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Old 07-01-2016, 06:25 PM   #1
spidy
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Default 1st attempt to design my koi pond

After 2 not so satisfying experience with 2 landscaping companies that claim to be "expert" in koi pond design and build, I am thinking of taking things into my own hand on the design of my 3rd pond.

I keep 9 koi average 50cm and a couple of gold fishes since my kids wanted variety.

Due to space constraint, the dimension of the pond I plan to build will be 2.14m (length) x 1.74m (width) x 1.5m (deep). This works out to be around 5.5 ton or 1500 gallon. The pond will be in the ground (vs my current pond which is above ground)

Decision 1 : Material of pond.
I have decided to use FGT instead of cement and epoxy. Have read in few forums if cement w epoxy is not properly build after sometime it will "peel" and give problem. Since the builder I am engaging this time round is Not any koi pond "expert" I decided to play safe.

Qn : Are there any unfavorable effect using FGT vs cement (epoxy) like health, growth or color of koi being affected etc ? From maintenance point of views, any challenges down the road and also the "longevity" of the pond ?

Decision 2 : Filtration
Due to the longish dimension (rectangular) and also considering more "swimming space" for the growing koi, I am thinking of dropping the 4 chamber biological filtration design and go for external compact pressurise pump (aka Laguna Pressure Flo type). Current pond I have to sacrifice around 1/3 of the pond for the filter chambers and I found maintenance very "siong" (hard labour). Also now that the new pond is in the ground that mean I have to flush the chamber dry before I can climb inside to wash. So an above the pond filtration solution is more ideal.

Qn : Am looking at various brands of Pressurise filter (mechanical + biological + UV). This is new territory for me as my last 2 ponds are all 4 chamber biological filtration system. Anyone been using Pressurise filter please share the pros and cons. Koi tend to poo a lot more and my concern is can a pressurise filter with it compact size and filtering material cope with it ? Also do suggest other filtration solutions if you have tried and tested them, however space is a premium here so anything that takes up too much space (compare to pressure filter drum size) is also out of the question.

I am working on the design diagram like inlet and outlet, surface skimmer etc. Will share my journey as I make progress.

Hope to have liked minded hobbyist input and advice along the way.

Cheers
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
huashao
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Bro..

1.5m deep ?
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Old 07-01-2016, 11:58 PM   #3
john ng
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hi bro, had a 8-9 tonne pond before, also used fgt as it was the cheapest option. if it is going to be in ground and outdoors do remember the overflow piping to drain off excess rain water.

also do invest in at least 35% to be part of the filter. will save u a lot of effort and i almost never cleaned it, but water was always clear. remember to incorporate those valves that will drain off the dirty filter water into the drain.. do it regularly and u will hardly have to clean your pond.
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Old 08-01-2016, 01:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huashao View Post
Bro..

1.5m deep ?
Yes. but will fill up water to around 1.2m (approx 4ft)
Heard koi like more than 3 ft of depth.
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Old 08-01-2016, 01:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john ng View Post
hi bro, had a 8-9 tonne pond before, also used fgt as it was the cheapest option. if it is going to be in ground and outdoors do remember the overflow piping to drain off excess rain water.

also do invest in at least 35% to be part of the filter. will save u a lot of effort and i almost never cleaned it, but water was always clear. remember to incorporate those valves that will drain off the dirty filter water into the drain.. do it regularly and u will hardly have to clean your pond.

It is part of my front porch which is shelter so no more rain water issue.

Before I introduce koi, my pond can last 6mth before I need to clean but now with the koi growing I need to clean every 2 mth. And I am think not to sacrifice 35% for filter chamber that's why am looking for external compact filtration system.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:30 AM   #6
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The adventure is on!

1. Make sure you have an aerated bottom drain put in your FGT. Bottom drains are an absolute requirement for modern ponds. This should be a drain with an integrated diffuser. For a pond this size, you should need only 1. If your pond is going to be fabricated outside and lowered into a pit in the ground, you could have the drain and piping pre attached.

2. Tangential returns. These are return pipes in the walls of the pond used to circulate water around the bottom drain. one in each corner will be desirable. These can also be pre-attached to the FGT before it is put into the pit. 1" outlets should be adequate. These are usually fed by a tee off the pump return, and are controlled by a valves. Since your pond should be a regular rectangle, you should need to valve only the main feed.

3. Surface skimmer. Provision for a skimmer. Not much point if you can't see your fish due to the scum floating on the surface If you use a shower filter, you will get foam. That foam needs to go somewhere! A no niche unit like the one I am using will probably be easier to plumb than an in wall unit for a fabricated tank as the bottom piping can be pre installed.

4. Compact filtration is very possible!

If you are not adverse to importing the filter hardware, check out the Zakki pressurized sieve. Simple maintenance and suberb water clarity. It has quite a small footprint for the amount of water it can filter. This is the only sieve type unit on the market that can operate above the water level without chopping up fish waste. The unit is about the size of a 55g drum.

http://www.deepwaterkoi.com/Zakki-Si...akki-Sieve.htm

This would have been the system of my choice if I decided not to spring for a rotary drum filter for my mechanical stage.

You just need to feed a Bakki or Zakki shower with this. No need for brushes, no need for mats. As the system is a pressurized unit, it can be installed above ground level. You will need check valves in place for that to work of course.

Filtration can be as simple as bottom drain -> Zakki sieve -> pump -> shower.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:03 AM   #7
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One very important thing to note about using fiberglass is that KH needs to be managed very well. Pond biological systems are carbonate gluttons, and Singapore water has almost 0 KH. You will need to provide an ample amount of carbonate source like oyster shell, and consider dosing sodium bicarbonate regularly.
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:36 PM   #8
spidy
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1. Make sure you have an aerated bottom drain put in your FGT...

Noted. But since it is not a large pond with the air bubble coming to the surface the visibility of the fishes will be impacted. Is it ok to connect timer so that the aeration will be on only say mid-night to 6am ?

2. Tangential returns....

Tangential return. My current pond has a tangential return and it is position at the middle of the length of the pond. You mentioned 4 corner, would it introduce too much current ? Where is the best position for this ? Few inches below the water surface or from the bottom of the pond ?

3. Surface skimmer.

Thinking of a floating type surface skimmer as it will be easier to "stop" it during feeding. Something like boyu SCL-2500

4. Compact filtration is very possible!...

As for pressurise filter, I am thinking of getting what is available in Singapore store just in case I need warranty claim or support.
Am looking at 2 brand "Laguna pressure flo 8000" or "SICCE Green reset 40"
The other system that I liked alot based on what I see on the internet is "Aqua Ultima" but it seems like nobody carry this locally.

May consider importing the zakki shower since there is no motor or any complex parts. Can you share the contacts of the supplier you customise yours from ?
So my thinking is bottom drain -> "laguna" -> pump -> zakki shower.

Has anyone uses any of the products I mentioned above ? Any feedback most appreciated.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:29 AM   #9
DragonFireSG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spidy View Post
1. Make sure you have an aerated bottom drain put in your FGT...

Noted. But since it is not a large pond with the air bubble coming to the surface the visibility of the fishes will be impacted. Is it ok to connect timer so that the aeration will be on only say mid-night to 6am ?


2. Tangential returns....

Tangential return. My current pond has a tangential return and it is position at the middle of the length of the pond. You mentioned 4 corner, would it introduce too much current ? Where is the best position for this ? Few inches below the water surface or from the bottom of the pond ?
3. Surface skimmer.

Thinking of a floating type surface skimmer as it will be easier to "stop" it during feeding. Something like boyu SCL-2500

4. Compact filtration is very possible!...

As for pressurise filter, I am thinking of getting what is available in Singapore store just in case I need warranty claim or support.
Am looking at 2 brand "Laguna pressure flo 8000" or "SICCE Green reset 40"
The other system that I liked alot based on what I see on the internet is "Aqua Ultima" but it seems like nobody carry this locally.

May consider importing the zakki shower since there is no motor or any complex parts. Can you share the contacts of the supplier you customise yours from ?
So my thinking is bottom drain -> "laguna" -> pump -> zakki shower.

Has anyone uses any of the products I mentioned above ? Any feedback most appreciated.
1. You can certainly do so. If you are going with a waterfall/bakki style filter, that should aerate water pretty well if the flow rate is high enough.
I run mine 24 hours a day, but do turn it off for viewing the fish and checking for injuries. I need to change out the valve I use for the air to a needle valve as the ball valves in place now are too inaccurate for fine adjustments.

2. Tangential returns are best placed near the bottom. Some folk say that for regular shaped ponds as small as ours, they may not entirely be necessary. The returns are mainly to stop dead areas from forming in the corners that can collect debris and form pockets of very low oxygen water. I have 2 installed in my pond. I suggested 4 as I find 2 to be lacking when dealing with heavier debris. 2 should still work ok tho. Koi are powerful riverine fish. There should not be a problem with too much current unless you plan on running 1000W pumps entirely through the returns. Most of the flow comes in via the waterfall in any case.

3. Powered floating skimmer should work ok. Upside is ease of installation and flexibility. Downside is that they don't actually move water into the pond filter for treatment. I don't have practical experience with them to comment more

I use a stainless steel wash basket to cover my fixed skimmer up when feeding. I wish I'd installed an extra one as I have a dead spot in one corner that gathers foam - a regular issue with square cornered ponds.

4. That Laguna is definitely not a good choice for koi. You will either be very unhappy with the amount of maintenance you have to do, or have very unhappy fish. These canister type enclosed filters trap all the crap in the water stream. What doesn't dissolve eventually clogs the system. If you do go with them, I'd install at least 2 units that are each specced for a pond half the size of what they state on the box. I.e if your pond is 10000l, you need 2x canister filters rated for 20000l or better each. Dual units are needed to guard against failure, and also to keep water moving when you take one down for maintenance.

Laquna filters are great for landscape type decorative ponds with very low bioload. For koi, you need something more akin to an industrial waste treatment system

If the Zakki sieve looks too complicated for you, a simpler unit you can look at is the Ultrasieve III. This will need to be installed in a small filter chamber on one side of your pond as it needs to be gravity fed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoidiJxj5W4

It will probably need to be modified a little to function best in a compact situation. I will post an image later with some thoughts on how it should be set up for least space usage. You should probably also consider getting the 200 micron screen option for better water clarity.

The final setup would be Bottom drain -> Ultrasieve III (gravity fed) -> 2x tsurumi PU215s (readily available locally) -> Zakki shower.

Speaking of the Zakki shower, you can contact Zac using his email which you can get over at http://www.deepwaterkoi.com. He sells a very good aerated bottom drain unit as well that will easily bolt onto the bottom of a prefabricated FGT. If you'd rather not have piping going through the bottom, there is also a retro unit that can be put on the floor of the pond. You will have pipe visible in the water though in that case.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:55 AM   #10
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One more thing to add. You should probably have a Waterco MC50 installed between the pumps and the shower to take out the ultra fines (50-200 micron). This can be obtained locally or from Malaysia. Idea situation would be one unit per pump.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c35JcGLOpUA
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