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Old 07-01-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
Da Bear OP
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Koi ponds etc..

I've spent 24 years, and almost no money on it, but I have a reasonably decent Koi and Waterlily pond, in my back yard.
Total foot print is something like 70' X 30', and 4' deep at some points, dug by me, by hand. All the rocks were free also, and again placed by hand. No machinery used.
Any other aqua-nuts out there?
Here's a link to what I've done with well under $1,000.00. on just the pond.
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/563599771yLruvI
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
adam_c_eckhardt
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That's a pretty substantial pond, especially compared to the 500 gallon deal that my father and I built about 20 years ago.

We built ours above ground on a screened in porch. It's made of fiberglass and it sort of fits into a corner of the room. We built a rock wall around the perimeter so while it might sound odd it fits nicely.

Initially there were two Koi in it; we purchased them as little ones, and over the years they grew quite large. A few years ago, the orange and white one (We called him "Creamsicle") died and my Mother bought another young one because she felt that the other one (named "Milwaukee" because he is colored like the Old Milwaukee railroad colors) would get lonely. The one she bought is some sort of fancier variety- has much more ornate fins. He's grown over the years and again "we" have two large Koi.

They're so pleasant to watch; and amazingly they're quite friendly. If they know you they'll come up to the surface for attention. Before my Mother passed away she adopted a new puppy and the first thing the puppy did was jump in the pond. Needless to say the fish have been a bit shy lately, but they'll come around.

Mom was always really good at keeping nice plants in the pond. She really liked papyrus plants (and they're super easy to grow) and dabbled in water lilies over the years. They're a bit tough because it only gets a few hours of direct sun a day, but sometimes she'd luck out. At one point she had pretty good luck with Lotus plants, which are really nice too.

I like the idea of having a pond of our own someday, but they're a lot of upkeep and that's pretty daunting right now. Also, where we're building in NH we have lots of critters that would probably kill off the fish including bear, raccoons, coyotes, etc.

Good memories, good hobby.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:29 PM   #3
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Wow, that's beautiful. Very impressive.
Looks like it's been there forever.
Really like all the mosses and grasses on and around the rocks.
The hosta to the side of the spillway is a great touch.
Have you thought of sending pics and the story of your pond to magazines?

Thanks for the pics.
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:00 PM   #4
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I'll skip the pond, and will take a reef instead. Sound OK?

Next one's gonna be in the 2' x 2' x 6-8' range. (180-240gal + sump)

M
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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Adam, if you go deep enough, wildlife is not that much of a problem. I went 4 feet for that same reason. pond #1 was 18 inches deep, and served as a self serve sushi bar to every racoon and Great Blue Heron in the greater portland Metro Area.$5,000.00 in Koi later I figured a complete redesign was in order. The pond has a EPDM rubber liner, supplied by these guys: http://www.hugheswatergardens.com/hours.html
They will ship anything, anywhere for $9.99. My main liner is just over 40 x 40. But I had one shipped to the place on Vashon Island for that price, and it was 65 x 65. It took ten people to position that one.
Back when I started the pond project, I was a collection agent. A high stress job that required me to be a Professional Asshole. I needed something to let me center myself and become just me after work, and this was it. Now it's just a cool place to go sit.
When it's this size the maintainence is almost nothing. I have the very upper most pond as a settling area and vegetive filter, we have fresh Watercress anytime we want, and the sludge goes into the garden in the spring.
The lower most pond holds the pump which does about 4,000 gph and hour so the whole pond gets recirculated in about two hours. Not perfect conditions, but close enough. a dozen or so large koi, and hundreds of frogs. Most of the lilies are sequestered away from the fish, part of the pond area, but bordered in a line of low rocks that let water flow through and settle out a bit to keep the plants fed. I just added this area last year ( Extra liner was rolled up and buried until I could expand .....).
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
I'll skip the pond, and will take a reef instead. Sound OK?

Next one's gonna be in the 2' x 2' x 6-8' range. (180-240gal + sump)

M
A friend of mine does the reef thing : http://www.reefcentral.com/ .
Her website. When we move from here I'll go back to Aquariums. I had my fling with salt back in the 80's, I prefer fresh water Dutch style tanks these days. I have an 85 gallon TrueVue sitting in the basement, awaiting that day, but i'll prabaly build a new 180 tank when we move(In About 5-10 years).
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:40 PM   #7
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Hmmm....

I guess that gives me something to think about.

I've also been thinking a lot about hobbies that will let me "zone out" just as you described. My motivation to ride has gone way downhill, and while I'm not ready to give it up I've gotta find something. If I get my way and go back to school that'll keep me busy for a few years!

Looking forward to reading about other ponds out there...
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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Beautiful. You should definitely edit your post and embed the pics in there. Quite impressive.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #9
Da Bear OP
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Beautiful. You should definitely edit your post and embed the pics in there. Quite impressive.
I thought of that but with the amount of pictures I wanted to post it would have been a whole lot of used up space.....
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:25 PM   #10
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I've actually built several hundred koi and ornamental ponds with my company. One of the largest is at my fathers house with 1500 sq ft at 4' deep running 8000 gallons per hour(half into a 5-ton gravel bog filter, half into a waterfall), and about 150 koi swimming around. Crystal clear water after 4 years with almost no maintenance. Here are a couple of select pictures of some nice ones I've built.

Any questions you have I can probably answer.

From ponds


From ponds


From ponds


From ponds
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:59 AM   #11
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I don't have the space for any kind of real pond but did put a little tiny water feature in my front flower bed.



It's been out there 4 years now and the goldfish love it.




I have 3 fancy goldfish and one feeder fish that was a "test" fish. The fish go out there every spring and stay there until the end of September and then go into a tank in the winter. Repeat the proccess every year. 4 seasons now and still going. Usually a couple frogs show up every year as well. I started this 5 years ago with a half barrel fountain on my porch. The fish know your there, when you walk up they come to the surface and beg for food.

I would love to have a real/larger pond but this is all I have space for at this house.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:15 AM   #12
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We tried a small pond at our old house but something kept getting the fish out...we would find them half eaten all around the property....it was a pretty small pond...I would guess 100-200gal or so.

For the new house and even more critters that are around....neighbors loose cats so fast they can't make new ones fast enough, and chickens go missing....fox and yoties....as well as wild cats are all over the place the wife and I decided to have a small water feature on our back portch....very small in a old wash tub. Two gold fish....feeder gold fish (wife likes to rescue things) and about 6 years later they are still going and are really pretty darn big.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:32 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Bear View Post
A friend of mine does the reef thing : http://www.reefcentral.com/ .
Her website. When we move from here I'll go back to Aquariums. I had my fling with salt back in the 80's, I prefer fresh water Dutch style tanks these days. I have an 85 gallon TrueVue sitting in the basement, awaiting that day, but i'll prabaly build a new 180 tank when we move(In About 5-10 years).
I like those Euro tanks too. Pretty plants...

I have a 'recipe' from an old fish book for the substrate for one of those tanks. Works really well for growing plants. Lemme know when yer ready and I'll email it to ya

M
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:11 PM   #14
Da Bear OP
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Originally Posted by Gummee! View Post
I like those Euro tanks too. Pretty plants...

I have a 'recipe' from an old fish book for the substrate for one of those tanks. Works really well for growing plants. Lemme know when yer ready and I'll email it to ya

M
I have one too, but I'd love to have another one...
Before the pond I had several tanks.
I have managed quite a few pet stores in my time, and used to work at a Plexiglass aquarium manufacturer. About ten years ago the wife asked me to choose the pond or the tanks. Seeing as I have a dozen other hobbies, I felt she was being reasonable, and took down the tanks.
I save all of my exotic wood sawdust and compost it down, then bake it at 225 degrees until it's bone dry, I add it to a few other ingredients and I have a something close to an approximation of Amazon river mud.
I've managed to get an Anubias Nana to bloom underwater, so I must have been doing something right.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:28 PM   #15
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I just stumbled upon this while doing a random Google image search for my pond.

I've got a roughly 2000 gallon pond in my backyard that I'm still in the process of building. I've had a 400 gallon pond for the last three years, but this last winter was a rough one and caused a lot of damage, so I decided to rebuild and upgrade.

The new one is about 11 x 13 feet or so with the deepest area 3.5' deep. It has a 4" bottom drain with a 4200gph pump pulling from the bottom drain and emptying into a 55 gallon homebrew filter into a creek. It also has a 900gph pump running my skimmer with a UV filter that empties back into the pond to create a vortex current for better waste settling, as well as better koi health, since this is a fairly small pond for koi.

I'm about two weeks overdue for a picture, but here's the best one I have so far. I still need to do a lot of landscaping, and the waterfall no longer exists, so it is only a creek now. This was because it was too loud for my liking and it splashed too much, creating too much water loss in the pond. Ideally, I'd be better off running the waterfall/creek with a 2000ish gph pump. The one I have now is too vigorous for the waterfall I wanted.

Anywho, here are the pictures I have so far. I'll update here a bit later once I work on landscaping and covering up the pump housing, top of filter, pond skimmer, etc.





I have five 5-6" koi, one 6" shubunkin, and five 1-2" shubunkin, plus about two dozen snails in the pond. None of the frogs from my old pond have showed up yet, so I think I'll have to go tadpole hunting soon...
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