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  1. #1
    Junior Member Rank = Fry pfrosty's Avatar
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    Advice required on set up and filtration

    Hi all, newbie to the forum so forgive my ignorance. I've kept fish for a number years albeit in a somewhat amateur / garden pond environment. I currently have 2 small ponds 1 indoor and the other outdoor which are connected thru a wall via a 9" pipe. The combined size of both is approx only 600 gallons and the fish have simply grown far to big for their environment.
    I have mixture of ghosties, metallics, couple of uk koi and a large mirror. Ranging from 40cm down to 10cm. 15 fish in total.
    I need to find a new home for my fish when i move to my partners house in the spring.
    Hence i'm doing a new pond build project starting in a couple of weeks -

    Koi pond approx 10 x 7 x 6ft deep approx 2200 gallons with bottom drain
    Fitration pump etc will be in garage adjacent to pond
    I'm pretty much decided on pond design and construction -
    Pond will be 3ft below and 3ft above ground level
    Block construction in the ground with blocks laid flat.
    Above ground will be block construction internal wall with a combination of hand made bricks and sleepers for external.
    Footings and base will be concrete slab with steel reinforcement
    Window fitted to front wall and pond return will be a 700mm blade water feature mounted in a feature brick wall at the back ( next to garage).
    Pond will be rendered and fiberglassed finances permitting
    Doin't plan on skimmer as there's no trees nearby.

    Looking for advice on filtration,mechanical and bio. Originally had nexus in mind but the more i read about drums and combi units the more puzzled i'm becoming.
    I don't plan on adding to my existing stock in the future and in all honesty i am pre empting a couple of casualties when i do the move as i know fish do not take well to a change in home and bacteria levels etc.
    Thanks for your help



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  3. #2
    Welcome to the forum pfrosty, I'm a total newbie to Koi too, I started planning my pond last April. It the design layout and specification has changed completely since! I'm starting my build in March and will built almost identical to yours, although a tad smaller in size and I have opted for a surface skimmer, 1 for increased flow and 2 to remove debris from the surface.

    My filteration started of with a homemade system, then i changed my mind to a nexus, then it was seize then nexus. Now my final thoughts are Drum filter to moving bed, to returns. This decision is after much thought and advice from here. It seems the best mechanical filtration is a drum, it also has the least maintenance. my moving bed will be made from a large Vortex i have, filled with K1 or alike.

    As I say, I'm new to Koi, but not new to fish keeping and thought i'd chime in as I am in the same boat as you at this time.

    Good luck with the build

    Jay

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  5. #3
    Junior Member Rank = Fry pfrosty's Avatar
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    Hi Jay
    Thanks for the reply and from the sounds of it we have similar thoughts on the pond build and design. I'm hoping to start mine early march too weather permitting or a bit earlier.
    I was sold on the nexus at first but after researching drum filters a bit I'm leaning towards those if my finances will stretch.
    Just wondering with a drum filter is it essential to have a mains water supply? If so this could present a problem for me.
    Also I was hoping to build a bio filter from a plastic drum to save a bit of cash so have a bit more to play with on drum and pumps etc.
    Do you know where the pump will go in the system? I presume it would be after the bio filter to pump back to the pond. So in effect both the drum and bio are gravity fed. Just not sure how that bit works?
    I wish you luck with your build also. Have you costed it out material wise?
    Regards
    Paul

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  7. #4
    Extreme Koi Member Rank = Supreme Champion Andy1671's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome.
    When it come to filtration. It's best to visit a couple of ponds and talk to the pond keeper for t, heir hands on advice. Remember you want a good and easy filter to clean.
    5000 Gallon Fibreglassed Pond With 54" x 27" Infinity Window
    BD300 Drum Filter
    Artesian 0.5hp - Aquadyne 4.4c Beadfilter - PS4 Protein Shower
    Badu Eco Touch - EP20 UV Sterilizer - ASHP - Venturi
    Hi Blo 60 - Medo 45 - Spindrifter Bottom Drain
    Wide Mouthed Skimmer

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  9. #5
    Junior Member Rank = Fry pfrosty's Avatar
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    Good advice thanks

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  11. #6
    My newbie response and limited knowledge, is it all depends what drum you have/get. The water feed could be taken from the mains or the clean water side.
    I have an outside tap at the rear of my house, but it's some distance from where the filter house will be. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it..
    Yes the return pump will be after the filter(s) and all gravity fed till then.
    I'm sure someone will be along soon to give a more knowlegable answer mate!
    Jay


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  13. #7
    Hi and welcome. I'm certainly not an expert but a couple things to think about.
    Return: an underwater return can really help water circulation and help to avoid dead spots in the pond. If you've not looked at it I recommend Manky Sanke's articles on pond design.
    I, and I'm sure others, turn off the blade in winter as it really chills the water.
    Drums are sensitive to water level and for good operation ideally the pond water level should be constant - I use a simple auto top up to achieve this.
    good luck.

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  15. #8
    my opinion you cant beat a shower for bio,1st stage filtration wise drums will always be top of the list for removing fines and almost maintenance free. you will need mains water to the pond for water changes all i have is copper pipe from the mains coming throug the wall with a hose on it that runs in to the garage where there is a hose manifold that trickles in the main pond, another trickles in the indoor grow on and 1 for cleaning

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  17. #9
    Junior Member Rank = Fry pfrosty's Avatar
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    Hello and thanks for the welcome and advice. I hadn't thought about the blade chill factor in winter.
    Yes I can see the benefits of having an additional return so I can isolate the blade in winter and create good water movement in the pond. I will seriously consider this. Thanks.

    As for loss of water and level drops effect on drums do you mean thru evaporation? I would probably have to monitor this regularly and top up with hose manually.

    Great advice tho appreciate your thoughts

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  19. #10
    Yes some evaporation, but don't forget you'll lose dirty water to waste every time the drum cleans. Not a lot each cycle but it soon mounts up.
    You'll also need to plan where your waste water will go.

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  21. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Drum is a must if you can afford it.
    I myself have a nexus 320 with a draco inside it.
    I don t lose water on this setup. As in pond water.
    Only on evaporation. I trickle in and out for
    Water changing. And as said levels. Over 300lts of k1. And helx.
    K1 takes a while to mature.

    On the top pond side mine is open not covered so still running to lower pond.
    Lower pond is covered.
    I am keeping top pond flowing this year.
    Because last year I ended up with parasite
    Problems. Chill factor wise losing say 2 degrees. I have a bypass to lower pond.
    So running through both.

    Reason
    So as not to have dead spots in pipe work.
    This is a thing you have to keep an eye on
    If you bypass your shute for chill factor.
    Run it once a week for half an hour or so.
    To keep it clear of bad bacteria.
    A shower as said is a great addition for
    Bio.
    Fred




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  23. #12
    Junior Member Rank = Fry pfrosty's Avatar
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    Thanks for your thoughts freddy some good advice which i will take on board
    So will try to find someone close to me who's willing to show me there set up. I'm hoping to find an enthusiast running a drum filter with seperate bio or a combi unit. Also would be good to see a nexus and talk about cleaning frequency and maintenance.

    Wondered if there's any forum members who have built there own bio, as I've just sourced a new 220l plastic drum which i would like to use. If there's any DIY how to guides out there it would be very useful to me.

    I plan on doing a build diary on here when i get cracking in the next few weeks, and i'm sure i will have further requests for advice as i go.

    Thanks to all for your input

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  25. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfrosty View Post
    Thanks for your thoughts freddy some good advice which i will take on board
    So will try to find someone close to me who's willing to show me there set up. I'm hoping to find an enthusiast running a drum filter with seperate bio or a combi unit. Also would be good to see a nexus and talk about cleaning frequency and maintenance.

    Wondered if there's any forum members who have built there own bio, as I've just sourced a new 220l plastic drum which i would like to use. If there's any DIY how to guides out there it would be very useful to me.

    I plan on doing a build diary on here when i get cracking in the next few weeks, and i'm sure i will have further requests for advice as i go.

    Thanks to all for your input
    Put up on here where you live. And maybe someone. Will offer to show you there pond and setups.

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  26. #14
    Junior Member Rank = Fry pfrosty's Avatar
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    Hi all, so i'm getting close to digging out the pond and i have a couple of questions regarding slab and sub base.

    Thinking 100mm type 1 sub base, will this be ok? The sub base will be underneath the slab only, the footings will just be concrete, with blocks built on top. Is this right?

    The slab base will poured once I've started laying blocks face down on the footings, is this the right thing to do?
    I've spoken to my local ready mix company, they have suggested i order a mix with reinforcement fibers instead of steel mesh reinforcement. What depth should i consider for this? Thinking 6" but could i get away with less? It's a bit expensive

    Thanks in advance for your advice, i'm a newbie to pond construction and your help is appreciated

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  28. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfrosty View Post
    Hi all, so i'm getting close to digging out the pond and i have a couple of questions regarding slab and sub base.

    Thinking 100mm type 1 sub base, will this be ok? The sub base will be underneath the slab only, the footings will just be concrete, with blocks built on top. Is this right?

    The slab base will poured once I've started laying blocks face down on the footings, is this the right thing to do?
    I've spoken to my local ready mix company, they have suggested i order a mix with reinforcement fibers instead of steel mesh reinforcement. What depth should i consider for this? Thinking 6" but could i get away with less? It's a bit expensive

    Thanks in advance for your advice, i'm a newbie to pond construction and your help is appreciated
    Heres two photos of my slab base with drain. Before None concrete. Then hired pour of concrete with plastic fibers. 8 inch slab
    Holds 5000 gallons. 3 1 /2 years now no problems
    Fred

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  29. #16
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Handy Kenny's Avatar
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    pfrosty,

    I built my 20,000 litre pond system simply using 4 inch concrete with plastic re-inforcing fibres. No subbase just straight into the ground with a groove for pipes (which gives more strength), where the pond comes out of the ground I then have double brick walls a couple of feet high. Water starts narrow and shallow going to 8 feet wide and 7.5 feet deep where there is a bottom drain. Organically shaped, a lot like a chinese spoon which gives it a lot of strength. Depends a lot on the ground conditions but I would say my ground was not particularly strong. They build bridges in Asia without rebar and use plastic fibres instead. I screeded the walls then painted onto the screed. No problems into year 4.

    I think an in wall skimmer is a necessity, I had to retrospectively fit one which of course took a lot longer than if I had installed it in the first place. The 3/4 ton stone island which you see in the third photo sits on what I call my "koi house" where the fish like to hide (seen in photo 1) as they may sometimes like a bit of privacy. Makes the koi difficult to catch but adds a whole new dimension to the design i.e the pond is bit of architecture rather than just a rectangular bit of water. The shelf on the left of photo 1 is for a bit of a water garden with some anoxic filtration. Not everyone wants the architecture but there are a few who wish they had planned for it in the beginning.

    WP_20150712_003.jpgDSCF0311.jpgKenny_Pond_2016.jpg

    One major piece of advice I would give is "always plan for extra" i.e. another pipe into/out of the pond, room for a bigger filter, space for a shower, more costs etc.

    I did a video of the early days of my pond - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQaB0Q6xLD0

    Check out https://diypondfilters.com/ for ideas on your blue barrel bio set up. Wrighty also has a youtube channel which used to contain lots of handy videos about blue barrel filters.


    Kenny

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  31. #17
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Handy Kenny View Post
    pfrosty,

    I built my 20,000 litre pond system simply using 4 inch concrete with plastic re-inforcing fibres. No subbase just straight into the ground with a groove for pipes (which gives more strength), where the pond comes out of the ground I then have double brick walls a couple of feet high. Water starts narrow and shallow going to 8 feet wide and 7.5 feet deep where there is a bottom drain. Organically shaped, a lot like a chinese spoon which gives it a lot of strength. Depends a lot on the ground conditions but I would say my ground was not particularly strong. They build bridges in Asia without rebar and use plastic fibres instead. I screeded the walls then painted onto the screed. No problems into year 4.

    I think an in wall skimmer is a necessity, I had to retrospectively fit one which of course took a lot longer than if I had installed it in the first place. The 3/4 ton stone island which you see in the third photo sits on what I call my "koi house" where the fish like to hide (seen in photo 1) as they may sometimes like a bit of privacy. Makes the koi difficult to catch but adds a whole new dimension to the design i.e the pond is bit of architecture rather than just a rectangular bit of water. The shelf on the left of photo 1 is for a bit of a water garden with some anoxic filtration. Not everyone wants the architecture but there are a few who wish they had planned for it in the beginning.

    WP_20150712_003.jpgDSCF0311.jpgKenny_Pond_2016.jpg

    One major piece of advice I would give is "always plan for extra" i.e. another pipe into/out of the pond, room for a bigger filter, space for a shower, more costs etc.

    I did a video of the early days of my pond - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQaB0Q6xLD0

    Check out https://diypondfilters.com/ for ideas on your blue barrel bio set up. Wrighty also has a youtube channel which used to contain lots of handy videos about blue barrel filters.


    Kenny
    Kenny just wow that pond looks awesome truly well thought out and planned beautiful mate very well done

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    Johnathan

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  33. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Handy Kenny's Avatar
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    AJM,

    Thanks. I like garden design and stuff but I am not a*al about it. I simply incorporated ideas I had seen from pond videos etc. and taught myself how to do new stuff from information on-line. Fortunately I was able to do all of it with my own hands (with a bit of learning as you go) and this kept prices well down.

    Kenny

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  35. #19
    Nice pond Kenny, I like Advice required on set up and filtration


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  37. #20
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    Agree great pond kenny. Love it

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