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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    Load of balls

    Hi all,

    Has anyone used the euro-matic translucent balls for winter pond insulation?

    I polycarbonate sheeted last year and the koi were not too happy, so exploring options. These seem an easy way to insulate any shaped pond and cover 91% of the surface so still allowing for gas exchange (well so their sale spiel advises).

    Feedback welcomed

    Cheers

    Gaz


    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Ecoís, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

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    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Koiz's Avatar
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    I looked into these extensively before I went the poly route. I'll be in my office a little later so will dig out my research and share it Load of balls

    Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
    11,440L Raised Pond, BD, Oase ProfiClear, Bitron 55W, 2x10k Aquaforte Varios, Skimmer to Waterblade

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    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazkoi View Post
    Hi all,

    Has anyone used the euro-matic translucent balls for winter pond insulation?

    I polycarbonate sheeted last year and the koi were not too happy, so exploring options. These seem an easy way to insulate any shaped pond and cover 91% of the surface so still allowing for gas exchange (well so their sale spiel advises).

    Feedback welcomed

    Cheers

    Gaz
    there was a terrible case a few years back where someone had used these and lost all their fish under the balls and couldn’t see that something was going wrong until it was too late. I don’t think anyone found out whether this had been an oxygen issue or a pH crash, but when I think of those balls it always brings that disaster to mind
    I guess if you have a window then you can see what’s going on underneath so it’s ok.

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  7. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Koiz's Avatar
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    I found reports of pond wipeouts from various floating covers too. I'll see if I can find the links. Even with polys and space between the surface you have to be vigilant for O2 and PH crashes so agree that's another reason why windows are just so great to have in ponds.

    Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
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  9. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    Thank you both. I do have windows so could keep watch, however would not want to risk anything unnecessarily etc... if they could lead to adverse parameters.

    I polycarbed last year, which a few did not like - jumping up hitting the support beams (of course and not the flat sheeting...) and to my horror laying over (always the best ones too). At that point it was 8degs so not as cold as it could be in winter (last winter remained pretty mild). They cheered back up once the covers were removed and I added salt and Vitalize? With all of them still with me today

    @Koi - interested in your research findings - thank you for agreeing to share.

    It may become a case of polycarbonate at a higher level that previous - maybe part of the issue was the proximity of the sheeting to the water surface. They’re was a fair bit of condensation last year which I understand can turn Ammonia into ammonium which does not do the little darlings much good...

    Cheers

    Gaz
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Ecoís, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    That is exactly why I don’t use any timber supports under my polycarb Gaz. I would rather have a bit of droopage in the middle than anything they can damage themselves on. If koi can do something stupid then they will!

    I’m considering this winter getting a stainless steel tube to run across the pond under the covers to give the sheets a bit of support in the centre. Might not bother though as the 35mm was ok really on its own. Just need to weight it down with something if there are storms though- I had a sheet go on a trip over the fence into next doors garden during ‘beast from the east’. Put concrete blocks on the corners after that

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    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    I think I will raise up higher than last year and then block the height gaps.. I was not going to cover at all this year and hope for a mild winter...

    Cheers

    Gaz
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Ecoís, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Yonsai LouiseR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    there was a terrible case a few years back where someone had used these and lost all their fish under the balls and couldn’t see that something was going wrong until it was too late. I don’t think anyone found out whether this had been an oxygen issue or a pH crash, but when I think of those balls it always brings that disaster to mind
    I guess if you have a window then you can see what’s going on underneath so it’s ok.
    This might be what you were thinking of Feline - the link was posted here 3 years ago, the pond was covered with floating balls + styrofoam sheets, the fish suffocated during a power outage: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr8xxnF39T8&t=437s

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    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai samp09's Avatar
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    I am looking for cover options for this winter as polycarbonate is rather expensive unless you use 10mm which I am not sure is going to be any good with any heavy rain/wind etc

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    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Koiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouiseR View Post
    This might be what you were thinking of Feline - the link was posted here 3 years ago, the pond was covered with floating balls + styrofoam sheets, the fish suffocated during a power outage: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr8xxnF39T8&t=437s
    That's exactly the link I was going to share! Thanks @LouiseR. I think however, that the floating sheets had a lot to do with this. We could really do with a translation of this video! Any volunteers?
    Last edited by Koiz; 27-09-2020 at 04:45 PM.
    11,440L Raised Pond, BD, Oase ProfiClear, Bitron 55W, 2x10k Aquaforte Varios, Skimmer to Waterblade

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  21. #11
    My German is a bit rusty but that's basically it. The fish suffocated when the power went out and the family were on holiday. Not all the fish were dead by that point, but most of them. They had died over a few days, and the ones that were left were pinked up with stress. It's his friends house and he had warned him about covering the pond, and he wants to show these brutal images to make everyone realise the important of extra aeration and covering the pond. He spends some time talking about how much oxygen a fish needs.

    The guy relied on his existing set up. I believe he suggests linking the air pump to your home circuit, and getting an oxygen cylinder in case of a power cut.. whatever this means?

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  23. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Koiz's Avatar
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    Here's a summary of the research I did in Dec 2017 when I was looking to insulate my new pond for the first time.

    Because I have two large infinity windows (1.2 and 1.8m long) that have been installed sill-side in (not a great idea!), I was drawn to the idea of the Euro-Matic floating balls as they would fill the area of my windows, and I felt they would be something I could manage easily myself (as opposed to lugging huge sheets of poly carb about). I obtained a quote from Daniel Carter of Euro-Matic who was very helpful. I sent him links to the very positive reviews I'd found on a blog on the Northern Koi Club website (that link no longer works and I have not been able to find that review anywhere else - which seems a little odd), but also to a thread in July 2017 entitled Winter Heat Loss, in which Feline first spoke about the problem of total pond wipeout which first lead me to that video link above. In response to the wipeout, Daniel advised

    "Thanks also for the article and think there is a misunderstanding on the gas build up as the balls cover 91% of the surface and naturally there are small holes where the circles come into contact so it is the opposite and lets the water breathe. This stops any gases but also stops a pool going stagnant which polycarb sheets can contribute to. On the material as discussed we use a special grade of LDPE which is used for toys and food/pharmaceutical products certified by the FDA so would be the safest material you have in the pool. I think something else went on unfortunately with the issue Feline was describing which is very unfortunate but the material sheet states"

    A quick google just now also found another old thread in which MBSITW made a very helpful post in relation to translating the Wipeout video: https://www.koiforum.uk/pond-construction-pond-build-diaries/25026-insulation-balls.html#post317347.

    My reservations about the balls were 1) that they would blow out of the pond as my water level is quite high against my infinity windows and has to remain at this level for my gravity fed drum to work at its optimum rate 2) they would get algae covered and be quite a pain to clean 3) they would actually take up a considerable amount of space to store when not being used, and put into the net sacks because I'd need 3,680 50mm balls 4) cost - they ain't cheap!

    My quote from Euro-Matic some 3 years ago was £411.36 for 3,680 50mm balls, or £637.92 for 115 100mm balls to cover a surface area of 8 SqM. These prices included delivery and VAT. Delivery for the 50mm was £30 as they came from the UK Warehouse, but the 100mm balls were made to order and shipped from the factory in Hungary so cost £90. Unit prices for both sizes reduced for quantities from 5k to 49k, and over 50k, and coverage was 460 50mm balls per SqM, and 115 100mm balls. I could not make my mind up, and in the end went through that winter uncovered.

    By October 2018, I knew I needed to cover and revisited the idea again and obtained the most competitive quote from Varico for six 35mm clear poly carbs, 67.5cm wide x 2.6m long, with White plastic End Closure strips and 25m of 98mm wide Polyethylene tape (awesome stuff, highly recommend it). Their price, including delivery (free) and VAT was £330.49. The polys on their own were £308.70 inc VAT. I went with it.

    It wasn't just the fact the poly covers were cheaper, but also that I felt they would offer better protection against everything the winter may bring, (snow, leaf fall, heron attacks, pigeon's drinking and pooping, acid rain) and would also protect my cats if they happened to find the urge to walk across the pond, or fall in! I could also use the polys over my Intex pool when quarranting if necessary (which I have done several times, very successfully this year).

    To get around the problem of handling the polys myself, I went with six sections as that made them easier to store, plus the weight of each is only 6.3kg, and whilst they are a pain to move around in high wind by myself, I can actually manage them mostly on my own. I also came up with a totally frameless design that kept them taught and wind proof, and avoided any timber spanning the pond above or beneath the covers, which I'll post about in a separate thread shortly as I have promised to share this solution several times for LauLau!

    I think in the right setting, Euro-Matic balls could work very well and I don't believe that pond wipeout was due to their product; personally though I have no regrets that I went with the polys. Hope this is helpful
    11,440L Raised Pond, BD, Oase ProfiClear, Bitron 55W, 2x10k Aquaforte Varios, Skimmer to Waterblade

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  25. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Koiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laulau View Post
    My German is a bit rusty but that's basically it. The fish suffocated when the power went out and the family were on holiday. Not all the fish were dead by that point, but most of them. They had died over a few days, and the ones that were left were pinked up with stress. It's his friends house and he had warned him about covering the pond, and he wants to show these brutal images to make everyone realise the important of extra aeration and covering the pond. He spends some time talking about how much oxygen a fish needs. The guy relied on his existing set up. I believe he suggests linking the air pump to your home circuit, and getting an oxygen cylinder in case of a power cut.. whatever this means?
    Wonderful - thanks LauLau - I'm very impressed! I hadn't seen your post whilst I was writing mine just now, so everyone can ignore my link to the old thread now!!
    11,440L Raised Pond, BD, Oase ProfiClear, Bitron 55W, 2x10k Aquaforte Varios, Skimmer to Waterblade

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  27. #14
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    Thanks all
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Ecoís, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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  29. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Koiz's Avatar
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    Let us know your decision. I'm very curious Load of balls

    Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
    11,440L Raised Pond, BD, Oase ProfiClear, Bitron 55W, 2x10k Aquaforte Varios, Skimmer to Waterblade

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  31. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Koiz View Post
    Wonderful - thanks LauLau - I'm very impressed! I hadn't seen your post whilst I was writing mine just now, so everyone can ignore my link to the old thread now!!
    No worries. To be clear, he was suggesting having the air pump on circuit with your house in a way that it is totally separate from the pond's electrics in case something does happen. Sounds like he has a pretty fancy set up with all the pieces of equipment he has, even on his quarantines, being able to notify him in the event of a power failure.

    Must admit I was hoping to see from this thread that the balls are a viable alternative but that video has scared me off!

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  33. #17
    Moderator Rank = Supreme Champion Feline's Avatar
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    Cheers, yes that is indeed the video I remember (in my worst nightmares).
    It isn’t the first time I have found myself thinking that if somebody just hadn’t covered their pond at all their koi would have been better off :insert grimace emoji:

    My advice would be, if you cover you have an extra responsibility to be vigilant over the winter. Water tests, power backup systems etc. become all the more crucial.
    I have to say the last 2 winters down here in the SW have been so mild I haven’t needed to cover at all. My geraniums even survived last winter as there was like 1 actual frost!

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  35. #18
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Mature Champion Andre Asagi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    I am looking for cover options for this winter as polycarbonate is rather expensive unless you use 10mm which I am not sure is going to be any good with any heavy rain/wind etc
    Isn't polycarbonate expensive too? It's trebled in price over the last 3 or 4 years.

    It's actually considerably cheaper for me to heat the water and leave it uncovered than it is to cover and heat it. Its obscene.

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  37. #19
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Gazkoi's Avatar
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    I’m looking at upgrading my woefully inadequate ASHP to a larger inverter. May try and leave uncovered and just heat the world at least that way I can keep an eye on them.
    4,100 gallon pond, infinity window, duratec heater, aerated BD, 3 bakki showers full of BHM, amalgam UV, 3 Blue Ecoís, construction skimmer, trickle in/out, Oase Profi Drum and some very spoilt koi.

    3 separate grow on vats, one 1,600 gallon QT and a customer first business

    www.aurorakoi.co.uk

    www.facebook.com/aurorakoiuk

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  39. #20
    Senior Member Rank = Hassai Koiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laulau View Post
    Must admit I was hoping to see from this thread that the balls are a viable alternative but that video has scared me off!
    If you follow my link above to MBSITW's post and scroll up that thread, you'll see an account from someone using the balls to insulate. At least that's a first hand account from an experienced user. You could DM them if you wanted to find out more Load of balls

    Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
    11,440L Raised Pond, BD, Oase ProfiClear, Bitron 55W, 2x10k Aquaforte Varios, Skimmer to Waterblade

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