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  1. I got mine on Ebay. Depends on where you live, drums come up for sale all the time. I got mine from a place out west of Sydney for about $20 each. They come up for sale once in awhile, you just need to keep a eye on ebay. Here's one, but as I said depends on where you live: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/200L-CAPACITY-RECONDITIONED-OPEN-NECK-PLASTIC-DRUM-STORAGE-CONTAINER-CLAMP-SEAL-/261139278039?pt=AU_Storage&hash=item3ccd1d28d7&_uhb=1#ht_9311wt_906
  2. EPDM firestone liner is the best I can attest to that. It's abit more expensive but well worth it. They make lakes out of this stuff! As other have mentioned here, go as BIG as you can possibly go without blowing your budget or annoying the neighbours (who cares about them anyway!). DIY filter is the way to go, also the bigger the better here too.
  3. Weekly activity: 1) drain pond about 10-20% from settlement chamber 2) scrub viewing window with a household floor cleaning brush (dedicated one! Made of plastic so it doesn't rust, learn that pretty quickly) 3) top up pond 4) watch babies as they get so excited with all the activity... I do this rain hail or shine, have not missed a water change in over a year (cept when I am on vacation of course!). At first I expected my water bills to skyrocket, but not so... 200L or so is not much water I guess? small price to pay for fish health?
  4. Thanks LovelyChaos! For Mavwar: The ideas are in no way my own ideas, I've stolen them from many late nights researching Koi forums for the most optimal filtration for Koi (which is what I initially had in the pond) which was easy to maintain. The principal behind the filtration is quite simple: 1) remove as much solid waste out of water as possible before the filters 2) have huge amount of filtration media to accommodate 3) largest turn water over rate possible. Sounds pretty simple right? The filtration barrels have the gravel suspended so that there is a cavity at the bottom of the barrel. This aids cleaning and the way the air manifolds work. What is in there from bottom to top is Large river pebbles, large enough not to fall through the plastic grate (purple coloured in diagram). Then smaller and smaller pebbles until the top later is aquarium gravel sized. The contents of tank 2 is more finer, with course sand at the top layer (not quite beach sand, but more like fine river sand). Here's how it works: 1) The return pipe from the filter is tuned very specifically to return water at the bottom of the pond on the far side of the pond. This creates a jet of water that pushed all the poop and gunk from the pond to the far end 2) at the far end I have a bottom drain that sucks all that poop out of the pond and into a settlement chamber 3) the settlement chamber is a vortex and water entering it is swirled around in a vortex so that the poop settles to the bottom, here using valves and a small bucket I empty the poop out in on a daily basis by turning a single valve. 1 small bucket usually is enough to take out loads of smelly poop... 4) a 3000 gallon pump at the top of the settlement chamber sends this water, past a UV filter plumbed in series, past a one way valve, to the first tank in the diagram 5) Tank 1 fills up from bottom up. The water seeps upwards through the sand filter and down the first stand pipe. The tank height, the stand pipe height, and the pump flow must be a precise setup or else the tank overflows or the standpipe draws air. It's a matter of using the control valves to manage the pump volume (easy), or raising/lowering the tank heights (not easy). 6) Tank 1 empties into tank 2 and filtration happens in much the same way in tank 2 7) the water is returned to the pond sparkling clean and clear. The gravel and sand polishes the water like nothing else. It's truly crystal clear water. Daily activity: 1) feed them and open bottom drain in settlement chamber into a bucket. black, stinky, yummy poo poo. Great for garden. To clean filters (once a month or every second month depending on season). 1) control the flow using flow control valves so some water bypasses the filter altogether. This isn't absolutely necessary but I find that my pump is so strong that my pond empties in a matter of minutes if I don't reduce the flow to 50% or even 33% flow. Too high a flow is also not efficient, the boiling. bubbling soup needs time for the sediment and solids to boil upwards through the gravel, so slower flow is more desirable when cleaning. 2) connect a shop vac blower to the blue air manifold and blow air in there which makes the whole barrel bubble up like a boiling soup. This pushes all the loose gunk upwards towards the top Cleaning Drain in each barrel 3) open Cleaning Drain and flush away pooey water to garden. Usually takes about 3-5 minutes. I stand there and watch until the water is no longer brown. 4) Repeat steps 1 to 3 for tank 2 5) refill pond, add dechlorinator 6) enjoy watching my excited fish from all the activity Let me know if you have any questions! Merry Christmas!
  5. It is definitely working yes! lol I am not sure there is much point of showing inside because it's full of sand and gravel so you won't be able to see much. Instead I can try to update an old diagram that I had drawn of the filtration system and post that. Stay tuned Thanks Mochi! Yeah they are getting very fat this time of the year, warm weather makes them eat more and some of the girls esp are getting very fat full of eggs. I've had them lay several times this year but I've not aided or pursued their cause (mainly because I wouldn't know what to do with 1000 babies....)
  6. The UV filter does one thing only that I can see that has benefit, it clears the water so you can see your fish! Otherwise it's a green murky mess and my babies seem to be stressed out with this, they stop eating and are very jumpy because they are used to seeing everything around them. When it's cloudy they sort of are blind. I agree with flow rate, but at these extremely high gph's when we are talking ponds, when running this high a gph through 55gal barrel filters, the flow rate through the surface area of the filter (approx 1.5ft diameter) is relatively slow. You are mistaking 3000gph to flow through a small tube when in fact it is slowly seeping over quite a large surface area at a very slow rate relative to the speed travelling through the small pipes. Don't quote me but when I did research for my filters, the max gph that can be run through a 55gal barrel is about 6000 gph or something like that before it starts to become a fluid bed itself or glogs up too quickly, something like that. Hence plumbing them in series. Of course all this is optional, you can simply dig a big hole in the ground and provided that you have a large enough body of water with an eco system of plants to match, the fish will thrive. I think you'll find though that this optimum water volume size to achieve balanced echo system is far more than 10,000 galons... more like a miniature lake, fully planted edges etc. I also disagree that Koi aren't different from goldfish. Yes goldies are heartier and can survive in less than optimum environments (bless them) but if you keep them in clean, clear water with plenty of food twice daily you will see that they will thrive and grow to large sizes and display extremely beautiful colours. If you google pictures of how humongous goldfish get when the koi guys keep them in their ponds with all the "bells and whistles", you'll know what I mean that they will "thank you for it". They call them "the little guys" lol
  7. I know that it's not, especially because it becomes impossible to supply 10,000 gph to a 1000 gallon pond It is also unnecessary. I don't entirely agree, I run a 3000 galons per hour pump on my 500 gallon pond and it is only just in balance. If I could redo all the plumbing to use 4inch stormwater piping instead of the largest PVC which is 2" then I would go double that rate at about 5000 or 6000 gallons per hour. At the moment the 2" PVC is what is holding the system back from going any larger gph. I feel the bigger the better, they will thank you for it... The Koi guys will tell you to go as high GPH as you can manage, the higher the better. The more filtration the better, bottom drain, surface skimmer, UV filter, settlement chamber, several S&G filters in series or better still kaldnes fluid bed filters if you can stomach the cost...
  8. Sorry actually the acrylic costs substantially more than glass at those thicknesses. Prices may vary where you are though
  9. Hello shakaho, The window is a DIY job, requires a bit of engineering but not too difficult. The window itself is roughly 1 inch thick perspex (acrylic) cut to size. It's easy to drill, costs less than glass and is far safer. The assembly is as follows: Wood frame of the pond Rubber pond liner trimmed to size around window Silicone sealant Perspex Silicone sealant PVC flat piece used as a bracket All held tightly together with marine grade stainless steel bolts < proper ones which are expensive Drilling properly is the key, you can't be off by too much. I drilled the Perspex first, then clamped it against the wood frame, drilled all the other holes. Then dry assembled everything to ensure accuracy. Then wet assembled using as much silicon sealant as possible, including inside the drilled holes by filling it up with sealant and pushing the bolt through. In just over a year there has been no leaks, touch wood. Repair would be costly because it would probably mean buying a new rubber liner which is hundreds $. Let me know if you have any questions. It's hard work but its so worth it.
  10. Here is one of three barrel filters that I have. Initially I had only one 55Gal settlement chamber/filter and pump all in one that was dug about 3ft into the ground. This was fine but it made things EXTREMELY messy and hard to clean. So I did some research and decided to make the 55gal a settlement chamber only. I then bought these blue barrels which I think are less than 55gal, I think 35gal? anyway they are in line and both sand and gravel filters. The pipe at the bottom left hand side of the picture is the fed from the settlement chamber via a pump, this gets plumbed into the barrel on the far right. This in turn gravity feeds the barrel in the main picture, and in turn is gravity fed back to the pond. The other taps and valves are for bypassing the filters for cleaning or emptying them when I plug in a shop vac into the inbuilt air manifolds in both barrels. It isn't by far the most ideal filtration. I've read and seen ideas that are much much better than what I have here such as a filter pit, fluid bed filters and other crazy ideas which are worth looking into seriously. But what I have an issue with is space, or lack of it, so I really am limited in what I can do. I also didn't want to make it too permanent in case I need to sell the house in the future!! All in all I think it works perfectly fine for what I need it to do. If I could redo it all over again however..................................................................
  11. Ok a few more pics left over... I call this guy my puppy dog. He's got a perfectly shaped body like a torpedo. I think he's the closest I have to the natural Prussian Carp shape from which all goldfish are supposedly descended from. I call him puppy dog because he's cute looking and sort of begs for food a lot lol. Here's a picture of the viewing window as of this afternoon. They get so excited when they see me walk up to the pond! See the one on the left? She's surprised to see me! The one you see in the top left corder that is half gold half white: it's amazing how fish change their colours as they mature. This one was nearly solid gold with only a hint of silver body. How I fear she will be all silver in adulthood and lose all of the gold colour. Lillee's ramblings In case you are wondering why I don't name my fish properly... I've got an old superstition that if you name them, they die I know it's silly but I've kept fish for 20 years and I will never again name a fish because I've lost so many in the course of learning to keeping them that it makes me sad to remember them by name. So I don't name them anymore... This is one reason why I decided to go all out and build the best environment I could for these babies. I've always kept fish in tanks which are great for me to view them in, but not exactly ideal for the fish. I kept discus for 10 years so I know what it's all about. This time around I am in it for them... sort of like karma... or feeling like I need to give back to them for all my trespasses lol.. I am proud to say I've not lost a single fish in the past year and a bit and don't plan to ever again if I can help it!
  12. Thanks Becs! I've been meaning to share my pride and joys for sometime but have been selfish and enjoying them all by myself! Couldn't net the gold goldfish. I don't make it a habit to net them up and like that unless I absolutely have to... maybe next time
  13. You like the fantail I take it? There is another identical one I there too so I suppose I won't miss one To tell you the truth I am not a big fan of the fancy goldfish... Call me wired but I like traditional shaped fish... Oh yeah by the way I actually have a gold coloured goldfish. No the red ones are not what I call "goldfish" they are red. I'll see if I can net him and take pics of him...
  14. Hi Jeana, no problems! Thanks for your kind words. I really have been secretly enjoying my babies for over a year now and thought, how selfish of me, there must be someone out there that would like them too! By popular demand here are some pics of my babies! Big white baby, male, very nice finnage My Golfball baby, but now more like a tennis ball! This one gobbles up worms longer than himself in a single slurp This one of only a few fantails I have in the pond. Initially I was afraid that slower swimming fish would be a meal for the local birds so stayed away from fancies. Believe it or not, this one was black right up until about 8months and then he morphed into a red! And lastly my prized redcap. She's the biggest and prettiest (I think) in the pond. A real queen of the pond. Bosses everyone else around just by using her sheer bulk. Very greedy feeder
  15. Thanks fantailfan! It's a date! Start digging and ill be right over with my tools
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