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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I lied. Opened it last night. But we have fish!

Uv... check


Filter.... check. There's 6 foam pads in there, and 6 bags with 500 bio balls in them. Though by the sound of the pump, it's going to be replaced this year. It's whining and not from low water levels.




Barley balls are in. Haven't sunk yet, but they help a LOT when it comes to keeping algae from growing and also in a few weeks should help clear up the water dramatically. Started to fish out most of the leaves, but once the weather and the water warms up will start to work on the pond more.

And hey look fish. No food yet though. Water is a chilly 50 degrees. Once it consistently stays above 55, they start to get fed. Still getting pretty cold at night, so should be another 2 weeks or so until they get food. We have 7 full grown Koi and added 3 babies in last summer. Also got lots of Pool Comets, some have bred with Koi, so we have Koi colored Comets, and there's a goldfish in there too.



And the whole pond. It's 5.5 feet deep to help with the Michigan winters. No idea on the gallonage. Haven't done the math in a long time.


As the plants grow back in, vines cover the waterfall's black sides, and the Bamboo goes nuts. It's like vietnam, but can't control the bamboo for the most part. Started with 3 plants a few years ago. We have a handful of plants sitting inside that survived the winter, waiting to go into the pond when the water temperature stabilizes.

This year we are going to use old liner we have, and extend the pond on the bottom left side to start growing more plants local to Michigan so they can survive outdoors. We do have two shelfs on opposite sides of the pond that we want to start utilizing as well. Still have the bubbler and heater in (keeps a ventilation hole in the ice during the winter), though we will be removing that later today. Will be updating this as the pond clears up and the plants around it come back in. We are working on a new bridge that goes across the middle. Our old one I wouldn't trust a cat to stand on.

Anyway, there ya go..... Ponds been established for 8 years this summer. Much better at ponds then planted fish tanks lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
any pics of it last spring? I've never done a pond but have always wanted one (or several lol)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC2NvFoDUEo&list=UUX0XjNJyBL-A3KRpXB6erCw

There's a silly old youtube video my BF took of the pond. I don't have any pictures that I can find right now. Thats a few years ago though.

Ours got put in when the pool was put in. So he just asked the guy with the excavator to help him out and take out 4-5 scoops. Made fast work. He said it was a lot of work, but worth it. Lots of plumbing and we had to run electricity up to the pond too. It's totally worth it though. Very peaceful to just sit out there and watch it. And ours will literally slide right up on to your hand and take food from you, if I put my hand in they'll "suck" on it. Very personable fish. Totally worth it.
 

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What do you do to open up your pond? Or do you mean it's that time of year to get the pumps going. I have lots of netting on mine to keep the leaves out, but I can see in it as long as there's no ice on the top. Sometimes I can see fish on the bottom in January if the lighting is just right. The fish have only recently come up from the bottom and starting being active.
My water fall/filter pump is a probably a month away from being turned on. It's not consistently warm enough yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
What do you do to open up your pond? Or do you mean it's that time of year to get the pumps going. I have lots of netting on mine to keep the leaves out, but I can see in it as long as there's no ice on the top. Sometimes I can see fish on the bottom in January if the lighting is just right. The fish have only recently come up from the bottom and starting being active.
My water fall/filter pump is a probably a month away from being turned on. It's not consistently warm enough yet.
Mostly get all the pumps out and get them going. We put a net on during the fall but we take it off in the winter. We have a sassafras tree above the pond, so it turns the water into tea. We remove all the leaves we can before we close up, to the point this year it broke my net LOL. It's insane. Our pond is so deep and with the black liner, unless the pond is SPOTLESS you can't see to the bottom. Didn't put the barley balls in soon enough and already have string algae lol. But yeah opening up=getting everything running again, seeing what broke over the winter, etc. Hoping to get the new bridge built over the next week. Haven't quite figured out how we are getting it back on the pond though. Most likely drawing straws to see who is jumping in.

Ours is staying around 50 degrees which is when the waterfall normally gets hooked up, though we normally base it on how active the fish are. They've been swimming about quite a lot so we turned it on. We've always removed the net for some reason lol.
 

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Nice! I'm in MI also but haven't fired up the pond pump yet. I want to do a good cleaning and pump out the bottom of mine this spring. Will be done soon, but I don't usually disturb things until the water temp is stable above 50. I like the shape of your pond how many gallons? Mine is around 2400g I only have 2 koi, a few shubunkin, and some very large comets. Hope to move over to shubunkin more but the comets keep breeding lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice! I'm in MI also but haven't fired up the pond pump yet. I want to do a good cleaning and pump out the bottom of mine this spring. Will be done soon, but I don't usually disturb things until the water temp is stable above 50. I like the shape of your pond how many gallons? Mine is around 2400g I only have 2 koi, a few shubunkin, and some very large comets. Hope to move over to shubunkin more but the comets keep breeding lol.
I have no idea how large ours is to be honest. We did the math last year when we did a big cleaning and emptied the entire thing, but I can't remember off the top of my head. It's been staying over 50 for the most part, but it was getting so mucky we just went ahead and did it. They are such hardy fish its unbelievable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
amazing pond :) Im currently working on cleaning up my pond for summer... :)
Thank you! It's much clearer today. The UV stabilizer helps out so much when it comes to clearing up the water. Hoping to get some better pictures tomorrow. Finished cutting all the pieces for the new bridge too, so just have to put it all together, and then figure out how on earth we are getting it in place lol. Deep pond+heavy bridge=someone goes into 50 degree water, and holds it up while the other guides it into place. I'm conveniently too short to go into the pond hehe ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well the water has cleaned up substantially. Can see right to the bottom. A lot of work needs to be done, especially as far as getting all the leaves out. Broke my net getting the majority out before we closed it last fall.




Picked up a beautiful baby butterfly koi at my LFS yesterday. He's really a beautiful white and silver-blue color, but he's still too nervous about his new place, so I took a picture from a distance. He also ate the shrimp pellets I had that were supposed to be feeding my filter, so I take that as a good sign. Other then being scared of me and still hiding some, he's doing well, and happy! Had no place other then my newly cycled 10 gallon, so that will be his home until the pond gets warm enough! He did eat this morning though. And moved around my Anubias a bit, but other wise he seems fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Got new goodies! Big new skimmer teehee:


Replacing:

It's 48" long, don't know the rest of the dimensions, but it's at least double what I have now.
Also got new Easy Pro 1/2hp pump:

Current pump you can hear whining from the house.

Finished our bridge! Started with 18 pieces of 2x4s 8 feet long, turned into a bridge.

Bamboo hasn't come back yet, but we got flowers!

Some fishies: I have a video, but no youtube account so pictures it is!

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The bridge is pretty cool. Is it anchored down or just sitting there on top of the rocks?
Just sits on top of them. It's pretty darn heavy. The rocks are supported by a fiberglass system underneath, and big sheets are behind the liner underneath to help hold it too. You can jump on top of it and it doesn't budge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Empty space really. That's where I have my pump in my old one. There's brushes that go in between the two sections, and a mesh leaf collection thing that goes in the right. I also put the auto-shut off float thing on the left. My old one didn't have any room for it, and I know that caused the death of 3 pumps (eeek). For the most part I went for a bigger one as the pond sits under a tree and the amount of leaves that drop into the pond, even with a net over it during the fall, can get pretty bad. In general I hope it makes it so there's less maintenance. Our weir (the little flap that blocks the fish) broke off the other one and it was over 100 bucks for a new one, and the new skimmer was around 900 with the extension tube, so it was like oh why not lol. A new toy. I also like the fact there will be that much more water in the system. More water never hurts, especially since according to the fish guy there (fish biologist, works with fisheries too), we are pretty much at the fully stocked point. The rule with ponds is .01 pounds of fish per gallon, which means 40 pounds of fish for us. When the baby koi in there grow up, we are going to be right at that mark, any more so and we need to start giving them away.....

I don't have any true filter stuff in the skimmer though. I'm sure the brushes probably get some BB on them, but the waterfall container is where all the filtration stuff is as far as fine mechanical filtration and bio balls.
 

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Hm.

I'm planning a pond for my front yard, so I always like picking other peoples' brains LOL Don't have as much space as you do, but I like your design.

If you had to do anything different for this pond, what would it be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Run a water line up to it. Having an auto fill valve/float would have saved us in about 1600 dollars worth of pumps. Otherwise it's been easier then trying to get plants to live. My BF built it about 10 years ago when the pool was going in, so he asked the guy working the excavator to give him a hand.... But yeah I think having a waterline running up to it so it could autofill would be the biggest one.

Oooo ooo ooo, and the other one, a bottom drain! Our pond sits up on a hill-ish area, so I can get a siphon out (I use a pool hose, started with a shop vac), but I think having a bottom drain built in, would've been spectacular.

I think most of the things that could've been done better are purely for convenience. In general the pond has been running pretty well since it was built, not a single fish death nor failures other then pumps dying-all due to human error. I do agree with him that if we ever built a bigger one, we'd put more priority in making the skimmer bigger initially. We also have ours sitting under a tree, so while it can be a pain with the leaves, it sitting out of direct sunlight, along with the barley and UV (another good thing to get IMO), keep it algae free. The UV, in my eyes, is the one thing I don't think I could live without, keeps the pond pretty clear, and combined with the barley released H2O2 constantly, you can see right to the bottom.
 

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Great points to ponder...

My pond won't be nearly as large; I've been debating the whole bottom drain issue. I wish my location were closer to plumbing, but jacking up my driveway to run pond plumbing underneath isn't an option. One of the reasons I've been considering a bottom drain though is to try and make sure the pump doesn't run dry.

Have you considered drilling a small hole or two in the bottom of your skimmer box (if that's still where you're going to house the pump) just as a safety feature?

I don't know if that's a good idea or not, but I've been considering doing that with my own skimmer/filter combo. I don't have a lot of confidence in the floating weir design on the opening to the skimmer portion of mine. Looks like it could get stuck too easily and block water from the pump.
 
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