Jerrys' Koi Pond


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My old Koi pond was built and landscaped in 1998. That pond served my fish well, but with my retirement, came the need for a smaller house and a new fish pond. Please enjoy the pictures, landscaping ideas, Waterfall and Fish. I have also included a pictorial record of step by step building a Koi Pond.

My new Koi Pond holds about 14,768 gallons of water including the two Vortex's used as settling tanks. Pond dimensions are 13' wide at the top by 24' long and 7' deep. The pond slopes from the 13' width at the top to 12.5 wide at the bottom edge, and from 6'5" deep on the edges, slopes to 7' deep in the middle. I have a shallow area of 3.5' deep by 6' by 13 feet on the East end of the pond for catching the fish when I need to (see diagram below). By having a sloping bottom and sides, it helps move the waste to the 4" aerated bottom drain.

The aerated bottom drain lid forces the surface water down the sides of the pond and into the 4" drain using my Sweet Water Air pump. The water gravity flows into the lower part of the 1st of two Vortexes in a water swirled much like a toilet bowl. The water then drains from the top of that Vortex to the bottom of a second Vortex, continuing to swirl, settling the waste. The water is then pumped to the filter from the top of that container. It's very important to keep the heavy waste out of a bead filter, and really increases the efficiency of the water cleaning system.

My two skimmers keep the dust, leaves and other debris off of the surface of my pond. This water goes into a 5-gallon leaf catcher, and then can be pumped to the waterfall or to another discharge pipe below the surface of the pond. See the step by step building of the Waterfall,

I use an Aqua Bead 6.0 Plus filter that is fed by a 1/3 horse Evolution pump. It pushes about 107 gallons a minute through the filter. The water then travels through my UV light, and returns to the pond either by the waterfall or is piped to enter about 2' under the surface of the pond, for the wintertime use. My bead filter has a 3-horse power blower on it that is used to loosen up the beads in the filter for the backwashing process. By breaking the beads free before the backwash it makes for an even better cleaning of the filter.

My UV light is a Zapp Pure, 120-watt unit that really keeps the pond water clear, and the algae under control. Bead filters don't clean out the algae so it's important that if you use one of these filters that you also use a UV light.

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I installed a Foam Fractionator (protein skimmer) that I made to help pull out the dissolved proteins and other organic carbons that are in the pond water. These dissolved organics can make your pond water look a little cloudy and if there is lots of it those conditions can actually inhibit the growth of the fish. If you notice water foam around the waterfall, or have seen that oil looking sheens on the surface of the water, you could benefit from a Foam Fractionators. They are simple to make, and can be a wonderful addition to your filtering process.

My Foam Fractionator (protein skimmer) is a homemade unit that is sort of shaped like a U. Pond water is pumped into the lower side and forced through the unit, mixing with air that comes from an air stone placed at the bottom of the taller pipe. This mix creates bubbles that pick up dissolved organic carbons (DOC's) and other microscopic waste from our fish and plants and sticks to the bubbles.

foam Fractionator pipes Midway up the tall part of the pipe I put a bell reducer and finished the rest of the fractionator with a 3" pipe. I then put in a "T" so I could attach a 2" water return to the pond. To be able to control and regulate the height of the water in my fractionator, I put a valve part way down the 2" line in the pond water return. By restricting the water to the pond, it helps to raise the water level in the pipe, and along with the air provided, takes the bubbles and foam to the top of the fractionator, and into the foam catcher.

foam Fractionator pipes Just past the water return, the fractionator was T'd again to a 3" pipe so I could drop in the air stone, making sure to cap the end of that pipe so water rising in the main pipe wouldn't exit. At the very top of the pipe I put an 8" pipe cap, upside down to catch the foam. I drilled a 3" hole in the cap for the foam to enter, and a 2" hole for the waste to drain away from the unit. The 3" pipe has a 2" reducer glued on it's top. This lets the foam come out the top, and not fall back into the fractionator. The 2" drainpipe is glued flush with the bottom of the cap, and drains away the waste after it turns back into water.

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