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  1. #1

    Pond plan, please check

    Hello,
    Finally getting going on the pond revamp, I am currently digging, in-between the rain and snow downpours.

    I am doing it myself, I have half decent building skills but not done a pond of this size before so I am now having slight panic that I could be doing something very stupid. I am hoping you don't mind having a look and telling me if I am doing anything massively wrong before its too late to change.

    I have been purchasing over the last few months second hand filter equipment and picked up some freebies along the way so the plan is open to change. I have also planned for upgrades in the near future to help spread the costs out.

    Pond is L4m x W3m x D1.5m
    Box weld liner
    2000mm x 600mm glass
    Half sleepers half blocks dug into ground - no concrete bottom slab

    Basic set up plan with what I already have:

    Spindrifter bottom drain
    Nexus 300 with auto clean
    EA Vari 20000
    TMC 110w UV
    40, 70 and 90 ltp air pumps
    2inch return

    Skimmer
    4inch into Econosieve 300
    Hydro s pump
    2inch return *

    I am on a sloping pitch which make things a bit confusing to describe so please see my badly drawn sketches.
    At the front and one side the pond is half raised 700mm from railway sleepers and below ground 800mm. At the back and other side its level with the ground and will be formed of concrete collar and one course of blocks.

    Box weld liner with bottom spindrifter drain. Bottom of pond will be dug out and smoothed off with sand, underlay then liner.

    Bottom drain to have purge option.
    Fresh water and drainage to be taken to filter house to allow auto top up and auto clean to work.
    Nexus 300 with auto clean. k1
    EA vari pump to pump into UV, TMC 110W this will be about 600mm above water line then return to pond... any issues with air locks?
    Skimmer into Aqua forte econoseive via 4" gravity then pumped via 2" to a bead filter. *However I haven't got the bead filter yet. So in the meantime I have some options....I have a multi cyclone 50, a hydro clean cartridge or an easypod.....so can use any of these or not bother and just return after the sieve.
    I have lots of 2" pressure pipe fittings so no worries on cost of pipe work here.

    In 12-24months I will be adding a drop in Draco.

    I don't want to heat the pond due to costs and I am happy not growing all year round. I am in surrey so shouldn't be dealing with Artic/Scottish weather.
    There is x2, 4" inlets on the sieve so I could have an additional mid water inlet, is this a good idea?

    I will end up with 2 x 2" returns about 10 " below water line. I can easily add more now? If so where and why, is it needed on a pond of this size?

    What would be the best upgrade to fit first, the drum or bead?

    I have had koi for around 10 years in a small pond so not total newbie I am happy to hear any constructive criticism and thoughts.
    Thanks for your time.

    Steve




    20211203_175318.jpg20211203_175400.jpg



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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RoyLittle0's Avatar
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    I cant really comment on your design as I know nothing about sleeper ponds or box welded liners, but based on my own experiences, or should I say mistakes

    • I would add as much insulation to the pond as you can possibly afford (my biggest mistake)
    • Allow for covering the pond in winter and shading it in summer
    • Make sure all your bends are slow radius bends or stick with 45degree bends if that works in your plan.
    • The purge valve is also essential
    • Consider a auto top up and overflow, this also acts as a water change (unless you are on a water meter you may think twice)
    • Personally I would always opt for a drum filter, mainly because I work away a lot and its easy maintenance
    • Make sure you have a good electrical supply to the filter room and a water supply if you can


    As for the returns, water rarely goes where you think it will go, due to resistances in the water and other factors it wont flow anything like you planned, so just go with a mid level returns and hope for the best, not really advice but you just cant plan out fluid dynamics without some complicated software.

    All the best and post some pictures to keep us all happy
    4600 Gallon Concrete Block and Fiberglass
    2100 mm x 710 mm Infinity Window 32mm thick glass
    2 x Aerated Bottom Drains and Skimmer
    Filtreau HiFlow 30 Drum Filter
    Bio Chamber - 140 litres K1
    Bakki Shower - 30 KG Sakura Far Infrared Media
    2 x 18,000 lh pumps
    Heated from house boiler through a heat exchanger
    Idealseal MS290

    My Pond Build

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Have a read over this one mate . Dave has done a fantastic well planed meticulous build with every detail https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  7. #4
    Thank you for replying,

    All understood, yes I am in two minds about insulation. Wasn't going to as I'm not heating but I suppose I might change my mind in the future.

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  9. #5
    Thanks AJM

    I was feeling confident until I read dave the fish post on his build. So well planned and constructed. Made me question my sleeper idea, but definitely worth it.
    Thank you

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  11. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steviebignose View Post
    Thanks AJM

    I was feeling confident until I read dave the fish post on his build. So well planned and constructed. Made me question my sleeper idea, but definitely worth it.
    Thank you
    Sure dave will be along soon or even drop him a pm mate I've always found dave to be very helpful if I've had questions .

    As for the insulation on your style pond i would say definitely do it . If you went for an inground pond there is good views on getting heat stability from the soil but as your gunna be open to the wind and weather. Sleepers are good for insulation but for the sake of a few pir boards I would see well worth it and of you ever decide to heat its sorted

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Freddyboy the legend

    "we are water keepers first"

    Johnathan

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  13. #7
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RoyLittle0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steviebignose View Post
    Thank you for replying,

    All understood, yes I am in two minds about insulation. Wasn't going to as I'm not heating but I suppose I might change my mind in the future.
    Insulation isn't just about heating it's about maintaining the heat that is already in the water and stopping it from escaping through the walls as they are only thin, also the sheeting over the pond prevents wind chill

    Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk
    4600 Gallon Concrete Block and Fiberglass
    2100 mm x 710 mm Infinity Window 32mm thick glass
    2 x Aerated Bottom Drains and Skimmer
    Filtreau HiFlow 30 Drum Filter
    Bio Chamber - 140 litres K1
    Bakki Shower - 30 KG Sakura Far Infrared Media
    2 x 18,000 lh pumps
    Heated from house boiler through a heat exchanger
    Idealseal MS290

    My Pond Build

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  15. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    it's good you're asking for advice before building the pond
    as it's a bit late to ask if it's a good design after building it as a lot do....

    a couple of things to think about,
    if you have good access i'd 100% put a 150mm reinforced concrete slab down and build in concrete block off it.
    can't see the point of concrete blocks then sleepers if you are going all the way to the bottom.
    sleepers are way more expensive than concrete blocks...

    i'd only use blocks first then sleepers to get up out of the ground as i did on the back half of my pond, and that was on a concrete collar.
    liners are fine, but if you are going to the trouble of concrete blocks and a base,
    within a few years you will be ripping out the liner and having it fibreglassed...

    the pipework design looks good, if you are that into EA filters, nexus and a bead..

    but imo a draco drop in is usually a compromise to upgrade where you already have the nexus...
    if starting from scratch i'd get a drum and bio.

    a draco solum 25 with a 77micron screen and large bio would work out cheaper than draco and nexus,
    plus would have enough capacity in the drum to run the skimmer off it as well...

    negating the need for a bead, and you could add a shower if you wanted extra bio/ ammonia gassing off and oxygen input.
    you could even run it remotely in the filter house if you don't like the look or noise,
    thats how i did mine, with a 4" gravity return...

    or a large combi bio would be about the same price as a bead/nexus/draco...
    you could also add an amalgam UV which works without compromising pump wattage and ouput.
    though most combi bio's have bio sections that are too small imo
    so a good drum and large JBR or Burtons bio section would also work well.

    the problem with the design of building a pond is the million and 1 choices to make

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  17. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    i've only just seen the second isometric pic...

    if your making the back wall a retaining wall, you'll 100% need concrete block laid flat on a 150mm reinforced slab base as a minimum imo...
    possibly even reinforced concrete filled hollow concrete blocks, depending on soil structure....

  18. #10

    Point taken cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLittle0 View Post
    Insulation isn't just about heating it's about maintaining the heat that is already in the water and stopping it from escaping through the walls as they are only thin, also the sheeting over the pond prevents wind chill

    Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk

    Ok, you have changed my mind....

    What is the understanding of how much heat we gain from the ground at 1 metre down against blocking it off with insulation? If I leave the bottom of the pond clay will I add more heat than if I insulate it and try to keep in what the sun/air is adding. I am guessing its going to be very small differences

    I will add insulation to the sides that are either clay or concrete but the 200mm timber sleepers have better insulation value than 25mm of celotex, right?

    Thank for your time replying.

    Cheers

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  20. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by davethefish1 View Post
    it's good you're asking for advice before building the pond
    as it's a bit late to ask if it's a good design after building it as a lot do....

    a couple of things to think about,
    if you have good access i'd 100% put a 150mm reinforced concrete slab down and build in concrete block off it.
    can't see the point of concrete blocks then sleepers if you are going all the way to the bottom.
    sleepers are way more expensive than concrete blocks...

    i'd only use blocks first then sleepers to get up out of the ground as i did on the back half of my pond, and that was on a concrete collar.
    liners are fine, but if you are going to the trouble of concrete blocks and a base,
    within a few years you will be ripping out the liner and having it fibreglassed...

    the pipework design looks good, if you are that into EA filters, nexus and a bead..

    but imo a draco drop in is usually a compromise to upgrade where you already have the nexus...
    if starting from scratch i'd get a drum and bio.

    a draco solum 25 with a 77micron screen and large bio would work out cheaper than draco and nexus,
    plus would have enough capacity in the drum to run the skimmer off it as well...

    negating the need for a bead, and you could add a shower if you wanted extra bio/ ammonia gassing off and oxygen input.
    you could even run it remotely in the filter house if you don't like the look or noise,
    thats how i did mine, with a 4" gravity return...

    or a large combi bio would be about the same price as a bead/nexus/draco...
    you could also add an amalgam UV which works without compromising pump wattage and ouput.
    though most combi bio's have bio sections that are too small imo
    so a good drum and large JBR or Burtons bio section would also work well.

    the problem with the design of building a pond is the million and 1 choices to make

    Thank you for taking time to reply Dave, and sorry for the late reply I have been a bit pressed for time to go over what you have written properly.

    I should have probably started with: I am on a budget.....reason I am building the way I am is to use what is already in place or I already own and drive down costs. I will be happy with a liner as that's what fits my budget and the filter equipment I am using I already have. If I was staring from fresh with a big budget I would for sure be going down your recommendations.

    The sleepers are similar to your design as in, they are being used at the front and the blocks at the back where sleepers would rot. Below ground will be just dug into clay and now lined with 25mm insulation. I cant see the point in laying a concrete slab over the full base. The back wall has its own footing and is tied into the 2 sides so isn't going anywhere.

    I have seen a second hand draco drop in going for 500 so that would be a economical way of upgrading the nexus fines issue and killing the maintenance hours in the future and wouldn't need too much work to add in.

    I am happy to hear you think the pipe work is fine. I was worried about the sieve next to the skimmer and it remote from the filter house, but it saves a long gravity pipe run.
    Have you had any experience in using a multi cyclone or cartridge filter? still not sure what one to add for the time being?

    Thanks again for you input.


    Steve

  21. #12
    I was planning on having a solenoid valve turning on at night and adding 300lts of fresh water every night via the nexus, allowing the excess to over flow via an overflow!
    Is there a reasonable dechlorinator that can do this amount of water in a night? or do most of you just have the fresh water trickling in all the time? can the flow be controlled easily?

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  23. #13
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RoyLittle0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steviebignose View Post
    Ok, you have changed my mind....

    What is the understanding of how much heat we gain from the ground at 1 metre down against blocking it off with insulation? If I leave the bottom of the pond clay will I add more heat than if I insulate it and try to keep in what the sun/air is adding. I am guessing its going to be very small differences

    I will add insulation to the sides that are either clay or concrete but the 200mm timber sleepers have better insulation value than 25mm of celotex, right?

    Thank for your time replying.

    Cheers
    Hmm, this is where it gets complicated, the ground at 1 meter is still effected by the ambient temperature from above ground, the ground at this level stores heat and cold, so it basically lags behind the air temperature, this is why people say the ground stores heat and releases it winter and also stores cold and releases it in summer, in reality it does but it doesn't store if for quite that long, it is also very dependent or the surrounding surfaces eg, concrete, bare soil, grass etc etc

    So there is no real answer to your question, the concrete slab under the pond also acts as a heat sink and stores heat or cold.

    The deeper you go the better off you will be, but you probably won't get much benefit from insulating the base but definitely the sides will be beneficial, insulation on the back of the sleepers will act as a thermal break, as the wood when it is wet will reduce the insulation value of the wood and the gaps between each sleeper will allow drafts to get from one side to another

    Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk
    4600 Gallon Concrete Block and Fiberglass
    2100 mm x 710 mm Infinity Window 32mm thick glass
    2 x Aerated Bottom Drains and Skimmer
    Filtreau HiFlow 30 Drum Filter
    Bio Chamber - 140 litres K1
    Bakki Shower - 30 KG Sakura Far Infrared Media
    2 x 18,000 lh pumps
    Heated from house boiler through a heat exchanger
    Idealseal MS290

    My Pond Build

  24. #14
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RoyLittle0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steviebignose View Post
    I was planning on having a solenoid valve turning on at night and adding 300lts of fresh water every night via the nexus, allowing the excess to over flow via an overflow!
    Is there a reasonable dechlorinator that can do this amount of water in a night? or do most of you just have the fresh water trickling in all the time? can the flow be controlled easily?
    Dumping that amount of water at night in winter will have a dramatic effect on temperature and it will also have an effect on water chemistry, I personally have no idea on the degree of effect it will have but I decided it was better for me to trickle in constantly 24/7 I use a 3 stage 10" decolorinator which works well on my pond, I use a 6mm pneumatic flow restrictor to regulate the flow.

    I have an overflow on my skimmer, the plan is to divert the overflow water to a barrel and use it to water the garden eventually

    Sent from my SM-A715F using Tapatalk
    4600 Gallon Concrete Block and Fiberglass
    2100 mm x 710 mm Infinity Window 32mm thick glass
    2 x Aerated Bottom Drains and Skimmer
    Filtreau HiFlow 30 Drum Filter
    Bio Chamber - 140 litres K1
    Bakki Shower - 30 KG Sakura Far Infrared Media
    2 x 18,000 lh pumps
    Heated from house boiler through a heat exchanger
    Idealseal MS290

    My Pond Build

  25. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steviebignose View Post
    Ok, you have changed my mind....

    What is the understanding of how much heat we gain from the ground at 1 metre down against blocking it off with insulation? If I leave the bottom of the pond clay will I add more heat than if I insulate it and try to keep in what the sun/air is adding. I am guessing its going to be very small differences

    I will add insulation to the sides that are either clay or concrete but the 200mm timber sleepers have better insulation value than 25mm of celotex, right?

    Thank for your time replying.

    Cheers
    as for the pond floor bare bottom is the way to go imo lol!
    a meter down you will get a few degrees of heat, but nothing to write home about.
    it is the stabilising effect it has as a heat sink.
    it helps prevent large swings in temperature up and down.

    here is an idea of seasonal subsoil temperature in the midlands,
    this also varies by area being warmer down south...



    200mm of sleepers does have a small insulating effect,
    but you would be surprised the amount of heat you lose through a raised pond.
    with a liner there is nothing stopping you from adding 50mm or more of celotex to the inside.
    i would have added 100mm but was restricted in how wide i could make my pond. so went for 50mm plus 200mm of sealed sleepers.
    you have to seal all the gaps inside and out or you lose the insulation capability.
    so good tight fitting and filling with an external caulk.

    here is a handy video i've recently seen that helps explain the main reason for heating...stability...

    Last edited by davethefish1; 08-12-2021 at 12:38 PM.

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