Frequently Asked Questions
Why is an external pump better? An external pump is a smart decision. The external pump costs more to purchase, but draws over 70% less amps resulting in 70% less electricity used. The external pump typically has a Baldor or an A.O. Smith motor that has been known to keep running 24/7 for up to 11 years. Most submersible pumps fail between 1.5 to 3.5 years. It is also much easier to access an external pump when maintenance is needed. Most are self priming with a built in leaf trap that also benifits traping crud prior to the pumps intake and filtration system.
How many bottom drains? Most ponds under 5000 gallons will do fine with just one bottom drain provided the bottom surface slopes towards it. Larger ponds will have larger bottom surface areas, and adding additional bottom drains allows for the removal of the debris from around the pond. This will prevent any excess buildup. Consider installing an aerated bottom drain. This feature would vastly improve the cleaning efficiency of the drain providing for cleaner ponds.
Do I need jets? Jets, close to the surface, are needed based on a particular ponds' design for moving water from corners, or surface debris, to the skimmer. Jets installed mid level in the pond wall can benefit by moving debris towards the bottom drain. Installing at least one below surface return, controlled by a 3-way valve to the waterfall, benefits a pond design by allowing the ability to divert any amount of the waterfall flow directly back to the pond. Perhaps your waterfall is splashing too much and your pond is losing water... divert the flow so that the return of the water is below the surface thereby reducing the amount of splashing.
Why is a shelf a problem in a pond? It may permit a safe way for someone to get out, yet makes it inviting for dogs to get in. Blue herons prefer to wade in and are known to eat several Koi in one visit. I suggest making the shelf, if needed, at least 2 feet or more from the surface. Also be aware that fish waste may accumulate on the shelf and cause water quality and health issues if it remains in the pond.
Why should I spend so much for a good filter? The purpose of the pond is to enjoy your environment and not be a slave to the maintenance. Good filters typically can be cleaned in 5 minutes, and you never have to replace the filter media. And finally, an external filter is extremely reliable, lasting a very long time.
How long will the beneficial Bacteria live in my filter when the power goes out? One biologist mentioned that, at around 8 hours, in an enclosed filter, the oxygen levels are reduced to the point where the die-off will be significant. Should your filter media be exposed to oxygen, during a power outtage, your bacteria will likely survive for a longer period of time. Some people even resort to a battery operated air pump to supply additional air to the media. Other sources agree with the above, but mentioned that not all of the beneficial bacteria die off in a 24 hour period, and once the system is back up and running again, the remaining live bio begin to propagate and thrive.
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