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Everything posted by Lillee

  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
  16. Well might be over or under estimating somewhere! What's a few gallons between friends lol Regarding growth rate, if you look after the water quality by having large filtration, this allows you to feed them as much and as often as they want to eat. Hence the growth rate. In nature it is a natural defence strategy to grow as big as you can as fast as you can, or risk getting eaten. As domesticated as goldfish are, they are still carp at the end if the day, and carp can grow to huge sizes...
  17. Hi guys, Gee wow! Many thanks for the kind comments. Yes I did everything myself (well with the help of my dad, some things need more than one person to do) but I always wanted to build a cubbyhouse for the kids, and I always wanted a pond, so I did both! The dimensions are roughly 13ft by 3.5ft by 5ft deep something like that. The issue I have is lack of space so this is as big as I could make it without it taking over the yard. If I had more space I'd make it 20ft by 20ft by 20ft! She's my favourite fish! My wife thinks she's ugly but I think she's stunning! Look at all the spotty colouration! metallic in some parts. She's fast through the water too and quite shy. It took me months to win her trust and now she's no longer as shy as she used to be. Haha thanks! The fish actually really love it. They hang out there and when they see me approach the pond from quite far away, they all get excited! I always admired those viewing windows. I thought, what's the use of only being able to see my babies from the top? My two girls love it too. Great way to monitor their growth and health. Recommended for anyone wanting to build a pond.
  18. I don't bother, I just toss it in and they gobble it up like pigs...
  19. I find the best food for them is variety. I mix 7 types of pellets, New life spectrum, hikari lion head, hikari gold, hikari koi food varieties as well as some spirulina based pellets. The more variety of pellets the better... In summer I drop in several live earthworms from my worm farm and they gobble those up very quickly
  20. I use a cheap men's multiviatim. The problem I find with gel food is that it clouds up the water too much so I went back to high quality pellet food such as New Life Spectrum. That stuff smells good. My nose tells me it's good stuff!
  21. Here's the video (click on picture to view)
  22. PS. The photos above are quite old, much has changed since then such as a huge upgrade to the filtration, and fertilized grass which is now green not yellow! That's pretty much it, unless there's more that you guys want to know about... you'll have to ask me what you want to know I don't know what you want to know... lol OK I am uploading a video. I love modern technology!!
  23. OK well this brings us up to date! Here is a plan of the pond versus what eventuated. Not bad even if I say so myself! Here's what my babies looked like a year ago. Their growth has been staggering even if I say so myself...
  24. Hi guys, Hello, been lurking for years on this forum, but now I feel it's time to contribute. As asked I started my own new thread do that I wouldn't hijack someone else's (how rude of me), Here is the info from the other thread so I don't double up: I find my babies are thriving in my pond. I can see that they are grazing all day long on the algae growing in the pond and have become quite fat, large and healthy. If you have the room I would make it as big as you possibly can as well as borrowing some ideas from the Koi keepers such as heavy duty filtration. Goldfish eat a lot and poop a lot, I can attest to this when I empty out the settlement chamber every day. It's filthy! Currently I have about 25 in approx 500 gallons and 3 x 55gal filters all DIY. If I could start all over again, I'd make it bigger, deeper and have even more filtration... Let that be food for thought for you. Here are a few pics of my babies at about 1 year old and still growing The pond not too different from the designs that the koi guys employ for their ponds. The theory is simple enough, remove as much of the solid waste as possible before it gets to the filters. Then you can dedicate more of the filtration volume to bio filtration. All while making it as easy as possible to clean! Sounds simple hey? Well it's taken me about 8 months of fiddling to get it just right and even now there's room for vast improvement but that would require a completely new redesign. Hence if I had the option to start again I wouldn't cut corners and go whole hog so to speak. Here's how my system works: I have a half above ground Firestone liner pond with a perspex window. It's rectangular in shape. Bare (no plants etc to clog up poop) The filter return is at one end of the pond right at the bottom of the pond. This pushes all the poop to the other end of the pond I have a retro fit bottom drain (if I were to start again I'd dig a proper bottom drain) This is fed into a buried 55Gal settlement chamber which has nothing but a tap with piping to drain poop from the bottom. Again if I could do it all over again I'd redesign this to be much more effective and have a cone shape a the bottom. A pump pushed water into the 2nd and 3rd barrels which are then gravity fed back to the pond. Again if I could start again I'd dig a filter pit and have the pump at the end of the chain pushing only clean water back into the pond rather than pushing dirty water into the filters. Second and third 55gal are sand and gravel filters which have a DIY air manifold built into them. To clean them I pump air from a shop vac into the air manifold and the whole barrel bubbles up and dirty water is flushed out of the system. Basically the idea is I don't ever get wet cleaning the filters! But isn't always the case!! I also have a UV filter plumbed in there for summer time The whole system has a series of valves (about a dozen) that I can turn and bypass the filters etc for cleaning. I change 20% water weekly and clean the filters once a month or every second month depending on season. Takes about 1 hour to clean the filters, most of that time is sitting waiting for water to drain or fill back up. As I said the system has taken 8 months to perfect but now cleaning and changing water is quite simple, a few turns of a valve or two pretty much. Let me know if you have any questions! more than happy to talk ponds all day, I spend so much of my time enjoying my babies (real reason I decided to jump onto this forum in the first place). Here's a picture of the perspex window Sorry to hijack the original poster Shannon1's question but indirectly I am saying YES, they really love ponds. They love the space, they love clean, clear water and they eat and poop a lot more than what many people assume that they do. I call mine Pig Fish because that's what they are, little piggies that will gobble up in an earthworm longer than themselves in a single slurp. I feed mine twice a day and more often in summer time. The old myth that goldfish eat until they die is a big fat myth. They will eat until they are full. I have seen them stop eating many times, at which time I net out the remaining food. After some time you will figure out the balance and feed them enough and not too much. They spend the rest of their time eating algae anyway. If you don't provide enough filtration and water volume then yes, they can "kill themselves" by ammonia poisoning, but that is completely different from the actual fish killing themselves from over eating. It isn't possible in nature that an animal will over eat. Good food is also key. I feed them 7 kinds of high quality pellets that I mix altogether. Best to avoid some lower quality foods in general. Yes, I have a problem with waterfalls in that they make too much noise! my setup is very very quiet, with only a very gentle hum of the Laguna pump. Also waterfalls just don't allow the volume turn over that you need to keep everything sparkling. My turn over rate is 4-5 times an hour which is HUGE. The bigger the better. The fish don't seem to mind at all, they love swimming against the current, I see them doing that often rather than going to a corner where they can rest. The S&G filters are inline. I can see why one would want to do parallel but only if you have a huge pond (30,000 galons) and need massive turn over rates. My system is just right for this sized pond, any more turn over rate and yes, I might have to look into parallel. My problem is also space, I don't have a lot of it in my backyard so it's difficult to implement anything bigger. I have many diagrams. I will start a new thread when I get home tonight and have access to the photos.
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