Pepper's New Koi Pond Advice
  • pepperpepper May 2014
    Posts: 53
    Hi Everyone,

    I am about to embark on building my 1st Koi pond. I have been surfing for information and finally found this site.

    My understanding is that it is very important to build pond correctly from the outset and making sure the fundamentals are all in order, otherwise it will be months or years of headache, with sick or dead kois...

    Hopefully you will be able to help me out.

    Have a few starting questions:

    - In your experience, is there any great difference between using a contractor that does mainly swimming pools and some koi ponds versus a contractor specialises in selling koi that builds only koi ponds ?

    - If I choose the swimming pool specialist because he is half the price of the koi specialist, will I be able to get enough information, tips and advice here in this forum to make sure he is doing it right? Eg size of filter chambers, piping, filter media etc

    Thanks
  • ShukriShukri May 2014
    Posts: 4,881
    Welcome to the Forum Pepper. Share with us the layout plan, and I am sure that many will assist you with what to have and what not to have.

    There are people here who uses the Traditional filtration type system and the Bead filtration. I am sure that you will benefit from the advices given.
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • pepperpepper May 2014
    Posts: 53
    Hi Shukri,

    Thanks for the warm welcome.

    Attached is the schematic for the Koi Pond.

    Some explanations.

    - Location of Koi Pond in Blue cannot really be changed. Some minor adjustments to dimensions may be possible.
    - Depth is 1m
    - 2 stone stepping "bridges" are required, with probably foundation supports in the pond for at least one bridge.

    - have included 3 possible filter pump positions - labelled in order of my preference

    1. Preferred
    - preferred because it will be at the side of the house
    - away from human traffic, so probably less noisy and smelly?
    Worries
    - that the pump is at the narrowest end of the pond and furthest away from the centre of the pond? should this be a concern?

    2. then location of Pump 2

    3. then location of Pump 3 - front of the house

    The first most important question for me at the moment is the location of the Filter Pump. The location has not been fixed yet and is open to discussion.

    Any advice, tips, suggestions, comments on Filter Pump location will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
  • niveknivek May 2014
    Posts: 1,250
    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/15730/IMG_20140521_000233.jpg
  • niveknivek May 2014
    Posts: 1,250
    Welcome to the forum pepper. A few concerns. The gap between the steps and the edge of the pond is really narrow and might pose a problem for big kois when swimming past. Where are the bottom drains and surface skimmers located?
  • pepperpepper May 2014
    Posts: 53
    Hi Nivek

    Thanks.

    Only jpg attached files will appear?
  • niveknivek May 2014
    Posts: 1,250
    Yes jpg will work.
  • pepperpepper May 2014
    Posts: 53
    Hi Nivek,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I believe under the step there will be a support. How large or what diameter the support is going to be can probably be altered to a certain extent.

    What is the minimum diameter I should be looking at for big kois to swim through? I can probably try to ensure that this gap is catered for.

    I have not selected my contractor at this point in time yet. Hence no "shop drawings" for the bottom drains and surface skimmers are available for now. Rest assured, once they are out, I will put it up for critic.

    I am in a little bit of a dilemma at the moment trying to decide on which contractor to choose. But will probably go with the cheaper one, non koi specialist, as the savings can be used to buy lots of koi, koi food, filter media and pay for years of maintenance....

    Post edited by Shukri at 2014-05-21 07:27:45 am
  • JamesJames May 2014
    Posts: 1,964
    Penny wise pound foolish decision bro pepper. Koi pond shd cost more than koi to start with. Without a good pond, koi cannot realise their potential. Every pond is different and every hobbyist is different too. This means u need to know yourself and know what pond will suit your routine.
  • ikankoikauikankoikau May 2014
    Posts: 1,053
    Bro pepper,

    My advice for you is to carefully plan the pond that you are planning to build. Pond layout is thing but the most important thing is the heart of the pond which is the filtration system. Your water quality and condition of the kois will depend a lot on your pond system. Maintenance will going to be another main issue.

    Cheap will never be a good solution. Go for the koi pond specialist or ask the koi dealers, imho. We have heard so much from hobbyist with improper pond. Take more time on planning and search around for solution.
  • ShukriShukri May 2014
    Posts: 4,881
    Hi Pepper,
    Is there a particular reason that the pond needs to be in the shape like in the plan? Due to the shape (and if you still want to maintain the shape), you have to carefully placed the bottom drains and need strategic surface skimmers' placement. Skimmers should be of the swivel type (this is very important!). You need to consider this........... A fix skimmer that cant be moved side to side, is a huge mistake in any pond.

    Accessibility and ease of maintenance should be two of the objectives when designing and building a pond........... Trust me on this!!!

    Water proofing of the pond is also a serious thing. You wouldnt want a leaking pond after a year of so, which will be a huge headache. Consider to apply a few layers. My pond is done with 6 layers............ maybe an over do thing, but stood the test of time for all these years.

    The design of the mechanical and biological chambers is very important........

    Make sure you have enough power points ie the 3 pin plugs. My almost 30 ton pond has 20 power point plugs (even though I have not utilized all of them). You have to plan for the future as well. You will never know that you might need extra air pumps, or water pumps, or Oxygen Concentrators, or Chillers, Bakki Showers etc in the future. No harm to cater for buffers in your considerations and design.......

    Plan to shade your pond.......

    Consider the strategic placement of the water over flow outlet.........

    How deep is the pond?

    If you have space, probably you should consider a Vortex! Kind of get rid the solid wastes before hitting the mechanical filtration.......

    And my final advice............. and I can never say this ENOUGH!!! DO IT CORECT THE FIRST TIME................ Better to spend a bit more up front then spending money over and over again to correct the mistakes done up front...........

    Hope this helps........
    Post edited by Shukri at 2014-05-21 08:04:15 am
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • brianlawbrianlaw May 2014
    Posts: 107
    Agreed with all the bros' comments here. Just a word of caution, I ended up modified my pond 2 times just to get it suitable for kois. Still not perfect and tempted to redo it but too many restrictions. I would strongly suggest you get professional help/advice and get it right the 1st time - if not, you will probably spend some more later to modify the pond. Speaking from experience.
  • ShukriShukri May 2014
    Posts: 4,881
    Brian,
    (Y) (Y) (Y)
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • ShukriShukri May 2014
    Posts: 4,881

    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • MfwleeMfwlee May 2014
    Posts: 355
    Have not seen the video before - very very honest and useful video ! A lot for all of us to learn. Thank's for the opportunity !

    Specific to the pond design, my suggestion is that because Koi make very heavy demands on the filters and the water, the most efficient pond designs will have the minimum of sloped / gradual corners, a water depth of at least 4 feet, and where the water turnover is pegged to the level of stocking ( plus a bit of to buffer for emergencies ). The idea being to sustain a good flow of water to circulate the water between pond and filter so that there are no dead spots, and where the flow rate is adequate.

    Forgive me, but your current design looks more ornamental than being a design for good Koi keeping. Can it work ? Your design makes things difficult, but I suppose you can overcome most of the problems with good use of underground piping, multiple pick up points, multiple pumps, as well as multiple water return points ? This will be complex and unless you decide to spend a fair amount of money on design, construction and maintenance, you could have an unfortunate situation of a disaster waiting to happen.

    If you decide to persist with this kind of a layout, my humble view is that you definitely need an expert to be in from the word GO.

    This would mean either a Koi specialist doing the whole thing, or, a Koi specialist willing to plan, supervise construction with an eagle eye, and to check your cheaper alternative every few days. Try to do a cost comparison, and recognize that the cost implications will be largely determined by the shape of your pond.

    If it is only for ornamental purposes, there are also a wide variety of other fish to consider - just make sure that they do not impose too much on your water conditions. :)
    Mike Lee
  • ShukriShukri May 2014
    Posts: 4,881
    Pepper,
    I know that you are overswamped with a lot of comments from the Hobbyists here. We have done it, seen it, and many of us had paid the price until today........... because we didnt do it right the first time........ Let our experience be your learning curve, so that you can save that money in the future............ so that you can buy better kois! :-D
    Post edited by Shukri at 2014-05-21 01:47:35 pm
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • pepperpepper May 2014
    Posts: 53
    Wow... thanks everyone for all your helpful comments and wise words of advice..

    Thank you James, ikankoikau, Brian, Shukri & Mike

    I have come to the right forum!

    Watched the Video over lunch today - Thanks Shukri
    - Best advice from the whole video - " learn to build the Koi Pond yourself then find the contractor!"
    - realised that you can just read the article at the Sacramento koi website, which is also very informative,
    - http://sacramentokoi.com/articles/

    Best advice from the whole video - " learn to build the Koi Pond yourself then find the contractor!"

    Perhaps some more background will be helpful.

    Layout & design is done by the architect. Aesthetically looks great. Yes Mfwlee, it could have been just an ornamental reflective pond. But we decided that we would eventually put in some fish in the pond for the kids. Hence we will need some sort filter system. Somehow along the way, we decided Koi would be great. Then we realised that building a Koi Pond and keeping Koi is like a whole science in itself.. And so I ended up here in this forum...

    I understand a narrow-ish T-shaped pond is not ideal for the Koi, but that's what I have to work with. I am thinking that a larger space in total is better for the Koi to swim around than a smaller (1.5m x 3.5m) rectangle shaped pond.. ?

    I already have a Builder that will do the excavation, structural works and waterproofing of the pond surfaces.

    So the Pond contractor only has to design, supply and install the piping, water pump and filter system.

    So this is what I have been offered more or less similar from the different quotations.

    Pumps
    - 2 submersible pumps - 1.1 to 1.5 kW - are these enough?
    - 6 Venturi Air jets - are these enough?

    Bio Filter system
    - 4 to 5 chamber system - dimensions not available yet - but suppose to cater to 33% of the pond volume
    - includes Pond Skimmer - Thanks Shukri - will enquire about movable surface skimmers
    - includes Bio Mat, Coral Chips and UV Filter
    - will research more about this Vortex filter
    - I believe this is probably the most crucial component of the whole pond - needs to be efficient and east to maintain

    Bottom Drain
    - Grating - 3 to 4 pieces - Are these enough?
    - got some advice to have the bottom edges
    - form the above video - bottom contouring to have a self cleaning bottom sounds very useful

    Pipes
    - diameter not specified yet but one contractor gave 100mm as the pipe diameter - too small? Is there a standard diameter?

    Control Panel
    - DB box, transformers, Timer Switch
    - Thanks Shukri - will take note to have more power points.

    Pond Lights
    - Some quoted for LED lights - Some advised against - says they blind the koi? Any comments?
    - Sacremento koi - recommend to have a lot

    Depth is 1m

    Thanks
  • ShukriShukri May 2014
    Posts: 4,881
    Pepper,
    Where are you from?

    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • MfwleeMfwlee May 2014
    Posts: 355
    I would suggest that you take the steps one at a time.

    Ask the designer to illustrate to you how the current flows from pond, to filter/s, and then back to pond, without any dead spots. Satisfy yourself on this first, then the rest of the details will fall in place because they all support the flow.

    If you get the flow wrong, or, less than optimal, you are likely to wind up having to throw a lot of money at the problem later.
    Mike Lee
  • ShukriShukri May 2014
    Posts: 4,881
    Where is Brother Harry Luhur?
    Our pond builder hobbyist from Indonesia..........
    Have not heard from him in a while.......
    In Koianswers Forum, no one individual is above the rest. This is the Forum for the Koi Community.
  • JamesJames May 2014
    Posts: 1,964
    Bro Pepper, I don't think is a good idea to have 2 builders to a koi pond. Either the building will not understand what the pond specialist wants to achieve or vice versa. All of this ends up only 1 way...

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