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  1. #1

    Complete beginner - inherited pond - guidance on water pump and filtration needed

    Hi all,

    I bought my home earlier this year which came with a raised koi pond in the garden.

    It's a 4 metre round pond, about 3 feet high, with a fountain in the centre. The previous owners used to keep koi in there, and told me that I just need a pump to get the fountain going. There are 2 copper pipes outside of the pond which would connect to an inlet and outlet from an external pump. One of the pipes goes into the bottom of the pond and takes water from the pond to the pump. The 2nd pipe would go from the pump up into the fountain.

    There is another pipe in the bottom of the pond that would drain it, and is currently blocked with a wood cap. It's been that way for years I was told.When I bought the house, the pond was full of water/debris/sludge and covered in pond weed. Ive since drained and cleaned it. So the blocked drain pipe was 100% blocked - the pond level did not drop.

    Dotted around the pond are various stone archways. The pond is lined in concrete.

    I'd like to get the fountain going, and I'd like to introduce some koi. I've never had an experience with either, and am wondering if this community would provide me with guidance or some good reference documentation for a novice?

    Can anyone recommend a particular brand of external pump? And what L/H would be best? Would this kind of fountain set up be good enough to oxygenate the pond by itself?
    I assume I would need a filter somewhere - where would this fit in/be connected?

    Do I need to unblock the drain pipe at all? If so, what would I connect to it, and how would I prevent the pond from simply emptying? Sorry for the stupid question!

    thanks all

    Charlotte



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  3. #2
    Member Rank = Nisai Simon Fish's Avatar
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    It's all a learning process.
    Best to start with goldfish and build up experience.
    Pond volume, 4m circle (pi, R squared) would be 2x2x3.14x height. = 11.3m3 (assuming the diameter of 4m not circumference?)
    So the pump should turn over the volume at least every 2 hours better every hour.
    Best to swap the copper pipes for plastic hose.

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  5. #3
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Nanasai Scamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlotteo View Post
    Hi all,

    I bought my home earlier this year which came with a raised koi pond in the garden.

    It's a 4 metre round pond, about 3 feet high, with a fountain in the centre. The previous owners used to keep koi in there, and told me that I just need a pump to get the fountain going. There are 2 copper pipes outside of the pond which would connect to an inlet and outlet from an external pump. One of the pipes goes into the bottom of the pond and takes water from the pond to the pump. The 2nd pipe would go from the pump up into the fountain.

    There is another pipe in the bottom of the pond that would drain it, and is currently blocked with a wood cap. It's been that way for years I was told.When I bought the house, the pond was full of water/debris/sludge and covered in pond weed. Ive since drained and cleaned it. So the blocked drain pipe was 100% blocked - the pond level did not drop.

    Dotted around the pond are various stone archways. The pond is lined in concrete.

    I'd like to get the fountain going, and I'd like to introduce some koi. I've never had an experience with either, and am wondering if this community would provide me with guidance or some good reference documentation for a novice?

    Can anyone recommend a particular brand of external pump? And what L/H would be best? Would this kind of fountain set up be good enough to oxygenate the pond by itself?
    I assume I would need a filter somewhere - where would this fit in/be connected?

    Do I need to unblock the drain pipe at all? If so, what would I connect to it, and how would I prevent the pond from simply emptying? Sorry for the stupid question!

    thanks all

    Charlotte
    Hi Charlotte
    if you want to keep Koi, you have to have big filtration to clean the water mechanically and biologically, otherwise they will suffer. There are tons of books around on eBay and Amazon, plus a good website here summarises what you need to know:
    From Koi Carp Magazine

    Please take your time before deciding deffo to keep Koi, as it can be really time consuming, and expensive! The filters needed for Koi are big, as they need to deal with a lot of waste the small pressure filters and black boxes aren’t really geared for koi, specially when they grow..

    Goldfish are an easier option, less demanding, and more forgiving. Having said all that we are all Koi mad so understand if you want to ‘jump in’ but you’ll need the right equipment to keep them healthy. Hope the above link helps..cheers

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  7. #4
    Thanks for replying so quickly. I'll definitely take a look at the link you provided.

    Yes - the pond is 4m diameter rather than circumference. Swapping the copper pipes out isnt' really an option without demolishing the pond and paving around it as they're routed through the base and out a few metres away - the entire area is concrete. Are copper pipes harmful to fish?

    I had assumed that the pond would be suited to Koi given the previous owners kept them, and that I would just be able to replace the equipment. It sounds like it might be more complicated than that - I can't imagine how a filtration system was integrated.

    Goldfish might be the easier option to start with. If I go down that route, and find that I am still keen to take on koi, can the 2 live together?

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  9. #5
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    Yes many of us started out with both. The big advantage of sticking with goldfish is that they are compatable with plants and lilies. Keeping koi in a Lilly pond is very challenging - ultimately the koi tear the lilies apart. With goldfish you can get away with a much smaller more discreet filter.
    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)

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  11. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion andikoi's Avatar
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    hi charlotte and welcome,i started with goldfish and shibumkins many years ago,you can get some nice colour shibumkins,im guessing the copper pipes are concreted into the base of pond,when you say theres a drain coming from bottom do you know what size pipe this is??,heres my suggestion,put a small pressure filter on the fountain with say a 10000lph pump,if you buy a variable pump then this will be cheaper to run and you could buy a bigger one but adjust the flow to your liking out of the fountain,find out where the drain pipe comes from in pond,and what size it is,this may be ideal to run to a decent filter such as a nexus (loads cheap on ebay) and then pump from nexus back to pond,you could just stick a return pipe over side,you may also want to look into draining the pond right down and coating it with a fish safe sealer as concrete can leach toxins into water,good luck. andi

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  13. #7
    Hi Charlotte,

    Its difficult for me to picture your pond set up without erm, pictures, but this bottom drain you refer to could be something of value. .

    We use bottom drains as a part of our filter systems.... Instead of using electric to pump dirty water from the bottom of the pond uphill to a filter we use a bottom drain and gravity does the work for us, then we use a pump to move the water out of the filter and back to the pond and this uses a lot less energy as its not pumping up hill. The water level in the filter needs to be the same as the pond in this kind of set up, so if you have a semi raised pond, the filter is likely to also be half buried so the top lines up with the water level. This kind of filter is much better for Koi.

    I'd suggest having a look at the build section of this forum where there's plenty of pictures to get an idea of how people pump and filter the water. My own pond is semi raised so here's a thread with some pictures showing how the bottom drain aspect works on mine:

    First Sleeper Pond Build

    If the bottom drain turns out not to be a bottom drain, the only remaining option is to put a pump in the bottom of the pond with 2 outlets, one to pump debris into a filter that is above the water level of the pond so the the water runs back to the pond via a waterfall etc, and the other outlet to run to your fountain.
    Last edited by RS2OOO; 23-12-2018 at 01:12 PM.

  14. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Rokusai Handy Kenny's Avatar
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    Hi Charlotte,

    Welcome to the wonderful world of fish keeping. You mentioned in your post that the previous owners "used to keep koi". Did you wonder why they don't now! There is a steep learning curve that all of have to go through before we even become average at the hobby and quite a few give up in the process. Cost becomes prohibitive so only those determined enough make it. The rewards are fabulous though, to see beautiful fish swimming about in your garden is a sight to behold.

    Kenny

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  16. #9
    Unfortunately the previous owners told me a horrible story about their grandsons using the fish as target practice and killed them all by throwing stones!
    And they didn't restock after that.

    I will take some pictures to share the scenario over the weekend.
    I realised I gave the wrong dimensions previously - the pond is 3m across in diameter rather than 4m.

    The pond bottom has been designed with a slight slope, so the water will always end up where this "draining pipe" is located, quite close (a couple of inches from memory) from the edge of the pond.
    I have absolutely no idea where this draining pipe leads to. There is absolutely nothing I can spot anywhere in the garden that might be the end of it.
    I dare not remove the wooden cap as I would have no clue how to cap it again.

    There is an ornamental fountain in the centre of the pond.
    As well as the draining pipe in the pond, there is a 2nd pipe (seemingly smaller in diameter than the draining pipe) that sticks up out of the pond floor. Unsure if it's relevant, but there are 4 flat topped 'bricks' concreted in place near this pipe - they're not neatly lined up (they are at random angles and not touching) but look as though a paving stone could sit atop them. Maybe a base for 'something' to connect to the pipe? I have a photo of this to hand. There are other various bricks and rocks concreted to the pond floor to create various arches, so this could just be another one, with the top arch having come away.

    Photo here:
    pond.jpeg


    Outside of the pond, a metre or so away, there are 2 copper pipes sticking up out of the ground.
    One is the end of the pipe sticking up out of the pond floor near the 4 flat topped bricks.
    And one feeds up through the centre of the fountain,
    Both are fully embedded in lots of concrete.
    There is a rectangular area (about a foot by a foot and a half) that is next to these 2 pipes outside of the pond, which has deliberately been left un-concreted so there is bare earth. Maybe for a waste water pipe from a filter to lead into?

    I was really hoping to avoid any wires running into the pond, hence my initial thoughts of getting an external pump.
    And there is really no option to get water back into the pump via a gravity fed waterfall with the current set up. The pond is a raised circular ornamental pond with paving stones all around it.

    So my preference would be to have pump and filter set a couple of metres aware from the pond, using the 2 copper pipes that are coming up out of the ground away from the pond to take water from the pond, and to put water back into the pond through the fountain.

    It's beginning to sound like this isn't an option however!
    Last edited by charlotteo; 02-01-2019 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Forgot to include the photo

  17. #10
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion andikoi's Avatar
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    get some photos up and we can get our heads together lol,also if you let us know what part of country your in there may be someone local who may fora cuppa and a biscuit pop round and have a look,and maybe let you visit theirs,my kettles always on lol,andi

  18. #11
    Member Rank = Nisai Simon Fish's Avatar
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    The revised diameter gives you a volume of 6358lt
    Quite a drop from the 11.3m.
    Still ok but for less fish. So the pump requirements are now different.
    If your in contact with the previous owners could you not get them to come round and explain whats what?
    Or at least lots of pictures.

  19. #12
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion Andy1671's Avatar
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    Where are you then maybe a member close by could pop over and give the pond once a look over
    5000 Gallon Fibreglassed Pond With 54" x 27" Infinity Window
    BD300 Drum Filter
    Artesian 0.5hp - Aquadyne 4.4c Beadfilter - PS4 Protein Shower
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    Hi Blo 60 - Medo 45 - Spindrifter Bottom Drain
    Wide Mouthed Skimmer

  20. #13
    I will get some photos, promise! I don't get home till it's dark and don't have any already that are particularly useful for this at the moment. So I'll take a few over the weekend.

    Thanks everyone for being so helpful, and the offer of popping around - that's extremely kind. I'm in North London, near Arnos Grove and would gladly receive visitors to take a look.

    And I'm not in contact with the previous owners to ask them unfortunately - I was just relaying conversations had with them before I completed on the house. At the time they told me all the pipe work is in place, I "just need a pump". Seems like it's not quite that simple!

  21. #14
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Adult Champion pip895's Avatar
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    You really can't run any sort of filtration through 15 or even 22mm copper pipe! You might be able to run an electrical cable through it to a fountain pump that used to sit on those bricks though??

    At the very least you will need 2x 1.5inch pipes one to and one from an external filter and that would be far from ideal for koi.
    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)

 

 

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