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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '19, 18:55 
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Hi guys, I'm happy to report that I'm building a system of sorts! :headbang:

Its in my girlfriend's mother's house. As part of a season of home improvements in a recently purchased house, we got rid of a fig tree that was in the corner, and we are building a pond in the gap left over. Here are some pics:

Attachment:
fig tree.jpg
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Attachment:
fig tree removal.jpg
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Attachment:
progress.jpeg
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Attachment:
finished pond shape.jpg
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So we still need to purchase the EPDM lining, pump, and other bits and pieces.

We are thinking of using a solar pump kit in order not to have to run cables from the house etc. Any recommendations as to brands?

The bathroom will also be refitted, which will leave us with a spare bath tub which I plan to use as a filter.

My plan is to have a SLO leading directly onto some flowerbeds (soil) on the other side of the wall (with the tube going through a hole in the wall), there is a slight slope to the land so the water should gently flow away from the point of drainage. The idea is that heavy rain events and topping up will flush out the sediment from the bottom area of the pond. We will build a small brick wall around the pond's open edges through which this SLO type tube will go, to provide the necessary drop in height for it to work. Any recommendations as to diameter of tubing?

The bath-tub will then be fed by the pump, which will be placed on one of the steps, and will be relatively protected from solids, hopefully only picking up suspended solids. The water will flow into a large section of tubing sitting in the bottom of the bath-tub, from which it will flow out of holes and up through rock and gravel, with large rocks at the bottom and smaller stones at the top, and overflow through the bath-tub's over-flow hole and over some rocks, creating a pretty waterfall on its way back to the pond. I would like to convert the plug-hole of the bath into a flushing tube by fitting a tube with a ball valve underneath the tub leading from the plug hole and up slightly to a height where you could fill a bucket. I would probably seal the tubing in place with epoxy resin or something. The idea is that over a significant amount of time, the suspended solids will gradually accumulate in the bath-tub, which is kind of acting like a giant, coarse static up-flow filter, every now and again the tub can be back-flushed into a bucket via this tube and ball-valve. The bath-tub would also function as a grow-bed of course.

This system will be lightly stocked (at first at least) with goldfish and minnows. The idea is that it will be very low maintenance, and will function as a mini ecosystem based on naturally occurring food organisms and insects etc. I am hoping that the SLO and filtration system will keep the water nice and clean, and that we will also cool off in the pond when it's hot. But there would always be the possibility further down the line of upgrading the pump system, adding sufficient aeration etc in order to raise a few trout, in the possible case of my girlfriend and I living in the house on a long-term basis.

I should add that the location of this project is in coastal Asturias, northern Spain, where the climate is very humid, warm, but not roasting hot in summer, and from time to time approaching but seldom dropping below 0 degrees C in winter. I would expect the pond to have an annual thermal range of roughly 7-23 degrees C, but I could certainly be out by a few degrees.

Any recommendations, questions, and comments greatly appreciated! :flower:


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PostPosted: Oct 17th, '19, 18:25 
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Bordering on Legend
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Cheers Buenavides, I can't either!

Next weekend we'll get water in there I hope.


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '19, 19:17 
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Hi Danny, based on the plans you have thought a lot about this. Any chance you could draw a diagram or sketch on a few photos to explain further?

First question that comes to mind;
What is SLO? Sorry i haven't been active on this forum for 6 or so years? :dontknow:

Next is the pond supplied water via an additional catchment, (roof)?

How deep/wide is the pond?


Imo:
Tube size of overflow needs to exceed input plus a bit more. Grab a bucket add water from your intended source and time, to work out flow in, then exceed this. Rainfall directly into the pool shouldn't exceed evaporation unless you maintain the water height to the point of almost overflowing.

Good to see your progress so far, and that you are sharing it with your family.

Cheers,

Sam


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PostPosted: Oct 22nd, '19, 22:09 
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Hi Sam,

thanks for the reply! Here I include a few diagrams that I hope clarify the general ideas...

Attachment:
Pond SLO.jpg
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SLO stands for "solids lift overflow", the water overflows, but the water that leaves the pond is drawn up from the bottom as opposed to a simple overflow through a hole which would primarily consist of water from the surface level.

Attachment:
bath-tub growbed.jpg
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Here is how I plan to set up the bath-tub.

Attachment:
bird's-eye view.png
bird's-eye view.png [ 5.28 KiB | Viewed 6536 times ]


This is the rough shape of the pond from above (yes the corner of the wall is slightly more acute than 90 degrees). The max diameter = 3 metres, the max depth = 1.5 metres, perhaps slightly more, need to re-measure that one.

I would like to collect the rainfall from the roof, we currently have no collection system. However, the tubing would have to cross the walkway around the house, so I may just install a blue barrel under the gutter with a tap and hose that can be placed in the pond for re-fill temporarily.

It's a good idea to measure the flow from the roof-top in heavy rain, but if I pursue the above idea I guess I should measure the outflow of the barrel and match the SLO to that. I am just worried that if the pipe is too narrow it will block or drain too slowly, while if it is too big it won't be effective at lifting the solids. I think perhaps I should include a secondary simple overflow hole for when the inflow is too great for the SLO.

I've noticed your project and its progress... now that's quite something!


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PostPosted: Oct 24th, '19, 19:51 
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Hi danny, thanks for the comprehensive reply.

If it was me (i am very often wrong :think: ) i would keep the periodic flush system of the gb, however i wouldn't deliver the water via pump there. The water placed on top of the gb media has many benefits: attracting beneficial insects, even just for a drink, creates another niche microclimate. Also gravity works, it will end up in the bottom, i think it is about slowing the process. From the top of the gb, the 'solids' via plant, fungi, bacteria activity will be rendered as energy for plants. Further the effort to pump the water once pumped, is spent, however if you pumped a fountain in the tank only, for instace, the energy serves mostly to please the eye and add o2. Then +gbs = food, + time=solids drop from water column& sweeten water, +much more time=stagnation, whereby the original energy denergrates to anaerobic (degenerates for air breathers atleast). That is how i view these things.

Ok i'll stop there.

Great work. That clay looks sticky would have been a great effort digging it. In aus, most figs for fruit are small so i guessed the pond was not very big! Lol i thought the cement blocks were brick size. :geek:

Have fun with it, Sam


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PostPosted: Nov 2nd, '19, 04:47 
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Cheers for the input Sam!

I am thinking now have a little pool dug out in the area of the growbed where the water trickles in. Perhaps a short length of wide tubing submerged in the media to create a sleeve to direct the water downwards could be beneficial to distribut the flow a little, butthen again maybe there's no point. With bigger rocks at the bottome and smaller stones at the top mybe the water will have a slight down and back up circulation anyway dropping the sediment on its way... In reality the pump will not be drawing up settled solids anyway, its going to be mesh screened in the pond so the water entering the growbed will be pretty clean, so maybe its a load of fuss over nothing...

The plan is to use a solar pump kit. i've been trawling the web trying to pick a model and deliberate what I can afford. looking at this one:

https://www.conrad.com/p/esotec-garda-1 ... -lh-551280

should probably be thinking about what to use for a protective underlay for the liner too, i suppose to not use one would be foolish even though the clay is smooth.

Made some more progress; perimiter wall built with the drain tube in place.

Attachment:
perimeter wall.jpg
perimeter wall.jpg [ 73.36 KiB | Viewed 5860 times ]


Two days of extreme rain filled the thig up, but it seems to have settled out at where it is in the photo thanks to that sticky clay! It wasn't too hard to dig in reality, the bulk of the work was done by the digger and the ripping up of the tree loosened everything, then we only went down a few more inches.


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PostPosted: Nov 3rd, '19, 15:36 
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Great to see the progress. The brick works looks really neat. Grab old carpet for a liner if you have it available in your part of the world, works well, especially if synthetic, as it won't rot away from UV when covered with the liner. :thumbleft:


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PostPosted: Nov 14th, '19, 16:57 
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Hi Danny, any update on progress mate?


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PostPosted: Nov 14th, '19, 18:58 
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Cheers Sam, not recently, we've had some appalling weather, hasn't stopped raining in what seems like a couple of months now, and last weekend we were down there we had a general election to distract us too!

I haven't bothered to empty the water and smooth out the clay again until we have the liner ready to install, as i think it will just rain and need the same doing again. Am planning to buy the liner this weekend though, and hopefully next time we're down there, the following weekend we'll get a day without rain and we can get the liner in finally. Then the fun decorative stuff like rocks and plants!

We're also moving out of our flat just before xmas and I have work and coursework to do in the meantime, but hopefully we'll get the liner in in a week or 2, and then I'll be down there for a month in January so will be able to get some proper progress made.


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PostPosted: Jan 9th, '20, 22:41 
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Finally some progress!

Stuck some bricks in with clay to get the perimiter to level height. Hoping the rain won't undo all that!

Cutting some insulation boards to size for the underlay on the flat areas. This stuff is like super stiff polystyrene. Going to fill in the gaps with expanding foam using plastic bags weighted down slightly to maintain shape and avoid it mushrooming out. Going to use a giant construction sack ontop of cardboard perhaps for the slopes and verticals. A little cement then foam for the arkward corners near the plants, and also for the bricks if they end up falling out.

Attachment:
cutting insulation boards for underlay.jpg
cutting insulation boards for underlay.jpg [ 67.27 KiB | Viewed 1413 times ]


I was wondering about tossing a little cement into the wet clay to plaster against the rough rocky patches on the verticals, hoping it might set better than just the clay, which has to be dry and pounded in real hard in generous lumps, and last time a lot fell off with the rain.

The liner is finally purchased. 6X6m of EPDM synthetic rubber. Given the price I want to do the underlay real good so it lasts as long as possible.

One thing about using the boards is the flat triangluar and rectangular surfaces which I supose won't be that aesthetic, so I might use a layer of sand between the boards and the liner to get a more natural looking form. Also might throw some sand into the very bottom.


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PostPosted: Jan 10th, '20, 15:38 
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danny wrote:

...The liner is finally purchased. 6X6m of EPDM synthetic rubber. Given the price I want to do the underlay real good so it lasts as long as possible.


+ 1. Edpm will last 30 years if it doesn't get punctured. I agree take your time on the underlay stage. Great to see it all happening! :headbang:


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PostPosted: Jan 15th, '20, 02:18 
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Cheers for the encouraging words Sam!

Smoothed all the clay/cement walls out with the boards in place and foam-glued together.

Attachment:
smoothed out with boards in place.jpg
smoothed out with boards in place.jpg [ 61.46 KiB | Viewed 1146 times ]


Then placed the underlay, patches of woven nylon from construction sacks, and then old blankets, an old towel and an old seeping bag.

Attachment:
underlay in place.jpg
underlay in place.jpg [ 63.82 KiB | Viewed 1146 times ]


Then ran out of daylight, so tomorrow morning, liner and fill-up time!


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