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Arapaima Pond Build

Discussion in 'Indoor/Outdoor Ponds' started by Luc, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Hello All,

    Some of you might have seen my thread on an Arapaima that came swimming into my life.
    The whole story can be viewed in another thread, just check my threads and you'll see it there.

    To cut it short, Mr. T. is doing well it seems, settling in surprisingly well in his temporary pond at work.

    So now, I have the urgent and monumental task ahead to build a pond at my house as his permanent home.

    I bought a 2nd house this week, next to my current one, with plans to renovate it over the coming years. With Mr. T. suddenly showing up, I have no choice but to start with the pond first instead of last.
    The pond will be inbetween the two houses which will give it good protection from too much sun, wind and birds/cats and crawlers here in Thailand.

    Let's try to get some numbers going for pond I have in mind.
    First phase would be rectangular pond.
    20 ft long, 6 foot wide. I think max I could go is about 3 to 4 foot deep, unless I tear out the drain in the second house and rerouting it somehow. It's a 15-20" concrete pipe that would go through the full length of the pond.
    Since the second house will be torn apart for most of it, it would be possible to do that. Should be possible to connect to the drain of my current house, leaving the pond free to go to about 5 ft deep.

    In a later extension, I can double the size of the pond by tearing out the concrete wall between the houses, digging out my current garden there and make the same pond there.
    Lower the water in the existing pond, support the liner with a temp. steel construction, break out the separation wall, put a new bigger liner in the existing pond, roll it out under the Pima and up again, then remove the steel support and roll it out further.
    Final pond would then be 10 ft x 20 ft. That's the maximum size I can do. Half at 5 ft deep, the other half at 4 ft.

    1/3rd of the pond will be covered by a wood deck and rest open with planters hanging in the water at the sides to provide hiding space and 'barriers'.
    Since its in between to houses, literally wall to wall pond with a wood deck bridge over it to the front.

    The pond, as said, will be liner, which I think is the surest and fastest way to get it up and running, with rebar-concrete walls just to support the shape and keep the surrounding sand/soil in its place.

    Filtration will be a later issue, I'm thinking of using a drain-pump and several plastic barrels filled up with floss and bio-balls, gravity fed back into the pond.

    So now, please comment and advise on it. ​
     
  2. livebearerfreak

    livebearerfreak you are hypnotized! LOL

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    awsome! good luck bro!
     
  3. pbeemer

    pbeemer AC Members

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    i originally thought that that was a pretty large pond for one fish until i actually looked up what an Arapaima is. those guys get huge! i assume that you also plan to stock the pond with something he gets to eat; what did you have in mind?
     
  4. RisiganL.

    RisiganL. AC Members

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    Good luck. Keep us posted, I am really interested to see how this goes!
     
  5. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Well, some time ago I posted, but since Mr.T. Is doing really well, but finances not that good, we decided to go for the company pond, which will be a liner pond, for which the basic pond can be done for less than 500 USD.
    Pond size will be about 9x4 at water surface, sloping to a 6x3 at the bottom. Rounded corners and walls around it from the dirt that comes out from digging. Water Surface about 60cm above the ground and a large filter area with plants in small stones

    Hope end of this month to have more details and some first pics.


    Sent from my iPad using MonsterAquariaNetwork app
     
  6. RisiganL.

    RisiganL. AC Members

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    Are these measurements in feet or meters?
     
  7. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Ah..sorry, that's meters...feet would be pure torture..:devil:
     
  8. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Ok, promised pictures of the pond area and the digging done so far.
    A concrete wall of 50-60cm high above the pavement, same 50cm below the pavement as the front.
    Then behind that wall, liner-pond with deepest point about 120-130 cm, various levels, of dept.
    Filter will be a drain-pump at the front, long hose to the back-side, feeding 2 drums to filter the rubbish out.
    From there, it will be gravity fed back into the pond.
    Deepest point is right behind the concrete wall, so all rubbish will collect there for easy cleaning.

    You see that the temporary sandbag-pond is in the middle of the new pond.
    When part of the concrete-wall is finished, we will put the liner in, then make a small opening in the old pond and let Mr. T find his way into the deeper new pond.
    Will be nerve-testing job, but I think by lowering the water, then removing the sand bags, and then slowly lifting the far side of the old liner to push him to that opening.
    From there, he will slide into the new pond, which we then backup with sandbags before starting to dig the second section.
    Once the second section is complete, we can start rolling out the rest of the liner and fill up the rest of the pond.

    Will be quite some planning to do, might take some time to finish all.

    Still not sure about putting an area in that's only 20-40 cm deep for smaller fish with lots of plants for bio-filtration.
    Maybe even above the waterline as a 'trickle or overflow' type of filter. Area of 3-4 square meter. Could make it filled with guppies and gravel, putting the plants in the gravel.
    Water flowing in and then dropping over a wall into the main pond...

    That can easily be done later..for now, hope tomorrow to get started on the concrete wall.
    Cheers,
    Luc


    P2180176.jpg P2180175.jpg P2180177.jpg P2180178.jpg P2180180.jpg P2180184.jpg P2180185.jpg
     
  9. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Not much of replies so far, let's try to change that.
    Pictures soon, get to office first.
    some good progress and solutions found.
     
  10. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    For the bottom drain, I checked and took some Aludur ducts apart.
    these are 16" square plates with 4 x 4" ducts pop-nailed to the plate.
    Each duct is about 1.5" high, connected with a 1.2" flang to the main plate.
    If I'd leave all the ducts attached to the board, I can use a simple 4" PVC elbow and 4" Drain pipe that I epoxy to one of the ducts.
    Then poor concrete around it, but also inside the 3 remaining ducts.
    I can then use the a second plate with all the ducts removed as the top plate over the liner.
    Or I could use a plastic plate...as a top...

    Question is, given that this is Aluminium, but only very small area exposed to the water, would it be safe?
    I think the effect would be almost zero, with water changes and the large volume of water.
    And Aluminium at least doesn't rust away.

    Appreciate your input.
    For the pop nails sticking out, the one where the drain is connected, I grind them out after the concrete is poorer and dry. They don't serve a purpose anymore by then and the holes would make for perfect pilot holes to guide the screws straight in.
     
  11. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Ok, some pictures first...
    We've finished the concrete front, from the corners of this 10 meter long wall, the pond will be a half circle about 5 meters wide.
    1x 4" bottomdrain, DIY...
    photo 2.JPG
    This is the plate with ducts..I have many of them, this is just to check and test.
    Plan is to use this plate under the liner, 1 of the ducts connected to the PVC Drain.
    I found that if I use a pipe of 4", slide into the elbow with glue, then there's about 1mm space left between the PVC and the duct.
    So likely, I will cut another slice of the pipe, cut it and then get that one in side as well.
    Once all glued and sanded, put the duct in.

    I can grind off the popnails and the openings would perfectly stay within the PVC.
    So by using another ring for on top of the liner, I can simply screw it tight using existing popnail holes as pilots.

    Also, by keeping the other ducts and poor them with concrete, the plate stays rock-solid, no movement at all, while providing good support for the liner...
    photo 3.JPG
    I removed one of the ducts to easily check at a shop for fittings.

    photo 4.JPG
    Oh, here's the front of the new pond.
    As you can see, the old one is inside the new one.
    We will roll liner from left to right up to the old pond.
    Break down an opening in the sandbag wall.
    slowly 'flush' the Arapaima and other fish to the deeper new pond.
    Then put up temp-wall and remove the old pond and dig out the rest of the new pond.

    photo.JPG
    The duct-flange inside the PVC Elbow.
    This will be a major cost saving. typical drains I've seen are like 100 - 150 USD.
    Doing myself with these parts it will be around 10 USD...
     
  12. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Today preparing for the drain.
    Digging a trench from the drain-point through the outside wall.
    Next week get the drain-pipe, then fill up again with the drain itself in concrete.

    Going to cut up an old liner and use those pieces under the new liner.
    There's still a lot of sand from the sand-bags, which will be used on top of the existing soil before the under-liner goes in. Even out the soil, then yellow sand on it, flatten it and let it settle and compact with water first.
    When the liner comes in, first going to roll it as a sausage, then fix it into the ground with long steel-pins.
    From there, slowly rolling it out left to right as far as possible.

    Then move the temporary pond (making it smaller by dropping sandbags between wall and the liner) as far as possible, making the new pond ready for Mr. T.
    Will be 3 to 4 weeks from now I guess...We'll see.

    View attachment 191791
    Digging the trench for the 4" drain.

    View attachment 191792
    Drain goes under this drain pipe
    Then soil goes back on top, level with the concrete structure.

    View attachment 191794
    From the backside of the pond.
    45' angle from the wall sloping down to the deepest point at the front.

    View attachment 191795
    Drain pipe goes under the side of the pond.
    Filters will be against the white wall so drain will make a 2x45' bend to get there, twisting up at the same time.
     
  13. Rbishop

    Rbishop The glistening drop....
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    Good progress, but your attachments don't work for me.
     
  14. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Hmmm, will try again later. Funny though, did all the same as the previous post.
     
  15. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Did get enough 'deep space' today. Next Saturday install bottom drain and fix it in concrete..
     
  16. finsNfur

    finsNfur AC Members

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    Looks like you are making progress, this has been quite a project for you!
     
  17. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Working on it...enjoying it for sure. Mr. T. all happy, he really behaves like a dog, begging for food, getting strokes over his head, patting his side...
    Cant wait to see him swimming in his new home, couple of weeks, just hoping everything goes as planned.
     
  18. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Now 'pet training' a hybrid RTC. Real fun fish. Scurries around all excited when my fingers get in the water. Normally synonym to food..trying to get him used to tickling and touching. Might take some time. Eventually he will be Mr. T's pond friend.
     
  19. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Question for pond experts.

    Bottom drain: pipe horizontal from drain to outside the pond. Is this a must?

    How do I get into the settling chamber? 90' elbow straight up from the horizontal pipe?
    Or can I go with a 45' sloping pipe in the chamber?

    Still puzzled about it...seen both.

    Thanks in advance.
    Luc
     
  20. Luc

    Luc AC Members

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    Ok...let's try with pictures again..the missing/faulty ones and the final result from yesterday's digging.
    P2240199.jpg
    Flange only..I'll cut part of the vertical ring, then try to use the rest with some small cuts and bending it inwards to fit inside the base plate opening.
    P2240194.jpg
    'Massive' wall, 10 meters of viewing area...
    P2240203.jpg
    Duct plate. 3 openings to be filled with concrete to hold everything in place.

    P2240205.jpg
    Drain with flange.

    P2250179.jpg
    The deeper part of the pond.
    Most of the dirt now out. Still some more to go and then refill with a base of sharp sand to get a smooth underlay.

    P2250181.jpg
    Wider view of area.
    Deepest point will be about 1.50 meter measured from the top of the wall.
    The highest water level will be approx 20cm below the top of the wall.

    Given that the level of water in the temporary pond is about 70cm, that's not a bad deal for Mr. T.
     

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