond and left BD where it was. I did put a very slight slope towards it of around 2 inches over the 2.5m length. (Not enough slope to prevent a box weld liner not fitting properly).

    To my surprise it works really well and I don't get any muck accumulation whatsoever.

    One little tip of using a cheap bottom drain, drill a small hole at the top of the dome cover to stop air getting trapped under it and eventually lifting the dome off. The domes are only a push fit and don't lock into place so to speak.

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  20. #11
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I am based in Ashford, Kent. I will try and check out the guys I have been speaking to on facebook as he has some filters and other kit for sale but for a smaller pond unfortunately.

    Cheers for the tip though, good idea to see how others have done things up close.

    Thanks
    Brendan

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  22. #12
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Thanks Steve. I was thinking the same then I have literally watched a ton of videos (but mostly American) and they do not seem to put concrete down all that often. Another person who runs a local pond and accessories shop called world of water did not even recommend using bottom drains or concrete pad. I have been getting quite a few mixed messages. But then every Koi forum I have read say that bottom drains are an absolute must.

    Thanks
    Brendan

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  24. #13
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I looked at the JBR website, do you just have to ring them? There was no option to buy online that I could see.

    Thanks
    Brendan

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcarpchaser View Post
    You might get away with 1 bottom drain on 4m. Rule of thumb is they pull on a radius of around 6 feet as I understand.
    You could have 1 aerated and 1 standard. JBR are decent.
    Put a skimmer in now.
    Halfway along your longest wall. There’s a thread that discusses skimmer and how fish friendly they may or may not be so choose carefully. Bigger outlet the better so I’d go 4” every time to save fannying around later.
    Filter...grab a used nexus and add a Draco in it at a later date???
    See Fred’s pond for ideas.
    Render...K-rend is good, I’m personally not a fan of old style sand/cement render and paint. It always flakes and looks cack (apologies to those who like it)
    See Skooshes pond for nice looking tiles and Felines for K-rend.
    I wouldn’t worry about the outside yet, do that later.
    Window...easy. Not massively expensive if you don’t do stupid large. Not difficult to fit, even I can do it.
    Keep asking


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  25. #14
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I looked at the spindrifter and was questioning why the hell a moldedpiece of plastic was that price £149.99 with the liner kit. Then I read that if you can stretch to aerated then it would be better for the fish/environment. There are just so many things to consider. I think even if I put an aerated in and cap off the other end at least the plumbing is there for when I can afford the other stuff to run it.

    Is spending this much on a SpinDrifter a false economy? Could the money be better spent elsewhere?

    Thanks
    Brendan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajm View Post
    At 130 ish for spindriftter or 20 of a kk if on a budget that could be a big saving

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  27. #15
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Thank you for all the tips. I will stick with 1x bottom drain then, but would 2 be overkill or would it make things better? For instance, would it be better to over engineer it considering how hard it would be to deal with it retro fit? Also, the pond itself will be in direct sunlight for the first year or so until I can save and do something to provide a form of cover for it.

    I was looking at skimmers, they are really expensive aren't they! I will definitely have to look around to find something used that I can purchase to begin with.

    Yes, I agree, sand/cement render is bad, we have had a face of the house done like this and have already said that we will be saving to get the whole lot rendered with K-Rend instead. Maybe we will just get them to do the pond when they are in. There is also an acrylic or ceramic (cannot remember what they called it) that one of the contractors said was flawless in its finish. But, after seeing tiling I would really like that.

    I will look into glass then if its easy to do. Will it cause any structural weakness in the wall though? This is my main concern as there will be a lot of block work out of the ground (around 1m).

    I will take a look at those builds to get some further ideas.

    Thanks
    Brendan

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcarpchaser View Post
    You might get away with 1 bottom drain on 4m. Rule of thumb is they pull on a radius of around 6 feet as I understand.
    You could have 1 aerated and 1 standard. JBR are decent.
    Put a skimmer in now.
    Halfway along your longest wall. There’s a thread that discusses skimmer and how fish friendly they may or may not be so choose carefully. Bigger outlet the better so I’d go 4” every time to save fannying around later.
    Filter...grab a used nexus and add a Draco in it at a later date???
    See Fred’s pond for ideas.
    Render...K-rend is good, I’m personally not a fan of old style sand/cement render and paint. It always flakes and looks cack (apologies to those who like it)
    See Skooshes pond for nice looking tiles and Felines for K-rend.
    I wouldn’t worry about the outside yet, do that later.
    Window...easy. Not massively expensive if you don’t do stupid large. Not difficult to fit, even I can do it.
    Keep asking


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  29. #16
    Senior Member Rank = Mature Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    If 2 bottom drains and associated pipework are in budget then go for it.

    2 drains are definitely better than one and open up various filtration and turnover options.

    My point was simply that one drain would cope on a 4m pond if other constraints, financial or otherwise, prevented the installation of more than 1.

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  31. #17
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Thanks, 2x non aerated or 1x aerated? I think that is where the budget is really. I could possibly justify a single spindrifter, but not two. Whereas 2x non aerated with all the associated 4" pipes would likely be less than a single aerated spindrifter. Hmmmm, not really sure what to do with this one.

    Thanks
    Brendan


    Quote Originally Posted by RS2OOO View Post
    If 2 bottom drains and associated pipework are in budget then go for it.

    2 drains are definitely better than one and open up various filtration and turnover options.

    My point was simply that one drain would cope on a 4m pond if other constraints, financial or otherwise, prevented the installation of more than 1.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

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  33. #18
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    Also, anyone know the cheapest place to buy decent windows? I think this may a stretch too far but want to check out the options now whilst I am at the build stage. The kits for the windows look like they are around £700

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  35. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by neo3998 View Post
    Also, anyone know the cheapest place to buy decent windows? I think this may a stretch too far but want to check out the options now whilst I am at the build stage. The kits for the windows look like they are around £700
    Anglian or Safestyle

    Just don't get one with an opening section though

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  37. #20
    Member Rank = Tosai neo3998's Avatar
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    maybe a set of bifolds would look nice instead haha


    Quote Originally Posted by Frimley Koi keeper View Post
    Anglian or Safestyle

    Just don't get one with an opening section though

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