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Lynn

Digging New Pond

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:huh: How big do I need to make a pond to breed 14 Butterfly Koi in? I saw where one guy dug a 10x16ft one. Will that be big enough to breed in or will it need to be bigger? I can go 10x20. He said he had about 4,000gls in the 10x16 and with 300 to each fish that would make it able to hold 12- 16 fish. Is that right?

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Guest Shiari

Bigger is always better! Go for the 10x20, and have it be about 3 to 4 feet deep. That should do for them very well. ^_^ And if you go for the 4 foot depth, you could swim with your fish easier! XD

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B) I am not sure how deep the pond I have now is, but it over waist deep and my daughter can and did have fun in it last summer. :lol

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When you say breeding, do you mean actually producing babies, or rather just let the fish grow in there to their full potential? The reason I am asking is, to have koi grow to their fullest, they need more than 300 gl/fish, 500gl to 1000 gl per fish is much more successful. Remember, koi can grow up to 6 inches in one year, and reach 2-3 feet in size.

And if you wonna breed them, koi lay literally 1000s of eggs if in the right conditions, and those babies need space as well, although its better for the babies not to have a full blown filter running when they are still that small. They might get sucked into the filter and die. Sponge filters are much better, or you can cover the pump with something like sponge material or pond netting in a big clump to prevent the babies from being sucked in.

And as soon as they lay eggs, you have to remove the adult fish to someplace else, or have a possibility of dividing the pond somehow, otherwise they will eat the eggs and babies. Spawning koi make a huge mess, and the filter needs extra cleaning during this times. :)

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Thanks Ranchu,

You summed that up very well.

I would think twice about trying too breed them but you should get in touch with that local koi club about building the pond.

The normal recommendation too grow them out too full potential is 500 gallons per male and 1,000 gallons per female with tons of filtration but many people consider this even overcrowded. When they are grown out in japan they are given huge amounts of water too grow and 15,000 gallons per fish would not be uncommon. This is also done without any filtration but sometimes added aeration.

And when you start digging, GO DEEP. As deep as you can considering 4' as a minimum depth. Also think BOTTOM DRAINS. They are a must. It has been stated many times that some koi can grow deformed in ponds of less than 2'.

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What is a bottome drain and so you make one? How does it work?

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:thud Sorry, I mint to ask was what is a bottom drain and how do you make one. What dose it do? Why do I need it? Is it only for Koi or for any big ponds :lol1

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A bottom drain is a great tool to simplify pond cleaning. It should be located in the deepest part of the pond, thats where all the waste and uneaten food will accumulate. When its cleaning time, you open a valve or turn on a pump on the outside, thats connected to the bottom drain, and it will open, and all the waste will literally go down the drain to a filter. It saves you greatly time on cleaning, since vaccuuming off the floor, like we do in our tanks, is very hard, if not impossible in a pond, and without a bottom drain there could be huge amounts of waste building up.

Here are a few pics of a bottom drain......

bottom drains

Its best to install the bottom drain while you are building the pond. There are models out there that can be installed afterwards, but it does not have the same effect... :)

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While what Ranchu said about bottom drains is technicaly correct they are not used like that anymore. Think of a bottom drain as the intake too your filter with water constantly flowing through it. Then you can also hook up a skimmer as another intake.

There are literally thousands of ways you can plumb a pond but I will try and give you a simple scenario.

Have the waterfall spill into the shallowest end of the pond. Then slope the bottom downward too the far end where you would install the bottom drain. This way you will get good movement of the water and most of the detritus will be pushed too the drain where it will suck it up and then on to the filter. Hope that helps.

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How do you put in a under ground and the pond not leak, and it still drain? Where will come out? If I put it in the ground, then it will be lower then the pond and under ground. I understand the why, but not the how. :thud How do you get it to drain up hill

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This might be long but I hope it answers your questions.

1]Here is the info for a liner pond. You actually put the plumbing for the drain in first and then lay the liner over it. Next you cut a hole in the liner where the drain is and install the top part of the drain. Between the top part of the drain, the liner, and then the bottom part of the drain you get a watertight fit. There is also a no cut bottom drain that works for direct suction systems. More on that later.

2] There are two ways too get the water flowing UPWARD from your bottom drain. The first way is a direct suction system that basically means you hook the pump up directly too the bottom drain. Most people would use a 2" diameter pipe for this type of install. Here is also where you can use the no cut bottom drain. It is basically an inverted drain that you weigh down and the water is pulled up through it with 2" pipe. If you use this type of drain you don't have too worry about leaks since you don't cut the liner but is not as effective.

3] You can use a gravity fed system which is a little harder too explain. Basically since water will find its own level you need too have some type of settlement chamber as the first part of this type of filtration. The bottom drain will be plumbed directly too this. Think of a small chamber built into the ground on the outside of the pond that has the same water level as your pond does. When you put a pump too one end of the settlement chamber it starts draining the water out of the settlement chamber and since water will always find its true level the water in the pond will basically be pushed through the bottom drain too try and keep the settlement chamber full. That is how you can make water flow upwards even though the water levels are kept the same. When doing a gravity fed system use nothing less than 4" pipe.

Check out this website since it has some incredible info on how too do gravity sytems but not too much info on the direct suction types. The main drawback on the direct suction type is all of the detritus gets churned up by the pump before it reaches the bio stage.

Go to

www.akca.org

Click on menu

Then koi health advisor

Then KHA construction

If you truly want too have a koi pond and let them grow too their fullest you need too find out how too do the pond right. You might spend more money in the beginning but you will more than make up for it with all of the problems you will have in the future. Good luck and if you have anymore questions fire away.

P.S. If you run into an aquascapes dealer I have a piece of advice. RUN, run fast, run far, and then keep on running. They basically promote a sewer system too keep fish in.

Edited by jetman73

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Thanks Rob, for explaining that so thoroughly! :) As you can tell, I have yet to build or first inground pond, but its bound to happen more sooner than later! :D And yes, I can ditto that, research is the best and most important tool BEFORE building the pond.

Thats why I enjoy belonging to a koi club so much. There are the monthly meetings at members houses, and you get to see their fish, and even more importantly, their setup. They explain in great length what they like and dislike about their pond, what they would change, what they can recommend. And there are pond keepers in each club for any range of budget, from the most sophisticated one to the DIY pond builder. There is nothing more valuable than the word of a koi keeper and his experience with the choice he made during pond building.

Sales people, oh PLEASE!! Its the same thing with the Aquadyne guy. Not that I generally say his filters are not good, its just that he reminds me of a car salesperson every time he opens his mouth, and car sales guys are generally something I run from! :D

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Ranchu,

Looking forward too seeing you start a thread about your new pond. Sounds like it might be sooner rather than later.

I'll also see you in orlando. I already mede my reservations but still no seminar info.

FYI I am using an aquadyne right now and though it has only been a few months I am very happy with it. However when the fish get bigger in a couple of years I am sure I will be adding more filtration. Does it ever end?

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No, it wont! You might as well just get used to it! :rofl

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Thanks, Now I understand. Can I make an "L" shaped pond? :lol

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I would suggest you visit the AKCA site and print out the info. While you can make an "L" shaped work it is much easier too stick too an oval pond.

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Well, The pond is still in the planning stage. The location is up in the air. I am having a hard time making my hubbie believing we need a pond 10x20x4. The "L" shape would be nice, but not a have to.

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