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  1. #1

    2,500 gallon Koi Pond under construction

    Hi all

    Iíve embarked on building my Koi pond with the assistance of friends, friends of friends and a few trades people. I would like some advice and some reassurance please.

    The pond is going to be approximately 2,500 gallons with the dimensions of 12ft x 6ft x 5.5ft. (Just over 2ft above ground and 3.5-4ft under)

    I started digging a trench approximately 12Ēx12Ē within the 14ft x 8ft footprint allowing for 10Ē of block and facing bricks on top. I have since filled the collar with rebar and concrete (fibres) last Monday and given it 4-5 days to set.

    This weekend Iíve got a mini digger coming to dig out the other 3.5-4ft of solid clay and earth. A grab lorry is then coming on Monday morning and my plan is to spend that afternoon digging out a channel inside the pond for the bottom drain.

    On Tuesday Iíve got the blocks and facing bricks arriving and in the evening and Wednesday the block work is going up.

    As you can see things are progressing pretty quickly and once the block work is up things will slow down but Iím beginning to panic and want to make sure I donít miss anything at this crucial stage.

    The pond will eventually be underlaid with old carpet and eventually lined before the coping stones go on.

    As well as the bottom drain Iím planning on having a gravity skimmer through the block work to feed a Filtreau 20 Drum Filter (already purchased) to a pump (yet to be purchased) to EB50 Bead filter with micro K1 (already purchased) and 2 returns straight back into the pond below the waterline. I want to keep things quiet for my neighbours sake and my kids as all their bedrooms will overlook the pond.

    Iíd also like to have a few plastic pipe collars under the coping at the back for running airlines discretely into the pond.

    In terms of the above is there any basics Iím missing in this stage of the construction as I donít want to miss anything as things are moving at a fast pace now?

    In terms of flanges and pipe work through any blocks and prioritising the skimmer is it better to fit the pipe and flange and block around it or can I get away with a 4Ē pipe for the time being and remove it to fit the flange base and pipe later as times running out or should I be rushing out to get the flange on Sunday so it can be done there and then.

    As mentioned earlier with the discreet returns to the pond, Iím tempted to have two 1.5Ē returns with venturis from the pumped Beadfilter back to the pond. I take it the double coupled venturis places behind the back wall would be better so I could then run a pipe back into the pond.

    Would this work and is there an optimum return direction back to the pond for flow?

    Excuse all the questions but my heads spinning With the speed things are going and would like some experienced input to make sure I donít make mistakes that are costly to rectify later but appreciate itís all a learning curve and part of the fun.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully reply.






    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 04-06-2020 at 07:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai algarth's Avatar
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    Where is the bottom drain you mentioned?

  3. #3
    Itís not been dug yet. Itís just the concrete collar so far. As soon as the mini-digger has dug out the pond this weekend then Iíll taper the base upto the sides and trench out ready for the bottom drain install. Running 4Ē pressure pipe along the base and up behind the collar. Iíll post pics up as I go.
    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 04-06-2020 at 11:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai algarth's Avatar
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    How are you going to get the bottom drain pipe through the collar to the ouside of the pond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiyabanana View Post
    It’s not been dug yet. It’s just the concrete collar so far. As soon as the mini-digger has dug out the pond this weekend then I’ll taper the sides and trench out the bottom drain and run the pressure pipe along the base and behind the collar. I’ll post pics up as I go.

  5. #5
    The collars only 12Ē wide and deep so Iíll dig underneath it and come up behind it on the other side.

    Something like this (from another pond):

    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 04-06-2020 at 11:49 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hiyabanana View Post
    The collars only 12” wide and deep so I’ll dig underneath it and come up behind it on the other side.

    Something like this (from another pond):

    Try and keep as little bends as you can from bottom drains if you ever get a blockage it could become a pain in the butt.

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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevied View Post
    Try and keep as little bends as you can from bottom drains if you ever get a blockage it could become a pain in the butt.

    Thanks Stevied, itís something I was advised to do from the off.

    The picture with the two drains (in a post above) is from a friends 7,500 gallon pond thatís been in 30+ years without needing to be rodded once but I suppose thatís why they have two in.

    Iíve chosen to have a bottom drain with a flap that can be opened if needs be for that very purpose. The pressure pipe from it will feed into a swept 90 then straight up the outside of the collar to a shut valve then a boot where the drum will be fitted in a filter house (red arrow marks rough route). My thinking behind that is that should the valve need cleaning Iíve got access from the boot and also allowing easy fitment or changes to anything topside in the future. The gravity skimmer will be down that end too in the top right corner.

    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 05-06-2020 at 08:11 AM.

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  10. #8
    In regards to fitting the 4Ē pipe for the skimmer is it advisable to be going just under the collar and straight out or will I be able to come through the blockwork on top of the collar with only 8 courses of brick above (7 really with liner before coming under and over on the first row)?

    Iím worried if I do I wonít have enough room for an Oase Aqua Skim gravity or similar as open to suggestions.

    I think Iíve just answered my own question but would appreciate some expert knowledge.

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  12. #9
    Iím not saying it canít work but personally I wouldnít be that keen on the collar idea in general,I think youíd of been better digging the whole lot out and then either using footings for the walls or a complete concrete base and then building up off that ie have full height block walls.Constructing the footings and then digging right beside of them and beyond doesnít seem ideal to me,they are then further undermined by digging beneath them to fit the drain pipework through,in that pic it actually looks like some parts underneath the footing have shifted slightly

  13. #10
    Dan, thereís plenty of ponds with concrete collars built this way and the one in the referenced picture has stood for over 30 years without any issues so far. Even some of the early ponds built at my local koi specialist have been built in the same way with concrete collars and they are all still going strong with the original liners some 32 years later. Itís not sunk as itís still level just a little rough on some of the edges but nothing insurmountable for blocking on top. Itís solid clay after 10Ē.

  14. #11
    Member Rank = Sansai Spongebob's Avatar
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    Any reason you’re going liner over fibrelass?

  15. #12
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai davethefish1's Avatar
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    looks good to me, nice size too.
    going to do a similar build when i re-do my pond.
    concrete collar, blocks laid flat 2ft up and then 3ft in ground.

    no need for concrete base and full height blockwork with a liner pond imo.
    if i was going to go to those lengths it would be fibreglassed.

    have you thought about insulation?
    it's very easy to forget when digging in the summer and it's nice and warm,
    but especially the blockwork above ground will loose a lot of heat in the winter.

    mine is currently all in ground,
    but i will insulate new pond blockwork either above ground with 2" or 3" celotex by stepping the blockwork back around the inside of footings by the thickness of insulation.
    and making the footing wider than the blocks.
    or alternatively insulating the outside with celotex and cladding it, there by using the concrete blocks as a thermal mass, helping to slow temperature swings.
    The Solution to Pollution is Dilution

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  17. #13
    @Spongebob - Budget and timescales before I go back to work

    @Dave - Not really thought about insulation with a liner to be honest. Would have considered it if I was going to heat it but have been thinking about a pergola over the top for aesthetics only.
    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 07-06-2020 at 07:52 PM.

  18. #14
    Member Rank = Sansai Spongebob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiyabanana View Post
    @Spongebob - Budget and timescales before I go back to work

    @Dave - Not really though about insulation with a liner to be honest. Would have considered it if I was going to heat it but have been thinking about a pergola over the top for aesthetics only.
    Coming on well, is it still dry where you are?! Presumably you are using a box welded liner? I have the same with the budget and timescales (and job uncertainty). But have a serious think if you're going to all the trouble with the concrete base and blockwork, the final render and fibreglassing isnt a huge job and can be done DIY, then its done 100% properly.

    Im looking at my hole at the moment full of water and considering either filling it back in, or doing it with a liner. If I do it with a liner in my mind its then a wildlife pond not a Koi pond....

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  20. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Spongebob View Post
    Coming on well, is it still dry where you are?! Presumably you are using a box welded liner? I have the same with the budget and timescales (and job uncertainty). But have a serious think if you're going to all the trouble with the concrete base and blockwork, the final render and fibreglassing isnt a huge job and can be done DIY, then its done 100% properly.

    Im looking at my hole at the moment full of water and considering either filling it back in, or doing it with a liner. If I do it with a liner in my mind its then a wildlife pond not a Koi pond....

    I wasn’t brave enough to get that wet today and a small issue of a sloping tree trunk and root for mini digger access on a turn that I negated to see. Options are chop it out or get a micro-digger instead. I’ll await a dry window in the weather as I don’t want to deal with all the clay in the wet unless I really have to.

    Considered box weld but in all honesty favouring Firestone and taping the folds. Not that convinced ‘proper koi ponds’ need to be fibreglassed. Seen enough very good koi ponds with liners around and as mentioned previously with long lifespans so far. No need for a concrete base with the clay just a bit of muck to secure the BD in.

    In regards to my question regards the skimmer inlet have been advised by Avery experienced pond builder to come though the block work just above the collar and also advised that the bottom drain is sealed allowed to dry and filled to below the skimmer before that flange is fitted and then the outlets that way the liner isn’t pulling down excessively on the flanges. Common sense really but good advice to pass on.
    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 07-06-2020 at 09:08 AM.

  21. #16
    Another thing I’m considering is another waste pipe T’d in with valves prior to the drum in order to purge from the bottom drain. Might as well plumb it in now. Any thoughts on this? Is it that necessary against the cost of running another 5 meters of pressure pipe to the drain?
    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 07-06-2020 at 09:14 AM.

  22. #17
    Apologies it’s been a while and things have taken a little slower time due to weather, work and family.

    4CFD1889-B00B-49F2-9DDD-3EE239E466B0.jpg

    The pond was eventually dug to a depth of 3.5ft (5.5ft when raised) and sloping into the ‘Avenue’ bottom drain and skimmer running on C grade pressure pipe.

    After the digging and initial pipe work two skins of dense concrete and LBC heather facing bricks have been laid up to 7 courses. As said previously it will be 8 courses high and finished with a grey natural stone coping.

    Awaiting the liner before I look at underlaying the pond with carpet tiles. I’ve got approximately 4 weeks to wait so on wards with the returns and organising and sourcing pump, UV and pipe work including wastes (purge, drum and bead filter).

    The bead filter I picked up last night and still awaiting the nod from my local koi specialist to let me know when the drum is ready for collection.

    7D94243E-A5D8-4735-B983-F197B13E8B1F.jpg

    It’s all getting very exciting now I can see things shaping up nicely.


    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 19-06-2020 at 06:52 PM.

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  24. #18
    Senior Member Rank = Nanasai Rapleyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiyabanana View Post
    Apologies itís been a while and things have taken a little slower time due to weather, work and family.

    4CFD1889-B00B-49F2-9DDD-3EE239E466B0.jpg

    The pond was eventually dug to a depth of 3.5ft (5.5ft when raised) and sloping into the ĎAvenueí bottom drain and skimmer running on C grade pressure pipe.

    After the digging and initial pipe work two skins of dense concrete and LBC heather facing bricks have been laid up to 7 courses. As said previously it will be 8 courses high and finished with a grey natural stone coping.

    Awaiting the liner before I look at underlaying the pond with carpet tiles. Iíve got approximately 4 weeks to wait so on wards with the returns and organising and sourcing pump, UV and pipe work including wastes (purge, drum and bead filter).

    The bead filter I picked up last night and still awaiting the nod from my local koi specialist to let me know when the drum is ready for collection.

    7D94243E-A5D8-4735-B983-F197B13E8B1F.jpg

    Itís all getting very exciting now I can see things shaping up nicely.


    Looking good. We are you based? I also have an ĎAvenueí bottom drain


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  26. #19
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion freddyboy's Avatar
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    That looks great mate

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk

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  28. #20
    Hi Rapelyr

    Im in Bedfordshire some 15 minutes away from Avenue.
    Last edited by Hiyabanana; 19-06-2020 at 08:16 PM.

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