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17. The Ultimate Koi Pond

Most people who cultivate an interest in water gardening at some time decide to add fish to the pond. Many keepers are delighted with their pond fish, especially Koi. Koi are large enough and tame enough fish that people collect them and consider them special pets. Any pond with adequate filtration can house these beautiful fish, but a pond designed from the beginning to showcase Koi is one in which plants take second stage. With some of these elegant pets fetching lofty sums of money, few keepers want a pond that sacrifices water quality or impede the viewing of these magnificent specimens. A little planning ahead for facilities and equipment to house these special fish pays huge rewards in years to come. Find out now how to create the ‘Ultimate Koi Pond’.
 
Important points to consider for the Ultimate Koi Pond:
• These fish grow rapidly, easily reaching 24+” at maturity, and add an increasing burden on filtration systems as they age.
• Water clarity is important for viewing these beauties.
• Water depth is important - deeper ponds with adequate hiding places work best for the protection of valuable fish.

 Recommended equipment for the Ultimate Koi Pond:
1. Pond Beast
This is the ultimate in pond filtration. Designed for ponds up to 6000 gallons, 'the Beast' handles flow rates to 1200gph. Based on the trickle-type filtration principle the unit outperforms closed-type units twice its size. 'The Beast' incorporates mechanical, biological and chemical filtration into a unit that will turn your pond into something to be proud of. It increases the oxygen content in your pond, help with algae problems, increase redox potential, and increase your success with animals and plants. And don't worry about not being around all the time - the Pond Beast has a large surface area in the prefilter section so cleaning is performed less often.

Pond Beast AL2800

2. SICCE presents a full Pond Line with the reliable and sturdy NINPHEO Pond Filter, which makes SICCE your one stop reference point for your garden pond water system. The new Pressurized UV Bio-Filter is available in the 50L canister with a great filtration capacity for small as well as very large ponds. NINPHEO offers mechanical filtration (3 sponges of different densities together with an efficient UV sterilizer for crystal clear pond water.) NINPHEO is an easy maintenance filter with a sturdy body which can be placed next to the pond, buried in ground, or above the pond water level for the convenience of each particular user's application. The filter is perfectly combined with SICCE's Master DW pumps for filters, waterfalls, and ponds.
Recommended for ponds up to 6500 gallons, recommended for use with
Master DW 8000e pump.
Green Reset, the NEW SICCE pond filter range, represents the ease for your garden pond clarity. This new Pressurized UVC Bio-filter is available in two models - 25L & 40L - with great filtration capacity for small and large ponds. First, the water is forced through the sponges (mechanical filtration) and then through the bioballs (biological filtration) in combination with an effective UVC sterilizer lamp to guarantee crystal clear pond water. The peculiarity of Green Reset is the extreme ease of maintenance operations which can be carried out by everybody without any difficulty.

For smaller ponds, choose the
Master DW 10500 Dirty Water Pump. This pump has a maximum head pressure of 31 feet and up to 2780 gph of flow. This has never been achieved by any other manufacturer in the world. The simplicity and great reliability of the synchronous motors combined with the highly sophisticated electronics make the Master DW a really unique product and puts it in an elite group of pond pumps. ANTI-CLOG SYSTEM Double Rotation Impeller

3. To ensure perfect clarity, an Danner 40watt UV Sterilizer should be installed to eliminate the unicellular algae that, in large numbers, frequently cause the water to take on a green appearance. This also helps control other forms of algae.


4. Pumps selection is crucial for these systems. The best pumps are reliable, have high flow rates, and are economical to use. Your pets’ lives depend on the oxygen and biological filtration your pumps provide.
All large external pumps should be run with 1-1/2” rigid or flexible pvc pipe. Spa hose is a great alternative to rigid pvc pipe and is easilly glued into standard fittings.
1" Spa Hose and 1-1/2" Spa Hose.



Pump Choices

Dolphin Amp Master Diamond 4750gph, 3.1amp and the Aqua Sea Priming Pot with Basket. This is a great external pump with great flow characteristics combined with the low energy consumption. It will pay for itself again and again. Choose one of the Dolphin pumps for systems with pressurized filters.

Dolphin Aqua Master Diamond 6250gph, 9.4amp and Aqua Sea Priming Pot with Basket
This is another great external pump with great flow characteristics. It is a high rpm pump, and pushes water to a higher head pressure. This is important for elevations higher than 6 feet to avoid significantly reduced flow rates. In addition, if a
NINPHEO Pond Filter is used, the filter has to be backwashed less often. The sacrifice is electrical cunsumption. This pump draws less electricity and pushes more water than large, submersible sump-type pumps that are often incorrectly used in koi ponds.

Syncra 3.5 Pump 660gph - This high pressure grounded pond pump is designed for the harsh conditions of pond use. Energy efficient. 20ft power cord. Clog-resistant mechanical/biological prefilter. CE & UL listed. Inlet is 1" female threaded for hose size 1" up to 1-1/4". Outlet is 3/4" female threaded for hose size 3/4" up to 1".

5. Intake Screen Pond Filter - This handy, easy to clean prefilter acts as both a filter and as an intake screen to catch debris that would otherwise be drawn into and possibly damage the pump. These units are designed to prevent the pump from clogging over a long period of time and should be used on the inlet side of all pumps.

Surface Skimmer -
Skimmers are an efficient, convenient and effective way to create a beautiful water garden by removing unwanted grass, leaves, and other debris. They can be used on any size watergarden or Koi pond and can be installed during pond construction or added to an existing pond. The skimmer can also be connected to a Pond Beast, an external pressurized filter, a UV sterilizer or waterfall filter, for a complete and efficient system.

6.
Syncra 4.0 Pump 951gph or Syncra 5.0 Pump 1221 gph - This pump serves as a back up should the larger pump fail.
 
The system described above provides superior mechanical, biological and algae killing filtration for a heavily loaded pond up to 7000 gallons. The dual filtration system adds a huge biological capacity and maintains crystal clear water. An additional 40 watt UV sterilizer can be added but is rarely needed. Twin pumps serve as a fail safe in the event of a pump failure. You are now on your way to the ultimate koi pond.

 
Installation
The diagrams below illustrate the recommended installation of the
equipment described above. Drawings are not to scale.

Filter and UV Installation and Hook Up
 
Both the filter and the sterilizer can be hidden below ground - just leave access to inlets and outlets for cleaning and maintenance. Serviceable parts that remain visible can be hidden with mulch and stonework. Both the filter and UV require winter care and must be drained before the onset of sub-freezing temperatures.

Pond Beast/Mini Beast and Intake Filter Installation
 
 
The Pond Beast/Mini Beast must be installed with the drain lines above the surface of the pond. The filter can be placed virtually anywhere and rocked in, buried or hidden in the landscape as illustrated below. In the diagram, a Pond Beast/Mini Beast is installed in combination with an Intake Filter and a Danner pump with plumbing and tubing required for hook up.

Parts List:
Pond Beast/Mini Beast
Intake Filter
Syncra 4.0 Pump
1" spa hose
1" black tubing


Cross-section showing the relation of the Upper Pond to the Lower Pond
 
The outlet from the NINPHEO Pond Filter fills the upper pond by way of a waterfall or hidden 1-1/2" pipe. The upper pond functions as a natural filter and gravity drains to the lower pond. This pool should be planted with bog species like water iris and water mint and fast growing plants like water lettuce and water hyacinth, when available. These reduce phosphate and nitrate levels, thus increasing water quality.

Rocking the walls of the pond to hide the liner is acceptable but rocking or graveling the bottom of the pond should be avoided. Rocks and gravel trap waste, prevent cleaning, and create pockets of pathogenic bacteria which eventually lead to fish death. Placing a few large, smooth river rocks at key points on the bottom can help hide the liner without trapping wastes and causing cleaning problems. Rock work can also be supported by a ledge, as shown below, to help hide the liner.

  Keep shallow water plants on plant shelves and keep soil covered with large gravel. Lilies should also be protected with large gravel. See Bog Garden Solution.

External Pump Installation
 
The illustration at left shows an external pump and protective housing. The housing can be an irrigation box or any self-made container large enough to accommodate the pump and still leave room for periodic maintenance. The housing must be equipped with a drain to avoid standing water from storms. Cover the pump and housing with a lid that allows heat to escape.

Connect 1-1/2" spa hose to the Intake Filter with a 1-1/2" male adapter. Three 90° elbow fittings complete the loop out of the pond, across the ground and into the housing to the pump.

Many large external pumps are available for use with priming pots which make starting the pump easier. Priming pots should be enclosed in the housing also.

Top View of the Ultimate Koi Pond Operated with 1 Pump
 
The diagram below outlines the equipment and plumbing schematic for powering the system with a single pump. Depending on the size of pump, either internal or external, the NINPHEO Pond Filter is optional. If a submersible pump is desired for use with the NINPHEO Pond Filter, use the ProLine Hy-Drive Waterfall Pump 4800gph and no Intake Filter. The diagram shows both an external and submersible pump for reference.*

In this installation an additional T and valve are required in the line to the Pond Beast/Mini Beast and the line to the filter should be reduced to 1”. The Pond Beast/Mini Beast can drain to either the upper or lower pond depending on location. A valve may be necessary to cause a little back pressure at the waterfall.

The upper pond acts as a natural plant filter and should be well stocked with water hyacinth, water lettuce, iris and pennywort to reduce phosphate and nitrate increasing water quality.

Top View of the Ultimate Koi Pond with 2 Filters and 2 Pumps
 
The diagram below outlines the equipment and plumbing schematic for 2 filters and 2 pumps. The pressurized NINPHEO Pond Filter feeds the upper pond which acts as a natural plant filter. This area should be well stocked with water hyacinth, water lettuce, iris and pennywort to reduce phosphate and nitrate increasing water quality. The Pond Beast/Mini Beast can drain to either the upper or lower pond depending on where it's installed.

Installation to Bypass or Remove the UV Sterilizer
 
The diagram below illustrates plumbing and installation of a UV sterilizer with valves for bypassing the filtration system. It is necessary to bypass and remove the UV for bulb replacement, adding nitrifying bacteria, regular maintenance and removal from the system in freezing temperatures. In normal operation with the UV on, only Valve 1 is closed, forcing
water through the UV to the filter.

• To bypass the UV:
open Valve 1 and close Valves 2 & 3.

• To remove the UV:
Unions are included with some brands and can be purchased separately. Unions should be installed on the inlet and outlet of the UV before Valves 1 & 2. To remove the unit, open Valve 1, close Valves 2 & 3 and unscrew the unions at the inlet and outlet and remove the unit. In very cold climates, when pumps are turned off, remember to drain plumbing lines and external filters to prevent damage.

Plumbing Schematics for Bog Garden Pump and Skimmer Installation

See Pond Solution 21 for complete instructions for installing a bog garden