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  1. #1

    Energy efficiency

    Any suggestions on how to minimise consumption ? I have my 2 x 30k varimpumps on at 55% and 3 air pumps running plus 300 w of UV. Just done the suns and this works out at around £7 a day ( £2500 a year!)
    Figured I may buy some timers so I can just use UV during daylight hours? But whether that will still keep algae down im not sure - anyone tried this ?
    Maybe I could do same with air pumps - apart from one running bio of course..
    Other than that Iím a bit stumped so would welcome any suggestions b4 my wife discovers why our electric bill is so high 🫣🫣



  2. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion samp09's Avatar
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    I have my UV off all the time unless the water starts get a green tinge then it goes on until clear again. Last summer I’d usually put it on overnight for 1 night every week or two but been off all winter so far, same as my air pump although this would change with a moving bed. I also have my pump running at 25w although will increase in with feeding, that’s a 20k vario at 30%

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  4. #3
    I run an air lift at 55W (25W over the Winter) and a secondary pump at 25W for moving bed, etc, etc. This makes the 55W UV a major consumer in my system.
    Firstly I only turned the UV back on last week (my pond is 100% in-ground and only heated to keep above 4C).
    Second I fitted a low power photocell unit modded with a changeover relay so that the UV turns off when it gets dark.
    Ran this all last year with no issues.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    specs/size of pond and pictures would help.
    pond gallonage, filter type, size, ect...

    to reduce UV wattage if your pond is in full sun,
    amalgam UV's have a far more output in the correct wavelength, so you can use less wattage than T5 or T8 tubes...
    My UV hasn't been on since October, and won't be going back on until April/May when the intensity of daylight increases.

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  8. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    I'd second installing an Airlift on your pond. Super efficient, many benefits to running one and very few drawbacks.

    My airlift and moving bio filter are powered by a 55w air pump. And my drum uses 11watts on standby. So the background running consumption for my pond is 67watts.

    Or 107watts when my UV is on (which is about 2 hours a day in the summer).


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    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  10. #6
    my pond is approx 14m x 8m x 1.75m deep - I also have a baki shower at the head of a man made stream. The set up is currently drum with 2 x 80 watt amalgam's, moving bed and baki. UV wise I also have an evo 110 uv at the head of the waterfall and a 40 w bio UV (my most exp purchase in terms of uv as the others weren't effective alone -this year I intend to experiment with uv by seeing how well the bio uv copes alone then maybe switch on one amalgam - as I hear it helps keep drum screen clear- then see how that does before gradually switching others on; to see what my optimum level is. might also try a timer so they're only on during daylight hours..)
    I also figure I need some water plants as haven't added any yet due to all my time being taken up sorting out probs with drum filter and water clarity etc

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  12. #7
    hi T white no sugar, not quite sure how an airlift works or how that'd save energy. can u explain?

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  14. #8
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    Probably best to do a search on this forum, as there have been a few threads, including one I made. But I'll try and describe it here.

    Basically as air (e.g. from an air stone) rises in water, the upflow of bubbles causes water to flow up to the surface of the water as well. An Airlift is essentially capturing that flow of water within pipe work which replaces the need for a conventional pond pump.

    To do this you bubble air into the bottom of a vertical pipe and then direct the flow of the water at the top of the pipe.

    But it generally can only be used in a gravity flow situation - it can't really pump above the surface of the water to any height. So will work to flow water from say, a bio chamber back to a pond, but won't really work to pump water over a shower filter.

    To see for yourself, shove an air stone to the bottom of a submerged vertical bit of pipe (so that the top of the pipe is just below the surface) in your pond. Turn on the air pump and the rising bubbles will cause water to be sucked into the bottom of the pipe, flow upwards and then flow out of the top of the pipe.

    To configure it as a pond pump, you just need the bottom of the pipe to provide water from your filters, and then direct the flow at the top of the pipe into a submerged pond return.

    Because the process relies on the air bubbles expanding as they rise, the vertical bit of pipe ideally needs to be between 1.5m and 2m long. It can be shorter, but as the bubbles won't expand as much, it will reduce the flow it produces.

    My 13k litre pond has an air lift made from 4" black waste pipe that Is about 1.7m long. With a 40lpm air pump I can get up to around 20k LPH flow (although like any pump, the more restrictions, bends etc will reduce that). Basically more flow than my drum can handle!

    So I run my entire pond with that. I don't use a pond pump at all. Just air pumps, a UV (occasionally) and a drum!

    So on a big pond, with two airlifts made from 4" pipe, you could get around 40,000 lph of flow from an 80lpm air pump split between the two. Not bad for 55watts. And with no moving impeller, there's no moving parts to break. And less chance of blockages. Plus as it can't push above water level very well, It can't drain your pond down either. And it adds extra air to your pond too.

    I genuinely believe that within 10 - 20 years, most gravity fed ponds will be built using airlifts. With conventional pond pumps reserved only for above water filters e.g. shower filters, water blades etc... or pressure filters e.g bead filters.

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    Last edited by Twhitenosugar; 20-03-2023 at 01:26 PM.
    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  16. #9
    Senior Member Rank = Adult Champion Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    So looking at your pond. It would work well to reduce the consumption of electricity if you currently pump water from your bio filter back to the pond.

    But it won't help for your bakki shower/stream. There's no way around that other than dialling down the flow (if it's a variable pump).

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    Last edited by Twhitenosugar; 20-03-2023 at 01:28 PM.
    13,000L fibreglassed raised pond with window

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  18. #10
    Is 300w of UV not insane ?

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  20. #11
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo8003 View Post
    my pond is approx 14m x 8m x 1.75m deep - I also have a baki shower at the head of a man made stream. The set up is currently drum with 2 x 80 watt amalgam's, moving bed and baki. UV wise I also have an evo 110 uv at the head of the waterfall and a 40 w bio UV (my most exp purchase in terms of uv as the others weren't effective alone -this year I intend to experiment with uv by seeing how well the bio uv copes alone then maybe switch on one amalgam - as I hear it helps keep drum screen clear- then see how that does before gradually switching others on; to see what my optimum level is. might also try a timer so they're only on during daylight hours..)
    I also figure I need some water plants as haven't added any yet due to all my time being taken up sorting out probs with drum filter and water clarity etc
    i think you are getting off light with a 14meter x 8 meter x 1.75 meter, 96,000 litres or 21,000 gallon pond
    even turning it over just once every two hours you need to shift, nearly 50,000 litres of water.
    but a flow friend pump would probably use less electricty.
    https://www.absolute-koi.com/flowfriend-pump-pp3071/

    but to reduce running costs you would need to look at low lift short travel filter design.
    as TWNS has said an air lift from a bio close to the pond.
    or low lift, high volume pump with bio close to the pond.

    a high volume low lift pump, like an aqua forte HF vario
    https://www.aqua-forte.com/product/a...vario-s55-000/

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  22. #12
    ah gotcha TWNS! Ill look in to that but as my filter house is quite a few metres from my pond that may not be an easy task...that said I might have to dig out anyway as think I've spotted some water creeping into my filter house which im guessing is from the pipework just outside leading from the BD's.
    Have already got my varipumps turned down to 55% so thats helping a bit on energy and only got my 40 watt bio uv on at the mo.
    Last edited by stevo8003; 26-03-2023 at 11:03 AM.

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  24. #13
    I couldn't agree more cobrakoi, but the pond is quite large and in full sun as the missus won't go for a pergola. I started with 2 x 40 watt amalgam's in the drum, then added the 100 watt behind the waterfall and as that wasn't enough I swopped up the amalgam fittings for 2x 80 watt units. As I still had issues despite the pond been a couple of years old I then added the 40 watt bio uv and the problems seemed to resolve. im now starting 2023 with just my 40 w bio uv, and if I see a green tinge coming ill try one of my 80 watt amalgam's, followed by the 2nd if that doesnt resolve the problem. I'm hoping not to need the 100 watt uv on as well but will see. the other thing I want to try is keeping them on timers so they only operate during daylight hours as this will almost halve my consumption on uv. Hopefully when I introduce plants they'll help but I have no ledge so going to have to get creative.

  25. #14
    yeh DTF1, my water volume is around 120k which I felt I needed as my garden is so damn big and looks onto open countryside, so every feature I introduce to the garden seems to get dwarfed, but maybe I went a tad over the top on this. tbh it wasn't until my electric bill alerted me to a problem recently that I realised my Evo pumps needed 350 watts then I started doing the sums....
    I might've spotted this earlier had my electric co not naffed up my bills by charging me for a 2nd electric meter that we didn't have which has took just under a year to remedy. I actually thought the high cost of my bills was due to that, but now thats been credited I can actually see I've still been using loads of electric and everything else in the house is low wattage, so thats when I investigated up the consumption of my pond!! my water bills gone sky high too as I appear to have a leak in the top 4-5 inches of my pond..as well as a small dribble coming into my filter house which im hoping is the same leak as dont fancy digging down to the bend on my bottom drains in front of my filter house....ugh

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  27. #15
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo8003 View Post
    yeh DTF1, my water volume is around 120k which I felt I needed as my garden is so damn big and looks onto open countryside, so every feature I introduce to the garden seems to get dwarfed, but maybe I went a tad over the top on this. tbh it wasn't until my electric bill alerted me to a problem recently that I realised my Evo pumps needed 350 watts then I started doing the sums....
    I might've spotted this earlier had my electric co not naffed up my bills by charging me for a 2nd electric meter that we didn't have which has took just under a year to remedy. I actually thought the high cost of my bills was due to that, but now thats been credited I can actually see I've still been using loads of electric and everything else in the house is low wattage, so thats when I investigated up the consumption of my pond!! my water bills gone sky high too as I appear to have a leak in the top 4-5 inches of my pond..as well as a small dribble coming into my filter house which im hoping is the same leak as dont fancy digging down to the bend on my bottom drains in front of my filter house....ugh
    my argument would be for a property so large, and a pond so big, you should easily afford the electric

    the way to decrease costs would be either solar panels and battery for your property on a whole.
    some koi keepers i know of with very large houses and ponds have done this.
    and have added upto 8kw of solar panels with 4 x 8kwh lithium batteries and use no mains electricity at all in summer... it's all free,
    and then charge the batteries up in winter using the special 7p/kw EV tariffs...so still use no full price electricity

    might cost about £60,000+ to install though
    and need a 3 phase electric supply to your house... unless you already have one..?

    personally i wouldn't run a 120,000 litre pond on shower filters.
    gravity fed to a drum and large gravity fed bio filter with a high efficiency flow friend pump and 4" return pipework could shift 51,000 litres per hour for 195 watts.
    Last edited by davethefish1; 26-03-2023 at 11:49 AM.

  28. #16
    Dave the fish: the downside of large properties is the large maintenance bills that go with it sadly, so last thing I need is larger utility bills than we need to be paying 🧐 if yíknow what I mean!
    Incidentally, in addition to the bakki shower I do have a large drum doing the mechanical filtering btw and a moving bed bio filter which, together, do a fairly good job; except when I have to treat for parasites of course then the bio filter crashes and I start all over again!

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  30. #17
    Dave the fish: the downside of large properties is the large maintenance bills that go with it sadly, so last thing I need is larger utility bills than we need to be paying 🧐 if yíknow what I mean!
    Incidentally, in addition to the bakki shower I do have a large drum doing the mechanical filtering btw and a moving bed bio filter which, together, do a fairly good job; except when I have to treat for parasites of course then the bio filter crashes and I start all over again!

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  32. #18
    Ps donít have three phase and living in the countryside means Iím limited to the amount of solar panels the grid will let me install (Iím told) but love your idea esp that of charging the battery overnight 😂

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  34. #19
    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo8003 View Post
    Ps don’t have three phase and living in the countryside means I’m limited to the amount of solar panels the grid will let me install (I’m told) but love your idea esp that of charging the battery overnight 
    3 phase has to be installed, but did you mention having 2 separate electricity meters?
    you may be able double the standard 240v grid allowance. of 4kw -ish to 8kw?

    it all depends on what your DNO will allow, and what the local network can take.
    some people who don't have roof's suitable for solar are having just high capacity batteries installed,
    to store cheap rate electric, and power failure back up...
    Last edited by davethefish1; 26-03-2023 at 05:28 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo8003 View Post
    Dave the fish: the downside of large properties is the large maintenance bills that go with it sadly, so last thing I need is larger utility bills than we need to be paying 類 if y’know what I mean!
    Incidentally, in addition to the bakki shower I do have a large drum doing the mechanical filtering btw and a moving bed bio filter which, together, do a fairly good job; except when I have to treat for parasites of course then the bio filter crashes and I start all over again!
    i wish i had affluenza...
    ....not saying it's not worth saving where you can though...

    a bio filter shouldn't crash just due to parasite treatment, slight knock maybe depending on chemical, but should still be fine again in a day or so...

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