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Electric Power Conversion Formulas
To calculate your Gallons... all assume straight sides
Estimating Waterfall Widths and Flow Rates
A quick way to ESTIMATE fish load in your pond
Ammonia is a toxic byproduct of fish and other pond life, made worse by over feeding. Ammonia is constantly produced by fish waste, decomposing plants and uneaten fish food. Ammonia is the number one killer of pond fish.
Nitrite is a toxic byproduct of pond life, made worse by over feeding. Nitrite is produced by filter bacteria which "eat" the Ammonia and give off Nitrite. Low levels of Nitrite affect the ability of cells to use oxygen. High levels of Nitrite will quickly lead to fish mortality.
Nitrate is a nutrient source for algae and other plant life. Nitrate is produced by filter bacteria which "eat" the Nitrite and give off Nitrate. High levels of Nitrate are frequently linked to poor fish health, excessive algae growth and a build-up of organic pollutants.
PH is the measure of the acidity in pond water. A reading of 7.0 is neutral. A PH above 7.0 is alkaline. Any reading below 7.0 is acid. A PH range between 6.8 and 8.0 is ideal for fish ponds. The PH of water goes through a natural cycle, fluctuating from day to night as a result of photosynthesis. It is best to test PH in the morning before plants become active and PH rises. Always test at the same time each day, to keep accurate records.
Chlorine is a disinfectant added to municipal water supplies to destroy harmful bacteria. Chlorine is toxic to fish and a pond's beneficial bacteria.
Chloramine is a mixture of compounds which occurs when ammonia and chlorine are combined.
Carbonate Hardness (KH in your test kit) contributes to holding PH steady, so should be tested and maintained as needed.
Salt is required in low doses to maintain electrolites in fish. Salt levels are not affected by evaporation, but are affected by water changes.
A Quick Note about our Technical Advice
Having said that, this page and the links below are a good place to start learning about what you need to know to be "Mother Nature" and build a healthy pond to house healthy fish... you are not "keeping fish" you are "keeping healthy water" in the place of "Mother Nature" so you need to read about the biological cycle that converts (poison!) fish waste into less harmful chemicals
As well as the links below, you might want to check the Koi USA web site to read their archive of articles or click on the AKCA link to find a club near you (over 100 clubs, last time I looked) then join a club and attend meetings to find out what other people have already done to solve the problems of keeping fish in an artificial pond
Once you know the gallons in your pond, and how many fish you will have (be sure to allow for growth when buying a biological filter!!!) you will be ready to go to the individual store pages for the products needed to create a complete biological system - while we are not able to tell you "exactly" which product to buy, since only you know your ultimate pond plans, we are certainly able to offer very good prices on the products we sell
Please note that we do not sell plumbing fittings. Your local Home Depot or other plumbing supply will stock all 1.5 or 2 inch PVC fittings you need. If you wish to use FlexPVC pipe, you may need to find a specialty supplier, such as a Hot Tub sales outlet, rather than a "general" plumbing supplier
NOTE - We do NOT stock either of the COLD SHIP bacteria products mentioned above, as those products require special facilities which we do not have (refridgerated storage and cold shipping containers)
Filtration starts with a Priming Pot (for external pumps)
A Priming Pot performs TWO functions
A Note for Submersible Pump Users
The average submersible pump has a small screen on the intake, but that screen (in our experience) does not do a particularly good job of keeping leaves and twigs from passing through the pump and then on to whatever filter is used. If you have a submersible pump and wish to use a bead filter, you need to have some type of strainer basket which you may remove and clean, in the water line leading from the pump to the filter
Since this water line is under pressure, you need to be sure you select a priming pot that has a SECURELY LOCKING LID and which is made out of materials strong enough to withstand as much as 15-to-20 pounds of pressure. The priming pots we sell are designed with a screw-on lid and should work to keep leaves and twigs from reaching your bead filter
Be sure to clean the strainer basket often, so the strainer basket does not restrict the flow of water to the point that excess water pressure builds and then harms the priming pot
Select a Pump to match your desired amount of water flow
The Maximum Flow figures given on the actual pump selection pages are based on your pump being close to your pond (so it does not have to PULL the water very far, since these high volume, low pressure pumps do not pull water nearly as well as they PUSH the water on the output side) and are also based on not having to push the water extremely high (high volume, low pressure pumps are not designed to push water to the top of a tall building!)
A PERSONAL NOTE is that for our OWN POND we use a pump that is one step up from the minimum size required for the filter... it is easy to put a PVC valve on the output of the pump to reduce the flow if needed, but expensive to replace a pump if you find that the total flow reduction of your plumbing leaves you with a system which does not flow enough water
The exact amount of water moved in your pond/pump/filter depends on MANY factors:
Select a UV Light to match the size of your pond
There are THREE things to remember about a UV light
Please NOTE that UV bulbs should be replaced after 12-14 months of use to be sure of proper operation. You may see "light" through the peep hole in the fixture, but the UV spectrum that kills bacteria and algae is no longer being produced at enough power to actually sterilize the water rushing past the light source.
Select an ULTIMA II filter to match the size of your pond
Aqua UV Ultima II filters were designed after study of the natural filtering action of ocean reefs, contain special types/shapes of plastic filter media (this type of filter is called a "bubble bead" filter since the water bubbles/flows through the VERY tiny spaces between and around the layer of media) to combine mechanical and biological filtering, and make cleaning the filter as easy as switching a selector dial from 'filter" to "flush" as often as needed. The filter body is based on the HAYWARD swimming pool filter, well-proven to stand the test of time, with internals and media custom designed for fish ponds by Aqua UV of UV light fame.
Plumbing the filter is as easy as connecting the input line (from the pump) the output line (to the pond) and the waste line. Since the filter is enclosed and pressurized, you may bury the filter (all except the valve assembly) and the output may also rise (not too high, or you will reduce the flow!) if you want your water to go back to the pond over a waterfall.
Flushing the filter is as easy as turning off the pump (you NEVER switch the valve under pressure!) switching the rotary valve from filter to flush, and turning the pump back on for as long as it takes for the water to run clear in the sight bowl. Actual flush time will vary, depending on the size of your pond and the amount of waste captured in the filter. (Follow the Flushing instructions that come with the filter, as "getting lazy" and not flushing often enough WILL lead to problems!)
Special Note About How Long to Backflush
The waste line coming from the filter's valve has a "sight bowl" to watch the waste water, so you may see when the water runs clear to know when to stop the backflush operation
For our personal filters, I decided the sight bowl was not enough to clearly see the amount of waste in the water, and bought a couple feet of CLEAR PVC to put in the waste line for better viewing
Please note that you MUST HAVE, at a minimum, a "priming pot" with a strainer basket on the intake of your pump to catch twigs and leaves, small rocks or other "hard debris" that could clog your filter. The filter is designed to trap fish waste, not leaves. The mechanical filtration of fish waste is performed as water flows through the VERY tiny spaces around the media, while biological filtration is performed by the beneficial bacteria that live on the surface of the media and eat the fish waste.
If you selected all the right size components, your pond water should now be just as pure as Nature designed for the health of your fish (as there are too many variables of design and implementation for a mail order company to control, we are not able to guarantee results, we may only point the direction you should take when selecting components)
What is a "reasonable" amount of evaporation for your pond?
Some General Comments About Pond Flow
You want to turn over your water ABOUT once an hour, so the water flows through the Ultima filter fast enough to draw the fish waste out of the water for the filter to work, but not so fast that the water is passing through the filter too fast for the bacteria to eat the fish waste and make it harmless
Allowing for the back pressure of the filter, a pump that will work well should be just slightly larger than an exact match to your gallons, so it will have enough power when you do a back wash by turning the valve on the top of the filter to reverse the flow INSIDE the filter
For a 2,000 gallon pond, what **I** would use is a 2,000 gallon Ultima filter (or, the next model up for a heavy fish load) and a pump that is rated at 3,000 GPH at the pump head... remember that rise, distance and pipe bends... plus the back pressure of the filter itself... all reduce the Gallons Per Hour at the filter
You may also put a T on the output of a pump, and direct some of the pump output directly to a waterfall or other feature... do put a valve at least on the side of the T going to the waterfall, so you will be able to direct all of the pump's output to the filter when you are doing a back wash
Depending on fish load and feeding schedule, a back wash ABOUT once a week is good
We don't sell it, but if you Google for clear, food grade PVC such as is used in places like a dairy, you can put a one foot section on the exhaust port of the filter so you may easily see the back wash water go from black/grey to clear so you know to stop the back wash... for your size pond & filter, a back wash should use ABOUT 30-50 gallons of water to go from black/grey to clear... don't flush too long, you don't want to wash away all the bacteria that eat fish waste
When you put a black ABS pickup line from the pump down into the pond and along the bottom, you want to neck UP from the 2" at the pump to 3" or 4" along the bottom of the pond
Drill 1/2" holes every 2 inches, all the way around the bottom pipe, and the entire length of the bottom section... be sure to put an end cap on the bottom section so you don't suck a fish into the water pickup
You will also need to put LOTS of rocks inside this bottom section since ABS is "foam hollow" pipe and wants to float... rocks slightly smaller than the pipe itself so the water will flow easily, but not gravel that could build up harmful sludge
Fill the separate or integrated priming pot and screw the lid back on, and as long as the pump is not a HUGE distance or height away, the pump will prime and water will flow