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Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor

 




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stevenwong
User

Jan 13, 2003, 1:11 PM

Post #1 of 26 (86018 views)
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Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor Can't Post

Hi,

I'm interested to have a koi pond in the near future.

From the discussions in the forum, I gathered that koi ponds could be built by either 'professional' pond builders, or 'ordinary' contractors following the design of the pond-owner.

After visiting Dr.Tan's and Kevin's pond, I realized the importance of a properly designed & executed filtration system. It is not wrong to consider the filter as the 'heart' and 'engine-room' of the entire pond system.

In this respect, even with a proper design, could the filtration system be properly constructed by an 'ordinary' contractor? Without appreciation of the nature and principle of a filtration system, could the job be successfully pulled off?

I'm not undermining the expertise of the 'ordinary' contractors, but I wish to get the advise of pond-owners who have experienced both sides of the coin.

If possible, I would like to engage an 'ordinary' contractor to construct my future pond, instead of a professional pond-builder because of the high cost involved.

However, I'm concerned about the issue mentioned.

Cheerio.


KevKoi
Koi Kichi


Jan 13, 2003, 1:51 PM

Post #2 of 26 (85951 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Steven, if you're as free as I am right now and u can get ur hands dirty with your builder, and u know the principles of the koi pond filter, what to use and where to buy it from, then any contractor that could make a pond leak proof would suffice. But if you leave if to them to do it, they could potentially mess it up for you.

Would always help if you have detail drawings of your whole intended pond (Plan, elevation, section, details etc.) so your contractor adheres to it.
Trust me, it would cost you a whole lot less...

However, u pay the premium for experience and reputation which specialist koi pond builders have. That said, I've met some supposedly 'specialist' that do nothing but dump coral and rocks into the filter and would refuse to do anthing else....... and charge an arm and a leg for that!

The specialist would save u the hassle and worry about getting things wrong and having to knock things over plus some of them have good aftersales servie plus a knack of designing very pleasant looking ponds (landscaping and all).

Good luck.....



patrick123
Veteran


Jan 13, 2003, 6:48 PM

Post #3 of 26 (85935 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Steven,

Kevin is right. Design, plan and construct a koi pond can actually be a lot of fun. YOu just have to be patient and try to gather all the right information. Come up with the blue print and get some advise from people on this web. A lot of people are more than happy to help you out.

In my case, it did not really save me a lot of money but I did enjoy the fun, the pain and the sweat of supervising the work myself.

Cheers,
Patrick


KevKoi
Koi Kichi


Jan 14, 2003, 5:10 AM

Post #4 of 26 (85917 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Oooo Patrick, in your case, must emphasize 'PAIN and SWEAT' eh? LaughLaughLaugh. Poor fella.... went thru so much just for those kois.

Hope u're enjoying the fruits of your toilings now...


stevenwong
User

Jan 14, 2003, 6:58 AM

Post #5 of 26 (85909 views)
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Re: [KevKoi] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Kev & Patrick,

Thanks for the encouragement.

Unlike you fellas, I'm not an expert in the concept of pond system. Hence, I would not know how to supervise or check on the work.

I agree an 'ordinary' contractor could do the job much cheaper, but it comes with the inherent risk as well.

I suppose the way forward is to learn as much as possible on the pond system (especially the filtration) before embarking on any undertaking.

By the way, I could do with recommendations on good and reliable contractors for the job. If you have anyone to recommend, please post the details in my e-mail. Would greatly appreciate it.

Cheerio.


patrick123
Veteran


Jan 14, 2003, 7:31 AM

Post #6 of 26 (85905 views)
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Re: [KevKoi] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Kevin,

Also have to thank you for helping me design the pond. Without your help, I think I'm still using a FG tank right now. Smile

Steven,
I was just like you, know nothing about pond design. But after spending countless hours reading this forum, and with help from Sifu like Kevin, Dr Tan and Stuart, I was able to supervise and constructed my own pond.

If you have the interest, you may want to try it too. Trust me, it is fun. Or you can opt for the easy way out and get a professional to design. But you have to bear in mind that not all the pond builder are professional. You still have to talk to the contractor and see what design they come up with and see if they are really professional or Bull Sxxx.

Like what Kevin said, some of them just dump tons of coral chips into the filter and the water will turn crystal clear in 2 days....but you only realize the mess months after you pay the full payment to the contractor.

Cheers,
Patrick


crazoo
User

Jan 14, 2003, 8:54 AM

Post #7 of 26 (85899 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

well u have another option..
DIYTongueSmile
i believe i have the strong DIY spirit so im doing the whole pond myself. ofcourse get help and advice from here and my relative who happen to be a pond builder but just lack of knowledge. but be warned that DIY the pond is not as easy as u think it would. i knew now.. Wink


stevenwong
User

Jan 14, 2003, 10:21 AM

Post #8 of 26 (85887 views)
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Re: [crazoo] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Unlike most Westerners, we are generally not inclined towards DIY, especially in a relatively major undertaking like building a koi pond.

Perhaps it's due to our relatively cheaper labour supply, and lack of technical training/experience in undertaking these tasks.

Hence, I really admire Crazoo's initiative and gusto in his DIY undertaking.

As for me, I dont think I have the expertise (and guts) to undertake the DIY job. Cant imagine the pond crashing in, or water leaking into the house foundation!

Cheerio.


cwnchong
Koi Kichi

Jan 14, 2003, 12:27 PM

Post #9 of 26 (85875 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Steven,

I noticed you have been around the latest pond visit & I believe you must have convinced your home minister for her approval to have a koi pond built ( credit to Dr. Tan's lovely kois & crystal clear pond). Congregulation to you.

Regarding the construction & design of your future pond you can get the help from this forum members. Ppl like kevkoi (who is qualified & free now;uhave to catch him now for free consultation before he turns pro after next month), our sifu Dr. Tan ( who's always available), Straut from UK just to name a few will be more than willing to help & guide you from design stage till completion. Be it by DIY, ordinary contractors or specialist pond builders. I can bet you will get nothing but the best pond design from all of them.

Wish you the best

Cheers


stevenwong
User

Jan 15, 2003, 6:51 AM

Post #10 of 26 (85854 views)
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Re: [cwnchong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

cwnchong,

I agree with you there are numerous 'sifus' at our disposal in this forum. Their expertise, and generosity in sharing their knowledge, goes a long way in promoting and encouraging this great hobby.

Thankfully my "Home Minister" is also "koi kichi". No problem in this department. The biggest problem is the ambition very often exceeds the cashflow!

Cheerio.


andyng
User

Jan 15, 2003, 7:40 AM

Post #11 of 26 (85844 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Steven,

What ever it is... plan... then plan... then plan..... and make sure you take you time and ask... then ask ... then ask..... Don't be like me and if it is done by a contractor or specialist don't let them bully you around.

Just my $$$ worth from my own pond building....

Andy Ng


HWONG
Veteran

Jan 15, 2003, 7:46 AM

Post #12 of 26 (85843 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Steven,

B4 you decide on the pond design, you need to decide how you wish to grow your kois. If its big and fast, then more shit and design must cater for easy and effcient solid waste disposal ie more space needed for settlement or some other equipment like the Answer. Eg. my design will not cater for intensive feeding without a lot of maintenance but it is perfect for slow growth though.

After that, you decide on the size and shape and location. If I were to rebuilt. I would make it long and semi formal like Mike Tan's pond. You should not compromise on depth. Unless you have the time to supervise your contractor closely, I suggest you let an experience pond builder do it. There are a few reasonablye priced contractors who will take care of all minute details. Budget about Rm 1,000 per ton for construction. The budget for the filter, pumps depends on your design and size. Whatever route you take, go through in detail with the contractor so that evrythingis included and easily accessible. Since it is concrete, once set, its a difficult to rework. Any afterthought will see ugly pipes. hose, etc visible everywhere to destroy an otherwise beautiful pond. Take it from me. There are many things I am not happy with but I am stuck with my decision. It will not only cost a bundle to redo but also a riot it will cause.Budget a little more to have a peace of mind. Good luck and welcome to the joys and agonies of Koi keeping.


stevenwong
User

Jan 15, 2003, 8:35 AM

Post #13 of 26 (85834 views)
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Re: [HWONG] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

andyng / HWONG,

Thanks for the good and sensible advice. I will bear in mind the points raised.

I agree the principle of pond building should be: "Build once, and build right". In this respect, HWONG's point of identifying our objective in koi rearing i.e. whether we want to pursue quick growth or take it 'slow & steady', is an excellent factor to bear in mind when designing the filtration system.

Invariably, most koi keepers belong to the 'quick growth' category, either consciously or otherwise. Unfortunately, the system may not be designed for this purpose. Hence, it is imperative to know our objective beforehand, as HWONG rightly said, and as reiterated by andyng : Plan & plan...and more again.

Cheerio.


cwnchong
Koi Kichi

Jan 15, 2003, 8:43 AM

Post #14 of 26 (85829 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Steven,
Good for u. U are better then most of us in this forum, your Home Ministry is with u. I can already see that Andy & Wong has given u all the tips & sound advice already. As what Andy mentioned, be patient spend more time on planning & ask as much questions as possible.
My simple advice is that before you commit with your potential contractor, sit down with him and write down the schedule in black & white. List down all the important things like the pond size, depth, filter media, pipe size where you want them to be, matl, finishing & all that u can think of in shot itemized column format. Refer to your schedule whenever u inspect the progress during the construction stages. You don't have to know all the technical details, your presence is enough to put the workers in perspective.

Cheers


stevenwong
User

Jan 15, 2003, 11:27 AM

Post #15 of 26 (85814 views)
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Re: [cwnchong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

cwnchong,

Appreciate the advise and tips.

Cheerio.


chong
User

Jan 15, 2003, 4:49 PM

Post #16 of 26 (85799 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Wong ,

Good points highlighted by CWNchong - put everything on black & white . This is to ensure minimum dispute with the contractor once job commence.

I missed out this during my 1st pond construction , end up what I got was not what I wanted.

If you are staying in KL , there are so many sifus with many good pond design & systems . See which one that suits you & ask permision from that sifu to bring the contractor to see it by himself what kind of system you desire .

Regards


crazoo
User

Jan 15, 2003, 7:16 PM

Post #17 of 26 (85787 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

just my point of view, u can never built once and stay forever as technology always changes and they find new things everyday like remember once upon a time when we say TT, ppl say huh what ?? things like that. so its just like u built at what u knew best. i remember i used to have a plan and once and a while when i knew more i add it to the plan and till now i must say it have changed a lot. (the plan was for when i am big enough to have my own house.. Smile only 19 )

but anyway good luck.


dttk
Veteran

Jan 16, 2003, 6:59 AM

Post #18 of 26 (85773 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry guys, I just found out about this posting!

Steven Smile, I must say you have so far received many many good inputs from the regular kakis.Wink The thing about pond/filter design is that there is no single correct way to get crystal clear water. Different builders have different preferences and concepts and so design their ponds and filters differently. The builders with good results swear by their methods and always sceptical about other builders methods! It is therefore best for you to see for yourself the different designs and then make your choice. So far, you've seen Kev's and my pond which are built by Zen. Visit ponds with other design systems too. I can tell that you'll probably engage a contractor to do the job after reading all the previous posts. This will give you more pressure to make the right choice.

The ultimate results you'd want after the pond is constructed are, 1) water clarity, 2) ease of maintenance. These two criteria applies to both the heavy and light feeders.

The difference in designs and materials used can be quite marked. For examples, 1) Uniring - required or not? 2) Conical chamber floors vs slightly sloped (almost flat) chamber floors. 3) arrangement of mats - which is better? 4) bottom drain opening directly into dry sump and water inlet into filter is via mid-water feeds, or bottom drain opening into settlement chamber and then into dry sump, with no need of mid-water feeds. 5) design of surface skimmers - built into wall or jutting out?

While it may be argued that any of the above designs will still provide crystal clear water, the difference lies in the cost of construction and the ease of maintenance.

Therefore, look around more and compare the systems and decide for yourself what you want. Listen to all parties but use logic to decide. Do not go for those who say this works but gives you a totally illogical explanation or worst still, no explanation!

Sly
Always friendly :)


stevenwong
User

Jan 16, 2003, 9:19 AM

Post #19 of 26 (85759 views)
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Re: [dttk] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Dear Doc,

Thanks for your input.

My priority at the moment is to get familiar with the different systems (and their functions) in koi ponds.

With so many ways to approach the subject, i.e. mid-feed vs bottom drain, etc, it would be appropriate to understand the concepts vis-a-vis my own requirements.

Ultimately, my aim is to achieve a system that allows for minimal maintenance (while achieving water clarity). I believe this is the common goal after all.

Cheerio.


thtan
Novice

Jan 17, 2003, 5:55 PM

Post #20 of 26 (85730 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

When Koon aka Kevkoi wanted to construct the pond we opted for the appointment of a professional builder. The reasons are simple. First he had never built or supervised the construction of one before. Secondly he had to go back to school in a short time. There was no one at home to supervise the works. His mom couldn’t have done it and I was away.



We paid a tidy sumUnsure for it but we have no regret.Sly It was no easy task bur the contractor knew the minute details of his profession, all done without our supervision. The pond excavation was done manually since an excavator could not reach the spot. On digging he discovered underground piping and sewerage pipes etc. It took almost 5 months to complete the 40 ton pond. We never suffered any “beh kun” problem. After completion when there was a problem we call the contractor back to help. We get regular after-sales advice from him.



Now we have a decent pond requiring minimal maintenance. Kevin is away most of the time.



Now after 2 year Koon can bulls**t in this forum already as much as he does in other goldfish and aquarium forums.



Read an interesting article related to this: http://groups.google.com/groups?q=koi+pond+group:rec.*&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=NEg57.61369%24qs5.10359314%40news02.optonline.net&rnum=2



Hope to visit some ponds when I go back for CNY.SlySly


stevenwong
User

Jan 20, 2003, 5:19 AM

Post #21 of 26 (85698 views)
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Re: [thtan] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

thtan,

Interesting. I guess that's why one pays a premium for expertise and professionalism.

But are all the 'professional' pond builders as good as the one you engaged? We do hear of 'black sheeps' in the industry.

Cheerio.


andyng
User

Jan 20, 2003, 8:17 AM

Post #22 of 26 (85684 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Steven,

Check out this site http://www.koipond.com.my/

Workman ship is real good. I am trying to arrange a visit to his own personal pond at home and I was very impress with his own pond during my visit.

Johnson Hwong have visited 3 pond constructed by him during the visit to Mike Tan's pond. Maybe they could give some of their comment.

Andy Ng


stevenwong
User

Jan 20, 2003, 8:37 AM

Post #23 of 26 (85681 views)
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Re: [andyng] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

andyng,

Thanks for the recommendation.

I think you are speaking of Peace Garden. Yes, I've heard about them, and a couple of good words too.

What about price? Are they OK in this department?

Cheerio.


andyng
User

Jan 20, 2003, 9:12 AM

Post #24 of 26 (85677 views)
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Re: [stevenwong] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

Steven,

He did a small pond for me and the price is quite reasonable, so are my friends pond. You could call him at 019-3131302 and negotiate with him, his name is Gan.

Andy Ng.


stevenwong
User

Jan 20, 2003, 9:28 AM

Post #25 of 26 (85674 views)
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Re: [andyng] Construction Of Koi Pond: Professional Buider vs Ordinary Contractor [In reply to] Can't Post

andyng,

Will do that. Thanks again.

Cheerio.

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