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Building new pond

 




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dttk
Veteran

May 22, 2002, 10:09 AM

Post #26 of 105 (48292 views)
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Re: [TonyG] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Tony, you're right. The best thing to do is to sit down with a good recommended contractor who would listen to you...Smile. The problem starts when this recommended pond builder charges a sum that is beyond ones budget...Unsure.
Always friendly :)


mattloui
User

May 22, 2002, 11:56 AM

Post #27 of 105 (48290 views)
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Re: [TonyG] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi koi friends,

After reading all the frustrations and opinions, i can't help but to contribute in my simple and humble way.

Well. one thing is for sure, constructing a koi pond definitely costs a lot. I used to know friends who built all their ponds to the tune of RM 20,000++.

Anyway, in my line of work, i used to deal with many contractors in the housing and building construction including plumbers. That day i just sort of check with them and try to gauge their ability in constructing ponds and to my surprise they seem to know all the basics of waterproofing and plumbing and even considered pond construction as chicken-feed as compared to the high-rise buildings. And they sing to the tune of approx. Rm 1k to 2k for a 8X5 pond ( don't know how many tons).

So, the point is whether any of our good friends have actually consulted the building contractors for a quote as you be surprised that they know just as much as those so-called pond construction experts. And the design can be entirely yours as they just construct and not ask unnecessary questions to question your knowledge.

well, just a simple thought.

cheers
CHEERS


patrick123
Veteran


May 22, 2002, 12:59 PM

Post #28 of 105 (48284 views)
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Re: [SMW1] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Sichang,

First of all, you are not alone. I have encountered exactly the same problem in Singapore. I wanted to build a pond of 12ftx6x5 (inclusive of filter). With this in mind, I had the help of Kevkoi who came up with the initial design. With the design, I went to 3 separate contractors. To my surprise, the price gap is very huge. The prices are S$6k, S$13k, S$22k. The cheapest one being the main-con who built my house. The other two are claimed very experienced pond builder.

When I talked to them about the design, they have absolutely no interest in hearing what I want. They just keep boasting off how they guarantee that the water will be crystal clear. Later, I found out that one of the actually proposed to use coral chip/sand. Based on my past experience with marine fish keeping, I wouldn't be surprise the water will be crystal clear from day 1 if you dump in tons of coral chip/sand into it. But the problem will come sooner or later.

In the end, I decided to just get my main con to do the work. The only problem is that I have to take 2-3 weeks leave to supervise them. Unsure

So, don't be discouraged. BTW, if they tell you not to listen to this forum, don't even use them since they have no idea what they are talking about.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Patrick


patrick123
Veteran


May 22, 2002, 1:15 PM

Post #29 of 105 (48281 views)
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Re: [dttk] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

DTTK,

If I understand correctly, you are using 4in standpipes. In between your half yearly maintenance work, these standpipes are going to be filled with stilled water to the same level as the mechnanical and biological chamber. How do you prevent these pipes from becoming mosquito breeding ground?

Stuart,
In your case, you will be using a slide valves but these slide valves are going to be 4 or 5ft into the dry sump. How do you turn them on/off without having to get in and out of the dry sump?

With deeper chamber, isn't it true that debris has better chance to settle down at the bottom so that you can drain them out?

And isn't it better to build deeper chambers than to chambers that are too shallow after the pond is completed? You can always fill it up with cement later (of course you have to cure your pond again) if it bugs you that much.

Above are my opinions. Please comment.

Cheers,
Patrick


SiChang
User

May 22, 2002, 1:58 PM

Post #30 of 105 (48278 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Johnson - No easy to find a pond builder who is honest and reasonable. One of the pond builder even tell me your pond is too small. We do not build small pond for customer. This is true. Do you think I should put the pond builder name here??? I am very angry.

TonyG - It is a good idea. I have also planned to consult my pond dealer and see what he is going to recommend me.

Mattloui - Would you recommend the contractor for me?

Patrick - Exactly the same problem you are also facing in S'pore. I guess all pond builders out there are just waiting for the BIG FISH to come. They will start telling u that he has just completed a RM100k pond with the bungalow at so and so….etc…etc. They are not interested at all of what you want and what you said. They are just trying to find out how big is the FISH so that they can ask as much as possible. I am not kidding. I got the price range from RM18k to about 40k with the similar design and size. I do not know why the range is so big?

Please recommend me if you think any contractors or pond builders who are sincere and charging reasonable price.


thtan
Novice

May 22, 2002, 3:53 PM

Post #31 of 105 (48272 views)
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Re: [sichang] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

When Kev and I went around looking for a pond builder we knew little about the subject. We went around Sg Buloh and met with some landscape contractors. They really don't know much about filters and koi. Even their display pond was green. All they do is to ask for a design from you and the responsibility is yours. ( Ask for your watch and tell you the time). Many are only interested in the landscape, rockery for which they charge more than the pond, engaging foreign workers. Be weary of such "experts".Angelic

When it comes to aesthetics, I can proudly say Kev has a good sense of that.Wink Simplicity is what he aims. No rockery ( esp imitation stones). He planned for the pond which is effective ensuring clear water and healthy koi, one with minimal maintenance. His mom has to care for the pond not him!

We have had our pond for a year already and wished we had learned more from the forum before we contracted it. We have benefited from your experiences. I am surprised Kev is now able to discuss in this forum such a wide spectrum of koi topics convincingly(?) when we only had the pond for a year.Wink.Certainly should a pond contractor be unaware of this site it refects his ignorance of the subject.

Due to the lack of information contractors are taking advantage of the hobbyist, consider that as a niche market. If more information is circulated, cost compared with specifications,all will benefit. hobbyist and contractors. Specifications and drawings are a must when we ask for a quote. Proton and Merc are both cars but prices differ significantly.Apple to be compared with apple. Unfortunately many hobbyist are unable to design let alone specify their requirements. May end up asking for a quote for " A koi pond 18'x 8'x 5' with apprpriate filtration system". That's where the problem arise.

Interested contractors should be encouraged to promote their expertise in the forum. Pictures of their ponds will an added attraction. A link to pond contractors and suppliers' websites may be useful. Through the forum capable and reasonably priced contractors and suppliers will get more businesses while those who fall by the wayside weeded out.Laugh


HWONG
Veteran

May 22, 2002, 6:52 PM

Post #32 of 105 (48265 views)
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Re: [johnson lee] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Sichang,

I can confirm that Kevin,s pond design is definitely a good working design and is a "replica" of his own pond. I have seen his pond and it is definitely a marvel with crystal clear water. Considering that he is seldom ever there, it is also very efficient. Eh Kev, who routinely flushes the muck from your pond? So you can safely adopt his design, work out the construction details. Find a reliable building contractor, use the Rm 1,000 per ton price ceiling. Bargain like hell from there. By the time he finish with your project, he will be bl--dy grateful to you for teaching him about proper pond design and overnight he becomes a learned pond builder!

After that your "nightmare" begins! Ammonia too high! Aiyah nitrite!...Nitrate... Green water. how come cannot see no fish.UnsureMadPirate. Then names like Stuart, Dttk, Johnson,Mark is like stuck to you tongue for the next 3to 4 months.

Still want to build your pond ah? WinkLaughSly Relax lah. By the way Sichang I did not check if you had apond B4, if so the last para does not apply lah!


SMW1
Veteran

May 22, 2002, 7:10 PM

Post #33 of 105 (48264 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Stuart,
In your case, you will be using a slide valves but these slide valves are going to be 4 or 5ft into the dry sump. How do you turn them on/off without having to get in and out of the dry sump?



patrick123
Veteran


May 23, 2002, 4:52 AM

Post #34 of 105 (48249 views)
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Re: [SMW1] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Stuart,

Is there something missing in your post? CrazyCrazyCrazy

If my memory didn't fail me, I kind of remember someone did that to you once. SlySly

Cheers,
Patrick


dttk
Veteran

May 23, 2002, 5:38 AM

Post #35 of 105 (48243 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Patrick, I'm glad you asked those interesting questions.

1) the 4in standpipes are in place to prevent water from chambers leaking into drains which go to the dry sump. So they are dry all the time. Therfore no mosquito problem.Smile

2) my dry sump has 3 valves, one for each bottom drain. These are about 5ft deep. I operate the valves using a long 4in PVC pipe fitted at the end with an improvised gear made of cut PVC which locks onto the valve. By a twisting action clockwise or anti-clockwise, the valve is opened or closed. The sump is large enough to accomodate me if I need to go in.

3) yes, you're right. The chamber may be 4 ft deep, but the media only occupy the top 3ft of water space. This leaves a one foot deep space below for settlement and water flow. Smile
Always friendly :)


KevKoi
Koi Kichi


May 23, 2002, 5:42 AM

Post #36 of 105 (48240 views)
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Re: [HWONG] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Who routinely flushes the muck? Errr.... this guy I got from a koi farm nearby comes to do the maintenance. (Side job for him so cheaper.... bypass his boss, so can't mention him online... Wink )

But if anyone needs someone to maintain their pond, drop me an email...... ;)

To be honest, the muck flushing is not very 'routine' either. Major chamber clean-ups occur every 3 months. Vege filter maintenence of plants done by 'Super MOM' whenever she can afford the time.... gee and I think it's almost everyday she'll go cut any dead or dying leaves. (She hates the look of dying/dead leaves! Laugh )

As for ceiling price of RM1000 per ton..... Wow, bargain hard man! REAL HARD. Just make sure they don't end up giving you cheaper material like Class 'O' pvc pipings instead of class 'D', cheaper pumps (some chinese made subersible) which might conk out in a month or so after the guy finishes, or dumps coral as filter media, or use some unknown cheap and thin wood for your filter decking cover. (if posible insist on Resak wood if you're in M'sia or S'pore. Good resistance to fungus and rot. Avoid Chengal for filter decking, it leaches toxins.). If you end up making him an impossible price for him to build with all the right material the contractor will find ways to cut corners..... so be fair.

When the water conditions start to sour, then start screaming for help on the forum again.... LOL

cheers.
kev.


johnson lee
Veteran

May 23, 2002, 5:46 AM

Post #37 of 105 (48237 views)
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Re: [sichang] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi sichang

I am not offended by the contractor's statement that my pond is too small for kois. He hasn't seen the space I have available so I consider his comments to be irrelevant. Tell him we must cut our clothes acording to the cloth!Cool

My pond size is 10' x 6' x 5' and I have about 25 kois living happily in there with sizes ranging from 15-45cm. I do not intend to add anymore kois for now and when they grow bigger and the filter cannot cope, I will transfer some to another pond which I will be building soon in my parent's house. They have a piece of land about 8000 sq ft in size so you can imagine what I have in mind when planning for this new pond!!Wink

The rest have also given their opinions about the current situation about contractors and at the end of the day it is you who will be paying the money, so plan your pond design wisely, choose your contractor wisely and all will be well. Do not be too bitter but take a deep breath and take it easy. Koi-keeping is meant to be a stress reliever not stress giver!!CoolSmile

As suggested, I believe Kevkois's designs have all the necessary ingredients of a good pond so why not use that as your starting point? You might not want to have the vege filter. so dispense with that and so on. Modify, to suit your needs. By the way, what pond size do you have in mind anyway?

Just to give you a hint, since joining the forum, I have learnt a lot about pond building as well. So using all the available knowledge and info, I will design a pond to suit my budget and the space available. I will even go to the extent of buying all the materials myself. The cement, the sand, water proofing sealant etc. etc. from the hardware store and I am getting a contractor who isn't a pond builder by profession to help me build. I do not need his opinion and suggestions, I get them from the forum!Smile His job is to build, I supervise and then I pay for his workmanship. Very importantly, is to have sketches and illustrations to show him as a guide. I do not want to end up arguing with him about wrong design, dimension etc.

Be patient, take a step back, inhale deeply and slowly and you will have a clearer perspective of what you want! I wish you all the best in your pond building endeavours!Smile

Johnson


KevKoi
Koi Kichi


May 23, 2002, 5:53 AM

Post #38 of 105 (48237 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Patrick, I did tell you about putting the stand pipes in the chambers itself (intead of the dry sump) while doing the design for you but you did insist it would be more convenient to just open one compartment (the dry sump) and pull all the pipes from there.

There's a pretty hefty fine here if the ppl from the health department catch you with mozzies larvae around your house in stagnant water. They've come around my place to check and luckily found nothing... phew. They know exactly where to check and they'd be checking your stand pipes.... WATCH IT! U suggest you go with me on this (and dttk) and put the stand pipes IN the sumps themselves.

As for the bottom drain stand pipe in the design I did for you, u can change it to a ball valve and I can design that neat little contraption dttk is talking about for you to turn that ball valve leaver Wink.....
I have one of those too... he he he. Tongue


patrick123
Veteran


May 23, 2002, 6:08 AM

Post #39 of 105 (48235 views)
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Re: [dttk] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

DTTK,

Thanks for your reply. If I understand you correctly, the standpipes are in the mechanical and biological chambers instead of in the dry sump. In the dry sump, you actually have valves to shut off the bottom drains as a double protection.

Isn't it better to have the standpipes in the dry sump instead of in each individual chamber so when you do flushing, you don't have to open the decking cover for all the chambers. Also, isn't it true that to have standpipes in the mechanical and biological chamber is going to take up space and obstruct the brushes and bio-materials?

What about the bottom drain of the main pond, you can't have a standpipe in the main pond right? Shocked So in the case of the main pond, do you just use the valve in the dry sump instead?

Just one more stupid question BlushBlush, since your dry sump is as deep as your main pond, is there anyway to prevent the main pond from being completely drained in the event that the valve fail?

In my design (or should I say Kevkoi's design), I have the standpipes in the dry sump. There will be bottom drain for the mechnical, biological, and main pond (so total 3 standpipes in the dry sump). When I do flushing, I just have to pull out the standpipe for each of the chamber to drain off the water.

In this case, the standpipes are going to be filled with water (to the same water level of the main pond and filter chambers). I actually thought about putting a plastic cover on top of the standpipe to prevent mosquito breeding.

To avoid having the entire pond being drained in case of standpipe failure, I'm thinking of making the dry sump (and all the filter chamber) one foot higher than the main pond so that if my clumsy maid decide to pull out all the pipes, I will still have 1 foot of water left in the pond (no koi meat dinner for the family).Wink

Please provide your comments.

Thanks,
Patrick


patrick123
Veteran


May 23, 2002, 6:19 AM

Post #40 of 105 (48232 views)
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Re: [KevKoi] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Kevkoi,

Wow...this post is getting pretty hot. I see posting keep coming in..... just finished replying to DTTK's post and immediately found yours.

May be you guys are right. I'm just trying to take a lazy short cut to have the standpipes all in one location since that will make me do more frequent flushing.

I can see there are two problems with this: 1) Mosquito. If I cover the standpipe with a plastic cover, that should take care of the mosquito (i think). 2) Without the double protection of standpipe and valve. Don't have an answer for this yet.

What do you guys think If I have two standpipes instead? One in the chamber and one in dry sump?

Cheers,
Patrick


KevKoi
Koi Kichi


May 23, 2002, 6:27 AM

Post #41 of 105 (48226 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Redundant isn't it?(about the 2 sandpipes).
One good enough what.... with 2 u'll end up having to open more chambers and move more wood. Maybe that's ur intention.... build some muscles. LOLLaugh


patrick123
Veteran


May 23, 2002, 6:41 AM

Post #42 of 105 (48225 views)
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Re: [KevKoi] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Kevkoi,

You know how expensive to join a health club in Singapore? This way, I can have my own dumbbells at home. LaughLaughLaugh

But seriously, correct me if I'm wrong. Having 2 standpipes one in chamber and one in dry sump is exactly the same as having 1 standpipe in the chamber and one value in the dry sump.

So by having the latter design in your house, you are already unconsciously building your muscle (or the guy you are paying from the neigbouring koi farm WinkWink) by opening more chambers and moving more wood.

Please let me know if I'm completely off the mark. CrazyCrazyCrazyCrazy. If that is the case, then it must be due to the lack of sleep dreaming about my next pond. Angelic

Cheers,
Patrick


KevKoi
Koi Kichi


May 23, 2002, 7:00 AM

Post #43 of 105 (48220 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no valve where there is stand pipe and no stand pipe where there is a valve.

The only valves come from bottom drain of main pond. All the rest are stand pipes....

When you pull your stand pipe and replace it, look inside the pipe.... it should be dry.. If it isn't.... It's leaking... so push the stand pipe in harder (not too hard or else u'll end up like me, one stand pipe cannot pull out, had to get contractor back to pull out! LOL!). The KEY is to CHECK stand pipe to make sure they're not leaking b4 closing up the chambers. Oh and if it isn't raining and the floater pump in the dry sump kicks in, one of your stand pipes is loose!! CHECK IT!!

Ure right about the leaving some water behind... I think I have bout 1 foot left too (although it would take hours if not days to empty the huge pond on a small leak.).

Oh, and just to let you in on some operational knowledge... if your pond is full (max capacity) and your filters are running, the water level in the pond will be slightly higher than that of your filter. Water pumped out faseter than it can flow in... that way you get a heavy drag which sucks all the shit from the pond into the filters. Should you have a power cut or shut off your pumps, the water will fill up in the filter chamber (water level in pond drop) and equalise that of the pond. This will cause your stand pipes in the filter chambers to over flow and u'll lose some water into the dry sump. When it rains, the stand pipes in the filter also act as overflow pipes.

cheers.


dttk
Veteran

May 23, 2002, 7:12 AM

Post #44 of 105 (48219 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Patrick, don't worry abt the questions no matter how simple they may be...Smile. Just shoot....Pirate.....and I'll be dead happy to answer them. Standpipes in the sump will as kev mentioned attract some mosquitoes. I only open the decking over the mechanical and bio-chambers once in 6 months.(maybe I should open it during the pond visit in August. Hope you'll be able to join us...Smile ) The decking over the dry sump is opened twice a week to flush the 3 bottom drains. My pond builder has designed the filter in such a way that there is a standpipe chamber for each media chamber. So there is no obstruction to filter media.Smile. Yes, of course I flush the bottom drains by opening the valves in the dry sump. I hope these valves don't burst suddenly as there is no way water in the pond will be retained high enough for the bigger koi to survive. A slow leak can be detected on time and measures can be taken like switching off the automatic pump in the sump and plugging the outlet from sump with an up-bend. That's why it is always better to switch off the pump in the sump and plug the outlet before such a disaster could occur. Kevkoi's design for your pond is great and simple. You just need a wider dry sump & filter for reasons mentioned earlier. Never let your foreign maid have access to the dry sump...Mad.
Always friendly :)


patrick123
Veteran


May 23, 2002, 7:40 AM

Post #45 of 105 (48215 views)
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Re: [dttk] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Kevkoi and DTTK,

Thanks for the useful information. These information will be great help to me when I build the pond.

Kevkoi,
I like the idea of using the standpipe as an overflow in the chambers. But come to think of it, I will have a natural overflow system if I have the standpipe in the dry sump too. This reminds me to measure the length of the standpipe properly when I construct the standpipe.

DTTK,
Is it correct that you flush the main pond twice a week and the mechnical and biological chamber twice a year? I think it is a great idea to have standpipe chamber in each media chamber....only if I can afford the space.

So based on what we discussed, I think none of us have double protection. It will be either standpipe for the chamber or valve for the main pond. Actually, we can have standpipe in the dry sump (to replace valve) for the main pond too (another natural overflow for main pond).WinkWink

What do you guys think of the idea of building the dry sump one ft higher than the main pond so that water in main pond will not be completely drained in case of disaster?

Thanks very much,
Patrick


dttk
Veteran

May 23, 2002, 8:11 AM

Post #46 of 105 (48210 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Patrick, yes, the standpipes in the chambers can act as overflow pipes in case of rain. As for protection against faulty valves and standpipes in the dry sump, 1)make sure you have an additional outlet from the sump which is at a higher position. Water level will equalise if the valve burst and your pond will not be empty 2) always switch off the pump in the sump when not in use. 3) make your sump higher than the pond. Smile
Always friendly :)


thtan
Novice

May 23, 2002, 8:20 AM

Post #47 of 105 (48210 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh my god. Where in the world can you get free and instant consultation from a panel of international experts - doctors, IT expert, construction expert, architect and others. Yet the home ministers suspect we are on some adult site or chat room.Cool


SiChang
User

May 23, 2002, 11:12 AM

Post #48 of 105 (48194 views)
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Re: [thtan] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

That's right! I received so many help here and I think I will be very confident to get my pond built very soon. This koi site is really great. Everyone is so helpful. Please keep posting the good advise/suggestions as I am gaining good knowledge.


SMW1
Veteran

May 23, 2002, 11:20 AM

Post #49 of 105 (48191 views)
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Re: [sichang] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Simon,

It may be worth adding your picture you sent me to the members pond sections. This way everyone else can also give you their input.

Thanks


SiChang
User

May 24, 2002, 4:20 PM

Post #50 of 105 (48161 views)
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Re: [SMW1] Building new pond [In reply to] Can't Post

How do I attach the digital pic.?


(This post was edited by sichang on May 24, 2002, 4:24 PM)

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